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  #16  
Old 11-27-2010, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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Originally Posted by Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah View Post
When we are talking about the judgment of God, it is not about who has been wronged and the effects of the sin. We could think about this in a number of way, all are correct. The following is my personal reasoning, but it is based on Islaamic Scripture to an extent as well. Lets see if you buy this:

Virtue as defined in Islaam differs from the Virtue as defined in Humanism. While both the worldviews may promote overlapping values like doing good, the difference lies in the motivation from which the individual is coming from. The Muslim does good for the sake of God, while the Humanist may do it out of the objective moral values. Yes, the Muslim does it out of his innate values as a human being as well. But this motivation that is present in everyone (save the sociopaths perhaps) is, in the case of the Muslim, coupled by another thing, which is the Love and Awe of God. In the case of the Humanist, this motivation might be mingled with a lot of other intentions like showing off or soothing conscience(yes, this could happen to a general Muslim too, but Im talking about an exemplary Muslims). As a Muslim I hold that this is not really altruism. Rather when one is able to depart with his Ego and Pride and Selfish concern (soothing conscience is a self-concern) and actually submit himself to God, and attach this consciousness to his righteous deeds, then this is the height of virtue and true Altruism. Now the Qur'am enthusiastically tells us once and again that the intention for everything needs to be for the sake of God, in other words, doing anything for God is considered virtuous, while doing it for any other selfish reason is considered, well, selfishness. In other words still, God is basically an embodiment of virtue. Therefore whatever actions we do are tied to this one concept, and when we sin, it hurts this concept as well. Thus in reality, every time we sin, we are performing a breach of virtue, and therefore God owes us an apology. To put it in a sentence without God: to "make up" for us going against virtue, we need to return to virtue. Thats basically it.

Other people might have other reasonings, but I feel all the other reasonings are somehow connected to this. For example, people might say that by sinning you are disobeying God, so you need to repent to Him. This one sentence has put very bluntly the paragraph above. : -p

As for not adhering to a certain religion does not make you righteous, to a certain extent I agree with this. Because every other time, altruism is non-existent, the man does good deeds for his own selfish reasons, without any self-surrendering and submission. He still has his ego and pride intact, the good that he does only feeds this pride. So to a certain extent, I do agree that the godless is not virtuous. However, beyond that extent, I say I am not one to judge people's righteousness. This is because there is another important thing in play, which is knowledge. I believe Islaam is the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth. However, after the fall of the Islaamic State, this Truth hasnt been brought to people upon silver platters. The Muslims have gotten materialistic and lax, and therefore the majority of people all over the earth do not have knowledge as to what we believe to be True, and more importantly, Why we believe it to be so. So since people are ignorant, we cannot hold them responsible for their deeds, since "God alone does know what is within their hearts". As to the point when a person learns the Truth of Islaam and is convinced of it, yet rejects it, I maintain that he is being stubborn and arrogant in the face of truth, so he is indeed not willing to submit his pride, he falls withing the same class of people who are arrogant and egoistic. Do take both parts of the picture into account when you flame me for calling the godless unrighteous.
You know what? As far as I'm concerned, anyone of Islam and Christianity who does good is being just as selfish as the rest of us (not so much Judaism, because the following doesn't really apply to them). Because people of both religions do good not for the sake of good, but for the promise of Paradise and the threat of eternal damnation. At least I, someone who can easily be considered godless, get the right to say that I do good for the sake of good, even if it does stroke my own ego, even if it does fuel my pride, I can at least say that I have done good for no material reward and in the face of no punishment, but for its own merits. And as a Just and Benevolent ruler, I'm sure God's more interested in that than whether I submit to him and make my apologies to him when I've done wrong.
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  #17  
Old 11-27-2010, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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This I think comes from quite a biased mentality and not an open one. Leaving aside the issue of the vast amount of farfetchedness involved in your analogy with lab rats, the question needs to be asked: so what? What if we are indeed lab rats? Just because the Truth is unpleasant to you doesnt mean it should not be given benefit of doubt.
I actually think that we're worse than lab rats: At least lab rats are experimented on to further the human race. People die, people suffer, and quite possibly simply for the amusement of divine entities (so I don't have to limit the number of gods in this discussion to one).

If we are lab rats, then we need to import a discussion about animal rights in experimentation here. I can't say for sure how the sum of human pain and anguish in our world benefits the god(s) since they are omninescient and omnipotent in our eyes and therefore, no matter how you look at it, we cannot 100% determine what their objectives are. But say we really are just like goldfish in a tank, who are being randomly poked with sticks if we're lucky, or pulled out to drown, or be sliced hundreds of times with a knife, or flushed down the toilet and assorted horrible things to do to goldfish for the amusement of humans. Why should we have any sort of respect for such an entity/entities? And knowingly ignoring the pains and sufferings in the world itself is technically a sin: He/She/They know we are suffering due to omninescience but choose to do absolutely nothing about it or possibly even making things worse (natural disasters, terrorists everywhere, global warming, new deadly virii, whathaveyou). This means he/she/they are not that good a yardstick of goodness as we think, so we should take whatever morals they try to lay down for us with a pinch of salt.

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And as for your analogy, thats flawed on so many levels. We as human beings experiment with lab rats to gain something i.e. knowledge; God however has nothing to gain: He already knows the end results. It is His plan that the virtuous will be rewarded and the evil be punished. So it is our purpose as human beings to be virtuous, and not that God has any benefit from this. There are a lot more that could said on the inaccuracy of your analogy, but I think most are pretty obvious and people can see it by themselves.
Are you sure God has nothing to gain? How about joy from watching us suffer, among other sorts of joy? How about knowledge about how creatures react given a set of rules to follow and a set of punishments to be meted out if the rules are not followed? God by definition has access to far more knowledge than we do, thus we cannot even begin to fathom the complete spectrum of motives that he could choose from. The lab rat only knows we are sticking painful needles into it every now and then and sometimes it gets pretty itchy, sometimes it get sick, and sometimes it sees its friends die for no apparent reason while it somehow lives. How could it possibly know that we are doing these things to it to advance our knowledge? If we don't know God's goal, it is impossible to say for sure that us doing the right thing pleases God. Maybe it does please him because that means we're fulfilling his hypothesis that X% of creatures do adhere to a given moral standard, then he can show off at the next meeting of the Gods, or maybe he can tack that up on his wall and feel better when he looks at it. Or maybe it's a race between gods to see who can create a universe/planet that has more believers given that these believers have free will. I might sound mad, but we don't know what God is thinking so it's entirely possible.

