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The Problem of Evil?

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  • Hardcore Atheist's Avatar
    5 posts since Jul '12
    • As you can see I am an agnostic atheist... although I consider myself kind of hardcore, since I feel that having a creator is unlikely.

      First of all I am not writing this thread to offend, but as a question for Christians or any other theists alike.

      This is a quote made by Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher.

       "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

      As you can see from this quote, this shows that God is either lacking in omnibenevolence or omnipotence, or both.

      Some theists would like to refute this point by saying that we have sinned and misused the free will God had given us, thus evil happens, or something of that kind.

      The fallacy in the above sentence, however, is apparent when you think about it. God is he all-knowing and all-powerful being right? Now if he knows what you think, and he knows the future, do we have free will actually? So did Adam have free will, or did God already know that Satan would tempt Adam to eat the fruit?

      Some theists might call this God's test of faith. However, if God already knows what you want, or what you will do, then is the test of faith not necessary at all? If so, then why did God went to the extent of blaming Adam for something that He knew Adam would do? Why would he create Satan?

      Food for thought.

      Now if this has offended any of you, I would like to say I am sorry. I know science cannot necessarily disprove or prove God, but it shows that many wonders of nature can be done naturally, and without the aid of a creator. Hence I have decided to use the philosophical problem of evil. 

       

  • Aneslayer's Avatar
    1,511 posts since May '11
  • Hardcore Atheist's Avatar
    5 posts since Jul '12
    • Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary, as does the analysis of its root motives and causes; however, evil is commonly associated with conscious and deliberate wrongdoing, discrimination designed to harm others, humiliation of people designed to diminish their psychological well-being and dignity, destructiveness, motives of causing pain or suffering for selfish or malicious intentions, and acts of unnecessary or indiscriminate violence. The philosophical question of whether morality is absolute or relative leads to questions about the nature of evil, with views falling into one of four opposed camps: moral absolutism,amoralismmoral relativism, and moral universalism.

      From the wiki.

      Or the TL:DR version, a act done with purpose, usually with malicious or selfish intentions, often causing pain or suffering. 

  • Aneslayer's Avatar
    1,511 posts since May '11
  • Jacky Woo's Avatar
    1,543 posts since Nov '10
    • thats the paradox isn't it.

      given the power god has, if god exists, but god doesnt make the world happy and interfere, but can interfere in answering to billion of its followers prayers LOL.

    • well the way I see it is this.

      religion started was due to ignorance of nature, fearful of unknown ( phenomenon like weather, storms, tsunamis, earthquakes etc) and wishful thinking (eternal afterlife in heaven).

  • SJS6638's Avatar
    5,614 posts since Nov '11
    • god needs and allows the existence of evil to make him looks good, feels superior and perfect. 

  • longtimelurker's Avatar
    3 posts since Jul '12
    • This response probably won't answer the question thoroughly, but I don't think there's anyone on earth who can. 

      Why did God allow evil to begin? Why did God create Satan, or us, if He knew we would sin?

      This question is almost imponderable, because to claim to know the answer is to claim to be God. The Bible states that in the beginning, God created the earth, and everything was good. Quite clearly, God did NOT create evil. Evil entered this world and tainted God's creation.

      So, if God knew that His creation would be corrupted, and that Satan would rebel against Him, why create them? The question shouldn't be why, but why not? God defines love. It is from Him that we understand and feel love. And one fundamental aspect of love is giving the other person free will. Allowing them to choose what they want is at the very heart of love; you don't see loving husbands forcing their wives into submission very often, do you? God didn't create automatons; He created beings with free will, with choice. Simply because He knew they would make the wrong choice doesn't mean He wanted to remove their choice and take their existence away. A father doesn't kill his son even if he knows the son is doing wrong.

      Free will, like gravity, is a double-edged sword. The same gravity that allows us to drive cars causes landslides. Free will results in both glory and evil. If God were to take away free will, He would be removing glory as well as evil. The most potent beauty is found not in good deeds that are done robotically, but that are done with choice.

      That's good and all, you may say, but why doesn't God eradicate evil and suffering right now? Why doesn't He throw Satan into the lake of fire immediately? Because God embodies justice and fairness. If He were to judge one person, as evil as that person may be, He would have to judge everyone, because that is fair. He cannot simply selectively pick people to judge. And if He were to judge everyone right now, how many of us would be considered righteous in His eyes? Very few, that's how many. By allowing this world to exist as it is, He's giving us time to redeem ourselves.

      Another thing I'll like to point out is the definition of evil. Without a God who defines what good is, what objective measure can we use to define evil? As C.S. Lewis put, "A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line." So the existence and classification of evil actually supports the existence of an objectively perfect entity, i.e. God.

