If there is a God, why is there evil?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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LuckyR
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by LuckyR » January 19th, 2017, 7:08 pm

-0+ wrote:
Floyd wrote:If there is a God, why is there evil?
Good depends on evil for its existence. How can anything be "good" without "evil" things to compare?

We can turn the opening question around: If there is no God, why is there evil? What sense does evil make without God (or godliness) to accompany this?

What do questions of God's existence have to do with questions of evil?

We can simply ask: Why is there evil? What is evil? Does evil really exist? Can evil be objectively measured or does evil only exist in the imaginations of people?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Do bad things really happen to good people? Why do people think bad things happen to them? Why do people think they are good?
Why is there so much needless suffering in the world, from natural disasters and such?
Suffering drives change and development. If there was no suffering and everyone was totally comfortable with their life as it is, what would motivate people to try different ways of living, explore new territory, invent new things?

There may so much needless suffering in the world because people prefer to suffer (or indulge in sources of suffering) than end their suffering.

Ha ha, good point.

"If there is no evil, why have a god?"
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Gertie » January 19th, 2017, 8:14 pm

Stephen Law makes the point that many theodicies can be flipped, if you start from an Evil God Hypothesis rather than a Good God Hypothesis.... so why accept either?

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Belindi » January 20th, 2017, 9:17 am

Gertie wrote:
Stephen Law makes the point that many theodicies can be flipped, if you start from an Evil God Hypothesis rather than a Good God Hypothesis.... so why accept either?

Like a measure of neuroticism aids learning , so a measure of suffering does likewise. One simple illustration of this principle is physical pain which has the evolutionary advantage of avoiding self harm such as bending knees the wrong way and thus causing damage to the joints.
Either good is absence of evil; or evil is absence of good. True, these can be flipped.

Why accept either is because excess suffering is unacceptable and as creatures who learn from experience we aim, emotionally and rationally, to lessen evil ( suffering).

Why not accept both? Both definitions tend towards diminishing suffering.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Gertie » January 20th, 2017, 11:09 am

Belindi wrote:Gertie wrote:
Stephen Law makes the point that many theodicies can be flipped, if you start from an Evil God Hypothesis rather than a Good God Hypothesis.... so why accept either?

Like a measure of neuroticism aids learning , so a measure of suffering does likewise. One simple illustration of this principle is physical pain which has the evolutionary advantage of avoiding self harm such as bending knees the wrong way and thus causing damage to the joints.
Either good is absence of evil; or evil is absence of good. True, these can be flipped.

Why accept either is because excess suffering is unacceptable and as creatures who learn from experience we aim, emotionally and rationally, to lessen evil ( suffering).

Why not accept both? Both definitions tend towards diminishing suffering.
Belindi I didn't say the second para of the quote you attributed to me.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Belindi » January 20th, 2017, 2:33 pm

Sorry Gertie, I've done it again! I hope to learn not to misattribute quotes.

-- Updated January 20th, 2017, 2:38 pm to add the following --
Belindi wrote:Sorry Gertie, I've done it again! I hope to learn not to misattribute quotes.
What I did wrong that time was to bracket mine with the proper quote. I was the author of that paragraph about how a little neuroticism is needed for learning to take place, like how pain is necessary for the preservation of the joints.

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LuckyR
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by LuckyR » January 20th, 2017, 4:10 pm

Belindi wrote:Gertie wrote:
Stephen Law makes the point that many theodicies can be flipped, if you start from an Evil God Hypothesis rather than a Good God Hypothesis.... so why accept either?

Like a measure of neuroticism aids learning , so a measure of suffering does likewise. One simple illustration of this principle is physical pain which has the evolutionary advantage of avoiding self harm such as bending knees the wrong way and thus causing damage to the joints.
Either good is absence of evil; or evil is absence of good. True, these can be flipped.

Why accept either is because excess suffering is unacceptable and as creatures who learn from experience we aim, emotionally and rationally, to lessen evil ( suffering).

Why not accept both? Both definitions tend towards diminishing suffering.
But almost nothing in Real Life is pure Good or Evil, most of life is in the gray area of partial good AND evil. Since almost everything has a portion of evil, the original question becomes immaterial.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Belindi » January 20th, 2017, 4:35 pm

Lucky R wrote:
But almost nothing in Real Life is pure Good or Evil, most of life is in the gray area of partial good AND evil. Since almost everything has a portion of evil, the original question becomes immaterial.
True. However it's still necessary to define evil for whatever event we are considering.For instance if it's our job to decide upon which course of treatment to give a suffering patient we have to decide which is the least evil, or the most good treatment.

A more banal example is whether or not I should sweep the floor. The evil of having to walk on the sugar I just spilled is counteracted by the nuisance of sweeping while I have more fascinating things to do, or the pleasure of having a cup of tea instead. Consequently I have to make a decision based upon some way of weighing up the options.

I might persuade myself that it's good for the soul of the patient to suffer a little longer, and I might decide that spilled sugar is a good thing as it means I cannot now ingest it. We do in everyday life need to make decisions about the lesser evil or the greater good. To do this we need some working definition of evil.