If I make whatever divine beings out there sound like complete arses, that's because I highly doubt that whatever is out there is a perfectly benevolent being. I think the Greeks got down a pretty accurate hypothesis: A bunch of gods who possess human traits.

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Yes, exactly. Evil is subjective. That is why, once you take hereafter i.e. punishment for good and bad into account, you would have to resort to religion, to let God decide what is evil and what is not. There is no subjectivity involved there. Finding out by ourselves what evil actually is, thats pretty nonsensical like you said because there would always be people with differing povs.
This is true except for the part that we must resort to religion and let God decide what is evil or not, since not everyone has the same God (again). All fervently religious people believe that their religion is the one truth. Evil is subjective, so in order to quantitatively define right and wrong we need to draw the line. This line needs to be drawn by something everyone agrees on, or someone everyone agrees to defer to. Anything more I say would lead to a circular argument.

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I'm fairly sure Lus is trying to say that God can grant us free will and the ability to recognise our self without having to put us through the tests for evil, not putting us through the test without evil. If evil were not to exist, then what would be tested?
This wasn't really answered in the way that I was looking for. Why does God choose to put us through these tests? Why not give us the easy way out? Why, then, does he choose to limit his powers in this way? You can choose to answer this with "I don't know what God is thinking", I just want to know if you have another explanation.

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Nah, it doesnt. The example you have provided has nothing whatsoever to do with logic, but with empirical observation. Saying "the earth is flat" doesnt contradict the three base rules of logic i.e. a=a, a or not a, and not -a and a. As for logic technically being a human construct, that is open to debate. It can be a human construct, it can be objective in all standards, we dont know. However, you are the one bringing the counter argument here, so the burden of proof lies on you. As long as I can show another plausible outlet to explain away the problem, it wouldnt hold true.

Since we are using human logic rules to debate here, our arguments should conform to these laws and not be based on mere supposition i.e. water that isnt wet could exist. Well it cant. It is in contradiction with the laws of logic. Period.
One of the properties of liquids is that it makes things wet wet since the concept of wet is based on liquids itself (assuming this wasn't proven wrong already). If we discover liquids that doesn't make stuff wet then we can come to two conclusions: A, it isn't a liquid or B, the definition/given properties/concepts needs to be changed. The rules that our logic is built on dictate that A is very, very, very probably right, so usually we disregard B. If God creates something that adheres to all the properties of liquids except that it makes stuff wet, this would appear to be that he has done the impossible, but it is likely that B was the correct conclusion all along. Because God's powers exceed our self-imposed structures, that's why we call him omnipotent. I think I expressed myself slightly better this time. If you're not convinced then I guess I'll just drop this for now.


I would also like to point out that doing something for God might also not be altruistic; it could be an act of bootlicking God, or a way of stroking one's own ego, telling oneself that you are more righteous than others who do not do such things and thus are superior. Conversely, if I see my neighbour hungry and I share my bread with him purely because I do not wish him to suffer the pangs of hunger, how is that not altruistic?

EDIT: Since Khajmer brought up the concept of afterlife rewards/punishment, I would like to take a little jab: Embarking on jihad against the Western world and then purposely throwing away your life during the process to immediately reap the rewards of 72 virgins in heaven after you die is clearly altruistic.
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  #18  
Old 11-27-2010, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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Originally Posted by Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah View Post
So first you were arguing that since God is omnipotent, Evil pleases God. Now you are arguing that it displeases God but God still wants it to happen. I have a strong inner urge to interpret it as cheap violations of debate etiquette and underhandedness and so on but for now I will restrain myself and grant that this was an honest mistake, perhaps you meant "wants" the first time. Something being pleasing to someone and someone wanting something are two different things. Now obviously God approves the existence of Evil, but this doesnt mean He is evil, thats what my first post and all the arguments there were based on.
Does it? God clearly wants evil to exist. Someone who wants evil to exist must to evil, to some extent. Whatever God wants to accomplish, he can do it without evil. The fact that he is doing it with evil, means that he wants evil. Whatever he wants to do, he wants people to suffer, to be miserable, to starve and be tormented.

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Otherwise I wouldve agreed with this, but since ths issue of logical possibility has been brought up, I hold that what is logically impossible doesnt come under the banner of "omnipotence" or even "potence". Omnipotence would only cover all things logically possible. To connect it with what has been said above on evil, it would have been logically impossible for God to test human beings the same way without evil: that would mean it is evil and not evil at the same time, hence contradiction. So God's "potence" to not allow evil is a logical impossibility and wouldnt come under the rag of omnipotence. Straighter still, this is not a flaw upon God's Omnipotence.
You seem to be saying that God cannot make impossibilities realities. But is this not, by definition, limiting God's power? Omnipotence is the ability to make anything happen, period. If there are things God cannot do, then he is not omnipotent. If he is not omnipotent, then the problem of evil is resolved. If you are indeed arguing that God cannot make the logically impossible possible, then you are arguing that God is not omnipotent as the term itself is defined, while using some other definition of omnipotence that is not the actual definition of the term itself. There is nothing that does not come under the banner of "omnipotence", impossible or possible.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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Originally Posted by Lusankya View Post
God clearly wants evil to exist.
Ok Lus you have played with that statement long enough now.....

First, God created the Heavens as a paradise for the people of Earth who has followed his word and has believed in him, in other words good people. Now why if he wants evil to exist, did he create Heaven? I bet you that he wants every human that has been born to come to Heaven, but as you know, most don't deserve it. Second, God doesn't want evil to exist, since it's hard for him to control something that he can't. Question: who is the root of all evil? Satan is, and he's the one who puts the thought of sin(evil) in our heads. That's why God sent Jesus to die for our sins, so we could still have a chance to go to Heaven, it's our only defense as Christians/Humans against it. Really you're fighting the wrong....... deity I guess.
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  #20  
Old 11-28-2010, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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Originally Posted by ScubatheDiverman View Post
Ok Lus you have played with that statement long enough now.....

