The debate "If God existed there wouldnt be as much evil as there is" was started by
June 28, 2020, 8:29 pm.
37 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 82 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most people are against to this statement.
diecinueve posted 28 arguments, Nero posted 2 arguments, Cdawgthree posted 2 arguments to the agreers part.
Hi42069 posted 1 argument, Nemiroff posted 10 arguments, Anushaavula posted 1 argument, Cdawgthree posted 13 arguments, Godisnotdead posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.
diecinueve, Nero, SleepDeprivedSmarts, dump_trump, Abeah and 32 visitors agree.
Hi42069, Anushaavula, saswati, britishwolf, Nemiroff, ar205, cassiopeia, Logan_Spalding, Aphyllous, Godisnotdead, tyler0300 and 71 visitors disagree.
God allows evil because of free will. God tolerates evil in this world on a temporary basis, so one day those who chose to love him freely will go to heaven free of any influence of evil, but with their free will intact. God's intention is to one day destroy evil on the day he comes back. And untill then he allows evil because if he were to make everyone perfect and forced to love him, then there would be no reason for Jesus to die for our sins or for Hell to exist.
This is exactly where the argument boils down to: the concept of "benevolence."
It depends on what you mean by this. Benevolence, insofar as it is passive in the mind, is effected on the observer; it is similar to how we are effected by gravity or base emotions. Benevolence, insofar as it is active, is willed by the mind; it is similar to how one must actively collect water from a well or resources from the land. God, being active from the human perspective, is like a well from where all benevolence is gathered, same with knowledge, love, power, ect.
There is also the issue of morality. Moral systems cannot apply universally. I'm addressing this in the other debate of mine so maybe this issue is best followed up there.
I have broken it many times, and no, it does not insinuate that. It may suggest that you are fearful of the consequences or may be a conformist of sorts, but moreover it just indicates that you've never had a reason to break it. Different people have different reasons to do different things. If your life has not given you a reason, then there is none, but thats you and I am me and they are them.
If the laws were imposed by a benevolent being there would be no oppressive or unjust laws.
How many times have you broken a law? I never, does that mean that all my life I have been a robot without freedom?
Yes. Laws are often oppressive or unjust. When this is the case, it is not only our right, but our duty to disobey. Laws change for a reason. Laws are never static because the world is never static. If someone proposed that a certain ruleset should exist as universal and unbreakable, we would be robots, devoid of any real choice, freedom, or humanity. Revolution is how any progress has ever been made. Denying us a chance to revolt from the established order is denying us a chance to grow as human beings. Have you ever read novels like The Giver or 1981? Both are great examples of why a dystopian world never works. There is ALWAYS a sacrifice. The only way to expell any "evil" is to destroy everything "good." No pleasure comes without struggle. Nothing is free. Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and many eastern philosophies dive deep into this issue.
So, what are we to do in a world where nothing can be "perfect?" We must realize that perfection is merely a mindset! Not a state of existence or circumstance. The world is always perfect. We unfortunately tend to become blind to this fact with unfeasible dystopian ideals.
I do not understand how it affects whether it is us or God who takes away our freedom to the fact that we should or should not have freedom to commit crimes. Do you think we should be free to commit crimes? The answer should be independent of whoever gives or takes away that freedom.
I think that we would not have to seek happiness, we would be born with it because God would give us everything we need. But that's a very extreme case, first I just want to prove that God could make a better world, even if just a little bit. For example, the world could be the same only that God would stop the murderers.
If the reason for living was happiness (but not struggle) then how would we ever achieve happiness?
Who are laws conceived by? God? Nature? Some higher authority? No. Laws are created by us. They change simply because laws are not moral cornerstones and can never be moral cornerstones.
The only freedom we would not have would be to commit crimes, the same freedom that the laws take away from us, so should there be no laws?
The reason for living is happiness, not suffering. If we were happier we would have more reasons to live
How would severely restricting our actions give us more freedom? That makes no sense. Furthermore, literally every great thing exists because of tragedy. Every nation is built upon genocide and slavery. Suffering is an essential part of life. If we do not suffer, we have no motive to improve and overcome. Without struggle, we have no reason to live, for to live is to suffer, and to survive is to find meaning within the suffering.
Who would want to be a robot
God would allow us to do anything that does not harm others. I don't understand how you conclude that we would have to exist as robots, we even had more freedom than we have.
