The Consolations of Skepticism.
Supposition: there exists an all-powerful entity x (God), who causes and controls all natural events.
1. If x is an all-powerful God (G), x kills (K) thousands of innocents (by way of natural disasters, plagues, famines)
2. If (x) kills (K) thousands of innocents, then (x)is a mass-murderer and identical to Evil (E) (at least according to any commonly accepted legal or moral codes).
3, Thus, if x is God, then x is Evil
I think there would need to be a way to single out such a supposed omniscient entity (monotheistic too as Xtians/muslims/jews claim) x, perhaps like this: there exists an (x), such that x is God, and for any other (V) supposed entity y (thought also to be God), such an entity equals x. E(x) = "there exists": E(x)(Gx & V(y)( Gy -> y = x).
The universal ((x), for any x) is more suited to the hypothetical syllogism:
thus (x)(G(x) -> E(x))
Q. E. D.
Friday, May 13, 2005
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Huh?? I'm no good at math.
It's cool. It's just an argument against Sunday School. (I.e. if a God exists then He creates natural disasters such as the tsunami, plagues, famines etc. And it would seem that wars, crimes, and human disasters would have to be included in His creations as well)
I don't think that the logic is right. It's a neat syllogism, but it seems to me that premise 1 is troublesome, and the second half of the supposition as well. The problem of evil is an interesting topic... there is the point of view that you have presented- that God is responsible for the evil, and there is the view that God does not sacrifice His omnibenevolence and omnipotence despite the existence of evil in the world.
I don't think you can deny the first premise; if "God" is omniscient as well as omnipotent, then He creates all, causes all (including any supposed evil force or devil); and I don't exactly see how millions dying of various plagues, in pain, or drowning etc. can be reconciled with omnibenevolence.
You may be right that the premise could be modified a bit; perhaps the innocent people killed by His acts are redeemed or whisked up to paradise, but that does not mean they did not suffer, through no fault of their own. And by definition G. has the power to stop the suffering of the innocent but He chooses not to (assuming He exists only for the sake of argument). Even if these innocents are redeemed at a later point it seems bizarre and sadistic (especially for those holding to a Scriptural view that "God is Love"); even infants are required by God to endure horrible suffering.
This also begs many other questions: such as the existence of other religions and where "God" may be said to reside. My point is that proving God by any rational means alone (as the catholics claim) seems impossible; and if G. can't be proven by reason or science, but demands an irrational leap of faith, then there's no limit to any religious or mystical views; e.g. what's the difference between Pat Robertson and Madam Cleo doing her ho-roscopes. (They are similiar in one regards; both are an affront to Reason).
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