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Archived => Craig vs Law => Topic started by: Yuzem on November 30, 2011, 01:32:41 pm

Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on November 30, 2011, 01:32:41 pm
Please excuse my bad English, it isn't my main language.

"The challenge is to explain why belief in a good god is significantly more reasonable than belief in an evil god."

Stephen Law

First answer:
1. Most fathers/creators want the best for their children/creations.
2. God is a father/creator.
3. Therefore, most probably, God wants the best for his children/creations.

We can see that most creators want the best for their creations. A writer will want his writings to be loved by many, to win awards and to be successful, the same could be said for a sculptor, an architect, a painter, or any other creator.
We can also say that most fathers wants their children to be successful and happy.

Second answer:
1. To do good is preferable than to do evil.
2. Anyone who is aware of what is preferable and is able to do what is preferable does what is preferable.
3. God is aware and able.
4. Therefore God is good, since He does good.

Please let me know what you think about these two simple arguments.
Regards.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Jack on December 01, 2011, 12:32:01 am
They both appear to presuppose that God wants 1. the best for his creation and 2. to do good. But if God is not good, then he would neither wants 1 or 2. Therefore it looks like you are presupposing that God is good in order for the for the deduction to operate.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on December 01, 2011, 06:27:15 am
Thanks for your reply noseeum.
I thought about what you said but I fail to see your points.

In my first argument I am not presupposing that God wants the best for his creation but  inferring it from premise 1 and 2.

For example, if most Oxford graduates are intelligent and John is an Oxford graduate but I don't know if hi is intelligent, I can infer that most probably, John is intelligent based in that he is an Oxford graduate and most Oxford graduates are intelligent.

If most creators want the best for their creations and God is a creator  but I don't know if He wants the best for his creation, I can infer that most probably, God wants the best for his creation based in that He is a creator and most creators want the best for their creations.

In my second argument I am not presupposing that God wants to do good but inferring it from premise 1, 2 and 3. The conclusion that God does good only comes at the end.

Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: dadalus on January 17, 2012, 07:26:51 am
They arent really arguments, though, in that the hidden premise is "i presume god is father-like, or is a way that tilts the liklihood of me being right".  

   

   For example, in many species of animals the father will kill their children if they see them again, or not even recognize them.

   

   Is this the kind of father you presuppose?

   

   In your second one, again you affirm the consequent and it should read:

   1. To do good is preferrable TO ME than to do evil.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: dadalus on January 17, 2012, 07:31:13 am
Btw, if your arguments WERE true, then you disprove the Xian god.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on January 17, 2012, 06:29:53 pm
Only the first argument uses the term "father" but you seemed to address your objection to both arguments when you said: "They arent really arguments"

I added the term "father" because of the similarity in meaning with "creator" and the Christian view of God as a father.
From the dictionary:
"a person who has originated or established something"
"to be the creator, founder, or author of"
source

There are many similarities between a father and a creator, a creator is usually viewed as the father of his creations.
To avoid any confusion I can reformulate the argument using only the term "creator":
1. Most creators want the best for their creations.
2. God is a creator.
3. Therefore, most probably, God wants the best for his creations.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 10, 2012, 06:59:20 pm
A missile creator wants the best for his creation, too.

   That doesnt mean it has to benefit the creation, just that it performs the best to satisfy the creator.

   You are in danger of presuming that we are all getting the best thing for ourselves despite the obvious fact that we all arent.

   

   I appreciate the effort but i dont think it gets you anywhere.

   The evil god could be using us as fodder, or just want us to presume exactly as you say.  Its not out of the realm that the evil god wants to give everyone the impression that he is good only to reveal the truth after you die.

   Any empirical evidence that supports a good god can be used to explain the actions of an evil god (just as the story of lot might be used to suggest there is an evil god in control until the punchline/" surprise, i was good all along!"
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Randy Everist on February 10, 2012, 08:06:54 pm

GreatPumpkin wrote: I appreciate the effort but i dont think it gets you anywhere.
The evil god could be using us as fodder, or just want us to presume exactly as you say. Its not out of the realm that the evil god wants to give everyone the impression that he is good only to reveal the truth after you die.
Any empirical evidence that supports a good god can be used to explain the actions of an evil god (just as the story of lot might be used to suggest there is an evil god in control until the punchline/" surprise, i was good all along!"

The evil god argument won't work with the maximally great being nor does it work with the moral argument. Being evil is not a great-making property, and in any case being good certainly is, so that it is better to be good than not good. But then the evil god can't even qualify. The moral argument tells us there are objective moral values and duties; obligations owed to a person. But if that person is evil, then the obligations that we owe are evil. But since it is good to do right, and evil to do wrong, we would have to violate our obligation to do evil in order to fulfill our obligations, which would be at least refraining from evil, which is incoherent.

Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 10, 2012, 09:12:24 pm
I think that presupposes the "god = good, according to my definition of god".  Yes, if you a priori define your god as good, an evil god is inchoherent. Likewise, if you define 'maximally great' as having good qualities, then an evil god is incoherent, but i beleive Law's position would be that there is nothing empirical to inform your definition one way or another.

   One is equally justified in supposing an evil god as a good god, but for theological preference.

   Another line, that maximal greatness is according to human desires and definitions (perhaps even wishful thinking, if an evil god really does exist, or not) but greatness according to the evil god would have different priorities.

