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.
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.
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.
GreatPumpkin wrote: 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.
RandyE wrote: Quote from: GreatPumpkin1. 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.
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.This just is not an essential to Christianity's truth. Don't like it? Then don't believe in Hell!
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.
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.