Paterfamilia

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Please use this thread to offer comments on the debate.
"First I knocked them out of a tree with a rock.  Then I saved them."

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neopolitan

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Pater, you are wrong in your claim that Bruce has a responsibility to show that your god does not exist.  You are not arguing for the existence of your god, you are merely presuming it.  You have permitted that the PoE might show that your god is not omnipotent, not omni-benevolent or neither, but have rejected the possibility that any of these shows that your god does not exist.  This is tantamount to saying that, even if your god is not justified in permitting evil to exist (via some imperfection or another), your god will nevertheless exist in some diminished form.  Since the PoE is the core of the discussion, and you imply that the PoE cannot have any existential impact, Bruce has no obligation whatsoever to prove non-existence of your god.

Bruce need only show that your god, if it were to exist, could not the 3-O god that so many of you claim it to be.  If Bruce were successful (in your view) and you then decided to abandon your god, that would be entirely up to you.

I consider the first five paragraphs (with the exception of the very first sentence) to be in particularly bad taste.  This sort of thing should have been agreed privately between you and Bruce prior to the debate (as I believe Bruce was pointing out in the CYOT thread related to this debate) and, if it had to appear on the thread, should have appeared in a post prior to the debate itself with an indication that Bruce and yourself were both committed to abiding by the terms.

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neopolitan

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Bruce, was a "not" missing between "does" and "exist" from this paragraph:

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Now, in terms of refuting my affirmative argument that  (the 3-O) God does exist, since the burden of proof is on me. It is not necessary to PROVE that all the evil and suffering we see is justified. But it is necessary to demonstrate that it is plausible that ALL the evil and suffering we see is justified. It will be my burden to show that that is not plausible.

Or did you mean "any affirmative argument" rather than "my affirmative argument"?

In any event, the first sentence seems to be a fragment ... if that's what you meant, you should probably end it with a colon :)

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TheCross

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"Unjustified evil"?

What in the world is that, and how does one prove such an assumption?
Gal 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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bruce culver

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Bruce, was a "not" missing between "does" and "exist" from this paragraph:

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Now, in terms of refuting my affirmative argument that  (the 3-O) God does exist, since the burden of proof is on me. It is not necessary to PROVE that all the evil and suffering we see is justified. But it is necessary to demonstrate that it is plausible that ALL the evil and suffering we see is justified. It will be my burden to show that that is not plausible.

Or did you mean "any affirmative argument" rather than "my affirmative argument"?

In any event, the first sentence seems to be a fragment ... if that's what you meant, you should probably end it with a colon :)

I will make the corrections. Yes, that is fragment, butI think I'd use a comma there not a colon, but anyway, thanks.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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Nunovalente

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"Unjustified evil"?

What in the world is that, and how does one prove such an assumption?

You can't. Unless your all knowing, so how a human being, with finite existence in the passage of time, and finite knowledge and awareness, can presume to be able to say God is not justified, is beyond me.

It is making a judgement on a partial awareness of any given event, but more crucially when it comes to evil, both the context and motives of the heart. We cannot make such judgements. We struggle to prove evil as it is, as any given court of law must prove beyond reasonable doubt. And even then we can often get it wrong, and it is still based upon limited information.

Its akin to armchair governance. It is the same attitude that was rebuked in the book of Job.
To be able to judge God, is to make ourselves equal, in fact greater than God. When we are in reality mere mortals, giving far too much preeminence to our own sense of moral justice.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?

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Nunovalente

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Reposted in the right place:

Pater,

An effective start to the debate. Thank you.

For me so much of the PoE arguments hinge on presumptions made about evil. Its good to see you have outlined some of the key factors in your argument, but I think it could be expanded even further. Whilst we may all assume to acknowledge evil exists, what is not clear is just exactly what evil is, and what it is not.
Yet it is so critical to the argument.
Often examples like rape are cited as being universally acknowledged as evil, but such an example is based upon presumptions about a conclusion. Rape is a crime. Therefore we conclude it is evil. But what is it that makes it evil? Citing the conclusion, i.e. rape, is to miss the very issue of what constitutes evil and good. How? Because with rape, the act that takes place is exactly the same as the highest expression of love and intimacy between a husband and wife. How can the very same act be evil and good? Mutual acknowledgement of evil existing, and citing examples like rape, misses the entire point. We must drill into what it is that make the same act good, into an evil act, without any difference in what can be observed.

