The problem of evil

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Alphå, Apr 6, 2006.


    This ought to get us thinking.

    There is evil on the earth.

    'God' as stated by many religions is good, and all-powerful.

    Either God can abolish evil, and he won't, or he can't abolish evil.

    The former suggests that God is wickid. The latter suggests he is not all-powerful.

    I'll give you my opinion after I learn more about yours.
  2. i believe in free will, and that people have capacity of both good and evil. In my opinion, why would God waste his time creating us if we were all so controlled? You'd think someone capable of so much wouldn't create something completely predictable, or at least i do. What fun would that be for him if he couldn't create something random?

    However, the only issue i have with this belief (as pointed out in the reading) is natural evil. I don't know how to explain that. Maybe just a natural "flaw" or way to stir things up. Perhaps, it's the result of some other being's doing...who knows?

  3. any examples? im trying to think of "natural evil" but nothing comes to mind.

    i dont believe that god is a man with a beard in a cloud making planets and things magically pop out of nowhere. i believe "god" is the personification of all that is and ever was. god is gravity and all the nuclear and atomic forces that bind the universe and provide all the laws by which our world is governed.

    so i believe god created everything, and has to power to do anything, but i dont believe there is a supreme being that can will anything to happen.

    evil is a human creation. as far as i can tell, nowhere on earth can evil be found other than within the society of mankind.
  4. I disagree with the above, evil is not a human 'creation' as it were, many other animals in thekingdom show attributes you would label to be 'evil', chimps delivberately maiming each other to make a point, killer whales 'playing' with their food before killing etc etc... with our brain capacity, evil becomes easier for man to achieve...

    The word 'evil' itself is bothering as no-one is evil, we are all humans, all on a sliding scale of good to bad based on our environments, upbringings and genes...
  5. If there's a god, why is there so many problems in the world?
    Is there Really even a god?
  6. WEll, the way I see it, we have not enough information to proove or disprove. As far as religions go, I think the catholic church is just a game headed by an old guy in rome pretending to be god.

    Religion, in my opinion, was man's first way of education. A moral code if you will to live by and pass on. Something to give our lives meaning and purpose.

    However, with todays technological advances, we can pick it apart until its just an old bald guy in rome sitting on a big chair.

    If you can be a good person, you have nothing to fear. Be a good person, and you'll get into heaven. If there is no heaven, there was no harm in bringing joy and passion into other peoples lives.
  7. there has to be evil for there to be good. imo evil is not a 'problem' its part of being human.

    yin yang

    i think if people taught themselves there would be less evil in their personal lives. we are alot like animals although many people refuse to believe so. the main difference i see is that we can learn almost anything we want. we can improve our situation on earth any day we choose by picking up a book or loving someone ect...

    heres a thought: right now is heaven and hell. we are living in heaven or hell as this is being read, its just up to each of us as individuals to realize this and to make the most out of it. its up to each of us to decide if we are going to have a crappy life and be depressed or have fun and be happy.

  8. the reading described "natural evil" as being things in nature that inevitably affect us negatively (hurricanes, tornadoes, en nino).

    interesting loking at people's opinions on this, as what you believe "God" to be plays a pretty big role in how you view life and nature.

    That's one thing i like about religion. The fact that there's a set of rules out there (10 commandments) that you can follow and be a good person by doing that is great. You're not bad because you do drugs or drink or whatnot, you're bad if you kill someone; you're bad if you disrespect another's property...that's straight. For me, that's more than mankind can do by coming up with that. And hey, even if there is no heaven, no harm done by sticking to it
  9. That's interesting. What if we clarified it by saying all living things (with the ability to think) are capable of good and evil? Would that be a better definition, perhaps?

    And you bring up another good point: nature vs nurture. Are we inherently good and bad, or do our surroundings and upbringing do it to us?
  10. not all living creatures are capable as evil as we define it. Most are simply acting out of the desires and needs we all have as creatures (ie. Sex, hunger and comfort)
  11. I think that good and evil are all matters of intention. Actions and events have no intrisinc moral value, what counts is the intention that was put behind it. Therefor, I don't think that suffering, by itself, equates evil.

    Suffering is an inescapable part of life, it's brought by natural disasters or by animals acting out of necessity. If you think about it though, sometimes suffering can actually bring out incredible good in people. I'm thinking of heroic acts in the face of a disaster or compassion for other people's pain.

    Even doing something seemingly good can have questionable intentions behind it. If we're truely selfless, I think the positive impact of any action is always greater. Inversely, because we have wider knowlege of the impact of what we do, a selfish action becomes that much more evil (which is how we can be more evil than animals). Hurting someone out of ignorance and hurting someone out of malice are different, in my opinion.

    Or I don't know, something like that. I'm sure Jesus would back me up on this.
  12. Good point andy
  13. What i believe is, if there really is a god, and he is all powerful...and he created everything..then he did create evil. I do believe in evil, because i believe that some of the nasty things people do to other people..err...when someone does something very mean or nasty or hurtful to another person, i believe evil comes from...if that person feels bad about what they did, or not. or if they feel good about it. And i believe that god intends for there to be evil on earth...its a test. thats all. i thnk god is a very strict god, and he expects certain things from us...and this according to what the bible says because...well...i have nothing else to go off of. He expects us to act a certain way, to praise him, and to praise a certain way. I think there are many many many tests in life...and a lot are evil. ;)
  14. My thoughts exactly. In ALL aspects of the world there are somethings and their complete opposites, positive negative, black white, day night. In all aspects of life there are equal opposites.
  15. I dunno who said it originally but a life without problems is like a stream without rocks in it. Yeah there may be no turbulance and breaking of water on rocks and chaos, but it's a lot less interesting than the bubbling frothy one... and it'll still get there.

    There would be no weight, no POINT to ANY of our GOOD decisions if there weren't BAD ones. Plus- Do evil people even exist? Take Hitler, beaten to shit as a kid, crippled by Parkinson's, poverty stricken (for a time). I meen jeez- if a guy is that fucked and he can talk like that (great public speaker that he was) then of course he's going to get power and fuck things up. Evil man? I dunno- his actions were certainly evil- but bare in mind that evil isn't born: it's made- and even then NO ONE is entirely evil or good.

    What happened WAS evil- but the world chose to stop it: GOOD CHOICE.

    I love pandas... Dunno why that's relevant- guess it's not... but they're ACE!

  16. Well, that was one hell of a read!
    Two points that intrigued me more than any others in that article:

    1. "one cannot know anything beyond one's own existence with absolute certainty." -- sorta puts all this speculation about the existence of god in a restrictive/liberating light... restrictive because god is beyond our own existence, therefore we can't know him... and liberating because we can speculate all we want (and it seems like we do want to speculate about it) and it just doesn't matter in the long run.

    2. "Hinduism identifies avidya (ignorance) as the cause of evil" -- ignorance as the cause of evil... gives a better appreciation to the ideas of learning, understanding and acquiring wisdom as a way to overcome evil.

    Excellent point. There is no good or evil, right or wrong... until we as humans make moral judgements on the intent of the action. Thus, in the animal kingdom, no matter what the action -- 'chimps delivberately maiming each other to make a point, killer whales 'playing' with their food before killing etc etc. -- there is no moral intent, therefore no evil. It's just when humans interject 'morality' into the situation does evil appear. Good and Evil are purely human concepts.

    But all of this has been expressed in this thread already, so I guess I have no original input... but my intentions were GOOD! :rolleyes:

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