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Harvey

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« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2011, 10:00:42 pm »
Adito wrote: The fact that God could exist alone without anything else shows both S1 and S2 to be false. S1 fails immediately because it's possible that God could could exist without anything else existing and God does not possess the potential for evil.

Wouldn't this be conflating possibility with actuality? Sure, it's possible that God exists (or existed at one logical point in his existence) without any reference to anything other than himself, but how does that refute the possibility of S1 where it is also possible that God exists in reference to something other than his own existence?

Adito wrote: S2 fails because the fact that God could exist without anything else and instantiate all GMPs without a single EMP shows that there can be no logically necessary connection between an EMP and a GMP.

But, why couldn't a GMP God create a FMP (free-making property) that determines its own moral properties? Why would a FMP deny God's GMP-ness?

Adito wrote: Given that no good is necessarily dependent on an evil I don't see why an omnipotent being couldn't make a world that's as "good at making good" as is logically possible without including evil. A being with His attributes has better options that to allow evil.

That doesn't strike me as a sufficient reason to deny that possibly some morally superior reason exists for allowing a potential EMP. You don't know of any good that is dependent on some potential for evil to exist, but do you know if there are any life forms living in the Orion constellation? If you don't know such a trivial piece of information, then how could you know things that only God could know by being omniscient?

In order to say otherwise you would need to provide a logical theorem showing the contradiction that would result if a EMP were a mere possibility. I don't see any. Even in mathematics if there were that many mathematicians not convinced of a theorem, then it would not be called a theorem. It would be called a conjecture.


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Adito

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« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2011, 10:26:31 pm »
Wouldn't this be conflating possibility with actuality? Sure, it's possible that God exists (or existed at one logical point in his existence) without any reference to anything other than himself, but how does that refute the possibility of S1 where it is also possible that God exists in reference to something other than his own existence?

It doesn't have to have actually been the case that God exists alone for the possibility to have implications. S1 is refuted because it's not the case that every possible world includes evil so long as a perfectly good being is possible. That it's possible for God to exist along with other things could only make evil a possibility but it could not make it a universally necessary trait of existence.

But, why couldn't a GMP God create a FMP (free-making property) that determines its own moral properties? Why would a FMP deny God's GMP-ness?

In the God-only world God has freedom yet no evil exists. Therefor evil is not necessary for freedom. God has the option of creating free creatures that never do evil. This works in much same way as the fact that God is free yet will never commit an evil act.

That doesn't strike me as a sufficient reason to deny that possibly some morally superior reason exists for allowing a potential EMP. You don't know of any good that is dependent on some potential for evil to exist, but do you know if there are any life forms living in the Orion constellation? If you don't know such a trivial piece of information, then how could you know things that only God could know by being omniscient?

Remember that God is perfectly good and therefor instantiates all objective goods. Given this fact we only have to again refer to the possible God-only world to know that no GMPs require EMPs.
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Harvey

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« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2011, 10:57:35 pm »
Adito wrote: It doesn't have to have actually been the case that God exists alone for the possibility to have implications. S1 is refuted because it's not the case that every possible world includes evil so long as a perfectly good being is possible. That it's possible for God to exist along with other things could only make evil a possibility but it could not make it a universally necessary trait of existence.

But, aren't you here conflating epistemic possibility with ontic possibility? That is, it's true that not all (epistemic) possible basic-realities include potential EMPs within the context of that basic-reality. You cited one such epistemic possible world where God alone exists with no capability of EMPs existing in Him. However, this epistemic possible world tells us nothing about what is the case about the basic reality that actually is the root of our world (if indeed there is such a basic reality). You, as an atheist, would surely deny that God is the basic reality of our world, and therefore you must be talking about a purely epistemic possibility when referring to God alone existing and making up this basic reality. You believe no such basic reality exists or existed at any point in the primordial past.

S1 is referring to an ontic possible world where no other basic reality exists other than one in which God co-exists with certain external references (e.g., the tohu wa-bohu to use the Hebrew conception of what exists external to God as part of a basic reality). In that scenario, it is simply the case that every possible world that extends from this basic S1 reality includes a potential for EMPs.

Adito wrote:
But, why couldn't a GMP God create a FMP (free-making property) that determines its own moral properties? Why would a FMP deny God's GMP-ness?
In the God-only world God has freedom yet no evil exists. Therefor evil is not necessary for freedom. God has the option of creating free creatures that never do evil. This works in much same way as the fact that God is free yet will never commit an evil act.

