Vexen Crabtree 2015

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


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

God must be immoral whether it has free will or not

"God is immoral whether or not it has free will" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

The Validity of Love theodicy is the idea that god created evil because we could only love god in a valid way if we had a choice between loving god and not loving god. Because of this choice, evil and suffering exist due to us not loving god perfectly enough. However, a simple look at the free will of god itself disproves this theodicy.

* If God has no free will and love from this god is valid and acceptable, then God could have created us the same way. Where our love and worth is valid, despite there not being the existence of evil or free will.

* If God does have free will and never chooses evil, then God could have created us with the same quality. That by choice, we never choose evil, but we still have free will.

To say that evil, suffering, disease, despair and unhappiness were created by god because it is necessary for love and worth to be valid, is wrong. Either there is no god and suffering just happens to be part of the natural world due to physical cause and effect, or, if there is a god, it is amoral.

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let me say that this was an interesting post..of course i had to say something. =)

first off- i'm interested in how God can be defined. i do not believe in the bible.. i do not believe in that "god" but I am a very spirtual person and i do believe in a higher source.. a higher spirit, a "god" if you will.

second off- i totally respect other people and what they believe in. these beliefs are completely personal and individual. our relationship with the earth, with "god", with "gods" with whoever is our own and is none of anyone else's business.

third- what i personally believe is that "god" had to give us free will in order for us to learn. after all what are we here for on this earth if it isn't to learn? i don't think it was meant to be sadistic or torture. i think we learn from the bad much more than we do from the good. it is all choices, it is all karma here on earth in a way. as for earthquakes and other natural disasters..noting in this world is perfect. not even mother nature. we also must learn to respect the earth and our environment. we must realize that just because we are arrogant humans doesn't mean we are in control.

fourth- choosing between good and evil. i never really thought of it so black and white. aren't we all both? don't we all make choices in both directions? again it is all about learning.

i find all this interesting.. and i love to hear what other's think. i never claim to "know" anything, i have no answers. i haven't died yet. BUT I do believe.


I agree and believe completely that good and evil are inseperable, I do not have any dualistic beliefs.

For the argument above, one of rebuttals of the "Free Will Defence Theodicy", thinking non-dualistically it works like this:

All actions cause amounts of good and evil. God, however, only causes pure goodness. And then read the rest of the argument as per normal, however comments like "choose good and not evil" should be read as "perform acts that do cause no evil effects in addition to evil ones".

Is that clear? I need to practice in making it a clear argument, I'm used to debating with people who take all the terminology for granted.

Kyla:
"i personally believe is that "god" had to give us free will in order for us to learn. after all what are we here for on this earth if it isn't to learn?"

I believe we can learn and develop without free will. Our brains and character can learn from our mistakes and progress and mature as part of a natural, determined cycle; learning (in itself) can exist without free will.

I agree completely that we learn equally from bad and good, that learning is more a result of nature (containing bad and good), than of purely "good".

Kyla, logical arguments never do much to alter a person's belief (I think experience is most important for that), so feel free to argue/debate/discuss as much as you can, I think it's good for people :-)

so i'm trying to understand what you are saying and please correct me if i'm wrong in interpreting...

you are saying god is immoral because he gave us free will? because he created evil? because he let's bad things happen?

there cannot be good without evil right? and is "god" intentions "evil" in nature? when he gives us the choice is it because he wants to be sadistic? do we not give our own children the free will to choose, to make their own choices, to shape who they are? do we give this to them because we are "evil" or because we want them to discover who they are through the good and the bad?free will gave US the choice. we are human, not robots. we learn.

and again if someone does something "evil" but with good intentions is that person immoral? just a thought.


Re: in simple words...

"you are saying god is immoral because he gave us free will? because he created evil? because he let's bad things happen?

there cannot be good without evil right?"

It is possible to have free will without the existence of evil. For example, in Heaven, there is no suffering, but there is free will? Why didn't God make the Earth like this too? Likewise, Heaven is a place that exists where Good exists without Evil. So, if you believe in Heaven, I think you believe in a place where Good exists without Evil.

Why can't there be good without evil? Why didn't God create the universe without any evil in it? If he is the creator, and good natured, he didn't need to create it. The only answer must be... that he doesn't exist, or is not moral.

