• spirit-salamander
    89
    By means of three quotations I want to explain what is stated in the title.

    The following quote applies in principle to all monotheistic religions:

    "The need to harmonize the moral responsibility of man with God’s justice. The penetrating intelligence of Augustine did not fail to notice a most serious difficulty, which is so hard to remove that, as far as I know, all later philosophers with the exception of three, whom for this reason we shall soon examine more closely, have preferred to steal around it quietly, as if it did not exist. But Augustine utters it with noble sincerity in a quite straightforward fashion right in the introductory words of his books On Free Will: “Tell me, pray, whether God is not the author of evil?” And then more extensively in the second chapter: “But the mind is troubled by the problem: if sins come from the souls which God has created, and those souls are from God, how comes it that sins are not, at a slight remove, to be thrown back upon God?”  To this the interlocutor replies: ”Now you have put clearly what I have been racking my brain to think out.” This highly dubious consideration was taken up again by Luther and brought out with the full force of his eloquence: “But that God must be such that he subjects us to necessity in virtue of his freedom, even natural reason must admit.—If we grant that God is omniscient and omnipotent, then it follows obviously and incontestably that we did not create ourselves, do not live nor do anything through ourselves, but only through his omnipotence.—God’s omniscience and omnipotence are diametrically opposed to the freedom of our will.—All men are inevitably compelled to admit that we become what we are not through our will but through necessity, that we therefore cannot do what we please in virtue of a freedom of will, but rather do what God has foreseen and brings about through inevitable and irrevocable decision and will.”" (Schopenhauer, Arthur. Essay on the Freedom of the Will Dover Philosophical Classics)

    The next two passages concern more Catholic notions:

    "The problem of human sin also presents a challenge for thinkers who uphold concurrentist approaches. It seems that the theologian must say that here at least, in the case of sinful human actions, there is an act where God is not acting, but where the human being acts contrary to the will of God. The mere conservationist seems to have less difficulty here: God is responsible only for our existence, but does not act directly in our free actions. Where the concurrentist tradition attempts to deal with this problem, it speaks of sin as a lack, or a defect in the proper created order. As Tanner acknowledges, this ‘simply pushes the question of the origin of sin back to the question of what brought about the first defect’: ‘The question has to stop somewhere since, according to our premises, God does not create a world of sin. But wherever one stops, God’s will would seem to be behind whatever created activity brings sin about.’ After exploring different strategies, Tanner concludes that the theologian ‘can offer no account of how sin actually arises that does not imply that God’s creative will is directly behind such an eventuality’. The implication that Tanner draws from this is not that concurrentism should be abandoned, but rather that we should abandon the attempt to find an explanation for sin: ‘To say that sin is an exception to the premise of God as creator is therefore to say that sin is ultimately without explanation; it is what, by all rights, should not exist in a world that God creates. If a good God is the ultimate explanatory principle according to our picture, is not this inexplicable character of the coming to be of sin what one should expect.’" (CHRISTOPHER J. INSOLE: Kant and the Creation of Freedom – A Theological Problem)

    According to the concurrence position of Catholicism, both man and God perform the choice of sin and the sinful act together. God is anything but passive here. Nor does he simply allow the sinful act to happen, but is actively and immediately involved in it.

    And:

    "Human sin and the omnipotent God of the Thomists cause problems: Very briefly, though, at De Malo, 3, 2 Aquinas admits – indeed insists – that God is the cause of what he calls “acts of sin” (actiones peccati): an act of sin is something real, and everything real is from God, so an act of sin is from or caused by God. Thus Aquinas wants to distinguish between the act of sin, which is caused by God, and the sin itself (which is not). For reasons I cannot go into without making an already long section longer still, the distinction Aquinas wants to draw here seems to me obscure and problematic." (Hughes, Christopher. Aquinas on Being, Goodness, and God)