      Since God already has foreknowledge of all events, do we have free will?

      Again, the question is, why not? God knows what choices we will make, but we make them because of who we are, not because God preordained it.

      Many wonders of nature can be explained without God, right?

      I call BS on that. Sure, science can explain how nature works, but can it explain how all these phenomena came into being? Can evolution alone create the human being? (Note: I'm NOT denying evolution's validity, but I'm questioning its ability to develop the body's immense biological complexity.)

      Hope this helped!

  • Aneslayer's Avatar
    1,511 posts since May '11
    •  

      Epicurus' trilemma

      1)if God is unable to prevent evil, he is not omnipotent

      • 2)if God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good
      • 3)if God is willing and able to prevent evil, then why is there evil?

       

       

      Everything was perfect until Eve and Adam took the fruit of knowledge of "good" and "evil". Which meant that "good" and "evil" was existing and was perfect before the original duo knew of it. The 1st thing the realize is that they were naked and they thought it was "evil" so they hid themselves when hearing God.
      They became stupid with the knowledge of "good and "evil". What is so wrong about nakedness when they were naked before and they were the only humans around and God is omniscience knowing where they'd hide.
      This awareness of guilt caused them to act stupidly. This sense of guilt I believe is the 1st effect of the sin, contrary to conventionally believed.

      The hypothesis above is based on the dilemma I had with the existence of "good" and "evil" and their deduced "existence" before the fall. What is "good" without reference to "evil" and what is "evil" without reference to "good". It became clear to me that "good" and "evil" is nothing but subjectivity of humans.

      Epicurus's trilemma setups with this subjectivity of "evil".

      Sidenote: freewill is a myth.  

      P.S: Edited 5th Aug

      Edited by Aneslayer 05 Aug `12, 1:31PM
  • Jacky Woo's Avatar
    1,543 posts since Nov '10
  • Aneslayer's Avatar
    1,511 posts since May '11
    • Axiom of God existence is implied. Care to input as a philosophical exercise, Jacky?

  • Joe 328's Avatar
    44 posts since Apr '12
    • Maybe evil isn't defined as a "something", but rather *the absence* of something - the absence of love, the absence of light, etc...

      This concept might be diffcult to grasp since "hatred" (as the opposite of love) is still "a something" some might argue. (of course, others might argue that hatred and love are 2 sides of the same coin and that the opposite of love really is apathy, which actually is really closer to the idea of the absence of something).

      Like heat - In physics, no one accepts the idea that "coldness" can be increased. Cold is simply the absence of heat. Heat is the deciding "thing", the opposite is simply the absence of it. It's not a diametrical (as in diametrically opposite) model at all...

      So by this model, God didn't really create evil (a something). Evil is simply the absence of God, the absence of love, light, and truth. Just a thought...

      Edited by Joe 328 02 Aug `12, 8:15PM
  • Jocelyntxh's Avatar
    253 posts since Jul '12
  • Aneslayer's Avatar
    1,511 posts since May '11
    • Originally posted by Joe 328:

      Maybe evil isn't defined as a "something", but rather *the absence* of something - the absence of love, the absence of light, etc...

      This concept might be diffcult to grasp since "hatred" (as the opposite of love) is still "a something" some might argue. (of course, others might argue that hatred and love are 2 sides of the same coin and that the opposite of love really is apathy, which actually is really closer to the idea of the absence of something).

      Like heat - In physics, no one accepts the idea that "coldness" can be increased. Cold is simply the absence of heat. Heat is the deciding "thing", the opposite is simply the absence of it. It's not a diametrical (as in diametrically opposite) model at all...

      So by this model, God didn't really create evil (a something). Evil is simply the absence of God, the absence of love, light, and truth. Just a thought...

      That would mean evil was created by Adam's act of biting the fruit or disobedience and God tolerated this evil thus condones it....

      Edited by Aneslayer 02 Aug `12, 9:12PM
  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Aneslayer:

      That would mean evil was created by Adam's act of biting the fruit or disobedience and God tolerated this evil thus condones it....


      Evil cannot be created, anymore than good can. Evil is the corruption of that which is good. Neither can good be created, for if it can, then to say God is good would be most queer. The Bible says that ALL of God's creation was very good by the end of creation week. And had God condoned evil He would not have judged the man, the woman, the serpent, and cursed the universe.

    • Originally posted by Hardcore Atheist:

      Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary, as does the analysis of its root motives and causes; however, evil is commonly associated with conscious and deliberate wrongdoing, discrimination designed to harm others, humiliation of people designed to diminish their psychological well-being and dignity, destructiveness, motives of causing pain or suffering for selfish or malicious intentions, and acts of unnecessary or indiscriminate violence. The philosophical question of whether morality is absolute or relative leads to questions about the nature of evil, with views falling into one of four opposed camps: moral absolutism,amoralismmoral relativism, and moral universalism.

