The God, Evil and Suffering Paradox.

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  • #51
DM
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Les Sleeth said:
That is incorrect. The major categories of philosophy are logic, ethics, epistomology and metaphysics. Possibly you've misunderstood the difference between metaphysics and religion.
Perhaps in your own mind and indeed in this forum (and in philosophy for that matter), religion is not regarded as part of the categories. That is your prerogative and I respect it entirely.

However may I please draw your attention to the following:

Something I think is funny is two ways science believers (athiestic) may talk about creation depending on what is cited as the creator. To someone saying God is the creator they may say, "What kind of God would create all this misery, all this disease, war, rape, children tortured and killed. This God must be a monster indeed."

But if a God believer happens to say that the universe seems meaningless without God, then the science believer (athiestic) might say, "What? Are you kidding? Have you noticed what nature has achieved in this universe? It is a wonder, an absolutely incredible place with . . ." (and then follows the list of great stuff we find here).

So let's see, if God produced it, then the universe is a cruel evil place, but if nature did it, then creation is a wonder. Hmmmmmmm.
Your vocabulary is very religious. For you to speak so many times of God, creators, atheists, etc... surely you would have to agree that philosophy revolves around religion. Perhaps that's what it is, philosophy is not religion but you can't ever state that philosophy does not revolve around religion as you unwittingly utter words concerning religion.

What's funny is that you automatically associate the belief in God with religion, so it is clear you don't know much about why some people who are non-religious suspect and feel there is "something more." If you judge others by what you are capable of or value, you are going to have a pretty narrow view.
You completely lost me here. So God is not religion? Are these coined terms? I truly do not understand it, God has for a hundred/thousand years been associated with religion, since when has it been dissociated from it?

There you go using a dictionary again in a philosophy discussion. Where a dictionary is appropriate is for language questions, not for philosophical meanings.
Are you implying philosophy is another language? Just who exacly writes these definitions? I'm sorry but this is beyond confusing. Perhaps if you were to direct me to a particular shop where a dictionary of English Philosophy is sold, I would indeed contemplate on purchasing it.
 
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  • #52
Les Sleeth
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DM said:
Perhaps in your own mind and indeed in this forum (and in philosophy for that matter), religion is not regarded as part of the categories. That is your prerogative and I respect it entirely.
It isn't my perrogative; the four categories of philosophy have been recognized for some time now. All universities recognize this and teach accordingly. No one is making up new rules here, we are following well-established scholarly guidelines.


DM said:
Les Sleeth said:
There you go using a dictionary again in a philosophy discussion. Where a dictionary is appropriate is for language questions, not for philosophical meanings.
Are you implying philosophy is another language? Just who exacly writes these definitions? I'm sorry but this is beyond confusing. Perhaps if you were to direct me to a particular shop where a dictionary of English Philosophy is sold, I would indeed contemplate on purchasing it.
A dictionary is designed to help a person use language; it's purpose is to assist everyday speaking and writing, not philosophical inquiry. A simple example is "truth." The dictionary will provide a variety of definitions based on the different ways it is used in language, but it tells us absolutely nothing about the nature of truth.

I don't know of any philosophy professor who would allow students to, say, write a paper on some subject by leaping from a dictionary definition. It's blasphemy! :wink:


DM said:
Your vocabulary is very religious. For you to speak so many times of God, creators, atheists, etc... surely you would have to agree that philosophy revolves around religion. Perhaps that's what it is, philosophy is not religion but you can't ever state that philosophy does not revolve around religion as you unwittingly utter words concerning religion.
There is a difference in wondering about, believing in, and being skeptical of God . . . and religion. I am a bit over educated on the subject of religion, so not only can I state my comments were non-religious, I absolutely insist they were not.


DM said:
You completely lost me here. So God is not religion? Are these coined terms? I truly do not understand it, God has for a hundred/thousand years been associated with religion, since when has it been dissociated from it?
God is not religion, correct. Has the God concept been associated with religion? Yep. So what? The Mafia has been associated with Italians, so is Italian a criminal organization? People in the past have worshipped the sun. Is the sun a religion, or is the sun a star which some people decided to incorporate into their religion? It is no reflection on the sun what stupid stuff people come to believe about it.

