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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 3:31 pm 
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As many of you probably already know, I am an atheist. Now I know we were debating God's existence in the "Religion=Bad or Good?" thread. Interestingly enough, however, no one brought up the problem of evil during the debate.

When I first became atheist, I generally didn't give much of a crap about the problem of evil. I just rejected the idea of God from the standpoint that he was logically unnecessary. However, lately, reading up on some arguments for the existence of God, I have come to the conclusion that, though not the only proof against God's existence, the problem of evil is probably the strongest argument for atheism we have.

For those of you not familiar with it, here's how the argument goes:

1. God is omnipotent.
2. God is omnibenevolent.
3. Evil exists in the world.
4. If God is willing to end evil but unable to do it, then he's not omnipotent.
5. If God is able to end evil but unwilling to do it, then he's not omnibenevolent.
6. Therefore one of the first two premises is false.

Now, the usual Christian rebuttal is to say that God gives humans the gift of free will. He did this because he wanted something to love, and you can't love puppets. Thus, evil is caused by the bad decisions of humans caused by their possession of free will.

However, I believe this argument is flawed. First of all, if God really wanted to avoid evil he could have made humans a lot less inclined toward it. He could have created humans so that they instinctively hate evil and like good. But that would violate free will, you say. Not really. After all, people in general do possess certain preferences and inclinations. All mentally sound humans hate pain, for example. According to a conservative Christian worldview, humans possess a definite inclination towards evil (Original Sin). Why would God incline them towards evil?

Also, we have to keep in mind that this is God we're talking about. God created the rules of logic. Therefore, he could have easily created a different form of logic than the one we use, i.e. one that would both allow free will and not allow evil. But he didn't.

Also, by saying God gave humans free will, one is implying that God did not create everything, in which case he would not be God. After all, humans, given free will, created the concept of evil. Anotherwords:

1. God created everything.
2. Evil is a thing.
3. Therefore, God created evil, or else premise #1 is false.

The problem of evil is actually sometimes stated in this alternate way.

So, any of the theists on the board have a response to this?

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: IcyMonkey on 2002-11-08 14:35 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 5:05 pm 
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I find it odd that you think humans are inclined twords evil in the first place. I believe they arn't, but for a different reason than God (contractualist thoery, is it called? anyway...).

Secondly, there is no reason not to believe God just got the ball rolling and left us alone after that.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 5:07 pm 
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Genesis, bud.

Satan's fault evil exists. Well, technically our own fault. We ate the apple, gained knowledge of what was wrong and right and how to do both, and flawed ourselves.

It wasn't what God wanted to happen, but He couldn't stop His greatest creation from making a choice with the free will He was so stuck on, now could He?

So, technically God did create evil. But it did not affect human life until we ate the apple.

Humanity does not remember the time before the apple with anything besides the Bible, so we can't really imagine a society without corruption, and therefore we always assume evil has always been a problem.

It hasn't, and it's our own damn fault it's such a problem now.

Of course, this is only my opinion, obviously it's tainted by Judeo-Christian doctrine (or however you want to justify why I believe what I believe), so it won't convince an atheist.

It's not meant to, either ^^ He asked, I answered, I make no attempts at logically presenting a scientific reason. Because frankly I don't think science could explain the existence of evil either.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 5:26 pm 
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God also created Satan. And angels don't have free will, or so I'm told. So the same problem applies.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 5:27 pm 
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On 2002-11-08 16:07, Kitsune1527 wrote:
Genesis, bud.

Satan's fault evil exists. Well, technically our own fault. We ate the apple, gained knowledge of what was wrong and right and how to do both, and flawed ourselves.



So Satan created evil? Anotherwords, Satan created something out of nothing? That would mean God didn't create everything. In fact, that would make Satan a God, since he created something as important to the universe today as evil. A lesser god than Yahweh, to be sure, but a god nonetheless.

Besides, you didn't actually answer my question. Why did God make Satan/humanity imperfect, with a definite tendency towards evil?

BTW, I personally don't think human beings have a tendency to evil. However, conservative Christian types do, so that's why this would be a particular problem for them.

KC, are you saying that God exists, but isn't omnibenevolent. Never mind omnibenevolent. A God who would create a world like this would have to be a seriously messed up evil fuck. And a god like that is undeserving of my worship anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 6:02 pm 
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Maybe before we start debating the problem of evil, we first define what evil is. We can't seem to come to an agreement on what evil is in the thread that deals with that, so any meaningful debate over the problem of evil won't be possible until we do.

Most take a collectivist approach to good and evil, or a "God told me so" approach.

I take an individualist approach. That which furthers an individuals life is good, that which destroys it is evil. Working for a living and pursuing your goals is good for you, doing nothing and eating poison is evil for you. You are a human being and as a result certain things are bad for you, such as getting stabbed. How can you hold that getting yourself stabbed is bad, but it is perfectly ok to stab another person, a human being like yourself? That is the contradiction that murders ignore.

http://forums.kyhm.com/viewtopic.php?to ... forum=4&13

Here is the link to the thread that has the various ideas of what good and evil is, mine included.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Goldstandard on 2002-11-08 17:04 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 7:11 pm 
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On 2002-11-08 16:27, IcyMonkey wrote:


KC, are you saying that God exists, but isn't omnibenevolent. Never mind omnibenevolent. A God who would create a world like this would have to be a seriously messed up evil fuck. And a god like that is undeserving of my worship anyway.



