Icons of atheism
adespotos_skylos: just for the sake of the argument, We can attribute to god as the ultimate immoral being, he set the standards!
cormackytyrone: not if evil is simply seen as a privation, because God being all He is shows no signs of that same privation. He’s the standard bearer by which humans ground objective "good" and He displays that same goodness in the form of moral commands.
adespotos_skylos: nothing imperfect can come out of something perfect, god cannot blame humans for not acting as he likes since he could predict the outcome since the beginning. If the plan didn't go as he planned, who's to blame? By drowning everyone and then puts a rainbow as a reminder is something only a human can come-up with.
echa.pm: "Nothing imperfect can come out of something perfect" That’s a gratuitous claim. Can you prove it? God cannot blame humans for not acting as he likes since he could predict the outcome since the beginning. God gave us the faculty to know basic right and wrong and to choose freely. The good is everything that conforms to His character, and which will bring the best outcome for His creatures. Evil is when we freely and stupidly (most times) depart ourselves from that good. We are to blame for that, not God. The amazing thing is that only the Christian God brings in Jesus salvation and forgiveness to us for our crimes before Him, so that we can be reconciled to Him.
adespotos_skylos: so god isn't perfected because he created faulty humans? Gods perfection is undisputable according to religion. Not my claim. He gave us the choice, well he could definitely give the choice to pick between several good options instead. how can a compassionate god created a universe destined to imperfection in which many of us are doomed? How an omniscient god is possible when he asks for something that he all ready made his mind about it?
cormackytyrone: I actually agree with you that evil things can’t just pop out of God, for example Genesis teaches Gods initial act of creation was "good" in some sense of the word. God wasn’t displeased by His handiwork. Still that doesn’t mean something good made by God couldn’t later choose to disobey Him and become sinful. Explaining what you mean by "faulty" would help. The church fathers writing 300 years before Augustine argued along the same lines, that people can go bad by free choice, but free choice itself isn’t good or bad, rather it’s necessary for fostering a certain kind of genuine relationship.
They taught humans being good by necessity weren’t truly good because it’s not like they can act otherwise. Lambs for example aren’t restraining themselves from an inner act of violence in any way, shape or form, for which we don’t praise them for not savaging us. They’re simply harmless as is. Humans and God are described differently however. We are agents, and with regards to choice our actions are self generated.
You’ve written very briefly on God knowing the end from the beginning, and that’s to argue in favour of a deterministic god, but that’s not an idea that Christians affirm. Again I’ll do my best to save space here and you can chase down the info if you’re interested, but arguing because God knew the end from the beginning that He’s caused the events is known as a "model fallacy." I’ll try and explain it very briefly but it’s really abstract and technical. Just as an example, me knowing the boiling point of water doesn’t mean every boiled kettle has already been decided. Knowing something for certain doesn’t land us in predetermination.
To reiterate though because I think this point is important, Calvinists are hard determinists, but your garden variety general population Christian doesn’t buy into that.
echa.pm: Yes, God’s perfection is indisputable according to theism. From that it doesn’t follow that "therefore, creation and humans must be perfect." And Tyrone has given you a good answer that may start to clear up the topic about evil, human freedom and God’s sovereignty.
cormackytyrone: Thank you @echa.pm Having exchanged messages with @adespotos_skylos before I’m sure they’ll see there’s a lot of joined up thinking going on by Christians. Evil isn’t really a "thing" in the same way goodness is. Evil is the lack of a thing, a "privation" as I wrote earlier. Think of it loosely like a computer glitch.
The glitch isn’t real in the same way that computer code is real, rather a glitch is an unintended break in the regular codes structure. Christians can explain evil. Christians can condemn evil. Atheists can’t, not the the objective sense of the word, so for every evil they do condemn they’re only lifting high the standard of Gods goodness. Evil proves the existence of an ultimate and opposing good, but evil doesn’t prove atheism.
adespotos_skylos: evil isn't a thing? A simple glitch in the system you say, systems always depend on the designers ability to make a good, bad or perfect programing, your designer clearly failed on this one for sure. Evil according to the bible is pretty real as god himself created it, isaiah 45:7 when god created the universe he set the things the way he wanted, it makes no sense then to condemn people who fall out of his plan.
God directly orders killing, rape and other atrocities but somehow is the moral standard to compare against, anything that deteriorates the value of human beings isn't moral, the question is whether it is good and just because god wills it or whether god wills it because it is good and just? Atheisms purpose isn't to prove evil, atheism is not accepting the idea an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent god/s created the universe
cormackytyrone: if you read a more accurate translation you’ll note that "evil" in Isaiah 45:7 actually means something akin to calamity. So disaster, calamity, affliction, you can choose the synonym. The glitch analogy is just that, it’s not a like for like. Glitches are real but not real in the same way that code is real. You read those things before though, it’s a privation. So you’re at this point going into the euthyphro dilemma, which I’ve gone over with our friend @asmanytruethings You can read those replies here.
adespotos_skylos: created is the key word calamity, famine, evil, isn't a glitch, it's created. And he still ordered evil so a translation "glitch" doesn't save the argument. which accurate translation you mean? There are hundreds of "accurate" translations out there.
cormackytyrone: "Evil is pretty real as God himself created it," But your problem is that evil isn’t the word, God has created everything, the sea, clouds, organs, but the original text doesn’t say God created "evil," it says God creates calamity for the wicked. The King James Version misled you here because it wrongly says evil. You wrote "Created is the key word," but created doesn’t advance any argument and is a retreat from your actual argument, which was a dud.
In short, God didn’t create evil. God "permits" evil, He doesn’t command evil. You can’t see @asmanytruethings in the comments? If you find his original comment you’ll see where I explain that the dilemma is a pair of false alternative which aren’t exhaustive. So it’s a false dilemma in short. A more modern translation. We make breakthroughs in Hebrew and Greek words and word constructions as more manuscripts are found. The King James unfortunate use of the word "evil" in Isaiah is one of those times were the translators just got it wrong. Even reading in context in the KJV we can see how "evil" isn’t the opposite of "peace." That’s all in the same verse.
adespotos_skylos: god created everything, as he planed, creates evil, you say is a translation issue and it not evil it's something else like darkness. But if god created everything how in this case evil just jumps out on nothing to mess gods plans? That's why i say created is the key word. Nothing comes out of nothing is it? How the privation of evil suddenly become an issue out of nowhere? I went through the posts by clicking on the @ you tagged but cannot see any replies from you just where you @ me.
cormackytyrone: Exactly, maybe the difference in the original Isaiah is "distress" or unrest so it accurately contrasts peace. So the earlier verse says God created "darkness" and "light," opposites. There’s then "peace," but the opposite of peace isn’t evil. Anyway to move ahead. God created everything, that’s true. So is evil part of every "thing."
Evil isn’t a thing in the same way goodness is, rather evil is the absence of a thing. Evil is the absence of good. Table, chair, you, me, we’re things created by God, evil is simply an absence of a good thing in people. If you disobey God for example, that’s sinful, that’s evil, although you haven’t "created" anything, you’re just in a disobedience stance against God’s commands. You’re free to do those things. You have God given freedom.
It's not "the privation of evil" my friend. Evil is a privation. Those are two very different things. This hasn’t come out of nowhere, it’s been in our conversation for 3 days already.
― Tyrone Cormack