1. Joined
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    28 Feb '11 00:46
    Atheists and agnostics only please.

    I'd like to develop the topic or subject in the following quotes a little bit more. It seems to be a point of contention with those who don't believe in the existence of God, that if the God theists claim exists has omni-powers, then why are conditions on earth so bad.

    Leaving aside the idea that the conditions that exist within the human race are merely part of an evolutionary process, and assume that 'suffering' is not an evolutionary characteristic; that 'suffering' is the result of either the negligence of God or the inherent flaw of man or both.


    I said; "Why do you think you associate suffering with the existence of God? Assuming there is no God, does that alleviate suffering? But if there is a Creator/God, is He then the cause of suffering?"

    You said; "I associate suffering, in this thread, with the claim your god is maximally benevolent - nothing more. I do not assert it is the cause (at least directly, for it can be argued your god is the cause of it's continuation given he could terminate such suffering immediately)".

    Above you say that 'suffering' and the claim of a 'maximally benevolent God' are incompatible do to the fact that if such a being existed 'it' would intervene and end suffering.

    It is true. If such a being as a God with omni-powers exists He should end suffering. He will. (Whatever I have to say further on this point will have to wait, as it would take up more space and time than I want to devote to it now)


    I said "If I read you correctly, this is your issue; That it is claimed that there is a "GOD" who is the most supreme being imaginable. That the existence of such a being is inconsistent with the fact of the existence of unspeakable suffering."

    You said "Yes, you read correctly here."

    Good! I hope you read me correctly as well.

    I would insist that it is the God of the Bible we debate this issue over, and specifically as I perceive who the God of the Bible is regarding His nature and attributes in relation to the fact of our existence and the existence of 'suffering'.

    How am I doing so far?
  2. Donationrwingett
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    28 Feb '11 00:49
    Originally posted by josephw
    Atheists and agnostics only please.

    I'd like to develop the topic or subject in the following quotes a little bit more. It seems to be a point of contention with those who don't believe in the existence of God, that if the God theists claim exists has omni-powers, then why are conditions on earth so bad.

    Leaving aside the idea that the conditions tha ...[text shortened]... r existence and the existence of 'suffering'.

    How am I doing so far?
    Are you arguing against atheists in general, or against someone specific?
  3. Joined
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    28 Feb '11 01:09
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Are you arguing against atheists in general, or against someone specific?
    I would be honored to have anyone who thinks there is 'no God' to participate with me in a good natured debate.

    But especially you! 😉
  4. Donationrwingett
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    28 Feb '11 01:22
    Originally posted by josephw
    I would be honored to have anyone who thinks there is 'no God' to participate with me in a good natured debate.

    But especially you! 😉
    Well, the problem seems pretty straight forward. If a god exists, and if he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then there should be no evil in the world. The fact that there is evil in the world means that god must necessarily lack one (or more) of the 'omni' attributes.

    I'm sure you've been over this dozens of times already and see little to be gained from going over it yet again. We could explore the various theodicies again, but I doubt either of us will gain much from it.
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    28 Feb '11 01:55
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Well, the problem seems pretty straight forward. If a god exists, and if he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then there should be no evil in the world. The fact that there is evil in the world means that god must necessarily lack one (or more) of the 'omni' attributes.

    I'm sure you've been over this dozens of times already and see little t ...[text shortened]... could explore the various theodicies again, but I doubt either of us will gain much from it.
    "Well, the problem seems pretty straight forward. If a god exists, and if he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then there should be no evil in the world. The fact that there is evil in the world means that god must necessarily lack one (or more) of the 'omni' attributes."

    If there is a God with omni-power attributes, then logically He would be without flaw. So there must be another logical explanation for why there is 'evil' in the world.

    "I'm sure you've been over this dozens of times already and see little to be gained from going over it yet again. We could explore the various theodicies again, but I doubt either of us will gain much from it."

    Don't give up hope for a better world. Suffering must end. If you believe in evolution, then there is no guarantee that suffering will end before man annihilates himself or nature does it for him. That, in my estimation, is defeatism, and is the omni-essence of evolutionary thought.

    You say we've been over this again and again without much gain. True. But we are growing and changing, and so I believe there is much more to gain.
  6. Donationrwingett
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    28 Feb '11 02:07
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"Well, the problem seems pretty straight forward. If a god exists, and if he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then there should be no evil in the world. The fact that there is evil in the world means that god must necessarily lack one (or more) of the 'omni' attributes."

