the archives

dusted off in read-only

  •  

The problem of evil posted 20 Jul 2004, 03:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Ok, I'll just state this now- I'm Catholic. I've been brought up on those beliefs for all of my (admittedly, so far short) life. My idea of a God is that of the judeo-christian one, and I definately don't have much knowledge of other religious beliefs. Recently, I've begun to internally question my religion (mostly because of various philosophical thoughts, such as on this and on free will). So I just feel like writing down some of my thoughts on the problem of evil right now- I acknowledge right now that it's probably going to be pretty jumbled and nonsensical, because of my conflicting thoughts about god and religion :wink: To make this clear- I do believe in a god, but since this post is going to be voicing my conflicting thoughts, it will likely end up attacking the idea of god. So please, no religious people take offense or anything. Now, the problem of evil. Typically, the terms "good" and "evil" are used to describe the righteousness (that's probably not a good word though) of all actions, things, etc. And those two concepts are usually embodied in religious beliefs as the entities "god" and "satan/devil/demons/etc". Now, the problem I see is that many religious people (again, I'm speaking about christianity for the large part, so this can't speak for all views) consider there to exist an allpowerful, loving and benevolent god, and there to exist a pure evil entity, through which sin comes, called satan. Ok. That's the basis. Now here is where the real problem is. If god is all powerful, then shouldn't he have the power to destroy any evil? If he doesn't rid humanity of evil, would he then not be loving and benevolent? It could be argued of course that he could still allow evil, and yet be benevolent, but wouldn't the very idea of "god" mean perfection? And if he is perfection, shouldn't that mean [i:1ie4j3jm]perfect[/i:1ie4j3jm] love, which should allow absolutely no evil or ill to befall his creation? If he isn't completely loving, caring, and benevolent, isn't he then not perfect? And if he is not perfect, then can he not truly be "god"? If human sin stemmed from the devil, then wouldn't a perfectly loving god be able to destroy that? Instead, it seems to make more sense that all good and evil stems from human nature. Some of us are good, some are evil, and we all do actions of both. Well, those are some of my thoughts. It ended up pretty jumbled like I expected, but I just really wanted to but down some of those thoughts. Your thoughts? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 03:07 by Taliesin, Peralogue

Thoughts.... Let's see, I wrote a paper on the problem of evil for philosophy last semester, and basically came out of it realizing that there was no real answer to the question. That is, there's no all-encompassing answer that can justify the presence of evil if God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. It's simple enough for those who don't believe in God to use this as another of their proofs, because it does seem so counter to what one would think God would want for his people. One argument is that evil exists due to free will; were God to constrain us from carrying out evil acts, we would not truly have free will. Yet, why couldn't God create men who were [i:35nyiqnw]capable [/i:35nyiqnw] of evil, but would instead always choose good? And for that, I have not yet come up with an answer.... There are many separate justifications given for the presence of evil (result of free will, in order to be able to appreciate the good, to bring about some greater good, to strengthen our souls, etc...) None of these are really satisfying, though. All of this thinking makes faith much harder :wink: But then, I believe that faith is pretty meaningless if it hasn't been examined and tested and such - the question is, how well will it hold up? Oh, and another point, personally I don't ascribe any evil in the world to the influence of an evil entity. It always seemed a little hokey to me, and I guess it's far too easy to blame the devil for our actions. Rather, the evil is a result of that potential within all of us. Why God gave us that potential is obviously up to debate, but that's how it is.... You can always chalk it up to the inscrutability of God's purposes, but I suppose that's the easy way out.... view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 03:07 by Wil, Head Moderator

I have thought long and hard on an issue similer to this (especally when questioning my own fait, I was raised Mormon). Without evil, good could simply not exist. There has to be some balance or we could not regognized evil. It's like if the sun never set and hadn't since the beginning of time. "night" would not exsits, so there would be no reason for the concept of "day". As for why God dosen't destroy evil, I think that if he did, he could no longer be loving, caring, and benevolent because those words would no longer hold any meaning, because that is all there is. I hope this makes sense. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 04:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Taliesin, I think faith in and of itself is...unreasonable. Why have faith, when we don't have definitive proof of something? I understand that that's what makes it faith, but why have faith in the unknown and ununderstandable? Good post though, good reasoning. Wil, you made sense but...hmm, I'm going to have to counter that in the morning, too tired now.. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 04:07 by Taliesin, Peralogue

Wil, that's an argument I have considered, but I'm unconvinced that evil is really necessary for there to be good. Would we have to know something was good for it to be good? Grantaire, that's something I'm really struggling with myself at the moment... how to have faith, when there is no definitive evidence to prove God's existence.... So, I don't really have any answers. I mean, I think that there are a lot of things in this world that we believe without really having definitive proof, though I can't come up with any good examples this late at night :wink: Maybe it's kind of like believing weather forecasters, as they don't understand the weather as well as they'd like us to think... or maybe nothing like that.... view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 13:07 by Replay, Auditor

Nice thought Grantaire - it's always good to see someone questioning the dogma that is thrown down throats since birth. You're right that when you really get down to it, the idea of an all powerful creator being doesn't seems to hold up, and you have to wonder at times how so many people can believe in such a thing. Of course, many will say 'well you just have to have faith', but I think you have gone past just accepting that. Since the idea doesn't hold up, does this then mean that there is no God? Perhaps, perhaps not. Perhaps the problem is that the idea itself of what God is is wrong. There is an old saying that goes, "To meet God, you must first kill him," which means that you should let go of any thoughts you have on just what God is, as only then will you be open enough to get a true understanding of it. Keep on doubting, and don't accept any easy answers. Searching for an answer to this question can be one of the greatest things anyone can do with their life. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 14:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Taliesin- I know that a lot of what we take for granted we don't truly understand, however, there's evidence and proof that we interpret to predict results and such. But with religion and the idea of god, we don't really have "proof" per se. Sure, we have the bible, a two thousand year old book- but is that definitive evidence? Replay- Thanks. I think that organized religions are rather detrimental to spiritual development really. I think that being able to live life while evolving your own spiritual beliefs is far better than being indoctrinated in the beliefs of the religion that your parents happen to be. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 15:07 by Replay, Auditor

I can agree that on one hand organised religions can be detremental to your own search, because so many require that you accept things on blind faith rather than finding out for yourself (perhaps because the ones in power refuse to put in the work themselves). On the other hand though, it is very difficult to come to any true realization without others to point the way, and believe it or not, most organised religions can do this is if you manage to cut away a lot of the crap that surrounds them. Of course, this is no easy task either. If you're still have some feeling towards Christianity, you might want to check out [url=http://www.christianmystics.com/index.shtml:1nwid4vr]this site[/url:1nwid4vr], and read some of the articles on there. They seem to be much more interested in finding out the truth for themselves rather than just taking things on blind faith. If like me that's not really your cup of tea though, there's no need to worry as there are many other paths out there - it's just a matter of finding one that's right for you. There's a good saying that goes: "All paths are like sets of clothes - don't worry so much about which one is the best, just chose the one you are most comfortable with." Though even if you do find one your comfortable with, always keep that doubt with you. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 16:07 by saintjon, Auditor

Well for me it all became simple when I figured God isn't perfect after all. A perfect being would be self-sufficient and wouldn't need us at all, for anything, and certainly wouldn't care (as God is shown to most certainly care in the Old Testament) whether we gave him the glory or not. Fits of righteous anger do not a perfect being make. I'm not claiming to be able to understand something that goes beyond human comprehension, but honestly, God as presented in the Bible makes a lot more sense if you drop the demand that God be perfect. As for evil, well if you think that God wants us to learn something why should God hand us a world without challenge? There are children with character and there are spoiled brats. Also, since I believe that God isn't perfect, I think God (whatever It is) is learning from us too. Like I think I must seem pretty omnipotent and unfathomable to an ant, but scientists study ants to learn from them don't they? Free will wherein you always choose the good isn't free will at all, whether it's reason whipping you or some deep genetic predisposition. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Replay- Yes, I probably always have doubts, no matter what I settle on. But that's a good thing, convictions are the enemy of truth. I'm still interested in christianity, but I don't like the blind faith, I like facts. I just need to cut away the crap, and explore. SJ- I get the idea of God being perfect by believing Him to be omniscient, omnipotent, etc. I think that the very concept of a being entitled "god" means an entity who knows all, and has power over all. But of course, that's just my view, because language allows so much room for interpretation, everyone has different views regarding a single word/concept. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Just a semantical bit to make things interesting: Originally, to be "perfect" meant that nothing more could be done; the object was complete and whole. Humans can't by that definition ever be perfect because of our paths from birth to death. God is held to be immutable, to be Above the trials and tribulations of life/death, according to some. Just something to consider. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Larry, I didn't say the humans could ever be perfect. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

I know, but I was thinking of God when writing about the original meaning of "perfect." view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 17:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Ah. Well, by that definition, I'm not sure that God could be considered perfect. Of course, as I said, the nature of language means that words and concepts can be interpreted as many different ways as there are people. So what "perfect" and "god" mean to one person won't mean the same to another, and the original meaning of one's interpretation is corrupted in the mind of one who hears it. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 18:07 by Wil, Head Moderator

