[FoRK] Re: A bit of religion - Problem of Evil

Kevin Elliott k-elliott
Thu Jan 5 09:10:48 PST 2006

At 07:33 -0600  on  1/5/06, Corinna wrote:
>"Kevin Elliott" <k-elliott at wiu.edu> wrote in message
>>  As such the lack of "perfection" in our physical bodies is a straw man-
>>  they weren't meant to be perfect.
>Part of the point, though, is that all sorts of things relating to our
>physical bodies are considered evil. I don't think the argument is talking
>about things like the shape of our spine, or the degradation of our bodies
>once we can no longer reproduce. There is a lot of human suffering relating
>to lack of resources - famine, etc - or due to competition with other
>organisms - wild animals mauling people, diseases - and other things. Maybe
>you want to define these kinds of things as not-evil... ?

I'll tackle a few of those.  I submit that no human suffering exists 
in the world today because of a lack of resources.  We are the 
unchallenged masters of the earth.  Their is more than enough food 
and water to put every man, woman, and child to bed with a full belly 
every night.   The world is not crowded.  Every person on earth could 
fit in a massive suburb the size of Texas (I'd have to track down the 
citation, but that's what it works out to).  In short, Maltus was a 

Taking the question of the "Inherently Evil Human"- again, I don't 
see that this refutes god in any strong way.  Even if you accept the 
argument that we are inherently evil (I don't), it only refutes god 
if his goal was to make the physical "us" good.  Christian theology 
says it wasn't.  If we are both body and spirit, then god has 
concerned himself with the spirit.   It wouldn't be surprising in 
that framework for god to have planted evil within the body to 
encourage the testing of the spirit.

BUT, I don't think their is any reason to believe the inherently evil 
argument.  For myself, I've created my own miseries.  I don't think 
they were there till I made them myself.

As to the small miseries that remain, I don't think they are evil.  I 
don't think disease is evil nor death.  It's an open question as to 
weather it's what god wanted, but I don't think their is a good 
argument that it's existence disproves god.

>Also, that was just an example, not really a point of the original argument:
>"Here the suggestion only addresses certain aspects of the physiological and
>psychological environment; it must be kept in mind that G would have the
>ability to address and optimize across every remotely relevant element of
>our existence from the charge of an electron, to the nature of geography and
>space, to spiritual perspective, to the quality of the ecological
>constraints man must regard, to the manner in
>which our minds are structured -- indeed, of all realities, whether
>conceivable or otherwise. "

AGAIN, the assumption underlying the original argument is that god 
wanted to create a paradise, and we have ZERO evidence of that.  The 
Christian argument is that god GAVE us a paradise, but we will make 
of it what we will.  And indeed, the vast majority of human suffering 
is man made.  We'd live in a very different world indeed if we just 
stopped hurting each other.
Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud.
After a while, you realize the pig is enjoying it.
Kevin Elliott   <mailto:kelliott at mac.com>
AIM/iChatAV: kelliott at mac.com  (video chat available)

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