So God is one thing, and then there's all the crap that people come up with to be involved with God.

I am not saying God exists, I am saying that IF God exists, religion may or may not know the slightest thing about that being or force or whatever it is. You can't assume just because someone claims they are experts on a subject they really are. In fact, my studies have indicated to me that religion is packed with practices and beliefs that make little sense. If you believe things simply because they are in a book or because some authority states it as fact, and never question whether they make sense or are supported by evidence, that is hardly the spirit of philosophical inquiry.

In philosophy we might consider if the universe is conscious somehow and if having the universe conscious helps explain certain things. There is a philosophical way to contemplate the possibility of some sort of creative consciousness, and there is a religious way. BIG difference.
 
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  • #53
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les sleeth said:
A dictionary is designed to help a person use language; it's purpose is to assist speaking and writing, not philosophical inquiry. A simple example is "truth." The dictionary will provide a variety of definitions base on the different ways it is used in language, but it tells us absolutely nothing about the nature of truth.
do we not use language in philosophy? how can we communicate, in philosophy or otherwise, without using language? how could we engage in philosophical inquiry without well-defined terms of speaking? if the nature of a word/concept is not to be found in a dictionary, how, then, is it that we can speak about the nature of things? how could we speak, intelligibly, in any dialogue, or attempt at any communication?

les sleeth said:
In philosophy we might consider if the universe is conscious somehow and if having the universe conscious helps explain certain things.
what do you mean by "philosophy", "universe", "conscious", "having", "explain", "things"?

if basic conceptual meaning is not provided by linguistics, how could we even imagine that we might communicate more abstractly?
 
  • #54
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DM, I have repeatedly tried to tell you that the philosophical topic of God has nothing to do with religion. I am not at all religious and I despise most if not all organized religions; however, I am very spiritual and I do believe in God and Jesus Christ. I consider myself a christian not a Christian.

The main reason for this separation is because religion comes so loaded with bias, beliefs, emotions and dogma that it is almost impossible to have a reasonable discussion on the topic.

The existence of a god, God or a Creator and his possible powers, attributes and intentions are valid metaphysical subjects. If religion is a valid philosophy subject it is in the branch of metaphysics.

As Les said, the belief in God and/or a creator is not religious. It is philosophical. Religion is what comes after that belief and how people worship and what they believe about God.

Buddhism is not a religion but a way of life, of living life but people have made it a religion and worship Buddha, who near the end of his life said let the spirits take care of themselves. We are concerned about living life. (or words to that effect.)

This thread and so many others like it here are not about preaching religious dogma or beliefs, but is about philosophical issues dealing with God and the belief in God.

PS: I'm glad to see you still participating in this thread.
 
  • #55
Les Sleeth
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sameandnot said:
do we not use language in philosophy? how can we communicate, in philosophy or otherwise, without using language? how could we engage in philosophical inquiry without well-defined terms of speaking? if the nature of a word/concept is not to be found in a dictionary, how, then, is it that we can speak about the nature of things? how could we speak, intelligibly, in any dialogue, or attempt at any communication?
:rolleyes: Give me a break please! Philosophy exists because there are lots of unanswered questions, all of which now have "words" attached to them. If the issues the words represent aren't yet understood by humanity, then how the heck are you going to rely on a dictionary in a discussion meant to explore what is unknown?


sameandnot said:
what do you mean by "philosophy", "universe", "conscious", "having", "explain", "things"?

if basic conceptual meaning is not provided by linguistics, how could we even imagine that we might communicate more abstractly?
Are you really unable to distinguish between the mechanics of language, and the fact that there are things we try to understand because they seem key to the nature of reality? Just because we attach a word to such an aspect, like truth or love, doesn't mean we understand truth or love. Once we are being philosophical it is understood that we are moving beyond what's required for simple day to day conversation/writing and delving into the deeper meaning of things.
 