This is a conjecture. There's certainly nothing wrong with conjecturing. However, if you use a conjecture of what you see as possible as a means to deny other possibilities (e.g., S1 or S2 with FMPs), then you've overstepped yourself. Sure, I admit that in your scenario (let's call it Scenario Three or S3), that it seems epistemically possible that God could make free creatures that do not sin and such a world enjoys all of the potential GMPs as our world. What we don't know, however, is whether S3 is ontically possible. If it is not, then S3's impossibility would restrict God in some major ways. For example, he might consider creating a world with FMP that runs a risk of developing an EMP.

Adito wrote: Remember that God is perfectly good and therefor instantiates all objective goods. Given this fact we only have to again refer to the possible God-only world to know that no GMPs require EMPs.

See above. In my opinion this conflates epistemic possibility with ontic possibility.

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Adito

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« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2011, 11:58:06 pm »
However, this epistemic possible world tells us nothing about what is the case about the basic reality that actually is the root of our world (if indeed there is such a basic reality)

God is not bound by anything besides logic so I see no contradiction in saying that God could eliminate any evil He finds Himself coexisting with. The author of this argument aimed it towards the God of classical theism who is accepted to be the ground of all being so this discussion is a little outside of its intended audience. But I think I can adapt it to your ideas so I'll continue.

Even if God cannot eliminate the evil then there's no reason He cannot create a sub-world isolated from it. Since the creation of a sub-world would be an act whose sole cause is wholly good there would be nothing necessarily evil within it. If you deny that God has the power to act without evil influencing the act in some way then I think you'll have to deny that He is a perfectly good being. The only other way out I can see is to deny that God can create a sub-world which I see no reason to do.

Another option God has is to simply work within the universe that has evil but always act so as to deny evil existence whenever it would have been instantiated without intervention.

This is a conjecture.

As far as I can tell it follows logically from the arguments I've given.
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Dan Stewart

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« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2011, 05:39:45 am »
Adito wrote:
How are we to accept the premise that evil beings know all there is to know about God and good?

Why is it necessary to know everything to spot a logical anomaly?
Why is it necessary to argue against claims that haven't been made?


Adito wrote: If we can't draw conclusions from our most careful observation/reasoning then we can't claim to have knowledge about anything. This would include ideas about God, His properties, what "the good" really is and pretty much everything else we try to talk about. In other words it leads to a pretty drastic bit of skepticism.

Like I should care?

Adito wrote:
Quote
"Since no GMPs entail EMPs " is trash. Courage is good. How does the scoffer propose to make courage? He doesn't. He doesn't want us to even consider it (for more than one reason.)

Why does courage require evil? I can think of many examples of courage that make no reference to evil. Consider the student who takes on ever greater challenges without being certain about his eventual success. This takes courage yet it's not necessary that evil be involved. Besides, you're ignoring the supporting argument in favor of no GMPs requiring EMPs. All GMPs are instantiated in our working concept of God but God has no EMPs therefor there cannot be a logically necessary connection between the two.

I didn't understand the rest of your argument about the scoffer. Would you mind restating it in different terms?
Why does water require hydrogen? Why ask why?

And no, your nonsense about ignoring "ALL GMP..." is without merit. I am not required to address ALL elements of the arrogant and polywrong simultaneously.

Now a premise needs to be more than an assertion, if you want to convince thinking people. We already had plenty, and now you offer a new one: that it takes courage to study! Some may claim it takes courage to breathe, but this isn't the common meaning of the term so pardon me while I point out that I did not mean feel-good, politically correct, Oprah Winfrey show garbage "courage", but rather the real thing. Leave it to a scoffer to try and erode the concept...
"P.S. Oct 22d. Hen. has taken your M.S. to London, & will write.— I have lately read Morley's Life of Voltaire & he insists strongly that direct attacks on Christianity (even when written with the wonderful force & vigour of Voltaire) produce little permanent effect: real good seems only to follow f

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Dan Stewart

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« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2011, 05:51:58 am »
Okay, I got one more. Let's see mercy & forgiveness get misinterpreted! I maintain without evil there can be nothing to forgive. I'm ready to chuckle, so don't hold back on twisting terms. Wring 'em thoroughly.