Just something that hit me the other night when thinking about this. It may not contribute much to the conversation but it's a quote that when I heard, I liked a lot. "God exists, my friend. He just doesn’t give a damn." view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 18:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Good quote Wil. I think that does contribute. If God doesn't care though, it ruins the religious image of benevolence. Which isn't strictly a bad thing. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 20:07 by Replay, Auditor

[quote:1c5u6ket]Originally, to be "perfect" meant that nothing more could be done; the object was complete and whole. [b:1c5u6ket]Humans can't by that definition ever be perfect[/b:1c5u6ket][/quote:1c5u6ket] Are you sure of that? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 20:07 by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Yes, I'm sure of it. For one reason: each and every one of us has the potential for some sort of change, for better or for worse. If perfection is taken to be analogous to immutability (as the older definitions of per fæctum seem to say), then humans, with the potential for change, could not be perfect. Mind you, I'm referring to a very specific definition, one that is not usually employed today when discussing "perfect." view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 20:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah Larry, I think it's important to take into account what way you define words like "perfect". view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 by Replay, Auditor

Well I was refering to you mentioning "was complete and whole", which deep down, humans are. Plus you could also say that humans are perfect [i:33hj9mb6]because[/i:33hj9mb6] we change. But as you said, it really depends on how you want to define perfect. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Replay, what is your definition of perfect? view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 by Replay, Auditor

Hard to say, as there can be many different uses for the word. I guess it really all depends on the context. All I was trying to say in the last post was that perhaps everything is perfect just the way it is - including having the ability to change into something better (or worse). view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Indeed. All depends on your viewpoint. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 21:07 by Taliesin, Peralogue

Gotta love how you can have a discussion about something, and yet you are each talking about completely different things. And, that even if you are actually talking about the same thing, you each perceive it differently, so you still aren't really talking about the same thing. view post


posted 20 Jul 2004, 23:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Taliesin, that's exactly what I was speaking about...yet another topic I'm going to be needing to make a thread about :wink: view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 00:07 by saintjon, Auditor

Well to me, perfection is where something has the kind of perfect balance that can't happen in existence. Like for me, I conjured this out of some ideas on chi and stuff, there's always this interplay of opposites, there's an equilibrium but not a static balance (which would be immutable I guess). I don't think perfection can happen because to me existence is a progression that relies on that interplay of opposites... man I confuse myself trying to explain this sometimes. Anyways, I would say that given God's ascribed behaviour in the Bible God is somewhat mutable, God has moments of temper and immense calm. Also, if you consider how many miracles are attributed to God in the Bible and how many in the modern day, it would seem that God's behaviour about the world has changed a bit. I guess I reached a point where the theme of the Bible was saying that God was perfect but the content was saying something else entirely. I don't know if I'd chalk perfection up to all those omni's either, there are animals with less at their disposal than us to whom we probably could seem fairly omnipotent, but we know well this doesn't make us perfect. I don't claim to understand how great God is in lieu of being perfect, I just don't see the perfection. OH OH OH before I end the post, Aldarion your perfection model of being whole and immutable, an awareness that was truly whole, why would it need us? Or want us even? I hope I'm not coming across as preachy, I'm just trying to share this aspect of my personality I guess. view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 00:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

I suppose the concept of perfection is something that I need to think about more. Saintjon, couldn't perfection change dependent on circumstances? Circumstances dictate the ideal. view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 07:07 by Loof, Peralogue

[quote:17pyzqx8]I suppose the concept of perfection is something that I need to think about more. Saintjon, couldn't perfection change dependent on circumstances? Circumstances dictate the ideal.[/quote:17pyzqx8] Just to add my two <currency of choice>. I would say that not only does perfection differ dependant on circumstances it also differs with viewpoint, making it a verry subjective concept. On the subject of Good and Evil I am of the opinion that they don't exist as definite things, at least for humans. By that I mean that I don't think any human action can be purely good or bad since what is good and bad is a function of viewpoint but it is also like wil pointed out relative to other actions. Hmm now that I'm writing this out... maybe what I'm saying is that the whole subject is pointless because the object of the discussion is to subjective. :? Note: And as always everything I state as fact is actualy just my opinion. It's not that I'm not aware of doing this it's just that I'm so bad at letting that shine through in the actual text :( view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 18:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Haha Loof, I know that in the end it doesn't matter. Most all philosophy doesn't truly matter, because it's all so subjective. view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 18:07 by Taliesin, Peralogue

Yeah, it was hard not to get annoyed in philosophy class last semester, because there never really are any answers.... But I guess it's the thinking that really matters, not that anything definitive comes out of it. view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 18:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Yeah Taliesin...also, philosophy offers some consolations in life, and some of it is applicable (think political philosophy- people like Locke and Hobbes did have quite an effect on the founding of the United States). view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 18:07 by Loof, Peralogue

Oh drat now you think I have some aversion to all philosophy, which i don't. I'm just a bit picky when it comes to which ones I find concrete enough that they are worth disgusing :D view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 18:07 by Taliesin, Peralogue

Quite true, Grantaire - I didn't mean to imply that [i:2g4v68ea]nothing[/i:2g4v68ea] comes out of philosophy, because that is definitely not true, by any means. I just meant that, in and of itself, there are never any concrete answers in philosophy.... Of course, that's probably too bold a statement, as some aspects of philosophy are more quantifiable than others. And, I guess it's also the fact that there aren't easy answers, and things can be discussed to death and still leave room for more discussion, that makes it all so fun. view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 19:07 by Grantaire, Moderator

Yep, if it was easy, it wouldn't be worth doing. Philosophy does offer some answers (again, albeit subjective), and these offer some consolations, and ...no, I won't bother, I don't want to get into a discussion about the meaning of truth :wink: view post


posted 21 Jul 2004, 21:07 by saintjon, Auditor

Oh certainly it's possible Grantaire, it's just not my understanding. Since to me perfection lacks nothing, therefore has no needs, therefore a need to change would make it imperfect. Typing these things I feel like perfection's parole officer, like if this notion is gonna strut around and be all that I'm not letting it off the hook because of a changing circumstance! Something really perfect would have to leap beyond subjectivity too, another thing that kicks perfection right out of existence for me. I'm kind of biased against the idea I guess :D. I like the idea that nothing can be, that things aren't supposed to be perfect, it lessens the impact that nothing is or can be. It's really convenient to throw the word around too (I do it all the time) when appropriate, or proper or even ideal are a little more accurate. (this is the perfect spot to watch the fireworks from!) view post


posted 21 Apr 2005, 04:04 by Anonymous, Subdidact

The christian bible states that there is no one good but god. even christ stated that he was not good. A good question would be is god's perfection reletive to our lack thereof. As far as god's goodness, perhaps kindness is not inherent in perfection. And so in the arena of good verses evil the bible states that good and evil procedth out of the mouth of god and it says that god sent a evil spirit onto King Saul. And on the topic of good and evil being opposites if god is capable of sending a evil spirit can the devil send good spirits? view post


evil posted 30 Jun 2005, 02:06 by medium, Commoner

Evil to me isn't a problem. Evil is there and it always will be. It's a principal of the existance of life. If there wasn't evil there would be no good. There would be no definition of the word good or evil if any werer a problem. I say evil is good. And good is evil. Ex. If there were no wars how would anyone know what peace is? God. Hmmm... Actually i don't believe in god. I like the buddist way of life. But no Bhudda just existance. Atheist. view post


posted 23 Jul 2005, 05:07 by Regulus, Commoner

I'm new around here and just wanted to apologize up front for bringing back threads from the dead but this one I've just got to put my two cents into. I was raised as a Catholic by my parents with Catholic school classes twice a week until I was about 10 or 11 years old. Even as a child the Christian ways never made any sense to me, including the problem of Good vs. Evil. Before I try to make my own point I just want to note that I agree with all those who have said that "Good", "Evil" and "Perfection" are all relative. Which to me lies at the very heart of the problem of defining the roles of all powerful "Good" Gods and "Evil" Gods. If 'good' and 'evil' are not definitive how can one have a "God" who lies at the root of them. A "God" or "Devil" are supposed to be all powerful beings that are static in their beliefs/causes but how can they be if their beliefs/causes arent static? Following that line of theory then there cannot be any "Gods" or "Devils" and so what is 'good' and 'evil'? If 'good' and 'evil' are not static but defined by ones point of view then to me they are nothing but the product of the human race's attempt to classify or categorize everything. view post


posted 26 Jul 2005, 19:07 by target, Auditor

The thing with good and evil is that it creates balance, and i believe that balance is a necessary for existence. At least to some extent. The most troubling aspect of the good verses evil debate to me concerns the nature of God, that is a capital God of a monotheistic belief system. If, as is taught in the Christian religion, God is the one true good, and is indeed the Almighty, then how can evil exist. This is the conundrum of the Catholic faith. How can God be omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omnipresent if evil exists in the world. Problems such as this, and the very nature of the Christian Church, lead me away from the belief in on true God. I would, to some extent, agree with Pavlov's statement that God is a social reflex. If you consider the difference between a monotheistic religion like the Catholic faith, and a polytheistic one, such as that of the Romans; the one main diference between these two religions today is belief. Therefore i believe that to a certain degree belief defines faith. God would, in theory, cease to exist if people stopped believing. Personally, however, i would much prefer to keep an open mind, consider all arguments and evidence, and, if necessary, recant on my deathbed. :D view post