First, God created the Heavens as a paradise for the people of Earth who has followed his word and has believed in him, in other words good people. Now why if he wants evil to exist, did he create Heaven? I bet you that he wants every human that has been born to come to Heaven, but as you know, most don't deserve it. Second, God doesn't want evil to exist, since it's hard for him to control something that he can't. Question: who is the root of all evil? Satan is, and he's the one who puts the thought of sin(evil) in our heads. That's why God sent Jesus to die for our sins, so we could still have a chance to go to Heaven, it's our only defense as Christians/Humans against it. Really you're fighting the wrong....... deity I guess.
I've always wondered why one measly angel and perhaps a motley crew of other angels has enough power to stand up against God and his legions of angels, especially since man is supposed to be superior to angels. For God's sake he could just freaking curbstomp them SO HARD and there'd be no Satan in this world. Bringing up Satan just makes God sound even more full of crap, it's like he just holds it against us since Adam disobeyed his orders, or at least he can't be bothered enough with our welfare to lift like one finger and wipe out the entire Satan camp.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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Originally Posted by ScubatheDiverman View Post
Ok Lus you have played with that statement long enough now.....

First, God created the Heavens as a paradise for the people of Earth who has followed his word and has believed in him, in other words good people. Now why if he wants evil to exist, did he create Heaven? I bet you that he wants every human that has been born to come to Heaven, but as you know, most don't deserve it. Second, God doesn't want evil to exist, since it's hard for him to control something that he can't. Question: who is the root of all evil? Satan is, and he's the one who puts the thought of sin(evil) in our heads. That's why God sent Jesus to die for our sins, so we could still have a chance to go to Heaven, it's our only defense as Christians/Humans against it. Really you're fighting the wrong....... deity I guess.
"Can't" and "God" don't belong in the same sentence. If God wants Satan to poof out of existence 2000 years ago, he can do that at his leisure (grammar error is intended). You are, in effect, arguing that God is not omnipotent. Satan can do nothing without God's approval. It's like saying I should be arguing with a character in a book rather than his author.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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Does it? God clearly wants evil to exist. Someone who wants evil to exist must to evil, to some extent. Whatever God wants to accomplish, he can do it without evil. The fact that he is doing it with evil, means that he wants evil. Whatever he wants to do, he wants people to suffer, to be miserable, to starve and be tormented.
Well I disagree with the premise that someone who wants evil to exists must be evil to a certain degree. I gave reasons for God to allow evil on earth, punishment and test(among other reasons perhaps, God knows best). Now a Just Judge would want punishment to be carried out on a criminal. This is a fair implementation of Justice. Would this judge be called evil? I dun think so. Similarly, the evil that results from a test, this is coming from the mindset of a concerned father who would wants to test his children whether they are truly virtuous or not. While the results are evil, the motives are not. Evil has been willed for noble reasons. In other words, God intends evil for noble purposes. Had God allowed evil for evil's sake, then your argument would have held true. But that is simply not the case.

Quote:
You seem to be saying that God cannot make impossibilities realities. But is this not, by definition, limiting God's power? Omnipotence is the ability to make anything happen, period. If there are things God cannot do, then he is not omnipotent. If he is not omnipotent, then the problem of evil is resolved. If you are indeed arguing that God cannot make the logically impossible possible, then you are arguing that God is not omnipotent as the term itself is defined, while using some other definition of omnipotence that is not the actual definition of the term itself. There is nothing that does not come under the banner of "omnipotence", impossible or possible.
You seem to be suggesting again and again, that "things" can be divided into two sections, possible and impossible. I completely disagree with this. I hold that "things" which are contradictory to rationalism are not "things" to begin with. They are merely empty words. Although we might say things like "married bachelor" or "dry water", fact is these are not things. These are words, meaningless words. Something which isnt a "thing" to begin with would not come under the banner of omnipotence or even potence. The main difference between our stance is: I say X is Un-doable, meaning you cant "do" X at all (consider this example: Can you "do" bread? no you cannot, thats a noun, nouns are un-doable. Similarly things against rationalism are un-doable the same way, the verb "do" can only be attached before them if we are concerned about grammar and syntac and not meaning). Therefore potence, i.e. ability to do stuff, would have nothing to do with it. On the other hand, you are claiming the un-doables are, well, do-able. This is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. These would not come under the banner of omnipotence.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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Well I disagree with the premise that someone who wants evil to exists must be evil to a certain degree. I gave reasons for God to allow evil on earth, punishment and test(among other reasons perhaps, God knows best). Now a Just Judge would want punishment to be carried out on a criminal. This is a fair implementation of Justice. Would this judge be called evil? I dun think so. Similarly, the evil that results from a test, this is coming from the mindset of a concerned father who would wants to test his children whether they are truly virtuous or not. While the results are evil, the motives are not. Evil has been willed for noble reasons. In other words, God intends evil for noble purposes. Had God allowed evil for evil's sake, then your argument would have held true. But that is simply not the case.
The judge would be evil if there was an easy and benevolent way to deal with the problem. Say if there is a 100% reliable way to reform criminals into honest, benevolent citizens that involves no punishment of any kind and no one has any moral objections to it, and the judge in question sends them to the electric chair anyways, then he is evil.

Quote:
You seem to be suggesting again and again, that "things" can be divided into two sections, possible and impossible. I completely disagree with this. I hold that "things" which are contradictory to rationalism are not "things" to begin with. They are merely empty words. Although we might say things like "married bachelor" or "dry water", fact is these are not things. These are words, meaningless words. Something which isnt a "thing" to begin with would not come under the banner of omnipotence or even potence. The main difference between our stance is: I say X is Un-doable, meaning you cant "do" X at all (consider this example: Can you "do" bread? no you cannot, thats a noun, nouns are un-doable. Similarly things against rationalism are un-doable the same way, the verb "do" can only be attached before them if we are concerned about grammar and syntac and not meaning). Therefore potence, i.e. ability to do stuff, would have nothing to do with it. On the other hand, you are claiming the un-doables are, well, do-able. This is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. These would not come under the banner of omnipotence.
No, they are concepts, merely self-contradictory concepts. They cannot exist in the universe as we know it. However, omnipotence by definition can do ANYTHING, even things that are impossible and self-contradictory. Omnipotence is the power to answer any question that begins with "Can you..." with "yes", regardless of what the question ends in. Anything else is not omnipotence. By definition, everything, meaning quite literally EVERYTHING, every concept possible impossible paradoxical or not, falls under the banner of omnipotence. Again, this is a simple matter of definition, not something to be argued. Omnipotence is literally unlimited power, and thus you cannot put any sort of limit on it. If you can think of it, then an omnipotent being can do it. Thus if you ask an omnipotent being for a married bachelor, then he will create one. If he cannot, then he is not omnipotent because, once again, by definition, there are no things that an omnipotent being cannot do.
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Dali: "You're right. Let's take some cats and splash them with water."