    I agree entirely with Mr. Hughes.
  • baker
    1.3k
    God and sin. A sheer unsolvable theological problem.[/quote]
    It's unsolvable for Abrahamists. There are more theisms than just the Abrahamic onces. Hindu (mono)theism, for instance, doesn't face such problems.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    It seems to me that the modern analogy of the virtual world makes this problem quite tractable to intuition.

    the Almighty Nintendo is responsible for Mario's world and Mario, and Bowser, and Princess Peach. But when you play the game, you become responsible for Mario's moves, within the limits of gameplay set by Almighty Nintendo. If Almighty Nintendo had made the game such that nothing could go wrong, or that there were no Bowser, it would have been a dull game that you would have complained about having to play.

    That is to say; evil makes the world better.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    176
    The idea that God is good is often taken to mean God posseses no darkness. Indeed, Saint John contrasts the Light with the Darkness in the Gospel and his epistles.

    However, we also take from John that God is the logos, word. As Sausser points out, a one word language, where a single term can equally be applied to all things, is not a language. It cannot convey meaning. In the same way, we cannot speak of a world of only Light, because Light only has meaning in relationship to Darkness.

    Thus, I believe we can find darkness within God. We hear of God experiencing anger in the Bible. He "hates" in Amos. God encompasses all things. God is like a wavelength of infinite frequency. As the frequency increases, the peaks and troughs of the wave grow even closer, until the end result would be cancelation. For a sound wave, this would be silence, but a pregnant silence, filled with infinite potentiality.

    Jung has a relevant experience in his autobiography. During his childhood, Jung was possesed of an overwhelming compulsion to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. He also had been taught that this was the one thing that caused eternal damnation. He resisted the compulsion, afraid to finish his thought. However, upon reflection, he realized this desire did not come from him, as it was something he absolutely did not want to do, but must come from somewhere else, from God. He finished his thought of blasphemy, and then immediately felt relief and the grace of God. It was this grace, from Darkness, that was the true essence of Christianity for him. God made Adam and Eve to sin, but their sin was required for grace.

    This is the theological felix culpa- the Fall was required for the Crucifixion.

    A God of only light is meaningless, like the one word language. God's creation of meaning required sin. God is perfect, and so It's partial emanations are inheritally imperfect. We see this in the Gnostics' conception of the Pleroma. God's emanations must exist in pairs, much like Heraclitus' tension of opposites. We can only grasp aspects of God in our mind, only part of the balanced whole. Since the parts are imperfect, not the perfectly balanced whole, we will by definition see fault in God.

    God exists outside time. Perfect knowledge of the future would be no different from experiencing the future. All existence occurs at once. Sin is a problem for us because we only see a sliver of the picture, not knowing that there is no distance between the Fall and the Heavenly Kingdom. Indeed, a close reading of Paul and Christ in the Gospels show that we are already in the Kingdom today, as we live on Earth, through God's grace. Hell, the speration from God, can also be upon us even as we live.

    Or, to sum up, the "problem of sin" is not a problem of contradiction, but a problem of our frame of reference. We are like Parmenides, thinking Achilles can never overtake the hare, because our reference is wrong.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    God does not create a world of sin.spirit-salamander

    Therein lies the rub, friend and thank you for bringing it to my attention. I owe you for it but given the possibility that I could be utterly mistaken I'll refrain from thanking you immediately.

    Imagine this: Initially I'd like to restrict the domain of discourse to humans only. The question that needs to be asked is, "is it possible (or not) that humans, if they put their heart and soul into it, can live in complete harmony, at peace with each other?" My hunch is that we can. While I don't wish to trivialize the difficulty of such an undertaking, I see no insurmountable barrier to, nothing that would make impossible, a world that's all happiness. If so, God didn't create a world of sin and the sin that we bump into every day of our lives is our own doing. Should you blame god for sin if one admits that living sinless lives is possible? That would be like accusing your boss of poor administration and, with the same breath, admitting that what you've labeled "poor administration" can be solved through interpersonal cooperation. You can't have the cake and eat it too.

