• Ishika
    4
    Naturalists have no way of explaining mental health issues as an example of the problem of evil. On the other hand, this evidence of E does not encapsulate the problem of evil. A common naturalist argument says that evil is expected under naturalism, because of processes like natural selection. The suffering due to natural selection is good explanation foe why there is evil in the world, because without the suffering, there would be no flourishment. On the other hand, theism has no way of explaining the problem of evil, because God would not want suffering and has the power to prevent it, but He doesn’t. The argument for the problem of evil from naturalists goes as following:
    If God is morally perfect, all-knowing, and all-good, then he would want to prevent suffering
    If God is morally perfect, all-knowing, and all-good, then he has the power to prevent suffering
    Natural selection is an example of suffering that exists
    A morally perfect, all-knowing, and all-good God cannot exist
    If naturalism is true, then suffering is expected
    Naturalism is true
    Although, this argument does not account for other types of evil, and there are surely some evils that are explainable through theism. For example, there are many cases of people having personal struggles which turn them to God, which is significant evidence for theism. After all, if those personal struggles did not occur, they may never have found God, which would give God a plausible reason to allow some suffering. Although, premise 5 does not account for those types of struggles. When we examine naturalism given personal struggles, there seems to be no explanation for its evolutionary advantage. In fact, certain emotions, like depression seem like a setback in biological processes, and the better evolved humans would be void of these emotions. Surely, natural selection is easy to explain under naturalism, but other forms of suffering are unexplainable.
  • Thund3r
    10
    Hello!
    I appreciate the thoughtful analysis you've presented on the problem of evil in relation to both naturalism and theism.

    Naturalists have no way of explaining mental health issues as an example of the problem of evil.Ishika
    It wouldn't be accurate to say that naturalism cannot explain mental health issues. In fact, scientific research has shown that many mental health problems can be traced to factors such as genetics, diet, and environmental factors (This is a huge field of study, but for example, there's this study published this February). A naturalistic explanation posits that mental health issues are part of the complex interplay of biological and environmental factors that have shaped the human experience throughout history. From an evolutionary standpoint, certain traits that may contribute to mental health issues might have been beneficial to our ancestors in certain situations or environments, but in the modern world, they may lead to mental health struggles.

    Addressing the problem of evil from a naturalist standpoint does not mean dismissing the existence of moral values. Nor does it suggest that suffering is inherently good. The concept of suffering can be explained as a consequence of natural processes, but we as human beings have the ability to reflect on these processes and make choices to alleviate suffering when possible.

    For example, there are many cases of people having personal struggles which turn them to God, which is significant evidence for theism.Ishika
    Naturalism acknowledges the complexity of human experiences, including emotional and psychological needs. Turning to religion or spirituality can be seen as a natural response to human needs for connection, purpose, and meaning. This doesn't inherently contradict a naturalist perspective. It also doesn't confirm the existence of a morally perfect, all-knowing, and all-good God.

    In fact,certrain emotions, like depression seems like a setback in biological processes, and the better evolved humans would be void of these emotions.Ishika
    It could seem that certain emotions, like depression, are setbacks in biological processes if evolution is supposed to yield perfection. However, evolution does not necessarily lead to perfect adaptations. Sometimes, traits or features that were once advantageous become maladaptive or counterproductive. Additionally, genetic variation can result in a wide range of emotional experiences and responses, some of which may be more challenging than others. That's not even to mention genetic mutations, which can lead to the emergence of traits that were not present in previous generations. Although a natural and "random" process, mutation adds even another layer of complexity to the problem of suffering. Despite the complexity, there's nothing inconsistent about these naturalistic explanations.

    Naturalism doesn't claim to be an easy or simplistic explanation of everything. However, it does offer a rational, evidence-based framework for understanding the natural world. While theism might offer some individuals comfort and meaning in the face of personal struggles, a naturalistic approach can help us better comprehend the world around us.
  • alan1000
    184
    Thund3r makes a valiant attempt to rationalise an initial post which is essentially unintelligible; what, for example, is the logical connection between natural selection and "evil"?

    "For example, there are many cases of people having personal struggles which turn them to God, which is significant evidence for theism. — Ishika" - This is a joke, right?
  • Manuel
    4k


    I would assume that the problem of evil does not arise for naturalists, not because of natural selection, but because ethics does not fall within naturalistic enquiry.

    Good and evil are modes which we use to interpret the things that happen in the world, the world does not care either way.

    Those who claim that a Great Being created everything and, crucially, this Great Being is All Good, do necessarily introduce the problem of evil into this worldview. Drop the "All Good" requirement, and evil is not a peculiarly puzzling problem, any more than good is.

