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  1. #1
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    Touching on the Problem of Evil

    1. Let evil be everything that offends a holy and righteous God and cannot be tolerated or stand in his immediate presence.

    2. Consider then that God allows evil to exist in the world but not in his immediate presence and for the reason of maximising the number of humans who come to freely love and serve him and attain to being in his immediate presence via Christ.

    3. Take then the argument that God ought to prevent an evil such as rape or child abuse occurring in the world.

    4. If God were to so act then why wouldn't God be then morally obligated to prevent all and every evil in the world for to varying degrees they are all, each and everyone of them representative of (1).

    5. But if God so acted then what would remain? Yes, rape, child abuse would be prevented but so, on Christian teaching would sinful thoughts, theft, adultery, immoral sex, blasphemy, idol worship, lying, not loving God with all your heart, mind, body and soul and many more.

    6. If that situation were to attain it would surely be equal to the end of freewill and mere automated chunks of matter existing until the world ended or Christ returned.

    7. It seems this isn't a desirable state of affairs for human beings to exist over the state of affairs we do in fact exist where we can make free choices on our behaviours and overall to some success where, although evils still occur, societies are, for the most part, able to flourish and prosper. 

    Comments, critiques welcomed.
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Then you agree that all the evils are really created by God, who is responsible for the current state of affairs?

    I say this because not every human has a choice in the evils inflicted upon him - witness the starving child that just died, or the mother that was just raped and killed, or the priest who just raped another boy. It's all very well pulling the free-will card on the perpetrators of evil or those few that can make things better, but what about the victims? How are they to suffer eternal sin after suffering a terrible life and dying a terrible death?

    How does that square with your thinking? Are those horrible deaths just collateral damage for the rest of us who can luxuriate in the choices we have in our comfy Western lives?

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    All of us excepting psychopaths have consciences but remember what one man may believe is morally acceptable another may find reasonable.
    So the question is what is Gods moral position? Lots of different religions think they know and many secularists have their own views.
    Sam Harris a well known vocal atheist wrote ' The Moral Landscape in an attempt to define and pin down morality.
    I'm an agnostic but I think the Golden Rule is the best nutshell statement. Its easy to remember but very hard to follow.
    ' Do unto others as you would be done by.'
    Animal Rights would include in those ' others' many creatures.

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    1. Let evil be everything that offends a holy and righteous God and cannot be tolerated or stand in his immediate presence.
    I'd prefer to define evil as anything a person decides to deem as undesirable, or decides their God/s may deem as undesirable. Good and Evil are subjective qualitative appraisals of things that affect well being either adversely or beneficially — appraisals made by intelligent minds endowed with the facility for abstract reasoning and language . A housefly settled on the living room wall might well consider a blast of fly spray, or a well aimed rolled up newspaper rapidly coming towards it as evil if the creature had sufficient gumption to form qualitative value judgements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    2. Consider then that God allows evil to exist in the world but not in his immediate presence and for the reason of maximising the number of humans who come to freely love and serve him and attain to being in his immediate presence via Christ.
    In my opinion, Christianity isn't convincing enough to persuade people to accept it as a matter of freewill. People are usually Christians because they inherited their religious beliefs from their parents. I find it more reasonable to believe that undesirable aka evil things happen to people because the universe is pitilessly indifferent to the suffering of biological organisms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    6. If that situation were to attain it would surely be equal to the end of freewill and mere automated chunks of matter existing until the world ended or Christ returned.
    Although I don't have the arguments to prove it, I think we are essentially automated chunks of matter whose opinions are the result of antecedent causes of which we are largely unaware, but luckily we have a strong subjective sense of possessing freewill, and the good things in life, such as enjoying our friends, families, food, drink, work and recreation are still enjoyable and fulfilling. There just isn't any sort of ultimate meaning to life in the form of a Disneyesque happy ending where believers in a certain religious ideology get to live again and visit heaven's reception lounge for complementary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the company of their preferred deity, followed by an eternity of beer volcanoes and rivers of chocolate, or whatever it is.

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    So the question is what is Gods moral position?
    You may have come across The Divine Command Theory of morality which more or less states that it's moral because God said so; that our morality stems only from God. Thus there are no other equally valid or competing moralities.

