Talk:Problem of evil/Archive2

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Free will theodicy section[edit]

In response to this recent edit. I've reverted it for now. Let's talk about it here.

You seem to be chalking up just about anything to free will.

Yes. I tend to think cause and effect plays a large roll in the problem of evil and suffering.Tarnold777 (talk) 18:38, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

No, disease is not caused by free will in the majority of cases. Congenital diseases might be able to be blamed on the parents who decided to make a kid (whether or not they knew this would cause congenital defects is another story), but certainly the kid isn't at fault.

Never meant to claim that disease is caused by free will, only that human induction depends on an action of human will. We ingest contagions intentionally and accidentally. People choose to smoke or drink heavily, inviting emphysema, lung cancer, sclerosis of the liver, etc. Others choose to handle insecticides and asbestos materials unprotected. I didn't intend to affix blame for extending congenital defects. People are often oblivious to the genetic risks they take when they make babies. But that doesn't necessarily remove responsibility to assess any possible risk. This is precisely why marriage licenses request paternal blood screens. Of COURSE it isn't the kid's fault. I wouldn't even fault the parent(s) unless they were aware of the risk and pushed ahead anyway.Tarnold777 (talk) 18:38, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Regardless of what we are aware of, there are laws in play. Almost any court will rule that ignorance of the law is not an excuse And who put these "laws" into place in the first place? And why can't this supreme being just change them? Why not just get rid of malaria? I don't see how that would impinge on anyone's free will.

I was trying to keep the topic in the context of man's responsibility for disease, not God's. Introducing deity begs the question of "Which Deity?", thus opening up another can of worms. For instance, Judeo-Christian texts cite that all corruption (death, disease, pestilence, natural catastrophe) comes as a result of man's disobedience to God's order. However, citation of those texts will fall flat in front of another's religious belief system. The "laws in play" I was referring to are the corporeal laws of action and consequence congruent with human nature and human biology. According to my beliefs, God didn't "create" evil. Evil exists in the void of good, much like the Edmund Burke quote. Expunging Malaria is well within God's ability, but according to the Christian New Testament, all death came into being as a result of man's disobedience to God (Romans 5:12). If God just "got rid of Malria", he would be bound by precedent to get rid of all pestilence. It would also be retroactively controverting the free will action that led to the first human contraction of Malaria. Of course we don't see how it would impinge anyone's free will, but then, we aren't omniscient.

There's a myriad of other problems with your arguments, but those are just off the top of my head. Cow...Hammertime! 20:04, 23 February 2012 (UTC) Indented line

No commentTarnold777 (talk) 18:38, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Depends on what you count as "evil". If "evil" requires intent, then that point stands and free will is necessary for it. But that's a very restrictive version of what the "problem of evil" states. It would be better described as "the problem of suffering" or "the problem of shit happens". Scarlet A.pngnarchist 20:26, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Point well taken. In all honesty I didn't read any further than the free will theodicy section.
In my thinking there is intentional evil (i.e. murdering to take what isn't yours), and unintentional evil (i.e. forgetting to feed and water a pet resulting in its unsavory demise). In the first example, murder is an action of intent. In the second, forgetfulness is the void of doing any good. Actions and inaction cause the problem of suffering. "Shit happening" is also an action, itself. I find the problem of suffering inexorable to the problem of evil, and the problem of evil inexorable to the problem of wrong action. They are seemingly concurrent and a vicious circle.Tarnold777 (talk) 18:38, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

The argument for omniscience and free will being mutually exclusive is a) labeled incorrectly, and b) logically flawed. I cannot see any logical connection between the two universally. I would agree that in the same entity they probably don't exist (but then omniscience probably doesn't exist, so there you go) but just because you know how someone will react to stimulate doesn't mean they don't have a choice in that reaction. If I know that taking crap about someone's mom will push him into physical violence, he still CHOSE to punch me.Dallium (talk) 16:28, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Why does God allow bad things to happen[edit]

