Originally posted by SwissGambit
I watched it. There is not much in it that has not already been stated on these forums.
My main disagreement with him is his objection to the probabilistic problem of evil. He claims we are not in a good position to weigh the probability that it is morally justified to allow the evil actions and events we see in the world. The most poignant objection ...[text shortened]... jection #2 is thus not attacking the argument at hand, but rather a different version of it.
This is a tough issue and I cannot avoid that my reply is longer than you probably want to read.
God has morally valid reasons for permitting all the acts of evil that occur, the theist is saying that this is the best of all possible worlds. That's too bold a claim.
I will not answer for Craig here for my reply is my own at this point.
For me the "bold claim" is based upon a kind of resume of God given in the Bible. Thankfully, what I read is God's dealing with a nation a world with its individuals over a very long time.
When I see His work with Abraham (over years), with Joseph (over years), over David and other of partriarchs, I see a record of how God caused misfortunes to work positive results for His purpose.
Even with some instances of people not closely related covenantually to God, I see such providence at work over the span of centries.
Now I admit that this does not inform me of each and every case of all people. That is true. But a kind of "approvedness" is built up in the record which furnishes me with boldness to think "God can over time cause misfortune to turn out to His good will."
The problem of bad things happening to seemingly undeserving people is not one which is ignored in the Bible. Had it been completely ignored I might be more swayed by your objection. However, I see at least one entire book dedicated to the thorny issue of "Why did a righteous man had to suffer terribly?" That would be the book of Job
The issue is not skirted over or naively ignored in the Bible. And there are some cases revealing God's sovereign providence to cause all things to work together for good to some people. Because of this record, I have the boldness to suggest God has this power to do as Dr. Craig suggests.
At any rate, mocking as the comedian did does nothing for me to address the problem.
That claim means that if even one less person had died in the Holocaust, or in the Asian Tsunamis, or in World War II, etc. etc. the world would somehow be less good than it is. Just too implausible to be believed.
I think his point was that our limited view may not validate that.
With me it is not a closed issue with Holocaust or Tsunamis or American Slavary or the Holocaust of abortions or many other terrible historical events because God is eternal. He has eternity to work in. And I believe that there are some unknowns about the outcome of some things.
To weep and to be appalled is the proper human response. And to avoid or see that such things do not happen is an appropriate response. I do not suggest that "We let evil come so that good may happen."
At the same time I trust
this eternal Father
I recall the day that I had to take my little baby girl to the doctor for a meningitus shot. The were concerned that she possibly had the deseaase. I had to hold her from struggling while the doctor inserted a needle into her back. That was one of the hardest things I ever
had to do.
Afterwere she stopped her crying and struggling and went to sleep in my arms. After a little while she strung up to life again and looked around. I was so happy to see that she was alright and that the dreaded yet recommended procedure was over.
This is not a perfect analogy. But it gave me a feeling that maybe this is what God has to go through. I know that histories most awful and most terrible event was the bearing of the sins of the world by the Righteous Son of God. I think that touched the Father's heart to the uttermost.
I just believe that He is eternal, unlimited, and can cause all things to work together for some ultimate good plan.
I didn't find the comedian's blasphamies and mockings did much to offer consulation in the problem.
I ruled out his other objections. I feel in #2 he is trying to change the argument's definitions - he is changing the definition of 'morally perfect' without admitting it. Instead of preferring that the most morally good state of affairs obtains, God is more concerned with people coming to know him instead. Objection #2 is thus not attacking the argument at hand, but rather a different version of it.
For me "knowing God" is a matter of coming into living union with God as the indwelling divine life. It is not simply objectively knowing some information about God.
I think the universe and man exist for this purpose that God and man might be united in a life union, ie. "knowing God". So there is nothing more important than this for it is why I think man was created.