    If God is OK with genocide or massacres then it's OK (for God). If The Gay is bad then it must be despite all evidence to the contrary (now that we know what we know). And so on.

    So your question is rendered moot from a Christian perspective that accepts no other morality. God's moral position is the only one!

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by CLARENCEC
    I'd prefer to define evil as anything a person decides to deem as undesirable ...
    You just defined "personal taste".

    Quote Originally Posted by CLARENCEC
    Good and Evil are subjective qualitative appraisals of things that affect well being either adversely or beneficially — appraisals made by intelligent minds endowed with the facility for abstract reasoning and language . A housefly settled on the living room wall might well consider a blast of fly spray, or a well aimed rolled up newspaper rapidly coming towards it as evil if the creature had sufficient gumption to form qualitative value judgements.
    Your not discussing morality here, you are discussing personal taste the two are different.

    Quote Originally Posted by CLARENCEC
    Although I don't have the arguments to prove it, I think we are essentially automated chunks of matter whose opinions are the result of antecedent causes of which we are largely unaware, but luckily we have a strong subjective sense of possessing freewill, and the good things in life, such as enjoying our friends, families, food, drink, work and recreation are still enjoyable and fulfilling. There just isn't any sort of ultimate meaning to life in the form of a Disneyesque happy ending where believers in a certain religious ideology get to live again and visit heaven's reception lounge for complementary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the company of their preferred deity, followed by an eternity of beer volcanoes and rivers of chocolate, or whatever it is.
    The system you just described is not capable of producing morality at all. A world without purpose, can not produce "oughts".
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  10. #7
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Christ was human, and Christ never sinned, so it is possible for humans to have the property "Never freely willing to sin".

    Why didn't God create humans such that they would each exemplify this property?

    Additionally, if it is morally permissible for humans to prevent rape using physical force, why can't God prevent rape using physical force?

    If preventing rape using physical force involved denying someone free will, then according to your argument it would be wrong to prevent rape using physical force.

    It is not wrong to prevent rape using physical force.

    Therefore, preventing rape using physical force does not involve denying someone free will.

    So why doesn't God prevent rape using physical force?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Then you agree that all the evils are really created by God, who is responsible for the current state of affairs
    God allowing goodness (default natural state) to be perverted into evil makes man responsible for the turning away from goodness.

    How does that square with your thinking? Are those horrible deaths just collateral damage for the rest of us who can luxuriate in the choices we have in our comfy Western lives?
    These sound like effects of man made societal blunders.
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by clarencec View Post
    I'd prefer to define evil as anything a person decides to deem as undesirable, or decides their God/s may deem as undesirable. Good and Evil are subjective qualitative appraisals of things that affect well being either adversely or beneficially — appraisals made by intelligent minds endowed with the facility for abstract reasoning and language . A housefly settled on the living room wall might well consider a blast of fly spray, or a well aimed rolled up newspaper rapidly coming towards it as evil if the creature had sufficient gumption to form qualitative value judgements.
    If that's the definition of evil, then the Problem of Evil isn't really a problem.

    I mean, why should Christians care that someone, somewhere thinks that God permitted something that they personally think is undesirable?

    The goal of something like the Problem of Evil is to show that it goes against reason to affirm theism. The Problem of Evil does show by attempting to show that it's unreasonable to think that there's a tri-omni (omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good) entity, either because the existence of such an entity would entail contradiction (the logical Problem of Evil) or that it goes against the available evidence (the evidential Problem of Evil).

    Your proposed modification makes the Problem of Evil toothless, since most people are perfectly comfortable affirming worldviews and claims that other people disagree with; the existence of third-party disapproval is not, in general, sufficient reason to reject a claim.
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Then you agree that all the evils are really created by God, who is responsible for the current state of affairs?

    I say this because not every human has a choice in the evils inflicted upon him - witness the starving child that just died, or the mother that was just raped and killed, or the priest who just raped another boy. It's all very well pulling the free-will card on the perpetrators of evil or those few that can make things better, but what about the victims? How are they to suffer eternal sin after suffering a terrible life and dying a terrible death?

