• TheMadFool
    6.5k
    On the question of the problem of evil the favorite "solution" is the free will defense with the specific objective to retain in its full glory god's omnibenevolence.

    Assuming that the free will defense is taken as sufficient to explain human evil (murder, rape, theft, etc.), one particular type of "evil" viz. natural evil (disease, earthquakes, tsunamis) etc. is considered an unresolved problem as far as the free will defense is concerned.

    In that regard I shall attempt in the following paragraphs to come up with a solution to the problem of natural evil.

    Firstly, it is to be taken as true that an omnibenevolent god will not play favorites with his creation: maggots, bacteria, fish, beggars, the rich, birds, etc. are all equal in god's eyes. The widely held belief that equality is one of the pillars of the moral edifice should make that easily relatable.

    It then follows, from the well-known fact of our bodies serving as hosts to many parasites and after death, decaying corpses nourishing micro-organisms, that what we think of as natural evil are actually opportunities for parasites to live and thrive and bacteria to feed on corpses. God, since he loves bacteria and parasites equally as he loves us, can't take sides and so won't intervene. Compare this with the notion of a good parent - loving all his/her children equally, without a hint of partiality; a good parent is expected to be completely impartial on sibling rivalry whatever form it assumes.

    God permits natural evil not because he's not good but because he is good as evinced by his impartial attitude in what is after all nothing but a family feud. We share 99% of our DNA with chimps; work from that to the inevitable conclusion that we're all family and god, being a good parent will not intercede regarding the "arrangement" of humans required to play host to distant worm cousins and occasionaly dying in a disaster to feed yet another relative, bacteria.
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    Why would an all good God have created an array of life forms that can only flourish at the expense of each other's suffering, instead of creating an array of life forms that live in perfect cooperative harmony, with no predation or parasitism, no aging, etc?
  • Tzeentch
    716
    Why would an all good God have created an array of life forms that can only flourish at the expense of each other's suffering, ...Pfhorrest

    What is wrong with that?
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    The suffering part? I mean, that's kind of the thing being called "evil" here.
  • Qwex
    366
    Isn't this based on a dumb-God though?

    You took a man in a cloud with super powers all the way, and did not even think that God might be a different thing all together?

    What if God only created the universe, and isn't superpowerful?

    I can imagine a God form that had the know-how but no superpowers. This God form is not necessarily one thing can be of many things in a species.

    I'm not saying you're wrong but the discussion may take odd turns with such neglect.
  • Vanbrainstorm
    7
    I suppose we are assuming the abrahamic God.
  • Vanbrainstorm
    7
    Then the question is still there can God be all powerful and all good at the same time?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    560


    ok so i grew up jewish so... presumably still the abrahamic god, but the jewish god isn't this wonderful, all good, all loving father figure that christians portray him. i mean don't get me wrong, he's "essentially" good in the sense that it all works out for some purpose, but he does directly cause misfortune. i'm not a religious jew, but as far as i can tell from my knowledge of the bible is that the jewish god can occasionally be negotiated with and that he can do good things sometimes but good god do not get him angry.
  • Qwex
    366

    God condones of suffering, blah blah, he, thinks it through (an example of odd turn; we've blamed it on one being).

    The majority think that X action deserves Y punishment. Blame them in the same manner as you did God.

    They put Z in a position where Z might suffer. What is the resolution?

    It's not 'he's thought it through'. It's multiple minds thinking. Is there a difference? I think so but need to think it over. I'll reply later on.

    God uses pronouns like I, which is a whole different boat to we.

    And we're discussing we.
  • Vanbrainstorm
    7
    But if we are using that “it is all part of his plan” logic what kind of God would he/she be if his/her plan requires the death of children and mothers, and if he/she is powerful enough to create any kind of universe but created one where children have to suffer for his/her plan then is that a good God?