posted 31 Aug 2005, 19:08 by RedShift, Candidate

Time to join Regulus on the post-reviving bandwagon. This forum just has too many interesting topics lying around! As far as good and evil go, everyone seems to agree that it's very hard to define them. But there rarely (not never, but rarely) seems to be a dispute over whether something is good or evil. Now, I don't know enough about whatever studies have been conducted on this to know whether this is the case, but I do wonder... has anyone ever raised a human being who has no sense of good or evil, and who isn't brain damaged or otherwise handicapped. A person who would appear normal in every sense except for a lack of morality? I wouldn't be surprised if they had, but if not, that implies that a knowledge of good and evil is intrinsic to humanity. If that is the case (and I'm out on a big limb of ifs here), then I think the most interesting experiment I can possibly think of would be the simple act of asking another intelligent species (created by us or naturally occurring) whether they had a sense of good and evil. Basically, is some sense of good and evil intrinsic to consciousness, or just humanity, or just an effect of culture and upbringing? On the subject of philosophy, I agree that it is a very subjective subject, but we are very subjective people, so I would think that our subjective answers hold some truth for our subjective selves. Perhaps there is an underlying truth beneath the subjectivity, I don't know. view post


posted 01 Sep 2005, 16:09 by target, Auditor

I dont think it would be possibe to raise someone with no sense of good or evil. Again, i wouldnt really know, but i would expect that even without an upbringing diversifying between good and evil that the person would come to his/her own conclusions based on their conception of the world. In general, however, i think it is more a question of culture that defines our perceptions of good/evil, right/wrong in the world more than anything else. view post


posted 02 Sep 2005, 04:09 by H, Auditor

Well how about looking at sociopaths as people who have little/none/distorted views of what is right and wrong? I think that's about as close as one can come in the real world. view post


posted 02 Sep 2005, 06:09 by Lucimay, Subdidact

[quote:1efrbd9t]I think the most interesting experiment I can possibly think of would be the simple act of asking another intelligent species (created by us or naturally occurring) whether they had a sense of good and evil. [/quote:1efrbd9t] maybe we ARE the experiment :) view post


posted 02 Sep 2005, 11:09 by target, Auditor

Lucimay, sometimes i get the feeling that your just one big cosmic conspiracy theorist :D view post


posted 02 Sep 2005, 16:09 by Lucimay, Subdidact

:lol: i'm not but i play one on TV!!! hahahahaha! view post


posted 21 Mar 2006, 03:03 by Zarathinius, Auditor

The biggest problem, as I see it, with good and evil is that they require a judge. Humans often disagree on what is good and what is evil, so we look for more concrete justification. With the concept of "god", as an all-knowing, all-powerful being that is the final judge of anything and everything, it is easier to say that one knows what the "absolutes" of good and evil are. But if people disagree about what the absolute arbiter (god) terms good and evil, then it automatically brings the concept of an absolute truth or and absolute arbiter into question, since you can't have two different absolutes of the same thing. Who is one person to claim they know the truth concerning something that is esoteric, when somebody else can make a similar claim with equal [i:25waa6go]gravitas[/i:25waa6go]? view post


posted 24 Mar 2006, 21:03 by Will, Peralogue

I'll attemp to answer this question from two perspectives. There are clearly far more than two, but I'll just use these two. Perspective one, the universe is deterministic. In this perspective the problem of evil has no meaningful answer, because the answer depends upon an arbitrary definition. Perspective two, this universe's actions are determined by an omniscient omnipotent omnibenevolent being. This being can perceive all possible universe's. It, being omnibenevolent chooses for us the very best. We exist in this the best of all possible worlds. Our belief that evil exists is proof of our lack of understanding, not a failure of this being's benevolence. view post


posted 26 Mar 2006, 21:03 by Randal, Auditor

The second one doesn't cut it, because it has "omnibenevolent" in the description. This makes for circular reasoning. Why is it good? Because god wants it, and god is good. Why is god good? Because he does good things. So, if one can't use this argument to determine that god is "good", it again becomes a matter of complete arbitrariness. Why is god good? Because. I also disagree slightly with your first statement. In a deterministic/materialistic/naturalistic/whatever universe with no ruling god, there isn't "no meaningful answer to the problem of evil." Rather, the "problem of evil" simply doesn't excist because it's perfectly logical that "good" things happen to "bad" people and vice versa if there's nothing in the universe that cares and the concepts themselves are made up by man. view post


posted 27 Mar 2006, 12:03 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:324wom2d]Why is it good? Because god wants it, and god is good. Why is god good? Because he does good things. So, if one can't use this argument to determine that god is "good", it again becomes a matter of complete arbitrariness. Why is god good? Because. [/quote:324wom2d] I think this isn't entirely fair. the idea that what God decides as good is good is not necessarily circular, after all it might simply be a property of God's that what he designates as something is that thing. So, God decides that charity is good, then it is good. God decides that what he does is good, then it is too. The circularity only works if we assume that it is good that God defines what is good before He decides that it is so. I disagree even more strongly with your idea that Good is arbitrary without god to define it. To a certain extent we all use the word already, we say that this orange is good, or that Mother Theresa was good, so we know there is something there, that the word isn't meaningless (unless you want to say that the above sentences which we seem to understand are in fact meaningless). So if we come up with some definition (or more likely set of defninitions as good is a word with a broad range of uses) which fits our useage, which is developed in some theoretically rigorous manner, can't we say we have some non-arbitrary notion of good. So, for moral goodness, which I distinguish from pleasure, but not all theories will might be defined by some sort of moral theory (and we need have no circularity, for our theory does not have to derive from what is "good") etc. If this is the case, then we can know what it is to be good and hence, we can know what it is for God to be good. If this is the case, then we can say that if God exists and if he has characteristics x, y and z, then he is omnibenevolant. Of course if our definition of goodness is independent of God, then we don't need God to be good and morality is secular. That said, I think the problem of evil proves that God, at least as an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolant being, cannot exist. The defence that this is in fact the best of all possible worlds and we just can't know God's mind etc. works for someone who already believes in God, but is in no way convincing to someone who isn't (so we reach a stalemate as far as I can see). view post


posted 27 Mar 2006, 18:03 by Will, Peralogue

Randall: I concur with your assessment of my first statement. Thanks for rephrasing. "The second one doesn't cut it, because it has "omnibenevolent" in the description. This makes for circular reasoning." This isn't actually a circle, I'll illustrate. "Why is it good? Because god wants it, and god is good." True. "Why is god good? Because he does good things. " False, he is good because that is part of the assumptions. Your statement is equivalent to stating in the first assumption "Why is the universe deterministic?". Its not circular reasoning, its linear deduction. God being good, all-powerful and all-knowing implies that no evil as God defines it exists. Peter: I like your idea of a definition of a morality without relying on divine fiat, but I don't think it can be anything but a consensus. God being in the equation is the equivalent of an expert, in the absence of expert testimony you are essentially argueing legs on unicorns. My notion is as true as I can persuade everyone that it is. If our notion of good is a consensus, then likewise our notion of evil ought to be. Thus the problem of evil is simply a case of minority action. Its reasons will be specific to each act of "evil". I agree that the Best of all Possible worlds deduction is not persuasive to someone who rejects its assumptions. In my experience that is true of all arguments that cannot be demonstrated experimentally. If you are looking for a persuasive argument for God's existence I like to use the Watchmaker. You reject BOAPW, so your assumptions include that God isn't preventing all evil as he defines it, then you derive from evil's existence as a human defines it that a God who prevents evil as a human defines it doesn't exist? view post


posted 27 Mar 2006, 22:03 by Randal, Auditor

Re: Peter [quote:dzayqrsy]I disagree even more strongly with your idea that Good is arbitrary without god to define it.[/quote:dzayqrsy] I agree. I didn't state my point very clearly, I'm afraid. I believe good and evil are concepts thought up by man, but they're not arbitrary concepts. Rather, I meant that if "good" is defined as things god does, good is abitrary [i:dzayqrsy]with[/i:dzayqrsy] god to define it. See below. Re: Wil [quote:dzayqrsy] I think this isn't entirely fair. the idea that what God decides as good is good is not necessarily circular, after all it might simply be a property of God's that what he designates as something is that thing. So, God decides that charity is good, then it is good. God decides that what he does is good, then it is too. The circularity only works if we assume that it is good that God defines what is good before He decides that it is so.[/quote:dzayqrsy] This is more or less what I meant, but I didn't state it very clearly. My first statement is mistaken, it should have been "this makes for either circular reasoning, or makes morality completely arbitrary." The reasoning only is circular if one answers the question "why is god good?" with "because he does good things." In other words, if morality is defined by god, one cannot define god by using that same morality. To take your example: morality is defined by god. God decides charity is good, so it is good. But what if he had decided that charity is evil? That cruelty is good? By your definition, he can do that. Charity would [i:dzayqrsy]be[/i:dzayqrsy] evil, cruelty good. This means morality becomes arbitrary if it is defined merely by God's will. If god bases his decisions on morality not on his whims but on other arguments, then morality is no longer defined by god. It is based on whatever arguments god used in formulating his decisions. So, if one defines "good" as "stuff god does" one either has to use a circular argument, or make "good" and "evil" arbitrary concepts based on nothing but god's whim. Therefore, whether or not God exists I do not believe he defines morality. At the most, he will be comparable to a lawmaker, but laws are based on morality, not the other way around. God would have to obey the principles of good and evil just like the rest of us. (though he'd undoubtedly be much better at it, with the omniscience and all.) view post


