• Lucid
    Alternative title: the Bible in two paragraphs.

    So the common argument is as follows: God can't be all powerful and all good. This is because evil exists. Either God can't or won't destroy evil; if he can't, he's not all powerful, if he won't, he is not all good.

    The reason why I put this thread in the philosophy of religion, instead of general philosophy, is because the Answer, which I will provide in just a moment, has such strong correlations to Christianity.

    Please, however, do not let that put you off. This is by no means intended as an evangelical piece; rather, this piece demistifies Christianity, separates the metaphors contained therein, and frees them from their theological context.

    Without further ado:

    Corruption requires Purity to have proceded it, a flaw implies flawlesness. This is duality, because each requires the other and implies it. However, when corruption exists, there uniquely exists the idea of perfection: when corruption overcomes itself(not escaped or freed of, which would be purity) it is corruption that is only by the most technical term, as it is good. Perfection is defined as acting against and/or in spite of imperfection. Which means it is attainable to us as imperfect beings, rather than purity which would require our destruction along with the rest of iniquity. Purification is deadly to corruption, and is in fact inferior to Perfection, because corruption is able to infect purity, but can only ever fall from perfection back into corruption.

    This is what christianity is all about, the walk of imperfect beings into perfection. What sane human doesn't want to be able to be a good person? The religious aspect is not needed, because we know how easily it itself becomes corrupted. 'jesus' is the state of perfection, the force of progress, which is why he is the 'only begotten son' and why we all need Him. 'Satan' is the state of Corruption, which is apart from, and against purity, or 'The Father'. Which is why the OT Law is so harsh for requiring our eternal torment, but justified, and why the NT God is so drastically different. Jesus set the standard higher than purity and made it available to us.
  • andrewk
    However fancy the long arrangements of words the theologians come up with, they disappear in a puff of shame when watching a mother helplessly holding her infant that is dying a slow painful death from whooping cough.
  • Marchesk
    hey disappear in a puff of shame when watching a mother helplessly holding her infant that is dying a slow painful death from whooping cough.andrewk

    They sure do disappear. The only way around that is to redefine good to mean something else than what it means for humans. But then, that means God isn't all-good. God is something else.
  • Lucid

    Well, andrewk. Firstly, I'm not a theologian. I'm a metaphysicist.

    Secondly that's not "Evil", that's corrupted data. Which is an inevitability for beings who inhabit a temporal structure. That which allows us life and breath, also introduces decay and corruption. There is no avoiding the latter, without cessation of the former. Not saying it's not bad, or horrible. It's just not "evil"

    Evil, is someone coming and raping then killing the baby. Evil, is slaughter of a thousand babies. Evil, is subjugation and indoctrination of a million more babies.

    These things are, inarguably, evil. And yet, what if there was more than our limited, human, temporal consciousness could perceive? Consider the actions of Adolf Hitler. Can we say his actions were evil? Yes. But can we say that everything that follows as a result of his actions, is also evil? We cannot. What if, in fact, The consequences of Hitler's actions, teaches us humans such lessons that, a thousand years to the future, we have a peace and prosperity such as could have not occurred in any other timeline?

    My point here is that all we see of evil is the action, we don't see the results of it. The reconciliation of an all powerful hod and an all good god is that evil serves a purpose, his purpose, to bring about a greater good than could have been achieved without it.

    My op illustrates this principle in action, in the form of the human individual questioning and facing his own corruption. The reason evil exists in man is for it to be faced, fought, and conquered, such that ensures, quite literally, a greater good than the greatest possible amount of pure goodness.

    I know that last sentence is confusing so I will reiterate: Purity is the greatest amount of good, such that it has no evil, no corruption. But, purity can become corrupted, by their very definitions, because corruption is what makes purity no longer pure. Once corrupted, a sample can be purified, resulting in the death of the corrupt sample. Now pure, the sample can become corrupted again.

    God could strike all evil from our world, snap his fingers and give us heaven on earth. But you know what would happen if he did? It'd just get corrupted again, because without the knowledge of how heaven on earth was built, it cannot possibly be maintained.

