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Thread: Theodicy for or against God

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Those accepting a religion have no problem with evil. Their religion solves the problem of evil for them.
    Really? How? Did you read my post above?

    Those who don't have a belief system need to continue looking for a solution to the problem of evil. Because of this, the problem of evil is mainly a problem for atheists and also for those missionaries who feel obligated to convert the atheists to their particular religion. For the normal theist the problem is solved.
    Exactly the opposite is the case, of course! Under a thoroughly naturalistic understanding of the world, both natural and human-willed acts of evil are not only explained, they are inevitable. So-called "natural evils" like tsunamis that wipe out thousands of people in an hour are explained by physics and geology. Human evils are explained by the fact that humans, like all animals, are in competition for scarce resources and live, as it were, in a dog eat dog world. The very nature of evolution guarantees human conflict and conflict throughout the animal kingdom, which is a daily bloodbath.

    None of this makes any sense under theism. And, as I have shown above, if the Abrahamic God exists with the properties normally ascribed to him of omniscience and omnipotence, it is easy to logically demonstrate that this God is the sole author of evil with no co-authors.


    Today many of us have a large number of religions to choose from as well as political freedoms and mobility that allow us to exercise such choices.
    If such "choices" are uninformed or carried out with a built-in bias they are worthless. They are nothing more than exercises in wishful thinking.


    After we make the only sane choice, given the fact that we are, that the universe is good, then we can search the world religions and philosophies, picking and choosing what makes sense, to help us understand.
    Unfortunately, "picking and choosing" does not mean you will pick and choose rightly.

  2. #17
    Yes, for the "normal" theist I guess the problem is solved, because it would appear that the "normal" theist doesn't want to think too deeply about this issue. Once the Problem of Evil is subjected to scalpel of logic, as I have shown, it not only becomes a difficult problem for theists, it is actually unsolvable. If one believes in the Abrahamic God and the traits traditionally ascribed to him, God is the sole author of evil and bears full responsibility for it.

  3. #18
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cioran View Post
    Exactly the opposite is the case, of course! Under a thoroughly naturalistic understanding of the world, both natural and human-willed acts of evil are not only explained, they are inevitable. So-called "natural evils" like tsunamis that wipe out thousands of people in an hour are explained by physics and geology. Human evils are explained by the fact that humans, like all animals, are in competition for scarce resources and live, as it were, in a dog eat dog world. The very nature of evolution guarantees human conflict and conflict throughout the animal kingdom, which is a daily bloodbath.
    Given your philosophy, what is your answer to the cosmodicy question? Is it good that we are alive or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cioran View Post
    None of this makes any sense under theism. And, as I have shown above, if the Abrahamic God exists with the properties normally ascribed to him of omniscience and omnipotence, it is easy to logically demonstrate that this God is the sole author of evil with no co-authors.
    I am not interested in any particular definition of God, nor am I interested in trashing any of our world cultural legacy. Clearly the views of a religion make sense for those who believe in that religion. That they don't make sense for an unbeliever is to be expected.

    Logic helps, but too many times people use logic simply to justify their own "biases" not to reach any deeper understanding. Basically, people can prove anything is true if they dismiss enough evidence and assume enough junk. Hopefully, they don't convince anyone but themselves for very long.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cioran View Post
    If such "choices" are uninformed or carried out with a built-in bias they are worthless. They are nothing more than exercises in wishful thinking.

    Unfortunately, "picking and choosing" does not mean you will pick and choose rightly.
    That is how a missionary, whether theistic or atheistic, would approach the problem. The missionary wants to make sure the other guy picks and chooses "rightly" which means the way the missionary sees the solution. Unfortunately for the missionary, the other guy will do what he or she wants to do.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anton Hermes View Post
    I think God "exists" in the same way any other symbol exists: as a way for humans to conceptualize a complex reality. It has always been so convenient for believers to ascribe intent to phenomena that the definition of God as a powerful sky being is understandably common. However, it's not an original observation that the existence of suffering in the world does away with such a definition of God as either all-powerful or all-loving.