    This argument unfortunately can't be extended to animals. Why (did god) create carnivores that kill in gruesome ways that are bynames for excruciating pain?
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Excerpt from an old post:

    An argument against 'divine providence', or for 'divine indifference' (and NOT necessarily - decisively - an argument for the nonexistence of 'the divine'):

    (a) Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    (b) Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    (c) Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    (d) Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    'The Riddle of Epicurus' (~300 BCE)
    180 Proof
    In other words, what kind of "all-powerful" (i.e. ultimately responsible) entity "creates" us sick and then "commands" us to be well (i.e. giving us "free will" which is too weak for us to "freely" choose to obey (righteousness) and refrain from disobeying (sin) in every circumstance)? And then threatens violence, like a rapist, for disobeying the entity's command to love the entity "with all thy heart, etc"?

    This kind of entity is, all apologetic clichés aside (e.g. theodicy), either a sadist – "demon" – or a masochistic, self-abnegating, fiction, such that the latter amounts to a pathological feitsh and the former is too wicked to "worship". (The Gnostics (or acosmists re: "maya") surely have a point ...)
  • j0e
    443
    This kind of entity is, all apologetic clichés aside (e.g. theodicy), either a sadist – "demon" – or a masochistic, self-abnegating, fiction, such that the latter amounts to a pathological feitsh and the former is immoral to "worship". (The Gnostics (or acosmists re: "maya") surely had/have a point ...)180 Proof

    :up:
  • Bartricks
    3k
    It is not unsolvable.

    If we grant that God is omniscient and omnipotent, then it follows obviously and incontestably that we did not create ourselvesspirit-salamander

    That does not follow. Obviously we did not create ourselves (nor did God create himself). But it does not follow from God's omnipotence and omniscience that he created us. If we, like God himself, exist with aseity, that is consistent with God being omnipotent and omniscient and omnibenevolent.

    Problem solved. God does not author sin, we do.
  • j0e
    443
    Thus Aquinas wants to distinguish between the act of sin, which is caused by God, and the sin itself (which is not). For reasons I cannot go into without making an already long section longer still, the distinction Aquinas wants to draw here seems to me obscure and problematic.

    Understatement, no?
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    God does not author sin, we do.Bartricks
    His "will be done", choir boy, and we're doing it by "authoring sin"; thus, according to this "theodicy", we may be guilty of "sin" but He is ultimately responsible for "creating sinners". :eyes:
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    creates" us sick180 Proof

    Ask yourself, given what we have - focus on our strengths rather than our weaknesses - is a sinless world possible? If you like answer the follow up question, would civilization have been possible if we were truly sick?
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Yes, of course there is no "sin" because there is no g/G to disobey, therefore the actual world is, in fact, a "sinless world" (pace Camus). And civilization – some wit, maybe Mark Twain, calls it "syphillization" – is only needed by sick primates (vide Zapffe); healthy ones thrive in the wild just fine in very small nomadic communities (as they had, for instance in human history, for hundreds of millennia before "syphillization" and its organizing (scapegoat assigning) myths of "sin" became a thing).
  • The Opposite
    846
    when I play a video game though, I'm more interested in exploring the virtual world and seeing what i can find. I'm not too bothered about defeating the final boss, completing the missions/carrying out objectives etc.
  • Wayfarer
    12.1k
    "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist" ~ Baudelaire.

    Speaking of video games, there’s a great one called ‘Saṃsāra’. It plays out over ‘aeons of kalpas’ - that means ‘very long periods of time’. Beings are born into various levels of saṃsāra which include ghastly hell realms and blissful heaven realms, as well as the Human Realm, where this post is being composed. (Others include the animal realm, Demi-god realm, and the realm of hungry ghosts.) Depending on their motivations, actions, and insight~wisdom, which can be gained or lost over whole series of existences, beings are reborn into the various domains of saṃsāra over the aeons, sometimes remaining in one realm for what in earth terms would be millions of years. The ultimate resolution of the game is to escape the ‘wheel of saṃsāra’ for once and for all, which happens very rarely, although according to legend, those who have succeeded in escaping (known as ‘Buddhas’ in Buddhist tradition) periodically return to the realms to provide guidance and inspiration for those still trapped.