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  • #56
Rade
Les Sleeth said:
There you go using a dictionary again in a philosophy discussion. Where a dictionary is appropriate is for language questions, not for philosophical meanings. It is never relied on in serious philosophy, which isn't primarily about language but about the nature of reality.
I reject this statement, it is neither logical nor true. What you state here is itself open to philosophic debate--it is the debate of the internalist that views everything as esssential (thus definitions are useless) vs the externalist that views nothing as essential (thus definitions are useless). But both views may be incorrect, and it is a well developed philosophic thought that definitions are critical to proper philosophic discussion of concepts. Thus your comments about "professional" philosophers not using definitions are incorrect.
 
  • #57
Rade
Royce said:
...Religion is (=) what comes after that belief and how people worship and what they believe about God.
But, this sure sounds like a "definition", and did not Les just scold us not to use "definitions" in this philosophy forum :yuck: But then, since you have broken the "Les rule of philosophy" and used a definition to make a logical argument, how about we investigate the definition of religion most recognized in the English speaking world (Webster, unabridged), and we find that "Religion is (=) belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshipped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe". Now, since a rose by any other name still smells as sweet as a rose, RELIGION is all about (=) belief in GOD, and not at all as you conclude "what comes after belief". What comes after belief in God (e.g., Religion) is called "philosophy" (using reason to investigate your belief in God).
 
  • #58
Rade
Les Sleeth said:
I'm sure you think your answer somehow makes your case, but I don't see it. Nature has "rights"?
Of course nature has rights. How do you define the concept "rights", seems obvious to me ?
 
  • #59
Math Is Hard
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It is my sincere hope that at some point this thread will return to the original subject. The problem of evil is a rich topic and it is worthy of discussion, even if we only address historical viewpoints. This thread degraded exactly as I expected it would, by first swinging to the argument from contingency, and then into disagreements on the definition of philosophy itself.

In hopes of returning to the discussion, let me ask this: is it possible that evil is allowed to exist because without it there could be no definitive or recognizable good? To draw a parallel, if we lived in a world where the only color we perceived was red, would we have a concept of "red"? Or a concept of color?
 
  • #60
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Also... Royce, you gave me an analogue of "God as parent" who lets us fumble and struggle through life in order to learn, and to let us have some self-satisfaction through this. In some cases, this works very well for me. In others, it doesn't. Mostly because of the senseless suffering I see in the world. A loving parent will stand back and let a child fall off a bicycle if it helps the child learn, but (if he could prevent it) would never allow his child to get cancer or to be abused or tortured. To me, it seems to view a creator as a parent is overly anthropomorphizing such a being. This leads me back to thinking that the creator's "good" is something completely unlike our understanding of "good". Or maybe what's good for the creator and creation is just more experience, in any form- good or bad. Tell me your thoughts.
With respect (as always),
mih
 
  • #61
DM
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Royce said:
DM, I have repeatedly tried to tell you that the philosophical topic of God has nothing to do with religion.
Yes indeed you have, Royce. What I cannot understand is why philosophers utter words concerning religion (in my eyes it is religion) and refuse to admit that philosophy does not revolve around religion. You have previously admitted that you agreed with my view that religion is intrinsic to philosophy, have you not?

Royce said:
I am not at all religious and I despise most if not all organized religions; however, I am very spiritual and I do believe in God and Jesus Christ. I consider myself a christian not a Christian.
I have a serious problem with this statement. What is the difference between a christian and a Christian? It is these terms that I fail to understand from you, philosophers in this forum.

Royce said:
As Les said, the belief in God and/or a creator is not religious. It is philosophical. Religion is what comes after that belief and how people worship and what they believe about God.
I completely disagree but I'm willling to respect that view. What you've just stated is beyond ludicrous in the eyes of religious people. You may believe in such thing amongst philosophers, but certainly not amongst pure religious people. Thus why is best to avoid such statements because of course there are many who participate in the philosophy sub-forums and are bound to conflict those views.

Royce said:
This thread and so many others like it here are not about preaching religious dogma or beliefs, but is about philosophical issues dealing with God and the belief in God.
I totally agree but you must realise that I've never preached no one, I only challanged people, including you, to exchange their views on the bible and thus discuss how it fits with the philosophy of today. Perhaps I may have admittedly gone off topic but I reassure you that it occurred so with the interest of the original topic.