"do we not give our own children the free will to choose, to make their own choices, to shape who they are? do we give this to them because we are "evil" or because we want them to discover who they are through the good and the bad?free will gave US the choice. we are human, not robots. we learn."

Atheists believe in free will, I think free will is a function of nature, and God isn't "required" in order for free will to exist. Actually, I think the existence of God _denies_ us free will.

With children, if I created a home for them, I would not create it with "evil" in, if I could at all help it. I would make it so that all their learning, development, free will and maturing is done in a purely safe home, with lots of toys, choices and events, but not without evil.

Natural evil
The suffering as a result of natural disasters, volcanoes, etc... are these the results of our free will, or can we choose to stop them? I think evil occurs all the time, affecting us, and it's not always due to our own choices. When children and the young are hurt, injured and killed in these large scale disasters, is God really punishing them? Or is God immoral (or doesn't exist?).

Re: in simple words...

i'm thinking outloud so please bear with me.. =)

"It is possible to have free will without the existence of evil. For example, in Heaven, there is no suffering, but there is free will? "

If there is a heaven and when we die i believe we are enlightened. So yes, i believe you can have free will (choosing different paths) but it doesn't make sense to me that we would bring our human flaws and our human logic with us up to "heaven" so we could choose "evil" deeds. We would be smarter than that and "evil" choices wouldn't even be an issue. We can think and truly know more than what is human* nature. Like I said we on earth all known at some level that "evil" is destructive.. to our society and to ourselves. So when we die I believe we are fully aware of it, we are enlightened way beyond even what we know simply living as humans. I do believe in "hell" but not in the sense of the devil and the place God sends sinners. I believe it is choosen by us. I believe GOd would have open arms to every single one of us. BUt some choose "hell".

ANd really what is at the root of "evil"? it comes from greed, from anger, from jealousy....all HUMAN flaws and emotions. Hopefully when we die we will be truly free of our primitive states of being (equal to that of being human.)

"Why didn't God create the universe without any evil in it?"

Again i believe it is all about learning. Experiencing. If I told you how it feels to fall in love would that be anything compared to actually feeling and experiencing what it feels to fall in love. YOu only gain true knowledge through experience. Every good and bad experience mold

Re: in simple words...

"We would be smarter than that and "evil" choices wouldn't even be an issue"

Isn't being smarter a good way to learn? Why doesn't god make us smart like that, right now, all over the world? It would erradicate evil and injustice, pain and suffering. It would cost god nothing, we would still have free will (as in heaven), we would still learn and develop as human beings. My conclusion is that god cant (is not, therefore, all-powerful), or wont (and is immoral).

"BUt some choose "hell""

I think, once we are in this enlightened state, some may still choose hell and then, so be it, God cannot "force" anyone. So, given that hell is so terrible, and these people are going to suffer, why does God allow them to be born in the first place? To watch them make all the wrong choices? Why does he let this cycle continue, when he could stop it?

*smiles*

By the way, I like debating and arguing; you seem natural at it (you hold your ground!), I debate a lot with my friends; my sometimes harsh arguing style is not a signal of dislike or hate... I just want to tell you that I don't dislike you simply because I argue :-)

Re: in simple words...

"So, given that hell is so terrible, and these people are going to suffer"

hell can only be defined for me in this way. seperated from god. is it a place? i don't know. a space maybe. with flames? i don't think so but again i don't know. is there suffering? i would believe yes. i believe some people who have rejected "god" and are stuck in their human cycles.. the ones completely lost and bent on self destruction continue their own personal hell in hell. if that makes sense.

just curious but so why do you think we are here on earth? if we die and there is indeed a "god" would you choose heaven or hell?

again i totally respect you and what you believe. =) we are two people who passionately believe. ditto on your last statement.

Re: in simple words...

Kyla: "if we die and there is indeed a "god" would you choose heaven or hell?"

"
I suspect that it is logically impossible for Heaven to exist and for God to be moral. Without being entirely sure, how can you accept to move into a being's personal dimension? You do not know in advance what is going to happen to you.

