Member List
Calendar
F.A.Q.
Search
Log Out
Pokemon Forum - Pokemon Elite 2000  
 

Go Back   Pokemon Forum - Pokemon Elite 2000 » Other Boards » Discussion

Discussion This is for discussion about current events (news), issues, politics, and any other topics of serious discussion. For more casual talk, go to the Other Chat board. Proper sentences, spelling, and grammar is especially strict in this board.


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-23-2010, 12:52 PM
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah's Avatar
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah Offline
Amateur Trainer
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: God's Green Earth
Posts: 61
Default The problem of Evil

Hey folks

Basically the reason Im writing this is because of a member's *cough* khajmer *cough* comment on another thread about religion:

Quote:
I see too much pain and hardship to accept that there is a merciful God watching out for us, and too much joy and happiness to believe there could be a cruel one.
This seemed like a variant of the problem of Evil to me, so I think I should write a couple lines on the issue from my (little) experience with theological discussions.

This problem is, well, pretty old. In layman's terms its kinda like this: how can there be a good God out there when there is so much evil here on this earth?

Greek Philosopher Epicurus sums up this dilemma eloquently:


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?


Well the purpose of this thread is not to deal with the issue in too much detail and in a scholarly manner, let me just throw in some coins in the shield for people to consider. For anyone looking for a scholarly response, I will provide some links at the bottom of the article to look the deal up for themselves. Anyways, moving on.

Whoever makes this argument is -in my opinion- under the impression that evil exists for the sake of evil, or in other words, God would not have any ethical reasons, whatsoever, to allow evil on the face of this earth. However me thinks this is coming from a bit of biasness: theology would give you plenty of reasons why a good god would allow evil. In other words, before you make any conclusive decision on the issue you should give God a floor to speak in self defense: perhaps He has some reasons, good reasons, for allowing evil on earth. For instance:

1. Evil can happen on the earth as a punishment to an individual for his sins.
This punishment serves as an expiation for his sins: so that he and God would not have anything between them on the day of Reckoning. Of course, if God wishes to forgive, it is completely within His prerogative to forgive, but due to the fact that God is also just, in some instances Justice needs to be carried out. In other words, by "virtue" of the punishment, the man is cleansed of his sins, since he "served his time". So at the end of the day, evil as punishment is no more "evil" than the bank robber doing his time.

2. Evil can happen on earth as a test for people. Tests and trials on this earth are basically litmus-tests for people's righteousness. Thing is, God doesnt leave us as we are once we say "we believe", rather he tests us with good and bad times, with loss of job, loss of property, even loss of life i.e. of one's dear ones, to see whether the person is able to maintain his righteousness through this tough times. On top of that, the fact that the person was able to clench his teeth and maintain his righteousness through these times is deserving of rewards, and God rewards patience. So at the end of the day, evil as test is no more "evil" than the math pop quiz a teacher might take to see if his students are studying.

Now dont get the wrong idea, it isnt that God doesnt know about the person so he is experimenting with him. Its not that. The purpose of these tests is to make it clear to the person himself that he is good and/or bad, otherwise on the day of judgment the people would have complained "hey how come we are headed to hell? we were righteous people on the earth", while they werent really righteous, they were circumstantially "righteous" i.e. I am good when the world is good to me. This isnt really virtue, this is opportunism.

Also, Evil can be the result of free will. Hate to be captain obvious, but God gives people respite on this earth and a free will. The virtue of a person is judged on the basis of how he exercised his free will. Now if this free will were interfered with then this test of virtue would mean nothing. So people are allowed, by God, to use their free will to whatever possible extent they want. Of course, if they do harm to others by misapplication of this free will, that would classify as evil as test or punishment.

The point of the above is to show that just because God allows evil, does not mean God IS Evil, rather God is just and he implements justice by the means of Evil. Similarly, just because God allows happiness on earth, does not necessarily mean God is not Just! Because the reasons why God allows happiness are Just: a) Happiness and joyfulness could be given to a person as a reward of his good deeds. Again, God is just, therefore it wouldnt make sense for him to ignore people's good deeds and not reward them for it, no matter how evil they generally are. Also, b) Happiness can also come as a test! This is because people might forget the virtues of thankfulness and gratitude when they are bestowed with good things in life, so this too comes as a test for their virtue. So at the end of the day, just because God allows Good, doesnt mean he ISNT Just or he doesnt punish those who ask for it.