In doing so, we press into justification for God to allow the possibility of good and evil. Because to deny the possibility of evil, is to deny the possibility of the good. The example of rape serves this purpose. Because you can take the exact same act, without any change in the physical/observable act that tales place, and have either evil, or good. For rape to not exist, or to be denied, it to deny the possibility of the mutual selfless intimacy of love expressed through sexual intercourse. To understand this fully requires not a mutual acknowledgement of evil, but to fully explore what makes something evil as opposed to good, and something good, as opposed to evil. When we speak of rape, we are actually concluding moral presumptions about the motives, context, intent, not the act, without defining what those moral presumptions are.

I find with the majority of arguments relating to the PoE, this is completely missed. Yet it is crucial. The non theist is making moral presumptions that go untested, because a mutual acknowledgement of evil existing does not tackle the core of what constitutes evil or good. It is never an act alone. It is something else. A motive and context. But where does this come from? It cannot be presumed by those who do not think God can allow evil, without them defining what evil is and why it is evil.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?

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Nunovalente

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Another presumption, is evil in "the world."

Why assume that this world is the only world?

Why assume that because evil is allowed in this world, it can never be justified?

The biblical narrative suggests the evil in this world is temporary, because there will be another world in which the said evil will not exist. But it takes this world to achieve the latter kingdom in which there will be no more tears, pain or suffering. Thereby introducing a justification that has been ignored, that is part and parcel of the biblical perspective.
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world, if it were then my servants would fight to prevent...." The evil he suffered was for a justified purpose relating to another world, beyond the grave.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?

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bruce culver

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"Unjustified evil"?

What in the world is that, and how does one prove such an assumption?

You can't. Unless your all knowing, so how a human being, with finite existence in the passage of time, and finite knowledge and awareness, can presume to be able to say God is not justified, is beyond me.

It is making a judgement on a partial awareness of any given event, but more crucially when it comes to evil, both the context and motives of the heart. We cannot make such judgements. We struggle to prove evil as it is, as any given court of law must prove beyond reasonable doubt. And even then we can often get it wrong, and it is still based upon limited information.

Its akin to armchair governance. It is the same attitude that was rebuked in the book of Job.
To be able to judge God, is to make ourselves equal, in fact greater than God. When we are in reality mere mortals, giving far too much preeminence to our own sense of moral justice.

Well, I understand this assessment, but tend to disagree, because "morality", "justice" , "good", "evil" and "benevolence", "justification" are all human terms with humanly defined meanings, and if God's supposed actions and commands, etc. do not comport at least reasonably well these human defined terms, then it would just be nonsense to speak of God as being  "good" or "just" or "benevolent."

But, if there is any sense in speaking of those things, then that means that weight to be in a position to make judgements regarding such things.

I would agree to some extent that human knowledge is limited enough that perhaps one cannot make any absolute certain judgments, but that is not the same as saying that we can not make any more or less reasonable judgments.

A lot depends on who assumes the burden of proof in this debate. If one is affirming the proposition that God does have justification for allowing evil, then I think they must lose the debate. After all, if we are in no position to judge whether God doesn't have justification, then we are also in no position to judge whether God does have justification, and the mere assertion that he does or an argument that it is possible that He does  is not going to carry the burden of proof.

But that would be too easy a case to make, and that is why I decided it would be more fair if I had a proposition that I had to affirm, too. Plus, I don't think we are so limited in our understanding of these terms-- after all we defined them-- that we must just throw up our hands and declare it an insoluble case.

I've given an affirmative case that I know I can't absolutely prove. But it is a case for which I think I can make a good argument. What I mean is, even if I can't absolutely prove the 3-O God exists, I think I can show that it is quite  reasonable, given the range and scope of the evil we see in this world, to believe that a 3-O God does not exist. 

In the end I don't care so much whether people think I won or lost the affirmative case I made. I just hope to perhaps give people some food for thought.

"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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bruce culver

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"Unjustified evil"?

What in the world is that, and how does one prove such an assumption?