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

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The judge would be evil if there was an easy and benevolent way to deal with the problem. Say if there is a 100% reliable way to reform criminals into honest, benevolent citizens that involves no punishment of any kind and no one has any moral objections to it, and the judge in question sends them to the electric chair anyways, then he is evil.
It depends on what "problem" you are talking about. The "problem" God has with evil human beings and the "problem" a judge might have are different. The problem that a judge would have is how to fix these criminals into being honest citizens, because the judge doesnt know whether there is a possibility of doing so, and he takes his chances. However in the case of an Omniscient and Just being, when he punishes people, He knows it for a fact that they really do deserve it, and that the sinful people are not willing to make sincere amends for their sin i.e. repent, or in the case of a thief, give back the money, etc. Of course, you could say the judgment of God is questionale. However that is not the topic of the debate here. Assuming that the punishment that God inflicts is for Just reasons, would this evil as punishment be "evil"? Thats the question we are dealing with. And the answer is no, since God is Just and his punishment must also be for just Causes. So this brings us back to my earlier premise, which is God allows evil not for the sake of Evil but for the sake of justice.

Quote:
No, they are concepts, merely self-contradictory concepts. They cannot exist in the universe as we know it. However, omnipotence by definition can do ANYTHING, even things that are impossible and self-contradictory. Omnipotence is the power to answer any question that begins with "Can you..." with "yes", regardless of what the question ends in. Anything else is not omnipotence. By definition, everything, meaning quite literally EVERYTHING, every concept possible impossible paradoxical or not, falls under the banner of omnipotence. Again, this is a simple matter of definition, not something to be argued. Omnipotence is literally unlimited power, and thus you cannot put any sort of limit on it. If you can think of it, then an omnipotent being can do it. Thus if you ask an omnipotent being for a married bachelor, then he will create one. If he cannot, then he is not omnipotent because, once again, by definition, there are no things that an omnipotent being cannot do.
Alright, for the time being Im going to assume that what you say is right, that an omnipotent being can do what is undoable. I do not agree with this, I still hold on to my claim is what is contradictory is not a "thing", because by definition it cannot exist. However, for the sake of argument let me accept your assertion, and on this basis give a new reasoning. See if you buy this.

Now first off, we have to realize that the burden of proof would fall on you if you are willing to prove the validity of the problem of evil. You have to show without any doubt and exhausting all alternatives that God is either evil or not omnipotent. As long as I on the other hand, is able to "show a way out" of the problem, i.e. a plausible alternative, the problem would no longer be valid, because there can be another explanation to this.

With this introduction, let me accept your assertion that God can even do what is pardoxical or contradictory. God can even create a married bachelor or dry water. In other words, the limits that rationalism set on human thought would not apply to God. What is "logically impossible" for us, would mean nothing to God, he can do it anyways.

Now on to the main topic: since I have accepted your assertion, consequently I accept that there is a way for God to test/punish people in a way that is not evil, yet he chose this evil way to punish and test us (again, I dont agree with this, as pointed out above, but Im saying this for the sake of argument).

Your claim on the assertion is: since God, in spite of having good ways to serve the purpose, chose an evil way, it logically follows that God is evil.

However, we have accepted that the logical/rational limits that apply to human thought need not necessarily apply to God. So what "logically follows" for the human being, it can very well be that it doesnt "logically follow" for God. On this premise, I argue that since God is not bound by rational laws, God does allow evil, YET he is not Evil.

You may appeal to rational consequences: the ramification of the fact that I say God allows evil in spite of an existing good option is the fact that God is Evil. However I disagree, this conclusion has been reached by laws of human rationalism. God is not bound by Human rationalism as the assertion we agreed upon shows. So even though God allows evil, it is plausible that He is not evil.

If you say this is an assertion: well I agree. This is an assertion. But an assertion is all I have to show: you are the ones who have to "prove". Me being the defendant, I would retain the validity of my claim as long as I can show a way out of the problem and not necessarily prove it.

Let me put it in traditional logical format for you to reply:

Your argument:

Premise 1. God can do what is rationally impossible.
Premise 2. Even though producing the same effects as evil is logically impossible by means of good, God couldve done it based on premise 1.
Premise 3. God allowed an evil option when there was a virtuous option as well.
Conclusion. God is therefore Evil.

My counter:

Premise 1. God can do what is rationally impossible.
Premise 2. The conclusion dragged from premise 3 is based on the rules of rationalism.
Conclusion. It is possible for God to evade that conclusion based on Premise 1. i.e. It is possible for God to not be Evil yet do and will Evil. Since He is notbound or limited by rationalism.

//I actually think that we're worse than lab rats: At least lab rats are experimented on to further the human race. People die, people suffer, and quite possibly simply for the amusement of divine entities (so I don't have to limit the number of gods in this discussion to one).

If we are lab rats, then we need to import a discussion about animal rights in experimentation here. I can't say for sure how the sum of human pain and anguish in our world benefits the god(s) since they are omninescient and omnipotent in our eyes and therefore, no matter how you look at it, we cannot 100% determine what their objectives are. But say we really are just like goldfish in a tank, who are being randomly poked with sticks if we're lucky, or pulled out to drown, or be sliced hundreds of times with a knife, or flushed down the toilet and assorted horrible things to do to goldfish for the amusement of humans. Why should we have any sort of respect for such an entity/entities? And knowingly ignoring the pains and sufferings in the world itself is technically a sin: He/She/They know we are suffering due to omninescience but choose to do absolutely nothing about it or possibly even making things worse (natural disasters, terrorists everywhere, global warming, new deadly virii, whathaveyou). This means he/she/they are not that good a yardstick of goodness as we think, so we should take whatever morals they try to lay down for us with a pinch of salt.//

Let me take a second to point out that replying to your post is not as pleasant an experience as in the case of other posters: I say this because the there are a lot of emotional appeals involved in your post. These are hurdles for a debater when he wills to reply to this (not intellectual hurdles, emotional ones). As a matter of fact, I think the main focus on your post is emotional appeals rather than a rational case.