The problem here ios we look at things from a biased spectacle and not an open mind when we do. All the evil on this earth might appear as evil, but when we think about it, there are profound just reasons why evil is allowed on earth, it produces virtuous results which would have been logically impossible without the presence of it.

So just in case one wants to look more into the issue:

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http...o.html&h=56a13

Cheers
__________________
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room. - Blaise Pascal
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-23-2010, 04:58 PM
Starkipraggy's Avatar
Starkipraggy Offline
Elite Trainer (Level 3)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Gundam Porygon ZZ
Posts: 3,151
Send a message via MSN to Starkipraggy
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Why is there a litmus test? What does God have to prove to us?

Suppose that he is trying to be just and compassionate by doing so. Then why inflict so much pain and misery on some while setting others on the fast track to success in life? How does this justify the fact that people in the developed world are overeating while many are starving in developing countries? If it is meant to be a litmus test, so to speak, why doesn't everyone start off at the same point?
__________________


Mons are here though

私はグレダーです--I am a Grader
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-24-2010, 02:32 PM
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah's Avatar
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah Offline
Amateur Trainer
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: God's Green Earth
Posts: 61
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
Why is there a litmus test? What does God have to prove to us?
If he doesnt prove to us and throw us in hell right off the bat, people would complain by saying I did not deserve this. So this is proving to those people that they are, in reality, bad people.

Quote:
Suppose that he is trying to be just and compassionate by doing so. Then why inflict so much pain and misery on some while setting others on the fast track to success in life? How does this justify the fact that people in the developed world are overeating while many are starving in developing countries? If it is meant to be a litmus test, so to speak, why doesn't everyone start off at the same point?
That is because people are tested differently. All people are not tested in the same unifrom manner. Some people are tested with evil, to see if they remain righteous. Some people are tested with good, to see if they remain righteous or do they become too arrogant. All people do not start off at the same point, because the same test isnt applied for everyone. God tests people differently, depending on a lot of factors, all of which could stem from his mentality.

cheers
__________________
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room. - Blaise Pascal
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-26-2010, 02:18 AM
Lusankya's Avatar
Lusankya Offline
Deus ex Crucio
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,687
Default Re: The problem of Evil

You seem to fail to comprehend the scope of the problem. It stems from the fact that God is supposedly omnipotent. That means he has can anything; likewise, it means he has no reason to do anything save fanciful will. He has no reason to test anyone with evil except that he wants to; he has no reason to punish people except that he likes it; he has no reason to allow free will to create evil except that he enjoys it. God is omnipotent, hence it is impossible for anything to occur that displeases him, therefore everything that occurs pleases him, therefore evil pleases him and by our meaningless mortal definitions of evil, that makes him evil. "Logically impossible" is meaningless to God, there is no reason why he cannot make free will and goodness synonymous with each other and take away all evil from the world while leaving people free will and the ability to recognize their own self without testing them with evil.

The problem of evil is a specific application of the paradox of omnipotence.
__________________

Art Gallery
Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
Halsman: "Don't forget that we are in America. We will be put in prison if we start exploding ducks."
Dali: "You're right. Let's take some cats and splash them with water."

Last edited by Lusankya; 11-26-2010 at 02:20 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-26-2010, 08:57 AM
Starkipraggy's Avatar
Starkipraggy Offline
Elite Trainer (Level 3)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Gundam Porygon ZZ
Posts: 3,151
Send a message via MSN to Starkipraggy
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
It stems from the fact that God is supposedly omnipotent. That means he has can anything; likewise, it means he has no reason to do anything save fanciful will.
Ruined by just one typo, Lus.
__________________


Mons are here though

私はグレダーです--I am a Grader
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-26-2010, 04:51 PM
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah's Avatar
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah Offline
Amateur Trainer
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: God's Green Earth
Posts: 61
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusankya View Post
You seem to fail to comprehend the scope of the problem. It stems from the fact that God is supposedly omnipotent. That means he has can anything; likewise, it means he has no reason to do anything save fanciful will. He has no reason to test anyone with evil except that he wants to; he has no reason to punish people except that he likes it; he has no reason to allow free will to create evil except that he enjoys it. God is omnipotent, hence it is impossible for anything to occur that displeases him, therefore everything that occurs pleases him, therefore evil pleases him and by our meaningless mortal definitions of evil, that makes him evil. "Logically impossible" is meaningless to God, there is no reason why he cannot make free will and goodness synonymous with each other and take away all evil from the world while leaving people free will and the ability to recognize their own self without testing them with evil.

