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Old 22nd July 2020, 04:01 AM   #1
RedStapler
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The Problem of the Tri-Omni God

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Posted By:Agatha




Originally Posted by GDon View Post

The following argument is valid AFAICS. Not sound of course, but valid:

A. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.
B. God must allow suffering if from that suffering there results a greater good.
1. An atrocity happens.
2. Therefore a greater good must result from that atrocity.
I like this argument much better:

A. god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.

B. According to A, he can (and will) do anything to reduce suffering without causing more suffering.

1. Suffering exists

2. god does not exist.

Last edited by Agatha; 30th July 2020 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 04:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by RedStapler View Post
I like this argument much better:

A. god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.

B. According to A, he can (and will) do anything to reduce suffering without causing more suffering.

1. Suffering exists

2. god does not exist.
"B" and "1" are not incompatible. You might want to reword "B" or "1", since "reduce suffering" and "suffering exists" are compatible statements.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 07:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
"B" and "1" are not incompatible. You might want to reword "B" or "1", since "reduce suffering" and "suffering exists" are compatible statements.
A. god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.

B. According to A, he can (and will) prevent any suffering before it happens.

1. Suffering exists

2. god does not exist.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 07:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
"B" and "1" are not incompatible. You might want to reword "B" or "1", since "reduce suffering" and "suffering exists" are compatible statements.
Sure. While it might require a little bit of gymnastics and upside-down logic to start with, one could surmise that the creator of the world found, for some reason, that a perfect world was impossible. If you're going to create a world with a certain bundle of fundamental laws, you sort of have to keep within them. Or maybe that god was bored and needed something with interest and novelty and adventure - unlikely in a world of perfection and harmony. In the vast universe maybe we're just one of the dropped playthings, or a story or an object lesson created for the benefit of his angels or for the millions of other, better worlds in the cosmos. For all we can know, our world might be the divine equivalent of a pornographic movie.

After all, if there's a god it's the god of everything, and it's an everything of which we know nearly nothing.

If there is a god and if the universe was created we have only our own imagination, and perhaps our own hubris, to describe its purpose. It is only our surmise that such a god is, or must be, benevolent, or omni-anything. Given the vastness and inexplicability of the universe, it seems more likely that if there is a god such a thing would be quite beyond our understanding.

I see no evidence that there is such a god or any god at all, but there's no logical bar to the possibility that if there is a god its purpose for the world is not ours, and if there are alternate universes we cannot access them over aeons to know if this is, perhaps, the best of all possible worlds.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 10:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
If you think this is a logical problem for theists, isn't the logical problem from suffering generally considered to be resolved? "God must allow suffering if from that suffering there results a greater good."

The following argument is valid AFAICS. Not sound of course, but valid:
Not even close.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
A. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. Logically, god cannot be all three.
B. God must allow suffering if from that suffering there results a greater good. Then god is not omnipotent if he/she/it/housecat MUST do anything at all.
1. An atrocity happens. Then god is complicit in it and not omnibenevelent since he planned it, nor omnipotent since he cannot stop it. He MUST allow it according to B, he has no choice.
2. Therefore a greater good must result from that atrocity. Irrelevant. An omnipotent god could achieve the same good without the atrocity, an omniscient would know how to do so, an omnibenevolent god would do so.
Total failure in the tri-omni argument. The sad part is that Epicurus worked that out in antiquity.[/quote]

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
What that greater good is, I have no idea.
You have no idea if the "greater good" even exists.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
But it's logically valid. And the logical problem of evil is generally considered answered:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_...e-will_defense
It is not logically valid at all, and please, Plantinga? Not enough laughing dogs for that.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
According to Chad Meister, professor of philosophy at Bethel College, most philosophers accept Plantinga's free-will defense and thus see the logical problem of evil as having been sufficiently rebutted.[17] Robert Adams says that "it is fair to say that Plantinga has solved this problem. That is, he has argued convincingly for the consistency of God and evil."[18] William Alston has said that "Plantinga ... has established the possibility that God could not actualize a world containing free creatures that always do the right thing."[19] William L. Rowe has written "granted incompatibilism, there is a fairly compelling argument for the view that the existence of evil is logically consistent with the existence of the theistic God", referring to Plantinga's argument.[20]
Holy crap. A smorgesbord of apologists.