    The point of evil is to be overcome. When evil faces and conquers itself, a greater good than purity is achieved. As it is still corruption, it cannot be corrupted again. But as long as it resolves to fight itself, it won't act as corruption, but as purity.

    Now imagine what corruption is to the human. Is it not of the mind? The actions follow from the mind. The metaphors contained in the Bible, which I separately discovered as logical truth, and only afterward discovered the correlations to the Bible, highlight the method by which an evil being overcomes itself.
  • angslan
    Secondly that's not "Evil", that's corrupted data. Which is an inevitability for beings who inhabit a temporal structure. — Lucid

    I really don't know where premises like these come from.
  • Lucid

    Which bit? The phrase "corrupted data", or the inevitability of corruption thanks to time?

    As to the latter have you never heard of entropy? It's not just the decay of physical matter, or information, it's negativity and corruption in all its forms.

    As to why I claimed it's corrupted data. There's way to much scientific evidence on the correlation of reality to computers and holograms for me to even know where to start.
  • blazed2today
    Sure, of course, it can be maintained that despite if there be evil present in the creation, the creator of it, i.e., “God”, is still ominbenevolent. This point, which is as defendable as it’s rationally maintainable, is understandood on the premise that certain (conscious, thinking, perceiving) creatures are created with the potentiality or power to internally realize either or both good or evil. Thus, all evil phenomena, when, if it ever be present in the creation, would be attributed back to the reality of such creatures, while the creator of them would be completely innocent of or unaccountable for it.
  • angslan

    Yes, I have heard of entropy. But there is a difference in pointing out a law of thermodynamics, which is an observation of how the universe is, and looking at whether this is a necessity in a divinely designed universe. I am curious as to why you think that this is a necessity in a divinely designed universe. Because if it is not, then the creation of such a universe certainly places the responsibility on God for children dying of slow and painful diseases.
  • Lucid

    Oh, okay :) I will then elaborate.

    First, the thesis statement.
    For a creation to be temporal, that is, capable of change and therefore interaction and growth, it must also be subject to decay.

    We can think of time in many ways. Motion being the simplest. But decay is the other. These two concepts, we find, our tied together. Unravelling them may be no easy task; I have the understanding, but transitioning it into words may be a little rough so bear with me.

  • Lucid
    At it's most basic, the concept of "Time" implies change. For if there was no change in anything, ever, there could be no time, and no being to contemplate time. Time is, ultimately, a measurement of change.

    So now imagine that from the state of change, suddenly there was motion. Now, too, is there time, for there is a measurable difference between then, and now, as reflected by the change in state of the object observed in motion.(never minding, for now, the fact that this first motion, would have been thought itself, for that's a whole nother topic)

    Now, motion implies direction. If something is moving, there must be something it is moving away from, and/or something it is moving torwards, else wise we would never know motion from stillness.

    Even here, so early in the definition, we find the concept of Progress. If time is the measurement of change, then progress would be the measurement of that change in relation to a particular object or state.

    The common concept of Time can be adequately summed in the phrase "Time marches inexorably onward." The thought is that time is, itself, in motion. This is because time is motion. It is always moving, because if ever there was no motion, it would cease to exist.

    Now where does decay enter the picture? Truthfully, it's already there. However at this point my logic must take a more conjectural basis.

    If there is no time, no change, then what is will always be, unceasingly. If the entire universe were to suddenly cease... Forever it would remain, so long as it remained unchanging. Do you begin to see? I know my words are a bit rough. Let's go further.

    Back to motion. With motion, we have change and time, as ive made mention of already. With these, progress. But he very idea of progress, as it relates to what can be termed a "goal" implies motion away from the same goal. You can move to, and away. But this isn't just true, for physical things. This is also true for metaphysical things, thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

    And... Once the "wheel" of time starts... Change is constant. And what will happen to any thing, given enough change? Wear and tear. To not have wear and tear would mean no friction... And it's hard to imagine how anything would start or stop in such a world.

