Sunday, February 12, 2012

Was Creation Wroth the Pain? Theodicy Strikes Again

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this is a post by "lance" on CARM



Atrocities are states of affairs, obtained by the intentions of free moral agents, which are so evil that they undoubtedly outweigh the moral worth of the freedom they are preformed in. Due to the severity of evil resulting from these actions, one would be morally obligated to violate on the guilty party's freedom, and ensure their intentions do not obtain.

(1) If one is aware of an intended atrocity and one is capable of stopping it, one is morally obligated to stop it
(2) God was aware of intentions to commit atrocities and God is capable of stopping them, God is morally obligated to stop them
(3) Atrocities obtain
(4) Therefore, God has failed in moral obligation

Foreseeable objections and responses:

Atrocities do not obtain: To say that atrocities do not obtain is to say that if someone were to turn a blind eye to an intended murder or rape and allow it to happen they would not be doing anything wrong. I think it's blatantly obvious that this is incorrect.

I reject moral realism: I'm not interested in arguing over moral realism here.

Morality is relative to persons, what's good for you is not good for someone else: Moral relativism is another thing I'm not interested in arguing over. I work off the assumption that for any two arbitrary moral agents, if one has a particular moral obligation so would the other given the same situation.

If God did not allow atrocities there would be no higher order goods: Not every evil is an atrocity and such evils could still be defeated which would result in a higher order good. So there really is no problem with that here. To continue on with this train of thought for a bit, though, it is highly unintuitive that higher order goods would be worth it. Lets take the case of a murder; is the good of justice worth murder or rape? If that were the case it would be a good thing to murder if the murderer was brought to justice. But this just isn't the case, justice is a 'patch up' or a fix to the problem, appending justice to murder does not result in a valuable state of affairs.

If God magically stopped an attempted atrocity or created a solution ex niliho it would make our world unreliable, or would make his presence too obvious when he wants us to search for him: God is all powerful, he is fully capable of seamlessly interfering with attempted atrocities in such a way that we wouldn't even notice.



none of the alternate choices given really fits my view. I would say of course free will is necessary to have a moral universe and to love. To allow free will God must allow the choices one makes for evil. Allowing that choice opens the door to atrocities.

Moreover, finding truth must take the form of a search due to the fact that the search causes one to internalize the values of the good. That is essential for moral universe that free moral agents must internalize the values in order to seek the good.

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here's why I reject the choices you present.

Atrocities are states of affairs, obtained by the intentions of free moral agents, which are so evil that they undoubtedly outweigh the moral worth of the freedom they are preformed in. Due to the severity of evil resulting from these actions, one would be morally obligated to violate on the guilty party's freedom, and ensure their intentions do not obtain.
I don't think you can what outweighs. that's what God ahs to say. the variables are too complex for us. The choice is not the free will of those involved in an atrocity vs. the outcome but all free as a potential loss against any atrocity. I mean by that we must assume we really asking "why did God create at all?" The implication being that the nature of evil rules out the value of creation as a whole. I don't think any humans are qualified to say that.

these are a series of Lance's observations that I am refitting:


(1) If one is aware of an intended atrocity and one is capable of stopping it, one is morally obligated to stop it


Not necessary. We don't have an obligation to though our lives away on a hopeless task. God has no obligation to abandon the creation of all creation to avoid one atrocity.

(2) God was aware of intentions to commit atrocities and God is capable of stopping them, God is morally obligated to stop them
the upshot is no creation. we are not qualified to say this.


(3) Atrocities obtain
(4) Therefore, God has failed in moral obligation
false conclusion becasue we are not qualified to say if creation was worth but God is. Don't forget that love is at steak too. No free will means no love.

If God did not allow atrocities there would be no higher order goods: Not every evil is an atrocity and such evils could still be defeated which would result in a higher order good. So there really is no problem with that here. To continue on with this train of thought for a bit, though, it is highly unintuitive that higher order goods would be worth it. Lets take the case of a murder; is the good of justice worth murder or rape? If that were the case it would be a good thing to murder if the murderer was brought to justice. But this just isn't the case, justice is a 'patch up' or a fix to the problem, appending justice to murder does not result in a valuable state of affairs.
I'm not really saying has to be evil to have a higher order of good. I'm just saying there's more value in terms of even human happiness in creation with endurance of the evil than there would be in creation, or a creation with no free will. No love, no morals, no achievement; always winter and never christmas.

If God magically stopped an attempted atrocity or created a solution ex niliho it would make our world unreliable, or would make his presence too obvious when he wants us to search for him: God is all powerful, he is fully capable of seamlessly interfering with attempted atrocities in such a way that we wouldn't even notice.

my argument has nothing to do with reliability. The making him to obvious arguemnt you misunderstand. If every time any danger threatened a miracle happened to stop it there would be no need to search to learn the truth because the truth would be obvious. If that were the case no one would internalize the values. Its not a matter of reliability or higher degrees of good it's just a simple matter of internalizing values of the good.


The problem with your argument is the variables are too complex and interrelated for us humans to draw conclusions judging the value of free will. We do not have the brains or the right to say "it's not worth it to have creation."

It's a matter of faith in god that we must trust that he does and he would not have created unless the judgment warranted that it was worth. Ergo it must be wroth it.

you can't weigh just the agents involved in terms of a specific atrocity it's atrocious as a whole vs. everything else. Free will effects everything in life.

the consequences of no free will would be no moral universe, no joy, no place, no freedom no love.

yes love requires free will. Love is not in a vacuum it's not just feeling giddy the presence of the other. its' the will to the good of the other. You can't will the good of the other and not have freewill to will it and you can't will the good of the other if the other has no choice in loving you back.

Lance
I don't really see the point you're trying to make, which premise does this make false?


The whole argument really:because what could god do differently to avoid the issue? only one of two things:either not creation or not create free will. Both are bad choices. thus creation is wroth it.

the consequences of no free will would be no moral universe, no joy, no place, no freedom no love.

yes love requires free will. Love is not in a vacuum it's not just feeling giddy the presence of the other. its' the will to the good of the other. You can't will the good of the other and not have freewill to will it and you can't will the good of the other if the other has no choice in loving you back.

Lance:
I think Fat Joe and Ashanti said it best when they sang; What's love? Got to do, got to do with it babe.


everything.

the only reason god created us with the ability to understand that atrocities are bad is because he made it possible for us to value the good. Love is the basis of the good. If atrocities outweigh the value of love the very concept of the good is self defeating. and hence no reason to even create anything.

2 comments:

Weekend Fisher said...

Hey Meta

Always good to see you.

I wanted to suggest another thought for your friend's original argument. He argues that someone is morally obligated to prevent an atrocity if possible. But he doesn't allow that God is capable of reversing the atrocity, and its damage, and its devastation, and its meaning. That is to say, the human obligation to act in time before doesn't apply to someone who can also make it whole after.

I also wonder sometimes -- just pondering -- how much it's a factor that what God would have to do to prevent certain things might be worse than the things themselves, which is why he chooses the solution of fixing them after the fact. Jesus hints that's the case when he's talking about the weeds and the wheat: if you pull up the weeds, it pulls up the wheat with it.

Anyway, good luck with your atheist friends. You're so patient it always amazes me.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Metacrock said...

Very interesting answer Fisher. future theology, another first for Metacrock's Blog (apologies to Jurgen Moltmann). ;-)