    And if we assume if God is good then he would have created a better universe thus if God is all powerful then he/she is not all good and if he/she is all good the he/she is not all powerful.
  • Vanbrainstorm
    7
    I don’t think we can blame it on someone. There is no one to be blamed. Every bodies actions are result of his/her biological genies and her/his environment in which no one has control over.
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    Why would an all good God have created an array of life forms that can only flourish at the expense of each other's suffering, instead of creating an array of life forms that live in perfect cooperative harmony, with no predation or parasitism, no aging, etc?Pfhorrest

    :up:
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    The Problem of Evil that is the topic of this thread is specifically an argument that an all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful God is incompatibile with the existence of evil. A trivial way out of the Problem is to deny that God has all of those omni-properties, or to deny that evil actually exists. The Free Will Theodicy that the OP is talking about, though, is meant to offer a way to preserve the possibility of God having those omni-properties and still excuse the existence of evil.
  • Vanbrainstorm
    7
    That creates the question that is a God that gives priority to free will rather than the well being of his creations is even a God with all the Omni properties?
  • Pfhorrest
    2.8k
    The argument of the free will theodicy (which I disagree with, I'm just explaining it) is that having free will is such a good thing that it can outweigh other bad things that God might have to permit in order for free will to exist. God would prefer to have all of the good things and none of the bad, but (the argument goes) that's not logically possible, to get rid of all of the other good things would require getting rid of free will, and to allow free will would allow some of the other good things to be lost, so God's choices (so goes the argument) are a world with all the good things except free will, or a world with free will that might end up without some of the other good things, and the latter is supposedly the better and so what an all-good God has to choose.

    Some people do say that is God has to choose between those and can't somehow make it both, then he's not all-powerful, but others reply that "all-powerful" doesn't require being able to do things that don't make any logical sense, which supposedly allowing free will but preventing all evils doesn't.
  • 180 Proof
    1.5k
    God permits natural evil not because he's not good but because he is good as evinced by his impartial attitude ...TheMadFool
    In no sense is a parent deemed "good" who is "impartial" to the point of allowing her "children" to prey upon, torture & cannibalize one another.

    Why would an all good God have created an array of life forms that can only flourish at the expense of each other's suffering, instead of creating an array of life forms that live in perfect cooperative harmony, with no predation or parasitism, no aging, etc?Pfhorrest
    :clap:

    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)
  • TheMadFool
    6.5k
    Why would an all good God have created an array of life forms that can only flourish at the expense of each other's suffering, instead of creating an array of life forms that live in perfect cooperative harmony, with no predation or parasitism, no aging, etc?Pfhorrest

    In the beginning I thought that a population of predators/parasites would be necessary to check the herbivore population to prevent a population explosion that would eventually hurt the ecosystem but I realize that it's possible even with current technology, if we had the will, to take all predators/parasites out of the equation and still maintain a harmonious population of herbivores or rather non-predatory organisms, non-parasitic organisms on the planet. God could have done that but he didn't. Why? Note that I'm employing predators/parasites as the quintessence of evil since it involves committing the worst immoral act - killing. Why did god create predators/parasites or evil? They seem, quite literally, unnecessary.

    The existence of predators/parasites only makes sense if the killing makes sense. What about freedom? Did god grant all life complete freedom, to do whatever they please, and that, quite unfortunately, led to the birth of predators/parasites. Which is more important, freedom or harmony considered here as the absence of predators/parasites? Take the free will defense against the problem of evil: from it we gather that freedom is more important than goodness for being good should be a choice rather than an imposition from outside. Therefore, organisms should have complete freedom whether they choose to be trouble-makers (parasites/predators) or peaceful (non-predatory, non-parasitic). Hence, because freedom is paramount, god allows predators/parasites to exist as part of the natural evil that surrounds us.

    In no sense is a parent deemed "good" who is "impartial" to the point of allowing her "children" to prey upon, torture & cannibalize one another180 Proof

    Please read my reply to Pfhorrest above. The main point is that freedom is more important than goodness and all organisms (children) must be given complete freedom to do whatever they want and that may, unfortunately, involve organisms (brothers and sisters that we are) preying, torturing and cannibalizing our own kin.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    Why would an all good God have created an array of life forms that can only flourish at the expense of each other's suffering, instead of creating an array of life forms that live in perfect cooperative harmony, with no predation or parasitism, no aging, etc?Pfhorrest

    Because God’s omniscience is only possible, not actual. The life forms need to develop an awareness of each other in order to live in perfect cooperative harmony - or at least some of them would need to...
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