      From the wiki.

      Or the TL:DR version, a act done with purpose, usually with malicious or selfish intentions, often causing pain or suffering. 


      I would like to point out some things to you.

      You defined evil as conscious and deliberate wrongdoing. How does being conscious and deliberate and having motives fit with your questioning of whether free will exist?

      The definition of evil includes the idea of wrongdoing. Define wrong.

      Any argument pointing to the existence of evil must first presuppose the existence of something rather than nothing. So I think we need to step back and ask the basic question first, where did the universe come from? You see, the meaning of anything is tied up with its origins.

    • Originally posted by Jocelyntxh:

      Evil...

      Its something that cannot disappear~

       


      Yes and No. The Bible says that the devil and his angels and all who rebelled against God would ne cast into the Lake of Fire where they will be tormented forever. Thus evil beings did not disappear, rather they were commanded to "go to hell" and no longer could do their evil deeds anymore.

  • laurence82's Avatar
    125,854 posts since Nov '03
    • Originally posted by BroInChrist:


      Yes and No. The Bible says that the devil and his angels and all who rebelled against God would ne cast into the Lake of Fire where they will be tormented forever. Thus evil beings did not disappear, rather they were commanded to "go to hell" and no longer could do their evil deeds anymore.

      so what are u doing here, stabber of christ? obviously u are wrong

  • Aneslayer's Avatar
    1,511 posts since May '11
    • "Evil cannot be created, anymore than good can. Evil is the corruption of that which is good. Neither can good be created, for if it can, then to say God is good would be most queer. The Bible says that ALL of God's creation was very good by the end of creation week. And had God condoned evil He would not have judged the man, the woman, the serpent, and cursed the universe."

      You mean "evil" existed before sin. The same way can be said of "good" is the corruption of that which is "evil". Am I reading you right?

      Still, "evil" exist after the duo sinned, after God " judged" them. The opens a question to God's omnipotence.

      Edited by Aneslayer 03 Aug `12, 8:16AM
  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Aneslayer:

      "Evil cannot be created, anymore than good can. Evil is the corruption of that which is good. Neither can good be created, for if it can, then to say God is good would be most queer. The Bible says that ALL of God's creation was very good by the end of creation week. And had God condoned evil He would not have judged the man, the woman, the serpent, and cursed the universe."

      You mean "evil" existed before sin. The same way can be said of "good" is the corruption of that which is "evil". Am I reading you right?

      Still, "evil" exist after the duo sinned, after God " judged" them. The opens a question to God's omnipotence.

      No sin, no evil. To say that good is the corruption of evil is really a corrupted way of viewing good. The Bible says do not call evil good or good evil.

    • Originally posted by laurence82:

      so what are u doing here, stabber of christ? obviously u are wrong


      *Yawn*

      Choi lei dou sor

    • Originally posted by Jacky Woo:

      well the way I see it is this.

      religion started was due to ignorance of nature, fearful of unknown ( phenomenon like weather, storms, tsunamis, earthquakes etc) and wishful thinking (eternal afterlife in heaven).

      Well, that's the way YOU see it. But is the way you see it supported by the evidence or any argument? Nope, it just an assertion. 

  • No_10_Tomas's Avatar
    616 posts since Aug '06
    • heaven got eyes

      to let cancer strike modern mankind for their arrogance

      modern mankind aggressively destroy natural habitats at will, chop down forests, build their own factories to boost economic growth, introduce toxic into the environment, altering the oxygen content in the environment,

      today, developed and affluent nations are suffering from cancer due to rapid modernization and urbanization

      in the past, poorer people harvested their own crops and ate mostly fruits and vegetables and few fishes, today, modern mankind cruelly slaughtered cows/lambs and devoured them mercilessly as sumptuous cuisine

      those who eat red meat are suffering from cancer

      this is the downfall for smarter and greedy beings who think they can manipulate the environment...

      karma....

      god doesn't want humans to consume animals

      god doesn't want humans to manipulate nature and chop down forests

      god doesn't want humans to be too smart and rich

       

      Edited by No_10_Tomas 03 Aug `12, 11:14AM
  • BroInChrist's Avatar
    3,110 posts since Dec '11
    • Originally posted by Aneslayer:

      That would mean evil was created by Adam's act of biting the fruit or disobedience and God tolerated this evil thus condones it....

      So you truly believe that God tolerates and condones evil?

      If so, why did Jesus (who is God in the flesh) have to die? Oh, to be sure I was referring to MY Jesus that died for the sins of the world, according to the Scriptures as in 1 Cor 15.

      Not too sure about YOUR Jesus though and what he did.

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