Think about all the wars in history, or the holocaust, or dictatorships like North Korea or the Soviet Union with labour camps where they work people to death, or the countries in Africa like Congo or Somalia or Sudan or Eritrea or Zimbabwe with all the violence and child soldiers and poverty and famine, or all the diseases like cancer, or all the terrosist attacks or murders or abortions or all the car accidents or plane crashes or earthquakes or hurricanes or floods or fires or anything else bad that has ever happened to anyone in history. Every time any of those things happened God was there, and God saw it happening, and God could have easily stopped it. Sometimes the people even asked God to help them, and yet God never did. Maybe God was too busy punishing homosexuals to notice people like Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Kim Il Sung or his son Kim Jong Il or Saddam Hussein or World War 1 or World War 2 or the Holocaust or the Rape of Nanking or the prisons in North Korea (or the fact that just living in North Korea to begin with is already like a prison) or the POWs in Japan during World War 2 or all the Christians being persecuted FOR HIM or all the other bad things happening in the world. SORRY 15 MILLION JEWS IN THE HOLOCAUST OR 300000 CHINESE IN NANKING IM TOO BUSY PUNISHING HOMOSEXUALS RIGHT NOW TO SAVE YOU FROM A MASS GENOCIDE— Unsigned, by: CedricDoodlehopper / talk / contribs

That would be the crux of it, yes. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 17:59, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

If you saw somebody hurt and you could help them and they were asking you to help them would you just ignore them? Nobody in their right mind would do that. Yet God apparently just ignores everybody in the world asking for help from things only he could help them with. CedricDoodlehopper (talk) 19:54, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Of course this argument only works in respect of a "good" God - probably some variation of the multiple Christian versions of God. If you posit an evil God then there is no problem with such a God allowing evil acts.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:56, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
BUT... then why does the evil god allow good acts to happen? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 20:21, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Because evil can't exist without good. You gotta have ups to appreciate the downs. Nullahnung (talk) 20:24, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Surely such a thing is not beyond an omnipotent evil god. Scarlet A.pngbomination 20:28, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I one-up you with a non-omnipotent evil god! Or how about a duo of gods, one evil, one good, who are constantly struggling against each other to tip the scales in favour of good or evil, but never succeed. Nullahnung (talk) 20:32, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Good point about a evil God allowing good. I therefore posit an indifferent God.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:41, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Now you guys are just making up crap that makes even less sense than the Bible and Christianity. CedricDoodlehopper (talk) 19:08, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Sure, why not. Nullahnung (talk) 19:57, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I doubt that we have enough imagination.--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:10, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

"Problem of Hell"[edit]

A BON has added this "lower realms" argument:


Still others mention the contents of the lower realms:

  • A thorough scientific analysis of the ground beneath our feet has failed to find Hell.
  • Without Hell, there can be no Satan.
  • With God and without Satan, there can be no suffering.
  • However, suffering does happen.
  • Therefore, God does not exist either.


I somehow doubt this would convince anybody. Are there any significant religions which literally teach that Hell is underground? In any case this would be the "Problem of Hell" and not the "Problem of evil".--Coffee (talk) 17:01, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

I've already deleted it. It makes about as much sense as "Scientists have not found evidence of Heaven in the sky. Without Heaven there can be no God.". Nullahnung (talk) 17:11, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed.--Coffee (talk) 18:11, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Pandeism[edit]

Pandeism has been classed as a logical derivation of German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's proposition that ours was the best of all possible worlds. Lane, William C., January 2010, Leibniz's Best World Claim Restructured, American Philosophical Journal 47-1, pp 57–84. Lane contended that:

If divine becoming were complete, God's kenosis--God's self-emptying for the sake of love--would be total. In this pandeistic view, nothing of God would remain separate and apart from what God would become. Any separate divine existence would be inconsistent with God's unreserved participation in the lives and fortunes of the actualized phenomena."

