Steven: Are we going to see numbered premises for the argument from reason any time soon?
Re-read chapters 3 and 4 of my book for several numbered-premise arguments from reason. Comments like these reinforce the suspicion that you don't know how to read.
1) God, by definition, is omni-benevolent.
2) An omni-benevelont being, by definition, does all possible acts of benevolence in its power to do
3) Not all acts of benevolence are done.
4) Therefore, there is no omni-benevlent God.
No, an omnibenevolent being does not do all possible acts of benevolence in its power to do. Some acts of benevolence do harm to the world as a whole. For example, it would be a benevolent act, but not a beneficial act, to give a serial killer money to help him leave town unnoticed.
John Loftus wrote: My mother could be able to do this by merely eliminating the whole predator/prey relationship among her creatures. She would additionally make all of her creatures vegetarians and she would then reduce the mating cycles and sex urges of her creatures so that there is plenty of vegetation to go around.
Would she do that? Do you know all the effects that such a different world would include, including the outcome of all the free choices that have been made, and will be made, in this world, compared to all the free choices that have been made in your "veggie world?" Could an adequate ecosystem exist under those circumstances? Unless you have become omniscient, John, you can't possible know that. And if you were omniscient, then we have at least established that an omniscient being exists.
My mother could do better if she was omnipotent!
How do you know that, taking everything into consideration that God must take into consideration in creating a world, she could do better.
Hallq: I'm surprised you need to write a post to get this question answered. It's like writing a blog post to ask someone to explain the cosmological argument, or the problem of induction. My initial thought was to recommend you seek out a philosophy 101 text book.
There are numerous formulations of the argument from evil, some logical, some evidential, some probabilistic. There's Rowe's version, and there's Draper's. Are you claiming that we know all the premises to be true for sure, or that we think they they are only probably true. You need more than a PHI 101 textbook to make those choices.
John again: Vic, I actually think you're right here. What is there in the Bible, and not merely a philosophically defined "greatest conceivable being" that requires an omnibenevolent being? I do not believe the Bible requires that of her God.
But then you run into a different problem, don't you? Doesn't the Biblical God seem more like an ancient potentate then what God can be conceived to be?
I am taking God to be the being who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosover believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Doesn't sound like an ancient potentate to me. But does that being have to create the best of all possible worlds, or at least the best possible world in his power to create. Maybe he does, but this is typically assumed without argument, and I am asking for the argument.
Blue Devil Knight: Similarly, but tangentially, shouldn't there be a lot more miracles if the Christian God existed?
And for each one that is performed we can always ask for one more. Maybe there is not best of all possible worlds.