Math Is Hard said:
It is my sincere hope that at some point this thread will return to the original subject. The problem of evil is a rich topic and it is worthy of discussion, even if we only address historical viewpoints.
I most certainly agree. From now on I'm only prepared to participate in this thread with clear arguments concerning the original topic.
 
  • #62
DM
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Les Sleeth said:
I don't know of any philosophy professor who would allow students to, say, write a paper on some subject by leaping from a dictionary definition. It's blasphemy! :wink:
Fair enough, Les Sleeth. I agree with discussing topics of philosophy according to your own or otherwise other people's coined terms. Perhaps reminding interlocutors to agree with that prior to any posts would be wise as it seems most arguments arise from misinterpretations.

What I of course predict is that participators will always challange those terms, and quite inevitably cause conflicts. Others will find it very difficult to accord with those terms and consequently loose their interest in posting in this sub-forum.
 
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  • #63
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Rade said:
But, this sure sounds like a "definition", and did not Les just scold us not to use "definitions" in this philosophy forum :yuck: But then, since you have broken the "Les rule of philosophy" and used a definition to make a logical argument, how about we investigate the definition of religion most recognized in the English speaking world (Webster, unabridged), and we find that "Religion is (=) belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe".
This is exactly what Les was talking about. Dictionary definitions do not take precedence over the terms defined in philosophy nor those by the author (in this case of the thread or post).

If you do a google search you will find several on line philosophy dictionaries and the definitions do not always correspond with those of normal dictionaries.

I often use dictionary definitions when the question of meaning comes up but not as an authority but as a way to come to an agreement on the meaning of a term. It doesn't always work because people often refuse to except the meaning given.

Essentially once the author of a thread defines a term no matter how absurd that you may think it. You are obligated to discuss the topic within those terms and definition unless you both agree to a different definition.

Now, since a rose by any other name still smells as sweet as a rose, RELIGION is all about (=) belief in GOD, and not at all as you conclude "what comes after belief". What comes after belief in God (e.g., Religion) is called "philosophy" (using reason to investigate your belief in God).
Religion is all about worship and dogma. Religion connotes organized religion as in The Church. What in Gods name does The Church have to do with Philosophy, Reasoning or Logic?

The existence of God and/or the aspects or properties of a god are valid philosophical topics. Religion is not.

This is one reason such threads are not allowed here and why if they pop up are locked down. It is also one of the reason that it is almost impossible to discuss any facets of the god question without Religion getting into and confusing the topic.

This is THE REASON, as the author of this thread, that I refuse to discuss this topic on a religious level. It ain't about religion, its about human nature and behavior and the strong tendency for us to blame God or deny God's existence because of our failings and shortcomings as well as our present situation.
 
  • #64
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Math Is Hard said:
It is my sincere hope that at some point this thread will return to the original subject. The problem of evil is a rich topic and it is worthy of discussion, even if we only address historical viewpoints. This thread degraded exactly as I expected it would, by first swinging to the argument from contingency, and then into disagreements on the definition of philosophy itself.
AMEN, BROTHER!

In hopes of returning to the discussion, let me ask this: is it possible that evil is allowed to exist because without it there could be no definitive or recognizable good? To draw a parallel, if we lived in a world where the only color we perceived was red, would we have a concept of "red"? Or a concept of color?
The most accepted reason that evil is allowed to exist is because of freewill. If only good exists then we would not have any choices. As the perfect God cannot reasonable created evil or imperfection we ,Mankind, must have fallen from grace and perfection and therefore have a propensity to choose evil rather than good.

I maintain that we have not fallen but are in the process of rising up from the primal mud and evolving toward perfection. Your point is however well taken without evil there can be no good just as without other colors there can be no red.
 
  • #65
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Math Is Hard said:
Also... Royce, you gave me an analogue of "God as parent" who lets us fumble and struggle through life in order to learn, and to let us have some self-satisfaction through this. In some cases, this works very well for me. In others, it doesn't. Mostly because of the senseless suffering I see in the world. A loving parent will stand back and let a child fall off a bicycle if it helps the child learn, but (if he could prevent it) would never allow his child to get cancer or to be abused or tortured. To me, it seems to view a creator as a parent is overly anthropomorphizing such a being.
It is only a mild metaphor and not exact. God, as the Holy Father is but one simple aspect of God that we mere humans can relate to.