"P.S. Oct 22d. Hen. has taken your M.S. to London, & will write.— I have lately read Morley's Life of Voltaire & he insists strongly that direct attacks on Christianity (even when written with the wonderful force & vigour of Voltaire) produce little permanent effect: real good seems only to follow f

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Dan Stewart

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« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2011, 06:43:45 am »
mwalimu wrote:
Quote from: Adito

Why does courage require evil? I can think of many examples of courage that make no reference to evil. Consider the student who takes on ever greater challenges without being certain about his eventual success. This takes courage yet it's not necessary that evil be involved. Besides, you're ignoring the supporting argument in favor of no GMPs requiring EMPs. All GMPs are instantiated in our working concept of God but God has no EMPs therefor there cannot be a logically necessary connection between the two.

I didn't understand the rest of your argument about the scoffer. Would you mind restating it in different terms?


Courage DOES NOT require evil. In fact, genuine courage can ONLY EVER be good - and emerges from a strong desire to defend the good!

I think you were reading too rapidly. The scoffer argument being the assertion package it is, I asked how to make courage without evil.

They have claimed to know with certainty (and in the context they need to be able to prove) that no good thing requires evil in any way. Now watch and enjoy as the arrogant claim fails.
"P.S. Oct 22d. Hen. has taken your M.S. to London, & will write.— I have lately read Morley's Life of Voltaire & he insists strongly that direct attacks on Christianity (even when written with the wonderful force & vigour of Voltaire) produce little permanent effect: real good seems only to follow f

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Harvey

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« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2011, 07:18:35 am »
Adito wrote: God is not bound by anything besides logic so I see no contradiction in saying that God could eliminate any evil He finds Himself coexisting with.

Perhaps that's what creation is about -- bringing light to the void and filling it with life and meaning...

adito wrote: The author of this argument aimed it towards the God of classical theism who is accepted to be the ground of all being so this discussion is a little outside of its intended audience. But I think I can adapt it to your ideas so I'll continue.

I'm also defending S2...

adito wrote: Even if God cannot eliminate the evil then there's no reason He cannot create a sub-world isolated from it. Since the creation of a sub-world would be an act whose sole cause is wholly good there would be nothing necessarily evil within it. If you deny that God has the power to act without evil influencing the act in some way then I think you'll have to deny that He is a perfectly good being. The only other way out I can see is to deny that God can create a sub-world which I see no reason to do.

The issue is whether God's existence is based on S1. If so, then God's role and nature is to transform S1 such that there is an emergent world built only on GMPs. The way in which God does so is dependent on what is the greatest good to accomplish this act. Here you cite one possibility, but we don't know if this is the greatest good. If we believe a good and all-powerful God exists, and evil exists, then we're committed to the notion that the greatest good was for God to utilize a world with a potential for evil to accomplish his will. There's nothing I can see in your arguments that refute this.

adito wrote: Another option God has is to simply work within the universe that has evil but always act so as to deny evil existence whenever it would have been instantiated without intervention.

All good conjectures. If you had been there when God was creating the world, maybe you could have suggested some of these. However, perhaps God would have replied, "I like how you think Adito, but let me do the Vulcan mind meld on you so that you can understand why this would lead to a much less good universe... Adito: Ah, now I see God, I so much apologize for thinking your decisions were not the greatest good...."

Adito wrote: As far as I can tell it follows logically from the arguments I've given.

I don't see that at all. You're using conjectures based on what you think would be better. I could offer dozens of conjectures of how physics ought to work, but that doesn't mean that those physics could actually work like that if I were in charge of creating my own sub-universe.



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Adito

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« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2011, 11:35:35 am »
Perhaps that's what creation is about -- bringing light to the void and filling it with life and meaning...

A perfectly good omniscient all powerful being will eliminate any evil that is not required for some greater good. Since my argument is that no greater good requires evil then it's impossible for a God with those traits to allow evil. Bringing light to the void is all well and good but if evil is an unnecessary part of the void then God, being what He is, would eliminate the evil or find a way to circumvent it.

If so, then God's role and nature is to transform S1 such that there is an emergent world built only on GMPs. The way in which God does so is dependent on what is the greatest good to accomplish this act. Here you cite one possibility, but we don't know if this is the greatest good. If we believe a good and all-powerful God exists, and evil exists, then we're committed to the notion that the greatest good was for God to utilize a world with a potential for evil to accomplish his will.

I've given a clear way for God to create a perfectly good world in either S1 or S2 and shown that no goods require evil. There is no reason to still be committed to the idea of a perfectly good God as well as evil.

