• Matthew724
    If the God of classical theism exists, then God is omnipotent (all-powerful). Given that God is all-powerful, would God set up the world in such a way where humans compete for resources? The upshot is that an omnipotent Being doesn’t need competition in order for humans to survive and thrive; God can bring about human flourishing and societal flourishing without economic competition. In fact, there are countless ways for God to do this because God is all-powerful.

    1. It is a known fact that many humans compete in society for resources in order to survive and thrive (i.e. economic competition).
    2. (1) is more expected on the hypothesis of metaphysical naturalism than on the hypothesis of classical theism.
    3. The intrinsic probability of metaphysical naturalism is equal to that of classical theism.
    4. Therefore, other evidence held equal, classical theism is probably false.

    It’s important to notice that premise 1 isn’t so much focused on human competition in general, nor is it focused on societal competition in general. Rather, the premise is more focused on economic competition, nevertheless, economic competition includes societal and human competition.

    There is no reason on theism to expect a world filled with competition. Thus, even more specifically, there is no reason to expect (on theism) a world filled with human competition in society. In fact, it seems that we would expect the opposite on theism. On theism, we have an all-loving Being who cares deeply about the needs and wants of finite creatures. On naturalism, however, nature is indifferent to our needs and desires. In other words, it is survival of the fittest (this would also include the ability to thrive). So, if we have good reasons in general to expect competition for resources on naturalism, then it seems that this fact would give us at least some reason to expect the more specific fact of societal competition for resources on metaphysical naturalism.

    Secondly, given the omnipotence of God, there are countless ways for God to help humans survive and thrive in society, and God doesn’t need competition to do this. On naturalism, however, there are not countless ways. Therefore, even if naturalism doesn’t exactly predict capitalism, it certainly predicts something like it.
  • JerseyFlight
    I swear, Notre Dame must be heavy into omnipotence right now because the number of threads related to this have been off the charts in the last few days. Are all the theology students flocking to this website to discuss the abstractions they covered in their theology classes?

    there are countless ways for God to help humans survive and thrive in societyMatthew724

    I mean, how can this in any way be serious? Why would God even make it so people have to struggle to survive? This is nonsense. Tell me how your God cheers on the doctors trying to save children's lives through intricate surgeries. Just stands there, with mouth gaping, wishing them luck as a little girl's life hangs in the balance.
  • StreetlightX
    God aside, the OP confuses capitalism with competition. Capitalism is a system under which (among other things) market participation becomes a necessity for survival. Pre-capitalist systems are full of competition, just as they are full of markets, but market-competition is simply one aspect of economic life rather than its driving principle. There is nothing natural about capitalism, which is a distinct historical formation kept in place by distinct arrangements of politics and force.
  • god must be atheist
    "... And the lion will lie with the kid..."

    Eventually all people and animals become herbavores, it seems. We might still fight for water and shrubbery, but there will be enough shrubberers (who sell shrubbery) for a while to keep up well supplied with shrubbery.

    As the population of the world grows, the shurbbery prices will be driven up, which will mean a colossal economic collapse at one point, that will dwarve the Great Depression in monumental dimensions.
  • arreno
    God might be provincial and function on a much higher or different space time than we can understand. Assigning Gof some human trait then "finding fault" with him for failing to preform , ???
  • Gus Lamarch
    If the God of classical theism exists, then God is omnipotent (all-powerful). Given that God is all-powerful, would God set up the world in such a way where humans compete for resources?Matthew724

    Probably because in the historical moment when all the philosophy and theology developed in defending the existence of God, the economy, as it is currently structured, did not even exist as a concept. In fact, the structure of christian dogma is outdated in certain aspects, and in the economic aspect, this was not even thought of, but then, God doesn't care about our mundane problems. Economy wasn't his creation.
  • Bitter Crank
    "... And the lion will lie with the kid..."god must be atheist

    However, the lion will sleep a lot better than the kid will.
  • Bitter Crank
    You are assuming that God is not a fan of Darwinian selection. Actually God set up the world with vicious competition at its core to see what would happen after thousands of years of strong bastards crushing wimps.

    Now we know, and so does God.
  • Bitter Crank
    I mean, how can this in any way be serious? Why would God even make it so people have to struggle to survive?JerseyFlight

    God made the World in six days flat
    On the seventh he said, I'll rest
    So he let the thing into orbit swing
    To give it a dry run test
    A billion years went by
    Then he took a look at the whirling blob
    His spirits fell as he shrugged
    Oh well, it was only a six-day job

    Rhymes for the Irreverent - Chad Mitchell Trio
  • Yodaondoda
    Omnipotence need not mean all-loving right? OP seems to be looking at a case for a loving God, while presenting Omnipotence as the driving force for the argument. It's not a question of can or cannot God carry out certain kinds of actions, but rather did not carry them out.
    There's a lot going on in the argument that OP presents, and I'm not entirely sure that I follow. However, let's consider his premises for the argument, I can think of some problems with them. The shift from premise 1 and 2, seems to rely on a logical jump from a logical jump. There are possibly (on the face of it anyway) other alternatives in which such a situation may arise. Ones that could be explained within the context of the existence of God and even one in the context of a multiverse theory where our universe is just not well-designed in the way that classical theism speaks of it.

    I do not understand why this assumption was taken for granted this is basically the equivalent of saying that this is how God created the world as is. Classical Theism even provides explanations for the injustice in the world, describing to some extent what God's final intent for humans was. I don't understand why we would disregard those reasons and step over them to accept premise 2. Any Classical Theism theorist, like Aquinas or Augustine all worked within the context of Scripture while theorizing and much of their explanations fall well within the confines of scripture; because that's the metaphysical background they working with. The argument here relies on an assumed falsification of scripture that was the fundamental basis for classical theism. While I may not necessarily disagree with the conclusions, I would really wonder from a purely argumentative perspective if this argument is valid in the sense of justifying discarding classical theism altogether.

    So when you say that there is no reason to assume a world such as this on Classical Theism; I think all theorists at that time had plenty of reasons to give for why the world was imperfect and that people should work for their salvation. It never admitted the world was perfect; otherwise there would be no need for salvation. The entire premise of classical theism and religion is that we should be good people so that we go to heaven; in the absence of such a heaven there would be no practical case for religion and any argument made based on the imperfection of the world can't directly invalidate classical theism because classical theism was okay with it and in harmony with the idea. If you consider this, then I don't think that Naturalism has any greater value than classical theism.

    On the second objection whether God needs competition to improve people's lives, that's a trivial point. The fact that God can do anything but chooses not to can't be used to invalidated classical theism because it's not certainly known what God would really ever do or should really ever do. This entire section of objections depends on an assumption that we've figured out some objective moral truth that even God would follow. But fact of the matter is, can you really justify such a moral obligation? Do you have objective knowledge that such a moral obligation should apply to even the most supreme being?

    There are a lot of grey areas here which make me question the integrity of this argument. Would love to hear y'alls thoughts on this.
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