The problem of evil is a specific application of the paradox of omnipotence.
Quote:
You seem to fail to comprehend the scope of the problem. It stems from the fact that God is supposedly omnipotent. That means he has can anything; likewise, it means he has no reason to do anything save fanciful will. He has no reason to test anyone with evil except that he wants to; he has no reason to punish people except that he likes it; he has no reason to allow free will to create evil except that he enjoys it. God is omnipotent, hence it is impossible for anything to occur that displeases him, therefore everything that occurs pleases him, therefore evil pleases him and by our meaningless mortal definitions of evil, that makes him evil.
I guess the crux of your argument lies in this line:
Quote:
God is omnipotent, hence it is impossible for anything to occur that displeases him, therefore everything that occurs pleases him, therefore evil pleases him and by our meaningless mortal definitions of evil, that makes him evil.
This is where I, and Islaamic Theology, Disagree. Not everything that happesn is pleasing to God: the fact that sinners disobey his command and end up in hell, Qur'an says God does not like this at all. God gives us free will and lets us to do whatsoever we want with it, and does not interfere at all. Even if something which displeases him occurs, he doesnt interfere, because thats what freewill is. You might say that this is contrary to the definition of Omnipotence: however I disagree with this. The paradox of omnipotence exists because of the fact that atheists, and perhaps agnostics, are not willing to ascrive the attribute of "choice" to God. God is Omnipotent and can do everything, but the fact that he has choice makes it possible for him to wave off this potential as well. All these stem from the misunderstanding of Omnipotence. Being Omnipotence does not mean God can and does do everythinghe wills, but rather God has the potential to do everything, but it is completely within his prerogative whether to do it or not. This actually answers a lot of questions that mightve came under the "paradox" of omnipotence, for example God has every potential to be UnJust, but He waves away this potential by choice. Does this threaten his omnipotence- no. Because He still has the potential to do injustice, but he chooses not to. Thats how Islaamic theology understands Omnipotence.

Quote:
"Logically impossible" is meaningless to God, there is no reason why he cannot make free will and goodness synonymous with each other and take away all evil from the world while leaving people free will and the ability to recognize their own self without testing them with evil.
Now I disagree with the premise on which the argument is based, Islaamic Theology holds that Omnipotence does not cover the logically impossible, because the logically impossible are not "things" to "do" to begin with. Creating a Squared Circle or a Married Bachelor for instance, these are nothing but words and they do not have any understandable concept whatsoever, they are in direct contradiction with the law of the exclusive middle. Classical Islaamic Scholars, like Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (may God have mercy upon him), dealt with these issues in particular, and his opinion was that Omnipotence, or even Potence, does not cover what is logically impossible, and I agree with his opinion in this case.

As for God couldve tested people similarly without evil, well that is basically saying the exact same result evil produces couldve been a result of something good as well. This is a logical contradiction and an impossibility, therefore God's omnipotence is not binding upon these.
__________________
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room. - Blaise Pascal
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-26-2010, 08:39 PM
Starkipraggy's Avatar
Starkipraggy Offline
Elite Trainer (Level 3)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Gundam Porygon ZZ
Posts: 3,151
Send a message via MSN to Starkipraggy
Default Re: The problem of Evil

An omnipotent god chooses to limit himself so as to see how people do in a given environment. If you ask me, that kinda turns all of us into lab rats. At the extreme, we're basically his toys which have an ability to act on their own. Just like us playing with animals by modifying their environment and then seeing how they react.

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?

Even then evil can be fairly vague. I imagine it as an entire monochrome spectrum from white to black; white representing good and black representing evil. Where is the line that denotes that once you cross it you have committed evil? And also not all evil is bad. White lies are a fairly common example (the validity of which is another discussion altogether). It is a lie, therefore it is bad. But you are withholding the truth to prevent something worse from happening (I know that A killed B who is C's friend but I deliberately lie that B commited suicide to prevent C from going batshit on A and killing A, landing him in jail/with a death sentence/causing him to go to hell for killing).