Acknowledging that American religious philosopher William Rowe has raised "a powerful, evidential argument against ethical theism," Lane further contended that pandeism offers an escape from the evidential argument from evil:

However, it does not count against pandeism. In pandeism, God is no superintending, heavenly power, capable of hourly intervention into earthly affairs. No longer existing "above," God cannot intervene from above and cannot be blamed for failing to do so. Instead God bears all suffering, whether the fawn's or anyone else's. Even so, a skeptic might ask, "Why must there be so much suffering,? Why could not the world's design omit or modify the events that cause it?" In pandeism, the reason is clear: to remain unified, a world must convey information through transactions. Reliable conveyance requires relatively simple, uniform laws. Laws designed to skip around suffering-causing events or to alter their natural consequences (i.e., their consequences under simple laws) would need to be vastly complicated or (equivalently) to contain numerous exceptions.

— Unsigned, by: 166.137.244.115 / talk / contribs

So this replaces "won't act" with "Can't act"? Why not just go with the utterly indifferent deist God? Either way it moves the definition a long way from the biblical Christian God who was apparently quite happy to intervene in a rather heavy-handed way.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:57, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Mysterious Ways[edit]

This is regarding my changes to the Mysterious ways section Raising this with a broader audience and giving Nullahnung more room to explain his or her position. The Christian position (well, among certain Christians, I suppose) really centers on this concept of transformation. It's hardly scientific, but the argument looks at the suffering we face and examines those instances when something that was suffering ceases to have been been suffering. Supposedly, since something within this limitted universe can transform some of our minor' suffering (such as the heartache of a fight with your significant other) then an unlimitted being should be able to transform our major suffering.

  1. I think my text better conveys, emphasizes and underscores transformation and is thus a better representation of this particular argument. Thus, I think my text in the body should be used.
  2. There are certainly numerous issues that can be brought against assumptions this argument -- that suffering has a matter of scale; that there are no qualitative or quantitative differences between types of suffering which might prevent any transformation; etc. -- but since it uses something that actually occurs in real life, I believe that it can be critically analyzed. Thus, I don't think it is appropriate to claim it makes critical thinking blissfully redundant.
  3. I think my bit of snarkiness is much funnier (Not quite reductio ad absurdum, but similar) Thus, I think my postscript should be included.

Thoughts? --Bertrc (talk) 19:31, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Ok, let me address your edits in more detail:
1.) First of all, the "(including experiences of suffering)" bit in brackets is unnecessary, as that bit of info is woven into this sentence already by virtue of being read after the previous sentence which already mentions the experience of suffering in the same context.
2.) The next bit you edited included brackets, which is clumsy writing, and used uncommon words like 'earthly' and 'transformation' in place of easier-to-read-and-comprehend phrasings like 'everyday' and 'when viewed in perspective'. The only thing I would argue for keeping with that edit was replacing 'same' with 'similar', as that still conveys the meaning effectively, but more accurately.
3.) The previous version of the last bit was short and effective, whereas the new version is wordy to the point of losing effectiveness, failing to capture the critical comedic timing that the previous version succeeded in.
4.) That last bit is also more vulnerable to argument, as it is appealing to "anguish at loved ones passing away" from an "earthly" perspective. Someone who buys into the whole transformation thing would just tell you that death is sad from an earthly perspective, but death may not be such a sad thing anymore when you're conversing with your previously lost loved one in heaven, or some similar argument like that. Basically, all they need to do to brush off your reasoning is say that "you do not comprehend yet!!!1!". Hence, our response should be that this makes critical thinking blissfully redundant.
Thoughts? Nullahnung (talk) 19:51, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
1.) I would disagree. Tying the transformation back to suffering is crucial to understanding the apologist's point. That bit in parentheses underscores the connection.
2.) . . . Maybe my education was different. Can we get any other opinions on whether "earthly" and "transformation" are uncommon words? Additionally, since earlier in the section, we explicitly mention "Heaven", I think "earthly" is particularly appropriate.
3.) I guess everybody's sense of humor is personal and mine has often been criticized. Does anybody else have an opinion? I thought the previous postscript ("critically thinking is blissfully redundant") was merely snide, whereas mine playfully pointed out the extreme situation you could encounter.
4.) . . . The postscript I added was juxtaposing a cold clinical analysis of suffering against reality. It wasn't meant to be part of an argument. I guess, if you really wanted to argue with that postscript, you could try to argue that you should compare the suffering the parent is experiencing to some suffering that was transformed, after the fact. But that is all besides the point -- The post script I added wasn't an argument. It was just a bit of tongue in cheekiness. --Bertrc (talk) 20:22, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
1.) It may be crucial, but it's already implied by the previous sentence coming before and setting the scene for this particular sentence. The text is compacter and more effective this way as well as still holding all the crucial information.
2.) Ok, I should be more precise. They aren't uncommon words to me as such, but they are relatively... well... uncommon/stilted/more-taxing-to-the-reader than what was there before, which was short, effective and expressed in more "everyday" terms, which fits.
3/4.) That may have been all you wanted to point out with it, but it still reads like it's trying to make a point and argue with it. As such, the previous version made a more effective point in terms of an answer to people who buy into the transformation thing, namely that it diminishes critical thinking, which is a point not conveyed enough by the preceding material. Nullahnung (talk) 20:40, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Assume Judeo-Christian Morality[edit]