Yes. I never denied that. The fact of the matter remains that the will itself is still biased. How could God allow everyone to get their way if egos naturally collide? We would have to exist as robots... meaning we would have no will at all! The levelling of will or the ideal of "universal fairness" weeds out all inclination of will and desire, all personal and intrinsic value. It essentially devalues the value of value itself. The world is not meant to be fair. The perfectly fair world is a pipe dream that cannot exist.
then power is "doing what we want" and happiness is "feeling of doing what we want", therefore the amount of power and the amount of happiness are equivalent.
Returning to the original debate in which I said that if God existed he would make us happier, now I say that if God existed he would make us have more power, that is, that we do what we want.
By "actualization of will" I mean power; I mean (in simple terms) "doing what you want." This is because what you're "willing to do" is essentially that you want or desire, and actualizing this desire is the essence of living.
By happiness, I understand the term to be equivalent to "the feeling that power is increasing." So yes, I agree that with power increases pleasure, but I would also say the same to both knowledge and volition
What is "actualization of will"?
Do you think the amount of happiness is equivalent to the amount of power?
Evolution itself cannot possess any desire, but I assume you meant to say "function." The function of evolution is to power, and all of our desires are necessarily based on that function.
Let me ask you, is there any action you could possibly take that would not constitute as an actualization of will?
I do not deny that my desires are caused by evolution, but it does not mean that the desires of evolution are my desires.
You're not understanding. Anything, and I mean anything, you do is necessarily a result of evolution - the natural order of things. Like I said, every psychological effect is a result of a PHYSIO-logical cause. Implying that your psychological desires are caused by the ego itself through some sort of "free will" is literally just a denial of the laws of causality.
You treat evolution as a god whom we must venerate and fulfill its wishes. I do not care that evolution meets its goals, I only seek to meet my own goals. If I do what evolution wants me to do it is because evolution made me happy to do it, not because I want to fulfill the goal of evolution.
You're still not addressing WHY you like chocolate. Simply stating "because I like it" or "it tastes good" is not an adequate explanation because it outright assumes that this desire for chocolate came from thin air. Everything has a cause, even the desire for chocolate.
My purpose in stating our evolutionary goal is because of this fact alone: all psychological phenomena are caused by physiological symptoms. Eg, a depressed person is usually depressed as a result of some chemical imbalance or external condition. If the physiological cause for our psychological desire is power, then power must be the end to all of our actions precisely because of this biological predisposition.
You brought up suicide, and I think it is a great example of why we wish to actualize our will over anything. Suicide is rarely pleasant, and NEVER results in pleasure, but rather, the absence of pleasure. Suicide is, however, still an actualization of the will. People can still find value in suicide (eg martyrdom) even though there is no pleasure to be found.
I eat chocolate because I like it, not just for energy, if you could get the necessary energy and nutrients by taking pills, would you stop eating for the rest of your life? At least not me.
The goal of evolution is not the same as ours. Proof of this are people with diabetes who continue to eat sugar despite the fact that this will cause death, or people who want to commit suicide because they do not like life.
Then why did you eat the chocolate? Why do you "like" to eat chocolate? Why not bleach or rat poison? Because these are harmful for you. Chocolate is rich in calories and energy, yet you claim that it is not for power?
Why would the goal suddenly reverse for us? Are we not evolving? Do we not apply? We do not chase happiness, and the fool who thinks this is the same fool who chases "highs" or a "rush," only to become depressed once they crash, just like a junkie. Chase happiness your whole life and you will never attain it. This is simple and even self-evident when it comes to desire, because desire is a never ending pit. Once you get what you want, you will always want something else. This is how we function.
I am happy to do things that I like, not to increase my power. I like chocolate, therefore I am happy eating chocolate although that does not increase my power.
Evolution seeks the survival of the species, and to achieve this, it gave us an objective that, trying to fulfill it, makes us survive, that objective is happiness. For evolution happiness is a means to seek survival, but for us it is the goal. For evolution survival is the goal, but for us it is a side effect that we obtain when looking for happiness.
Why are you happy if it is not for the increase of power? These questions are self defeating; they go in a circle. The biological understanding of life provides a different answer. Pleasure is merely an evolved trait. It is a tool, a means to an end. All forms of evolution are towards one goal: the actualization of will. Even plants evolve to survive and overcome.
Why do you want to gain power if it is not to be happier?
