• EnPassant
    56
    Because if you have free will you have to sin.GreyScorpio

    Not at all. Free will means you have a choice between sin and virtue. If you 'have' to sin you would not have the choice not to.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4k

    What corresponds, or does not correspond, with reality is the meaning of the proposition, what it means. But isn't the meaning of the proposition part of reality as well? So the meaning, what the proposition means, is real, and existent, whether it is possible or impossible.

    1. An object that is describable as a logical contradiction is metaphysically impossible. (e.g. square circles are metaphysically impossible)Relativist

    How would you describe meaning as an object?
  • Relativist
    46

    " isn't the meaning of the proposition part of reality as well"
    Meaning is something that exists only in the mind. It constitutes relations among other elements of the mind, so meaning is still just another abstraction. Abstractions are a special kind of existent, and one can argue that they do not actually exist. e.g. circles do not actually exist; rather, circular objects exist from which we abstract out the concept of circular via the way of abstraction.

    This seems a digression. At issue is: what non-mental objects exist? Contradictions exist only as mental objects.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4k
    Abstractions are a special kind of existent, and one can argue that they do not actually exist. e.g. circles do not actually exist; rather, circular objects exist from which we abstract out the concept of circular via the way of abstractionRelativist

    Why would one try to argue that mental objects do not exist? What would be the point of this argument, and how would it be supported.

    This seems a digression. At issue is: what non-mental objects exist? Contradictions exist only as mental objects.Relativist

    As far as I'm concerned what is at issue is that you are limiting your definition of "exist" so that only non-mental things can be said to exist, in order to make your argument. If your argument against God is based in the assumption that immaterial things, such as mental things, do not exist, then why don't you just take the easy route? 1) Immaterial things do not exist. 2) God is described as an immaterial thing. Therefore God does not exist. See how easy it is?
  • wellwisher
    114
    The argument from evil is an inference that a 3- omni God cannot exist, because this is inconsistent with the presence of so much evil in the world. Theists reject this with the "free-will" defense, which suggests that God "had" to allow evil because it is a necessary consequence of free will. My argument defeats this defense based in Christian doctrine:Relativist

    Good and Evil is a human subjective concept connected to law. For example, marijuana laws are changing in many places. What was once called evil, by the law, is no longer evil, where the law is revoked. The same behavior can be evil in one place but not in another place. It is all based on how human define it. Marijuana laws have nothing to do with God. However, depending on the political and legal environment, this can be called evil or not. Then some will blame God for the latest new evil that was created by man.

    In natural instinct, all actions are morally neutral. The Lion can kill to eat, or the hyena can steal to survive. It is all part of the ways of nature, that allows nature to integrate in 3-D. It is humans who define good and evil and then blame God for the evil.

    Bible symbolism shows Adam and Eve being told not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which law. Once you do that, humans will rig the system with subjective laws to benefit themselves and their cronies.

    There was also the tree of life, where good and evil do not exist. It is based on natural instinct. But you can't have it both ways, so natural human instinct disappears.

    Consider President Trump revoking a wide range of rules and regulations put in place by the previous administration. Trump got rid of a bunch of subjective evil, that the previous administration can blame on God, who was not even in the meetings, when the laws were made. Minimizing law heads humans in the direction of natural instinct, where good and evil disappear.
  • Marcus de Brun
    264
    Minimizing law heads humans in the direction of natural instinct, where good and evil disappear.wellwisher

    Good and evil do not 'disappear' in the direction of natural instinct. Instinct ultimately compels us toward happiness. It is not the instinct that is 'wrong' it is our inability to understand and thence control instinct that causes the manifestation of human evil, and the subsequent dilution or disappearance of 'good'.

    Instinct is the word of 'God', as it manifests directly out of Nature and there are few who suggest that 'God' or 'Nature' is a source of evil. Humans are the only source of evil.

    Evil has only one source and that is human stupidity. Stupidity has only one source and that is a misunderstanding of God/Nature/Instinct.. these are effectively and functionally synonymous.

    If God is beautiful then so is instinct.