posted 27 Mar 2006, 22:03 by TimAkers, Commoner

I'm a little uncomfortable that the subject of good vs. evil always seems to attract talk of god vs. not-god. We start talking about sources and prime-motivators without getting down to the actual humans who are actually doing the good and the evil. This to me is one of weaknesses of spirituality. Why do we need some external source that determines good and evil. My basic definition of good/evil comes down to selflessness vs. selfishness. Why bring superstition into it at all? view post


posted 27 Mar 2006, 23:03 by Randal, Auditor

Because for many the definition of good and evil includes god. Anyway, selfishness-selflessness doesn't encompass the whole of what we see as "good" or "evil." Many selfish things aren't evil, they're just not nice. In fact, arguments can be made that all human action is inherently selfish, and that supposed "altruistic" acts in fact are done to please oneself at another level. view post


posted 28 Mar 2006, 21:03 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:1j3isvlt]This means morality becomes arbitrary if it is defined merely by God's will. [/quote:1j3isvlt] Actually I would say that makes good arbitrary from a certain point of view. If someone honestly means by 'good' just 'that which God defines as good', then it isn't arbitrary. I could call anything in this box here *profers metaphysical box of exampleness* 'neark' without it being arbitrary, even if the actual content in the box just decided by me. So neark could refer to a piece of lint, Alexander Beetle (in which case the box would be match box) or whatever, but to the extent that it is in the box, it is neark. The problem is that it is a wholly formal definition (whatever the box contains), it has no content and it is generally thought that good has to have content. It is why Plato's Eurythphro (spelling) argument is so potent at dividing morality from God. Either good is prior to God, so we can describe it w/o describing him, or God defines good, he could have decreed child molestation to be good and [b:1j3isvlt]it would be so[/b:1j3isvlt]. It is because most people can't accept the latter point of view that we now tend to think of goodness as not being tied to God. It is only an arbitrary definition if we [i:1j3isvlt]already[/i:1j3isvlt] think that (to return to the box definition) what is in the box is what matters, not the box itself, and to the extent that Alexander Beetle really is in the box we might use the word neark to refer to him, but would think this an arbitrary name, as Alexander bettle might escape and then neark would refer to 'nothing' (there is nothing in the box). But if we think that the formal definition is what matters, then that the content can change is unimportant to us. It is simply the case that most of us do think that what is in the box matters. So we reject a description of good which is purely formal. Hmmm, that wasn't meant to go on for so long... sorry. :oops: [quote:1j3isvlt]I like your idea of a definition of a morality without relying on divine fiat, but I don't think it can be anything but a consensus. God being in the equation is the equivalent of an expert, in the absence of expert testimony you are essentially argueing legs on unicorns. My notion is as true as I can persuade everyone that it is. If our notion of good is a consensus, then likewise our notion of evil ought to be. Thus the problem of evil is simply a case of minority action. Its reasons will be specific to each act of "evil". [/quote:1j3isvlt] And I was aiming to argue wings on to a pixie, really missed the mark then :D (seriously though, the unicorn thing is a cool turn of phrase which I might just have to steal). Actually I don't think I am, I think that rationality can do the work of divine fiat without any of the problems. Essentially we start with the fact that we are all rational beings (i.e. capable of means/end reasoning, deducing conclusions from premises, inducing the future from the past and abducing the most reasonable explanation for a set of facts), and more than that, that we are practically rational beings. This means that we have to think of ourselves as acting freely (just try imagining your actions in a deliberative way, i.e. trying to make a decision for yourself, from some third person, deterministic point of view). But freedom is not a wholly negative concept, the madman is not free because he acts according to no rules whatsoever. So, true freedom is action under some set of rules. Now a certain favourite philosopher of mine then goes on to argue that this law is the moral law and so moral action is [i:1j3isvlt]just[/i:1j3isvlt] rational, consistent action. The real beauty of the argument is that the form of moral law (rational, consistent) is also, its content. You will note I haven't explained how we show that the moral law is the law of freedom, that is because it is late, my notes are downstairs and the last time I looked at this was months ago. Just trust me that there is some sort of argument there (I won't ask you to trust me that it is right... but is is :) ). [quote:1j3isvlt]If you are looking for a persuasive argument for God's existence I like to use the Watchmaker. [/quote:1j3isvlt] Persuasive... I prefer the Ontological argument. It appears very, very persuasive to begin with, and is much more fun to discuss (not having to deal with those dirty, nasty, horrid little details like empirical evidence etc.) [quote:1j3isvlt]You reject BOAPW, so your assumptions include that God isn't preventing all evil as he defines it, then you derive from evil's existence as a human defines it that a God who prevents evil as a human defines it doesn't exist?[/quote:1j3isvlt] Yes, an omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent God, is on my understanding of the world (there is evil in it) and on my understanding of God, impossible. I think the best plqce to target me is the claim that there is evil in the world. Simply put, it might seem like evil, but actually it isn't, it is somehow all for God's great plan. I can't accept that; but in the end I can respect someone who thinks that. [quote:1j3isvlt]My basic definition of good/evil comes down to selflessness vs. selfishness.[/quote:1j3isvlt] I agree that there is no need to bring superstitition into discussions of morality (or even discussions of God which are not always the same thing), but selfishness/unselfishness isn't enough I think. I would even go so far as to say that there are some, perhaps many unselfish acts which are lacking in moral merit. view post


posted 28 Mar 2006, 22:03 by Randal, Auditor

I agree with your points, mostly, save that I do not agree that "good" defined as "god's will" actually constitutes "good" as normally understood or defined by humans. In fact, I do not see the need for the concepts of "good" or "evil" at all in this case. I'd argue there's merely "god's will" and "opposing god's will", where the former is deemed admirable, and the second is condemned. No good, no evil. No morality as such. Side note: which one was the ontological argument for god's existence? Is it the one that went "because we can conceive of a perfect god, such a god must exist, because a perfect being would have the quality of existence, else he would not be perfect."? (if so, it's fun but basically nonsensical) view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 17:03 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:2lg3c6uf]I agree with your points, mostly, save that I do not agree that "good" defined as "god's will" actually constitutes "good" as normally understood or defined by humans. [/quote:2lg3c6uf] I agree with you, sorry didn't make myself clear (then again in philosophy I am sure there is some rule against that... I mean there must be right :D ). Most people would really not accept that it is good to molest children, even if God said so. [quote:2lg3c6uf] In fact, I do not see the need for the concepts of "good" or "evil" at all in this case. I'd argue there's merely "god's will" and "opposing god's will", where the former is deemed admirable, and the second is condemned. No good, no evil. No morality as such. [/quote:2lg3c6uf] Hmmmmm, in the end I agree with you, but that is because I have a conception of morality which does not amount to "God said so". But for some people all morality is is this addtion of little emotive flags saying "boo" and "hooray" next to words like 'murder' and 'charity'. So why not have 'following god's will' "hooray" and 'opposing god's will' "boo"? I can see where this argument comes from, but... yeah basically it ain't morality if it is merely emotivism or subjectivism etc. view post


posted 21 Jun 2006, 20:06 by Will, Peralogue

Peter: You've pegged precisely my next statement, " I think the best plqce to target me is the claim that there is evil in the world. " As you say, I don't believe that, given a omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent God there can be evil in this world. I am thus, an optimist. You'd never know it from talking to me though. I'm interested in your notion that freedom is action udner some set of rules. Can you give me a better description/elaboration on this? Or perhaps, just point me towards some learned sage who has set down this position's definitive stated if you don't have the time or inclination to write it out. view post


posted 22 Jun 2006, 18:06 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:2w5rwxpt]I'm interested in your notion that freedom is action udner some set of rules. Can you give me a better description/elaboration on this? Or perhaps, just point me towards some learned sage who has set down this position's definitive stated if you don't have the time or inclination to write it out.[/quote:2w5rwxpt] The idea that freedom is acting under some law is, I think, not entirely uncommon. I believe that quite a few of the Natural Lawyers held something like this, but I could be wrong. However my position is taken from Kant (if you look through my posts here you may notice a very slight *ahem, obsessive or worse fanboyish :oops: * interest in him) and I think his is an improved account because he is able to derive this law from premises which all rational individuals must accept (much like the laws of logic). I will try to sit down and write a fuller account later, but at the moment I am still basking in my end-of-finals feeling where I imagine I shall never have to do work again (please, don't disabuse me of this notion just yet :D ). So whilst waiting for this I suggest you read The Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals, The Critique of Practical Reason and the Metaphysics of Morals... :D Failing that the Groundwork is a good introduction to Kantian Ethics, but not, I think, a definitive statement of it. On a general side note, FINALLY found TTT in British bookstores and bought it (I had to read my brother's edition ordered from Canada). view post