You're using conjectures based on what you think would be better.

Would a world that consists of more GMPs than ours but without a single EMP be better? I don't see why this is mere conjecture. It's pretty much an analytic truth.
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Cletus Nze

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« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2011, 12:11:00 pm »
_CTD_ wrote:
Quote from: mwalimu
Quote from: Adito

Why does courage require evil? I can think of many examples of courage that make no reference to evil. Consider the student who takes on ever greater challenges without being certain about his eventual success. This takes courage yet it's not necessary that evil be involved. Besides, you're ignoring the supporting argument in favor of no GMPs requiring EMPs. All GMPs are instantiated in our working concept of God but God has no EMPs therefor there cannot be a logically necessary connection between the two.

I didn't understand the rest of your argument about the scoffer. Would you mind restating it in different terms?


Courage DOES NOT require evil. In fact, genuine courage can ONLY EVER be good - and emerges from a strong desire to defend the good!

I think you were reading too rapidly. The scoffer argument being the assertion package it is, I asked how to make courage without evil.

They have claimed to know with certainty (and in the context they need to be able to prove) that no good thing requires evil in any way. Now watch and enjoy as the arrogant claim fails.


I shall indeed watch - closely!
Pursue Truth - with rigour and vigour!

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Cletus Nze

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« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2011, 12:28:57 pm »
Adito wrote:
Perhaps that's what creation is about -- bringing light to the void and filling it with life and meaning...

A perfectly good omniscient all powerful being will eliminate any evil that is not required for some greater good. Since my argument is that no greater good requires evil then it's impossible for a God with those traits to allow evil. Bringing light to the void is all well and good but if evil is an unnecessary part of the void then God, being what He is, would eliminate the evil or find a way to circumvent it.

If so, then God's role and nature is to transform S1 such that there is an emergent world built only on GMPs. The way in which God does so is dependent on what is the greatest good to accomplish this act. Here you cite one possibility, but we don't know if this is the greatest good. If we believe a good and all-powerful God exists, and evil exists, then we're committed to the notion that the greatest good was for God to utilize a world with a potential for evil to accomplish his will.

I've given a clear way for God to create a perfectly good world in either S1 or S2 and shown that no goods require evil. There is no reason to still be committed to the idea of a perfectly good God as well as evil.

You're using conjectures based on what you think would be better.

Would a world that consists of more GMPs than ours but without a single EMP be better? I don't see why this is mere conjecture. It's pretty much an analytic truth.



Do you regard the event of a baby falling on its bottom in its attempts to learn to walk an "evil" event? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Evil occurs ONLY when things are done with malicious intent! Errors committed whilst pursuing good intentions are not evil! In fact, through the lessons they teach they foster and strengthen good volition - just as the toddler learns from the experience of each fall, until at last it is able to walk in safety. A "fall on the bottom" of a nation naturally looks like a far more tragic event to the eyes of the ignorant than it really is - just as they travails of a woman about to give birth looks terrible to the faint-hearted and feeble-minded! But it is also true that MUCH that is evil nowadays plagues humanity. But to blame God for it is simply ignorant!

Development is not possible unless there is tolerance of imperfection by the Perfect! Much of God's Creation is devoted to providing good environments where the imperfect can develop towards the Perfect and under the Latter's Influence - as children develop under the influence of their parents. But, despite the best guidance, some children "turn bad"! This is a consequence of the fact that they possess Free Will. When a gift of an automobile is given to a man, for instance, there is always the possibility that he may kill himself with it. But does this justify withholding the gift? And, if the automobile is used responsibly does this possibility need ever manifest?

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Timothy Campen

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« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2011, 06:07:28 pm »

mwalimu wrote: Do you regard the event of a baby falling on its bottom in its attempts to learn to walk an "evil" event? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Evil occurs ONLY when things are done with malicious intent!