    Instinct, unlike God, has the advantage of existing, and is therefore, perhaps more deserving of reverence and respect. :)


    M
  • Rank Amateur
    123
    The argument from evil is an inference that a 3- omni God cannot exist, because this is inconsistent with the presence of so much evil in the world. Theists reject this with the "free-will" defense, which suggests that God "had" to allow evil because it is a necessary consequence of free will. My argument defeats this defense based in Christian doctrine:Relativist

    There are 2 classes of evil that the Argument from evil uses, and the core of the counter argument is the same for both. Compensating goods. There are 3 tests needed to meet this criteria. The first one is - the compensating good needs to be significantly better than evil, the second one is you can not have the good without the evil, and the third is there is no other way to get the good. In the first class of evil, that caused by man, the compensating good is free will. The proposition is, that it is significantly better to be a being with free will, than to be a being without free will. However this allows for choices that are evil, and you can not have this good without this evil.

    The second type of evil is that not caused directly by man, such as illness or natural disasters. Finding the compensating goods in this class of evil is much more difficult. In general these discussions spin down to cognitive distance. That if there was a compensating good, we would have the ability to see it, and recognize it as such. There is no overwhelming argument that I know off that says we would. So it becomes a no-seeum defense. And your view on the validity of the proposition, that there are some states of affairs, that exist, or can exist that we are un aware off.
  • Relativist
    46

    My argument does not depend on the non-existence of mental entities qua mental entities. I resolved your original issue when I replaced "logically impossible" with "metaphysically impossible." A state of affairs is metaphysically impossible if its existence is broadly logically impossible. A square circle is strictly logically possible (logic alone does not entail a contradiction), but it is broadly logically impossible because the meanings of "square" and "circle" entail a contradiction; i.e. its actualization would violate the law of non-contradiction.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4k

    OK, tell me if I understand you properly then. "Metaphysically impossible" depends on "broadly logically impossible", which depends on how the terms are defined. So "metaphysically impossible" is dependent on the definitions of the terms. "Square circle" could be metaphysically possible if the terms were defined such that this would not be contradictory.

    Since we can define the terms however we please, how is this relevant to whether something exists or not?
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.1k


    The notion of "Creation" is anthropomorphic.

    An error that many make is, saying or theorizing too much about matters unknowable and indescribable.

    I suggest (as an impression and a feeling, but not an assertion) that what-is, is good, and that there's good intent behind what is.

    It's my feeling that little, if anything, can be said, beyond that, about such matters.

    My suggestion in the paragraph before last doesn't imply that there is a physical world (or an ensemble of them) because of God's will. I suggest that a physical world is a logical-system, consisting of abstract logical implications that just "are".

    So, don't blame this physical world on God.

    In fact I claim that you're in a life--this one in particular--because, as the hypothetical protagonist of a hypothetical experience-story (consisting of a complex system of inter-referring abstract implications, with a mutually-consistent configuration of proposition truth-values), you're someone pre-disposed to life, with "will to life" (as someone quoted Schopenhauer). You're metaphysically prior to, and the reason for this life that you're in.

    So, blame yourself, not God, for the fact that you're in a life, and the fact that you're in a life like the one that you're in..

    Anyway, when the "problem of evil" is stated, there's over-emphasis on this physical world and its importance. Sure, this life matters, in the sense that how we conduct ourselves in it matters.

    But this life and this world are a blip in timelessness. In fact, the long but finite sequence of lives that you're in is likewise only a blip in timelessness.

    Was it not such a good idea for you to start this sequence of lives? That's moot now.

    So, don't evaluate or judge all of what is, all of Reality, by this life, or this sequence of lives.

    As I said above, I suggest that what-is, is good. That's outside the describable, assertable, arguable, provable realm, and it's just an impression, feeling, and unprovable opinion.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Relativist
    46

    "Metaphysically impossible" depends on "broadly logically impossible", which depends on how the terms are defined. So "metaphysically impossible" is dependent on the definitions of the terms. "Square circle" could be metaphysically possible if the terms were defined such that this would not be contradictory."
    That's right.

    "Since we can define the terms however we please, how is this relevant to whether something exists or not? "
    If you define “circle” and “square” differently from me, then you and I won’t be able to have a meaningful discussion about circles and squares. We need to agree on semantics to discuss the logic.
    Consider this proposition:
    Prop A: X is a circle & X is not a circle
    Is it possible for X to exist? No, because it violates the law of non-contradition. Now consider this statement:
    Prop B: X is a circle & X is a square.