I always wondered about that.I remember hearing that somewhere in the bible there was a passage saying whatever you hold true on earth I hold true in heaven.Now what if this applied to every major religion?God would have self destructed by now.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 7:40 pm 
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You people are SOooooo.... New testament. The old testament god was DEFINITELY not omnibenevolent. He was all like "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY GARDEN" when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, he kept ordering people to kill other people that he didn't love, he fucked up the efforts of a bunch of people whose only goal was building a tower so that they could see God, and he annihlated two towns just because they didn't have sex the way god intended. That does not spell omni-benevolence, my friends.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2002 5:36 am 
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Also, when children made fun of Elijah's baldness, God sent bears to tear them to pieces.

And (according to the mythology) Satan (Originally called Lucifer "The Star of Morning") was an angel, until he rebelled and was cast out.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 9:38 pm 
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Ah, resorting to the Bible. What proof is there that the Bible is not merely historical fiction (fiction with actual events thrown into the mix)? Hmmm?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 9:42 pm 
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...You know, I don't even know which side you're supporting.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 12:40 am 
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The Bible was written by people who truly believed in Christ's message, and as such it is circular logic to quote it in a debate where the truth of Christianity is in question.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 1:23 am 
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You will note I refer to it as a "Mythology"

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 10:12 am 
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i wanna know why the hell a god would have to be omnibenevolent, or even acknowledge our existence at all. if a god, or creator, or whatever, exists, and is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, then, doesn't that just make god...well, everything anyway? or if not, couldn't god just view the entirety of creation as a single organisim?

we are all conected, you know.

i i was to believe in a creator diety, it would have to be a 'get the ball rolling' sort, the creator doesn't necesarily know what's going to happen when they start the excercise of creating time and space, but bugger me, thre's a lot of it all of a sudden! now imagine this creator personality watching the entirety of everything unfold, from electrons, nuecleus' (whatever is smaller than that...i'm no physicist) up to atoms, molecules...suns...planets...solar systems, galaxies...the whole shebang. what are humans in all this? just another cog, and most likely not a uniqe one.

evil is only a concept humans have created, as a means of defining certain abarrent behavior that is destructive and anti-productive to the propogation, continuation, and advancement of our specis...however, even some of these 'evil' acts, such as war, further our knowlege of science and physics...it's just that a side effect is pain and death for some humans and whatnot.

to me, whether god exists or not is irrelevant, likely as irrelevant to any diety there may be, my actions, be they in a God's name, or because i myself think they are worthwhile...

is the prescence of evil proof there is or isn't a god? not in my book.

is there a god? i don't know...i can't know...and niether can anyone else, but there are those that have faith in such an entity, which is their decision, i have decided to put my faith in myself and my friends and family, and leave the question of God as that, a question.

that's what i think anyway...

(as with any of his rants on any given topic, this is just Mad's opinion. he os not schooled enough or intelligent enough to come up with concrete facts or foolproof arguments, and isn't setting out to prove anything right or wrong, take his views on face value for what they are, points of view, and make what you will of them...and bring more beer..mad hates philosophising while sober.)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 10:54 am 
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[ This is just my two cents. I have a faulty memory and I have not read the bible for who knows how long that God himself maybe ashamed of me for knowing so little of him so this is just my belief. I'm not trying to convince you either. yay.]

Is there a God? yes, i do believe that there is at least a superior entity that did create everything.

When Adam and Eve ate the apple, knowledge was gained, that gave them the power to make decisions, and with that right and wrong. Knowledge gives you the power to decide what is right and what is wrong. When you're new born, you're neither bad or good. you symbolically eat 'the apple' with the way you are raised. you rather 'learn' how to make decisions through your parents (adam and eve.)

I remember somewhere in the bible that it is mentioned that God created man in his own image. Maybe he meant to put Satan through this for a much more complicated purpose that we seem to see it in a diferent light? maybe it's one of the paths that we take to become 'like' God?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 11:00 am 
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And, as a side note to the above, there was no garden of eden, adam, eve, or apple.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 2:56 pm 
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Thank you. Don't take the Bible literally, do not believe in Christ, do not collect $200.

Any fucker that creates a world in which four year old children in middle class homes murder out of jealousy is not the kind of entity I want to ever meet.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 3:32 pm 
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Ahhhh the "3 O God" argument. It is based more on the current "new testament" outlook on god. I've heard different arguments, but supposedly evil means that God isn't omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipowerful. The most commonly used argument is "God's will", but that's incredibly vague and almost a cop out. But since it's a theological debate, it's moot anyways.

Personal thoughts:
Evil is a manifestation of subconscious desires

God doesn't exist

That is all

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 2:34 pm 
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the whole god exists/ does not exist thing is reall makeing me wonder. if there is/was a god where did he come from? and if there is no god how did anything happen. i mean a nothingness became a something like that (snaps fingers)in the big bang theroy and started it all?
to find out what evil is we must go back to when "it" first happened, to see what happened and devoleped, but sience we can't noone can or ever will be abel to prove anything. sure you can beleave and fallow but unless there's some big explanition I won't beleave that there is an all powerfull anything.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 2:56 pm 
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Evil is something that can only be ascribed to humans. You cannot call a rock evil or a deer evil, so evil started when humans started to exist. As for knowledge about this stuff not being possible due to our lack of omnicience, that is absurd. We can infer from what we do see what we think might have happened, it is just more difficult that way.

I do not agree with the big bang theory because I do not believe that something can come from nothing. It is irrational and scientists still haven't realized that yet. I think the only rational explanation for the universes existence is that the universe never had to be created and always existed.

It is a far less absurd explanation than the others.


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