You do not know if you will have free will, a conscience, a personality. There is no suffering in heaven (it is assumed), no unhappiness... so the loved ones you lost in your life and those who you care about; you will continue to care but you wont be able to feel unhappy about what happens to them! It seems inhumane to have our negative emotions taken away, it seems fascist.

I do not know that I want an eternity in a blissful state. I prefer life, as it is now, with moral choices, dilemmas, struggles and self development. I never want to reach my eschatological self.

Abstain
The only safe option is to abstain from Heaven. To not choose to go there but also, not to choose anything else either. Don't choose Heaven or Hell, as we do not know what is in store for us. Hopefully the result of abstinence is to remain in Limbo, to keep your feelings, doubts and flawed character exactly as they are.
"

Taken from my essay: www.vexen.co.uk/religion/GodIsDangerous.html

Re: in simple words...

Isn't heaven pure good, a place free of suffering, pain, angst, misery
and evil?

Then of course I would want to go there. If such a place exists I want to go there.

But... unless I am sure what, exactly, it is and why I think it is a good place, I am cautious.

Re: in simple words...

(Anonymous)
God did not create evil...and He did give man free will. Why? Because God created man and the angels for His pleasure and wished only that they love him freely. Freely. God could have created beings that automatically 'loved' Him - but that would not be real love. In order for Gods created children to be able to love him truly - they must have the free ability to choose. Some chose/choose evil. So be it, but those are not of Gods doing and He will soon put an end to all evil. Satan was once a good angel. A Great angel - God created Satan of a most perfect mold [but there's that free will thing...] and Satan became filled with pride and self importance - he wanted the seat of Christ and that's how this all came about... It's all in the Book. It's a Good Book. The Bible. Jerry@yeswedeliver.org

Re: in simple words...

(Anonymous)
How crazy is this? (in more than one sense)

It's been four years since I've been on live journal and this pops up. Very strange.

Jerry,

a. Supposedly there is just one creator. One God. So by this "logic" yes, God created everything because He is the one and only creator, and that means...get ready for this... He created evil. You can't create light without creating dark my friend.

b.Why, oh why, would anyone worship a God who has selfish intentions? To "create children to love him truly" seems extremely self centered. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I have higher expectations in "God".

c.People who blindly follow what the Bible says (in all it's many flaws) scare me....even more than "satan". Question, think, explore, learn, embrace everything that involves an evolution of the mind. Otherwise you are missing the beauty of being human and thinking for yourself. If there is truly a "God" than he created you with the ability to do so, so live up to that potential and think for yourself!

Peace be with you.
-K

In response to this I quote from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman as it's 12:41 and I don't do this kinda counterthing very well at any time, I just suck.

Lucifer: "People say the devil made me do it, well they lie, I never made anyone do anything, I didn't appear in a flash of light and demand tribune, I didn't whisper whilst they inncocently slept trying to corrupt them."

It's probably just the brain cells melting into sleep but your arguement seems to do a neat little loop in the middle there so that no matter what the original propsition was it will come out the way you want it.

Or something.

I go away now.

*huggle*

Form criticism
"Lucifer" as a character in the Bible is mostly a mistranslation, the "morning star" and similar comments were sometimes directed at Jesus (as a light bearer), it was only later on that the confusion arose between "Lucifer" and "The Devil".
Read my "History of Lucifer" essay!! :-)

Aside from that, and substituing "Devil" for "Lucifer", I completely agree with that quote.

You forgot to link the essay, didn't you, Vexen? Yes...

www.dpjs.co.uk/lucifer.html

Your arguments are incredulous! You assume free will is some great thing that defines a being as good or evil. Satan taught us free will and doomed us!

We cannot assign absolute moral values to a being that has no free will, because they have no choice. For example, a computer, a robot, and someone who has their decision forced is not held responsible for what they chose.

God gave his angels a choice whether to follow him or not,just as man has a choice.

You said that
If God has Free Will:
But never chooses evil, out of choice, and still has free will
then

God could have created us with the same quality. That by choice, we never choose evil, but we still have free will.

But...I have free will...dont I dont choose evil. so you can't speak for everyone, now can you? So maybe there is a God and you're just choosing not to pay attention to him?