    If God is all-powerful and yet doesn't mitigate the suffering of the innocent, He can't be all-loving. If God is all-loving and yet doesn't do away with suffering, then He can't be all-powerful.
    Anton, you have my vote for the best opening sentence of any post I've read so far. Is there a name or category for those of us who think God is a useful tool and an effective symbol (in science and in art) for humans to conceptualize reality? Is there a category other than agnostic or atheist, or am I doomed to join one of the two?
    Last edited by Hawg Horse; 12-21-2012 at 12:51 AM.
    According to our creation story, night came first: darkness upon the deep. Put another way, night is older than day; night is older than time; night is the womb from which the world emerged. ... Iíll have you praying for dawn. Excerpts from Night Shifts, by Elissa Wald.

  5. #20
    Litterateur Anton Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg Horse View Post
    Anton, you have my vote for the best opening sentence of any post I've read so far.
    Much obliged. It's the thinking of theologian Paul Tillich, who warned that we can't understand the symbols of faith just by taking them literally. Our "ultimate concern" isn't something finite, or even subject to defintion, so we have to use symbols to conceptualize it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg Horse View Post
    Is there a name or category for those of us who think God is a useful tool and an effective symbol (in science and in art) for humans to conceptualize reality? Is there a category other than agnostic or atheist, or am I doomed to join one of the two?
    I don't put a lot of stock in labels. I'm a nonbeliever, agnostic, atheist, whatever.

    Whether God is a useful tool for conceptualizing reality is still open to debate. I certainly don't see the point in ascribing agency to all phenomena, or pretending that everything is part of God's cosmic plan. That's why I chimed in here. People who think there's a Big Magic Guy seem very blasť about the Almighty's unwillingness or inability to mitigate the suffering of the innocent. Believers who think everything happens for a reason don't realize that they're trivializing people's suffering.
    Nothingness - A dark comedy about delusion, bad weather, and a 21st century witch hunt.

  6. #21
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    For God is mandatory. Any other position is foolishness.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    For God is mandatory. Any other position is foolishness.
    Right. All you have to do is first demonstrate that God exists. Any other position is foolishness.

  8. #23
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    If God didn't exist, we would have to invent Him. ~ Voltaire

    Thank God I don't have to be so stupid as to do that.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    If God didn't exist, we would have to invent Him. ~ Voltaire

    Thank God I don't have to be so stupid as to do that.
    That is just what you have done.

    "Gott ist tot." ~Nietzsche

    "If God doesn't exist, everything is permitted." ~ I. Karamazov

    "If God doesn't exist, then everything is prohibited Ö if God exists, then everything is permitted." ~ Zizek

    Well, quotes are nice!

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cioran View Post
    That is just what you have done.

    "Gott ist tot." ~Nietzsche

    "If God doesn't exist, everything is permitted." ~ I. Karamazov

    "If God doesn't exist, then everything is prohibited … if God exists, then everything is permitted." ~ Zizek

    Well, quotes are nice!
    Case closed.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    Case closed.
    I'm glad you agree that you invented God, and that quotes are nice.

  12. #27
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    For God is mandatory. Any other position is foolishness.
    Is God a position? Interesting concept. Could you fire this position though?
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    If God didn't exist, we would have to invent Him. ~ Voltaire
    If god was invented then someone is its creator. Imagine the power behind the idea. The creator versus the invented. Not much left for god's reason to be. Pointless.
    Thank God I don't have to be so stupid as to do that.
    Yes thank god for wisdom.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cioran View Post
    Right. All you have to do is first demonstrate that God exists. Any other position is foolishness.
    It is impossible to demosntrate God exists in the same way that it is impossible to prove Jesus was crucified.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  15. #30
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    Merry Christmas, everyone. May the Lord protect you from big mistakes and be on the side of your good intentions.

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