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  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    And if God doesn't see them as evil, why should he prevent them?Metaphysician Undercover

    All that's fine and dandy, but then why would the theist call God, "good", since being good is based on our conception of good and not God's.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either God is perfectly good in a meaningful sense to us, or we shouldn't use "good" as a description of God. So the price of using this line of argument for the FWD is God's goodness, so far as we understand the word.
  • What do you care about?
    This is deserving of it's own thread.
  • What do you care about?
    We may think there is even change outside of our possible experience, but by definition any such change would be completely unknowable to us; and it is arguable that the idea of something completely unknowable to us is not even coherent.John

    Wouldn't' there be all sorts of things going on beyond our light cone that are completely unknowable to us? But astronomers are confident the universe is quite a bit larger than what we can see.

    We don't even need to go that far. There are things going on in planets in the Andromeda galaxy that we will never know about.
  • What do you care about?
    But entire traditions are built around not recognizing this obvious fact. As someone who was in the thrall of the position before, seeing how stupid it is now, I can't really articulate why it was convincing to me. My only explanation is that people sort of hear platitudes and are convinced by them.The Great Whatever

    Maybe part of the problem was that Kant promoted fixed, fundamental categories of thought in response to Hume's radical empiricism instead of a more fluid model. Because it's quite clear that human categories of thought change quite a bit over time. Including our concepts of time and space.
  • What do you care about?
    That looks about correct to me...lambda

    What that implies is that the world is equivalent to our conceptual schemes, which would seem to mean that science can't work.
  • "The truth is always in the middle"?
    The truth is somewhere in the middle can also mean truth in that situation is not a binary proposition.
  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    The whole belief in the existence of God is based in the assumption that the universe behaves in "mysterious ways". Nor should it appear as a cop out, because until human beings are omniscient, there will always be "mysterious" things out there.Metaphysician Undercover

    The problem isn't assuming that God would do things we don't understand. The problem is when you combine an omni-good god with the existence of an imperfect creation, specifically evil.

    It's a cop out to say that such a God must have a reason for allowing evil, but we can't state what it is. The reasonable conclusion is that such a being doesn't exist, and if there is a God, humans have incorrectly ascribed ridiculous attributes to such a being.
  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    We don't need to know what the good reasons are for "there are good reasons" to follow from the premises.Michael

    But if the argument can't show what the good reasons are, then why isn't the argument flawed? The argument is assuming there is one.

    Just as we don't need to know what's in the box to infer from the evidence that something is in the box (e.g. it weighs more than it would if empty).Michael

    That's because we know the difference in weight between an empty box and one that has something in it. That analogy doesn't apply here.
  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    here are good reasons for creating things that choose to do evil.Michael

    And what are those good reasons? You just stated that God must have a good reason, but it can't be known by us, which seems like a huge cop out.
  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    That he has a good reason for doing so would follow from the premises, even if we don't know what that good reason is.Michael

    Or the concept is simply flawed, resulting in defenders of it claiming that we mere mortals can't know. It's really suspicious that the argument ends up with God's mysterious ways.
  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    And if you don't define evil as being unjustified then you need to defend the claim "nothing can justify evil, no amount of good.".Michael

    When it comes to God, the question is why evil would ever need to be justifiable. The FWD is that the existence of free will does this, but God's omniscience should allow him to only create those who will choose not to do evil.

    Otherwise, God's omniscience is in doubt. The theist will need to argue that God didn't know Lucifer would rebel, and somehow this lack of knowledge is not a limitation on knowing everything, because presumably free will prevents such knowledge.

    So then the argument becomes about God being able to know everything to prevent evil.
  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    If evil is defined (in part) as being unjustified. If it isn't defined in this way then genocide could still be evil even if justified by the greater good.Michael

    I don't think evil is defined as justifiable. We might agree that sometimes war is necessary and therefore justifiable, but it's still evil. It's just less evil than the alternative (or at least so we think, although not everyone will agree).

    We're forced into those moral dilemmas at times because we're not God, and have serious constraints on what we can do or know.
  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    he free will theodicist and utilitarian could simply argue that because certain harmful acts are justified for the greater good it then follows that these harmful acts aren't evil, and so the problem of evil is dismissed on the grounds that evil doesn't actually exist.Michael

    Couldn't this line of reasoning be used to justify any action? It's the ends justify the means sort of morality. Genocide isn't evil if it leads to something better.

    And indeed, you do find it in the OT, where God is commanding Joshua to go slaughter a bunch of people.

    All of this seems like rationalization to me.
  • What do you care about?
    Humans are more interested in stories than either philosophy or debating.Baden

    That's certainly true.
  • Simulation Hypothesis & God
    Another thought occurred to me. What makes us think a computer simulation is the best that advanced civilizations could do? Maybe they would consider digital simulations to be crude when they can just rearrange matter at the pico scale to do anything they want.
  • Simulation Hypothesis & God
    It seems the reasoning for assigning probability for being inside a simulation is based on the actual universe outside the simulation. But if we're inside a simulation, on what basis do we assign such a probability?

    Afterall, maybe in our simulation we're alone in the universe.

    Also, maybe the real world is very different from the simulated one. A simulation need not be an accurate one.

    Finally, it seems to rest on the assumption that the laws of physics are computable.
  • What do you care about?
    But I think people just aren't suited to philosophizing. As a species, I mean – just a little too dumb for it.The Great Whatever

    Is it that we're too dumb, or that we're motivated by something other than being good philosophers? I can't recall which radio program it was, maybe Science Friday on NPR, but there was a show claiming that maybe reason isn't about finding the truth, but rather winning arguments.

    If so, then humans are more interested in sophistry.
  • What do you care about?
    I generally think now that philosophy doesn't have the tools to help people in life. My main philosophical interest now is sort of meta-philosophical, why people are so bad at reasoning, why they are generally intellectually dishonest, incapable of distinguishing fine-grained positions, convinced by bad arguments, drawn to implausible platitudes, etc. and why intelligence seems to be no help in guarding against any of these.The Great Whatever

    Have you started a thread on this before? Because I think you're probably right. I've seen in myself and plenty of others, not just in online forums, but in general across the board.
  • The Free Will Defense is Immoral
    I read an argument about G's supposed foreknowledge a while back. It went along the lines that God sees all of time: past, presence and future, but it is all past to him, and since he is perfect he can't change what he remembers, therefore we are free to act any way we want.Cavacava

    That is an interesting and a bit unusual argument.

    I recall a Christian explaining to me in college how the Garden of Eden was a setup. God wanted Adam and Evil to fall, because that was the only way to work out the potential of evil in creation, and deal with it.

    I thought that explanation was better than most Christian explanations regarding free will and evil, but it would probably be considered heretical by many denominations.
  • Turning the problem of evil on its head (The problem of good)
    so therefore interprets 'omniscience' to mean 'anything I think is possible'.Wayfarer

    Omniscience means to know everything. What exactly is meant by knowing all things is debateable, but non-believers did not' invent the term.

    The break you're looking for is to actually be God.Wayfarer

    Wouldn't this apply to believers as well?