2005

vexen

Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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2005
vexen

Theodicy essays

"The Problem of Evil: Why Would a Good God Create Suffering?" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

Your Words:

“If God was all-powerful and all-loving, with free will yet perfectly good, God would create life with similar properties: with free will and perfectly good. Meaning that there would be no human-created evil, and no need for evil, suffering or death in the world in any way. However, there is evil and death in very great quantities, therefore it holds that if the situation was created by a god, rather than natural forces, then such a god is not omnipotent and benevolent. Given that such a god exists, it must be malevolent: An evil god, who created life for the sole purpose of watching life suffer.

Your Words With the with good and evil reversed:
If God was all-powerful and all-hating, with free will yet perfectly evil, God would create life without similar properties: without free will and perfectly evil. Meaning that there would be no human-created good, and no need for good, happiness or pleasure in the world in any way. However, there is good and life in very great quantities, therefore it holds that if the situation was created by a god, rather than natural forces, then such a god is not omnipotent and benevolent. Given that such a god exists, it must be malevolent: An good god, who created life for the sole purpose of watching life be enjoyed.

The problem with the argument that god is evil because evil exists is that it can just as easily be reversed. I don’t think either one of these arguments is any good or proves anything. But I don’t why you think it is an effective argument.
As you have previously established both good and evil do exist. Any argument you can pose why an evil god allows good can just as easily be made to work for a good god allowing evil.

You present a quote in your essay: “A Manichean might retort that this is the worst of all possible worlds, in which the good things that exist serve only to heighten the evils. The world, he might say, was created by a wicked demiurge [who] created some virtuous men, in order that they might be punished by the wicked; for the punishment of the virtuous is so great an evil that it makes the world worse than if no good men existed.”
"History of Western Philosophy" by Bertrand Russell, p571

Again it can be turned around: “…this is the best of all possible worlds, in which the bad things that exist serve only to heighten the good. The world, he might say, was created by a good god [who] created some evil men, in order that they might be punished by the god; for the punishment of the evil is so great a good that it makes the world better than if no evil men existed.

Again I don’t think this is a good argument but it is every bit as valid as it was before it was turned around.

That is wonderful, I have been waiting and waiting for a person to reverse the argument in the way you have. Your method is perfectly correct.

I do hope, though, that by showing that the world is neither consistent with an all-powerful good god or with an all-powerful evil god, that I have highlighted better the reality that either a good God or an evil God doesn't exist!

Re: Excellent

(Anonymous)

2007-12-15 01:03 am (UTC)

"I do hope, though, that by showing that the world is neither consistent with an all-powerful good god or with an all-powerful evil god, that I have highlighted better the reality that either a good God or an evil God doesn't exist!"

No, that is not entirely correct.

The presence of evil in this world speaks against the existence of a 100% good omnipotent god but the presence of good does NOT speak against the existence of an omnipotent evil god. Why? Because an evil god can still coexist with the presence of 'good' in this world and at the same time be considered evil but not the other way around.

An omnipotent good god that tolerates some evil is not good by human definition. It is merely a neutral god, neither good nor bad.

The jews in reality believe in a neutral god. He can be good at times but can also be incredibly gruesome like when he kills men, women and children with plague or let the babylonians burn jerusalem to ashes.

The weird thing is that the christians claim to believe in the same god but at the same time ignore the numerous atrocities commited in the old testament. That and many other contradictions is the reason I can never be a christian, at least in the traditional sense.

If god exists he must either evil, neutral(indifferent?) or somewhere in between.

Re: Excellent

(Anonymous)

2007-12-15 08:42 pm (UTC)

"The presence of evil in this world speaks against the existence of a 100% good omnipotent god but the presence of good does NOT speak against the existence of an omnipotent evil god. Why? Because an evil god can still coexist with the presence of 'good' in this world and at the same time be considered evil but not the other way around"

The presence of evil speaks against weather the god is good or omnipotent not both. Either the good is not good, thus evil exesits, or It is good but does not have the power to stop evil.

So,an evil god can coexisting with the presence of 'good' in this world but it would not be omnipotent just like a good god.






Re: Excellent

(Anonymous)

2007-12-23 05:58 pm (UTC)

You assume that an evil omnipotent god has a compulsive desire to destroy all good in the world. This is not so.

Such a god might let a few good things be in the world simply because he just don't care. Or he maybe he likes toying around with them, who knows. But it doesn't make him less evil.

All this does not contradict the presence of an omnipotent evil god.

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