Leaving that aside: I think you are forgetting that the burden of proof falls upon you, and I am the defendant, when we are discussing the problem of evil. You are the one who have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is Evil. I on the other hand have to only show a way out of this problem. So whatever “assumptions” you make of God would be considered no more than intellectual garbage. You gotta prove your case, I gotta show a way out. Burden of proof is on your court.

And like I said, your post has a lot of emotional appeal, I as a debater do not welcome that at all. What you have written about evil, I have given two ethical reasons for God to allow evil on earth. You have to prove my case wrong if you want to go anywhere with it.

//Are you sure God has nothing to gain? How about joy from watching us suffer, among other sorts of joy? How about knowledge about how creatures react given a set of rules to follow and a set of punishments to be meted out if the rules are not followed? God by definition has access to far more knowledge than we do, thus we cannot even begin to fathom the complete spectrum of motives that he could choose from. The lab rat only knows we are sticking painful needles into it every now and then and sometimes it gets pretty itchy, sometimes it get sick, and sometimes it sees its friends die for no apparent reason while it somehow lives. How could it possibly know that we are doing these things to it to advance our knowledge? If we don't know God's goal, it is impossible to say for sure that us doing the right thing pleases God. Maybe it does please him because that means we're fulfilling his hypothesis that X% of creatures do adhere to a given moral standard, then he can show off at the next meeting of the Gods, or maybe he can tack that up on his wall and feel better when he looks at it. Or maybe it's a race between gods to see who can create a universe/planet that has more believers given that these believers have free will. I might sound mad, but we don't know what God is thinking so it's entirely possible.//

Again, you are forgetting your position in this debate. You do not make assertions: you prove your case. Burden of Proof is on you. Thats basic logic. I have to show a way out, so I make assertions. You cannot say “such and such things can happen cause its entirely possible”, you have to say “such and such things do happen because its proven based on this or that premise”, etc.

//If I make whatever divine beings out there sound like complete arses, that's because I highly doubt that whatever is out there is a perfectly benevolent being. I think the Greeks got down a pretty accurate hypothesis: A bunch of gods who possess human traits.//

Your personal thoughts on the matter carry zero weight in this discussion.

//This is true except for the part that we must resort to religion and let God decide what is evil or not, since not everyone has the same God (again). All fervently religious people believe that their religion is the one truth. Evil is subjective, so in order to quantitatively define right and wrong we need to draw the line. This line needs to be drawn by something everyone agrees on, or someone everyone agrees to defer to. Anything more I say would lead to a circular argument.//

This is based on the premise that none of the religions are true, or that religion is solely based on faith and faith alone so it is impossible for us to determine what is the right religion. That is of course assumption: Religions, especially modern ones, or to be even more precise, my religion for one, does claim that it has intellectual basis. And this is not something we have came up with the last ten years, this has been the claim of Islaam for the past 1400 years, since it was preached. Whether Islaam is the truth or not, that is not the point of discussion here. But the fact that it claims proof for itself, dictates that you have to give it benefit of doubt, which you havent.

//This wasn't really answered in the way that I was looking for. Why does God choose to put us through these tests? Why not give us the easy way out? Why, then, does he choose to limit his powers in this way? You can choose to answer this with "I don't know what God is thinking", I just want to know if you have another explanation.//

My explanation, as pointed out before, to this is it is logically impossible to go through with the purpose of God i.e. to test the human beings to show them whether they are righteous or not, and to punish who is deserving of justice, except by means of Evil. If you say that “logically impossible” means nothing to God, echoing Lus, then I have given another answer to this in this post.

//One of the properties of liquids is that it makes things wet wet since the concept of wet is based on liquids itself (assuming this wasn't proven wrong already). If we discover liquids that doesn't make stuff wet then we can come to two conclusions: A, it isn't a liquid or B, the definition/given properties/concepts needs to be changed. The rules that our logic is built on dictate that A is very, very, very probably right, so usually we disregard B. If God creates something that adheres to all the properties of liquids except that it makes stuff wet, this would appear to be that he has done the impossible, but it is likely that B was the correct conclusion all along. Because God's powers exceed our self-imposed structures, that's why we call him omnipotent. I think I expressed myself slightly better this time. If you're not convinced then I guess I'll just drop this for now.//

I think you are looking to literally into the analogy to disregard the logical ramifications it was meant to produce. When I said water that isnt wet is rationally impossible, I assumed that “wetness” is the attribute that defines water, so if something isnt wet, it cannot be water. So when you say “dry water”, you are constructing an oxymoron, on one hand you are saying “water”, establishing the existence of something which is wet, on the other hand is you are saying “dry”, establishing the existence of something which is not wet. This is a logical contradiction and therefore cannot exist. This is what I was trying to say.

As regards the comment of Khajmer and Pink on whether the theistic values are altruistic or not.

Psychologists would tell you that human beings are capable of altruism, but this would only be possible under either of the two following scenarios.

a) When a seemingly altruistic act has a hidden alternative agenda which is selfish.
b) When an altruist would think low of himself and thinks someone else would deserve his doing good deeds for that someone’s sake; in other words, one submits to someone and does good deeds out of this sense of submission.

As for (a), the alternative agendas could be an expected reciprocity, seeking praise, status, soothing conscience etc. If we were to judge the act based on intention it would be selfish after all. Now I argue this is where the godless is coming from. People say that Good is done for the sake of Good, but this is hard to swallow. When one says that helping an old lady cross the street is good, he is appealing to the fact that this is what his conscience decides for himself. When one sees someone suffering, his conscience is troubled, and the act is done to soothe this troubled conscience, which is commonly referred to as doing good for the sake of good. The ramifications of this does not stop here, doing good for the sake of good would almost always come with other expectations, like reciprocity. Even a smile or a word of thanks can come under this banner. This actually builds up one’s pride and arrogance; one becomes self-righteous by doing good deeds. So the seemingly altruistic act of doing good for the sake of good is not really altruistic, once we dissect the intentions behind it.