   Law's point, though, as always, is that he doesn't think any of the reasons you or i have given are any good; equally good/equally bad and completely useless in arriving at a justification for a beleif in god.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on February 12, 2012, 10:35:26 pm
I agree: "A missile creator wants the best for his creation"
A creator wants his creation to accomplish its purpose as best as possible.
In most cases we don't need to know the creator to know the purpose of the creation.
We know the purpose of a missile without asking the missile creator.
We can know the purpose by examining the creation.
A missile is better if it
operates correctly, it is better if it is precise and fast.
We can say that these properties make the missile a better missile and the missile creator would want these properties for his creation.

In the same way we can say that there are some properties that make us better.
We are better if we are just, wise, if we have courage, temperance and so on.
Our creator would want us to have these properties since these properties make us better.


I'm not presuming that "we are all getting the best thing for ourselves"
I'm only asserting that the creator wants the best for ourselves not that we are getting it.
We can create the best car but give it time and problems will arise.

Yes,
the evil god could "be using us as fodder", but since he wants the best for his creation, this would be only if to be fodder, is the best state for us.
An element of a whole performing a function for which it is not adequate does not befit the creation as a whole.
I don't think anyone would argue that we are better as fodder, but if we are better as fodder then we are better as fodder.

"Its not out of the realm that the  evil god wants to give everyone the impression that he is good only to  reveal the truth after you die"

In fact, the evil god could give us defective minds or a world which is deceiving, but this is irrelevant since: "The challenge is to explain why belief in a good god is significantly more reasonable than belief in an evil god."

If the world or our minds are deceiving us we can't rely on reason, but the challenge is asking about which is more reasonable, whatever we can trust in reason or not is a different matter, I'm answering the challenge anyway.

Moreover, it is based on reason that we assert that if god is evil, we can't rely on reason.
If we can't rely on reason we have no grounds to say that if god is evil we can't rely on reason.

In the end, in order to assert about an evil god using this argument we have to ditch reason altogether.

I think I can formulate another argument:
1. If god is evil we can't rely on reason.
2. It is false that we can't rely on reason.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.

Also, I'm dividing the first argument into two different but similar arguments:
1. Most creators want the best for their creations.
2. God is a creator.
3. Therefore, most probably, God wants the best for his creations.

1. Most fathers want the best for their children.
2. God is a
father.
3. Therefore, most probably, God wants the best for his
children.

There are now four arguments.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 12, 2012, 10:55:03 pm
1. There is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.

   2. Most creators? But not all. And considering most people appear to be headed to Hell, according to christianity, it appears that god may not be like most creators. Plus, what other creators do we know besides human creators: is god now in the image of man?

   3. Again, not all fathers of all species care about their progeny. Take the largest population of life on the planet: insects.

   

   In the end, I understand why you argue as you do: you presuppose the god you want to prove.  All your examples are based on selective empirical observation that you feel are preferred attributes (cultured over millenniums of human evolution).

   

   It is no surprise that our gods take on the attributes we love and fear in ourselves.

   

   Again, anything you have said doesn't sway the argument to a good god that can't be turned around for the evil god.

   

   I would suggest that it is what it is. There is no reason to make a big deal about it, IMO.  The evil god challenge stands. It doesn't disprove the negative, but it proves there is no preference to believe in a god in the first place, let alone good or evil.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Randy Everist on February 13, 2012, 07:36:58 am

GreatPumpkin wrote: I think that presupposes the "god = good, according to my definition of god". Yes, if you a priori define your god as good, an evil god is inchoherent.

But that was not my argument. In fact, it is only entailed by my argument as a consequence. But rejecting an argument because one does not like the conclusion is begging the question against the argument!

Likewise, if you define 'maximally great' as having good qualities, then an evil god is incoherent, but i beleive Law's position would be that there is nothing empirical to inform your definition one way or another.
One is equally justified in supposing an evil god as a good god, but for theological preference.

Actually, they are "great-making" properties. This is the idea of metaphysical greatness. Now this, coupled with our well-founded moral intuitions as well as the argument I gave above, gives us good grounds to say, "it is better to have the property of being loving than not to have it." The problem with the evil god argument is that it doesn't even have intuition on its side! Well that, and the incoherency objection.

Another line, that maximal greatness is according to human desires and definitions (perhaps even wishful thinking, if an evil god really does exist, or not) but greatness according to the evil god would have different priorities.


That's just ad hoc, and isn't even a parody at this point, since we do think we arrive at great-making properties through intuition. So it isn't the case that just any argument can serve as justification for an evil god--I've already shown they rely on different arguments at points.

Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Randy Everist on February 13, 2012, 07:41:21 am

GreatPumpkin wrote: 1. There is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.

Note that his argument was not "if there is an evil god, there is no reason," but rather, "if there is an evil god, we cannot rely on reason." This would be because, if evil were a great-making property, evil god would possess, to the maximal degree, the great-making property of deceiving. So he would, in at least some cases, exemplify this by deceiving us in our beliefs. Now one may wish to respond that evil god may have morally-sufficient reasons for allowing us to know the truth, but this would be beside the point. The point would be that evil god itself is a defeater for any given belief, for you could not know which beliefs you reasoned correctly, by definition. But then it follows you have a defeater for every belief, including the belief that evil god exists. But no such epistemic challenge awaits the believer in God. Hence, the parody fails in its intended purpose.