Why? αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 03:06, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Since we have to use some kind of moral system to define evil, I figured the one that the Judeo-Christian God is supposed to care about should provide that basis (the Judeo-Christian morality). I mainly did it to reduce the amount of unstated assumptions in the presentation of our logic. Nullahnung (talk) 03:10, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Because topic bias: we write about what we know.--Miekal 03:43, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
[statement moved to new section below]
My thoughts: remove statement, add to later section "Does Evil Exist?". Philosophically, logically proving evil exists is basically impossible, but proving thecontradiction between the existence of an OO entity and truth of most moral systems is not. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 04:06, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Uniqueness section[edit]

"The problem of evil is unusual in objections to religion in that many apologists accept that it is a persuasive and rational criticism of theism."

I know that a lot of apologists accept this, but they need not. If the starting point is (1) Assume Judeo-Christian morals, then there's a problem with (3) From definition: An omnibenevolent entity would remove all evil if it can. The biblical account plainly affirms that its omnibenevolent God makes no attempt to remove all evil; he merely chooses to restrict it in specific instances. A classic case can be found in Genesis 4, where God intervenes to prevent Cain from being murdered (verse 15), but does not intervene to prevent Cain from murdering Abel (verse 8). What's interesting is that even the most liberal scholarship dates Genesis and the rest of the Torah to sometime between the 800s and the 400s B.C.E. Epicurus however wasn't born until 341 B.C.E. So for generations before he came into the world, the ancient Jews had been passing down their teachings about a God who was omnibenevolent and who did not prevent the existence of evil. For generations, they had accepted this combination as the reality of who God was. Then along came Epicurus and his followers, insisting that such a combination was impossible. How did something both possible and real to the ancient Jews suddenly become impossible in the eyes of the Epicureans? The only explanation is that their concept of omnibenevolence differed from the ancient Jewish concept. Conclusion: (1) and (3) from the long form of the argument are contradictory, rendering the argument itself invalid. --Jdamley (talk) 21:52, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Well that was a long winded version of "not ALL conceptions of god!". Does anyone know if we have a page for this kind of quibble? If we don't, we need one. Brianpansky (talk) 01:28, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Also, the section said "many". That means not all. Even still, I can see your citation, and its description, are probably fine contributions. Brianpansky (talk) 01:33, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Apologies for the long-windedness; apparently my point got lost entirely. Please note the key conclusion here: The argument itself is simply invalid. As in a case of fallacious reasoning. Because (3) does not follow from (1); in fact, (1) contradicts (3). --Jdamley (talk) 21:49, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually I basically understood that to be your conclusion. The only thing I missed was that the particular long form of the logical contradiction version of the argument on our page assumes "Judeo-Christian morals" at the start. (Though my point, about there being uncountable concepts of what those morals are, remains until one correct version can be proven) As such your line of reasoning is potentially correct here, I assume your citation (to Amley, J. D.) attempts to back up the facts required. Brianpansky (talk) 01:52, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
But if there are in fact "uncountable concepts" of what exactly constitutes "Judeo-Christian morals," then the burden rests on the long form of the argument to identify the "correct version" -- or, at the least, it must identify the intended version. Otherwise the long form of the argument is invalid due to ambiguity in its first premise.--Jdamley (talk) 09:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I have removed the "assume Judeo-Christian morals" bit. Still, "good" and "evil" need to be defined at some point before considering the logical problem of evil, and that is only possible by first assuming a set of morals. Nullahnung (talk) 20:14, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Without a definition for "good" and "evil," there can be no clear definition of omnibenevolence -- which renders one of the premises ambiguous at best, and potentially false at the worst. My own solution to this problem was to define good and evil via "biblical" morals, along with defining which specific compilation of the Bible I was referring to. This eliminated the ambiguity, but unfortunately it also rendered the entire argument invalid due to a straw man fallacy. (Biblical morals do not require God to prevent the existence of evil; thus the argument ended up militating against the existence of a God who was not the God described in the Bible.) I don't see any way to justify the use of a different moral system -- say, that of Epicurus -- as a test of omnibenevolence for the biblical God. It would be like trying to enforce soccer rules in a football game, and calling a foul on any player who touched the ball with his hands. My conclusion: the Problem of Evil argument is hopelessly invalid, and its conclusion is therefore not compelling.--Jdamley (talk) 12:08, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Should omniscience be included?[edit]