I explained that in my argument. Maybe I didn't absolutely prove it's existence, but hopefully I can give a good argument as to why it is implausible to think all the evil in the world is justifiable for a 3-O God. Or at the very least, that it is more plausible than not to think it is, which wouldn't be a resounding victory, but it might be the best I can do. Burden of proof is a b*****!

I think my opponent understands what I'm getting at, because "justification" is the crux of His argument that God is justified in permitting evil.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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bruce culver

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Reposted in the right place:

Pater,

An effective start to the debate. Thank you.

For me so much of the PoE arguments hinge on presumptions made about evil. Its good to see you have outlined some of the key factors in your argument, but I think it could be expanded even further. Whilst we may all assume to acknowledge evil exists, what is not clear is just exactly what evil is, and what it is not.
Yet it is so critical to the argument.
Often examples like rape are cited as being universally acknowledged as evil, but such an example is based upon presumptions about a conclusion. Rape is a crime. Therefore we conclude it is evil. But what is it that makes it evil? Citing the conclusion, i.e. rape, is to miss the very issue of what constitutes evil and good. How? Because with rape, the act that takes place is exactly the same as the highest expression of love and intimacy between a husband and wife. How can the very same act be evil and good? Mutual acknowledgement of evil existing, and citing examples like rape, misses the entire point. We must drill into what it is that make the same act good, into an evil act, without any difference in what can be observed.

In doing so, we press into justification for God to allow the possibility of good and evil. Because to deny the possibility of evil, is to deny the possibility of the good. The example of rape serves this purpose. Because you can take the exact same act, without any change in the physical/observable act that tales place, and have either evil, or good. For rape to not exist, or to be denied, it to deny the possibility of the mutual selfless intimacy of love expressed through sexual intercourse. To understand this fully requires not a mutual acknowledgement of evil, but to fully explore what makes something evil as opposed to good, and something good, as opposed to evil. When we speak of rape, we are actually concluding moral presumptions about the motives, context, intent, not the act, without defining what those moral presumptions are.

I find with the majority of arguments relating to the PoE, this is completely missed. Yet it is crucial. The non theist is making moral presumptions that go untested, because a mutual acknowledgement of evil existing does not tackle the core of what constitutes evil or good. It is never an act alone. It is something else. A motive and context. But where does this come from? It cannot be presumed by those who do not think God can allow evil, without them defining what evil is and why it is evil.

We all know what the word evil means. It means to cause unjustified harm to another (or on some accounts to oneself, too) It can also be broadened a bit to include causing harm to society in general.

I really don't think there is much else to it at all. Well, yes intent has something to do with it also. I might accidentally harm someone, but that would not necessarily be evil unless I was being negligent,  and of course the whole notion of justification can get thorny.

Do I really need to make that definition of "moral evil" more explicit in my argument? I think I explained what I mean by "natural evil" Is there anything I left unclear on these terms.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

11

Nunovalente

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Reposted in the right place:

Pater,

An effective start to the debate. Thank you.

For me so much of the PoE arguments hinge on presumptions made about evil. Its good to see you have outlined some of the key factors in your argument, but I think it could be expanded even further. Whilst we may all assume to acknowledge evil exists, what is not clear is just exactly what evil is, and what it is not.
Yet it is so critical to the argument.
Often examples like rape are cited as being universally acknowledged as evil, but such an example is based upon presumptions about a conclusion. Rape is a crime. Therefore we conclude it is evil. But what is it that makes it evil? Citing the conclusion, i.e. rape, is to miss the very issue of what constitutes evil and good. How? Because with rape, the act that takes place is exactly the same as the highest expression of love and intimacy between a husband and wife. How can the very same act be evil and good? Mutual acknowledgement of evil existing, and citing examples like rape, misses the entire point. We must drill into what it is that make the same act good, into an evil act, without any difference in what can be observed.

In doing so, we press into justification for God to allow the possibility of good and evil. Because to deny the possibility of evil, is to deny the possibility of the good. The example of rape serves this purpose. Because you can take the exact same act, without any change in the physical/observable act that tales place, and have either evil, or good. For rape to not exist, or to be denied, it to deny the possibility of the mutual selfless intimacy of love expressed through sexual intercourse. To understand this fully requires not a mutual acknowledgement of evil, but to fully explore what makes something evil as opposed to good, and something good, as opposed to evil. When we speak of rape, we are actually concluding moral presumptions about the motives, context, intent, not the act, without defining what those moral presumptions are.