    “Square” is generally defined in such a way that it is not a circle. So with this definition in mind, Prop B entails Prop A. Therefore the X of Prop B can’t exist because it violates the law of non-contradition.
  • Relativist
    46

    " I suggest that a physical world is a logical-system, consisting of abstract logical implications that just 'are'."

    That doesn't make any sense. Logic is an epistemological tool; it applies to propositions (descriptions of some aspects of reality) not to the ontic objects of reality. If there are no intelligent minds articulating descriptions of reality, then there are no propositions (except in some abstract sense that every aspect of the world is describable, in principle).

    "Anyway, when the "problem of evil" is stated, there's over-emphasis on this physical world and its importance. Sure, this life matters, in the sense that how we conduct ourselves in it matters.
    But this life and this world are a blip in timelessness. In fact, the long but finite sequence of lives that you're in is likewise only a blip in timelessness."


    That seems a self-defeating position. Why bother continuing to live, and to improve your life and that of your loved ones?

    More importantly, why did God bother to put us into this hellhole (as it is for some, at least)? Did he want some maleficent amusement?
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.1k


    I’d said:
    .
    " I suggest that a physical world is a logical-system, consisting of abstract logical implications that just 'are'."
    .
    Relativist replied:
    .
    That doesn't make any sense.
    .
    No, it doesn’t make any sense in terms of Materialism.
    .
    Logic is an epistemological tool;
    .
    Use it as you wish.
    .
    it applies to propositions (descriptions of some aspects of reality) not to the ontic objects of reality.
    .
    From what you say, it evidently doesn’t “apply to” the ontic objects of reality that you believe in.
    .
    “Materialism must be right, because anything else would be inconsistent with Materialism.” :D
    .
    Uncontroversially, there are abstract facts, in the sense that we can state them or speak of them.
    .
    Uncontroversially, there are complex inter-referring systems of abstract implications about hypothetical propositions about hypothetical things, and various mutually-consistent configurations of the truth values of their propositions.
    .
    I don’t claim that the antecedents of any of those implications are true.
    .
    Among the infinity of such systems, there inevitably is one that models the events and relations of your experience.
    .
    There’s no reason to believe that your experience is other than that, or that this physical world is other than the setting in the “experience-story” consisting of that logical system.
    .
    There’s no physics experiment that can establish or suggest that this physical world is other than that. As Michael Faraday pointed out in 1844, physics experiments detect and measure logical/mathematical relational structure, but don’t establish some sort of objective reality for “stuff “.
    .
    What’s that you say? “It wouldn’t be real.”? Who said it was? I make no claim about anything in describable “reality” being real.
    .
    If there are no intelligent minds articulating descriptions of reality, then there are no propositions
    .
    ,,,no propositions being spoken of anyway.
    .
    But that isn’t an objection to my metaphysics, because my metaphysics is subjective idealism.
    .
    Consciousness, the experiencer, the protagonist of the experience-story, is complementary with his/her surroundings in the story, the setting of the story. Obviously, without an experiencer, it wouldn’t be an experience-story. …so the experiencer is essential, central, fundamental and primary to the experience-story.
    .
    But yes, there’s no justification for claiming that all of the true abstract facts would suddenly become false if all conscious beings were to somehow vanish. But, more relevantly, it’s meaningless to speak of all conscious beings vanishing, or not being, in the first place. That’s because it’s uncontroversially inevitable that there are all those experience-stories.
    .
    (except in some abstract sense that every aspect of the world is describable, in principle).
    .
    That depends on what you mean by “the world”. Of course it’s tautologically true if you’re referring to the describable world. I don’t claim that all of Reality is describable, or that words are universally applicable and meaningful.
    .
    I’d said:
    .
    "Anyway, when the "problem of evil" is stated, there's over-emphasis on this physical world and its importance. Sure, this life matters, in the sense that how we conduct ourselves in it matters.
    .
    But this life and this world are a blip in timelessness. In fact, the long but finite sequence of lives that you're in is likewise only a blip in timelessness."
    .
    That seems a self-defeating position. Why bother continuing to live, and to improve your life and that of your loved ones?
    .
    What it means is that you needn’t worry about it, complain about it, or agonize about it.
    .
    But as I said, this life is real enough in its own context. Why bother to live and improve your life and those of your loved-ones? Because what else are you in this life for? You’re in a life because, as that hypothetical protagonist of that hypothetical story, you were someone who wanted, needed, or was otherwise predisposed to a life. You possessed (or were and are)what Schopenhauer called “the will to life”. So, what else is there for you to do, but to follow through with what you wanted and what you’re here for?
    .
    If you question the advisability of starting in a life, or a sequence of lives, then I say, “Good point! But you wanted that, and so here you are.”
    .
    More importantly, why did God bother to put us into this hellhole (as it is for some, at least)? Did he want some maleficent amusement?
    .
    I take it that you’re referring to the God that you believe in. Good question! Maybe it should make you doubt your belief in Fundamentalism and Biblical Literalism.
    .
    Though I don’t debate Theism vs Atheism, I do sometimes answer questions and objections, like “the problem of evil”.
    .
    Your objection, quoted above, is one that I answered in the post to which you were replying.
    .
    As I said, your life-experience story consists of a complex system of uncontroversially-inevitable abstract implications, about hypothetical propositions about hypothetical things. Central, primary, and fundamental to that story is you, its protagonist and experiencer.
    .
    Don’t glibly make statements about the indescribable, as by attributing those inevitable abstract implications to God’s will or making. Don’t be so quick to blame God for your being in this life that you wanted or needed.
    .
    Initially, you had (were) the will-to-life. Then, in the course of some of those lives, you got yourself into a snarl of want, addiction, excess and guilt, leading eventually to birth in a Land-Of-The-Lost societal world such as this one. …because it’s what you were now consistent with.
    .
    Own up to it as your own doing.
    .
    You wanted it, but, regardless of what this physical/societal world is like, the overall whole of what-is can’t validly be characterized, judged or evaluated by this brief life in this world (or even by this long but finite sequence of lives).
    .
    Anyway, as I was saying, however bad this planet’s societal situation is (and it is bad), worldly incarnated-life is just a blip in timelessness. …so you’re making too much of it.
    .
    If worldly-life is just a blip in timelessness, then what purpose is there in it? Ultimately just play, of course. But try to play fair and nice.
    .
    You’re characterizing and evaluating the whole of what-is, based on this brief life in this particular physical world and societal world. You’re overgeneralizing.
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
  • Relativist
    46
    Michael Ossipoff: “I suggest that a physical world is a logical-system, consisting of abstract logical implications that just 'are'.”
    Relativist: “That doesn't make any sense. Logic is an epistemological tool; it applies to propositions”
    Michael Ossipoff: “No, it doesn’t make any sense in terms of Materialism.”