This leads me back to thinking that the creator's "good" is something completely unlike our understanding of "good". Or maybe what's good for the creator and creation is just more experience, in any form- good or bad. Tell me your thoughts.
With respect (as always),
mih
The reasons that there is disease, such as cancer, and so much of what we perceive of as evil are subjects for many books well beyond this forum. The simplest answer that I have come across is that it doesn't matter. Our lives here on earth are so short and temporary that whatever we don't get here we will get latter and any suffering that befalls us is fleeting in comparison and will make us stronger. Yeah, I know, tell this to some poor child suffering horribly with cancer.

The is also the thought that we are the reason we get sick. If we ate right and thought right we would not get sick. Some people get sick and stay sick because they want to be sick.
 
  • #66
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DM said:
Yes indeed you have, Royce. What I cannot understand is why philosophers utter words concerning religion (in my eyes it is religion) and refuse to admit that philosophy does not revolve around religion. You have previously admitted that you agreed with my view that religion is intrinsic to philosophy, have you not?
I know that it is very difficult for most of us to separate in our minds God and Religion. God, the philosophical God question is about God and Only God and his possible existence and possible properties, characteristics or purposes in general terms. Religion, as I said is about worship, the way we worship and religious dogma in specific terms. Philosophical they are not the same.

I did say the religion is a topic of one branch of philosophy, metaphysics.
In that way religion is intrinsic, as I understand the term, to metaphysics.

I have a serious problem with this statement. What is the difference between a christian and a Christian? It is these terms that I fail to understand from you, philosophers in this forum.
A Christian is one of, and one who practices the Christian Religion.

A christian in one who believes in the existence of Jesus but is not of, nor practices Christianity as determined by THE CHURCH or any other sect of Christianity. This distinction is my own and every time I do a spell check it wants to correct and capitalize christian.

I completely disagree but I'm willing to respect that view. What you've just stated is beyond ludicrous in the eyes of religious people. You may believe in such thing amongst philosophers, but certainly not amongst pure religious people. Thus why is best to avoid such statements because of course there are many who participate in the philosophy sub-forums and are bound to conflict those views.
Which is exactly why I make the distinction and separation and insist that this topic has nothing to do with religion. I ain't dumb and I ain't just being hard headed. There is a valid reason for insisting of this approach.

I totally agree but you must realize that I've never preached no one, I only challenged people, including you, to exchange their views on the bible and thus discuss how it fits with the philosophy of today. Perhaps I may have admittedly gone off topic but I reassure you that it occurred so with the interest of the original topic.
I most certainly agree. From now on I'm only prepared to participate in this thread with clear arguments concerning the original topic.
I wish that I could say that I have never preached to anyone; but, only if they specifically asked me a question concerning my spiritual views.

As far as going off topic, I have no problem with it as long as its not too far of and we eventually get back on topic. Just the last page or so shows how easily this can and does happen. I have tried to answer your questions regardless of topic as best I can. I know I have not always been successful.
 
  • #67
Rade
Math Is Hard said:
In hopes of returning to the discussion, let me ask this: is it possible that evil is allowed to exist because without it there could be no definitive or recognizable good? To draw a parallel, if we lived in a world where the only color we perceived was red, would we have a concept of "red"? Or a concept of color?
No, I do not agree. The concept of good does not "require" a concept of "evil", it is possible to create a situation where there are only shades of good--this is where philosophy has failed humans to this time in history--it has failed to point the logical way to pure good. I hold that pure good for humans will be obtained when they use self as a means to an end, and never use others as a means to an end. Pure good thus derives from a neutral monism of self and other.
 
  • #68
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Rade said:
No, I do not agree. The concept of good does not "require" a concept of "evil", it is possible to create a situation where there are only shades of good--this is where philosophy has failed humans to this time in history--it has failed to point the logical way to pure good. I hold that pure good for humans will be obtained when they use self as a means to an end, and never use others as a means to an end. Pure good thus derives from a neutral monism of self and other.
When you say "shades of good" it seems to imply that there is some sort of base unit of goodness that can be measured and compared, some kinds of good being a little bit good, other goods being very, very good. But it seems to me that this loses it's overall meaning in a world where there is nothing to contrast good with. In the world of "all red" we might be able to measure shades, but we still would not be able to understand the greater concept which is red itself.
Maybe you have a better way to illustrate this so I could see what you are getting at?
 
