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Nerdologist's avatar

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What are your thoughts on the "problem of evil" argument against the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God? As an atheist, I personally find it to be quite convincing.
Nityananda-rama dasa's avatar

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It is a strawman.
Nerdologist's avatar

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Nityananda-rama dasa
It is a strawman.
Splain.
Pseudo-Onkelos's avatar

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I'm glad I don't believe in that kind of god.
Nityananda-rama dasa's avatar

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Nerdologist
Splain.


It both assumes that evil can not serve a higher good and it discounts free will.
Nityananda-rama dasa
Nerdologist
Splain.


It both assumes that evil can not serve a higher good and it discounts free will.


That merely begs the question of whether or not we have free will.
Nerdologist's avatar

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Nityananda-rama dasa
It both assumes that evil can not serve a higher good and it discounts free will.
I think you have failed to consider the fact that before God's act of creation there would have been no evil. An omnipotent, omniscient creator God would have known that it was bringing about the existence of evil in its creation of the universe, yet it carried on anyway. What omnibenevolent God would use evil to bring about good when it was already in a perfectly good state? "Free will" does not change the fact that God caused evil to exist.
Nityananda-rama dasa's avatar

Devout Fairy

Kiumaru


That merely begs the question of whether or not we have free will.


It is a hypothetical that assumes a God. Many systems that have a God accept free will as well. There are, of course, exceptions like Calvinism.
Nityananda-rama dasa's avatar

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Nerdologist
I think you have failed to consider the fact that before God's act of creation there would have been no evil.


How do you know?

Nerdologist

An omnipotent, omniscient creator God would have known that it was bringing about the existence of evil in its creation of the universe, yet it carried on anyway. What omnibenevolent God would use evil to bring about good when it was already in a perfectly good state? "Free will" does not change the fact that God caused evil to exist.


To create a more perfectly good state.
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Kiumaru
That merely begs the question of whether or not we have free will.
This is true. 3nodding
Nityananda-rama dasa
Kiumaru
That merely begs the question of whether or not we have free will.


It is a hypothetical that assumes a God. Many systems that have a God accept free will as well. There are, of course, exceptions like Calvinism.


If we are to assume "omnipotence" and "omnibenevolence" as possible attributes to have, then one could argue that such a God would have the ability to give people free will and have a world devoid of "evil".

Well, unless we are to assume that this is not possible and "omnipotence" only extends to the realm of the possible. But is it really impossible to imagine a world with free will and no evil?
Xiam's avatar

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Nityananda-rama dasa
Nerdologist
Splain.


It both assumes that evil can not serve a higher good and it discounts free will.

Doesn't it also assume that evil is an objective moral direction, which humans, animals, and forces of nature actually make a conscious choice of, with full knowledge of the evil they're doing? Rather than, say, that humans do "bad' things believing them to be "good" things (i.e. the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Witch Hunts, the Red Scare, the Holocaust, 9/11, etc.), that animals attack humans purely following animal instinct, and that the elements will do what they will whether we're in the area or not.

So really, the problem isn't that God doesn't stop all the evil in the world. It's that we are self-centered enough to assume there are "evil" things specifically targeting us.
Nerdologist
Kiumaru
That merely begs the question of whether or not we have free will.
This is true. 3nodding


My problem with the problem of evil is that the terms aren't really defined or are difficult to define. What exactly does "perfectly good and absolute power" mean? And how are we to define "evil"?

And as Nityananda-rama dasa stated, evil could possibly serve a greater purpose if we are to accept its existence.
Nityananda-rama dasa's avatar

Devout Fairy

Kiumaru

Well, unless we are to assume that this is not possible and "omnipotence" only extends to the realm of the possible.


Most theologians do limit it to that.

Kiumaru

But is it really impossible to imagine a world with free will and no evil?


In the case of unlimited free will, yes.
Xiam
Nityananda-rama dasa
Nerdologist
Splain.


It both assumes that evil can not serve a higher good and it discounts free will.

Doesn't it also assume that evil is an objective moral direction, which humans, animals, and forces of nature actually make a conscious choice of, with full knowledge of the evil they're doing? Rather than, say, that humans do "bad' things believing them to be "good" things (i.e. the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Witch Hunts, the Red Scare, the Holocaust, 9/11, etc.), that animals attack humans purely following animal instinct, and that the elements will do what they will whether we're in the area or not.

So really, the problem isn't that God doesn't stop all the evil in the world. It's that we are self-centered enough to assume there are "evil" things specifically targeting us.


We are assuming this is an argument about a "God" entity that has the power of omnipotence.

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