Omnipotence should include things that are logically impossible; since logic is technically a human construct whatever God works on/with would exceed what we can imagine and make the impossible possible. There was a period of time in which people believed the earth was flat, and now we know that it is round. While flimsy, I hope this example conveys what I'm trying to say.
__________________


Mons are here though

私はグレダーです--I am a Grader
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-26-2010, 09:31 PM
Lord Fedora's Avatar
Lord Fedora Offline
ASB Official
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Y'all stay off my property!
Posts: 8,469
Send a message via AIM to Lord Fedora
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah View Post
If he doesnt prove to us and throw us in hell right off the bat, people would complain by saying I did not deserve this. So this is proving to those people that they are, in reality, bad people.
I take issue with this explanation. Why does God care if people complain that they were sent to hell? They're in hell, they're evil enough that they deserved to be sent to hell, so why in the name of all that is good (and yes, that was intentional) does he care if they don't want to be in hell?

Beyond that, if someone would do something evil without feeling remorse, then they aren't going to believe that what they did was wrong. Plain as that. And if they do feel remorse, then how are they not just righteous?
__________________
URPG/ASB Stats
98% of teens won't stand up for God. Repost this if you think that statistic is the most laughable thing ever.
My new AIM username is GrayFedora12. Do not respond or click on links from any IMs from LordKhajmer.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-27-2010, 12:18 AM
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah's Avatar
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah Offline
Amateur Trainer
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: God's Green Earth
Posts: 61
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
I take issue with this explanation. Why does God care if people complain that they were sent to hell? They're in hell, they're evil enough that they deserved to be sent to hell, so why in the name of all that is good (and yes, that was intentional) does he care if they don't want to be in hell?
Well thats the whole point, God doesnt "need" to prove to us anything. But in spite of that he does, because hell is too scary a place for anyone to drop in unless he is convinced that he wasl actually doing wrong. Then the people of hell wouldnt be left with any intellectual doubt about the Judgment of God, just remorse and vain hope for another chance.

Quote:
Beyond that, if someone would do something evil without feeling remorse, then they aren't going to believe that what they did was wrong. Plain as that. And if they do feel remorse, then how are they not just righteous?
Well knowledge is an issue that needs to be taken into account here: if a person isnt knowledgable that what he is doing is wrong, then God would not hold him accountable on the day of Judgment. If a person however knows for a fact that this is a sin, yet does it stubbornly and without any remorse, then of course that person is evil and deserving of punishment.

As for the person who is remorseful, he is far more righteous than the sinner, and if this remorse leads him to repentance, then his sin is forgiven. Islaamic Theology is extremely clear on this: God does not care about the gravity of sins you committed if you repent. If one is remorseful and repentant, then this person would be treated by God as someone without sin. Not only so, his sin for which he repented would be turned into good deeds. This is from the grace of God, but I hear your point, all it matters is how you pick yourself up after you sin, and God does take that into account. In fact repentance is viewed as one of the greatest acts of worship in Islaam.

All of the above, of course, is written from the Islaamic theological pov.

Quote:
An omnipotent god chooses to limit himself so as to see how people do in a given environment. If you ask me, that kinda turns all of us into lab rats. At the extreme, we're basically his toys which have an ability to act on their own. Just like us playing with animals by modifying their environment and then seeing how they react.
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.

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.

Quote:
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?
Answered above in the second part of my response to Lus's post

Quote:
Even then evil can be fairly vague. I imagine it as an entire monochrome spectrum from white to black; white representing good and black representing evil. Where is the line that denotes that once you cross it you have committed evil? And also not all evil is bad. White lies are a fairly common example (the validity of which is another discussion altogether). It is a lie, therefore it is bad. But you are withholding the truth to prevent something worse from happening (I know that A killed B who is C's friend but I deliberately lie that B commited suicide to prevent C from going batshit on A and killing A, landing him in jail/with a death sentence/causing him to go to hell for killing).
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.

