• TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Let's begin with short descriptions of the relevant topics:

    Theodicy (/θiːˈɒdɪsi/) means vindication of God. It is to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil, thus resolving the issue of the problem of evil. — Wikipedia

    The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering with an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient God — Wikipedia

    Our post-human successors will rewrite the vertebrate genome, redesign the global ecosystem, and abolish suffering throughout the living world. — David Pearce (Hedonistic Transhumanist)

    David Pearce (transhumanist) is currently active on the forum as a guest speaker. You'll find him here

    A complementary pair of relevant concepts are Potentiality & Acutality

    For the purposes of this discussion potentiality will mean that which can be, that which is possible and actuality shall be defined as that which is, that which is current and happening.

    Now, transhumanism, specifically hedonistic transhumanism of which David Pearce is a proponent claims or predicts that humans will/can abolish all suffering with the aid of technology and this not just for humans but also all life. In other words, speaking in religious terms, it's possible for life as we know it to one day pass through the pearly gates and enter paradise/heaven. Another way of saying the same thing would be we could create paradise on earth.

    Put simply, the suffering/evil that was/is actual for life probably since it began roughly 3-4 billion years ago contains within it, through humans and their technological capabilities, a potential to end all suffering/evil.

    That is, if we make the distinction actual suffering (ours and our ancestors condition) and potential happiness (transhumanist hedonic zenith) as outlined above, the problem of evil seems to lose force. God created a world with actual suffering but with potential happiness and not just happiness but superhappiness as David Pearce likes to put it.

    A penny for your thoughts...
  • Tom Storm
    971
    Our post-human successors will rewrite the vertebrate genome, redesign the global ecosystem, and abolish suffering throughout the living world. — David Pearce (Hedonistic Transhumanist)

    But will you be able to get hold of a plumber on Sunday mornings?
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    But will you be able to get hold of a plumber on Sunday mornings?Tom Storm

    If you can run, surely you can walk.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    I'm simple-minded, Fool (my top three objections):
    • the "PoE" is a pseudo-problem at best because theism is not true
    • theodicy excuses all evil (re: divine ends justify even the most evil means? ... "teleological suspension of the ethical?" ... vicarious redemption via human sacrifice ("The Crucifixion")? ... "holy war" / terroristic martyrdom?, etc)
    • technological abolition of all sentient pain (yeah, good idea if it works :ok:) =|= psychological abolition of all dissatisfaction (dukkha) or foolery (maladaptive conduct)

    I prefer a technological Singularity, then merging with Strong AI, and then abandoning this planetary clot of dirt & blood for a nonplanetary spacefaring existence rather than, in effect, living la vita lobotomy on an 'extinction event'-attracting transhumanist earth. Yeah, "the potential" for both scenarios is, more or less, indistinguishable; my preference, however, is biased on "the actual" precariousness of remaining a terrestial-bound species for the foreseeable future even in spite of our transhumanist prospect. Just my 2 bitcoins ...
  • Monitor
    199
    I prefer a technological Singularity, then merging with Strong AI, and then abandoning this planetary clot of dirt & blood for a nonplanetary spacefaring existence rather than, in effect, living la vita lobotomy on an 'extinction event'-attracting transhumanist earth.180 Proof

    I love this Forum
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    99


    It still doesn't explain, why for millions of years god allowed many millions of beings, which god caused to come into existence, to suffer a life of horrific agony.
  • Pantagruel
    1.6k
    Now, transhumanism, specifically hedonistic transhumanism of which David Pearce is a proponent claims or predicts that humans will/can abolish all suffering with the aid of technologyTheMadFool

    Because tech has already solved so many global problems with no negative consequences....
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Because tech has already solved so many global problems with no negative consequences....Pantagruel

    We haven't reached the last page of this book yet. I have a feeling the author (mankind/god/random chance, take your pick) is a genius...expect an awesome twist in the plot.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Yep, it's call the sixth great extintion (we're living through at the moment) – end of the Anthropocene. "Twist in the plot" indeed.
  • Manuel
    638


    It's hard to believe. Not that it's not happening, it is. But it's still hard to believe.

    Sixth great extinction. But first suicidal one.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Sixth great extinction. But first suicidal one.Manuel
    Maybe the dinos saw the killer comet coming but after c170-odd million years of mostly grazing monotony the "smart ones" disn't tell the other and saying to themselves, "Fuck it, we had a helluva long run. Finally something new!" Even the "smartest" probably couldn't believe the wipe-out would so total that there would be no coming back from it for big cold-blood reptiles. :monkey:
  • Manuel
    638


    The really smart ones would've raced to be the first under the meteor. The rest just suffer.

    However this one plays out, it's not going to be as elegant as a meteor. Feel bad for my niece and my friends kids.