Originally Posted by GDon View Post
There are objections and implications for such a solution, but assuming it holds up, it does mean that any atrocity doesn't mean that there can be no omni-God.
It doesn't hold up. Plantinga gets demolished in every debate.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
There is still the question then of the empirical problem of evil, e.g. explaining the greater good in a real atrocity. But if an atheist wants to claim that there can definitely be no greater good for a real atrocity, then it is their claim to prove.
No it isn't. Atheists make no such claim. Thus they have no such burden for a claim not made. As an atheist, I can concede easily that a short term evil event can result in a long term benefit. That is utterly irrelevant to the question of the existence of a god. I have no idea why you think it might.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 02:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
If you think this is a logical problem for theists,
I think understanding what logic actually is, is a problem for many theists.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
isn't the logical problem from suffering generally considered to be resolved?
Generally considered by theists perhaps, not so much by atheists.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
"God must allow suffering if from that suffering there results a greater good."
It’s neither valid nor logical to apply “must” to an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
The following argument is valid AFAICS. Not sound of course, but valid:
No it isn’t (see above)

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
A. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.
B. God must allow suffering if from that suffering there results a greater good.
1. An atrocity happens.
2. Therefore a greater good must result from that atrocity.

What that greater good is, I have no idea.
Argumentum ad The End Justifies The Means. Yet you admit you don’t even know what The End (greater good) is. You don’t even know if such a thing actually exists, will you also admit that?
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Old 22nd July 2020, 03:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
A. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. Logically, god cannot be all three.
B. God must allow suffering if from that suffering there results a greater good. Then god is not omnipotent if he/she/it/housecat MUST do anything at all....

As an atheist, I can concede easily that a short term evil event can result in a long term benefit. That is utterly irrelevant to the question of the existence of a god.
1. Would an omni-God allow a short term evil event in order to allow for a long term benefit?

2. What if the long term benefit can only granted by allowing a short term evil, even though the God is omnipotent? The idea is that even omnipotence cannot make someone freely choose something. (E.g. Even omnipotence can't make something both big and small, or fast and slow, at the same time). In that case would the omni-God have to allow a short term evil event in order to allow for a long term benefit?

More generally:

3. Is it evil or is it benevolent to allow a short term evil event in order to get a long term benefit? Is an atheist who allows the short term evil event (even though he has the power to stop it) in order to get the long term benefit being evil or benevolent?

Last edited by GDon; 22nd July 2020 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 04:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
1. Would an omni-God allow a short term evil event in order to allow for a long term benefit?
No, a benevolent/loving omni-God wouldn’t! It would simply abolish evil and allow/provide the benefits.

Argumentum ad I Beat You Up Because I Love You.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
2. What if the long term benefit can only granted by allowing a short term evil, even though the God is omnipotent?
“It’s omnipotence Jim, but not as we know it”

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
The [stupid] idea is that even omnipotence cannot make someone freely choose something. In that case would the omni-God have to allow a short term evil event in order to allow for a long term benefit?
FTFY


Originally Posted by GDon View Post
More generally:

3. Is it evil or is it benevolent to allow a short term evil event in order to get a long term benefit?
Definitely evil!!! Benevolence would merely provide the benefits without the need to suffer evil.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Is an atheist who allows the short term evil event (even though he has the power to stop it) in order to get the long term benefit being evil or benevolent?
Equivalence fallacy. The powers and abilities of human atheists aren’t equivalent to the powers and abilities of mythical gods.