I mean you now have an excuse of not knowing about the existence or whereabouts of the Evil you want to get rid of if omniscience is come into question. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 19:23, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

God's act of creation and act of judgement being the same and therefore making the 'problem of evil' a crank idea[edit]

God's act of creation and act of judgement being the same and therefore making the 'problem of evil' a crank idea

Hi I believe the page has just been unreasonably protected from pointing out that the problem of evil is a crank idea; are some of you guys biased or what? One of the main points of this web site is to expose the existence of crank ideas, so the problem of evil should be highlighted as one in its introduction. ha ha ha, bla bla bla

Why has the page being 'protected' from exposing the problem of evil as a crank idea? It is the opposite of protection; not allowing this exposure is an attack against the ethos of the RationalWiki website; mutiny! Treachery!

Together, John Joseph Haldane's Wittgenstinian-Thomistic account of concept formation[1] and Martin Heidegger's observation of temporality's thrown nature[2] imply that God's act of creation and God's act of judgment are the same act. God's condemnation of evil is subsequently believed to be executed and expressed in his created world; a judgement that is unstoppable due to God's all powerful will; a constant and eternal judgement that becomes announced and communicated to other people on Judgment Day. In this explanation, God's condemnation of evil is declared to be a good judgement. — Unsigned, by: 2.26.42.218 / talk / contribs