As for the second option, I would say this is where the Muslim is coming from. Of course, we all have conscience, and yes the Muslim conscience would also itch when we see evil happening. But the underlying motive of the Muslim is accompanied by the motive of submission. In other words, he acknowledges the fact that God is worthy of doing virtuous deeds for, so coming from this pov he submits to God and does deeds for the sake of God. In this case, there is no scope of arrogance or pride. There is not even any scope of self-righteousness as some people might make it seem: since the Muslim is worried about the sincerity of his intention and not its outcome: if he gets self-righteous and arrogance then his intention would be spoilt, and this deed would not be counted at all. The humanist on the other hand worries about the execution of his deeds, and he knows it for a fact that he has done something good. This awareness would result in self-righteousness, pride and ego if not pomp.

With all these in mind, I would argue that the Muslim is virtuous and altruistic in his actions, while the humanist is not; so the Muslim is deserving of rewards for this virtue and the humanist is not. I just cannot agree that a God who is just and benevolent would let deeds done with selfish intentions with egoistic connotations go unaccounted for.

As for the comments on Khajmer, later echoed by Pink on the issue of theists doing what they do only to avert punishment and win the reward. I think this is simplifying an issue which in reality is much more complex. The theist, or in specific, the Muslim, would have a lot going on his mind and not just heaven and hell. For example, Submission to God is something that is present in every Muslim’s mind. This submission is not created merely by heaven or hell, but because of his or her emotions towards God. The Islaamic Scholarship emphasizes some major emotions a Muslim needs to have based on Islaamic Scriptures, but the scholars are in agreement of the fact that all these emotions stem from the central most important one, namely Love. This is not merely the love of rewards in paradise, but love for God Himself. Also there are other concepts of Hope and Fear. Fear may be misconstrued to mean fear of punishment, but there is a lot more to it. First off, a Muslim does not interpret the punishment to be torture and an evil nature of God etc, but it to be Justice implemented on man because of his own deeds. That aside, Scholars write that fear actually stems from Love (yes, you always have a connotation of fear with those whom you love. Dont you ever fear that your girlfriend would be angry with you or distanced from you? This stems from Love). Point being, Heaven and Hell are not the only, in fact not even the main concerns that a Muslim has. His main concern is Submission to God and the other emotions that come along with it, i.e. Love, Hope, Fear, Trust and so on.

Now let us consider the motivation that a theist has which stems from his hoping for Paradise and his fearing of punishment. Unfortunately a lot of ugly connotations exist in the minds of the masses concerning this: people assume that when a theist hopes his reward for paradise, he is being like the little child who stays away from the rose bed so that his mother would give him candy. This is absolutely not the case. The central thing that comes into the mind of a Muslim when he thinks about Paradise is God. The Islaamic Scriptures enthusiastically emphasize this: the greatest “reward” for those who entire paradise is the company of God, the fact that the Muslims is going to see his eternal Love and converse with him individually. So the promise of Heavenly rewards is more of a spiritualistic nature than it is material. Of course material rewards are there, but the spiritual expectations far outweigh these.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

Anyways, I would argue that a Muslim’s hope for Paradise and fear for Hell too has strong connotations of submissiveness to God attached to them, as described above. A lot could be said on this point on the virtue of this concept but I would stop here. When we put the case of the Muslim’s submission to God and the other emotions along with it, and place the concept of reward and punishment in context, I think it would be understood that the Muslim is virtuous in wherever he is coming from.

Quote:
EDIT: Since Khajmer brought up the concept of afterlife rewards/punishment, I would like to take a little jab: Embarking on jihad against the Western world and then purposely throwing away your life during the process to immediately reap the rewards of 72 virgins in heaven after you die is clearly altruistic.
These occasional "jabs" are the ones which destroy the atmosphere of debate. I am not talking about every single Muslim out there, Im talking about the standard and exemplary Muslim mindset. And I think you would do well to actually know what "jihad" means before you make an argument, or rather, an emotional appeal, about it.

Cheers
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:46 PM
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For the omnipotence debate, I'm going to inform you both of this: you're both wrong. Hassan, you're wrong that omnipotence doesn't mean being able to do anything. That is literally what omnipotence means. Meanwhile, Lus, you're wrong that the Abrahamic God, in any of the three major sects (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) should be able to create a world where both free will and goodness exist, because God/Yaweh/Allah is not omnipotent, he is almighty.

Omnipotence is not logically possible. Observe the following statement:

If God is omnipotent, then can He create a stone which He himself cannot lift?

If the answer is yes, then a scenario can exist where God cannot do anything, making Him not omnipotent (where omnipotence implies that no matter what the situation is, God can do anything). However, if the answer is no... well, I don't have to explain that one, now do I? Omnipotence cannot exist, simple as that, because that or any other number of phrasings of the question exist.

However, God is not omnipotent. Note that where the King James Bible denotes God as omnipotent, the original Greek says "almighty.""Almighty" means that no entity can thwart what God decides to do. In other words, no other being can create a stone which God cannot move, and at the same time God can make a stone which no other being can move. This would require a stone whose weight could not be pushed by all the energy in the universe, but such a stone could be created.

God's power does rest within logical constructs. If it could possibly happen, God can make it happen. There can not be a world where free will exists without evil, because free will means that if we are physically capable of doing something, we are able to decide to do it. If we can't make the choice to do evil when the opportunity presents itself, then we do not have free will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah View Post
As regards the comment of Khajmer and Pink on whether the theistic values are altruistic or not.

Psychologists would tell you that human beings are capable of altruism, but this would only be possible under either of the two following scenarios.

a) When a seemingly altruistic act has a hidden alternative agenda which is selfish.
b) When an altruist would think low of himself and thinks someone else would deserve his doing good deeds for that someone’s sake; in other words, one submits to someone and does good deeds out of this sense of submission.

As for (a), the alternative agendas could be an expected reciprocity, seeking praise, status, soothing conscience etc. If we were to judge the act based on intention it would be selfish after all. Now I argue this is where the godless is coming from. People say that Good is done for the sake of Good, but this is hard to swallow. When one says that helping an old lady cross the street is good, he is appealing to the fact that this is what his conscience decides for himself. When one sees someone suffering, his conscience is troubled, and the act is done to soothe this troubled conscience, which is commonly referred to as doing good for the sake of good. The ramifications of this does not stop here, doing good for the sake of good would almost always come with other expectations, like reciprocity. Even a smile or a word of thanks can come under this banner. This actually builds up one’s pride and arrogance; one becomes self-righteous by doing good deeds. So the seemingly altruistic act of doing good for the sake of good is not really altruistic, once we dissect the intentions behind it.
And here I thought I was cynical about human nature.

