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 ARE WE RULED BY AN EVIL GOD??? (PART ONE)

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PostSubject: ARE WE RULED BY AN EVIL GOD??? (PART ONE)   Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:16 am












Remember the words of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) in Mel Brooks': Young Frankenstein (1974):

“Please! Remain in your seats, I beg you! We are not children here…we are scientists! I assure you, there is nothing to fear!”



INTRODUCTION

David Hume (following Epicurus), in one fell stroke, posits a no-nonsense conclusion to The Problem of Evil. In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of God, a force for infinite good:

God's power we allow is infinite: Whatever he wills is executed: But neither man nor any other animal are happy. Therefore he does not will their happiness. His wisdom is infinite: He is never mistaken in choosing the means to any end: But the course of nature tends not to human or animal felicity: Therefore it is not established for that purpose. Through the whole compass of human knowledge, there are no inferences more certain and infallible than these. In what respect, then, do his benevolence and mercy resemble the benevolence and mercy of men?

-David Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/dnr.htm

Hume's query is an expansion of the "riddle" of Epicurus:

In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of God, a force for infinite good. The problem is most often discussed in the context of the personal god of the Abrahamic religions, but is also relevant to polytheistic traditions involving many gods. A proposed solution to this dilemma is called a theodicy.

Epicurus is generally credited with first expounding the problem of evil, and it is sometimes called "the Epicurean paradox" or "the riddle of Epicurus." In this form, the argument is not really a paradox or a riddle, but is considered by some critics as being a
reductio ad absurdum of the premises.


"Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?" — Epicurus, as quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief

(Wikipedia: The Problem of Evil, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil)

Atheist classicalist James H. Dee examines the problem in detail:

"In it's most simplified form, the problem arises when one makes three simultaneous assertions in a firmly monotheistic context: 'God is all-knowing', 'God is all-powerful', and 'God is absolutely good.' But the world we see around us, both now and in the past, does not conform to the expectations that might be created by those three statements.

Instead, we find horrors and miseries at all times and places, some caused by blind natural forces, but many inflicted deliberately by humans upon each other, often with a staggering level of violence and cruelty.

It is simply self-contradictory to contemplate the horrifying spectacle of human misery, especially the first 95,000 years of our species, and then use the word "good" in it's
ordinary-language meaning to describe an entity which, by definition, must have the power to eliminate evil totally and forever."


(Dee, James H.: Good God" Is A Virtual Contradiction In Terms, Editorial, Austin-American Statesman June 23, 2001)
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NEWS REPORT: PARISA train slammed into a bus carrying schoolchildren at a railroad crossing in the French Alps on Monday, killing seven children and injuring 24 people, regional officials said.

The bus was carrying 50 middle-school students, five adults and a driver on a field trip to a historic village on the shores of Lake Geneva, according to the gendarmes service in the Haute-Savoie region. The collision ripped off part of the bus' rear and caused its roof to cave in.

The seven dead were all children on the bus, according to the regional administration. Three of the injured bus passengers were in serious condition. Several passengers on the train, on a route between Evian in France and Geneva, Switzerland, also had light injuries. Authorities had originally said 30 people were injured.


(FoxNews.com: Seven Children Dead When Train Crashes Into School Bus in Eastern France, Monday, June 02, 2008)
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• Can God be trusted to protect YOU and the people you love?

• Does God adhere to the Golden Rule, or does he rule in a "Do as I say and not as I do" manner?

• Does "goodness" to God even remotely resemble "goodness" as understood by human beings?




An analysis of the moral nature of God (is God good or evil?) must face the fact that negative experience need not exist in the first place. There is no defensible or ethical reason for the existence of negative experience if one has the power to prevent it from the very start.

The true nature of God, it is submitted,
is revealed in analysis of the Problem of Evil. Dare to look at the evidence without turning away. God could have prevented the existence of negative experience from the beginning, but did not: Why?