2. Most creators? But not all. And considering most people appear to be headed to Hell, according to christianity, it appears that god may not be like most creators.

This just is not an essential to Christianity's truth. Don't like it? Then don't believe in Hell!

Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 13, 2012, 09:03:49 am
RandyE wrote:

Quote from: GreatPumpkin
1. There is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.

Note that his argument was not "if there is an evil god, there is no reason," but rather, "if there is an evil god, we cannot rely on reason." This would be because, if evil were a great-making property, evil god would possess, to the maximal degree, the great-making property of deceiving. So he would, in at least some cases, exemplify this by deceiving us in our beliefs. Now one may wish to respond that evil god may have morally-sufficient reasons for allowing us to know the truth, but this would be beside the point. The point would be that evil god itself is a defeater for any given belief, for you could not know which beliefs you reasoned correctly, by definition. But then it follows you have a defeater for every belief, including the belief that evil god exists. But no such epistemic challenge awaits the believer in God. Hence, the parody fails in its intended purpose.
I don't think it fails.  Perhaps our reason isn't to be trusted - perhaps it leads some to believe in a Good God?  Perhaps it leads others to other Gods.

Obviously, to be rational means that we must trust our reasoning at some level, and I won't argue that our reasoning is fundamentally undermined (after all, I don't believe there is an Evil God; or Good God), so I feel I can rely on reason.

However, the Evil God believer could easily argue that the Evil God has given us the appearance of reasoning well, but with enough error to make us doubt it and come to other conclusions.

Let's flip your argument.  If there is a Good God that has given us the ability to Reason well, why do so many people not Reason well?

This is the same argument, flipped (as is the beauty of the Evil God challenge), and carries as much weight as the opposite.

Your claim is that with a Good God we can trust our reasoning.  I don't think this is true for everyone.

The atheist position is that we seem to be able to trust our reasoning.  There is no reason Nature (being inanimate) would care to deceive us, so we can assume it operates on a basis of reality.  And, since there is no Evil God, we shouldn't think our Reasoning is undermined by supernatural forces, etc.

Any deficiency in reasoning can be explained by deficiencies in the brain chemistry.

However, even with an evil god, good reasoning skills can be understood by the same argument Dr. Craig uses for the Problem of Suffering: that he may have a purpose for good reasoning that we don't understand.

Maybe, for example, it is to fully appreciate the level of suffering and evilness of our existence at some point.  And, if you decide that you can't even trust your reasoning just because there is an evil god who you don't trust, then there is an even greater possibility of psychic angst.

The upshot: the evil God hypothesis can be equally defended as cant he Good God, neither has a better reason to be more true than the other.

And, the necessary and sufficient conditions for agnosticism (and atheism) are met.

2. Most creators? But not all. And considering most people appear to be headed to Hell, according to christianity, it appears that god may not be like most creators.

This just is not an essential to Christianity's truth. Don't like it? Then don't believe in Hell!

Agreed.  I was simply pointing out that his argument presupposed a particular religion, and so to say "most Creators" really just means the ones he means to point out to make his point - cherry picking.

After all, Marcion (once considered a great Christian) believed that Yahweh was the creator and was going to send us all to Hell - only Jesus who escaped the evil clutches of Yahweh can save us from that evil fate.

If you believe in a supernatural realm, I think this is just as plausible as any.  There as plenty Creator Gods who don't care about humans, and only lesser Gods intervene to care for them.

I think his "Father" and "Creator" gods arguments are a fallacy of asserting the consequent
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Randy Everist on February 13, 2012, 09:24:54 am
GreatPumpkin wrote: I don't think it fails.  Perhaps our reason isn't to be trusted - perhaps it leads some to believe in a Good God?  Perhaps it leads others to other Gods.

Obviously, to be rational means that we must trust our reasoning at some level, and I won't argue that our reasoning is fundamentally undermined (after all, I don't believe there is an Evil God; or Good God), so I feel I can rely on reason.

However, the Evil God believer could easily argue that the Evil God has given us the appearance of reasoning well, but with enough error to make us doubt it and come to other conclusions.

Let's flip your argument.  If there is a Good God that has given us the ability to Reason well, why do so many people not Reason well?

This is the same argument, flipped (as is the beauty of the Evil God challenge), and carries as much weight as the opposite.

Your claim is that with a Good God we can trust our reasoning.  I don't think this is true for everyone.
On theism, some people do not reason correctly because they are not functioning as intended (this can be for a variety of reasons, including: the fall of man, mental disabilities, etc.). But I think it misses the point. On the evil god challenge, we have a defeater for every belief. It doesn't matter that you don't subscribe to an evil god. What matters is that, supposedly, any argument for or defense against an objection to God's existence can be used for evil god. Since God would not design intentionally for us not to be able to trust reason in general, it's clearly not symmetrical. That some people cannot trust their beliefs in no way entails that all of us cannot trust our beliefs. This defense won't work for the evil god, for evil god ensures that all of us cannot trust at least some of our beliefs. But we can't know what those beliefs are; hence, we cannot know which of our beliefs are right, and knowing evil god, we actually have a defeater for all of our beliefs, including belief in evil god. Now it may be objected that just as we have insane people who do not function correctly, perhaps there are those who do not function correctly who instead have nearly impeccable-reasoning. This may be so, but notice something: they face the same epistemic problem (and, incidentally, they would know it, since they reason correctly). They would know there is an evil god, and he would want to deceive as many as he can given whatever morally-evilly-sufficient goals he may have. Knowing this, then, even if it seems to them to be good reasoning, they cannot affirm it, for they cannot, by definition, know if they are being rational in affirming that belief, so that even these exceptions, even if reasoning correctly, can only conclude they have a defeater for all of their beliefs.
Now one might claim that God may deceive people, but this is ex hypothesi false. As we have already discussed, that some people misfire on some of their beliefs, it does not follow that all of us misfire on all of our beliefs; that is, on a good God, there's no reason to suppose we have a defeater for all of our beliefs.