    How does that square with your thinking? Are those horrible deaths just collateral damage for the rest of us who can luxuriate in the choices we have in our comfy Western lives?
    How would it logically follow that because X allows Y to occur that X created Y or is morally accountable for Y?

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt
    How would it logically follow that because X allows Y to occur that X created Y or is morally accountable for Y?
    If X could have stopped Y but didn't, and Y is a bad thing, then X should have a good reason for not stopping Y.
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Christ was human, and Christ never sinned, so it is possible for humans to have the property "Never freely willing to sin".

    Why didn't God create humans such that they would each exemplify this property?

    Additionally, if it is morally permissible for humans to prevent rape using physical force, why can't God prevent rape using physical force?

    If preventing rape using physical force involved denying someone free will, then according to your argument it would be wrong to prevent rape using physical force.

    It is not wrong to prevent rape using physical force.

    Therefore, preventing rape using physical force does not involve denying someone free will.

    So why doesn't God prevent rape using physical force?

    On many Christian theologies Christ was human but not only human but also divine. On those same theologies he was conceived by a miracle via the will and power of God. These things being true Christ is not comparable to humans who are not naturally divine and who, in general, are born naturally and not by way of miracle via the will and power of God and the comparison being invalid it does not follow that humans canm have that property of 'Never freely willing to sin', at least in their earthly state.

    What Christ was, he was, on those same theologies, by nature and not by creation so the queston of whether it would be logically possible for God to create such a being would be relevant. However, granting arguendo that God could do so, how would that show that because God could do so, that so doing would be equivalent to creating the best possible world given his objectives?

    God can prevent rape but does not do so possibly for the reasons given in the OP argument. Why limit what God ought to prevent to rape? Why not to everything that from God's perspective violates his holiness and leaves people unfit to be in his immediate presence?

    ---------- Post added at 02:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:15 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    If X could have stopped Y but didn't, and Y is a bad thing, then X should have a good reason for not stopping Y.
    Yes, and if God has such morally sufficient reasons for allowing every and all evil in the world then God isn't negatively blameworthy for so doing.
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    How would it logically follow that because X allows Y to occur that X created Y or is morally accountable for Y?

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    Of course! Especially if something is "designed" with specific behaviors that were understood to act the way they do.

    I would hold Hitler and the creators of Naziism accountable for the deaths of the Jews. They put the ideology together and organized the nation to behave in a certain way. It shouldn't be different with God and his "creation" of the universe.

    Are you telling me that God is not responsible? And if humans aren't also responsible then who is!?

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Of course! Especially if something is "designed" with specific behaviors that were understood to act the way they do.

    I would hold Hitler and the creators of Naziism accountable for the deaths of the Jews. They put the ideology together and organized the nation to behave in a certain way. It shouldn't be different with God and his "creation" of the universe.

    Are you telling me that God is not responsible? And if humans aren't also responsible then who is!?
    I still await demonstration of my question. Ignoring it to but reiterate your beliefs and re-assert by paraphrase what I replied to isn't interesting.

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Christ was human, and Christ never sinned, so it is possible for humans to have the property "Never freely willing to sin".
    As in Christ was capable of sinning but never decided to do so. Just like I'm capable of murder but have never chosen to murder (but I have committed lesser sins).

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Why didn't God create humans such that they would each exemplify this property?
    You can't choose not to sin unless you can choose to sin. And the choice to sin would have to lead to actually sinning at least some of the time or else it really isn't a choice.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Additionally, if it is morally permissible for humans to prevent rape using physical force, why can't God prevent rape using physical force?
    The same as any sin, if we are incapable of actually committing a sin even if we choose to then we do not have have the ability to sin and therefore we don't have the choice to choose not to sin.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    If preventing rape using physical force involved denying someone free will, then according to your argument it would be wrong to prevent rape using physical force.
    The person still made the choice to sin so he has free will. My choice to do the right thing and stop him doesn't change that.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    It is not wrong to prevent rape using physical force.

    Therefore, preventing rape using physical force does not involve denying someone free will.
    It is if God does ALL THE TIME. For all you know, God does prevent rapes some times but you just don't know it. Perhaps one time God made a potential rapist change his mind and prevented a rape or caused a "lucky accident" that prevented the crime from being committed. But obviously God does not prevent every rape from occurring or else they would never happen.