    The very act of change incurs decay... The very face of existence itself, as we know it, aka "space-time" stands against the void... And cannot do so without effects. Newton's third law comes to mind. Existence can separate itself from nonexistence, bit in so doing, nonexistence always works to brink it back into the fold.
  • Blue Lux
    This is based on Epicurus

    Is God willing to prevent evil but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?
  • Lucid

    Oka-ay, Thanks for giving the original question. Now, onto the subject matter? :P
  • Lucid

    I wouldn't say that, even in such a scenario, the creator would be completely blameless. He still gave the creatures that choice. I'm not arguing that God doesn't hold blame for evil. I'm arguing that it isn't senseless, and that it ultimately achieves a greater good. A phrase comes to mind. "No pain, no gain"

    Will a man hate his personal trainer? Possibly. What if the man doesn't know he's being trained? Certainly. But if the man were to realize he was being trained, would he still hate?
  • Blue Lux
    You are also referring to the ontological argument, the idea that because the idea of perfection exists, the ideal or form of perfection must exist, and since humans are imperfect, God would be perfection and so God exists.

    This has been refuted a few times by different people.

    My favorite refutation is Kant's.

    His idea is that the ontological argument is based in the idea of existence never as a predicate. His idea is that the condition of a statement such as "God Exists," by whatever means, does not mean that by virtue of the fact that we can address the idea of a God, one must exist. In fact, this is not the case. Kant says that being is something rather displayed in the world, and as such, the being of something must be verifiable in the world. Otherwise, saying "God does not exist" would be both affirming and denying his existence at the same time.
  • blazed2today
    Reread my post, friend, I never said but expressly opposed the point God is to blame.
  • angslan

    I can't say that I am convinced by what I understand of this argument.

    Time implies change from state to state - for the sake of this discussion, let us accept this as uncontroversial.

    We can track these changes by their relation to other states - again, for the sake of this discussion, let us accept this as uncontroversial. Let us call these reference states.

    'Entropy' or 'decay' is then change from a state more alike to a reference state of 'order' to a state more like the reference state of 'disorder'. We need not specially define these reference states to have a general idea of what we mean - hopefully we are following each other here. While some may have a negative connotation with the reference state of disorder, I believe that your argument is that there is no moral judgement made upon this reference state. It is the intentional striving, or lack thereof, away from this reference state that is important. Your argument, then, as I follow it, suggests that God cannot have an intentional striving away from this reference state without removing (for want of a better word) time.

    I think that there are two problems here - one immediate problem and a general problem.

    The immediate problem is that no one is truly asking of God that all decay be prevented, just certain types of decay. All human growth requires entropy, so there are innumerable examples of decay related to bringing order and growth to human life. It is not necessary, therefore, for any human to suffer a painful, terminal illness because time requires decay, because obviously there are humans who do not suffer this particular type of decay and time still marches on. Decay as a necessary outcome of time in general does not imply decay as suffering is necessary. (This is to say nothing of the argument that decay requires suffering, which is not a point you have established.)

    The general problem is that a reference state of disorder as such need exist at all, or be a state that is progressed towards. In a divinely designed universe, why cannot there be a series of differently order referenced states that are progressed towards, not of which fit the general condition of 'disorder' or some similarly negatively conceived of state, so that the onwards marching of time does not require decay? That is, a progress from utopia to utopia. Or, alternatively, could not disorder be the ultimate starting state, so that the progress of time continually moved towards order and decay is a theoretical concept only?

    My main point is that when imagining the universe, we are often stuck imagining that some of the conditions that exist are necessary. I think it is a failure of the imagination in regards to a divine being to imagine that some of these trappings are necessary, and I propose to you that the concept of decay being necessary for time is not a necessary constraint, but one that you have derived from the particulars of our universe, and not one that is required for any possible universe, of which God could presumably create any.
  • Lucid

    "You are also referring to the ontological argument, the idea that because the idea of perfection exists, the ideal or form of perfection must exist, and since humans are imperfect, God would be perfection and so God exists."

    I would suggest you reread my op. I'm not making an argument for god, im only put this in the philosophy of religion because I used religious concepts to explain my metaphysical one.

    And if you had read my op, you would know that I'm not claiming that gos is perfection. I claim he is purity, and explicitly make the distinction between the two. Maybe I wasn't clear enough?