When I see someone in trouble and I help them, I don't do it out of a sense of guilt, or a desire for a smile or a thank you. If every time I held the door open for someone they just walked past me without so much as acknowledging me, I'd consider it rude, but I'd continue to do it anyway, because it is the right thing to do. I've been yelled at for helping a person get something from a high shelf at the grocery store, supposedly for mocking their height, but I did it anyway because they needed a hand.

As for my pride, guess what. I don't take pride in doing the right thing. I don't take pride in it because I believe it's the way people should always act, all the time. Now don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things I do take pride in. I'm proud of my gentlemanly demeanor with strangers and women. I'm proud when my girlfriend says I'm odd, because I know it's something she likes about me. I would be proud of myself for doing above-and-beyond good things that I wouldn't expect from everyone, not because it was the right thing but because I had the capability to do it. But general, everyday acts of kindness? Even the kind of good that you isn't everyday, like walking stopping on the side of the road to help someone with their broken down car, or helping some stranger with a bullet in their stomach make it until the ambulance gets there? I expect that from myself. I have nothing to be proud of there, so to claim that I do those things for my pride is an insult, and not one I take lightly.

Quote:
As for the second option, I would say this is where the Muslim is coming from. Of course, we all have conscience, and yes the Muslim conscience would also itch when we see evil happening. But the underlying motive of the Muslim is accompanied by the motive of submission. In other words, he acknowledges the fact that God is worthy of doing virtuous deeds for, so coming from this pov he submits to God and does deeds for the sake of God. In this case, there is no scope of arrogance or pride. There is not even any scope of self-righteousness as some people might make it seem: since the Muslim is worried about the sincerity of his intention and not its outcome: if he gets self-righteous and arrogance then his intention would be spoilt, and this deed would not be counted at all. The humanist on the other hand worries about the execution of his deeds, and he knows it for a fact that he has done something good. This awareness would result in self-righteousness, pride and ego if not pomp.

With all these in mind, I would argue that the Muslim is virtuous and altruistic in his actions, while the humanist is not; so the Muslim is deserving of rewards for this virtue and the humanist is not. I just cannot agree that a God who is just and benevolent would let deeds done with selfish intentions with egoistic connotations go unaccounted for.
But why do you submit to God? Not out of pride, certainly, but for His sake. But then why do you do it for the sake of God? For no reason? No. No one does anything for no reason, no one does anything without some selfish justification. As far as the Muslim, who submits himself to God, is concerned, I think that one's obvious: you desire God's favor in submitting to him. See the following:

Quote:
Now let us consider the motivation that a theist has which stems from his hoping for Paradise and his fearing of punishment. Unfortunately a lot of ugly connotations exist in the minds of the masses concerning this: people assume that when a theist hopes his reward for paradise, he is being like the little child who stays away from the rose bed so that his mother would give him candy. This is absolutely not the case. The central thing that comes into the mind of a Muslim when he thinks about Paradise is God. The Islaamic Scriptures enthusiastically emphasize this: the greatest “reward” for those who entire paradise is the company of God, the fact that the Muslims is going to see his eternal Love and converse with him individually. So the promise of Heavenly rewards is more of a spiritualistic nature than it is material. Of course material rewards are there, but the spiritual expectations far outweigh these.
It's a spiritual expectation, yes, but it is a spiritual expectation that you have for yourself, that you will feel the love of God in person, and have the chance to speak with him one to one. So you follow the rules, and one of those rules is to be altruistic. So you're the Boy Scout who helps the old lady across the street to get his merit badge. Or, better yet, you're the child who does his homework and his chores so he'll get his allowance and maybe if he's lucky an extra helping of ice cream after dinner.

Look, for all my ranting above, I will acknowledge one thing: the things I do, at least in part, are because I want to fulfill my expectations. My expectations exist not for selfish purposes, but I fully admit that I don't want to be hypocritical in them. So yes, maybe there is a bit of selfishness behind that, but at least I can claim that my selfishness doesn't seek a personal rewards, and for that matter, at least I'm being honest about it. No matter how you justify it, at the end of the day you submit yourself to God for your benefit, even if it's nothing more than God's favor. Even someone who does something in self-righteousness at least can claim that it is their personal will that drives them to the act. You're doing what you're told and being rewarded for it while we're making the decision to do good ourselves and receiving nothing, and I just cannot agree that a God who is just and benevolent would let such an obvious injustice to occur.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

-pares down emotional appeal-

God is omniscient, therefore He knows more than we do, and He can thus come up with/possess more reasons than the two you mentioned. If God were to somehow derive any sort of personal benefit from the existence of evil then he is evil. This covers any selfish reasons for allowing evil in the world that we do not know of.

If I were to give the benefit of the doubt to Islam then by extension I would also give the benefit of the doubt to all other religions that I know of. All major religions that have survived to the modern day also claim that they have intellectual basis. There is no possible way to distill a one true religion from this tangle. They could all be false, some could be true, some could be subsets of others, or even all of them are true.

Assuming that Islam is the one and only true religion, then there still lies certain problems. For example, there is a problem that exists inherently in codes of law that are flexible: if you can convince the other decisionmakers of the validity of a ruling regardless of whether you know it to be valid or not, then that becomes "right". The scholars claim that they have come up with the new rules due to revelations from God/extrapolations from the scripture. What if, God forbid, their interpretations are wrong? God has allowed for this margin of error in His laws. If He did intend Islam to be the one true way, why did he not lay down all the rules in the game of life in one go when he has omniscience to see into the future? This is a case of "able and not willing". Perhaps the believer is expected to err on the side of caution (true in the Christian religion IIRC; sin is when man decides to take a different path from God; i.e. you're expected to follow no matter what, even if you must follow blindly, so you are expected to exhibit undying faith or in other words, completely blind loyalty), but having to force us to take such risks is slightly indicative that God is not as benevolent as we would imagine.