posted 22 Jun 2006, 19:06 by Harrol, Moderator

I read most of the posts here already and felt the need to add my two cents. Forgive me if my write up is not as well thought out as Randall, Peter or Will. According to my beliefs God created both good and He created evil. That is stated in the book of Isaiah. From a non philisophical stand point good is good because God defines it as such and evil is evil again because God said so. I do dissagree with the thought that God does these things based off of whims. God is not whimsical at all. Another thought is if God is good then why is there evil. My understanding is that God does not want automatons but people who choose Him and His ways willingly. view post


posted 29 Jul 2006, 06:07 by Iago, Candidate

you are all wrong! just kidding. go to borders books and start with 'The Problem of Evil.' It's a collection of essays. It won't answer your question (at least it didn't for me), but it will help bring you up to speed on what the "problems" are if you need a refresher. then, pick up a copy of Mary Midgley's "Wickedness" and spend a little time with it. the motivations of "evil" beings are not all the same, and perhaps she can help you identifiy which type you are. Something worth noting, to me at least, is that her analysis of Mephistopheles kind of pokes a hole in the notion that even "evil" beings think they are doing "good" in some personal fashion. and when you are done with that book, pick up a copy of Buber's "Good and Evil." Some of us who have worked hard to reach what he calls "the 2nd stage" might find his description of our hypertension a bit offensive, but the good news is he is dead now, so there is no need to go eliminate him because of his insight into our nature. just kidding! after you are all done with that, you can look up the correct way to write "Dregvant" in Avestan (it's not that hard, there are dictionaries online), and go get it tatooed somewhere on your body. That way if you ever get dropped on your head or struck by lightning and lose your memory, you can see the tatoo and be reminded of why you bother to get out of bed in the morning. tada! hope that helps! and have a great day! p.s. if you don't want to get some creepy word from a long dead language tatooed on you, try just getting a picture of a lightbulb removed from the socket, but still lit. It might take your amnesiac self a little longer to figure it out, but if you got there once... view post


posted 31 Jul 2006, 13:07 by Randal, Auditor

[quote:3lk0tv7e]her analysis of Mephistopheles kind of pokes a hole in the notion that even "evil" beings think they are doing "good" in some personal fashion.[/quote:3lk0tv7e] Does she claim that not [i:3lk0tv7e]all[/i:3lk0tv7e] "evil" people think of themselves as doing mostly good? If so, that's rather obvious, I'd say. Obviously there are people who think what they do is wrong but do not care. Or does she claim that [i:3lk0tv7e]no[/i:3lk0tv7e] "evil" person thinks of him/herself as being a "good" person? If so, that's quite the claim to make, and one that seems to be rather obviously wrong, whatever Faustus may have said to Mephistopheles. Many people set out to improve the world only to start a reign of terror. "The road to hell..." and all. view post


posted 01 Aug 2006, 19:08 by Mahajanga Mordecai, Auditor

[quote="Harrol":pcddqul0]I read most of the posts here already and felt the need to add my two cents. Forgive me if my write up is not as well thought out as Randall, Peter or Will. According to my beliefs God created both good and He created evil. That is stated in the book of Isaiah. From a non philisophical stand point good is good because God defines it as such and evil is evil again because God said so. I do dissagree with the thought that God does these things based off of whims. God is not whimsical at all. Another thought is if God is good then why is there evil. My understanding is that God does not want automatons but people who choose Him and His ways willingly.[/quote:pcddqul0] Only to get pissed and start damning people to "the bad place" when they don't choose him; doesn't sound very "good" to me. Although if he's the one doing all the defining then... double-think anyone? (I love George Orwell :P ) I always balk at this kind of discussion because it seems to become circular in and of itself... althought my intellect probably isn't "up-to-snuff" with the rest of yours so maybe that's why. :? view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 06:08 by Iago, Candidate

[quote="Randal":ix6py7vj][quote:ix6py7vj]her analysis of Mephistopheles kind of pokes a hole in the notion that even "evil" beings think they are doing "good" in some personal fashion.[/quote:ix6py7vj] Does she claim that not [i:ix6py7vj]all[/i:ix6py7vj] "evil" people think of themselves as doing mostly good? If so, that's rather obvious, I'd say. Obviously there are people who think what they do is wrong but do not care. Or does she claim that [i:ix6py7vj]no[/i:ix6py7vj] "evil" person thinks of him/herself as being a "good" person? If so, that's quite the claim to make, and one that seems to be rather obviously wrong, whatever Faustus may have said to Mephistopheles. Many people set out to improve the world only to start a reign of terror. "The road to hell..." and all.[/quote:ix6py7vj] ***begin rational communication*** at first i was reluctant to reply, because i didn't think i could do it without being an ass. not that it is a reason to not reply, i actually enjoy writing asshole(ish) things and giggling like a retard in a room full of red ballons while I am doing it. but, unfortunately, i think this concept is too important to let my auto-pilot assholishness (did I just make a new word!?) respond to. So, I will quote first from Mephistopheles: The spirit I, that endlessly denies And rightly too; for all that comes to birth Is fit for overthrow, as nothing worth; Wherefore the world were better sterilized; Thus all that's here is Evil recognized Is gain to me, and downfall, ruin, sin, The very element I prosper in. So here we have Mephistopheles saying that he ruins for the sake of ruining. The is no "positive" goal or objective that he works towards. He lives to deny, to always say "no." Could you make the arguement that it is somehow "good" for him to do this? Maybe, but the only way I could think of to do it would be (mis)quoting from milton (because I don't have the book with me, sorry [look it up yourself if you are bothered...]) So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear. Farewell remorse! All good to me is lost; Evil, be though my good: But that really doesn't work out either, because Satan isn't really saying that he has somehow switched good with evil in his mind, he is acknowledging that he and his host have nothing, and can hope for nothing, but that one option is left to them: To do ought good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight, As being the contrary of his high will Whom we resist. So we see that in their own way, the fallen host has taken the only thing not God's, being opposed to God, and made it their sole task. It is reactionary, parasitic, and doomed, but it is still a "positive" goal in their mind, if pathetic, taking into consideration that they feel themselves a conquered host in a war against an oppressive tyrant. Mephistopheles, in Faust, has no such "positive" objective. He is conscious if the pure "negativity" of his aims. There is no personal "good" or positive point to his activity, unlike Satan and his host who resist a tyrant, he is purely a ruining spirit with no point to his activity. So, i guess i stand by my original reply and I hope I have cleared things up for you a bit. If you are still having trouble, try to think of any fictional antagonist or even real person who you regard as evil, then think about their motives (as you understand them). I think you will find that in a personal sense they were all working toward some outcome they regarded "good" or "right" for them in their own sense. It is possible for them to be aware of how the outside world regarded their aims, even labelling them "evil", and still think they are working towards a positive/good objective. The only character I am aware of with no such desired outcome is Mephistopheles. ***end rational communication*** SLAM.... DUNK..... BABY!!!! YOU KNOW IT!!!! YES!!! I am right, as (almost) always [not really....]!!!! SWEEEEEEEET!!!!! view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 10:08 by Randal, Auditor

So, you're saying, and this Midgley is saying, that [i:ekbvlayb]every[/i:ekbvlayb] so called "evil" person at some level believes himself good? Now I think I understand your argument. And now I understand it, I will disagree with it. Certainly, I'll accept that everybody works towards some goal he sees as positive. For himself. But not at all necessarily "good." Take the mercenary, the hired killer. He kills who he's told to, because it pays. He cares not one whit for the morality of it all. Will kill innocents along with guilty, as long as he is paid. He knows this is "wrong" but hey, it pays the bills, right? And it's not as if he knew any of those people, it's not as if he gave a damn about any of them. This man, should he exist, surely does "evil" without any rationalisation or higher objective besides simple monetary gain. Or take a psycho sadist, who derives personal pleasure from torturing hookers to death. You might call him insane, and he is by our standards. But such a person might very well be aware what he does is "wrong", "evil", and do it anyway because he gets a kick from it. Now, you might call those motivations (money, personal enjoyment) "an outcome they regarded 'good' or 'right' for them in their own sense". But I think that's stretching. They don't think it's good. They think it's convenient. They're as negative as Mephistopheles, and for the same reason. (I should imagine he too was thoroughly amused by the Faust episode.) Secondly you might argue that people like I've described don't exist. Well, I can't prove they do. I certainly don't know any. If you think there are no such people, we'll have to agree to disagree. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 13:08 by Harrol, Moderator

Randall, I agree that such people exist indeed. I know they do because my dad guarded such people for 20 years and sometimes would tell us about them. Basically they were sociopaths that only cared to pleasure themselves and find their own comforts. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 17:08 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