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LuckyR
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by LuckyR » January 20th, 2017, 4:52 pm

Belindi wrote:Lucky R wrote:
But almost nothing in Real Life is pure Good or Evil, most of life is in the gray area of partial good AND evil. Since almost everything has a portion of evil, the original question becomes immaterial.
True. However it's still necessary to define evil for whatever event we are considering.For instance if it's our job to decide upon which course of treatment to give a suffering patient we have to decide which is the least evil, or the most good treatment.

A more banal example is whether or not I should sweep the floor. The evil of having to walk on the sugar I just spilled is counteracted by the nuisance of sweeping while I have more fascinating things to do, or the pleasure of having a cup of tea instead. Consequently I have to make a decision based upon some way of weighing up the options.

I might persuade myself that it's good for the soul of the patient to suffer a little longer, and I might decide that spilled sugar is a good thing as it means I cannot now ingest it. We do in everyday life need to make decisions about the lesser evil or the greater good. To do this we need some working definition of evil.
I like your use of those analogies, though they fall into the category of risk vs benefit as opposed to good vs evil. Your use of the summation of positives and negatives is extremely useful for the sort of decision making we all do all day, every day. Though to be accurate the result is almost never good vs bad choices rather better vs worse choices. Which brings us back to my observation that you agreed with and thus the evaporation of the OP's question.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Belindi » January 21st, 2017, 7:33 am

Lucky_R wrote:
I like your use of those analogies, though they fall into the category of risk vs benefit as opposed to good vs evil. Your use of the summation of positives and negatives is extremely useful for the sort of decision making we all do all day, every day. Though to be accurate the result is almost never good vs bad choices rather better vs worse choices. Which brings us back to my observation that you agreed with and thus the evaporation of the OP's question.
I agree, if evil were to be regarded as existing independently of the suffering of sentient beings. My illustrations and other similar ones illustrate not ontic evil, but the concept of evil and its function.

If you think what I wrote sidesteps the issue of ontic evil, and whether evil is the absence of good or good is the absence of evil, you would be right.

I am ambivalent about God=good. I incline slightly towards nature as neutral regarding good and evil, except insofar as nature exists , and existence is good despite suffering. However the latter claim does not extend to individuals whose existential suffering might mean to them that their personal existence is bad and suicide is a reasonable and good option.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Mugglegum » January 26th, 2017, 8:26 pm

We have the great question, "Why, why did it all start?" This is life, we are the present product of evolution. Evolution started at the Big Bang, it is a chemically chain reaction. It will not stop with us but continue endlessly.

Evil. For every positive chemical reaction there is consequenses, EVIL is the reaction to GOoD.

If we shorten Good we have GOD. In the cultures of many societies, they have good and evil, ying and yang, positive and negative.

We then see God and Satan in the primary mathmatic equation, 1-1=0. The big bang started from nothing, to produce good, evil is automatically to balance the equation.

In essence we cannot have good without evil, otherwise we cannot quantify GOoD.

mugglegum

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Boxter
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Boxter » March 7th, 2017, 11:22 am

Come on, this is basics. There is no god nor evil. 'Why have you not worked this out yet' is a better question.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Raj_human » March 11th, 2017, 9:21 pm

Human species are a unique magical thing, yet a deceptive bunch. Our curiosity has invested so much things and our delusions have made us believe it. Everything we know and believe is a result of thought.Now is thought a magical thing...NO. Thought is the end result of our memories that we have gathered and from those dead memories this thing called thought thinks. very much like a machine that's fed code and spits out a response. Now if if there was a god could something so pitiful as thought ever grasp its immensity, i would say no. No what is thought, it is the ego the self delusion the I and as long as the I exist can one ever live a life that something that we would describe as "god" would connect. In my view "god" is not an entity. IT is a force like wind. And that force is love. Not in the way we describe love with its attachments egos desires and sorrows. No this love is something greater something that cant be grasped as long as we view life with the ego and the delusions of our beliefs. Love for your first born child as u hold it is not pure love. That is pure attachment, your are in love with the image of your first born child not the actual human being that you hold in you hand. That being said good/ bad is a construct of our education there fore thought "evil" is not bad and the apposite of good. Evil is just that, evil and as long as we act from a point of ego division and away from pure love and compassion then all action that derive from that divided human shall result is this thing called "evil"

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Youngeqp » March 27th, 2017, 1:20 am

Because god is everything. Love and hate, good and evil. He is the creator of everything, without him nothing could exist. Do you honestly believe the great flood and mass murder of people wasn't evil?

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Dark Matter » March 28th, 2017, 2:10 am

Floyd wrote:If there is a God, why is there evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much needless suffering in the world, from natural disasters and such? Why would a loving God do this?
First of all, the question is a logical absurdity because it presupposes an anthropomorphic God, a God who has human-like cares and concerns. But “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” saith the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Just because we have knowledge of how the world is does not automatically prove we know how the world ought to be.

A rational person would concede the veracity of the above paragraph, 129 pages of nonsense is a pretty indicator that's not going to happen.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Steve3007 » March 28th, 2017, 3:40 am

I don't see why it's logically absurd to presuppose an anthropomorphic God. It may be a false premise to the argument. Or it may be a true one. But it's not logically absurd.

Anyway, surely any God who speaks and tells us about His thoughts and ways and how much higher they are than ours has already been anthropomorphised quite a bit hasn't He?
"Even men with steel hearts love to see a dog on the pitch."

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