Quote:
Omnipotence should include things that are logically impossible; since logic is technically a human construct whatever God works on/with would exceed what we can imagine and make the impossible possible. There was a period of time in which people believed the earth was flat, and now we know that it is round. While flimsy, I hope this example conveys what I'm trying to say.
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.
__________________
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room. - Blaise Pascal
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-27-2010, 12:19 AM
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah's Avatar
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah Offline
Amateur Trainer
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: God's Green Earth
Posts: 61
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Ok I do NOT understand why EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY POSTS IN EVERY SINGLE THREAD ARE BEING DOUBLE POSTED.
__________________
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room. - Blaise Pascal
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-27-2010, 02:22 AM
Lusankya's Avatar
Lusankya Offline
Deus ex Crucio
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,687
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah View Post
This is where I, and Islaamic Theology, Disagree. Not everything that happesn is pleasing to God: the fact that sinners disobey his command and end up in hell, Qur'an says God does not like this at all. God gives us free will and lets us to do whatsoever we want with it, and does not interfere at all. Even if something which displeases him occurs, he doesnt interfere, because thats what freewill is. You might say that this is contrary to the definition of Omnipotence: however I disagree with this. The paradox of omnipotence exists because of the fact that atheists, and perhaps agnostics, are not willing to ascrive the attribute of "choice" to God. God is Omnipotent and can do everything, but the fact that he has choice makes it possible for him to wave off this potential as well. All these stem from the misunderstanding of Omnipotence. Being Omnipotence does not mean God can and does do everythinghe wills, but rather God has the potential to do everything, but it is completely within his prerogative whether to do it or not. This actually answers a lot of questions that mightve came under the "paradox" of omnipotence, for example God has every potential to be UnJust, but He waves away this potential by choice. Does this threaten his omnipotence- no. Because He still has the potential to do injustice, but he chooses not to. Thats how Islaamic theology understands Omnipotence.
Not possible. If God allows something to occur, this means he wants it to occur, even if it "displeases" him, for the alternative supposedly "displeases" him more. So if he allows humans to sin, then it is because he prefers for them to sin rather than for him to eliminate our capacity to sin. Ergo, he wants us to sin.

To draw an analogy, say that a person has a choice: ice cream or broccoli. Now, ice cream provides more pleasure than broccoli (let's assume). However, if the person chooses broccoli, is he forfeiting what he wants? No. He wants the broccoli; it is merely a different kind of want than his desire for ice cream, because broccoli is healthier. In the same way, God wants people to sin, rather than wanting them to not sin.

Again. By definition, nothing can happen that an omnipotent being does not want to happen. Because if he does not want it to happen, then, by definition, he will not allow it to happen. What we allow to happen if a function of our ability to stop it and how much we want to stop it. If our ability to stop it is limitless, then no matter how little we want to stop it, then it will be stopped. That is omnipotence. You can disagree, but you would simply be wrong. If he waives his potential, then it is because he wants to waive his potential. He has no reason to do anything except what he wants to.

That bears repeating, since I feel I have not made this clear enough.. God has no reason to do anything except what he wants to. Rephrase: There is nothing God does that he does not want to. Rephrase Again: Everything that God does, he wants to do. This is absolute. If God chooses not to interfere with free will and evil, then it is because he doesn't want to interefere. Sin and evil are His choice. They exist only with His approval. As does everything else.

Quote:
Now I disagree with the premise on which the argument is based, Islaamic Theology holds that Omnipotence does not cover the logically impossible, because the logically impossible are not "things" to "do" to begin with. Creating a Squared Circle or a Married Bachelor for instance, these are nothing but words and they do not have any understandable concept whatsoever, they are in direct contradiction with the law of the exclusive middle. Classical Islaamic Scholars, like Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (may God have mercy upon him), dealt with these issues in particular, and his opinion was that Omnipotence, or even Potence, does not cover what is logically impossible, and I agree with his opinion in this case.
Translation: God can do whatever he wants. Which is my point. God can do whatever he wants. God DOES do whatever he wants. If God doesn't do what he wants, then it is because he wants to not do whatever it is that he wants.

Quote:
As for God couldve tested people similarly without evil, well that is basically saying the exact same result evil produces couldve been a result of something good as well. This is a logical contradiction and an impossibility, therefore God's omnipotence is not binding upon these.
As you have just said, God can make this contradiction a reality. So why doesn't he?
__________________

Art Gallery
Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
Halsman: "Don't forget that we are in America. We will be put in prison if we start exploding ducks."
Dali: "You're right. Let's take some cats and splash them with water."

Last edited by Lusankya; 11-27-2010 at 02:30 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-27-2010, 03:24 AM
Lord Fedora's Avatar
Lord Fedora Offline
ASB Official
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Y'all stay off my property!
Posts: 8,469
Send a message via AIM to Lord Fedora
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusankya View Post
Not possible. If God allows something to occur, this means he wants it to occur, even if it "displeases" him, for the alternative supposedly "displeases" him more. So if he allows humans to sin, then it is because he prefers for them to sin rather than for him to eliminate our capacity to sin. Ergo, he wants us to sin.

To draw an analogy, say that a person has a choice: ice cream or broccoli. Now, ice cream provides more pleasure than broccoli (let's assume). However, if the person chooses broccoli, is he forfeiting what he wants? No. He wants the broccoli; it is merely a different kind of want than his desire for ice cream, because broccoli is healthier. In the same way, God wants people to sin, rather than wanting them to not sin.