I find with the majority of arguments relating to the PoE, this is completely missed. Yet it is crucial. The non theist is making moral presumptions that go untested, because a mutual acknowledgement of evil existing does not tackle the core of what constitutes evil or good. It is never an act alone. It is something else. A motive and context. But where does this come from? It cannot be presumed by those who do not think God can allow evil, without them defining what evil is and why it is evil.

We all know what the word evil means. It means to cause unjustified harm to another (or on some accounts to oneself, too) It can also be broadened a bit to include causing harm to society in general.

I really don't think there is much else to it at all. Well, yes intent has something to do with it also. I might accidentally harm someone, but that would not necessarily be evil unless I was being negligent,  and of course the whole notion of justification can get thorny.

Do I really need to make that definition of "moral evil" more explicit in my argument? I think I explained what I mean by "natural evil" Is there anything I left unclear on these terms.

We don't all know what evil means. Thats a presumption. We may be able to think of examples we each consider an evil, but that does not mean we understand what makes such evil, how it is evil, and why it is evil. I have outlined how rape is cited. Appealing to a universal OMV&D is one thing, but it is appealing to the conclusion, the end result,  not exploring the how or why it is evil, what makes it evil, rather just an agreement "it is."
So if we are going to judge the 3 O God, we need to be clear what this entails. Intent does not have something to do with it, it has everything to do with it.

"It means to cause unjustified harm."
That is as clear as mud. Because harm is undefined, as is justification. And justification relies upon information.

I can give you an example, and you cannot determine good or evil.

A man is penetrating the vagina of a woman.

You could even be observing the act, but you lack the information to judge, rape, or mutual intimacy between husband and wife! The act cannot determine the good or evil. Something else does. What is the harm? The penis penetrates a vagina, in the same way in both cases. Evil, or good? Justified? Unjustified?

We lock people up in prison, some for weeks, months or all their lives. It this evil? You cannot tell. You need more information.

A man fathers a child as a result of a mutual relationship. The child grow up never knowing their father. Good? Or evil? We cannot tell, without more information. What makes it evil? The father chooses to abandon the mother and child. This could be evil.
The father who loses his life from illness or accident, not evil at all.
So how does a 3 O God deny evil? Evil should not happen. Does God prevent the relationship? The child being born? The father leaving the mother?

The suggestion the 3 O God should allow good, but not evil is fraught with consequences, as long as you delve further into what constitutes something being evil. Because what we are suggesting is in reality, crazy. No possibility of evil, is to have no possibility of good. And to be preventing things at an unrealistic level.

The man who is engaging in mutual intercourse with a woman, God should allow or stop? When the woman say stop, but the man forms the intent to continue against her consent, how and when should God intervene to prevent the impending evil? The act has not changed, the conclusion is not a rape. What began as good is about to become evil, and it is all hinged on the heart of the man in an instant.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?

12

bruce culver

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Reposted in the right place:

Pater,

An effective start to the debate. Thank you.

For me so much of the PoE arguments hinge on presumptions made about evil. Its good to see you have outlined some of the key factors in your argument, but I think it could be expanded even further. Whilst we may all assume to acknowledge evil exists, what is not clear is just exactly what evil is, and what it is not.
Yet it is so critical to the argument.
Often examples like rape are cited as being universally acknowledged as evil, but such an example is based upon presumptions about a conclusion. Rape is a crime. Therefore we conclude it is evil. But what is it that makes it evil? Citing the conclusion, i.e. rape, is to miss the very issue of what constitutes evil and good. How? Because with rape, the act that takes place is exactly the same as the highest expression of love and intimacy between a husband and wife. How can the very same act be evil and good? Mutual acknowledgement of evil existing, and citing examples like rape, misses the entire point. We must drill into what it is that make the same act good, into an evil act, without any difference in what can be observed.