Please provide a real life example of a scenario in which suffering evil is the only and best way to gain a benefit. But I'd rather you provide a single piece of credible evidence or reason why anyone should believe your mythical, fantasy god actually exists.

If your omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent mythical god created everything, yet has to and must allow evil as a pathway to benefits, what even more powerful omni-god created those conditions that so restrict your pathetically weak mythical god?
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Old 22nd July 2020, 06:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
1. Would an omni-God allow a short term evil event in order to allow for a long term benefit?
No. Being omnipotent, he COULD ensure the result without the evil. Being omnibenevelent, he WOULD do so.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
2. What if the long term benefit can only granted by allowing a short term evil, even though the God is omnipotent?
Then god is not omnipotent.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
The idea is that even omnipotence cannot make someone freely choose something. (E.g. Even omnipotence can't make something both big and small, or fast and slow, at the same time).
Then god is constrained by laws of the physical universe and is not omnipotent.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
In that case would the omni-God have to allow a short term evil event in order to allow for a long term benefit?
Nope. by definition, omnipotence cannot have constraints.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
More generally:

3. Is it evil or is it benevolent to allow a short term evil event in order to get a long term benefit?
If one has the power to achieve the long term benefit without the short term evil and one chooses to allow the evil event anyway, it is malevolent.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Is an atheist who allows the short term evil event (even though he has the power to stop it) in order to get the long term benefit being evil or benevolent?
Same answer plus human beings are not omnipotent and may be constrained.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 07:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
No. Being omnipotent, he COULD ensure the result without the evil. Being omnibenevelent, he WOULD do so.

It is my belief that the notion that the Abrahamic God is omnipotent and benevolent is a modern theistic hangup. There is no Biblical justification for this idea. Indeed the Bible gives countless examples contradicting the notion.

From the beginning we have descriptions of God making man, and angels perfect and they turn out not so. Then we have stories of God having trouble with iron chariots, can't kill Moses, and so on. His ability to reason is questionable as illustrated when he loses an argument with Abraham, and His judgment of character like so, when he chooses the incestuous Lot as "His man".

I think that possibly the Abrahamic God was thought of as just one of many gods in the beginning (God of the Hebrews), and He morphed into this "One true God" in later times.

I find when arguing with Christians, it is easy to put them on the back foot about this question. They flounder about, quite pathetically, making all kinds of excuses for the lack of potency of their god.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 07:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It is my belief that the notion that the Abrahamic God is omnipotent and benevolent is a modern theistic hangup. There is no Biblical justification for this idea. Indeed the Bible gives countless examples contradicting the notion.
I was trying to be nice. Bible god is clearly a total immoral bastage, but that is low hanging fruit. I avoid it because I have no need to embarrass the deluded, but I have no problem going there if provoked.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
From the beginning we have descriptions of God making man, and angels perfect and they turn out not so. Then we have stories of God having trouble with iron chariots, can't kill Moses, and so on. His ability to reason is questionable as illustrated when he loses an argument with Abraham, and His judgment of character like so, when he chooses the incestuous Lot as "His man".
It's what apologism is all about. The god-botherers are fully aware of the absurdities. Thus they seek a way to explain those absurdities. The irony is that those efforts are themselves absurd.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I think that possibly the Abrahamic God was thought of as just one of many gods in the beginning (God of the Hebrews), and He morphed into this "One true God" in later times.
Sure. But they don't much like it when it is pointed out that the Abrahamic god is begged, borrowed or flat out stolen from earlier beliefs.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I find when arguing with Christians, it is easy to put them on the back foot about this question. They flounder about, quite pathetically, making all kinds of excuses for the lack of potency of their god.
Of course. It is easy to transfer the burden of proof, but invalid. They claim a god exists (whichever one) and we say "I do not believe that claim, got any evidence)" and they have nothing.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 07:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Nope. by definition, omnipotence cannot have constraints.
Ok, "omnipotence cannot have constraints." Let's run with that. It now flips to the other side:

Can God make it so that all the suffering in this world is not, in fact, suffering?
So there is no problem of suffering at all. Because God (without constraints!) could make it that the suffering in this world is not suffering.

