1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Why God allows Evil

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Estro Felino, Aug 2, 2022.

  1. blü 2

    blü 2 Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    11,125
    Ratings:
    +7,358
    Religion:
    Skeptical
    Only one ─ that [he] was a typical Bronze Age god and human sacrifice was something that Bronze Age gods were into, a currency they understood.

    The 'engineering' of the deal is present in the text. The spirit of the Lord is upon Jephthah when the deal is done, and Jephthah agrees to a human sacrifice while under that immediate inspiration, not knowing it will involve his daughter, but knowing it's part of the deal. God, on the other hand, can be taken to have known very well who the sacrifice will be ─ [he]'s God, after all.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  2. blü 2

    blü 2 Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    11,125
    Ratings:
    +7,358
    Religion:
    Skeptical
    In the world, morality exists, the morality that makes humans intervene in such circumstances, even at risk of their own lives.

    Tell me, what opinion would you have of a human who, watching a child drown in a swimming pool, just looks on and orders another drink?

    I'd say the onlooker's indifference was to be condemned.

    Wouldn't you?
    Then, you say, as far as this world's concerned, [he] has no useful contribution to make, and that goes double when it comes to helping individuals.

    Okay, I understand what you're saying ─ namely that you agree with Epicurus, Why call [him] God?
    I didn't suggest that at all. I chose an example where freewill is not an issue, the morality is very simple, clear and direct, and the issue is life or death.

    And where God just sits on [his] hands.

    Not conduct I admire. Very far from it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. paradox

    paradox (㇏(•̀ᵥᵥ•́)ノ)

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2022
    Messages:
    1,221
    Ratings:
    +319
    Religion:
    Mysticism
    Right, but she had a chance to escape, ex. to another country.

    In modern times we have contracts, if you sign a contract and don't fulfill your obligations you either pay a fine or go to jail or you lose your house or whatever.
    In ancient times an oath to God had highest significance, not obeying would result is curse or loss of life.
    Just like contracts are significant today so was an oath given to God significant.

    However nobody can force you to fulfill your obligation, you can run away into another country and start living there and hoping bad guys don't come to kill you, the point is that it is your choice.

    I'm not sure, but sadism fascinates me.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    65,609
    Ratings:
    +24,044
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    This doesn't really address the problem.

    You say that God "isn't a dictator." Okay - he lets us act on our desires... but we don't choose our desires.

    Take this quote from Penn Jillette:

    Do you think that God is being a "dictator" by not implanting in Penn Jillette the desire to rape and murder, which he could then choose to indulge or not?

    If your answer is "no," then how does God implanting these desires in other people have anything to do with God not being a "dictator"?
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    18,217
    Ratings:
    +6,967
    Religion:
    Judeo/Christian
    IMV, that is very well said.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  6. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    19,681
    Ratings:
    +8,192
    Religion:
    Christianity
    I guess Jillette means that he chooses not to kill or rape regardless of God.
    That is, so many atheists do not commit any evil. On the contrary many are very good.
    But God's existence is irrelevant in the dualism good \ evil.
     
    #66 Estro Felino, Aug 2, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
  7. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Messages:
    1,600
    Ratings:
    +910
    Religion:
    None
    Isn't the Christian 'God' a dictator regardless of evil in that he/she/it is solely dictating the rules of behavior and setting the requirements to access things like heaven or eternal life? Indeed, there seems to be requirement to submit ones will to the diety; a non-free requirement to worship 'God'.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    65,609
    Ratings:
    +24,044
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    He's saying that he doesn't even need to choose. He simply has no desire to murder or rape, so the question of whether he should murder or rape doesn't even cross his mind.

    Would you agree that he has free will, despite not ever having to choose not to murder?
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 2
  9. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    19,681
    Ratings:
    +8,192
    Religion:
    Christianity
    God sat and did nothing while Jesus, His Son was being crucified.
    Why should He intervene, when it deals with accidents, with illnesses?
    Of course there are miracles, but the reason why God decides to perform them is unknown.

    Of course good people choose to do good things, like saving people's lives.
     
  10. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    19,681
    Ratings:
    +8,192
    Religion:
    Christianity
    We are dancing around it...but my point is exactly that: the uselessness of evil.
    Jillette says he won't do that because he doesn't feel like doing them.

    It is the evidence that evil is something unnecessary. And the people who do those things, are evil because they do something unnecessary.
     
  11. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    19,681
    Ratings:
    +8,192
    Religion:
    Christianity
    That's a good point...but I would like to understand why a person who killed, caused so much suffering should feel the need to go to Heaven. It is a contradiction.
     
  12. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Messages:
    6,080
    Ratings:
    +511
    Religion:
    christian
    I think the problem of evil is much more serious than what you seem to realize.

    For example it is logically possible that a person (under given circumstances) would do good rather than evil, so why didn’t good put murders in that situation?

    Besides apart from human evil there is lots of natural evil that have nothing do with free will (tornados, viruses, earthquakes, etc.) so why God allows those evils.

    Personally I think that the strongest version of this argument is “the problem of trivial evil” why God allows bees to stick us, or why does he allows little spears in our fingers, or than small headache that I had yesterday.

    This trivial evils don’t seem to serve any deeper and metaphysical purpose

    What is your opinon on that?
     
  13. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Messages:
    1,600
    Ratings:
    +910
    Religion:
    None
    IMO

    It is my understanding that, for some religious traditions, the bar to entering heaven is much lower than having killed someone (setting aside any reasons or justifications for the killing). One could be a virtuous person by some standards and be barred from heaven for simply not acknowledging and worshiping the deity asserted by that religious tradition.