    As for the rest, I will make no comment. Simply because I don't know how you got hat out of my op. Never was i arguing for god, I related the concept of God to a metaphysical concept. I even explicitly stated the usage of religious terms as a tool.

    Maybe if you could show me exactly why you feel like I'm referring to that? Because if I was, I'm unaware of it; and such was certainly not my intention. My intention to the op was to talk about the state of humans minds and the pah of redemption through corruotion itself.

    However. Because I can't resist. You said "Otherwise, saying "God does not exist" would be both affirming and denying his existence at the same time."

    In a purely linguistic sense, that is exactly what is happening. By referring to god, you are necessary referring to the existence of such a concept(but not the validity of that concept, I'm not sure how you've come to equate those two as one), and then you go on to state your belief that that concept is invalid. So it is, again, in a linguistic sense, both agfirming and denying God.
  • Blue Lux
    Saying that God does not exist is to say not that he lacks the quality of existence but that the being which would be the foundation of God should be easily apprehendable in the world, as is everything else characterized to be. Something that is is not said to be and predicated with existence: it is because it can be easily ascertained to be. The more abstract the truth, the more you have to seduce your senses to it (Nietzsche).

    In any sense, "the path to redemption" seems to be bracketed within what designates the being of what would be it, namely the opposite of redemption, as if there is sin in the first place. All of this seems to be presupposition.

    Maybe you can clarify this for me?

    Anyway, I was simply remarking upon previous philosophical concepts that are similar.
  • Blue Lux
    Is it not in a very serious sense the goal of philosophy to base itself beyond good and evil? For instance, in psychology, psychopaths who commit heinous acts--these acts are not seen as evil and these people are not seen to be evil... Only in clarifying them as not evil, which is usually characterized as unjustifiable, radically unknowable, absolutely chaotic, etc.; can a knowledge of 'why' come about.
  • blazed2today
    Don't mean to be rude, and jump in between your discussion, but I have a question pertinent to the question you ask at the start of your post here. Is the attainment by philosophy to such a goal, that of getting or basing itself beyond good and evil, according to you, done for any other purpose than its own good or benefit, and if so, like what ? Can't go beyond what there's no getting out of.
  • Blue Lux
    Good in the sense of 'benefit' is not the same as 'good' in the moral sense, which is opposed to 'evil.'

    But this is an interesting question.

    I would not say that philosophy does anything for itself. I would, furthermore, say that philosophy is not in itself an entity that is apprehendable. Philosophy is in the act of philosophy. That is what I would say. But obviously you can object and perhaps I am wrong!

    If, on the other hand you say, well, if philosophy is at base not for its own good wouldn't it be for your own good? And so since you are, in a sense, the condition of the philosophy, the basing of a philosophy, supposedly, beyond good and evil, would be inevitably basing yourself beyond good and evil... How would this be the case if philosophy is for one's own good?
    If we concede that 'good' means the same thing as the 'good' opposed to evil, we seem to be at an end here, right?
    But no! Whose good is philosophy for? What is this basing of yourself? What is for your own good? What constitutes this? These questions constitute philosophy, and therefore the whole question of this is beyond good and evil.
    Ergo philosophy is beyond good and evil.
  • All sight
    There is but one thing to fear, and one evil. That is God, and damnation. No amount of harm, betrayal, exploitation, defamation or disenfranchisement can damn you. Nothing can do that, only sin, only God. There certainly is a problem of evil, but it does not rest in the wickedness of the world or creation, but in all of our hearts.

    Jung said that around 35 people's souls die, or the anima dies, and with it goes their youth, and kindness. He thought this to be normal for everyone with the exception of artists that maintain the connection past this point of middle age. Jesus is the truth, the life and the way... a strange claim indeed... maybe we're all is missing something not only important, but the only truly satisfactory thing that exists. The value of it, and the possible lose of it, equating to much higher stakes than the evils of creation, rendering all else mere trifles.