    My statement doesn’t depend on materialism being true – e.g. minds can exist as immaterial entities without entailing logic having an ontic status. It’s undeniable that logic is an epistemological tool since it provides a means to infer propositional truths from prior truths. That fact doesn’t preclude it being something more than that, but you need to make a case for it.

    Michael Ossipoff: “Uncontroversially, there are abstract facts, in the sense that we can state them or speak of them.”
    100 years after the big bang, no one was around to state, speak, or contemplate any such abstract facts. Did abstract facts exist at that time? My point is that these “facts” of which you speak are merely descriptive, and reality exists with or without it actually being described. If you have a different view, then make a case for it.

    Michael Ossipoff: “There’s no physics experiment that can establish or suggest that this physical world is other than that. As Michael Faraday pointed out in 1844, physics experiments detect and measure logical/mathematical relational structure, but don’t establish some sort of objective reality for “stuff “.
    Physics pertains to physical relations among ontic objects, relations that are describable in mathematical terms. These physical relations do not exist independently of the objects that have them.

    Michael Ossipoff:” there’s no justification for claiming that all of the true abstract facts would suddenly become false if all conscious beings were to somehow vanish.”
    Relations exist as constituents of states of affairs, and we can think abstractly about these relations but that doesn’t imply the relations actually exist independent of the states of affairs in which they are actualized.