However, even with an evil god, good reasoning skills can be understood by the same argument Dr. Craig uses for the Problem of Suffering: that he may have a purpose for good reasoning that we don't understand.
But evil god must, by defintion of his necessary being, hold the property of being deceitful in a maximal way. That is, at least some deceit in trusting our beliefs must be exemplified (i.e., if there were a being with a maximal quality of deceit, then he would design all of his creatures to experience at least some deceit with respect to their belief, given their proper functionality). This is fully symmetrical with Good God's truth and benevolence, for example. But if deceit is properly functioning by design, the same asymmetrical problems attend. In that case, we have a defeater for every belief, including the belief that there is an evil god. No such epistemic problem holds for God.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 21, 2012, 11:40:43 am
RandyE wrote:
Quote from: GreatPumpkin
I don't think it fails.  Perhaps our reason isn't to be trusted - perhaps it leads some to believe in a Good God?  Perhaps it leads others to other Gods.

Obviously, to be rational means that we must trust our reasoning at some level, and I won't argue that our reasoning is fundamentally undermined (after all, I don't believe there is an Evil God; or Good God), so I feel I can rely on reason.

However, the Evil God believer could easily argue that the Evil God has given us the appearance of reasoning well, but with enough error to make us doubt it and come to other conclusions.

Let's flip your argument.  If there is a Good God that has given us the ability to Reason well, why do so many people not Reason well?

This is the same argument, flipped (as is the beauty of the Evil God challenge), and carries as much weight as the opposite.

Your claim is that with a Good God we can trust our reasoning.  I don't think this is true for everyone.
On theism, some people do not reason correctly because they are not functioning as intended (this can be for a variety of reasons, including: the fall of man, mental disabilities, etc.). But I think it misses the point. On the evil god challenge, we have a defeater for every belief. It doesn't matter that you don't subscribe to an evil god. What matters is that, supposedly, any argument for or defense against an objection to God's existence can be used for evil god. Since God would not design intentionally for us not to be able to trust reason in general, it's clearly not symmetrical. That some people cannot trust their beliefs in no way entails that all of us cannot trust our beliefs. This defense won't work for the evil god, for evil god ensures that all of us cannot trust at least some of our beliefs. But we can't know what those beliefs are; hence, we cannot know which of our beliefs are right, and knowing evil god, we actually have a defeater for all of our beliefs, including belief in evil god. Now it may be objected that just as we have insane people who do not function correctly, perhaps there are those who do not function correctly who instead have nearly impeccable-reasoning. This may be so, but notice something: they face the same epistemic problem (and, incidentally, they would know it, since they reason correctly). They would know there is an evil god, and he would want to deceive as many as he can given whatever morally-evilly-sufficient goals he may have. Knowing this, then, even if it seems to them to be good reasoning, they cannot affirm it, for they cannot, by definition, know if they are being rational in affirming that belief, so that even these exceptions, even if reasoning correctly, can only conclude they have a defeater for all of their beliefs.
Now one might claim that God may deceive people, but this is ex hypothesi false. As we have already discussed, that some people misfire on some of their beliefs, it does not follow that all of us misfire on all of our beliefs; that is, on a good God, there's no reason to suppose we have a defeater for all of our beliefs.

However, even with an evil god, good reasoning skills can be understood by the same argument Dr. Craig uses for the Problem of Suffering: that he may have a purpose for good reasoning that we don't understand.
But evil god must, by defintion of his necessary being, hold the property of being deceitful in a maximal way. That is, at least some deceit in trusting our beliefs must be exemplified (i.e., if there were a being with a maximal quality of deceit, then he would design all of his creatures to experience at least some deceit with respect to their belief, given their proper functionality). This is fully symmetrical with Good God's truth and benevolence, for example. But if deceit is properly functioning by design, the same asymmetrical problems attend. In that case, we have a defeater for every belief, including the belief that there is an evil god. No such epistemic problem holds for God.

1. If we can't trust our reasoning, God can't exist
2. We can't trust our reasoning
3. Therefore God doesn't exist.

Obviously this doesn't follow, but I believe this is your counter argument to an Evil God,

But your opposite is.

1. If we can trust our reasoning, God exists
2. We can (ultimately, somehow) trust our reasoning.
3. Therefore, God exists.

I don't trust your reasoning! :-)

I don't think simply not knowing the truth, or whether you can reason properly impacts reality.

Mental experiment:
Everything is as it is now.
Then, a brain eating microbe is unleashed by a terrorist organization.
Suddenly, no one can reason properly.
Does that change the actual state of affairs?