  • #69
Rade
Math Is Hard said:
Maybe you have a better way to illustrate this so I could see what you are getting at?
I have posted elsewhere my thought that the "root of all good" o:) is when a human uses self as a means to an end. Thus, we can conceive many different shades of such actions, take a walk, read a book, watch a sunset, meditate, etc.--all shades of good actions that have different shades of value given by the conscious and rational mind--thus, no need for evil in the life of the pure of mind. Thus I hold that the root of all evil :yuck: is when humans use others as a means to an end. And what is the "root" :devil: of this evil root ?--"groupism"--humans are taught from birth to use others as a means to an end because they are not of the family, the tribe, the county, the religion, etc.--they are the other, to be used for personal benefit, to spit on, to enslave, to convert, to control, to kill. And, the intellectual overlay of this root of groupism are those that over history have taught a philosophy that the other does not exist, that all outside self is image, ideal forms in the mystical mist:bugeye: Or those that teach that evil must be present else no free will choice :rolleyes: --what nonsense--numerous actions are available for free will where the other is never used as a means for an end--make a personal list, share it with trends, write a book, it will serve as a road map for the live of the moral human being.
 
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  • #70
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Thanks for the insight. That’s an interesting example, and it does seem to present a logically possible world where humans exhibit only goodness by nature. What this made me think about was that it is possible to have a world where no “evil” or human-inflicted suffering exists, but there is still pain and suffering all the same. For instance, natural disasters, disease, accidents, and attacks from predatory animals – all of this would still be allowable under the rules. And all of these events would create opportunities for charity, compassion, and other good acts.

The problem of pain and suffering remains, in that utopia, even with the problem of evil removed. The religious man living in that world might ask why his creator would place him in such a fragile body and in such a hostile environment. And he might even reason that everything in the world has been fashioned in such a way to allow the acts and experiences of goodness- the charity, the compassion, etc. So, here I find myself working on a very similar problem, even with “evil” removed.

What I’m looking for, I think, is how good could exist and how it would be perceived in a world without any evil, pain, or suffering. I think that here I still have a weak argument. If I construct that hypothetical world, it is truly all good in every way, but it seems that the people inhabiting the world may not be able to conceptualize it. It’s just the way things are. But there’s a problem: the “good” doesn’t go away in that situation. It’s still there, and it is omnipresent; it’s just not recognized. There has to be some benefit to recognizing “good”. There must be something valuable that comes from appreciating it and aspiring to it, rather than just purely existing in it. And I think this is probably where the real burden lies in making a case for this particular greater good argument – but it’s still fun to explore the idea.
 
  • #71
Rade
Math Is Hard said:
What this made me think about was that it is possible to have a world where no “evil” or human-inflicted suffering exists, but there is still pain and suffering all the same.... And all of these events would create opportunities for charity, compassion, and other good acts.
This is an excellent point.
Math Is Hard said:
What I’m looking for, I think, is how good could exist and how it would be perceived in a world without any evil, pain, or suffering. I think that here I still have a weak argument. If I construct that hypothetical world, it is truly all good in every way, but it seems that the people inhabiting the world may not be able to conceptualize it.
Yes, but this world cannot be of earth, for, as you say, even without evil, pain and suffering remain. The world you look for is called heaven and other such names--the place of no evil, pain, suffering, etc. I call it the place of lack of life = death = lack of conceptualization.
Math Is Hard said:
There has to be some benefit to recognizing “good”. There must be something valuable that comes from appreciating it and aspiring to it, rather than just purely existing in it. And I think this is probably where the real burden lies in making a case for this particular greater good argument – but it’s still fun to explore the idea.
As I defined it above, the benefit of rationalizing the root of all good is that the individual gets happy positive feedback of using self as a means to end. But, we could also hold that there is benefit (e.g. happy thoughts) from rationalizing the root of all evil, e.g., using others as a means to an end. As I see it, the positive feedback from this would be that we must not "use" others but "help" others, in the same way that we help self by using self as a means to end. Since we conceptualize the great happyness we feel when we follow the root of all good moral law, it would be easy to transfer that same feeling when we conceptualize that we must do the negative of the root of evil, and DO NOT use others, but help others (e.g., those in pain, suffering, etc.). Now, we see then that neither following root of good, nor not following root of evil, is motivated by the other, but by maximizing happy thoughts within the self. I think this is what the saying "love others as self" is getting at, and because I find this statement to have no logical flaws, it is from this statement that I developed my ideas of good and evil roots. Thank you for taking time to communicate.
 