    I do agree that natural selection isn't particularly enlightening in this area, another "just so" story.
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    A common natruralisuts argument says that evil is expected under naturalism, becazuse of processes like natural selection. The suffering due to naturaal selection is good explanation fo rwhy there is evil in the world, because without the suffering, there would be no flourishment.


    That's not an argument any well informed naturalist would make, and I recommend you consider it a straw man, and get a better handle on evolutionary theory before trying again.
  • 180 Proof
    14.4k
    "The problem of evil" is only a problem for those theists who claim that there is an "all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving g/G that created the world". Naturalists claim that nature was not "created" and is 'blindly' self-organizing at different, emergent levels of complexity; ergo there's nothing like a "problem of evil" for them, but rather an ethical problem of good (i.e. How is good possible and Why ought we to prefer good to bad / evil living in such a pitiless, indifferent, monstrously sublime natural world?).
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.5k
    I don't see the benefit to explaining evil by dispensing of God/gods.

    The religious narrative of mans sinful nature and possibility of redemption is more optimistic than the idea we are frequently facing evil and suffering with no reason and no redemption.

    As much as religion has caused evil so have secular systems including communism and capitalism, Nationalism and Dictators.

    I do not favour the view we can embrace an atheist, materialist/physicalist view and it not have negative connotations.

    I am concerned that the millions of victims of war, famine, slavery and genocide and other cruelty and injustice will never see recompense without afterlife justice or Karma.

    I don't think you can blame gods for suffering if they don't exist and if they do exist you could not pin any particular event on gods.

    Any optimism I have is based on agnosticism and hope that there is some kind of fundamental justice system underlying reality. If there is not ultimate justice I think the atrocious things that have happened and are happening are an unmitigated evil ( and one of the many reasons I am antinatalist).
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    I don't see the benefit to explaining evil by dispensing of God/gods.


    I dispense with evil (as something objective) as well. Certainly we form subjective judgements that certain acts are evil, but I'd say it is mistaken to not recognize such judgements as psychological reactions we have which were adaptive for our evolutionary ancestors.

    So I'd say that on naturalism there is no evil in need of explaining.

    That aside, what you have presented as reasons to reject naturalism amount to an appeal to consequences fallacy.
  • 180 Proof
    14.4k
    The religious narrative of mans sinful nature and possibility of redemption is more optimistic than the idea we are frequently facing evil and suffering with no reason and no redemption.Andrew4Handel
    I'll grant you that intoxication "seems more optimistic" than sobriety – if some "religious narrative of redemption" is your placebo of choice and it works for you, Andrew, then keep on keeping on. :pray:
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.5k
    I believe that the Nazis, The Holocaust and World War Two were evil. Man made evils with malice and intent and not natural accidents. Deliberate destruction and torture.

    It is easy both to imagine a universe with no pain or sentience (like the moon) and with no mal intent. I don't think everything can be reduced to particle interactions that does away the need to explain malice and cruelty. If humans were simply helpless victims of natural cruelty that would be a different story.

    I think evil only doesn't exist through a reductionist lense that only accepts scientific language.
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.5k
    The problem of evil seems to be that some aspects of reality are so terrible that there can't be a loving God but if you believe this and hence rejects the gods you are still left with an evil Universe but with no hope.

    That appears to objectively be a worst outcome. And then you can't blame anyone but humans for their plight.

    I think most antinatalists accept this view and are mostly atheists and accept the negative prognosis of the human condition.
    On the other hand secular optimists appear to have an unwarranted optimism. They don't accept the criticism of ther outlook but exhibit faith like behaviours in reason and progress but I also think they also sometimes have an apathetic attitude to the presence and historical ubiquity of evil. Whereas the religious seem to take the reality of evil more seriously as a curse and moral problem.
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.5k
    I think the idea that religion is an evil is very valid but then you have to defend the notion of evil.

    Which becomes kind of paradoxical as evil is a quasi religious notion. What objective moral calculus is being applied?

    I believe suffering is an evil and we should do everything in our power to eradicate most of it. I thinking coexisting with suffering is problematic unless you become apathetic and just focus on making your own life as liveable as possible.
  • 180 Proof
    14.4k
    For those who find the facticity of life – Zapffe's or Camus' absurd – so abhorrent, there's absolutely nothing to keep them living on. Why bother with antinatalism? Kill two birds with one stone – Suicide is painless. :mask:

    There are no "redeemers" in foxholes.

    :death: :flower:
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    theism has no way of explaining the problem of evil, because God would not want suffering and has the power to prevent it, but He doesn’tIshika

    Depends on the theism. If you anthropomorphise "God" as some omnipotent he/she, then sure, they're awful for letting suffering occur.

    However if you take non humanoid God concepts...like gaia or mother nature or the universe itself. Then "who" is accountable exactly?

