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Thread: The "problem of evil" debunked

  1. #21
    Established Member NeoVsMatrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    I'll see your German and raise you a Frenchman:

    Sis is typical of ze french.. zey are so wordy, zey need 40 minute to say wot zey sink.
    Thanks from StanStill

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    Veteran Member bmanmcfly's Avatar
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    Just like there's positive and negative, life and death, there is good and evil.

    You could define a set of universally preferable behaviour, as in where anyone would be able to agree that they would prefer this behaviour universally.

    So, striving towards what is universally preferable would be good, striving against that would be evil... Of course, because the universe is not binary, good and evil are the opposite extremes on a spectrum.

    I've seen karma in action far too many times to believe otherwise.

  3. #23
    Established Member NeoVsMatrix's Avatar
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    Positive - negative: physical attributes of particles, which contribute the build up of the universe. These attributes and their physical effects on matter, and the universe, would exist just the same, without any living being needed to observe or confirm their existence.

    Life and death: states of "living" organisms. Those would exist, in bacteria, insects, mammals... any type of life form, without the need of us humans being able to attribute these labels to it, or any self-conscious being necessary to observe life and death for it to exist.

    Good - evil: these are subjective attributes of moral behavior / intentions, which to all our knowledge exist only in our conscience. Without the existence of human beings, the concept of good and evil would not exist.
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  4. #24
    Veteran Member bmanmcfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoVsMatrix View Post
    Positive - negative: physical attributes of particles, which contribute the build up of the universe. These attributes and their physical effects on matter, and the universe, would exist just the same, without any living being needed to observe or confirm their existence.

    Life and death: states of "living" organisms. Those would exist, in bacteria, insects, mammals... any type of life form, without the need of us humans being able to attribute these labels to it, or any self-conscious being necessary to observe life and death for it to exist.

    Good - evil: these are subjective attributes of moral behavior / intentions, which to all our knowledge exist only in our conscience. Without the existence of human beings, the concept of good and evil would not exist.
    Well, for beings whose existence is entirely environmental and instinctual, there's no room for good or evil, just survival... Survival is both good and evil, good in that life is universally preferable to death (preferable, suicide is a choice people make and I'd rather not touch that one, for now at least). Evil in that continuation of life requires consuming other life.

    Wolves are sentient, coordinate with their pack, have a strict social structure... So, what is good in their existence is the preferable behaviours, being good at hunting, tracking, helping secure the kills that sustain the group, evil would be those things that run counter to that... Pretty sure in a wolf pack that would wind up being dealt with fatally.

    Pretty sure the only other animals that are truly self-aware would be Dolphins, while there's a lot that's been observed about their behaviour, it's still quite limited. It was only recently where it was discovered that they would chew on puffer fish and pass them around to get high and would stare at their reflections in the water. Not aware enough to say what would be good or evil within their existence.

    So, while there are subjective elements to the intricacies and interpretations, but we could sit and agree on universally preferable behaviours that everyone could agree on... I say preferable because forcing that behaviour would be contrary to the principles. It's atheistic in that we can determine a common morality absent a deity.

    Let's start with the big easy one; it's everyone can agree that they want to live, so, allowing people to live is universally preferable and the opposite would be murder which we could easily maintain that it is universally preferable to not be murdered... We can go down the list.

  5. #25
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmanmcfly View Post
    Let's start with the big easy one; it's everyone can agree that they want to live, so, allowing people to live is universally preferable and the opposite would be murder which we could easily maintain that it is universally preferable to not be murdered... We can go down the list.
    Would it be evil for someone to be struck by lightening and die?

  6. #26
    Veteran Member bmanmcfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightSwimmer View Post
    Would it be evil for someone to be struck by lightening and die?
    Some could argue that it would be karma, but random acts of nature themselves just happen...

  7. #27
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmanmcfly View Post
    Some could argue that it would be karma, but random acts of nature themselves just happen...
    Well, what about human behavior then -- maybe body modification. Is it evil to get tattoos? What about piercings, or amputations?

  8. #28
    Established Member NeoVsMatrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmanmcfly View Post
    Well, for beings whose existence is entirely environmental and instinctual, there's no room for good or evil, just survival... Survival is both good and evil, good in that life is universally preferable to death (preferable, suicide is a choice people make and I'd rather not touch that one, for now at least). Evil in that continuation of life requires consuming other life.

    Wolves are sentient, coordinate with their pack, have a strict social structure... So, what is good in their existence is the preferable behaviours, being good at hunting, tracking, helping secure the kills that sustain the group, evil would be those things that run counter to that... Pretty sure in a wolf pack that would wind up being dealt with fatally.

    Pretty sure the only other animals that are truly self-aware would be Dolphins, while there's a lot that's been observed about their behaviour, it's still quite limited. It was only recently where it was discovered that they would chew on puffer fish and pass them around to get high and would stare at their reflections in the water. Not aware enough to say what would be good or evil within their existence.

    So, while there are subjective elements to the intricacies and interpretations, but we could sit and agree on universally preferable behaviours that everyone could agree on... I say preferable because forcing that behaviour would be contrary to the principles. It's atheistic in that we can determine a common morality absent a deity.

    Let's start with the big easy one; it's everyone can agree that they want to live, so, allowing people to live is universally preferable and the opposite would be murder which we could easily maintain that it is universally preferable to not be murdered... We can go down the list.

    Being "good at hunting" is a very different 'good' than the one in good and evil, as a Concept of morality.

    Being 'bad at hunting', is not 'evil'.

    Instinctual behavior, that contributes to the survival of the species, is in no way comparable or linked to any moral authority to define such instinctual behavior good or evil.
    The lion killing a zebra is not evil at all. The zebra being able to escape and survive such an attack, was not saved because it's a 'good' individual, and is not 'good' as compared to the 'evil' lion.

    From an atheistic point of view - since you brought it up - the lion killing the zebra, is as good an outcome as the zebra escaping. We have compassion - human compassion - with the zebra, hoping for its escape, more than with the lion if he has to go by hungry, potentially even starve to death.

    That's human, I guess... but it's actually not rational.

  9. #29
    Veteran Member bmanmcfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoVsMatrix View Post
    Being "good at hunting" is a very different 'good' than the one in good and evil, as a Concept of morality.

    Being 'bad at hunting', is not 'evil'.

    Instinctual behavior, that contributes to the survival of the species, is in no way comparable or linked to any moral authority to define such instinctual behavior good or evil.
    The lion killing a zebra is not evil at all. The zebra being able to escape and survive such an attack, was not saved because it's a 'good' individual, and is not 'good' as compared to the 'evil' lion.

    From an atheistic point of view - since you brought it up - the lion killing the zebra, is as good an outcome as the zebra escaping. We have compassion - human compassion - with the zebra, hoping for its escape, more than with the lion if he has to go by hungry, potentially even starve to death.

    That's human, I guess... but it's actually not rational.
    It's hard to disagree without the capacity to experience life as that being, my bad for speculating too far.

    Either way the extended point was that food and survival are not part of the equation of good or evil.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    The thing is, it is the religious that make the argument about "the problem of evil".

    Atheists don't see it as a problem at all, because we don't believe that evil exists as anything other than the opinions of people. Just as we don't believe in ghosts or "holy spirit" we don't believe in some supernatural quality called "evil" or "of satan" or any of that other stuff. So what's the problem? It's not a problem at all for atheists. It's like you are saying that there is a problem with atheist arguments involving "the problem of God". There is no such atheist argument or "problem" for either of those ideas.

    Maybe I missed it, but what was the point you were trying to make?
    So Jeffrey Dahmer is not evil. Because there is no evil. Got it.

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