In doing so, we press into justification for God to allow the possibility of good and evil. Because to deny the possibility of evil, is to deny the possibility of the good. The example of rape serves this purpose. Because you can take the exact same act, without any change in the physical/observable act that tales place, and have either evil, or good. For rape to not exist, or to be denied, it to deny the possibility of the mutual selfless intimacy of love expressed through sexual intercourse. To understand this fully requires not a mutual acknowledgement of evil, but to fully explore what makes something evil as opposed to good, and something good, as opposed to evil. When we speak of rape, we are actually concluding moral presumptions about the motives, context, intent, not the act, without defining what those moral presumptions are.

I find with the majority of arguments relating to the PoE, this is completely missed. Yet it is crucial. The non theist is making moral presumptions that go untested, because a mutual acknowledgement of evil existing does not tackle the core of what constitutes evil or good. It is never an act alone. It is something else. A motive and context. But where does this come from? It cannot be presumed by those who do not think God can allow evil, without them defining what evil is and why it is evil.

We all know what the word evil means. It means to cause unjustified harm to another (or on some accounts to oneself, too) It can also be broadened a bit to include causing harm to society in general.

I really don't think there is much else to it at all. Well, yes intent has something to do with it also. I might accidentally harm someone, but that would not necessarily be evil unless I was being negligent,  and of course the whole notion of justification can get thorny.

Do I really need to make that definition of "moral evil" more explicit in my argument? I think I explained what I mean by "natural evil" Is there anything I left unclear on these terms.

We don't all know what evil means. Thats a presumption. We may be able to think of examples we each consider an evil, but that does not mean we understand what makes such evil, how it is evil, and why it is evil. I have outlined how rape is cited. Appealing to a universal OMV&D is one thing, but it is appealing to the conclusion, the end result,  not exploring the how or why it is evil, what makes it evil, rather just an agreement "it is."
So if we are going to judge the 3 O God, we need to be clear what this entails. Intent does not have something to do with it, it has everything to do with it.

"It means to cause unjustified harm."
That is as clear as mud. Because harm is undefined, as is justification. And justification relies upon information.

I can give you an example, and you cannot determine good or evil.

A man is penetrating the vagina of a woman.

You could even be observing the act, but you lack the information to judge, rape, or mutual intimacy between husband and wife! The act cannot determine the good or evil. Something else does. What is the harm? The penis penetrates a vagina, in the same way in both cases. Evil, or good? Justified? Unjustified?

You are right that you haven't provided enough information for me to judge the act good or evil, but that doesn't mean I don't have a coherent concept of what would it make it either good or evil. 

What is the harm? Well, if the woman did not consent, then she is being harmed. Who said harm can only be physical harm? The women if not consenting is probably being very severely harmed emotionally if not physically, which may also be the case. If there is no harm then there is no need for justification, but in the case of rape there isn't any conceivable justification. I would say that rape is one of those cases where it is always absolutely morally wrong to commit.

Quote
We lock people up in prison, some for weeks, months or all their lives. It this evil? You cannot tell. You need more information.

Right and what I need information about is mainly the justification. If the person is a murderer, then the justification is in preventing them from harming others. If  their crime was blasphemy, then it is unjustified, because blasphemy does no harm to anyone else. If there is actually something wrong about blasphemy, that's between the person and  God, not between man and man.

Quote
A man fathers a child as a result of a mutual relationship. The child grow up never knowing their father. Good? Or evil? We cannot tell, without more information. What makes it evil? The father chooses to abandon the mother and child. This could be evil.
The father who loses his life from illness or accident, not evil at all.
So how does a 3 O God deny evil? Evil should not happen. Does God prevent the relationship? The child being born? The father leaving the mother?

What you have done is provide an example of a case where conceivably God is justified in allowing an evil. I haven't denied such a thing is conceivable (though it requires forgetting a bit on theism God created human nature). What I am denying is that it is plausible that God has a justification for every moral and natural evil in the world. I gave some examples of cases where I find implausible any argument I can think of that a 3-O God is justified in allowing them.

Yes, just because I can think of no plausible argument doesn't mean there is none. But my aim in entering this debate is not to resoundingly win my affirmative case but rather to stimulate thoughtful discussion on these issues. I'd actually be pleased if I can convince some fence sitters, if there are any, that my affirmative case is more plausible than not. But, whatever.