Again. By definition, nothing can happen that an omnipotent being does not want to happen. Because if he does not want it to happen, then, by definition, he will not allow it to happen. What we allow to happen if a function of our ability to stop it and how much we want to stop it. If our ability to stop it is limitless, then no matter how little we want to stop it, then it will be stopped. That is omnipotence. You can disagree, but you would simply be wrong. If he waives his potential, then it is because he wants to waive his potential. He has no reason to do anything except what he wants to.

That bears repeating, since I feel I have not made this clear enough.. God has no reason to do anything except what he wants to. Rephrase: There is nothing God does that he does not want to. Rephrase Again: Everything that God does, he wants to do. This is absolute. If God chooses not to interfere with free will and evil, then it is because he doesn't want to interefere. Sin and evil are His choice. They exist only with His approval. As does everything else.
Okay, I'm going to explain this in words that are not charged and fired and confrontational because Lus, no offense, but I think you need to chill bro.

So, we're going to take God to be omnipotent. From Hassan's explanation, despite God's omnipotence, he still allows evil and sin to exist in the world because it tests how we, as free willed beings, will react to evil, whether we will remain good and righteous or act in an evil manner ourselves, not for his own benefit, but so that those of us who are condemned to hell may understand that we have done wrong.

However, this leads to the question: why free will, then? To create a world where everyone acts righteously without even the possibility of doing evil, where hell takes no new entrants, and where we all go to heaven after death, wouldn't that be the ultimate benevolence? In essence, in even creating the world with free will rather than as Utopia, God has proven that he is not, in fact, the benevolent being that he is played out to be. He has allowed evil into the world by creating free will in the first place, and by that extension, he wants evil.

Quote:
As for the person who is remorseful, he is far more righteous than the sinner, and if this remorse leads him to repentance, then his sin is forgiven. Islaamic Theology is extremely clear on this: God does not care about the gravity of sins you committed if you repent. If one is remorseful and repentant, then this person would be treated by God as someone without sin. Not only so, his sin for which he repented would be turned into good deeds. This is from the grace of God, but I hear your point, all it matters is how you pick yourself up after you sin, and God does take that into account. In fact repentance is viewed as one of the greatest acts of worship in Islaam.
Except that to understand that what you have done was wrong is remorse. So any who do understand that are inherently remorseful, and those who do not understand this will go to Hell still lacking that understanding.
__________________
URPG/ASB Stats
98% of teens won't stand up for God. Repost this if you think that statistic is the most laughable thing ever.
My new AIM username is GrayFedora12. Do not respond or click on links from any IMs from LordKhajmer.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-27-2010, 06:41 AM
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah's Avatar
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah Offline
Amateur Trainer
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: God's Green Earth
Posts: 61
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
Not possible. If God allows something to occur, this means he wants it to occur, even if it "displeases" him, for the alternative supposedly "displeases" him more. So if he allows humans to sin, then it is because he prefers for them to sin rather than for him to eliminate our capacity to sin. Ergo, he wants us to sin.

To draw an analogy, say that a person has a choice: ice cream or broccoli. Now, ice cream provides more pleasure than broccoli (let's assume). However, if the person chooses broccoli, is he forfeiting what he wants? No. He wants the broccoli; it is merely a different kind of want than his desire for ice cream, because broccoli is healthier. In the same way, God wants people to sin, rather than wanting them to not sin.

Again. By definition, nothing can happen that an omnipotent being does not want to happen. Because if he does not want it to happen, then, by definition, he will not allow it to happen. What we allow to happen if a function of our ability to stop it and how much we want to stop it. If our ability to stop it is limitless, then no matter how little we want to stop it, then it will be stopped. That is omnipotence. You can disagree, but you would simply be wrong. If he waives his potential, then it is because he wants to waive his potential. He has no reason to do anything except what he wants to.

That bears repeating, since I feel I have not made this clear enough.. God has no reason to do anything except what he wants to. Rephrase: There is nothing God does that he does not want to. Rephrase Again: Everything that God does, he wants to do. This is absolute. If God chooses not to interfere with free will and evil, then it is because he doesn't want to interefere. Sin and evil are His choice. They exist only with His approval. As does everything else.
While in your last post you said:

Quote:
God is omnipotent, hence it is impossible for anything to occur that displeases him, therefore everything that occurs pleases him, therefore evil pleases him
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.