    If the universe is "God" then all harm and suffering as well as "good/peace" are negated. There is instead only chaos and order, creation and destruction.

    Suffering applies to living things that have a fear of death and can experience pain. If God is a universal, then humans are one part of the whole. Along with all living things. So only "part of the universe god" can actually experience suffering and have any agency towards or against it. But because this aspect of the whole singularity God concept means that humans nor any other living thing are omnipotent nor omnipresent. But can be benevolent as they have the capacity for knowledge, ethical considerations and choice.
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    If God is morally perfect, all-knowing, and all-good, then he would want to prevent suffering
    If God is morally perfect, all-knowing, and all-good, then he has the power to prevent suffering
    Ishika

    I think God can be considered as a duality of A). Existence. The whole and B). A mind-state of "awareness of existence".

    In this duality God is either omniscient (all information), omnipresent (all spacetime) and omnipotent (all energy and matter) but is not "agent". Thus omnibenevolence is not relevant nor is choice, free will.

    The other end of the spectrum is God as a human being with awareness of the universes nature, truth or laws. In this case such a god is not omnipresent (humans are singular objects), not omnipotent (humans are restricted by the characteristic capacities of such an existant) and not omniscient (cannot know everything, everywhere all at once).

    In this case God can understand core knowledge of self - where they came from (origin story) , how the system works (nature of the self), can experience suffering and pleasure and thus can navigate the two.

    Ie they can understand fundamental "truth". As truth is the source of knowledge (knowing the truth) and morality (telling/describing or speaking of the truth) in a process of education.

    This is where shamanism, chieftains, spiritual leaders and gurus as well as philosophers try to exemplify as best they can wisdom of basic truths and thus a very high level of self awareness, awareness of nature and awareness of harm, suffering and the mitigation of it. And teach others of the nature of self as a "oneness" - a concept where the only difference between the universe and the self is are boundaries. Boundaries being arbitrary mental constructions based off of perception. But as physics would show fundamentally there is just energy that makes up all things: material and thus invetibably space, and time as the ongoing change that energy confers to the system.
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    I believe that the Nazis, The Holocaust and World War Two were evil. Man made evils with malice and intent and not natural accidents. Deliberate destruction and torture.


    I find much about those events abhorrent. However I consider it important to try to keep in mind the human propensity for black and white thinking and try to avoid a simplistic way of looking at things. For example, Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi party. Was Schindler evil?

    I'd ask you to consider the possibility that assigning blame is something that was adaptive for our evolutionary ancestors, in that seeing others as to blame (and dishing out punishment as a result) was part of what has made primate social groups work for a very long time. It is natural for us to blame, and we all do it, and perhaps human society would collapse if somehow we all miraculously lost our instnctive tendency to blame. However, there are big downsides to not being able to recognize the 'monkey minded' nature of blaming, and recognize how being in a blaming state of mind tends to foster black and white thinking, and other ugliness.

    Consider... What role did Hitler's blaming play in what you refer to as evil above?
  • wonderer1
    1.8k
    I believe suffering is an evil and we should do everything in our power to eradicate most of it. I thinking coexisting with suffering is problematic unless you become apathetic and just focus on making your own life as liveable as possible.


    I see no need to become apathetic at all, but it's important to keep in mind that you are only Human.
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.5k
    Surely, natural selection is easy to explain under naturalism, but other forms of suffering are unexplainable.Ishika

    I think that suffering by definition requires consciousness. So this issue falls underneath the mystery of consciousness.

    I can imagine nature being made like a machine with machine like interactions and behaviourists went down this route making consciousness epiphenomenal (causally non efficacious). And there are similar no free will positions which make pain seem unnecessary if we cannot act using our own volition.

    But for me the efficacy of pain proves we have free will because people with congenital pain defect don't experience pain and other people lose pain sensation and are all prone to serious injury. If we could not freely act on conscious sensation and perception there would be no need of pain as a warning of physical damage.

    But pain doesn't have an explanation based on a model of reality as insentient unconscious particle interactions. And it is not clear how pain could arise through natural selection (pain appears to only exist in the realm of minds).

    But if gods created deliberately created the capacity for pain including extreme pain then that seems malicious and indeed religious versions of gods are often malicious. So pain is a puzzle to me because it seems to be either something cruel, accidentally discovered/created by nature or something inflicted on us by a creator.

    In Buddhism they do believe in ending the cycle of life and death and in this sense it seems may be suffering is a cycle we are challenged to end (Buddhism appears like it should be antinatalist to fulfil this stated aim.)

    Some theists and deists have argued that this is the only possible world a deity could have created and it is hard to imagine a world without pain for its aforementioned survival efficacy and death and predation because we eat living things and things are required to die for finite space not to become quickly overpopulated.
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