[quote="Harrol":2adr55qj]God is not whimsical at all.[/quote:2adr55qj] are you kidding me?!? have you even seen an elephant or a sloth or a penis??? view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 17:08 by Iago, Candidate

attention to detail is important. i don't always do it myself, but i think here it bears making a point of it. Neither I, nor Mary Midgley, claimed that every "so called evil person" at some level believes themselves "good." That was kind of the whole point of bringing up mephistopheles... And, if you are willing to concede that everybody works towards some goal he sees as positive, you are nicely summing up the point of my quoting Milton's Satan. The obvious exception to the rule being Mephistopheles. So, from what I can make of what you wrote (feel free to correct me if I am not paying attention to detail...), you neither understand what I, nor Midgley, said about Mephistopheles, so you're disagreeing with it makes no sense. And, you then agreed with people all working towards some positive goal, only to follow on with hypothetical examples in support of the idea of people working towards a personally positive goal but still being evil, then claiming they were just the same as Mehpistopheles that has no positive goals. Very confusing. But, I will give you the benefit of the doubt, instead of crapping on your head, and understand your post to mean something along the following: You believe in an objective "good", and that people can work towards something "positive" to them while being aware of where it falls along the objective "good" and "evil" spectrum, and not care. If I have you right, and feel free to correct me if I don't, then you are taking an awfully brave stance in support of the idea of an objective definition of "good." I personally wouldn't take that stance myself, since I think it is indefensible, but you are free to. If THAT is our point of contention, then you are right, we will have to just disagree. If it isn't, then it's back to the drawing board for you, sorry man. and to the other guy, using second-hand anecdotes from daddy doesn't really cut the mustard in a discussion of this type. At least Randal tried... view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 18:08 by Harrol, Moderator

Harrol wrote: God is not whimsical at all. are you kidding me?!? have you even seen an elephant or a sloth or a penis??? O.K. I hate saying this but what I meant was God does not make sudden rash decisions that go against everything he ever said. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 18:08 by Iago, Candidate

[quote="Harrol":mf4yo2vu]Harrol wrote: God is not whimsical at all. are you kidding me?!? have you even seen an elephant or a sloth or a penis??? O.K. I hate saying this but what I meant was God does not make sudden rash decisions that go against everything he ever said.[/quote:mf4yo2vu] you mean, he (god) doesn't do things like make it lawful to stone to death an adulturess, then years later in another incarnation of himself then stop people from doing what he previous told them by saying let he who is without sin cast the first stone? good point! nah, man. I'm just messing with you. this post is a humor/joke post on my part. don't bother making an intelligent response, unless you feel the need to. I probably am not up to the task of going blow-for-blow with you regarding the whimsical nature (or not) of god, without me having to crack open the good book, which I really don't want to do. so, if you bother to reply at all: You win. view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 18:08 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

[quote="Harrol":2d5emvc8]Harrol wrote: God is not whimsical at all. are you kidding me?!? have you even seen an elephant or a sloth or a penis??? O.K. I hate saying this but what I meant was God does not make sudden rash decisions that go against everything he ever said.[/quote:2d5emvc8] dude, laugh a little. :wink: view post


posted 04 Aug 2006, 20:08 by Harrol, Moderator

Sorry for over reacting. Next time I will tone down my response with a full scale invasion of Iago and Gierra instead of a forum response. Gierra, Iago and Barney the Dinosaur are now the axis of evil. view post


posted 05 Aug 2006, 04:08 by Iago, Candidate

[quote="Harrol":36tiskix]Sorry for over reacting. Next time I will tone down my response with a full scale invasion of Iago and Gierra instead of a forum response. Gierra, Iago and Barney the Dinosaur are now the axis of evil.[/quote:36tiskix] Look, Mom, I made it! Nothing to do now but go to Disneyworld. my spiritual benefactors will be so proud! (before they devour me, of course....) view post


posted 06 Aug 2006, 18:08 by Randal, Auditor

Would it be possible, Iago, for you to moderate your tone a bit? I have to say, some of your remarks get a bit on my nerves. ("crap on your head") Discussion is very civil here most of the time, and I regret to say you convey a somewhat less civil impression to me. Yeah, you're joking. Still. Anyway, on Mephistopeles, Lucifer, evil, good, the lot. I readily concede I do not understand what you are saying, Iago. And therefore it's entirely possible I was disagreeing with something you never said. In fact, the point of my previous two posts was to find out what you did mean. You give some interesting examples, but what is your point? For the record, my thought was that even Mephistopheles would have some sort of positive personal goal in pursuing the destruction of Doctor Faustus, otherwise the whole story wouldn't make any sense. Okay, so the story doesn't really care about Meph's motivation, and you could argue a devil WOULD pursue negativity for its own sake, but in that case it becomes rather irrellevant in a discussion about the nature of good and evil because humans aren't devils and always have some motivation, even such a simple one such as enjoying doing "evil" things. Hence my assumption in my previous post that Meph's motivation was precisely that, and therefore him being comparable to the mad serial killer who kills for the joy of killing. So, if we want to keep this discussion somewhat meaningful, I'd really appreciate it if you tried to clarify your position. Right now I gather it to be: "Not every person who does evil believes himself to be good, but every person who does evil does work towards some goal he sees as positive for himself, and doesn't simply indulge in "evil" acts for their own sakes." As for my point, your analysis is more or less correct. Note that I need not accept the existence of an absolute "good versus evil" axis for it to work, though. Only the person committing the "evil" act and not caring has to believe in it, and acknowledge he falls short. Whilst not caring. You're right I do believe in non-relative "good" and "evil", though. Not as some shining metaphysical truth external to the universe, but rather as a universal basic sense of right and wrong based on empathy inherent in human nature. (and perhaps some logic) With a lot of grey areas and fuzziness leading to huge differences from culture to culture. Anyway, that's another discussion. view post


posted 07 Aug 2006, 08:08 by Iago, Candidate

It is possible, but not very likely that I will moderate my tone a bit. I would have to look over my previous posts to be sure, but I don't think I ever claimed to be civil. I am what I am. you wrote: Anyway, on Mephistopeles, Lucifer, evil, good, the lot. I readily concede I do not understand what you are saying, Iago. And therefore it's entirely possible I was disagreeing with something you never said. In fact, the point of my previous two posts was to find out what you did mean. You give some interesting examples, but what is your point? my point is what I have been saying all along. Not on Mephistopheles, Lucifer, evil, good, the lot, JUST MEPHISTOPHELES. Midgley's analysis of him is as a purely negative being, with no positive motivation towards his activities. I agree with her analysis of him, and to help others see it I included his own description of himself (as given in faust) as an "interesting example", so THAT was my point. I don't know how many times I have to say it for you to get it. You either concur with this analysis of him or you don't. Obviously you don't, so please, cite some interesting examples of your own (not hypothetical serial killers, try sticking to the source material please...) to support your view that Mephistopheles has a positive goal, if that is in fact your stance. Next, you wrote: For the record, my thought was that even Mephistopheles would have some sort of positive personal goal in pursuing the destruction of Doctor Faustus, otherwise the whole story wouldn't make any sense. Okay, so the story doesn't really care about Meph's motivation, and you could argue a devil WOULD pursue negativity for its own sake, but in that case it becomes rather irrellevant in a discussion about the nature of good and evil because humans aren't devils and always have some motivation, even such a simple one such as enjoying doing "evil" things. Hence my assumption in my previous post that Meph's motivation was precisely that, and therefore him being comparable to the mad serial killer who kills for the joy of killing. Where to begin? OK, your thought that even Meph. would have some sort of positive goal in pursuing the destruction of Doctor faustus, leads me to think you have never actually read it. You are aware that Faust summoned Meph, right? If I held a rattlesnake up to my arm and it bit me, did the snake actually pursue the poisoning of me? A minor point, so let move on (don't forget you need to address the part about pursuing Neg. for it's own sake). Then you claimed that even analyzing Meph. was irrevelant in a discussion of good and evil because "humans aren't devils and always have some motivation", are you serious? Am I taking crazy pills? The other fictional devils I referenced actually DID have a positive motivation, and their purpose was something we, as humans, could at least relate to on an intellectual/academic level, if not on a personal one (not so with Meph.) And as to your reference to that favorite hypothetical serial killer of yours (please use something from the material in question, I can't keep carrying you along), even THEY are getting something positive out of the deal. The look in the eyes of the victim as they slide the knife in, or the helpless cries of their victim and resulting feeling of power over them as they violate them. Those are all positive, good things in the eyes of your serial killer. He REJECTS any view to the contrary, even though he is aware of those views. He doesn't fall short, he actually HITS THE MARK on his personal definition of good. you wrote (attempting to "clarify" my point): "Not every person who does evil believes himself to be good, but every person who does evil does work towards some goal he sees as positive for himself, and doesn't simply indulge in "evil" acts for their own sakes." 1. Not every person who does evil believes himself to be good (correct, mephistopheles being the only exception I am aware of) 2. but every person who does evil work towards some goal he sees as positive for himself (correct, with the exception of Meph) 3. and doesn't simply indulge in "evil" acts for their own sakes (they are NOT evil acts in his view, they are positive, good acts, even with the awareness of others labelling them evil. to HIM THEY ARE GOOD) you wrote: As for my point, your analysis is more or less correct. Note that I need not accept the existence of an absolute "good versus evil" axis for it to work, though. Only the person committing the "evil" act and not caring has to believe in it, and acknowledge he falls short. Whilst not caring. If there is no absolute definition of good, then it is relative. Don't think so? then please substantiate (preferably without hypothetical serial killers...). Please keep in mind the meanings of objective and subjective while you are trying. A better way to describe the "evil" persons awareness of his actions would be to call them anti-social. He may be aware that his actions are a breach of the social contract, but not care. Again, he does not "fall short" of the "good" while doing what he does, he actually hits the mark dead on. I'm not really cut out for teaching (or being civil), but it is beginning to feel like that is what I am doing. I am not getting anything back from you in the way of a meaningful contribution. Please make sure you understand what you are reading and aren't just replying for the hell of it. The way I see it, you have a few options: agree or not with the analysis of Meph. agree or not with the analysis of milton's satan and finally, construct a convincing arguement of the definition of an absolute moral good (making exceptions for culture is a slippery slide). Have some literary examples? great! i'd love to see them instead of having to revisit the tired old serial killer. view post


posted 29 Sep 2006, 17:09 by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