    So the question is why doesn't prevent EVERY rape from occurring. And if God did alway prevent rape from occurring people would know that rape is literally impossible and no one would ever choose to rape. And that would likewise go for every sin as well. No rape, no robbery, no murder, etc.

    So a world where no one is physically capable of sin is indeed a world with no free will (or free will that can be acted on).

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    On many Christian theologies Christ was human but not only human but also divine. On those same theologies he was conceived by a miracle via the will and power of God. These things being true Christ is not comparable to humans who are not naturally divine and who, in general, are born naturally and not by way of miracle via the will and power of God and the comparison being invalid it does not follow that humans canm have that property of 'Never freely willing to sin', at least in their earthly state.
    It might very well be true that humans "in an earthly state" can't exhibit the property "Never freely willing to sin". But why wouldn't God just create humans that aren't in an earthly state?

    The fact remains that there's at least one entity that was fully human (if you assent to the creeds regarding Christ's nature) and had the property "Never freely willing to sin". So it can't be that having a human nature entails lacking the property "Never freely willing to sin", on pain of contradiction.

    What Christ was, he was, on those same theologies, by nature and not by creation so the queston of whether it would be logically possible for God to create such a being would be relevant. However, granting arguendo that God could do so, how would that show that because God could do so, that so doing would be equivalent to creating the best possible world given his objectives?
    What are good-making properties of a world? Which good-making property of a world would be lacking in a possible world where every person has the property "Never freely wills to sin"? If no such properties are lacking, then the given possible world is at least as good as a best possible world.

    God can prevent rape but does not do so possibly for the reasons given in the OP argument.
    Except that the argument I gave raises an objection to the reasons given in the OP argument. Are you ignoring my argument?

    Why limit what God ought to prevent to rape? Why not to everything that from God's perspective violates his holiness and leaves people unfit to be in his immediate presence?
    I don't know how this is relevant to my question. My argument is that there are some evils that can be prevented by physical force without denying anyone's free will. This does not entail that all evils can be prevented by physical force without denying anyone's free will.

    Yes, and if God has such morally sufficient reasons for allowing every and all evil in the world then God isn't negatively blameworthy for so doing.
    Yes, but the point is that there have to be justifying reasons. You had asked for a reason to hold someone morally accountable for failing to prevent an event; I gave such a reason (viz. that they must have sufficiently good reasons for failing to prevent the event).

    ---------- Post added at 09:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    As in Christ was capable of sinning but never decided to do so. Just like I'm capable of murder but have never chosen to murder (but I have committed lesser sins).
    I'm not sure how this is relevant to my claim.

    If you're objecting to my claim, are you suggesting that Christ wasn't human, that Christ sinned, or that it's impossible for humans to have the property "Never freely willing to sin"?

    If you're not objecting to my claim, then (again) I fail to see the relevance of your remarks.

    You can't choose not to sin unless you can choose to sin. And the choice to sin would have to lead to actually sinning at least some of the time or else it really isn't a choice.
    Why is that? How do you know that? If everyone has the free choice between A and B, how would the outcome "Everyone freely chooses A" entail contradiction?

    The same as any sin, if we are incapable of actually committing a sin even if we choose to then we do not have have the ability to sin and therefore we don't have the choice to choose not to sin.
    I'm not sure I buy that physically preventing rapes denies anyone the ability to choose to rape.

    Say that someone attempts 100 rapes during their life, and suppose that for each attempt, you have the physical wherewithal to physically restrain the rapist and prevent the rape from occurring.

    Is it moral to prevent the first rape? Is it moral to fail to prevent the first rape? Does preventing the first rape deny the rapist the ability to freely choose to rape?

    Is it moral to prevent the second rape? Is it moral to fail to prevent the second rape? Does preventing the second rape deny the rapist the ability to freely choose to rape?

    Which rape is the first rape that is immoral to prevent?