I actually know what the term jihad meant when I used it; the contemporary use of the term is actually the lesser used term in Islam (seeing as they haven't done the "defend the nation/Islam" type of jihad for quite some time). I just went all the way since it was a jab that was attempting to expose the flaw of your argument in slightly inflammatory terms. I probably should have just put it down (and stole Khajmer's lines too) instead; I apologize for that rather inappropriate line.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: The problem of Evil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVQO3GHWlbI
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot.
Or he can, but does not want to.
If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent.
If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked.
If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?
A point argued by Epicurus long before Christianity was thought about.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Khajmer View Post
For the omnipotence debate, I'm going to inform you both of this: you're both wrong. Hassan, you're wrong that omnipotence doesn't mean being able to do anything. That is literally what omnipotence means. Meanwhile, Lus, you're wrong that the Abrahamic God, in any of the three major sects (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) should be able to create a world where both free will and goodness exist, because God/Yaweh/Allah is not omnipotent, he is almighty.
Er, no.

Job 42:2 I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.

Genesis 18:14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.

Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."


God is omnipotent, end of story. If the Islamic God is not omnipotent, that is a different matter. If this is the case I expect Hassan to say so and end the debate.

Quote:
Alright, for the time being Im going to assume that what you say is right, that an omnipotent being can do what is undoable. I do not agree with this, I still hold on to my claim is what is contradictory is not a "thing", because by definition it cannot exist. However, for the sake of argument let me accept your assertion, and on this basis give a new reasoning. See if you buy this.

Now first off, we have to realize that the burden of proof would fall on you if you are willing to prove the validity of the problem of evil. You have to show without any doubt and exhausting all alternatives that God is either evil or not omnipotent. As long as I on the other hand, is able to "show a way out" of the problem, i.e. a plausible alternative, the problem would no longer be valid, because there can be another explanation to this.

With this introduction, let me accept your assertion that God can even do what is pardoxical or contradictory. God can even create a married bachelor or dry water. In other words, the limits that rationalism set on human thought would not apply to God. What is "logically impossible" for us, would mean nothing to God, he can do it anyways.

Now on to the main topic: since I have accepted your assertion, consequently I accept that there is a way for God to test/punish people in a way that is not evil, yet he chose this evil way to punish and test us (again, I dont agree with this, as pointed out above, but Im saying this for the sake of argument).

Your claim on the assertion is: since God, in spite of having good ways to serve the purpose, chose an evil way, it logically follows that God is evil.

However, we have accepted that the logical/rational limits that apply to human thought need not necessarily apply to God. So what "logically follows" for the human being, it can very well be that it doesnt "logically follow" for God. On this premise, I argue that since God is not bound by rational laws, God does allow evil, YET he is not Evil.

You may appeal to rational consequences: the ramification of the fact that I say God allows evil in spite of an existing good option is the fact that God is Evil. However I disagree, this conclusion has been reached by laws of human rationalism. God is not bound by Human rationalism as the assertion we agreed upon shows. So even though God allows evil, it is plausible that He is not evil.

If you say this is an assertion: well I agree. This is an assertion. But an assertion is all I have to show: you are the ones who have to "prove". Me being the defendant, I would retain the validity of my claim as long as I can show a way out of the problem and not necessarily prove it.

Let me put it in traditional logical format for you to reply:

Your argument:

Premise 1. God can do what is rationally impossible.
Premise 2. Even though producing the same effects as evil is logically impossible by means of good, God couldve done it based on premise 1.
Premise 3. God allowed an evil option when there was a virtuous option as well.
Conclusion. God is therefore Evil.

My counter:

Premise 1. God can do what is rationally impossible.
Premise 2. The conclusion dragged from premise 3 is based on the rules of rationalism.
Conclusion. It is possible for God to evade that conclusion based on Premise 1. i.e. It is possible for God to not be Evil yet do and will Evil. Since He is notbound or limited by rationalism.
You are correct in saying that God can evade the conclusion based on Premise 1. However, by all rules of human morality (which is what is under question here, as the Problem of Evil is based on human morality), God is evil. God may not perceive himself to be evil; he may have a pseudological reason (as in a reason that follows according to his logic but not ours) as to why he is not evil, but as far as human perception is concerned, He is evil. And yes, God can change human morality so that he is not perceived as evil by human standards. But he has not. Clearly this means that God not only wants evil, but that he wants to be seen as evil.

Quote:
Let me take a second to point out that replying to your post is not as pleasant an experience as in the case of other posters: I say this because the there are a lot of emotional appeals involved in your post. These are hurdles for a debater when he wills to reply to this (not intellectual hurdles, emotional ones). As a matter of fact, I think the main focus on your post is emotional appeals rather than a rational case.
Whatever emotion is in my argument is purely your response to it. My case is clear and rational. My case, in fact, is the restatement of the Problem of Evil itself with more explanation. God is omnipotent; therefore for evil to exist, he must want it to exist. There is no emotional appeal involved.

YOUR case, so far, has been to modify the definitions of the terms used in the Problem, specifically that omnipotence does not mean omnipotence. This is not a valid method of debating; the terms have already been established and it is not in your power to change them. Before you would attempt to attack my debating skills, please take a look at your own.

EDIT: Star tells me that this was directed at him, not me, so sorry about this and please ignore it.

Quote:
Leaving that aside: I think you are forgetting that the burden of proof falls upon you, and I am the defendant, when we are discussing the problem of evil. You are the one who have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is Evil. I on the other hand have to only show a way out of this problem. So whatever “assumptions” you make of God would be considered no more than intellectual garbage. You gotta prove your case, I gotta show a way out. Burden of proof is on your court.
Blatant nonsense. Putting aside the fact that this is not a court, you are no more a defendant than I am. You are defending God; I am defending the Problem. You are attacking the Problem; I am attacking God. This is not a court wherein I must prove God's guilt. In fact, the very opposite is true. The burden of proof lies with the claim that has lower probability. Assuming there is more than two ways a being could exist (a statement I think you can hardly contest), and since there is only one way a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent being can exist, then the probability of a being's existence and perfection is less than his nonexistence or nonperfection. Thus, the burden of proof, should it exist at all in a philosophical discussion on an internet forum, belongs to you, if anyone. There is absolutely no rational, in court or debate, to assume that something exists prior to the presentation of evidence that it exists.

So please, before you continue to attack my debating skills, clean up your own. I do not enjoy tearing apart your statements any more than you like countering mine.
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Last edited by Lusankya; 12-09-2010 at 10:59 PM.
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