Quote:
Translation: God can do whatever he wants. Which is my point. God can do whatever he wants. God DOES do whatever he wants. If God doesn't do what he wants, then it is because he wants to not do whatever it is that he wants.
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.

Quote:
As you have just said, God can make this contradiction a reality. So why doesn't he?
Where have I ever said that? My entire counter-argument was based on the premise that contradictions arent reality, they are nothing but empty words. It is impossible, logically, for contradictions to exist therefore it doesnt come under God's banner of potence.

Quote:
However, this leads to the question: why free will, then? To create a world where everyone acts righteously without even the possibility of doing evil, where hell takes no new entrants, and where we all go to heaven after death, wouldn't that be the ultimate benevolence? In essence, in even creating the world with free will rather than as Utopia, God has proven that he is not, in fact, the benevolent being that he is played out to be. He has allowed evil into the world by creating free will in the first place, and by that extension, he wants evil.
meh, me disagrees. The evil that comes from free will is not God's responsibility at all. Plus, and this is more important, benevolence is not the only characteristic of God. God is Just as well. Had there been no free will then this attribute of Justice would have been utterly meaningless, since Justice exists to check the actions and intentions that result from free will. Yeah, in a way God does want evil in the sense he has kept the scope of it open through free will. But the only thing that proves is that benevolence is not the sole characteristics of God. I completely agree with this: God is Just and benevolent simultaneously, just that he exercises these attributes at different events which His wisdom sees fit.

Quote:
Except that to understand that what you have done was wrong is remorse. So any who do understand that are inherently remorseful, and those who do not understand this will go to Hell still lacking that understanding.
I think there are a few hidden premises there, I am kind of in a hurry so Im not going to arrange these in the traditional logical forms (i.e. premises and conclusion) but just point out the shaky premises if God wills.

Theres a difference between knowing, understanding and being aware of. A thief can know, even understand he is doing wrong but he can still entertain this knowledge and do wrong anyways. This shows he wasnt aware of his wrongdoing. So I think you have placed your argument(s) on a shaky premise there. That aside, theres a much more important issue here, which is what constitutes remorse and what constitutes repentance. If a human being is remorseful, yet this remorse doesnt lead him to do good, then this is not repentance. He started on his way towards righteousness but didnt really implement it. So then what constitutes repentance? Islaamically speaking: the key ingredient is sincerety. This holds the other constituents, which are

a) Remorse, feeling of Guilt
b) Apologizing to God
c) Apologizing to whoever was wrong
d) If possible, making up for whatever was damages, like returning whatever was stolen etc.

So if a person say is remorseful, if he has that tinge of guilt yet he is lacking in any of the above, then it shows he was sincere but not sincere enough. So whatever bad feeling he had, that should be taken into account, and for that some of his sins may be removed because however less the tinge of guilt, it still caused pain, and as discussed above, punishment washes away sins. However, this morsel of remorse, which is not really sincere, will not have the full blast of blessings that repentance has.

In other words, a righteous man is defined thus: he is remorseful after he sins, and picks himself up by repenting sincerely. However a person who is not virtuous, a lot of possibilities can occur: a) He can know and understand that he is doing wrong and yet entertain it and do it proceed with it anyways, it could be that in spite of his knowledge of good, he isnt "aware" of this (awareness and knowledge are different things) So the people bound for hell arent necessarily lacking understanding, they are lacking awareness. b) He is aware and remorseful, but he is not sincere enough to go ahead with his repentance. Both are plausible options and people might be punished for sins either way.
__________________
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room. - Blaise Pascal
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-27-2010, 06:57 AM
Lord Fedora's Avatar
Lord Fedora Offline
ASB Official
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Y'all stay off my property!
Posts: 8,469
Send a message via AIM to Lord Fedora
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah View Post
meh, me disagrees. The evil that comes from free will is not God's responsibility at all. Plus, and this is more important, benevolence is not the only characteristic of God. God is Just as well. Had there been no free will then this attribute of Justice would have been utterly meaningless, since Justice exists to check the actions and intentions that result from free will. Yeah, in a way God does want evil in the sense he has kept the scope of it open through free will. But the only thing that proves is that benevolence is not the sole characteristics of God. I completely agree with this: God is Just and benevolent simultaneously, just that he exercises these attributes at different events which His wisdom sees fit.
Fair enough. That's a perfectly reasonable explanation. And while I still disagree, I can understand that point of view.