Now, that may sound like nonsense as it is logically incoherent (but who cares? "No constraints"!), but it is an implication of your statement "omnipotence cannot have constraints".
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Old 22nd July 2020, 08:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It is my belief that the notion that the Abrahamic God is omnipotent and benevolent is a modern theistic hangup.
No, it's been around for a long time. Many of the arguments against the Abrahamic God on this go back a long way. The Manicheans, for example, believed that there was a God for Good and a God for Evil, an idea that Christians fought against, since they regarded God as all-powerful.

Origen, for example, wrote 1800 years ago:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.co...origen124.html
But this is the objection which they generally raise: they say, "If the world had its beginning in time, what was God doing before the world began?

For it is at once impious and absurd to say that the nature of God is inactive and immoveable, or to suppose that goodness at one time did not do good, and omnipotence at one time did not exercise its power....

For nothing is impossible to the Omnipotent, nor is anything incapable of restoration to its Creator: for He made all things that they might exist...

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Old 22nd July 2020, 08:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Ok, "omnipotence cannot have constraints." Let's run with that. It now flips to the other side:

Can God make it so that all the suffering in this world is not, in fact, suffering?
So there is no problem of suffering at all. Because God (without constraints!) could make it that the suffering in this world is not suffering.

Now, that may sound like nonsense as it is logically incoherent (but who cares? "No constraints"!), but it is an implication of your statement "omnipotence cannot have constraints".
"It's suffering Jim, but not as we know it"

The pathetic lengths some will go to with pathetic arguments to defend their pathetic god beliefs . . . it's pathetic.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 08:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
No, it's been around for a long time. Many of the arguments against the Abrahamic God on this go back a long way. The Manicheans, for example, believed that there was a God for Good and a God for Evil, an idea that Christians fought against, since they regarded God as all-powerful.

Origen, for example, wrote 1800 years ago:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.co...origen124.html
But this is the objection which they generally raise: they say, "If the world had its beginning in time, what was God doing before the world began?

For it is at once impious and absurd to say that the nature of God is inactive and immoveable, or to suppose that goodness at one time did not do good, and omnipotence at one time did not exercise its power....

For nothing is impossible to the Omnipotent, nor is anything incapable of restoration to its Creator: for He made all things that they might exist...

1800 year ago is relatively "modern times" compared to when the Abrahamic God was conjured up.

There is one hell of a lot to read in that link you posted - some obscure in meaning as you would expect.

Don't know why you quoted that highlighted stuff. Does it really make sense to you?
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Old 22nd July 2020, 10:25 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
A. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.
B. God must allow suffering if from that suffering there results a greater good.
1. An atrocity happens.
2. Therefore a greater good must result from that atrocity.
It seems much more basic than this.

Can God give people free will and also prevent evil? (It's similar to the question "can God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it"?) Since the logical answer is "no" there are only two options: eradicate free will or permit the evil for now and fix up the mess later.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 11:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Ok, "omnipotence cannot have constraints." Let's run with that. It now flips to the other side:

Can God make it so that all the suffering in this world is not, in fact, suffering?
So there is no problem of suffering at all. Because God (without constraints!) could make it that the suffering in this world is not suffering.

Now, that may sound like nonsense as it is logically incoherent (but who cares? "No constraints"!), but it is an implication of your statement "omnipotence cannot have constraints".
An omnipotent god is capable of anything. Your particular version of god is claimed to be omnipotent and thus is capable of removing all suffering. Clearly, your version of god either is unable to do so, in which case it is not omnipotent, or refuses to do so, in which case it is malevolent.

You point out that this sounds like nonsense. That is because it IS nonsense. Pretty much all such arguments about the existence god descend into the absurd.