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  • #72
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There is a Zen saying or the moral of a story; "If everything is sacred, then nothing is sacred." I think that it could be extended to Good; If everything is good, then there is no good.
 
  • #73
Rade
Royce said:
There is a Zen saying or the moral of a story; "If everything is sacred, then nothing is sacred." I think that it could be extended to Good; If everything is good, then there is no good.
But, if /E is good, then ~/E is good, thus the conjunction (/E + ~/E) = good, and there is only good, which is both every-thing and no-thing, the Ying and the Yang of the Zen.
 
  • #74
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Royce said:
"How can there be a prefect omnipotent, omniscient, loving caring God when there is so much evil, human suffering and disease in the world?"
I'll take my thoughts in steps:
1. Proof of the existense of evil (Assumptions: God is good, evil is not and they are enemies)
If there were no evil, God would have 100% control over everything (all would become good and no evil would exist). Clearly this is not the current cas, becuase there is war, hunger, diseases etc.
2. The different approaches of good and evil
Good has one way of spreading itself and evil another.
Good is spread via good work (you have to make an effort to spread good ex. help people etc.).
Evil is fundamentally different and requires no effort to be spread and does so via (exploiting the sinner named man) people not helping people. Evil recrutes by seducing the human into a selfabsorbed egotist (ex. Should i donate these $4000 that i earned from working extra to the Red Cross or should i buy a plasma TV altough i can manage myself perfectly without those $4000?)
3. God is currently not in a position to conquer evil by his/her/its own
If God was, we wouldn't have diseases etc.
4. The battlefield is earth
The beings on earth are the only one able to be influenced by good/evil.
 
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First, I see that you just joined PF's, welcome. We're glad to have you.

Mattara said:
I'll take my thoughts in steps:
1. Proof of the existence of evil (Assumptions: God is good, evil is not and they are enemies)
If there were no evil, God would have 100% control over everything (all would become good and no evil would exist). Clearly this is not the current case, because there is war, hunger, diseases etc.
I have long thought that evil does not exist. The word "evil" is an adjective not a noun. There are evil deeds and evil people; but, evil is not a thing in and of itself. All that we see as evil is the doings of Mankind and due to his way of thinking and living.

2. The different approaches of good and evil
Good has one way of spreading itself and evil another.
Good is spread via good work (you have to make an effort to spread good ex. help people etc.).
"All the darkness in the universe cannot extinguish one small candle yet, one small candle can illuminate an entire room."

Evil is fundamentally different and requires no effort to be spread and does so via (exploiting the sinner named man) people not helping people. Evil recruits by seducing the human into a self absorbed egotist
I believe that it is the self absorbed ego that does the seducing not evil.
Man exploits Man which is evil. Evil is and does nothing by itself.

(ex. Should i donate these $4000 that i earned from working extra to the Red Cross or should i buy a plasma TV although i can manage myself perfectly without those $4000?)
I do not see where this is evil. Why should you give your hard earned $4,000 to the administrators of the Red Cross so that they can pass on $32 to the people actually in need. Charity is not a duty, especially to those who have much more than you.

3. God is currently not in a position to conquer evil by his/her/its own
If God was, we wouldn't have diseases etc.
4. The battlefield is earth
The beings on earth are the only one able to be influenced by good/evil.
No offense, but none of this makes any sense to me at all. Are there two gods of nearly equal powers on Earth, one Good and the other Evil?
There is only One and all that is, is One. Disease and evil is a result of our poor choices and ignorance not evil. There is no battle nor battlefield. This is not the Clash of the Titans. That is all mythology.
 
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