- Evil is an illusion - what we perceive to be evil is not really evil.
This argument usually posits that what we see as evil is not actually evil because bad things can have good long-term effects and because natural evils like hurricanes and disease are not connected to nefarious intentions. This argument really doesn’t work for suffering. Suffering does not have to have intentions. It doesn’t matter if suffering has good long-term effects. It's still suffering, so this argument has no impact on my proofs.
Perhaps the reader wishes to pursue the stance that all suffering really is an illusion. Perhaps our entire lives are no more than illusions. Nonetheless, the idea that Phil or Judy would deceive us into believing we are suffering is still inconsistent with the notion of omnibenevolence.
- God cannot be judged because God is infinitely wiser/more complex than us.
A lowly being like myself can think of a way for an Abrahamic god like Judy to achieve what it wants without the use of any suffering (Proof II part 3). Thus, I find it ridiculous to believe that a such a god would have a goal that it, in its infinite wisdom, cannot achieve without the use of Holocaust-scale suffering.
- Suffering for the greater good
This is basically the same as the previous. What could a god possibly want that it can’t get without Holocaust-scale suffering? Such an idea is inconsistent with an omniscient, omnipotent god.
- Evil exists to test humanity
Judy/Phil already know what we will do, so testing is unnecessary.
- Free will
The system constructed in Proof II part 3 circumvents the need for free will to create suffering. Even with free will, Judy already knows what people will do, what they will choose, etc., and who would go to heaven if they were to live on Earth. Thus, she creates the heaven-bound souls in heaven. Funny how free will doesn’t create suffering in heaven…
- Suffering for the purpose of building character
Phil/Judy can create souls with built-in character, making character-building suffering unnecessary.
- Evil is the lack of God’s compassion
If there is ever a lack of Phil/Judy’s compassion, it is because Phil/Judy wanted it to be so. Thus, by removing its compassion, Phil/Judy is still responsible all evil in the world. Thus, Phil/Judy is responsible for suffering.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
The proofs in the previous post assert that Phil and Judy should not exist if there is suffering in the world. This argument is similar to the philosophical Problem of Evil. The distinction is that evil is usually linked to some sort of intention, whereas suffering - physical, mental and emotional pain - has no such link. Reading Daggerclaw’s comments, it is apparent that a more direct discussion of the Problem of Evil, or in this case, suffering, is in order. I’m addressing the usual justifications for evil, but as justifications for suffering, and in the context of the existence of Phil or Judy.