“Forrest....why’d this happen?”

The dying words of Forrest’s (Tom Hanks) best friend, Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue (Mykelti Williamson) in the film: Forrest Gump (1994)
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Are YOU getting any of this? Who or what's running the world? Why is this happening? Who WANTS this to happen? Remember, everything that happens occurs because something or Someone causes or allows it to happen. This is a certainty. The answer to the riddle of the Sphinx lies in the nature of a God that permits the weaknesses, temptations, and suffering of man.

Are we dealing with a God that will compensate humans for their suffering in the end, or are we faced with an evil Mr. Mxyzptlk of a God who has never cared and perceives humans as playthings whose sole purpose is to “give glory to God" as punching bags for his malevolent will?




(Moore, Alan and Swan, Curt: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (featuring the final appearance of the Silver Age Superman), DC Comics, 1986)

Understanding God’s motivation for the allowance evil is difficult, as it is obscured by logical inconsistency. For example, Fundamentalist Christian theology is deeply mysterious, and so much of it is taken for granted. For those of us with Christian backgrounds, the mythology, if you will, is simply thrown into our laps and we are asked to swallow it without question. But thousands of questions beg: If God hates sin and has the power to remove sin through Christ (and to lobotomize the inhabitants of heavenly in order to prevent the re-emergence of sin in the afterlife), then why the problematic "in-between"?

Surely God knew what he was getting into before he created Adam. Why place the “Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil” (given its ability to bring sin and death) in the garden of Eden in the first place? When it comes to the question of the limit of God's influence over man, is God responsible
only for creating the physical nature of human beings? If so, then who or what is responsible for human consciousness, volition, and human nature? Why the Big Guilt Trip over sin, guilt, and punishment, particularly when one considers the pre-damned (those who God created despite the fact that they were predestined to reject him and be condemned to hell)?

Judeo-Christian theology is a mystery, and there’s so much we don’t understand. But Fundamentalists stick to their guns nevertheless.


No "Problem Of Evil" For Atheists

If God does not exist, there's no need to bang one's head against the wall. Human evil is only an unfortunate side-effect of natural laws and processes. According to Bertrand Russell, all human evil, goodness, and endeavor are nothing but "the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms".

For those who do not accept the premise of a benevolent god, no problem of evil exists.


Epicurus drew the conclusion that the existence of evil is incompatible with the existence of the gods, who care about the matters of mankind, assuming absolute concepts of benevolence, knowledge, and power. More generally, no paradox or problem exists for those who do not accept the premises, in particular the existence of a benevolent god or gods.

(Wikipedia: The Problem of Evil, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil)

Evidential problem of evil

As argued by Paul Draper in a seminal article of the magazine Nous (1989), the evidential problem of evil is as follows:

(1) Gratuitous evils exist.

(2) The Hypothesis of Indifference (i.e. that if there are supernatural beings they are indifferent to gratuitous evils) is a better explanation for (1) than theism.

(3)Therefore, evidence prefers that no god, as commonly understood by theists, exists.

Argument from evil natural laws and processes

(1) A god is omnipotent, omniscient, and all-benevolent.

(2) If a god exists, then there exist no instances of ultimately evil natural laws or processes.

(3) The laws of predation are ultimately evil.

(4) There are instances of the laws of predation.

(5) Therefore, no god exists.

The "argument from evil natural laws and processes" is expressed in fiction. It is vehemently proposed during a tense, dramatic exchange between Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) and his rescuer and companion, Anna Montez (Alice Braga) in the 2007 film adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel: I Am Legend:




Inductive argument from evil

(1) All evil in the kinds of created entities are the result of the fallibility of one or more of its creators. (Premise)

(2) The universe is a created entity. (Premise)

(3) The universe contains evil. (Premise)

(4) Evil is the result of the actions of a fallible creator(s) or is not the result of any creator(s). (From 1, 2 and 3 by predictive inference)

(5) If god created the universe, then he is fallible. (From 4)

(6) Therefore, god did not create the universe, is imperfect, or does not exist. (From 5)

(Wikipedia: The Problem of Evil, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil)

[Note: The terms: "fallible" and "imperfect" make sense if they refer to "imperfect goodness". Anything beyond this is nebulous and meaningless (e.g. what does it mean for God to be "perfect" if one is not referring to perfect goodness?).