Likewise, there is reason to believe that the Evil God would keep good reasoning intact BECAUSE it is more evil: you can fully appreciate the dire situation of things after you die and fully realize your plight.

Also, if you believed your reasoning was always suspect, you could convince yourself (as you have, in a way) that it's all not true, and that a Good God would allow you to reason properly, and therefore that a Good God exists....

But wouldn't that position be the greatest deception of all?  It fits right in with an Evil God's plans....

I guess I don't see any traction to establish a Good God over an Evil One (and still a far cry from establishing ANY God over no God).
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on February 23, 2012, 06:55:50 pm
Hi, sorry for the delay, I couldn't find time to answer sooner.
It seems that RandyE has already addressed some of the objections but I want to respond anyway so here I go:

"1. There is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason."

Yes, of-course, but it may be that the evil god has created us with minds that can not reason.
If it is equally plausible that we can trust in reason than that we can not trust in reason then we have no very good grounds to trust in reason.
Of-course I hold that it is not equally plausible. Reason is a tool to attain knowledge, and knowledge is good. If god is evil he shall not want us to attain knowledge.

Let's flip your argument.  If there is a Good God that has given us the  ability to Reason well, why do so many people not Reason well?

Before addressing this objection let me make another argument since the same objection could be made for it:

1. If god is evil we can't rely on moral intuition.
2. It is false that we can't rely on
moral intuition.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.


So why some people not reason well?
Reason and moral intuition are tools, tools to reach some kind of truth.
Imagine you have a hammer and you are trying to drive a nail.
It may be that you don't know how to use the hammer, may be you are taking the hammer by the wrong extreme, you can harm your fingers if you miss the nail, maybe the hammer is not in good conditions but if the hammer is ok and you know how to use it correctly you will succeed.
Now, imagine that instead of a hammer you are using a candle. No matter what, you won't be able to drive the nail.

If God is good, then we have good grounds to believe that the tools of reason and moral intuition are adequate to reach some kind of truth and we can trust them, of-course we have to learn to use them correctly and it is worth the effort of trying to reason and trying to distinguish good from evil.
If god is evil, the tools of reason and moral intuition may not be adequate to reach any kind of truth and there is no point in trusting them. Even if we are able to reach some truth, in the end, this god will deceive us, since knowledge is good and he is evil.

2. Most creators? But not all. And  considering most people appear to be headed to Hell, according to  christianity, it appears that god may not be like most creators. Plus,  what other creators do we know besides human creators: is god now in the  image of man?

It is not according to Christianity but according to "some" christians and this is irrelevant since we are not talking about any specific religion here.
It is not arbitrarily that I am comparing God to other creators, the "Evil God Challenge" allows us to do that comparison since it grants God the quality of creator.

3. Again, not all fathers of all species care about their progeny. Take the largest population of life on the planet: insects.

I never said "all" fathers, I said "most" fathers.
I'm not an expert in insects but many insects do care for their progeny, they leave the eggs in a safe place and do what is necessary to protect them until there is no more necessity.
Anyway, I was speaking of fathers that are aware of their fatherhood, we can't say that insects are aware of their fatherhood.
I'm comparing the God that the challenge grants, the Evil God hypothesis grants God the quality of omniscience.

Agreed.  I was simply pointing out  that his argument presupposed a particular religion, and so to say "most  Creators" really just means the ones he means to point out to make his  point - cherry picking.

I'm not presupposing a particular religion, the "Evil God Hypothesis" is using exactly the same term: "Consider a different hypothesis. Suppose the universe has a creator." (page 4)
You can read it here.

Likewise, there is reason to believe  that the Evil God would keep good reasoning intact BECAUSE it is more  evil: you can fully appreciate the dire situation of things after you  die and fully realize your plight.

The Evil God could give us just the appearance of good reasoning or he could give us good reasoning for some evil purpose. If one possibility is not more plausible than the other, then we don't have good grounds to trust reason.

I want to add another argument to the list. If god is evil then all creation is in the end serving an evil purpose. Any good will ultimately serve a greater evil.

1. If god is evil, to be, is not preferable then not to be.
2. To be is preferable than not to be.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.

Or in another form:
1. If god is evil, life, isn't worth it.
2. It is false that life isn't worth it.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.

Sorry again for the delay, I will try to answer quicker next time.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 07:33:18 am
There arr many objections i could provide, but the upshot is that just because an evil god might cause us to reason poorly, doesnt mean he doesnt exist.

   This is the over-rising fallacy of your position.

   

   You are trying to say, if an evil god exists, it would be bad, so it cant be true.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on February 24, 2012, 08:38:53 am
Of-course, it doesn't mean he doesn't exist, it could be that there is an evil god and that life isn't worth it and that we can not trust in reason or moral intuition.
But if we do believe that we can trust in reason and moral intuition or if we do believe that life is worth it then there can't be an evil god.
If you don't believe that you can trust in reason there isn't much sense in demonstrating that an evil-god is just as reasonable as a good-God.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 08:50:39 am
Yuzem wrote: Of-course, it doesn't mean he doesn't exist, it could be that there is an evil god and that life isn't worth it and that we can not trust in reason or moral intuition.
But if we do believe that we can trust in reason and moral intuition or if we do believe that life is worth it then there can't be an evil god.
If you don't believe that you can trust in reason there isn't much sense in demonstrating that an evil-god is just as reasonable as a good-God.