    There's a small window left to prevent the worst, 8-10 years or so. I don't think we'll make it. :meh:

    But it's there.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Yep, it's call the [i[sixth[/i] great extintion (we're living through at the moment) – end of the Anthropocene. "Twist in the plot" indeed.180 Proof

    I've heard that before, the so-called sixth extinction which, supposedly, the earth is going through as I write this. Count me as a believer too but, as they say, a bad workman blames his tools and technology is, all things considered, a tool, right? Enough said!
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    It still doesn't explain, why for millions of years god allowed many millions of beings, which god caused to come into existence, to suffer a life of horrific agony.Down The Rabbit Hole

    The potential for transhumanist superhappiness is quite different from the actual suffering much of life had to endure for eons.

    I'm not quite certain about how good an argument mine is but, for some reason, it seems to take the wind out of the sails of the ship of atheism that relies on the problem of evil for its sustenance in a manner of speaking.
  • tim wood
    6.7k
    omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient — Wikipedia
    What is the master here? They cannot all be.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    I suspect the "elites" here there and everywhere have been prepping for decades for decades-to-centuries-long survival in a bunker, etc remote from population-centers in order to ride out the coming civilizational shit-show collapse with family descendents and a "loyal" retinue of militia & staff because, y'know, they think they are the "smart ones" who will bring the world back from the shitter "when the time comes". :sweat:
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    I suspect the "elites" here there and everywhere have been prepping for decades for decades-to-centuries-long survival in a bunker, etc remote from population-centers in order to ride out the coming civilizational shit-show collapse with family descendents and a "loyal" retinue of militia & staff because, y'know, they think they are the "smart ones" who will bring the world back from the shitter "when the time comes". :sweat:180 Proof

    I've heard of such folks - survivalists, they're called I believe.

    However, where they made a mistake was in thinking the collapse of civilization as was known then was imminent which turned out to be false. The other booboo they made was in expecting catastrophic events to be sudden and rapid; the alleged sixth extinction you mentioned before is actually rather slow it seems, it'll probably span, I'm guessing, at a minimum, a couple of hundred thousand years.

    These humanly unimaginable timescales are both the problem and the solution. The problem with such long time periods is that people simply can't wrap their heads around it or, sadly, don't care since it doesn't affect them in an immediate sense. How such time lengths are part of the solution is it makes it possible to intervene and delay/halt the downward spiral into becoming fossils.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.7k
    The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering with an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient God
    — Wikipedia
    TheMadFool

    So, it's a "problem" only when we make the assumptions required in order for the question, or problem, to be raised in the first place. In other words it's a peculiarly human creation--like evil itself. Get rid of God as traditionally conceived and things simply are the way they are. Natural disasters aren't caused by any agency. We're the source of the evil in the world as our conduct causes evil, as we conceive it, to exist (something harmful which may be avoided or mitigated by responsive or preventative action). It seems a waste of time to wonder why evil is allowed to exist when we're its source.
  • James Riley
    765
    I don't believe in evil. I believe benevolence is subjective. I think what so many want here on Earth now will be coming soon enough, at death. For those who can't wait, I'm more than happy to see them mount up a starship and split. Send post cards. :smile: I absolutely love this ball of dirt and blood. So I'm going to fork this bronc and ride.
  • James Riley
    765
    I've heard of such folks - survivalists, they're called I believe.TheMadFool

    I draw a distinction between "survivalists" and the "elites" I think were being considered. The survivalist is the prepper with the go-bag, air tights, ammo and whatnot. The elites have a nice place in New Zealand for when the shit goes sul. They have gated communities, and they find Tier One operators (trained up on our nickel, who went into private contracting for the money) running security for them. Don't worry about those folks. Their going to be just fine. Well, unless it's a meteorite or an transoceanic airborne (wind) virus. But then all bets are off.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Bingo! :100:

    No, I'm not talking about "survivalists" who're not rich and yet prepping for the prospect of a "Cold War"-like apocalypse. I'm talking about elites who are marshalling sufficiently vast enough resources (so they think) to ride out the collapse of global civilization which their iron but myopic "control of the means of production" is either bringing about or accelerating (or both). I'm talking about "disaster capitalists".
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    "PoE" is a pseudo-problem at best because theism is not true180 Proof

    This is exactly the issue that I'm addressing. The best response against the claim of am omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient god is the kind of in-your-face evil we see all around us. Put differently, evil is a real and yet unsolved "problem" for theism.

    My contention, for what it's worth, is that transhumanism gives theists a golden opportunity to tackle the problem of evil for, all things considered, the ship of transhumanism rides on the waves of the possibility that, what David Pearce calls, superhappiness could be made a reality. That is to say, true that suffering was/is actual, hence the problem of evil but what about superhappiness that, if transhumanist aspirations are given the necessary support, could be just around the corner for humanity given the pace and intensity of research in relevant areas?

    The fact that, in religious terms, the earth can be transformed into a hedonic paradise for all living things should, at the very least, make atheists reconsider their position that an omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent god couldn't exist taking into account the problem of evil.

    To clarify further, with the hope that this will clinch my argument, time has always been viewed as tripartite in nature - the past, the present, and the future. My point is that the problem of evil is real, no doubt, but dwells in the past and the present. The future, however, is an open question, anything seems possible, and one among them is the transhumanist state of superhappiness (paradise on earth). Basically, the problem evil may not be a problem for theism in the far future of posthumans.