It sems that Nietzsche is used as a philosophical lynchpin of the Prince of Nothing series, and here I am thinking of the original quote from Nietzsche in the first book, where it is suggested that human beings have no free will in their thoughts or behaviors, that wha they think is only a product of their genetics and behaviorism. Much has been argued from an occidental, Judeo-Christian view on the subject of good vs. evil. But I have found it more appropriate in my experience to consider suffering and freedom as aspects of what defines good and evil. I have known many Satanists who argue their religious choice is a choice for freedom over their bodies and sexuality and minds. In this sense, they have made a choice of religion in order to embrace free will, and they would argue that to deny them that right would cause them suffering for no "good" reason. Thus, despite being Satanists, they have made what would ethically be considered a "good" choice. Conversely, consider the conservative who is "sure," another thematic aspect of the books, so sure that he is willing to cause immeanse suffering or "evil" to achieve the ends he believes should be "right." Here we enter a real world scenario: do people actually have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of sexuality, freedom of thought? And why are those freedoms so terrifiying to the power structures of organized religions and governments and their faithful followers? But freedom requires responsibility. One person might argue, "Look, I'm not 'really' free unless I am allowed to go kill the last elephant for my billiards table and the last tiger for my tiger penis soup." And that quickly, the individual has overstepped the bounds of what is appropriate for the community. In this example, wild, endangered animals should be viewed as the property of the entire world community and posterity, and not subject to the whim of a economic tyrant in the name of individual freedom. In this case, the suffering felt by the individual is less important than the enormous suffering that would be caused to posterity and humanity as a whole by the exstinction of priceless species. What I wish to point to at this point is that when a sentience is so self-absorbed that he can no longer feel empathy or a common bond with the other sentient beings on this planet, he has become a non-human virus. "My SUV is soo important, it is more important than the enitre environment of the planet, and it is more important than the death of the human species due to global warming!" At this point, the individual sentience is no longer "pro-humanity" over "pro-self"; he has become "pro-bad things." This is the form of evil we see in the Inchoroy-- a sentience concerned only with its own sexual gratification no matter at what cost; and the more anguished the victim the more pleasure. I am not sure I agree that a "reason" or "rational" was needed for their evil. The fear of being damned in the Outside seemed too trivial. The mere unthinking consumptive reasoning of a "terrible" two-year old seemed more plausible for their characters. Finally, I want to say this, this form of evil is not merely embodied in the hands of sociopaths. I have met person after person who feel their individual "need" outweighs the needs of anybody else or any group, even if it is such a minor things as knowingly checking out with 27 items in the express line or stealing a ceramic bowel from a bistro because they simply "wanted" it. When confronted gently, they react at first with anger that anyone would even mention what they had just done to their face, then when it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, they argue that some other person or circumstance "forced" their hand-- as if they were the slave Nietzsche speaks of in the opening quote. They would rather blame anyone else, even in giving up their own free will, than to acknowledge that they had a choice. And in giving up their own freewill, they have no difficulty in using another sentient being as a slave. And it is at this point that the once human sentience has become an "evil" virus in a human host. Mahayana Buddhism wishes for a release of all suffering for all sentient beings through loving-kindness. From this point of view, God is not necessary, but the "Golden Rule" is imperative. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 04 Aug 2008, 05:08 by Cironian, Peralogue

([b:11aykk1h]Foreword:[/b:11aykk1h] I wish in no way to insult or befoul any reader's mind, faith, or viewpoint, only to provide my own. I hope this not offensive, but if it happens to be, I have not intended this. The following is strictly an opinion.) I think that the "God = all-goodnes and benevolence" and "Satan/the Devil = all-evil, the seat of sin and unvirtue" theories are somewhat... too insistant. I myself am agnostic, but I will adopt some terms in this post to abbreviate and/or simplify my thoughts, simply so this post makes a little more comparative sense to me. I belive the ideas of good and evil were created to appease the human consciousness, as were the shaping of the God and the Devil concepts. The human mind seeks balance (i.e. symmetry), and thus the concept was developed that all good and evil stem from seperate and conflicting entities. Neither is perfect. In fact, both are comprised of flaw, because they exsist at all. (Flaw being the lack of perfection, being variance, being exsistence. If you need some further explanation on this, please see the attached file.) In any case, I believe that these entities are the same being (assuming we refer here to the embodiments of good and evil), or the same beings, given that everything in exsistence is both at once good and evil. Everything must have balance between the two forces, surely as night does not vanish from our sky, it merely moves to another. [quote:11aykk1h]God is you and me. God is everything. [b:11aykk1h]Voltaire[/b:11aykk1h][/quote:11aykk1h] Alternatively, if you believe that God and the Devil are indeed seperate and opposing entities, and that God creates all, is perfect (impossibly), and is omnipowerful, has not destroyed the devil because he [i:11aykk1h]chooses[/i:11aykk1h] not to. If no evil were to exsist, then what? I believe that were there to be no evil, the universe would cease exsistence. The bbalance would upset, and thus things could no longer be. Goodness would experience its own internal conflict, and potentially destroy itself too, because there would be no opposing force. This is similar to the relations between the sea and the sea floor. were either to be removed, the other could no longer be what it once was. Also similar to this, each harbors its own life that feeds off of the other, in a vital ecosystem. I recommend you read [i:11aykk1h]Good Omens[/i:11aykk1h], by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's amazing and makes this point brillliantly. But really, there is isn't necessarily two poles to this enigma, but, as I see it, a massive globe. Both good and evil are omnipresent, hence PURE evil and good cannot exsist. Higher entity is equally good and evil, as is Fate, Spirit, Time, and everything else known and unknown in existence. But really, this rather begs the question: What is good and what is evil, and do they really exist in principle?[quote:11aykk1h]God is neither Good nor Bad. [b:11aykk1h]Voltaire[/b:11aykk1h][/quote:11aykk1h] view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 04 Aug 2008, 07:08 by jub, Peralogue

Nice post. An interesting oppinion that I somewhat share. A conceptual scenario for ya: What if we developed a society that managed to eliminate negative behaviour towards anyone or anything? What if the concept of evil was eliminated from human thought through thousands of years of evolution? Sure it's improbable, but possible surely. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 05 Aug 2008, 02:08 by Cironian, Peralogue

That is quite the interesting scenario! I haven't the foggiest what would happen were our society to become free of negativity. Improbable, true, but quite possible. (That does really bring into question the good/evil debate's entire exsistence. I find something funny, a question that has been on my mind for a while now: [i:3jw2ah7g]Do animals (apart from us) hate each other at all? Could animals be living in an evil-free environment?[/i:3jw2ah7g] It may sound silly, but I think that non-humans evolved more efficiently than humans. But I digress...) Anyways, this concept makes me wonder what humanity would be like if the concept of evil was nonexistant. Would that mean that good is also non-existant? (The ocean and the ocean floor thing, one needs the other to be compared to, to be what it is.) This intruiges me. Tis a good scenario, though. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 05 Aug 2008, 03:08 by jub, Peralogue

I suppose the concept of 'Good' would be altered to mean positive and negative feelings, eg happy and unhappy - possibly how animals behave? view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 06 Aug 2008, 02:08 by Cironian, Peralogue

Quite possibly. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 06 Aug 2008, 11:08 by jub, Peralogue

Problem solved. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 08 Aug 2008, 19:08 by Chirios, Candidate