Then your arguments are not criticisms of the logical argument Law provided and we are done.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on February 24, 2012, 09:30:04 am
Then your arguments are not criticisms of the logical argument Law provided and we are done.

Why not?
I'm providing logical arguments:

1. If god is evil we can't rely on reason.
2. It is false that we can't rely on reason.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.


You can of-course say that premise 2 is false and hold that we can not rely on reason but I don't think many people would want to take that road.
Nevertheless, I think there is a way of attacking this argument...
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 12:41:04 pm
Yuzem wrote:
Then your arguments are not criticisms of the logical argument Law provided and we are done.

Why not?
I'm providing logical arguments:

1. If god is evil we can't rely on reason.
2. It is false that we can't rely on reason.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.


You can of-course say that premise 2 is false and hold that we can not rely on reason but I don't think many people would want to take that road.
Nevertheless, I think there is a way of attacking this argument...

Sigh...

Me: "1. There is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason."

You: "Yes, of-course,...."


You yourself disagreed with your first premise.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on February 24, 2012, 01:23:02 pm
I don't disagree with the premise:

You:
1. There is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.


Me:
Yes, of-course, but it may be that the evil god has created us with minds that can not reason.
If  it is equally plausible that we can trust in reason than that we can  not trust in reason then we have no very good grounds to trust in  reason.


Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 02:55:31 pm
Yuzem wrote: I don't disagree with the premise:

You:
1. There is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.


Me:
Yes, of-course, but it may be that the evil god has created us with minds that can not reason.
If  it is equally plausible that we can trust in reason than that we can  not trust in reason then we have no very good grounds to trust in  reason.



but you agree there is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.

So, it's reasonable to try to reason, whether we can reason or not.

Regardless, you are not disproving the evil god challenge.  Do you agree?  I don't want to rehash this whole thing again.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on February 24, 2012, 03:47:58 pm
but you agree there is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.

Yes there is "nothing to preclude" which means, as I understand it, that it is not impossible.
I'm not holding that it can't be that he has created us with minds that can reason, maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
Even if there were some reasons that can be proposed for an evil-god creating minds that can reason, if these reasons are balanced by other reasons against an evil-god creating minds that can reason then we have no very good grounds to trust in  reason.

If an evil-god exist: what reasons do we have to believe that he has created us with minds that can reason rather than with minds that can not reason?

If the reasons in one side are similar to the reasons in the other side then we have no very good grounds to trust in  reason.

So, it's reasonable to try to reason, whether we can reason or not.

If it is plausible to believe that reason was created to mislead us I don't see why it would be reasonable to try to reason.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 04:19:29 pm
Yuzem wrote:
but you agree there is nothing to preclude an evil god from creating minds that can reason.

Yes there is "nothing to preclude" which means, as I understand it, that it is not impossible.
I'm not holding that it can't be that he has created us with minds that can reason, maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
Even if there were some reasons that can be proposed for an evil-god creating minds that can reason, if these reasons are balanced by other reasons against an evil-god creating minds that can reason then we have no very good grounds to trust in  reason.

If an evil-god exist: what reasons do we have to believe that he has created us with minds that can reason rather than with minds that can not reason?

If the reasons in one side are similar to the reasons in the other side then we have no very good grounds to trust in  reason.

So, it's reasonable to try to reason, whether we can reason or not.

If it is plausible to believe that reason was created to mislead us I don't see why it would reasonable to try to reason.

What other option would you have? You are welcome to not reason, after all.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on February 24, 2012, 05:08:10 pm
What other option would you have? You are welcome to not reason, after all.

You can be irrational.
If you don't think we can rely on reason then there is not much sense in asserting that a good God is not more reasonable than an evil-god.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Great Pumpkin on February 24, 2012, 07:36:25 pm
Yuzem wrote:
What other option would you have? You are welcome to not reason, after all.

You can be irrational.
If you don't think we can rely on reason then there is not much sense in asserting that a good God is not more reasonable than an evil-god.
maybe, but I am choosing to reason because I believe it to be worthwhile - even if I'm wrong.

After all, maybe philosophers have found reasoning worthwhile and were wrong. Aristotle, for example.

I don't believe you can simply decide that reasoning in not worthwhile just because you arrive at the wrong conclusion in the end.

And, if an Evil God exists, we have arrived at the right one despite his efforts. - Just like if a Good God exists some of us have arrived at the wrong conclusion.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on February 24, 2012, 08:26:55 pm
maybe, but I am choosing to reason because I believe it to be worthwhile - even if I'm wrong.

To what end is it worth it?
If God is good then reason is worth it to attain knowledge but if god is evil: what is the worth of reason?

And, if an Evil God exists, we have arrived at the right one despite his  efforts. - Just like if a Good God exists some of us have arrived at  the wrong conclusion.

Yes, and if we decide by throwing a coin some of us will arrive at the right conclusion.
Why not to throw a coin instead of reasoning? It is much easier.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: carter smith on February 27, 2012, 08:41:29 am
Yuzem wrote:
maybe, but I am choosing to reason because I believe it to be worthwhile - even if I'm wrong.

To what end is it worth it?
If God is good then reason is worth it to attain knowledge but if god is evil: what is the worth of reason?
It's worth it to me.