    Here’s the cover art.

    238px-Tibetan_chakra.jpg
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    You can do that on Earth too. Life is such a great game, you can play it how you want.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    176

    I'm a big fan of the American and internet meme versions of these I've found.


    1600529243003.png

    IxuE2y5_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium
  • The Opposite
    846
    and off the face of the earth too, if we weren't so myopic.
  • baker
    1.3k
    That does not follow. Obviously we did not create ourselves (nor did God create himself). But it does not follow from God's omnipotence and omniscience that he created us. If we, like God himself, exist with aseity, that is consistent with God being omnipotent and omniscient and omnibenevolent.

    Problem solved. God does not author sin, we do.
    Bartricks
    No. Nothing in this universe can exist without God willing it and making it possible.
  • Bartricks
    3k
    Present an argument for that.
  • Gregory
    3.1k
    Cardinal Hans Urns von Balthazar is very popular in modern Catholic reading circles nowadays and he disagrees with the traditional Greek-scholastic idea that evil is purely privative. Just thought I'd throw that out there
  • baker
    1.3k
    God is omnimax, by definition. One of the implications of this is that nothing in this universe can exist without God willing it and making it possible.
  • Bartricks
    3k
    An argument. That was not an argument. Explain why the omni properties imply that their possessor created everything.
  • Bartricks
    3k
    Turn your brains on and think. Why does possession of the omni properties imply God created everything?? Put down your bibles, dust off your reason and try and use it.

    Clue: it doesn't.

    You think God created everything for one simple and embarrassingly stupid reason: it says so in the bible.

    That's all you got, right? Not a philosophical reason, but a scriptural one. Way to go!!

    And here's a quick demonstration the God did not create everything.

    1. If God created everything, then he created sin.
    2. God did not create sin
    3.Therefore, God did not create everything.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Yes, of course there is no "sin" because there is no g/G to disobey180 Proof

    :fire: :clap: Yet, isn't sin, understood as immorality/bad independent of god re Euthyphro's dilemma?

    Nevertheless, your statement brings to the fore the fact that morality's beginnings can be traced back to humanity's theological instincts.

    I'd like to closely examine the word "disobey" vis-à-vis morality. I suspect that the first humans to encounter the notion of morality discovered that morality boiled down to a list of dos and don'ts. Thus, if one were either good/bad one would be, in a sense, obeying/disobeying moral injunctions as they appear in the list mentioned above. Quite obvious is the fact that people would then invent or imagine some entity, a perfect moral agent, who they were obeying/disobeying when they're moral/immoral. In very simple terms that morality seems to take the form of laws, it's quite natural, almost inevitable, that people would conceive of a supreme law-maker (god).

    Also worth mentioning is the difficulty in making morality a human affair. If it were me, as I am now, my first question to someone trying to school me on ethics would be, "why the hell should I do/not do as you tell me to?" This question, though simple prima facie, blows the lid off morality, exposes as it were a dark secret at the very center of ethics viz. that either morality has no foundation or that attempts by moral theorists to produce one have all failed miserably.

    Ergo, necessarily that early moral theorists turned to or came up with a being/entity that can both prop up morality and also oversee its practice by people; this entity/being god. They had no choice - morality is just too god damned important to be left without a strong support structure and since none could be found, none have been found to date, the wisest move was to posit a god who, the hope was, would become morality's bedrock.