    In fact, for some faiths, one can live quite un-virtuously and be forgiven and accepted if they say the magic words "I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior", or words to that effect.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    19,681
    Ratings:
    +8,192
    Religion:
    Christianity
    Let's say that faith in Jesus Christ is irrelevant, and what matters is the good conduct, would God still be a dictator?
     
  15. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Messages:
    21,948
    Ratings:
    +5,732
    Religion:
    Islam
    In an atheistic paradigm, what in the world is evil? Can you explain? How do you come to that? What is the criteria of "evil" and where do you get that criteria from?
     
  16. blü 2

    blü 2 Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    11,125
    Ratings:
    +7,358
    Religion:
    Skeptical
    The NT makes it clear that from the start Jesus' express mission was to die. On that basis he wouldn't have come to earth if the mission hadn't ended in his death.
    First, to demonstrate [his] existence in reality,
    second to demonstrate that [he] and humans are on the same social and moral wavelength,
    third because in the clear example I gave it's undoubtedly the moral and desirable thing to do,
    fourth for the setting of a good example,
    fifth to affirm the value of an innocent life,
    and finally to save humans who acknowledge [him] from having to invent excuses for [his] inertia.
     
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    19,681
    Ratings:
    +8,192
    Religion:
    Christianity
    With hindsight...of course.
     
  18. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    Messages:
    1,600
    Ratings:
    +910
    Religion:
    None
    In my view,

    If belief in Jesus is irrelevant or not required, then are we no longer talking about Christianity? That's fine.

    Is submission of will and worship of (a yet to be defined) 'God' still required? That would still be a dictator, wouldn't you agree?

    If we are no longer talking about Christianity, then who is creating the rules of what is good and bad conduct and how is that information made available? There does not seem to be any consensus between societal groups nor historically through time.

    If there is no consistency of values between groups and values are mutable and there is no discernable enforcement of values or rules by a deity or 'God', how are we to differentiate that type of 'God' with the notion that we make up the values and rules ourselves and enforce those values and rules ourselves?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8,363
    Ratings:
    +10,514
    Religion:
    None
    Why isn't he a dictator if he's omnibenevolent? The wise and just benevolent dictator is the optimal form of government for as long as it lasts, the problem being that the next dictator might not be so benevolent. But with a god, that's not a concern. So why isn't this god leading mankind?

    Why? Their will doesn't seem too respectable, gets many of them into trouble, and creates suffering for others. Why would a good god allow that if it had the power to do better? The best parent instills the best values he or she can into his or her children. Why doesn't this deity do the same if it exists and can do that? There is no good reason.

    Why? Why not choose for them? What good can come of granting people not only the ability to be malicious, but also the drives to do so? None.

    The problem the skeptic has is that you've just described a godless universe, but want to say that there is a god anyway who makes choices indistinguishable from what would be the case if it didn't exist. Of course we aren't subject to nonhuman dictators. Of course we have wills. Of course we have proclivities directing us to do what a crocodile or lion would do that will manifest despite higher centers attempting to tame these instincts. Of course some people will not contain the animal. These things are all expected in a godless universe, but cannot be accounted for assuming a tri-omni deity except with weak, just-so arguments like those.

    Skeptics are telling you why they don't believe such a deity exists. The deity you described does nothing, and could be said about any nonexistent entity. It's true for Superman, too. He doesn't dictate much or interfere with free will.

    There is no reason for the critical thinker to believe this tri-omni god with the same characteristics as the nonexistent exists, so he doesn't. That's the skeptic's argument. And as I've posted a few times lately, with atheism, a whole raft of enigmas such as this one just evaporate away, which I understand as meaning that that is the correct position to hold.

    It's a pretty common occurrence that when people choose to believe something incorrect and double down on it in the face of conflicting evidence and argument, they are forced to come up with dozens of just-so answers for why the evidence fails to support or contradicts the erroneous belief that all go away when the correct position is adopted instead. Why is there useless suffering? Easy for an atheist. Why is the Genesis account so different for the scientific account? The theist needs pages to come up with his apologetics, but the atheist expects myths to be wrong. Why does scripture appear to contradict itself in places? That's another exercise in verbal gymnastics for the believer, but entirely expected by the unbeliever. Repeatedly, theistic doctrine creates problems that atheism solves.

    Consider Sagan's invisible dragon in the garage. In case you haven't seen it, here it is.

    A man claims "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"
    "Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle — but no dragon.
    "Where's the dragon?" you ask.
    "Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."
    You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints. "Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."
    Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire. "Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."
    You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible. "Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick."​

    And so on. The man counters every physical test proposed with a special, just-so explanation of why it won't work. Your argument above looks very much like that one. Solution? Since this dragon has exactly the same characteristic of a nonexistent dragon, call it that, and all the problems just evaporate away. Of course there's nothing see, feel, or measure. That's what nonexistent means.

    Consider Occam's Razor - the simplest narrative that accounts for all relevant observations is preferred. No god is much simpler than an undetectable god with several dozen qualities that keep it undetectable, like the invisible dragon

    Also, I'll leave you with this quote from a man named Edward Abbey: "When the philosopher's argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense"
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  20. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    19,681
    Ratings:
    +8,192
    Religion:
    Christianity
    All the atheists I know in real life can differentiate between god and evil.
    You don't need a deity to do that.:);)
     
Loading...