Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Alanyzer: The Problem of Evil Is a Problem for Everyone

Alanyzer: The Problem of Evil Is a Problem for Everyone

Alan Rhoda has an interesting discussion on the problem of evil that parallels some arguments made here. He's even debating some of the usual suspects.


exapologist said...

Thanks for that link. Although I never quite make it to atheism, I see in Alan's post this curious link between atheism and some reductionistic kind of materialism that apologists often link together. So there's this sort of implicit conditional:

If atheism is true, then reductive materialism is true.

Or some similar claim lurking in its neighborhood. Does this seem right? If so, then I wonder what sort of reason one might offer on its behalf. I assume it wouldn't be something to the effect that it would be weird if there were necessary truths if the God of classical theism didn't exist.

It seems to me that the atheist is only commited to something along the following lines:

Whatever turns out to be on the catalogue of things there are, a theistic god isn't in it.

But this sort of claim is compatible with lots of things that go beyond reductionistic accounts of materialism. In fact, it's totally compatible with the view that, e.g., there are necessary truths (including necessary moral truths).

Nick said...

This reminds me of a quote by C.S. Lewis:

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too - for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist - in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless - I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality - namely my idea of justice - was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know if it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning."

Anonymous said...

'argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust'

Not unjust.

It would be more accurate to say 'Nature is neither kind nor cruel but indifferent.'