    The person still made the choice to sin so he has free will. My choice to do the right thing and stop him doesn't change that.
    If it's moral for you to, say, apply a certain number of Newtons of force to a certain region of the rapist's body so as to physically restrain the rapist, why would it be wrong for God to apply the same number of Newtons of force to the same region of the rapist's body so as to physically restrain the rapist?

    It is if God does ALL THE TIME. For all you know, God does prevent rapes some times but you just don't know it. Perhaps one time God made a potential rapist change his mind and prevented a rape or caused a "lucky accident" that prevented the crime from being committed. But obviously God does not prevent every rape from occurring or else they would never happen.

    So the question is why doesn't prevent EVERY rape from occurring. And if God did alway prevent rape from occurring people would know that rape is literally impossible and no one would ever choose to rape. And that would likewise go for every sin as well. No rape, no robbery, no murder, etc.
    I fail to see the strength of your counterargument. Are you suggesting that our vigilance against rape, murder, robbery, etc., is only moral so long as there are rapes, murders, and robberies that we fail to prevent?

    Let's say you follow around a certain person from birth until their death, and physically restrain them from rape every time they attempt it. Are you acting immorally by preventing these rapes? Which rapes should you fail to prevent?

    So a world where no one is physically capable of sin is indeed a world with no free will (or free will that can be acted on).
    There is sin in the mental act of intending to rape. This mental state is not erased from history by physically restraining an individual while they attempt to rape someone.
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    I still await demonstration of my question. Ignoring it to but reiterate your beliefs and re-assert by paraphrase what I replied to isn't interesting.

    Matt
    I did answer the question! If you designed a world, the people that populated it and how they interact with other living creatures in said world, then how can you not be responsible for actions stemming directly from your decisions?

    If a child is born blind, who did that other than God, who created the framework for that to happen?

    Your argument to absolve God only covers those circumstances where human free will can avoid evil. It doesn't absolve God for situations where humans can do nothing.

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    But if God so acted then what would remain?
    Probably a world were the self governing principle of causation would not be at play. As a methodology and norm it could mean that God disregards causation as a rule. Why would the Creator create a self-governing principle to govern a physical world then as a norm trash it?

    On many Christian theologies Christ was human but not only human but also divine. On those same theologies he was conceived by a miracle via the will and power of God. These things being true Christ is not comparable to humans who are not naturally divine and who, in general, are born naturally and not by way of miracle via the will and power of God and the comparison being invalid it does not follow that humans canm have that property of 'Never freely willing to sin', at least in their earthly state.
    Why not? Bear in mind that Christ taught: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” If man has the potential to be perfect in Christ, that would mean man has the potential not to sin in Christ. If we are taught to: "Go and sin no more" then obviously God knows we have the ability to "go and sin no more." If man chooses to walk in Christ and allow the Christ mind to be in him, does not the temptation to sin become somewhat insignificant. Though the choice to sin be there as it has been from the beginning, the temptation would have no power over the person. Just like, for example, some people the very idea of rape or murder is a non-issue.
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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Some questions for you to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    1. Let evil be everything that offends a holy and righteous God and cannot be tolerated or stand in his immediate presence.
    Why? In the bible the parts we translate as "Evil" tend to refer to acts of destruction, some of which God performs himself and they are described directly as Evil. There isn't anything to indicate that god finds this offensive. There are things god doesn't like but Evil isn't really one of those called out. Sin is best described as disobedience. Unholy is probably the best term for anything god doesn't like.

    2. Consider then that God allows evil to exist in the world but not in his immediate presence and for the reason of maximising the number of humans who come to freely love and serve him and attain to being in his immediate presence via Christ.
    Why does god want to maximize the number of humans in his presence and where does it indicate this is his goal? What kind of service can mere humans actually provide an all powerful god? If he waned to maximize the number why not send Christ immediately? Why put the tree of god and evil in the garden of evil? Why not just fence it off? Why not keep the talking snakes away? All those actions would maximize obedience and minimize "evil."

    3. Take then the argument that God ought to prevent an evil such as rape or child abuse occurring in the world.
    Seems like a good idea, we certainly try to do that.

    4. If God were to so act then why wouldn't God be then morally obligated to prevent all and every evil in the world for to varying degrees they are all, each and everyone of them representative of (1).
    Who can obligate God to anything? What actually prevents god from choosing what to prevent and what not to? In the bible he does take actions from time to time to get what he wants but rarely everything he wants. Why would this be different?