God is evil

(Anonymous)
I believe that God is cruel,uncaring, and hateful. I believe that by all of the pain that God causes everyone, he is not someone who should be loved or worshipped. I believe that God is not good and never answers anyone's prayers. I believe that God shows everyday that he does not care about anyone by his actions. There are many people in this world who are either atheists or hate God. Based on so many heartaches, heartbreaks, misery and devastation that occurs in so many people's lives, they have every right to feel that way. I believe, as so many others do, that God, religion, and the bible are a waste of time and are extremely offensive. I believe that God is cruel and uncaring. Nobody asks to have cancer, heart disease, alzheimer's disease, or any of the other devastating diseases. I believe that God murders people with those diseases, everyday. I believe that God lets terrible, cruel, devastating things happen to people when he has thepower to prevent it but choses not to. Based on those beliefs, I believe that God does not love. I believe that God should be condemned, not praised. I believe that God is what total and complete evil is all about. For the extreme pain that he causes me and so many others, I will always hate him. I am now and always will be 100% secure in my beliefs against God and his meanness and his cruelty.

Re: God is evil

(Anonymous)
Would you rather not have a choice?

Re: God is evil

(Anonymous)
HUMANS ARE TO BLAME, LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ALL MAN KIND THINGS THEY KNOW IT ALL. MAN HATES, MAN KILLS, MAN DESTROYS, MAN LIES, MAN STEALS, MAN RAPES AND ON AND ON AND ON. ITS YOUR FAULT THAT YOU HATE, THEIR YOUR EMOTIONS TO CONTROL. SO, DON'T GO AROUND BLAMING OTHERS FOR YOUR HATE, OWN UP TO YOUR OWN EMOTIONS.

Er...

Do humans cause the earthquakes, volcanoes or floods that have extinguished species and life before we were even on this planet?

Do humans cause the interstellar radiation that can cause cancer and suffering in unborn (innocent) babies?

Did humans 'design' the life cycle so that animals have to eat each other and fight for food?

I think there are bigger things at stake here than the petit human evil that you refer to... "Natural evil & natural disasters" by Vexen Crabtree (2002) highlights the role of god in the creation of much evil and suffering.

And plenty of Biblical verses are discussed on "The Christian God of the Bible is Evil" by Vexen Crabtree (2006), proving that God itself admits it is evil and the creator of suffering, etc.

Some ideas i've had about it all

(Anonymous)
If God is all knowing, all powerful, all good, unchangable
then.. this must be the best possible world like Leibinz said

but it also means that every supposed 'free will' that a human makes
is not truly free in the sense that there wasn't any other possible future.
The blame does not go to God because evil is the neccesary evil for
the best possible world. The so called 'free will' to choose Him or not
never actually did exist, the reason God allows the evil is because it
is the only way to conceptualize, know, experience what goodness
is. Even God took part in this by becoming man, He wouldn't subject
His creation to somethign He himself wouldn't do.

It is not that God enjoys seeing evil, He doesn't; nor does He encourage
His creation to do evil so that they can know good. Evil is unavoidable,
from the moment He created creatures with god-like attributes it was
inevitable that they would turn against Him and worship those attributes
within themselves. But that is the process of purification, first a person must
become aware of the god within themselves, but then they must come to
see that it is not God, it is unable to do what God does. Then there is the death
to the god-self in order to reach after God His self. This is a natural process
that every human and maybe even angel will go through.

What we call 'free will', the will to choose God or not, was never an issue of
'free will' with God. It was always known to Him exactly what we would choose,
and why. Therefore only universalism is the logical conclusion concerning the
afterlife, and only Calvinism or the theory of the elect makes sense for those
who become Christians in this dispensation. A person can only make choices
on what they have experienced. A person of another faith, or a person who
experiences hypocrisy with Christians will have a low chance of every converting
to Christianity. you could say, that these are the ones who have been elected
to be 'children of wrath' as the scriptures say, elected by the natural selection so
to speak of time and space.

There life is what it is, if they loose out on the joy of knowing God in this dispensation
then they will have it made up for them in the next. Those who know God greatly
in this dispensation will also be rewarded.