    As a side note, I recall mentioning that people, most of us, have a tendency to think of god in the past and present tense i.e. they believe god had to exist as some kind of prime mover and then to exist as a force that intervenes in worldly affairs every now and then. Quite impossible to miss in such a conception of god is the fact that god could be a being that will come into existence instead of having existed or exists. God is, could be, in the future. My hunch is that the first step toward creating god, literally, would be the so-called technological singularity, something you seem aware of. After that, AI will evolve exponentially so they predict and out, on the other side, pops out god, omniscient necessarily, omnipotent possibly, omnibenevolent hopefully.

    FYI, the late Christopher Hitchens (1949 - 2011) [RIP] didn't quite like the idea of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient god. He likened it to a celestial dictatorship à la North Korea.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    Get's ranty fun sometimes, don't it? :point:

    My contention, for what it's worth, is that transhumanism gives theists a golden opportunity to tackle the problem of evilTheMadFool
    Again, there is no "PoE", it's a pseudo-problem because theism is not true. Your "contention", Fool, is simply incoherent on that score – it considers a purported solution which, in this context, is searching for a problem. Besides, "transhumanism" only gets you this, at best:
    technological abolition of all sentient pain (yeah, good idea if it works :ok:) =|= psychological abolition of all dissatisfaction (dukkha) or foolery (maladaptive conduct)180 Proof
    What about do you say about "abolishing all pain" that does not also abolish dissatisfaction or self-immiserating behavior? Misery will still reign but without negative feedbacks :yikes: from which to learn, or adapt, (just like the hazards of being born disabled from lack of adequately functioning pain-receptors). Might as well call a lobotomy with a 24/7 morphine drip a "solution to the PoE". :sweat:
  • UrbanBohemian
    1
    So, abolishing all pain and suffering to move humanity into a period of pure happiness, or degrees of happiness perhaps, without any suffering.

    I wonder, is suffering / pain a catalyst for us, as humans, to enable reflection, growth, development, perseverance and an 'overcoming' or 'transcendence' of ourselves? (becoming more than we currently are).

    Does suffering push us to find something higher? Does it build character?

    How could the absence of suffering in this case, affect us, given the above?

    With regards to evil, how would we conceptualize what is 'good' from the absence of evil? Does evil not teach us to appreciate, value the 'good'?

    Perhaps some 'evil' is required for us to understand and appreciate the 'good' and to strive for it still, in the presence of the 'evil'.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    theism is not true180 Proof

    If you're certain, you're most certainly wrong — Bertrand Russell

    Keep an open mind on matters that are, by definition, not within either the grasp of language or within the domain of classical logic.

    Might as well call a lobotomy with a 24/7 morphine drip a "solution to the PoE".180 Proof

    That, for some reason, isn't funny at all and I'm not trying to pull your chain. What if that is the "solution"? Solution in quotes because it isn't, at least not one that is in accord with our sensibilities. What if, just what if, god, assuming fse exists, had exactly the same idea but soon came to the realization, as we have, that happiness simpliciter, happiness per se ain't gonna work. What's missing/what's wrong from/with "... a lobotomy with a 24/7 morphine drip...? Evil! Suffering! I'm afraid you've scored an own goal.
  • 180 Proof
    3.4k
    What if that is the "solution"?TheMadFool
    "Solution" to what?

    Not the "PoE" because, for Nth time, there isn't any "PoE" to be solved.

    Keep an open mind on matters that are, by definition, not within either the grasp of language or within the domain of classical logic.
    What are you talking about? Any topic that, "by definition", can't be talked or reasoned about is, by definition, nonsense (or babytalk) ...

    Stipulating that, to my way of thinking, Fool, "theism" denotes a type or class of deity and make claims about (i.e. attributes predicates to) said type or class. In other words, what is said (by believers / scriptures) is well "within either the grasp of language or domain of classical logic", to wit: "theism" makes either true or not true claims about deities – independent, no doubt, of whether people "believe" in this g/G or do not "believe in" that g/G.

    As you know, Fool, I've argued elsewhere on these fora that "theism" consists of sine qua non claims all of which are patently not true (and, therefore, "theistic theology" – like "theistic agnosticism" – is wholly (no pun) incoherent and "theistic religions" are mere superstitions). As a naturalistic-pragmatic freethinker, my mind remains open to – I see no reason to close my mind against – "divinity" as such; however, for logically sound reasons I reject untrue, or incoherent, conceptions of "divinity" just as I reject "2+2=|=4".
  • tim wood
    6.7k
    The best response against the claim of am omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient god is the kind of in-your-face evil we see all around us. Put differently, evil is a real and yet unsolved "problem" for theism.TheMadFool

    Evil is real for you and for you unsolved. But you claim to know God, and thus His thoughts and actions for what He thinks and intends. But God as God is ineffable. Further, as was recognized a long, long time ago, omnipotence and omnibenevolence together are inconsistent - contradictory.

    All of which rules both sides of the argument nonsense, leaving the matter itself of the argument unapproached and untouched.

    You can try to rescue yours by saying what evil is. Then the omnis. A few sentences. I invite you to try.
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