Quote:
I think there are a few hidden premises there, I am kind of in a hurry so Im not going to arrange these in the traditional logical forms (i.e. premises and conclusion) but just point out the shaky premises if God wills.

Theres a difference between knowing, understanding and being aware of. A thief can know, even understand he is doing wrong but he can still entertain this knowledge and do wrong anyways. This shows he wasnt aware of his wrongdoing. So I think you have placed your argument(s) on a shaky premise there. That aside, theres a much more important issue here, which is what constitutes remorse and what constitutes repentance. If a human being is remorseful, yet this remorse doesnt lead him to do good, then this is not repentance. He started on his way towards righteousness but didnt really implement it. So then what constitutes repentance? Islaamically speaking: the key ingredient is sincerety. This holds the other constituents, which are

a) Remorse, feeling of Guilt
b) Apologizing to God
c) Apologizing to whoever was wrong
d) If possible, making up for whatever was damages, like returning whatever was stolen etc.
I'm going to stop here and question why we have to apologize to God? Aside from the fact that, in sinning, we have done nothing personally wrong to Him, doing so essentially precludes anyone who is not of the Abrahamic religions from ever being considered righteous. Continuing on:

Quote:
So if a person say is remorseful, if he has that tinge of guilt yet he is lacking in any of the above, then it shows he was sincere but not sincere enough. So whatever bad feeling he had, that should be taken into account, and for that some of his sins may be removed because however less the tinge of guilt, it still caused pain, and as discussed above, punishment washes away sins. However, this morsel of remorse, which is not really sincere, will not have the full blast of blessings that repentance has.

In other words, a righteous man is defined thus: he is remorseful after he sins, and picks himself up by repenting sincerely. However a person who is not virtuous, a lot of possibilities can occur: a) He can know and understand that he is doing wrong and yet entertain it and do it proceed with it anyways, it could be that in spite of his knowledge of good, he isnt "aware" of this (awareness and knowledge are different things) So the people bound for hell arent necessarily lacking understanding, they are lacking awareness. b) He is aware and remorseful, but he is not sincere enough to go ahead with his repentance. Both are plausible options and people might be punished for sins either way.
Now see I wholly disagree with this, purely because of my view of human nature. As far as I'm concerned, human nature dictates that you cannot truly understand that you have done wrong without feeling remorse, that the desire to be righteous, in your terms, is built into us, with some exception (namely for sociopaths). And I do, honestly, believe that we are all driven, whether by intentional desire to repent or subconsciously guilt-driven acts of philanthropy, that anyone who truly feels remorse will act towards redemption, be it in the eyes of their god or just in their own eyes.
__________________
URPG/ASB Stats
98% of teens won't stand up for God. Repost this if you think that statistic is the most laughable thing ever.
My new AIM username is GrayFedora12. Do not respond or click on links from any IMs from LordKhajmer.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-27-2010, 07:51 AM
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah's Avatar
Hassan_Descartes_AbdAllah Offline
Amateur Trainer
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: God's Green Earth
Posts: 61
Default Re: The problem of Evil

Quote:
I'm going to stop here and question why we have to apologize to God? Aside from the fact that, in sinning, we have done nothing personally wrong to Him, doing so essentially precludes anyone who is not of the Abrahamic religions from ever being considered righteous.
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.

Quote:
Now see I wholly disagree with this, purely because of my view of human nature. As far as I'm concerned, human nature dictates that you cannot truly understand that you have done wrong without feeling remorse, that the desire to be righteous, in your terms, is built into us, with some exception (namely for sociopaths). And I do, honestly, believe that we are all driven, whether by intentional desire to repent or subconsciously guilt-driven acts of philanthropy, that anyone who truly feels remorse will act towards redemption, be it in the eyes of their god or just in their own eyes.
The answer to this would be kind of an echo to my previous answer. A person who doesnt know what is required of him to repent, he is not to be held responsible. However if a person knows for a hundred percent that he needs to do such and such stuff to be truly repentant, and yet ignores it, then that only shows that the person isnt being sincere. So yeah, people might have their own ways of repenting. People without knowledge of true repentance are not to be held responsible for their "shortcomings", God would judge them according to different standards than those who had knowledge. But if one does have knowledge yet ignore it, then he is being insincere and though not necessarily, arrogant.
__________________
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room. - Blaise Pascal
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Style Design: AlienSector.com