Imperfect goodness is the failure to treat everyone good all the time. If one states that God is fallible and imperfect, then one states that God is incapable (or unwilling) to treat everyone with favor.]


END PART ONE

Jay M. Brewer
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PostSubject: Re: ARE WE RULED BY AN EVIL GOD??? (PART ONE)   Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:48 am

Hey , Jay,,,is it that you have not had enough rebuttal on these works or are you a glutton for punishment or are you working an agenda?

You can't be ruled by anyone unless you acknowledge that they are your master.
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PostSubject: Re: ARE WE RULED BY AN EVIL GOD??? (PART ONE)   Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:41 pm

Kriswest:

A little of both. I am working an agenda: spreading ideas that challenge secular belief and thought. I'm jockeying for input, but more importantly, I wish for the world at large to THINK more than they do about concepts such as God, consciousness, the external world (and whether or not we perceive it), and so on.

Quote :
We are, to an extent, ruled by local, state, and national government---with the gun of loss of income, livelihood, imprisonment, or even death placed to our heads.


So we are ruled, no doubt. The relevant treatise, of course, wonders about the morality of God---if one believes that God exists (and which type of God or Goddess one conceives rules the world).

P.S. I'm officially retiring from the comic book layout of my posts.....the next article you see here in Dissidents (which I'm posting this morning) marks the end of such posts. I'm switching to "normal" post layouts like everyone else from now one.


Nuff said,

Jay
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PostSubject: Re: ARE WE RULED BY AN EVIL GOD??? (PART ONE)   Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:58 am

People change how they think by what major influence invades their life. To change how people really think, you must become famous. Take a look at what L. Ron Hubbard did merely amusing himself with his mind. The man did not take Scientology seriously it was fiction , amusment. Most of those that follow Scientology never bothered to read his other works or understand the man was into getting drunk and high in order to create his worlds.
Yet Scientology a great work of fiction has become a religion. Unreal is it not? Because, most that follow it are considered above average intelligence and have educations.

The belief/faith/religion are part of what we are, it is a security blanket in a scary universe. We are surrounded by death, by cold vacuum, by unanswered questions. We will grasp at any straw available to save our sanity as we see it. If someone tries to take or change that straw of security we fight or we grasp what they are handing out. if you are influential with fame and power you can change what people see because you become a straw or blanket of hope and security.

I never had a problem with how you post, ever think that if others have a problem with it , the problem is with in them? Folks do not accept difference easily even if they think they have an open mind. difference disrupts, it challenges it creates thought....all very scary things to creatures of habit which humans very much are.
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PostSubject: Re: ARE WE RULED BY AN EVIL GOD??? (PART ONE)   Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:03 pm

Kriswest:

Interesting points. But I think the impetus behind some religious belief is not fear of death (fear of eternal oblivion and the futility and meaninglessness of human existence because of future oblivion), but a cue that there may be something more because of the existence of consciousness and the things that appear within consciousness: love, intellect, etc. There is the intuition that consciousness is more than just something conjured by electrical activity within neurons; religion and spiritualism simply accept the negative of secular mythology concerning the nature of consciousness: perhaps consciousness is the ground state of reality itself, and there is a consciousness that exists as the very background of smaller consciousnesses (that seem to go out of existence, but does not).

Perhaps, then, the "straw-grasping" is more often than not dissatisfaction or the viewing of the "man behind the curtain" when it comes to secular explanation of how consciousness is secondary to the physical.


Jay
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