And, if an Evil God exists, we have arrived at the right one despite his  efforts. - Just like if a Good God exists some of us have arrived at  the wrong conclusion.

Yes, and if we decide by throwing a coin some of us will arrive at the right conclusion.
Why not to throw a coin instead of reasoning? It is much easier.
[/QUOTE]

Maybe that's what we are doing? I prefer to think otherwise.

Either way, is you argument:

1. If reason isn't reliable, I don't like it.
2. If an evil god exits, reason isn't reliable.
3. Therefore, I don't like it... nope, not one bit.
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Yuzem on March 01, 2012, 02:24:49 pm
It's worth it to me.

That's ok, but it doesn't answer the question.

Either way, is you argument:

1. If reason isn't reliable, I don't like it.
2. If an evil god exits, reason isn't reliable.
3. Therefore, I don't like it... nope, not one bit.
If reason isn't reliable then: What's the difference if we don't have a reason "to explain why belief in a good god is significantly more reasonable than belief in an evil god"?
Title: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: carter smith on March 05, 2012, 09:45:37 am
Yuzem wrote:
It's worth it to me.

That's ok, but it doesn't answer the question.

Either way, is you argument:

1. If reason isn't reliable, I don't like it.
2. If an evil god exits, reason isn't reliable.
3. Therefore, I don't like it... nope, not one bit.
If reason isn't reliable then: What's the difference if we don't have a reason "to explain why belief in a good god is significantly more reasonable than belief in an evil god"?

None, i guess.  It's a good thing there is a third option: No god.  ;-)
Title: Re: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Amoranemix on November 25, 2012, 11:33:33 am
Quote from: Yuzem
Also, I'm dividing the first argument into two different but similar arguments:
1. Most creators want the best for their creations.
2. God is a creator.
3. Therefore, most probably, God wants the best for his creations.
I'll formulate three objections to your argument :
1) One argument against the problem evil doctor Craig used is that we cannot rely on observational evidence to conclude that God is not omnibenevolent. Doctor Law used the same reasoning to argue that in that case neither can we rely on observational evidence to conclude that God is not omnimalevolent. If we accept those arguments, then we cannot draw any conclusion about God's morality from observational evidence. Yet that is exactly what you are doing.

2) Here is a word of wisdom : do not trust statistics you do not understand.
You are drawing a conclusion about God's morality based on statistical evidence. The argument is too vague to have any scientific value, but I will elaborate. I'll assume the set of creators and creations from which statistical information is drawn consists of all biological lifeforms that are the product of evolution. Inanimate objects are excluded because if someone makes e.g. a missile, then he doesn't want that missile to be happy. Furthermore, the creators and creations you use as statistical evidence have a parent-offspring relation.
Clearly the set of entities and relations from which you drew information is not representative for God and our relation with him : God is not a biological lifeform and we are not his offspring. If most graduates of Oxford University are intelligent, then that does not allow you to conclude that Richard, a graduate from Cambridge, is probably intelligent.

3) Someone or something wanting the best for their children does not make them morally good in general. They may just be good to their children and evil in other ways.

Quote from: Yuzem
1. Most fathers want the best for their children.
2. God is a father.
3. Therefore, most probably, God wants the best for his children.
This argument is irrelevant as God does not have any children, except perhaps Jezus. I doubt you can come up with definitions for father and child that can make your argument work. It is hard to defend that God behaves like a good father towards his human 'children'.

Quote from: Yuzem
Second answer:
1. To do good is preferable than to do evil.
2. Anyone who is aware of what is preferable and is able to do what is preferable does what is preferable.
3. God is aware and able.
4. Therefore God is good, since He does good.
The argument is invalid because the concept 'preferable' is undefined. I don't think there is a defintion that makes the argument work. I'll try one as an example : preferable is what most increasses the well-being of the world. Clearly premise 2 is false.


I undestand too little of Randy Everest's argument to join that debate. For instance, I don't know what a defeater is and I suspect most people don't.


Quote from: Yuzem
I think I can formulate another argument:
1. If god is evil we can't rely on reason.
2. It is false that we can't rely on reason.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.
You admitted later that premise 1 could be false. Hence you would have to reformulate your argument to take that into account.

Quote from: Yuzem
If God is good, then we have good grounds to believe that the tools of reason and moral intuition are adequate to reach some kind of truth and we can trust them, of-course we have to learn to use them correctly and it is worth the effort of trying to reason and trying to distinguish good from evil.
If god is evil, the tools of reason and moral intuition may not be adequate to reach any kind of truth and there is no point in trusting them. Even if we are able to reach some truth, in the end, this god will deceive us, since knowledge is good and he is evil.
We are being told by Christians that the mysterious ways in which God operates are beyond our understanding. If that is a valid argument then so is the argument that evil God's diabolical plans are beyond our understanding. They may well include knowledge. I can think of some expectations I have of good God that he is not meeting and can also think of some expectations of evil God that he is meeting.

Quote from: Yuzem
1. If god is evil we can't rely on moral intuition.
2. It is false that we can't rely on moral intuition.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.
Sound deductive arguments rely on premises that are accepted by the audience. I agree with premise 1, but I do not accept it, and I disagree with premise 2.

Quote from: Yuzem
1. If god is evil, to be, is not preferable then not to be.
2. To be is preferable than not to be.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.
Please define 'preferable'. You can't prove both 1 and 2. Which one will you let go ?