    If there is a God with omni-power attributes, then logically He ...[text shortened]... True. But we are growing and changing, and so I believe there is much more to gain.[/b]
    A god "without flaw" would not tolerate the presence of evil. The fact that evil exists indicates that either god does not exist, or that he is flawed.

    There is no reason that suffering must end, other than that mankind desires it to. But I don't think suffering can be ended, although it can be lessened.
  7. Melbourne, Australia
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    28 Feb '11 02:27
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"Well, the problem seems pretty straight forward. If a god exists, and if he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then there should be no evil in the world. The fact that there is evil in the world means that god must necessarily lack one (or more) of the 'omni' attributes."

    If there is a God with omni-power attributes, then logically He ...[text shortened]... True. But we are growing and changing, and so I believe there is much more to gain.[/b]
    Hi JW, I'm happy to participate in this debate.
    I'd like to pick up on one point you made - 'if you believe in evolution, then there is no guarantee that suffering will end'.
    I would respond to this ... 'exactly'. There is no guarantee of anything. But far from being defeatist, this uncertainty in life and in our existence and in the value of and meaning of our lives, is what makes the struggle worth something. It's what encourages me to do better every day.
    And it's what means that sometimes things get better and sometimes they get worse.
  8. Joined
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    28 Feb '11 02:32
    Originally posted by rwingett
    A god "without flaw" would not tolerate the presence of evil. The fact that evil exists indicates that either god does not exist, or that he is flawed.

    There is no reason that suffering must end, other than that mankind desires it to. But I don't think suffering can be ended, although it can be lessened.
    You are correct in saying a God without flaw would not tolerate evil.

    But your conclusion that the 'existence of evil indicates that God doesn't exist' is not true.

    What you're saying is, that, 'because there is evil', an omni-powerful God cannot exist. The one fact does not give support to the other.


    "There is no reason that suffering must end,.."

    Why not? Why should there be any suffering? Having asked those questions I'm sure you're thinking of reasons why suffering will(should) continue. If you do it is because there is a flaw in your capacity to reason.(Not meant as a personal reproof, but as an objective observation)

    Of course my perspective is Biblical. I see perfection as the ultimate goal of reason and logic. Any suffering, no matter how slight, is unacceptable to God.

    This is the focus of this thread and the subject of debate. i.e. The God of the Bible and the continued existence of suffering.
  9. Joined
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    28 Feb '11 02:43
    Originally posted by amannion
    Hi JW, I'm happy to participate in this debate.
    I'd like to pick up on one point you made - 'if you believe in evolution, then there is no guarantee that suffering will end'.
    I would respond to this ... 'exactly'. There is no guarantee of anything. But far from being defeatist, this uncertainty in life and in our existence and in the value of and meaning ...[text shortened]... day.
    And it's what means that sometimes things get better and sometimes they get worse.
    Hello amannion. Good to hear from you.

    "But far from being defeatist, this uncertainty in life and in our existence and in the value of and meaning of our lives, is what makes the struggle worth something. It's what encourages me to do better every day."

    I understand what you're saying. Working hard to overcome adversity in life is indeed a worthwhile thing to do.

    But that's easy for you and I to say. But for countless millions of others there is no hope. Wouldn't you agree?

    I started this thread because of a debate I was having in another thread with Agerg who made some interesting statements I am trying to develop an answer to here. Please take a closer look at the OP. I think you will see there how I am focusing in on the apparent inconsistency between the existence of suffering and an omni-powerful God.
  10. Donationrwingett
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    28 Feb '11 02:531 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    You are correct in saying a God without flaw would not tolerate evil.

    But your conclusion that the 'existence of evil indicates that God doesn't exist' is not true.

    What you're saying is, that, 'because there is evil', an omni-powerful God cannot exist. The one fact does not give support to the other.


    "There is no reason that suffering must end subject of debate. i.e. The God of the Bible and the continued existence of suffering.
    What? A god without flaw would not tolerate evil, yet evil exists. How, pray tell, are we to reconcile these two facts? Just saying it isn't true fails to carry much weight.
  11. Joined
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    28 Feb '11 03:12
    Originally posted by rwingett
    What? A god without flaw would not tolerate evil, yet evil exists. How, pray tell, are we to reconcile these two facts? Just saying it isn't true fails to carry much weight.
    "How, pray tell, are we to reconcile these two facts?"

    rwingett, are you actually reading my replies? We touched on this just a couple of posts ago. Don't be offended, but you are dissimulating concepts in your mind.