Quote
The suggestion the 3 O God should allow good, but not evil is fraught with consequences, as long as you delve further into what constitutes something being evil. Because what we are suggesting is in reality, crazy. No possibility of evil, is to have no possibility of good. And to be preventing things at an unrealistic level.


I actually disagree that the impossibility of evil would entail no possibility of good. If that were the case, then evil would have to exist in heaven or there would be no good either. Plus I can imagine a world where nobody ever harms anyone. That seems far from logically impossible to me. So, actually I'm not convinced that it is logically impossible for an 3-O God to create world of pure goodness. But I'm not arguing for that anyway.

Quote
The man who is engaging in mutual intercourse with a woman, God should allow or stop? When the woman say stop, but the man forms the intent to continue against her consent, how and when should God intervene to prevent the impending evil? The act has not changed, the conclusion is not a rape. What began as good is about to become evil, and it is all hinged on the heart of the man in an instant.

Why can't a 3-O God simply create everyone with a good nature. If everyone was born with an all-good nature, they would always freely choose to do good. There's nothing illogical about that scenario.

That we are born with a nature inclined towards evil is much better explained on naturalism, where our natures were forged by the struggle for survival than it is on a 3-O God supernaturalism, where it is hard to see why God could not just create everyone with a good nature.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 07:21:02 pm by bruce culver »
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

13

neopolitan

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Sir Pater,

You seem to have overlooked a subtlety in your snide, triumfantilistic response to Bruce, when you prematurely claim victory.  Your argument is "God is justified in allowing evil to exist".  The potential truth of that claim depends in part on another claim, that being the claim that your god exists.  If you didn't want to include that as a necessary component in your argument, you should have sought agreement to a different wording.

You might think that you have cut Bruce off from the approach of showing that your god does not exist, via your statements: "I will not be arguing that God exists.  That is beyond the scope of my responsibility for this debate."

In that, you are wrong.  What you have done instead is concede the debate four paragraphs in.  A non-existent god is not justified in doing anything, or more briefly and all-encompassingly - a non-existent god is not.

I note that your three arguments are all speculative.  In other words, they work if: your god exists, your god is  immeasurably good (which could be due to such little goodness that it's below a measurable level, by the way), your god has a specific psychology (leading to certain objectives and desires), there is such a thing as an eternal afterlife and there are such things are sin and evil.  Absent those, your arguments are just so much hot air.

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bruce culver

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Sir Pater,

You seem to have overlooked a subtlety in your snide, triumfantilistic response to Bruce, when you prematurely claim victory.  Your argument is "God is justified in allowing evil to exist".  The potential truth of that claim depends in part on another claim, that being the claim that your god exists.  If you didn't want to include that as a necessary component in your argument, you should have sought agreement to a different wording.

You might think that you have cut Bruce off from the approach of showing that your god does not exist, via your statements: "I will not be arguing that God exists.  That is beyond the scope of my responsibility for this debate."

In that, you are wrong.  What you have done instead is concede the debate four paragraphs in.  A non-existent god is not justified in doing anything, or more briefly and all-encompassingly - a non-existent god is not.

I note that your three arguments are all speculative.  In other words, they work if: your god exists, your god is  immeasurably good (which could be due to such little goodness that it's below a measurable level, by the way), your god has a specific psychology (leading to certain objectives and desires), there is such a thing as an eternal afterlife and there are such things are sin and evil.  Absent those, your arguments are just so much hot air.

Actual we are debating two different affirmative propositions. One is that God, assuming He exist, is justified in allowing evil, which is what Pater is arguing. I am arguing that the evidence of very apparently unjustified evil in the world makes it eminently reasonable to believe a 3-O God does not exist. Of course, in arguing the premises the possibility of God's existence has to be assumed.

As such, I think the possibility of Gods existence is a given throughout the debate. Of course, except for in my conclusion, which is that a 3-O God does not exist.

I went into to the debate in full recognition that I probably won't be able to prove my conclusion beyond a shadow of doubt, which some may take as a defeat for me.

I really don't care. My intent in entering the debate was merely to be able to put my thinking out there and hopefully at least show that the POE makes it reasonable to doubt the a 3-O God actually does exist.  I would consider that a moral victory even though it would be far from a resounding victory technically.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."