Quote from: Yuzem
Or in another form:
1. If god is evil, life, isn't worth it.
 2.  It is false that life isn't worth it.
 3. Therefore, God is not evil.
You can't seriously believe that is a sound argument.

Quote from: Yuzem
1. If god is evil we can't rely on reason.
2. It is false that we can't rely on reason.
3. Therefore, God is not evil.
You can of-course say that premise 2 is false and hold that we can not rely on reason but I don't think many people would want to take that road.
That's because not many people believe in evil God. I think people follow the following reasoning, rather than yours :
1. If God is evil we can't rely on reason.
2. God is not evil.
3. Therefore, it is false we can't rely on reason.
Title: Re: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: stupid_sinner on June 11, 2014, 03:13:38 am
Actually I think the challenge Dr. Law present is a very simple case, and I'm quite disappointed how Dr. Craig fail to give an effective response.

I think the key of understanding the challenge is when Dr. Law say something like (I forget most of it so I will paraphrase it), "The evil god is just the same as the good god. He would create a being with a free will to choose to do bad things." And Dr. Craig didn't respond to it.

Actually, the answer is simple: A EVIL GOD WON'T CREATE A CREATURE WITH A FREE WILL. It's as simple as that. As C.S. Lewis says, one can be good for the sake of goodness and bad for the sake of goodness. But no one can be bad for the sake of badness.
Title: Re: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Amoranemix on July 17, 2014, 02:34:31 am
Quote from: stupid_sinner
Actually, the answer is simple: A EVIL GOD WON'T CREATE A CREATURE WITH A FREE WILL. It's as simple as that. As C.S. Lewis says, one can be good for the sake of goodness and bad for the sake of goodness. But no one can be bad for the sake of badness.
Why wouldn't an evil god create a creature with free will ?
Your C.S. Lewis quote makes sense for a product of evolution by natural selection, but I don't see why it would hold outside that context.
Title: Re: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: stupid_sinner on July 19, 2014, 10:01:57 am
Quote from: stupid_sinner
Actually, the answer is simple: A EVIL GOD WON'T CREATE A CREATURE WITH A FREE WILL. It's as simple as that. As C.S. Lewis says, one can be good for the sake of goodness and bad for the sake of goodness. But no one can be bad for the sake of badness.
Why wouldn't an evil god create a creature with free will ?
Your C.S. Lewis quote makes sense for a product of evolution by natural selection, but I don't see why it would hold outside that context.
Well, why would he create a free will? A free will can choose to do good, which an evil god wouldn't allow to happen.

And C.S. Lewis is actually refuting dualism, even more so the evil god challenge. It was meant to be two separate refutation.
Title: Re: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: Amoranemix on December 17, 2014, 07:33:25 am
Quote from: stupid_sinner
Well, why would he create a free will? A free will can choose to do good, which an evil god wouldn't allow to happen.
Stephen Law already addressed that. A good god wouldn't allow free will either, because someone with free will could choose to do evil. Christians challenge that statement and then that challenge can be parodied.

Quote from: stupid_sinner
And C.S. Lewis is actually refuting dualism, even more so the evil god challenge. It was meant to be two separate refutation.
Feel free to borrow C.S. Lewis' ideas to refute the evil god challenge, if you can.
Title: Re: Evil God Challenge - two simple answers?
Post by: jayceeii on December 20, 2019, 09:24:49 am
Please excuse my bad English, it isn't my main language.

"The challenge is to explain why belief in a good god is significantly more reasonable than belief in an evil god."

Stephen Law

First answer:
1. Most fathers/creators want the best for their children/creations.
2. God is a father/creator.
3. Therefore, most probably, God wants the best for his children/creations.

We can see that most creators want the best for their creations. A writer will want his writings to be loved by many, to win awards and to be successful, the same could be said for a sculptor, an architect, a painter, or any other creator.
We can also say that most fathers wants their children to be successful and happy.

Second answer:
1. To do good is preferable than to do evil.
2. Anyone who is aware of what is preferable and is able to do what is preferable does what is preferable.
3. God is aware and able.
4. Therefore God is good, since He does good.

Please let me know what you think about these two simple arguments.
Regards.
I’m the bearer of bad news, in that God has been holding this planet as one of animals before now, the religions giving merely a surface appearance of salvation. The modern era is not structurally or socially different from the dinosaur era, in God’s sight, yet. Seemingly covenants were drawn up, but these were always covenants with a herd, not with individuals. Men seeing their ultimate fate would call God evil, but they’d also call God evil for sharing His friendliness, and asking them to step into the light of His ways.

Looking at your first answer, God is the Creator but it is an error to confuse this with a human father. In particular, a father is not responsible for the fate of all, but God is. God wants good for the individuals, but this can conflict with the good of the whole, and the long-term best interests of those individuals as well. In general a father can communicate with his children because they share a common mindset, but God cannot communicate with men because as the Bible did say, His thoughts and ways are radically unlike theirs.

As for the second answer, everything hinges on the definition of “good.” A fact few have noticed but that ends up being critical, is that all evil men define what they do as good, internally. If you talk to each man individually, you discover that there are no evil men! Evil is only seen from the context outside the route each individual is making for himself. Therefore today we find humans claiming to do good and believing they are doing good, where God and the future generations also, would obviously condemn them as very evil.