Monday, November 3, 2008

3-O God and Existence of Evil

I noticed something I believe Matt said right before the end of class today that we didn't get a chance to expand upon, and I believe might have supported the general argument we were debating. Taking for granted that a 3-O god is a creator god, wouldn't it necessarily follow that the creation of evil had to have come from this god? In which case, it seems to me that this would completely negate the omnibenevolent claim. And if we argue that evil is not created by this god, but either has always existed or was created by some other force, wouldn't this negate the omnipotent claim? Basically, this evidence seems to reiterate our stated argument that "Since evil exists... no 3-O god can exist."


Lauren Stapleton said...

I agree that the problem of evil seems to be strong argument against a 3-O god. Rowe’s idea that a 3-O god would allow some suffering as long it was for the greater good seems to contradict the whole premise of the 3-0 god. If this god does possess the 3-O’s, then why not use these abilities to their fullest extent and eliminate pain and suffering? Most of the class including myself voted that we would find a utopian afterlife that follows a life that had trials and suffering more satisfying rather than one that was merely bestowed upon us. However the argument could be made that god (going with the assumption that there is an omnipotent god) who’s will is to have us live in an evil free existence, would make us oblivious to the possibility of evil, and we would find an ideal afterlife existence perfectly acceptable if not the only choice. To me, if there was a god, and this possibility could exist and yet he chose to create a world with evil, I would hardly find the reasoning behind it beside the point that we may appreciate the afterlife better.

Cash said...

I think Rowe's argument isn't as strong as it seems. One thing i've gathered over time is that we don't know everything that is going on in the world. Now I know I am taking a standpoint in which I suggest that God exists, but I think that this argument is fairly acceptable. Rowe contends in his second premise that "some suffering could be prevented without losing a greater good or permitting equal or worse evil". From a christian standpoint I would say that we dont know this, nor could we ever. In his second letter to the church of Corinth, Paul writes:

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:18

this verse suggests that there are things that go on in this world that are "unseen" that we cannot and will never know about. I think that by saying some suffering could be prevented without losing the greater good, Rowe takes a very arrogant standpoint in which he suggests he knows every consequence of suffering and fully understands the relationships between events that occur in this world.

I believe that the second premise is insufficient and negates rowe's argument.

although, i could be wrong

ejmcneeley said...

I think Jeff that you are on to something. Evil was or was not created. Being 'created' and being 'allowed' are two similar things, both with issues. If God did not create evil, something greater exists/existed that God that created evil. I don't really see any other way around this. Everything must be under the term 'creation' if a 3-0 God exists. The same goes for God allowing evil (but not creating it). Or, God created evil and allows it for whatever reasons. So a 3-0 God could not be possible. I do not think redefining evil as suffering or using a different word would solve this promlem. Using 'suffering' seems to me to make the topic go off track. Suffering seems like something humans do and cause where as evil is more outside our cause/effect. Evil exists, and people suffer. Saying "God allows suffering..." makes room for growth and lessons to be learned. "God created evil..." does not have the same ring. I do not like the idea of throwing ones hands up in the air and admitting "its a mystery" as a way to solve something like this for where does that stop? Everything could be coined "a mystery" and nothing would need to be explained.

pamela1103 said...

I think that the problem of evil is one the most problematic things for people to accept when it comes to believing in a 3-O God. It is difficult for me at times to accept that their can be a 3-O God and evil in the same world, but I have taken the stance that there are so many things in life that I do not understand the meaning or purpose of. I agree that it is difficult to accept Rowe's idea that suffering is allowed as long as a greater good comes from it, but I feel that there are so many other strong indications that a God does exist. I do not understand the purpose of why God would have created evil in the world, but I don't think it was God's purpose for humans to understand everything that he does.