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Featured Why God allows Evil

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

  1. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    I guess the language used in the OP is simple, clear and perfectly transparent.
    Perfectly understandable to primary school pupils.
    And not because I am not a Native speaker, I use this kind of language even when I speak in Italian.
     
  2. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    Presumably, if evil is a theological concept, then an atheist does not subscribe to the concept of evil. Additionally, for the atheist, since there is no such thing as an actual 'god', or 'gods' for that matter, all the atheist is left with are mythologies, and in some, a 'god' can be the embodiment of evil, right?
     
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  3. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    I did not understand this concept.
     
  4. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    My purpose was to provide atheists with a reason that explains why God does not stop evil.
    Why God does not intervene.

    My point strengthens God's non-existence argument.
    It doesn't weaken it.
    Because it highlights God's inaction.
     
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  5. Ella S.

    Ella S. Stoic Utilitarian

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    Under Christianity, God does have his own laws that he enforces, but he doesn't punish people before they violate his laws and he usually gives them time to repent their transgressions of divine law before Judgment Day.
     
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  6. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    IMO

    Do you consider the "laws" delineated by the Christian god of the Bible to be clear and consistent?

    Punishing before one transgresses wouldn't seem fair. However, there seems to be no discernable punishment after a transgression either. There is no feedback whatsoever. And in the end, all one has to do is repent to avoid eternal torture. To my mind, that is not very strong incentive for one to follow the straight and narrow path.

    Yet the moral and virtuous atheist will be condemned to eternal torture for not accepting 'God', 'Jesus', or 'Allah' or following prescribed physical and verbal practices (which vary according to denomination).

    Not a well conceived system in my view.
     
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  7. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    You had stated that the atheists you know can differentiate between "god and evil". Perhaps that was a typo and you meant 'good and evil'. So I was simply saying that in some mythologies, some gods are evil and hence nothing to differentiate.

    If you mean atheists can differentiate between what their society deems to be right and wrong, then yes, certainly I would agree. The atheist would simply attribute the source of those concepts differently.
     
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  8. Ella S.

    Ella S. Stoic Utilitarian

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    I certainly don't regard the Biblical laws very highly, either. They also support slavery, animal cruelty, misogyny, witch hunts, and queerphobia.

    I find them horrific, quite honestly, and it terrifies me that humanity created those laws and upheld them for so long, without even needing to address the uncomfortable metaphysics of Hell and repentance. It scares me even more that people are still trying to promote the book that teaches these things and get away with it because they lie about how none of this is in there.

    But that's what the Bible is referring to when they talk about God's justice and God's goodness. It's very different from the sensibilities of any compassionate person.
     
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  9. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Yes, your words are very understandable, and your English appears to be better than most native speakers.

    I think that what Abbey was commenting on was not the writing style, but on overly-complex explanations. Reconsider the invisible dragon argument. The language was clear and simple, but the argument wasn't. It required multiple ad hoc answers, which, when considered collectively, comprise a turgid argument.

    That's what it appeared to be. What did you think of my alternative explanation for why God doesn't stop evil. It argues that if God doesn't do anything detectable - doesn't force man to do anything - why even propose that hypothesis. It's unneeded complexity. Drop the god, and it's all still explainable. What does a god add to the state where we have no dictator, no barrier to expressing free will, and the ability to go toward the light or the darkness? Nothing. We have all of that without a god hypothesis, and a much more parsimonious answer.

    I agree that it does that, but I would never have guessed that that was your point. I thought that you were arguing for God's existence and explaining that inaction from a theistic perspective.
     
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  10. Sheldon

    Sheldon Veteran Member

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    What about people who couldn't believe any of it, because there is no objective evidence?
     
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  11. Alien826

    Alien826 Older than dirt

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    Yes.

    The difference between this approach and what we limited humans do is that we try to stop crime before it occurs. I suppose the one commonality is the idea of deterrence. But what would our justice system look like if we followed God's (supposed) method? Whenever we knew that someone was about to commit a crime, we would just let him go ahead, with all the attendant suffering to the innocent. Then we would simply make a note of the crime and at some indeterminate time in the future we would apply punishment. Instead, we do our best with what we have, which is a mixture of control, deterrence and punishment. It's the best we have because we can't know in advance when every crime will be committed, and though we can hone our detective skills, we will always fall short and some crime will occur. Not so with God, who reportedly has absolute knowledge. Therefore he doesn't do his best, not by a long shot.

    Apologists attempt to answer this question. One answer I haven't seen here lately is the idea of "the best of all possible worlds". It goes something like this.

    - God has a higher purpose that we don't know about that is good.
    - Everything that we experience here is part of what he is doing to serve that purpose.
    - God is perfectly good, so he has to chose a method that involves the least amount of evil (suffering, whatever).
    - Therefore what we see is part of a greater plan that justifies the evil in this world, which cannot be less than it is.

    My response to that takes us outside the purely philosophical realm. To defeat the argument, we only have to find one example of something that could reasonably be less evil, without having any effect on anything significant. That doesn't work within the argument, because whatever we come up with, the answer will be that we can't know that the example is correct, because we don't know what God knows. Outside it though, common sense suggests otherwise. Could God have prevented the Ukraine war by a subtle change to Putin's environment? Seems likely, and it need not be detectable (as intervention) by humans.
     
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  12. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    It is not a sin.
     
  13. John53

    John53 Well-Known Member

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    Really? Because that is not what I intended at all. I was trying to give an analogy that shows why I lack belief in God. I accept that my written communication skills are not the best and apologise for the confusion.

    I can only judge by my morals. If I had the ability to stop all 3 of your examples I would.


    No idea, the evil is not described.

    That seems to be a hazard of accepting leadership roles.

    Do you have any actual evidence to back these claims?

    So we should be held accountable but God shouldn't?
     
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  14. John53

    John53 Well-Known Member

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    Before I answer any of your questions I will require an agreement that your intention is to have a friendly discussion and you will not resort to insults or editing posts to change the meaning.
     
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  15. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Okay John. I promise.
     
  16. John53

    John53 Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, just making my breakfast, as soon as I finish that I will attempt to answer the questions.
     
  17. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Not fair. I am hungry now and it's all your fault.
     
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  18. John53

    John53 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really sure of the word paradigm so I'm using my understanding of a dictionary definition but as far as I'm aware there are no organised atheistic groups that set out guidelines for other atheists to follow. I don't speak for all atheists.

    My personal criteria of evil comes from my life experiences which would include but not limited to my parents, teachers, friends, relatives. I would then use those experiences to judge the situation.
     
  19. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    The reality is, there is no one monolith in any religion, though it's true religions are organised in some way or the other.

    When I asked a question from an atheistic paradigm, it does not have to be from an organised doctrine. It is from a world view. Suffering is not necessarily evil to be attributed to a God. That's the reason to question the question of Evil from an atheistic paradigm.

    I don't know what is the dictionary definition is. If evil is "immoral", then what is the standard of immoral from an atheistic paradigm? Where is the stem?
     
  20. PearlSeeker

    PearlSeeker Well-Known Member

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    Stopping from doing evil is not the same as forcing to do good. God would also be a Savior if He interfered.
     
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