Power (the actualization of the will) is the only thing that can be prescribed as the ultimate end. Pleasure, knowledge, and volition derive from power; they support it. You cannot name one instance of pleasure that does not involve knowledge and volition, nor can you name one instance of knowledge nor volition that do not involve the other two. The actualization of will is the only thing that ultimately constitutes value.
what I am saying is that happiness is the only thing with an intrinsic value and all other values derive from it. Drugs can be bad because even though they make me happier for a litle while, in the long run they make me less happy.
The value of desire derives from the happiness that it causes when fulfilling it, therefore the value of life also derives from happiness
Are you implying that happiness cannot be used for manipulation and deceitfulness? Drugs cause happiness but are not always in your best interest.
What you are doing is conflating intrinsic value with extrinsic value. Life creates value through power, which is actualized through the three attributes previously mentioned. Any of these attributes may be used for extrinsic "displeasure" regardless of their status as intrinsic goods.
Life is the pursuit of desire, the overcoming of obstacles. Desire requires a value to exist. Therefore, life holds intrinsic value. Life, however, may still be used to destroy other life. This does not necessarily diminish the intrinsic value within the life who is valuing
Knowledge, volition, power, and life are good because they can cause happiness, not because they are intrinsically so. In fact they can also be bad if used to cause suffering.
Sacrificing yourself is good because you cause someone happiness, even if it causes you suffering. If there was a way to cause the same happiness without causing you any suffering it would be even better. If God existed he could do it
Knowledge. Volition. Power in general (the actualization of will). Life. Life is intrinsically good. Life is the will to power. The pursuit of power relies on knowledge, volition, and pleasure.
Whoever said dying was bad? Can it not be seen as a good thing to die for something you believe in? To sacrifice yourself for a higher cause? After all, it is still an actualization of will.
Apart from happiness, what else has intrinsic value and why?
Even if there is no absolute morality, there are things we all agree on, for example that dying is bad, so God should avoid deaths
What you are referring to are ethics, not morals. Laws are ethical systems that support a goal, just like a work ethic supports the goal of working but does not present any universal or systematic concepts of "good" & "evil." The laws do not describe the nature of a human, they simply provide rules and consequences. Another analogy could be made for the rules and consequences of a sports game.
Implying that God would somehow decide to support societal goals for the purpose of morality not only applies a false morality to God (the absolute) but it also posits that utilitarianism is the one true system of morality. Utilitarianism is not only biased and contradicted by the many other systems that oppose it, but it denies a very important part of our lives: personal, intrinsic value.
I don't think they are mutually exclusive. Morality classifies behaviors depending on whether they support or harm society. Laws are based on morality.
Even if it were not so, God could support society and prevent things from happening that harm it, that is, God could enforce the laws
Laws and morality are mutually exclusive. Laws exist for the sole purpose of a goal: to support society & the freedom of the individual. Laws exist so society can function while morality exists to categorize and condemn certain behaviors rather than attempt to understand them as they are.
If evil does not exist, should everything be allowed? Shouldn't there be laws?
That's not true, Nemiroff. Contradictions are always reconcilable. Free will is most definitely a paradox, but you'll find that necessary will is also a paradox. How do we fix this issue? With the synthesis. We must conceive of the will as being both free and necessary -- We must conceive of the will to power.
Evil does not exist beyond your imagination. Your attitude towards nature depends on how much evil is in the world. God does not decide this, you do.
creating a stone he cannot lift is not an argument it is wordplay.
assuming he has limitless power, he can lift ANY weight. he can also create ANY weight. weight is a property that requires a number, limitless is not a number. thus any weight (literally any weight) he creates, he will still be able to lift.
the reason he cannot create a weight he cannot lift is because such a weight (more than limitless) is not a possible thing. it is word play.
the contradictions that limit him with logic are absolute contradictions. he can make the world dissapear. he can make the world visible. he cannot make the world dissapear AND be visible at the same time to the same observer. NOT BECAUSE HE LACKS POWER, BUT BECAUSE THAT POWER LACKS SENSE.
Note i do not believe in god, that doesnt mean i cant point out a flawed argument.
Well being an omni god is a logical issue in itself from my understanding. There is always the "create a rock so big he can't pick up" type of argument for omnipotence. The typical christian understanding of god contradicts the Omni properties as well.
But I was just pointing out the flaw of heaven and the free will. You'd either have to admit there is no free will in heaven or that God could've made a better world.
How do you define free will? Ik people define it in different ways.
no. an omni god can break the laws of physics and nature, but he cannot break the laws of logic. we either have free will or we don't. you can't have 2 contradictions being true.