    You believe there is no God because evil exists. That is patently illogical. You think you have to reconcile the existence of evil with the existence of God. Therefore, because you can't do so, then God must not exist.

    I'm asking you to consider that there is an explanation as to why evil exists and why God appears to allow it to exist. If you think you have an open mind, then now's your chance to prove it.( At least to yourself)

    You cannot(should not) continue to insist that both evil and God cannot exist simultaneously.
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    28 Feb '11 03:16
    Originally posted by josephw
    Hello amannion. Good to hear from you.

    [b]"But far from being defeatist, this uncertainty in life and in our existence and in the value of and meaning of our lives, is what makes the struggle worth something. It's what encourages me to do better every day."


    I understand what you're saying. Working hard to overcome adversity in life is indeed a wort ...[text shortened]... on the apparent inconsistency between the existence of suffering and an omni-powerful God.[/b]
    Yes, you're right we lead pretty comfortable lives - or at least, I do, and I'm assuming you do as well. I wouldn't agree that there is no hope for many or most - without hope, there is not much point of doing anything now, is there?
    As for your opening post, I did read that. I'm not entirely impressed with the existence of evil problem myself, although I don't quite see the inconsistency you mention.

    As far as I can see it, the argument goes that an all powerful god could prevent the existence of evil. Since evil exists, then either an all powerful god chooses not to prevent it, or it is not all powerful. If it chooses not to, or is incapable of, preventing evil then this places major problems on the existence of such an all powerful god.
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    28 Feb '11 03:19
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"How, pray tell, are we to reconcile these two facts?"

    rwingett, are you actually reading my replies? We touched on this just a couple of posts ago. Don't be offended, but you are dissimulating concepts in your mind.


    You believe there is no God because evil exists. That is patently illogical. You think you have to reconcile the existence of ev ...[text shortened]... cannot(should not) continue to insist that both evil and God cannot exist simultaneously.[/b]
    Do you have an explanation for why a god allows evil to exist?
    I guess the classic atheist response - or at least my response anyway, would be to say that the existence of evil could be explained by either, a) assuming no god, and people do bad things sometimes, or b) doing some fancy footwork around the all powerful creator explanation.
    The no god assumption seems to me to be the simpler one.

    P.S. I don't use this argument to justify my atheism, but I can see how others might.
  14. Joined
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    28 Feb '11 03:48
    Originally posted by amannion
    Do you have an explanation for why a god allows evil to exist?
    I guess the classic atheist response - or at least my response anyway, would be to say that the existence of evil could be explained by either, a) assuming no god, and people do bad things sometimes, or b) doing some fancy footwork around the all powerful creator explanation.
    The no god assump ...[text shortened]... r one.

    P.S. I don't use this argument to justify my atheism, but I can see how others might.
    "As far as I can see it, the argument goes that an all powerful god could prevent the existence of evil. Since evil exists, then either an all powerful god chooses not to prevent it, or it is not all powerful. If it chooses not to, or is incapable of, preventing evil then this places major problems on the existence of such an all powerful god."

    This statement from your previous post, and the one above, I will answer together.


    Yes, an omni-powerful God can prevent evil. So therefore there must be a reason why evil persists.

    But the fact that evil exists is not logical proof that an omni-powerful God doesn't exist. There is nothing here to reconcile as rwingett insists there is. The fact that evil exists, does not support the conclusion that God is weak or doesn't exist.


    "Do you have an explanation for why a god allows evil to exist?"

    We'll get to that, but first I would like to resolve the first issue. I think I said it plainly enough. There is no logical reason to conclude that because evil exists an omni-powerful God doesn't.


    I may have to go to bed shortly, but I will be back.
  15. Melbourne, Australia
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    28 Feb '11 03:58
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"As far as I can see it, the argument goes that an all powerful god could prevent the existence of evil. Since evil exists, then either an all powerful god chooses not to prevent it, or it is not all powerful. If it chooses not to, or is incapable of, preventing evil then this places major problems on the existence of such an all powerful god."

    Thi ...[text shortened]... an omni-powerful God doesn't.


    I may have to go to bed shortly, but I will be back.[/b]
    Perhaps, but you still need to justify why the all powerful god allows evil to exist.
    An atheist requires no such justification since god does not exist - evil becomes simply something people do; there is no need to elaborate further. (Although of course, it would be nice to try to understand why people do bad things in order that we might be able to reduce the prevalence.)
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