So if this is all true, it would make men like Chesterton for example, very unhappy.
G.K. hated Calvinism because it denied free-will. But truly, what is free will? We can
only make choices from a set of pre-deterimend factors anyhow. G.K. said that it
was this type of deterministic belief that drives people to madness. Everything is
calculated, there is no magic in anythign because nothing is magical, nothing is mysterious.
I agree, that is why we as humans shouldn't go through life thinking in God's way. like
a friend said to me once, 'Believe like a Calvinist, act like an Arminian.' Don't try to understand
exactly why everything is the way it is, you probably couldn't anyway but if you did it would
drive you crazy. It would all seem meaningless, similar to what a strict materialist must think sometiems when they analyze the universe. It may seem vast and mystreious like Carl Sagan said, but ultimately there is nothing but the unkown and even that will some day be perfectly understood thus
loosing it's mystery, thus making life less worth living.

Another thing we can't do is blame God when things go bad, because God
wants the best but many times must allow evil for the best situation to come to pass.


Re: Some ideas i've had about it all

(Anonymous)
But where does punishment and reward come in? If everythign is pre-determined then why
would there be any type of hell? or punishment? Why reward for good behavior if it was
all based on your genetic predispositions and envirnonemnt? Sure we attribute all the good
we do to ourselves, and all the bad we do to ourselves. But should we? Many very religous
people will say, 'It wasn't I but the Lord' They attribute any or all the good they have done to
God, but when they do some evil it is their fault. God gave them the grace or gift or power to
do good, but not enough apparently to keep from evil. When it comes to reward, if we attribute
our success to ourselves it usually tends to make us prideful. The chances are that everything
that made us successful had a lot to do with how the environment and genetics made that person
smart and deterimned and such, and how much the odds were in their favor. rewards can be
good to boost the human ego when it needs an uplift, punishment can be good in bending human
behavior in the right direction. When it comes down to it, rewards and punishment aren't so much
to do with deserve. Deserve's got nothing to do with it. It really has to do with shaping human
experience in the right direction. This may sound a little too behavioristic, but it is one of the elements
that shapes human behavior and experience.





look and read

(Anonymous)
haha this is funny i got a question for all of you have anyone of you heard of St.Fostenia she was shown hell by St.Paul shes had a book out you might want to read this she says all the people that dont believe there is a hell says they go to hell when they die , prugatory is the same as hell you still get touturd for all you sins you commited and didn't ask for mercy and forgiveness and heaven you go to heaven if you believe that God exist and you believe God does ,but if you dont believe in God and That he Exist nothing happens to you you go no where ,but if you believe if you believe God dosent exist and God does then you go to hell now God didnt create evil ,evil came from when adam and eve disobeyed God and corrupted all life. God created the commandments in Exodus 20 so God cares about people and his people but when people disobey him and worship false God's then God says ooo you want to worship a false God then Death there is only 1 God people so im gonna leave yall with this " Remember man that you are dust and unto dust you shall retuen"

Re: look and read

Your idea about belief is wrong... there are many gods of many relgions, and in most religions believing in the wrong God is a severe sin. The first commandment of Christianity, for example, is to have "no other gods". Because there are many religions with many ideas of god, the chances are you will pick the wrong one, and suffer the wrath of whatever god is real... so, it is safer not to pick a god at all, but to believe in none of them.

What are the consequences of picking a god? It is dangerous, as you will probably pick the wrong one.

What are the consequences of not picking a god? Well, if the god is good, it will understand that you did not have enough information to know which god is true. So, if god is good and forgiving, your non-belief will have saved you.

If god is evil, it will punish people for having the wrong 'beliefs'... so, it is far safer, if there is a good god, not to choose a religion.

Re: look and read

(Anonymous)
Just writing about this obviously makes you know about God. And the bible tells you that If you do not follow Jesus's ways you will burn in hell.
And I Chose Jesus because no other god in this world does miracles. My Mum gets visions from God every time she prays and asks for one. She has also been told to spit on the dirt and rub the mud in a blind womans eyes and she was healed. Have you ever seen Buddah or Allah do anything like that?

all wrong

(Anonymous)
God did not choose sin, pepole did. and even when bad things happen God turns it into good things! like in genisis 37–40. god bless, cameron

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