The problem isn't that we ask "how can God allow evil?". The problem is that we think that evil exists in the first place. Let me explain... Good and Evil are always described as being two sides of the same coin, i.e, one cannot exist without the other, this is true, but not in the way that people often mean it. People look at the world and see opposites, light and dark, red and blue, tall and short, and think that this must also apply to metaphysical concepts like Good and Evil, forgetting that Good and Evil [i:1bc1xsl2]do not exist outside of their relative positions to one another[/i:1bc1xsl2]. Good and Evil, as concepts, are too fluid. They have no exact definition, bar that of: "Good is whatever Evil isn't" and visa versa. Thus, the paradox of Good and Evil is that you can define the other, by mentioning its opposite, and in doing so, justify (or villify) any act that would not normally be justifiable (or villifiable). In the immortal words of Kevin Smith: [quote:1bc1xsl2][i:1bc1xsl2]Evil[/i:1bc1xsl2] is an [b:1bc1xsl2]ABSTRACT!!!!!![/b:1bc1xsl2][/quote:1bc1xsl2] - Azrael [i:1bc1xsl2]Dogma[/i:1bc1xsl2] In an effort to overcome the paradox of Good and Evil humanity has decided to define these two abstracts as the sum of their parts. Good is whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is kind, whatever heals, whatever is nice. Evil is whatever is dark, whatever is cruel, whatever harms, etc. But this approach has its own problems, since situations rarely allow a human being to encompasse more than one of those parts at any time. Psychologists often heal, but sometimes they force people to confront things they would rather not by dominating them, an act that some see as cruel. Soldiers kill, something which by the "sum of its parts" approach is deemed Evil, yet by killing, do they not save the lives of friends and family? And as for honour, well, it too is only defined by its opposite, dishonour, and so falls under the paradox. Thus, we get back to the question. Why does God allow Evil to exist? The answer is: He doesn't. Good and Evil are abstract notions, defined only by their relative positions to one another, and thus, they do not exist. Woah, I just had an awesome thought. Mr Bakker, you were wrong. What separates Man from beast isn't that he prays, its that he [i:1bc1xsl2]defines[/i:1bc1xsl2]. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 15 Aug 2008, 03:08 by Cironian, Peralogue

Exactly! (Wow, very eloquently put!) view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 17 Aug 2008, 02:08 by Callan S., Auditor

Well, if you think of good and evil relative to the practical survival of your species, then good and evil are not abstract. If there was only good - then you could go along, being good, until the last of your species dies. Just because you think a certain lifestyle is good and you never think of there being anything else (ie, never think of the idea of evil), doesn't mean extinction doesn't exist. In practical terms, evil is a hypothesis of the acts which lead to doom. This is not invented by men - extincition exists, regardless of whether we think evil exists or not. What might seperate man from beast is that beasts simply strive to be what they are - relying on death to prove that striving correct or not. While men contemplate their potential doom and do not wish to rely on actual death to tell them if they were wrong (instead they contemplate potential death, rather than simply strive forward to potentially meet it). Not all the time of course - men stride onto the battlefield, for example, with absolute certainty of surviving and winning - the animal striving to be what they are and only death will argue them out of that certainty. Also I know I call it 'animal striving' but thats not to be dismissive - as one contemplates potential doom, one realises even such contemplation itself might be a doom and animal striving perhaps the enlightened path (sometimes...hopefully not always). Indeed, to only ever contemplate would be striving like the animal does - simply rushing forward with its practice, letting situation decide if it was correct/lets you survive. Probably the deepest philisophical moments lead to absolute action - where contemplation considers rejecting itself, the man neither strives like a beast, nor strives to continually contemplate - he is neither beast nor contemplative man. Well, it was fun to type! Don't look at me too weird! :) If you like the books you must like an occasional wild tangent at the very least :) view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 17 Aug 2008, 05:08 by Cironian, Peralogue

But could not one argue that good does not exist either? Technically, one could say that Good and Evil are BOTH abstracts. This makes sense, as contemplative man seems to be the only species who views these "two forces" (as far as contemplative man knows). Man contemplates his doom, yes, but also his salvation. Beasts, as you say, leave to Fate what becomes of them, not having belief in good [i:3326ip1l]or[/i:3326ip1l] evil. This is because [b:3326ip1l]one could say that Good and Evil do not exist[/b:3326ip1l], and are merely an invention of contemplative man. (About Callan S.'s concepts around extinction, it is "doom to a species," yes, but cannot necessarily be considered "evil". Perhaps the species needed to become extinct for another to thrive? Or perhaps, as the human race may eventually learn, extinction can simply be consequential.) Referring to what Chirios said earlier, that man defines is what seperates man from beast, man attemted the definition of the universe's effect on themselves (Fate). Mankind also seeks balance and order, so it assumed the existence of good and evil, two [i:3326ip1l]seperate[/i:3326ip1l] forces that oppose one another. But see, exticntion and salvation are not good or evil, they just simply ARE. Beast may never have thought of good and evil, simply that what is to come is to decide what is to come of beast (with animal striving, willing the pull of fate so as it might not give beast its own doom). So really, one might say that good and evil both are increbibly abstract, devices born by man's need for explanation. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 17 Aug 2008, 10:08 by jub, Peralogue

Need for govern; order. A way to control desire, lust, imagination, dreams. You could say that for the existence of man until this moment the concepts of Good and Evil were a necessary invention. We supposedly have free will and therefore certain parameters are needed to govern acts beneficial and unbeneficial to a race subconsciously and unconsciously fighting for survival. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 18 Aug 2008, 04:08 by Cironian, Peralogue

Indeed, but why are these inventions unnecessary as of the present? What is so different about the minds of men now that makes redundant the machinations of good and evil? I believe that the majority of humanity is now and has always had a need to name and categorize things into the opposites of good and evil. However, I believe there have always been a relative few who have not taken up this concept, accepting the effects and others in the world as simply what IS, and not as "good" or "evil". Good and evil are not altogether [i:r01wnlmw]necessary[/i:r01wnlmw] applications, but they have worked themselves into the human conciousness en masse, because of natural human necessity to define, control, explain, order, etc. It's possible that this contemplation could be considered unnatural, really; beasts tend not to contemplate the workings of existence, only the preservation of it. It's quite likely that some may have always seen what is as exactly that. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 18 Aug 2008, 21:08 by Chirios, Candidate

[quote="Cironian":17kv3lt1]Indeed, but why are these inventions unnecessary as of the present? What is so different about the minds of men now that makes redundant the machinations of good and evil? I believe that the majority of humanity is now and has always had a need to name and categorize things into the opposites of good and evil. However, I believe there have always been a relative few who have not taken up this concept, accepting the effects and others in the world as simply what IS, and not as "good" or "evil". [/quote:17kv3lt1] Because good and evil can only be defined by one another. Because any act can be deemed good if you sufficiently twist the meaning of what is evil. This is how actions that harm or damage countries, civilisations, entire peoples, come about. So, if we want to stop this, we must d away with the concept of good and evil, we must think in terms of what "is" not as "good" or "evil". view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 20 Aug 2008, 03:08 by Cironian, Peralogue

Agreed. Someone could even deem something good or evil by saying it isn't [i:2ll04gqt]particularly[/i:2ll04gqt] its opposite. (eg. "It's not [i:2ll04gqt]really[/i:2ll04gqt] evil, so it MUST be good!") Higher Power really can do away with evil, in a sense. Both evil and good are merely notions, and the Higher Power over notion is the mind. When the mind tries to banish one notion (usually evil), the other is banished (i.e. good) simultaneously, and the mind can see the way the universe really exists, the lack in category of it all. We don't need to seperate actions from each other by means of notion, but most do so by human instinct, that need for order and definition. For the entire species to erase these notions would be spectacular indeed. view post


Re: The problem of evil posted 20 Mar 2009, 12:03 by avatar_of_existence, Peralogue

First, a response to the originator of this fascinating thread: most Christians believe that God tests us with the presence of Evil. He doesn't create it, or anything like that, but we left the garden of Eden because we were given [i:lh9d3qa5]choice[/i:lh9d3qa5], and that decides where our souls rest in the afterlife. He does love us and care for us so he let's us decide where we want to go and what we want to do. It's [i:lh9d3qa5]because[/i:lh9d3qa5] he loves us that he allows us to do evil, and he doesn't punish us necessarily, he merely tells us beforehand what will happen if you do certain things (kill, steal, lie, eat shellfish, etc). It's cause and effect. Would you take away your child's ability to make independent decisions because you love him? Even if though you know his actions might lead him away from you forever? If you loved him, truly loved him, then I would think not. By allowing evil in the world he unleashes our true potential, and our ability to redeem ourselves. It is scripture that anyone can be saved, if they only accept Jesus Christ (or Khellus if you live in Earwa like me!). I would imagine God suffers the same as those in hell, for it is not what he wants. This argument deals with the theological problem or reconciling a loving God with the presence of evil and (much more alarming) the possibility of eternal torment. It doesn't deal with what people themselves make of good and evil, which seems to me to be tools of control and little more. You need only call something good or evil to make it so. God's position becomes monumentally more difficult to defend when you bring hell into the picture. To suffer for all eternity, now how do you explain [i:lh9d3qa5]that[/i:lh9d3qa5]! I think hell is supposed to be the absence of God, or love in my case. And yes, the absence of love is suffering. Pretty sure the whole fire and brimstone thing is more evidence of humans making tools of control out of good and evil. But hell as the absence of God's love makes sense to me, and kind of makes sense biblically as well. He just wants to love you, but to do that you must love him. It helps to think of him like a parent in this scenario. I'm not a christian personally but I do love Jesus (the idea, the man, the whole thing). I tried going to church but the hymns freaked me out something bad, and when it comes down to it I'm a born skeptic, I simply can't make-believe in God. I love the idea of love, and many people believe that God is almost nothing else. I hope you find what you're looking for Cironian. view post


  •  

The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.