Just look at where you have ended up. You asked if god "could make it that the suffering in this world is not suffering". In other words that suffering still exists while also being not suffering at all. That violates all three basic laws of logic.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 11:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It seems much more basic than this.

Can God give people free will and also prevent evil? (It's similar to the question "can God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it"?) Since the logical answer is "no" there are only two options: eradicate free will or permit the evil for now and fix up the mess later.

Or give them limited free will rather than complete free will?
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Old 22nd July 2020, 11:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
An omnipotent god is capable of anything... Just look at where you have ended up. You asked if god "could make it that the suffering in this world is not suffering". In other words that suffering still exists while also being not suffering at all. That violates all three basic laws of logic.
And you're saying that an omnipotent God CAN'T violate all three basic laws of logic?
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Old 22nd July 2020, 11:17 PM   #20
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Of course he can. In fact, one doesn't even have to be a god to fail logic in every possible way. It's not exactly a sign of greatness, but it's definitely possible

Well, on the bright side, it does present a fourth solution to the theodicy problem: God is retarded, crazy, or otherwise illogical. It certainly would be a way to preserve all 3 of the "omni-" claims AND keep the suffering there. It's definitely not one of the usual takes on the problem, so kudos for that.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 01:54 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
And you're saying that an omnipotent God CAN'T violate all three basic laws of logic?
Sure it can. Why not? After all you just did quite easily.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 02:39 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Sure it can. Why not? After all you just did quite easily.
Great! In post 208, you wrote:

"An omnipotent god is capable of anything. Your particular version of god is claimed to be omnipotent and thus is capable of removing all suffering. Clearly, your version of god either is unable to do so, in which case it is not omnipotent, or refuses to do so, in which case it is malevolent."

Do you still agree with the part I highlighted, given that you agree that God can make suffering into not-suffering?
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Old 23rd July 2020, 03:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Great! In post 208, you wrote:

"An omnipotent god is capable of anything. Your particular version of god is claimed to be omnipotent and thus is capable of removing all suffering. Clearly, your version of god either is unable to do so, in which case it is not omnipotent, or refuses to do so, in which case it is malevolent."

Do you still agree with the part I highlighted, given that you agree that God can make suffering into not-suffering?
A. god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.

B. According to A, he can (and will) prevent any suffering before it happens.

1. Suffering exists

2. god does not exist.

You seem to be intentionally ignoring the highlighted parts. Why?
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Old 23rd July 2020, 03:55 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by RedStapler View Post
A. god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.

B. According to A, he can (and will) prevent any suffering before it happens.

1. Suffering exists

2. god does not exist.

You seem to be intentionally ignoring the highlighted parts. Why?
I think you are mixing two approaches. Abaddon seems to be trying to use logic in an argument where his definition of "omnipotence" means that logic doesn't have to apply, which is a futile approach when taken to its natural conclusion. It is like cutting down a tree that one is sitting in, and not expecting to come down with the tree.

Your argument, on the other hand, is a more rational approach. In a world that God has set up that can be defined through logic, then we can ask whether God's attributes conform to what we see in that world.

"B. According to A, he can (and will) prevent any suffering before it happens."

I would argue that an omnibenevolent God can't prevent suffering, nor would want to prevent suffering, if that suffering leads to a greater good. I argue that a logical argument can -- and has -- been made that is consistent with that idea, which I quoted earlier.

Still, before continuing: do you believe that omnipotence means not being bound by logic? If so, do you think that any logical argument can be made about a world created by a being that is not bound by logic?

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Old 23rd July 2020, 04:12 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I would argue that an omnibenevolent God can't prevent suffering, nor would want to prevent suffering, if that suffering leads to a greater good.
I'm struggling with this, perhaps an example would help.

What greater good did the Boxing Day tsunami, which killed a quarter of a million people, lead to?

It isn't as if a benevolent, omnipotent God would have needed to interfere with the free will of a single person to prevent it.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 04:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I'm struggling with this, perhaps an example would help.
Sure.

Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
What greater good did the Boxing Day tsunami, which killed a quarter of a million people, lead to?
I have no idea, I'm sorry.

Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
It isn't as if a benevolent, omnipotent God would have needed to interfere with the free will of a single person to prevent it.
The logical argument I am making can be found on Post 153. As I explained there, the empirical problem of evil is a separate question.

Last edited by GDon; 23rd July 2020 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 04:37 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I would argue that an omnibenevolent God can't prevent suffering,
Then he is not omnipotent.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
nor would want to prevent suffering,
Then he is not omnibenevolent


Originally Posted by GDon View Post
if that suffering leads to a greater good.
Precisely define 'greater good', please and show an example where suffering was needed for this 'greater good'.



Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Still, before continuing: do you believe that omnipotence means not being bound by logic? If so, do you think that any logical argument can be made about a world created by a being that is not bound by logic?
Oh, really!? God works in mysterious ways? Special pleading won't help you.

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Old 23rd July 2020, 04:38 AM   #28
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An even more dramatic example is the Three Kingdoms civil war in China. According to the before and after census figures, a little under three quarters of the population of China died in that war. Total population, not army. (NB, yes, not all in actual fighting. It includes starvation, disease, even canibalism because of the starvation, etc.) Which, by sheer virtue of how much total population China had, IIRC means something like a bit over a fifth of the total humans alive on Earth at the time, died in that conflict.

And one can't even handwave that something good came out of it long term, like the Black Death in Europe is credited with causing some good stuff down the line. China didn't end up any better because of it, not the least because within two generations or so of when it ended, it turned into an even bigger ***********, although marginally less costly in terms of actual human lives lost. So if massive loss of life was supposed to be good for them, one could have skipped the first war entirely, as the second one left it at about the same point anyway.

As Xian theology goes, all those went straight to Hell, because nobody in China had heard of the son of god yet in either conflict. So whatever the greater good is supposed to be, it wasn't for THEIR good.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 06:33 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
An omnipotent god is capable of anything. Your particular version of god is claimed to be omnipotent and thus is capable of removing all suffering. Clearly, your version of god either is unable to do so, in which case it is not omnipotent, or refuses to do so, in which case it is malevolent.

You point out that this sounds like nonsense. That is because it IS nonsense. Pretty much all such arguments about the existence god descend into the absurd.

Just look at where you have ended up. You asked if god "could make it that the suffering in this world is not suffering". In other words that suffering still exists while also being not suffering at all. That violates all three basic laws of logic.
But if God is God and there's an eternal afterlife, that God could fix it all later. Part of the point of an afterlife is to address the issue of memory. What does a life mean if it just ends? That sort of thing. If you look at it that way, and require a heaven and hell to make life work, then why not a "men in black" solution? Person who suffered goes to heaven, God says "bang, it's all good now" and sure enough, it's all good now.

I mean, once you make up an omnipotent God and an afterlife, you can make up whatever rules you need to make it work. Problem? No problem. God will fix it. It's all part of the plan. All you need is faith.

I don't think logic and sense will ever win an argument against theism as long as you can say God has a plan we can't understand.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 06:36 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
An even more dramatic example is the Three Kingdoms civil war in China. According to the before and after census figures, a little under three quarters of the population of China died in that war. Total population, not army. (NB, yes, not all in actual fighting. It includes starvation, disease, even canibalism because of the starvation, etc.) Which, by sheer virtue of how much total population China had, IIRC means something like a bit over a fifth of the total humans alive on Earth at the time, died in that conflict.

And one can't even handwave that something good came out of it long term, like the Black Death in Europe is credited with causing some good stuff down the line. China didn't end up any better because of it, not the least because within two generations or so of when it ended, it turned into an even bigger ***********, although marginally less costly in terms of actual human lives lost. So if massive loss of life was supposed to be good for them, one could have skipped the first war entirely, as the second one left it at about the same point anyway.