    Michael Ossipoff: “What it means is that you needn’t worry about it, complain about it, or agonize about it.”
    Your assertion isn’t the least persuasive, and in fact it merely seems dismissive – since you aren’t actually confronting the issues.

    Michael Ossipoff: “I take it that you’re referring to the God that you believe in”
    No, I’m referring to a God that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. It seems unlikely that such a God could exist given the gratuitous suffering that exists in the world.


    Michael Ossipoff: “Don’t glibly make statements about the indescribable, as by attributing those inevitable abstract implications to God’s will or making. Don’t be so quick to blame God for your being in this life that you wanted or needed.”
    I don’t blame a God for anything. What I do is to draw inferences about what sort of God makes sense. Given the nature of the world: a 3-omni God doesn’t make much sense.

    Michael Ossipoff: “… however bad this planet’s societal situation is (and it is bad), worldly incarnated-life is just a blip in timelessness. …so you’re making too much of it.”
    It seems to me that you make too little of it. You haven’t really addressed the issue of the problem of evil, you just assert it’s not a big deal.
  • GreyScorpio
    93
    I do truly think that with 'free will' comes evil and with that comes sin. This is because to be able to have free will, you must have the desire or will to do that which is good and bad meaning that it is innate in the 'freeness' of your will.
  • FreeEmotion
    118
    This is the heart of the problem of evil. We see evil all around us, with no apparent good coming out of it. A committed Christian can always rationalize it in terms of God "having a plan" beyond our understanding, but that is a non-answer to the question of "why?" The simplest answer to the " why? " is: the Creator is indifferent or he lacks the ability to prevent it. So while I acknowledge that strong faith can provide a reason to reject the argument from evil, it doesnt satisfy those who develop doubt and seriously entertain the possibility there is no God.Relativist



    "We see evil all around us, with no apparent good coming out of it."

    TRUE

    "A committed Christian can always rationalize it in terms of God "having a plan" beyond our understanding,"
    TRUE

    "but that is a non-answer to the question of "why?""

    Why is that a non- answer? it satisfied the saints of old. It satisfies many Christians. Do you mean the answer does not satisfy you, or the majority? What does that have to do with anything?

    "The simplest answer to the " why? " is: the Creator is indifferent or he lacks the ability to prevent it."

    There is another answer: He is neither indifferent not lacks the ability to prevent it, but does it for the greater good, which no human is in a position to judge or to know all the facts to judge. This is another possibility so your list of possibilities is false.

    "So while I acknowledge that strong faith can provide a reason to reject the argument from evil,"

    TRUE

    "it doesnt satisfy those who develop doubt and seriously entertain the possibility there is no God"

    TRUE.

    But remember this, in a world without suffering, a single pin-prick will be sufficient reason to doubt the existence of God, I am sure.
  • Rank Amateur
    123
    "We see evil all around us, with no apparent good coming out of it."FreeEmotion

    as my post above, for the evil done by man, the compensating good is free will.

    For natural evil ( illness, natural disaster, etc) that is harder to identify the good, and the discussion does lead to cognitive distance. if there was a good, would we know it and recognize it as such. There is much good in the world, do we know the cause of all of it ?
  • FreeEmotion
    118
    I remember one argument, I cannot remember the source, that although evil exists it is not necessary that God immediately put an end to it. This seems to be reasonable.

    Given the existence of God, evil is not a problem to me since God's existence and creation must contain an answer to the problem that is compatible with who God is. An assumption no less, but one that is allowable.

    I think this article will cover the topic. Need to read it.
  • FreeEmotion
    118
    From the same Wikipedia article:

    The greater good defense is more often argued in religious studies in response to the evidential version of the problem of evil,[35] while the free will defense is usually discussed in the context of the logical version.[36] Most scholars criticize the skeptical theism defense as "devaluing the suffering" and not addressing the premise that God is all-benevolent and should be able to stop all suffering and evil, rather than play a balancing act.[37]

    I simply do not understand the validity of the argument. Given the omnipotence of God, He could create a world in which evil exists and there is a greater good created by the evil that exists. Let's just say that if He did create such a world, then the argument, the 'problem of evil' will not apply.
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