Premise 1: God is an omni god
Premise 2: God created everything
Premise 3: God created heaven
Premise 4: There is no evil in heaven
Premise 5: There is free will in heaven
Conclusion: Free will doesn't stop god from creating an evil/sin- free world.
Stop using the free will argument if you believe in heaven. God can create a world without sin and still give you free will.
I think that on a normal day a person acts doing good without ever considering committing a crime, that does not mean that he is acting instinctively like an animal, he still has a lot of freedom, he can do anything he wants except to commit crimes. That's what laws are for, to eliminate freedom to commit crimes, just what you say God shouldn't do, so shouldn't there be laws?
we do have the freedom to commit crimes, that's how crime happens.
the point was that we must CHOOSE to do good. if we have no choice then we are automata like animals who live on instinct. what can we learn if we cannot choose. i would reject such a world as bad.
a knowable world that we can explore and trust is worth the smaller evil of nature.
freedom and choice is worth the larger evil of humans.
sure you can imagine less suffering, but you can also imagine more suffering. it is very arguable that this could be the ideal balance.
God could stop criminals. The only freedom we would not have would be to commit crimes, which we do not have anyway, so we would not lose any freedom.
90%+ of the suffering is man made.
as i said numerous times, natural disasters arent rarely particularly deadly. so it is not "all the suffering in the world". it is a fraction of that suffering.
to eliminate "all the suffering in the world" it is not knowledge you must steal from us, but freedom and will.
the happiness caused by being able to discover the rules of the universe is much less than all the suffering in the world
the idea that the rules of the world are subject to change at a whim destroys most motivation to discover and harnass the rules of the world. all effort can be undone on a whim.
it is my belief that having a world we can learn and explore is a good.
Why do you think constant intervention is bad? Who does that harm?
because constant intervention is bad imo. if it isnt cause much damage and is necessary for a functioning world then it is acceptable.
Why doesn't God stop those that are going to be deadly?
natural disasters are necessary for a functioning world. earthquakes are caused by geothermal activity that is necessary for life for example. natural disasters arent even that deadly most of the time. things could be much worse.
How are a benevolent God and natural disasters compatible?
What's wrong with him being discovered by us? We could happily live in a world where God stops evil.
well eliminating disease may have broader consequences for biology. let us look at a specific example: cancer.
cancer is caused by mutations. too stop cancer good would have to end evolution. or he would have to intervene in each individual case and remove the cancer. if he does so, he runs a high risk of being discovered by us, which could have grave consequences as he clearly chose to keep his existence hidden.
so which solution do you recommend so that we can explore the consequences of such massive intervention.
Being able to help someone without losing anything and not doing it is bad. God allows us to suffer even though he can help us without any effort, therefore God is bad.
Teachers test students for a benefit (that they learn). Any benefit that God wanted to obtain could obtain it without making us suffer. Teachers cannot make all students learn without testing, God can.
god wanting us to triumph independently would not be a benevolent God? i disagree.
or a god who wants to test us is not benevolent? are teachers evil?
please explain yourself!
God could stop natural disasters and murderers
our evils are in our hands exept the natural disasters... there is nothing to do with god..
then he wouldn't be a benevolent god
so rather than set up a utopia from the beginning, you think god should actively intervene at all times to ensure his pets are taken care of?
what if this world is a test and not a paradise? or if god wants us to triumph independently and not be endlessly dependant on magic daddy?
the world would be the same only when someone is going to get sick, God would avoid it, when there is going to be a natural disaster in a populated area, God would avoid it.
We wouldn't have to surrender any control, God would be the one to stop criminals like a superhero. Freedom ceases to be good when it hurts others. It is obvious that we should not have freedom to kill, so God would not allow it.
i mean a benevolent god
perhaps this world has the ideal freedom to risk ratio
how would a world without disease or predation function on a biological level?
how would a world without natural disasters function on a physical level?
how many people (%) die from natural disasters or disease compared to totals?
how much control would we have to surrender for every murderer to somehow get caught before the act?
is it not possible that a good god would want for us to have free will, and a world that is understandable to us so we can learn and grow?
If there was a omnibenevolent god sure. But he's not depicted as omnibenevolent in the Bible, that came later when philosophers tried rationalising him as a maximally great being.
It does not define whether said God is Malevolent or Benevolent. So how can we predict "Gods" intent or actions
there would be no disease, there would be no natural disaster, the murderers would be stopped before killing
how much evil should their be?