As Xian theology goes, all those went straight to Hell, because nobody in China had heard of the son of god yet in either conflict. So whatever the greater good is supposed to be, it wasn't for THEIR good.
I was under the impression that at least some Xtian theology has an out for that, that applies a different heaven and hell test to those who had no way of knowing about Jesus - such as everyone in the Old Testament. I don't remember how they got around it, but I'm pretty sure they did.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 06:55 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It is my belief that the notion that the Abrahamic God is omnipotent and benevolent is a modern theistic hangup. There is no Biblical justification for this idea. Indeed the Bible gives countless examples contradicting the notion.

From the beginning we have descriptions of God making man, and angels perfect and they turn out not so. Then we have stories of God having trouble with iron chariots, can't kill Moses, and so on. His ability to reason is questionable as illustrated when he loses an argument with Abraham, and His judgment of character like so, when he chooses the incestuous Lot as "His man".

I think that possibly the Abrahamic God was thought of as just one of many gods in the beginning (God of the Hebrews), and He morphed into this "One true God" in later times.

I find when arguing with Christians, it is easy to put them on the back foot about this question. They flounder about, quite pathetically, making all kinds of excuses for the lack of potency of their god.

I think it's quite well documented and accepted that the early Hebrews were henotheistic, ie they believed in a pantheon of gods but worshiped a particular god, in this case Yahweh, from among them. This morphed into monotheism iirc when an offshoot strand that had been influenced by Zoroastrianism during the Babylonian exile was reintegrated.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 07:03 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
I think it's quite well documented and accepted that the early Hebrews were henotheistic, ie they believed in a pantheon of gods but worshiped a particular god, in this case Yahweh, from among them. This morphed into monotheism iirc when an offshoot strand that had been influenced by Zoroastrianism during the Babylonian exile was reintegrated.
Monotheism but with 3 gods... Bloody hell the Christians have made it hard work for themselves!
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Old 23rd July 2020, 07:05 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I was under the impression that at least some Xtian theology has an out for that, that applies a different heaven and hell test to those who had no way of knowing about Jesus - such as everyone in the Old Testament. I don't remember how they got around it, but I'm pretty sure they did.
The word is "some".

And how dare you use that insulting "Xtian" that's made up by those terrible rude atheists....*




*Yes we have had that said here.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 07:47 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I was under the impression that at least some Xtian theology has an out for that, that applies a different heaven and hell test to those who had no way of knowing about Jesus - such as everyone in the Old Testament. I don't remember how they got around it, but I'm pretty sure they did.
Did it involve squirrels? Or hand waving? Or that sort of pleading which some of us nasty atheistic types insist on calling "special" even after we've been told it isn't "special" by someone pleading in a way which looks awfully "special"?
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Old 23rd July 2020, 08:30 AM   #35
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Monotheism but with 3 gods... Bloody hell the Christians have made it hard work for themselves!
Well that was a splinter cult a long time later!
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Old 23rd July 2020, 08:41 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I was under the impression that at least some Xtian theology has an out for that, that applies a different heaven and hell test to those who had no way of knowing about Jesus - such as everyone in the Old Testament. I don't remember how they got around it, but I'm pretty sure they did.
Well, it's kinda rule 34 for religion. Just about anything you can think of, there's SOME sect somewhere that has it in their theology.

But for the main denominations, no, not really.

For example, for the Catholics traditionally even the pre-Christ Jews for example go to, well, basically the least bad part of Hell. Because you can't be saved in any way except through Jesus, and if you're not saved, well, guess where you're going.

More recently they DID add the "Anonymous Christian" doctrine, but that basically says that Jesus can decide to make you a Christian and save you, if he wants to, even if you think you're not a Christian and even if you're actively an anti-theist or something. (So, yes, if we could get a couple of miracles at his tomb, we could presumably get the pope to canonize St Hitchens, patron saint of atheists) But that's not saying that anyone in particular was or will be saved, much less whole groups. They're just saying "damned if I know who Jesus choses to save anyway, if anyone. But he CAN do it if he wanted to." Well, not in those exact words, but that's the general gist of it.

