[FoRK] A bit of religion - Problem of Evil

Kent Spaulding kent
Sun Jan 8 14:54:22 PST 2006


WRT

***Why should Omnipotence have this limitation?  Do logical constraints
somehow preexist G (cf. the Greek demiurge)?  Or is there an ethic which G
must recognize, apart from that which he chooses to define/be as Good?

Indeed, why separate G from creation, creator from created?
In short, there's a missing premise, that G exists apart from creation.
That's not
a universal premise; so to speak.

On 1/4/06, Kevin Elliott <k-elliott at wiu.edu> wrote:
>
> At 16:28 -0600  on  1/4/06, Corinna wrote:
> >Posted for comment, as a favor to someone else. But I'm interested as
> well
> >if any of you have anything to say in the way of criticism or argument.
>
> I've seen this sort of argument and it ignores the key element that
> Christianity adds to the definition (and the description below most
> closely applies to the Christian conception of god).
>
> Free Will.
>
> If God wishes to create beings that have free will and with that free
> will choose to follow his moral precepts he has NO CHOICE but to
> create a world that those beings are free to make as horrible as they
> wish.  ANY intervention above a certain level would fundamentally
> undermine free will and thus his whole purpose of this activity.
>
> Premise 2 is also flaw.  It assumes that God's concern is for "man"
> in the sense of "Homo Sapien".  No religion I'm aware of believes
> that.  Instead they posit the existence of some sort of "soul" that
> is part of who we are, but more than our physical being.  As such the
> lack of "perfection" in our physical bodies is a straw man- they
> weren't meant to be perfect.  They were intended to be part of the
> testing ground, and as such would obviously be imperfect.
>
> >(Asterisks represent hyperlinks to notes :) "G" refers to a god.)
> >
> >------
> >
> >(Previous discussion of the problem of evil, and variations on the
> argument
> >presented below, snipped. I'm assuming you all know what the problem of
> evil
> >is.)
> >
> >
> >
> >(premise 1) G is:
> >
> >-> Omnipotent: capable of _any_* solution;
> >
> >-> Omniscient: capable of determining and subtly applying _the_ optimal
> >solution, regardless of breadth or complexity
> >
> >-> Omnibeneficent: desirous of obtaining _only_ the optimal solution.
> >
> >
> >
> >(Premise 2) G has not applied an optimal solution**.
> >
> >(Conclusion) [1] and [2] contradict.  G as defined by [1] does not exist.
> >
> >
> >
> >*Conceding the requirement that G's acts need be ethically and logically
> >consistent*** serves to increase the subtlety of the argument, and
> perhaps
> >the creativity necessary for a full and fair consideration.  Consider, as
> a
> >fanciful suggestion of a superior solution, that men were instead of
> anxious
> >and nervous primates (which can not be denied), sanguine and
> serene-minded
> >beings of an arboreal nature (cf. Tolkien).  It is not hard to see, while
> we
> >ourselves lack the intelligence and subtlety for a thoroughgoing and
> >adequate solution, that there are many ways in which the basic conditions
> of
> >our existence could be improved.  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.  By the requirements of [1] G must have done
> >precisely this, and in the absolutely most perfect manner.  The strain
> upon
> >[not-2] is unbearable.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >**Shades of Leibniz.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >***Why should Omnipotence have this limitation?  Do logical constraints
> >somehow preexist G (cf. the Greek demiurge)?  Or is there an ethic which
> G
> >must recognize, apart from that which he chooses to define/be as Good?
> >
> >
> >
> >This argument has the advantage of broader and deeper application, and
> able
> >to cut through all of the narrower considerations and counterarguments,
> >which operate by presuming some of the regular features of theistic
> thought,
> >and then propose to solve the problems in exactly those terms presumed.
> >[The argument above] requires that every theistic conception of G's
> action
> >or character be absorbed into [1], and that every ethically or
> pragmatically
> >estimable fact of life coordinate with [not-2].
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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>
> --
> ______________________________________________________
> 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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