This is but one of several uses of the word "evil."  According to Webster's:

1
a : morally reprehensible : sinful, wicked evil impulse> b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct evil reputation>
a archaic : inferior b : causing discomfort or repulsion : offensive evil odor> c : disagreeable evil temper>
3
a : causing harm : pernicious evil institution of slavery> b : marked by misfortune : unlucky
Free Dictionary online:
adj. e·vil·er, e·vil·est
1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.
n.
1. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
2. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction: a leader's power to do both good and evil.
3. An evil force, power, or personification.
4. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction: the social evils of poverty and injustice.
adv. Archaic
In an evil manner.
From Dictionary.com:
–adjective
1.
morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil    eover="this.style.cursor='default'" onclick="this.style.backgroundColor='#b5d5ff';return hotWord(this);" onmouseout="this.style.backgroundColor='transparent'" name="hotword">life.
2.
harmful; injurious: evil laws.
3.
characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.
4.
due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation.
5.
marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.
–noun
6.
that which is evil; evil quality, intention, or conduct: to choose the lesser of two evils.
7.
   
the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin.
8.
the wicked or immoral part of someone or something: The evil in his nature has destroyed the good.
9.
harm; mischief; misfortune:    ord>to wish one evil.
10.
anything causing injury or harm: Tobacco is considered by some to be an evil.
11.
a harmful aspect, effect, or consequence: the evils of alcohol.
12.
a disease, as king's evil.
–adverb
13.
in an evil manner; badly; ill: It went evil with him.
14.
the evil one, the devil; Satan.
From wikipedia on Natural Evil:
Moral evil results from a perpetrator, one who acts intentionally and in so doing has flouted some duty or engaged in some vice. Natural evil has only victims, and is generally taken to be the result of natural processes. The "evil" thus identified is evil only from the perspective of those affected and who perceive it as an affliction. Examples include cancer, birth defects, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, acts of god, and other phenomena which inflict suffering with apparently no accompanying mitigating good. Such phenomena inflict "evil" on victims, but with no human perpetrator to blame for it.
The point of this exercise is to demonstrate that when we talk about "evil" we are not necessarily referring to a single, selective use of the concept.  
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Harvey

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« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2011, 08:24:01 pm »
Adito wrote: A perfectly good omniscient all powerful being will eliminate any evil that is not required for some greater good. Since my argument is that no greater good requires evil then it's
impossible for a God with those traits to allow evil.

Okay, but how do you know that greater goods do not require potential evil? If you don't know all of human knowledge, then how can you expect to wager things that may be unknown to anything but an omniscient mind?

Adito wrote: Bringing light to the void is all well and good but if evil is an unnecessary part of the void then God, being what He is, would eliminate the evil or find a way to circumvent it.

Perhaps eliminating the evil is a step by step process that occurs after creation.

Adito wrote: I've given a clear way for God to create a perfectly good world in either S1 or S2 and shown that no goods require evil. There is no reason to still be committed to the idea of a perfectly good God as well as evil.

There's reason to be committed to a belief in God. There are reasons to think that an advanced intelligence would far surpass human notions of goodness, thus we have reasons to be committed to an all-benevolent entity.

Adito wrote: Would a world that consists of more GMPs than ours but without a single EMP be better? I don't see why this is mere conjecture. It's pretty much an analytic truth.

That's not the issue. The issue is whether your alternatives are viable and still accomplish as good of an ending state (ES) as our world having the same initial state (IS).

Good talking to ya.

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Snakeystew

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« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2011, 08:27:46 pm »
There are reasons to think that an advanced intelligence would far surpass human notions of goodness


On what basis precisely could you say that such advanced intelligence is in fact 'good' when it's good is not the same as your 'good'?

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Adito

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« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2011, 08:54:10 pm »
Okay, but how do you know that greater goods do not require potential evil

I've proven it given using the concept of a perfectly good God and some possible world scenarios.

Perhaps eliminating the evil is a step by step process that occurs after creation.

There is no need for evil to be present in creation so this is irrelevant. Even if it was necessary there's no reason God could not eliminate it immediately or prevent it from ever effecting anything.

There's reason to be committed to a belief in God. There are reasons to think that an advanced intelligence would far surpass human notions of goodness, thus we have reasons to be committed to an all-benevolent entity.

If you accept the argument as sound, which I'm assuming you do since you have stopped presenting arguments against it, then a God as described by the argument does not exist. No matter what traits God might have He can not be illogical and this is a valid deductive argument.

That's not the issue. The issue is whether your alternatives are viable and still accomplish as good of an ending state (ES) as our world having the same initial state (IS).

Good talking to ya.

My arguments did in fact conclude with a world that has no evil yet is as good as a world with evil. They show that evil is never necessary for any good and by extension any quantity of goods or good states (including ending states).

It was good speaking with you as well. This gave me a chance to dig a little deeper into the argument.
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