THH wrote:otseng wrote:THH wrote: If happiness is good, then your omnibenevolent God must answer as to why he does not provide it on a continual basis.
I throw the question back at you, why must God provide happiness on a continual basis?
What “good” is he otherwise?
I do not equate “good” with “happiness”. Just because something is good, it will not necessarily make you happy. Or even if something makes you happy, it is not necessarily good.
But if you had the power to wiggle your nose, and poof, your kids could be happy the rest of their lives, would you not use it?
No, just making them happy all the time would produce spoiled brats. Further, I do not believe that happiness is the highest thing to seek for in this world. (And I don’t believe the Bible says so either.) So, no, if I had the power, I would not use it.
I’d like to get back to defining “evil”. … “Evil is an intent or action of a free agent that violates the wishes of another free agent.”
Don’t like it. Too many exceptions.
Thinking about it more myself, I can see other exceptions to the definition I offered. But more thoughts on defining evil below.
Evil: An act is evil if it can reasonably be expected by the actor to cause unnecessary pain. An intent is evil if actualizing it would knowingly result in an evil act. Note that this definition embraces evil acts against one’s self, such as becoming addicted to harmful drugs. No second agent is necessary. Note also that “failing to act” is itself an act, for this purpose. So God’s failing to prevent the tsunami, if it was within his power to do so, qualifies as an evil act.
Pain would be a component of evil, but I’m wondering how to classify something as “unnecessary”. Suppose a boyfriend and girlfriend have a major quarrel. The BF calls it quits and breaks up the relationship. The GF is deeply hurt and can’t let him go. The GF sees the breakup as unnecessary pain. Did the BF commit evil?
So far, here are some more components of what would make something evil:
– Violation of freewill
– Unconstructive/destructive purpose
I’m sure there are other things to refine the description of evil, but hopefully we’re getting closer.
Let me also go over the two positions on the PoE that I see.
First is my argument, that if God has done nothing to address evil, then the PoE argument is valid and that God cannot be ultipotent and omni(ulti)benevolent. It seems my argument here stands since nobody has challenged this. And as I’ve explained with the illustration with me being ultipotent on this forum, it is not necessary for God to stop all evil for him to be ultipotent.
The second point I think is where most atheists seem to want to argue. That is God must stop/prevent all evil from ever occurring. And I do not believe it is possible to do this (at least in this world). Primarily because it would require violating freewills to do this. I do not believe it is possible to have good or evil without freewill. If there is no free choice, then things are just neutral. So, if evil exist, then freewill must exist. If freewill is to exist, then stopping all evil cannot exist, otherwise freewill would not exist. So, stopping all evil would not be a logical possibility.
THH, you bring up the point that in heaven, evil would not exist. Does that mean that people in heaven will not have any freewill? I do not think so. People would’ve already demonstrated they have freewill while they were on earth. They freely chose to do evil or good while on earth. In heaven, they would always choose to do good.