    5. But if God so acted then what would remain? Yes, rape, child abuse would be prevented but so, on Christian teaching would sinful thoughts, theft, adultery, immoral sex, blasphemy, idol worship, lying, not loving God with all your heart, mind, body and soul and many more.
    I don't recall god demanding anyone love him, only worship and glorify him. Painting would remain. Making love would remain. Raising children. Taking a drive int he country, Farming, Knitting, Playing Pool, inventing candy bars, etc etc.... Sure, a lot of our popular entertainment would be by our standards boring, but by and large it would be very pleasant I think.

    6. If that situation were to attain it would surely be equal to the end of freewill and mere automated chunks of matter existing until the world ended or Christ returned.
    Hardly, only a small subset of decision making and personal preference would be eliminated. Unless you think all the meaningful acts of human life are evil ones. Do you?

    7. It seems this isn't a desirable state of affairs for human beings to exist over the state of affairs we do in fact exist where we can make free choices on our behaviours and overall to some success where, although evils still occur, societies are, for the most part, able to flourish and prosper. 
    Yet we strive over the centuries to coerce people into not making evil decisions. Much of our culture is built up around that notion, not to mention religions like Christianity that create mystical authority figures to persuade people they ought not to make such choices. If we think being able to rape people is so essential to human fulfillment, why don't we allow more of it?
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Touching on the Problem of Evil

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    If you're objecting to my claim, are you suggesting that Christ wasn't human, that Christ sinned, or that it's impossible for humans to have the property "Never freely willing to sin"?
    Just clarifying. Christ was capable of sin.



    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Why is that? How do you know that? If everyone has the free choice between A and B, how would the outcome "Everyone freely chooses A" entail contradiction?
    Is there a sin that has never been committed? Clearly not so the reality is that a sin is something that at least some people choose to commit.






    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I'm not sure I buy that physically preventing rapes denies anyone the ability to choose to rape.

    Say that someone attempts 100 rapes during their life, and suppose that for each attempt, you have the physical wherewithal to physically restrain the rapist and prevent the rape from occurring.

    Is it moral to prevent the first rape? Is it moral to fail to prevent the first rape? Does preventing the first rape deny the rapist the ability to freely choose to rape?
    It depends on the method used to prevent rape.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Is it moral to prevent the second rape? Is it moral to fail to prevent the second rape? Does preventing the second rape deny the rapist the ability to freely choose to rape?

    Which rape is the first rape that is immoral to prevent?
    Speaking in general terms, it is always moral for a human being to prevent another person from committing a rape. The exception would be if committing a worse action than the rape itself, such as killing the prospective victim so she cannot be raped.



    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    If it's moral for you to, say, apply a certain number of Newtons of force to a certain region of the rapist's body so as to physically restrain the rapist, why would it be wrong for God to apply the same number of Newtons of force to the same region of the rapist's body so as to physically restrain the rapist?
    I never said that is immoral for God to do that. And for that matter, we can't say for sure that God never intervenes to stop a rapist.




    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I fail to see the strength of your counterargument. Are you suggesting that our vigilance against rape, murder, robbery, etc., is only moral so long as there are rapes, murders, and robberies that we fail to prevent?

    Let's say you follow around a certain person from birth until their death, and physically restrain them from rape every time they attempt it. Are you acting immorally by preventing these rapes? Which rapes should you fail to prevent?
    Actually, I do think it would be immoral for me to follow a person around all of the time and restrain him from doing bad things whenever he attempts them.

    If such a thing was actually a good thing, then we should have 24 hour monitoring of everyone and perhaps put a device on them that knocks them out whenever they are about to commit a certain crime. We don't do this because we hold that there are more important things than making sure that no individual ever commits these crimes.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    There is sin in the mental act of intending to rape. This mental state is not erased from history by physically restraining an individual while they attempt to rape someone.
    But if the ability to commit sin is necessary to overcome sin, then no one will be able to overcome sin.

    In other words, I cannot choose to not murder if committing murder is not an option.

 

 
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