But that's still the exception, not the rule, and unless Jesus chooses to save you in spite of not brown nosing him (for whatever reason he may have to do that,) you're still going to Hell by default.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 10:57 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Great! In post 208, you wrote:

"An omnipotent god is capable of anything. Your particular version of god is claimed to be omnipotent and thus is capable of removing all suffering. Clearly, your version of god either is unable to do so, in which case it is not omnipotent, or refuses to do so, in which case it is malevolent."

Do you still agree with the part I highlighted, given that you agree that God can make suffering into not-suffering?
Still determined to get ii wrong, aren't you. If your question is whether or not I accept the laws of identity, excluded middle and non-contradiction, then of course I do.

Can these laws be violated? Or course they can, because you just did so.

If you can do so, anyone could, even a god. It merely makes both of you logically wrong.

Your final question is dishonest. I do not agree that god can do anything at all since I do not accept the existence of any god. Non-existent entities never do anything ever. Which leaves you carrying the can for a fatally flawed argument because your argument violates the three basic laws of logic.

Furthermore a benevolent, omnipotent god does not have to have to "convert suffering into non-suffering". He can ensure that there is no suffering in the first place. So either he can't and thus is not omnipotent, or he wont in which case he is malevolent, or he does not know about it which makes him ignorant or he wont which makes him a Churlish, Uncaring, Nasty, Twat.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 12:00 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I think you are mixing two approaches. Abaddon seems to be trying to use logic in an argument where his definition of "omnipotence" means that logic doesn't have to apply, which is a futile approach when taken to its natural conclusion. It is like cutting down a tree that one is sitting in, and not expecting to come down with the tree.

Your argument, on the other hand, is a more rational approach. In a world that God has set up that can be defined through logic, then we can ask whether God's attributes conform to what we see in that world.

"B. According to A, he can (and will) prevent any suffering before it happens."

I would argue that an omnibenevolent God can't prevent suffering, nor would want to prevent suffering, if that suffering leads to a greater good. I argue that a logical argument can -- and has -- been made that is consistent with that idea, which I quoted earlier.

Still, before continuing: do you believe that omnipotence means not being bound by logic? If so, do you think that any logical argument can be made about a world created by a being that is not bound by logic?
Your argument is completely irrational [unsound and without logical validity]. What 'greater good' are you talking about?

Who is the actual recipient of your invented "greater good"?

The sufferer or those who inflict suffering?

May I remind that you have already admitted that you have no idea what your "greater good" is.

Your post is a perfect example of your own complacency.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 12:46 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Your argument is completely irrational [unsound and without logical validity]. What 'greater good' are you talking about?

Who is the actual recipient of your invented "greater good"?
Well, it seems he thinks that god is omnibenevelent, there MUST be some greater good even if we are not aware of what it might be. Good luck making any sense of that.

Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
The sufferer or those who inflict suffering?
He doesn't know that. He can't. And it makes no sense either way.

Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
May I remind that you have already admitted that you have no idea what your "greater good" is.
You may. Just do not expect any meaningful response.

Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Your post is a perfect example of your own complacency.
Sure. Under that weird system and interference in suffering becomes denying god's will to allow that suffering for some "greater good". Then you go down the rabbit hole of perhaps god intended that you help and learn from that. That becomes "we cannot know the mind of god" which is odd given that they claim to know exactly what god wants.

But what would one expect.

The funniest example of this crapfest was when WLC himself was cornered into justifying murdering babies. That was spectacular.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 01:49 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I don't think logic and sense will ever win an argument against theism as long as you can say God has a plan we can't understand.
Very true. But it's even more basic than that: logic and sense will never win an argument against theism if the atheist insists that God is not bound by logic and sense. How can any such argument get off the ground in the first place?
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