    The question is really not very answerable without knowing the mind of God himself. There are greater authorities, perhaps greatest authorities, this is why we are to be humble, to have faith.
  • Rank Amateur
    This has been refuted a few times by different people.Blue Lux

    The ontological argument has valid arguments against, but to my knowledge has not been refuted

    I do agree the op is a restatement of the ontological argument. Still believe the only valid argument against the argument from evil is compensating goods, free will as the compensating good as the evil done by people, and skeptical theism for natural evils.
  • Jake
    The duality "good vs. bad" is a conceptual invention of the human mind. Should something the scale of a god exist, it would not be either good or bad but outside of that dualistic paradigm, outside of all dualistic paradigms.
  • Blue Lux

    Too much presupposition for me in religion.
  • Blue Lux
    I don't trust in Good or Evil at all. All there is is what is desirable or undesirable for HUMANS.

    God is at base a transpersonal creation so to provide a condition for the things people wish to be not governed by the 'relativistic' human. People want to be subjugated to absolutes so they do not have to think deeper.

    If the ontological argument is still in some fashion legitimate, how?
  • BrianW
    I don't think good and evil have anything to do with 'God'. Firstly, I think the 'God' represented in the Bible, especially the OT, is quite fantastical and is based on misguided fanaticism. That 'God' is not the most intelligent or loving, among other negative qualities. The other religions have their short-comings as well. This makes me think that some of the representations were not as comprehensively and intelligently expressed as they should have been. Perhaps, at that time, they passed the bill. But, as is now obvious, not any more.

    Good and evil is about wisdom and ignorance. Also, it is about us, humans. Religion began as a way to understand life. However, due to human inadequacies, it reflected more of our bias than intelligence. I think it is why philosophy is steadily replacing religion, as more people choose to actively participate intelligently in their lives instead of blindly following others. If people questioned religion more often, it would be possible to discover the errors in those teachings (which are clearly human), correct them and participate more reasonably. Still, some people can filter out the madness and feed on the nectar therein; though, few indeed.
  • S
    There's no relevant conclusion explicitly contained in your opening post, just some waffle in your idiosyncratic terminology, rendering your username ironically amusing.

    Either God can't or won't destroy evil; if he can't, he's not all powerful, if he won't, he is not all good.Lucid

    You need an argument against that, in those same terms. If God won't destroy evil, then why isn't it the case that God is not all good? That's what's absent from your waffle. All of your talk of corruption, purity, perfection, and so on, is meaningless if you don't bring it back to this key point which you're supposed to be arguing against. You should be able to some it up in a few sentences.
  • S
    At least there's an actual argument this time, although it's still lacking in succinctness. Basically, you're not presenting any new arguments here, you're just glossing over old arguments with your pet choice of terminology. Your opening post seems to hint at the free will argument without actually making it - it doesn't lead back to what you're supposed to be targeting - and this subsequent reply of yours rehashes the greater good argument, which has no persuasive power whatsoever to anyone in their right state of mind, who would rightly reject the notion that the most shockingly vile, despicable, evil acts were enacted or permitted by an all good God because they were somehow necessary for a greater good. And that doesn't even avoid the dilemma, because if God were all powerful, then they wouldn't be necessary.
  • Rank Amateur
    - and this subsequent reply of yours rehashes the greater good argument, which has no persuasive power whatsoever to anyone in their right state of mind, who would rightly reject the notion that the most shockingly vile, despicable, evil acts were enacted or permitted by an all good God because they were somehow necessary for a greater good.Sapientia

    There are very many people, completely in their right mind who find the skeptical theism argument for compensating goods quite reasonable. Your point above is opinion and not argument.
  • S
    There are very many people, completely in their right mind who find the skeptical theism argument for compensating goods quite reasonable. Your point above is opinion and not argument.Rank Amateur

    That's simply not true. You don't know what you're talking about. Why don't you go out, conduct a survey, and see what the results are? It's not mere opinion, the results are very predictable. If you give people examples of evil acts, like rape, murder, child abuse, and genocide, they'll respond in their droves that these acts are unjustifiable. And, of course, the small number of people who respond otherwise constitutes evidence of compromised moral judgement. The only people who would dispute this are religious nuts, and they have no credibility on account of being religious nuts. Maybe you're one of them.
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