    Despite the fact that this step - basing morality on a god - is ultimately nothing but interposing a more acceptable, even if false, belief system - theism - between humans and our pitiful ignorance of morality, it has an overall good track record I must say.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Yet, isn't sin, understood as immorality/bad independent of god re Euthyphro's dilemma?TheMadFool
    Not so. IIRC, "sin" is an ancient Judaic concept (re: violation of any the Torah's '613 mitzvahs') and not a Greek concept (like "hubris" or "impiety"). Besides, in the Euthyphro, Socrates calls Euthyphro's definition of piety (i.e. divine command theory) into question showing its incoherent as a justification for morals; I don't read that, however, as 'therefore morals are independent of – completely unrelated to – piety for G/gs'. At his trial, remember, Socrates denies – defends himself against – the charge of impiety (prosecuted by Meletus who also features in the Euthyphro) of which he's condemned anyway along with the crime of corrupting Athen's (elite) sons.

    NB: Two and a half millennia later, Camus says committing philosophical suicide (i.e. willful irrationality: e.g. "leap of faith", "utopianism", "denialism", "physical suicide", etc) is akin to 'sin, or impiety, even without G/gs.'

    I'd like to closely examine the word "disobey" vis-à-vis morality.
    That, I think, is only a (primitive) theocratic-totemic or autocratic-martial notion.

    I suspect that the first humans to encounter the notion of morality discovered that morality boiled down to a list of dos and don'ts.
    Yeah. "Taboos" are what anthropologists call them. I think other customs (mores) grew from observing "taboos" and then laws (nomos, polis) followed as populations increased in size and diversity of customs. Ethics is the latecomer, deliberately (even dialectically) developed for individuals living among crowds of strangers (& foreigners) in cosmopolitan locales also as a stranger, who must survive and who seeks to thrive (i.e. cultivate well-being, or physical health plus mental ease (i.e. living a more satisfied than dissatisfied life)) with as little conflict (i.e. fear, violence, harm, injustice) as possible.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Two and a half millennia later, Camus says committing philosophical suicide (i.e. willful irrationality: e.g. "leap of faith", "utopianism", "denialism", "physical suicide", etc) is akin to 'sin, or impiety, even without G/gs.'180 Proof

    That resonates with me. Thanks for letting me in on some of your philosophical insights. Much appreciated señora/señorina.

    Mind if you take a look at my post (above) again? I added some of my, what I believe are, insights in the last few paragraphs.

    In a nutshell: Setting aside the matter of bitter truths which we could safely do without, in general we tend to fear the unknown. It's my understanding that, given the fact knowledge itself - Agrippa's trilemma, The problem of the criterion, etc. - seems deeply mired in controversy, every system of beliefs that we have at our disposal is, simply put, just a shoddily constructed buffer zone between ignorance and ignoramus (us).
  • bert1
    714
    I think the problem is pretty straightforwardly resolvable by adopting an meta ethical relativist view.

    From God's point of view, there is no evil. Indeed there cannot be, because Xe (I'm woke now) is omnipotent.

    From the point of view of a relatively impotent creature, like a human being, there are going to be loads of things that happen against their will. And that's just the definition of evil: x is evil if and only if it is against my will. "Good is that which is willed."

    Adopting this view fixes the problem of the thread. Although many theists will want to keep the idea that some things exist that are against Xe's will. But I don't see how that is tenable.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    I reject this premise for the reason I pointed out to you recently:
    "[T]he criterion problem" is only a problem for a (classical) 'justificationist' approach to epistemology. (SEP & wiki are your friends, TMF.)180 Proof

    Much appreciated señora/señorina.
    Señor works better for me, amigo. Gracias.

    ... either morality has no foundation or that attempts by moral theorists to produce one have all failed miserably.TheMadFool
    Yes and yes – the latter because, like in epistemology, the former is incoherent in so far as "foundationalism" is just a species of "justificationism". Non-justificationist, or naturalistic-pragmatic, ethics such as (agency-centric) negative utilitarianism / consequentialism or aretaic eudaimonism are performative, not propositional, and work more often (as advertised) than not work. As for "why should one be moral ...?", substitute a concept like healthy or adaptable or rational for "moral" and the question self-evidently answers or negates itself.
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