Theodicy

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Etbauer, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Etbauer

    Etbauer Well-Known Member

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    I've talked about this before, but it's been a while, and I have time right now, so, maybe I'll get some other thoughts.

    My proposition is that theodicy should essentially be the end of the conversation. At the very least, until a possible explanation can be conceived of.

    In other words, any imperfection that exists essentially means either 1) There cannot be a perfect all powerful being or 2) All possible realities no matter how obscene or ridiculous are equally possible.
     
  2. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    Theodicy
    Theodicy (/θiːˈɒdɪsi/), in its most common form, is an attempt to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil, thus resolving the issue of the problem of evil. Some theodicies also address the evidential problem of evil by attempting "to make the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good or omnibenevolent God consistent with the existence of evil or suffering in the world."[1] Unlike a defense, which tries to demonstrate that God's existence is logically possible in the light of evil, a theodicy attempts to provide a framework wherein God's existence is also plausible.[2] The German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Leibniz coined the term "theodicy" in 1710 in his work Théodicée, though various responses to the problem of evil had been previously proposed. The British philosopher John Hick traced the history of moral theodicy in his 1966 work, Evil and the God of Love, identifying three major traditions:

    For those unfamiliar with the term.
     
  3. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member

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    What obligates a 'good' god to prevent the existence of 'evil'?
     
  4. Etbauer

    Etbauer Well-Known Member

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    First, that god would necessarily have to create that evil, or be less powerful than the thing that did. There is a bit of a philosophical discussion about the morality of letting something bad happen even if you aren't the source, but I think they all go away if you are all powerful. Would a good person let a toddler get hit by a truck?
     
  5. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member

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    Which statement do you see as more accurate?

    'God created the automobile.'
    or
    'Humans created the automobile.'

    Why do they go away if you are all powerful? You don't have to be all powerful to help someone. Is a human operating immorally or unethically if they waste their resource on something trivial (like a sports car or a jet ski) instead of buying medicine for the sick?

    If that person had promised to never interfere in the truckdrivers actions (or freedom of will), and that person also valued the perfect integrity of their word, then yes, they would have to.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  6. Etbauer

    Etbauer Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to try to not dance around the question. As an example, is it accurate to say that Newton created the atom bomb? Not really, but it never could have been done without Newton's work. It also becomes different if Newton was all knowing, in which case you could accurately say that Newton at least caused the atom bomb. The differentiation above is like someone dropping a bowling ball on a hamster. Technically the bowling ball killed the hamster, but really it was the person who dropped the ball.

    That addresses the automobile, not suffering and evil though. And there are a lot of other things here too. For example, who made it so travel required energy?

    Well, because any sort of moral reasons not to help someone arise from unintended consequences. If you are all powerful, that isn't a limitation.
    How would that be moral? There is no reason to make such a promise, and doing so, or prioritizing your word over the well being of that toddler is immoral. What if I made a promise to murder children? Am I then moral to follow through? Or was it an immoral promise to begin with?

    The issue of free will assumes that free will and all of it's surrounding implications (good and bad) are somehow inherent at a level higher than a god. But, if that god were all powerful, what is that level? And if that level exists, there really isn't a need for a god anymore.
     
  7. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    to sweep evil out of existence would also sweep its complement good out of existence. :mrgreen:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  8. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member

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    Im going out on a limb here and assuming we've both debated this subject at length before (if Im jumping too far ahead, just say so and I'll come back).

    Can we agree that the foundational question is 'why can't we have Free Will and Bliss?'
     
  9. Etbauer

    Etbauer Well-Known Member

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    It's possible, I've posted about it before. I wouldn't say that it's foundational exactly, but I would say it's a fair question.
     
  10. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    Which would mean there can be no such thing as heaven.
     
  11. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    did someone manage to evaporate hell?
     
  12. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    So evil and good can be completely separated without disturbing the existence of good? Then why not just do that from the beginning?
     
  13. Etbauer

    Etbauer Well-Known Member

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    I think the fact that this cannot be reconciled should be a much bigger crisis in the deist community.
     
  14. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Maybe God is evil, or at least morally ambivalent. Maybe benevolence isn't actually a part of "perfection", then it becomes possible for evil to exist without being inconsistent with God's perfection.

    Another way of saying the same thing is that what if "good" means something other than what we expect it to. Who are we humans to say that death and disease are bad? If God truly is the source of goodness, and he decides that death and disease is the way it should be, then what does it matter what humans think is evil?

    I'm not religious, so I don't suggest these are actually the cases, I'm just not willing to let an argument stand unchallenged just because I'm not at odds with the conclusion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  15. Etbauer

    Etbauer Well-Known Member

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    Ok, interesting, however, god would have to be responsible for our perceptions. So why would it make our perceptions counter to the reality it imposes?
     
  16. Etbauer

    Etbauer Well-Known Member

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    By the way, this is way out of line, but I had more thoughts on our discussion vis a vis atheism/cullt/information theory that I would like to run by you if you don't mind.
     
  17. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Dunno, but there is no logical impossibility in it. Nothing is keeping God from giving us nuanced or even faulty perceptions.

    I mean, I could imagine a perfectly evolutionary idea, God might have put it in us to keep us on average from wiping ourselves out. Or in a deist way, he can not have bothered, and we got our understanding from actual evolution.

    Or it might be arbitrary/random. If we make the point that "if we keep asking why, sooner or later we must arrive at something arbitrary", our perception is as good a point as any to be arbitrary.

    If God is allowed to work in mysterious ways, it could have any number of reasons.

    No problem at all, it's what discussion forums are for.
     
  18. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Well-Known Member

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    Gods' are defined by humans, even by those who believe their gods actually exist.
     

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