First, you keep putting an argument into the introduction. At least put it into a section in the arguments section.
Second, the "creation-judgement-same-action" idea is already in the article. If you wanna expand that section, that's fine. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 00:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Thirdly I'm a reasonably educated person and what you write just sounds like word salad. WTF does "temporality's thrown nature" actually mean? Why can't you express it in words that are comprehensible to the lay person? Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 11:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The BoN's last paragraph is directly copied from the Wikipedia article, hence the lack of context and the unlinked footnote numbers.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
And guess who added that paragraph to the Wikipedia article. (The same BoN.)--ZooGuard (talk) 12:59, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
It seems that thrownnessWikipedia is a thing. It also seems that disputants who consider themselves philosophers tend to speak in a special code, a compressed jargon that depends heavily on references to previous arguments, some of them centuries old. Can you say "courtier's reply"? I knew you could, and am so proud of you.
It can be difficult to distinguish between allusion-rich discourse and word salad. That former kind of discourse is suitable for a philosophically sophisticated audience, not the general run of RW readership. N.B. that "sophistication" may mean falsification or contamination.
I, for one, prefer plain language comprehensible to the lay person. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Here's the real secret: obscure jargon-like terms with incredibly specific meanings can be kosher to any discussion, but the thing that tends to separate "word salad" whose intent is to disguise a flimsy argument and extraordinary specificity tends to come in the form of introduction(and sometimes as you suggest, audience). Obscure concepts, when you're using them, should be introduced to the reader. If I used my own education background(computer science) and started throwing around statements about finite state machines modeling the universe, and how that means causality is real or something, I'd be guarding a flimsy argument with terminology I'm familiar with.
If I first introduced the notion, mentioning that a finite state machine being relevant because every input describes the next state of the machine perfectly, it might make it more clear I'm just regurgitating determinism. It's basically a question of intellectual honesty. Ikanreed (talk) 16:11, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
What I make up from the jargon-istic word salad: God simultaneously creates and judges (e.g. God lets there be light and judges it as 'good'), which might indicate that God creates stuff to explore the bounds of 'good' and 'evil/bad' (like a kid splashing paint at a wall and deciding "this looks nice" or "this looks stupid"). In addendum, perhaps the universe we observe is simply God's way of creating and contemplating concepts (whatever God thinks automatically manifests in reality). Anyway, this judgement apparently pervades all of reality and on Judgement Day it's to be made blatant to all in existence. God's judgement is, of course, inherently good etc. yadda yadda.
What seems pretty obvious here is that God's judgement isn't inherently moral from our point of view. Unless you consider light morally superior to darkness, for example. The bigger point, though, is that God doesn't need to take our concept of morality into account. If God exists as an eternal, immortal, infinite being, this means that our moral judgement is infinitesimal in relevance compared to God's judgement. And since God is supposedly gonna reward everyone that lives according to his commandments with eternal bliss, there is no problem of evil since finite suffering can never mathematically measure up to infinite happiness. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 00:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

My name in the page[edit]

Any idea why I'm being used as an example at the end of the Mysterious ways theodicy section? Mcc1789 (talk) 03:55, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

It's a Jedi mind trick. If you preview that part of the page in Edit mode, you'll see it has secret wizard code: "<span class="myName"><insert name here></span>", which inserts the username of whoever is viewing the page (and only for that person). For me, it says Reverend Black Percy (obviously). Paranormal case dismissed. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:57, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Damn, should tell people that their actions are well known and the black helicopters are coming *dun**dun**Duuuuuuun* -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:29, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean nobody's out to get you. *BWAAAAAAAAAAM* Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:50, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

The Problem of Evil: New Philosophical Directions[edit]

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=oUA1CwAAQBAJ 32℉uzzy; 0℃atPotato (talk/stalk) 16:52, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Does the present phrasing of mysterious ways theodicy prevent critical thinking?[edit]

I've made a change to the Mysterious ways section (last time I tried it, some guy stalked me and reverted every entry of mine he could find -- Even my snark about a Chick tract! -- so I hope things go better, this time) I certainly agree that Goddidit often shuts down debate, but, in this instance, I can see areas where the debate is being left open. The Christians claim that whatever transformation God will ultimately do to all our suffering is mirrored by the transformations we presently see in some of our suffering; that the only difference is the scope or magnitude of the experience and of whatever happens to transform it. Yes, that doesn't address how suffering will ultimately be transformed, but this lack seems to be because there is no explanation for how suffering is presently transformed. Off the top of my head, I can easily think of lines of critiques that are still left open:

  1. Come up with an explanation for why we occasionally don't wish we had achieved some end result without having had experienced the suffering to get there (running the marathon, resolving a lover's quarrel, finishing a picture puzzle, figuring out some complicated mathematical proof, killing the prismatic dragon in that video game with our gnome illusionist, etc.) Next, show how that explanation cannot be applied to some earthly experience of suffering (Heck, I call "Endorphins" for the marathon example)
  2. Argue that the difference between the suffering experienced during a bitter fight with your lover vs the suffering experienced by the death of a loved one or by having your arm amputated is not a matter of scale; that it is instead a categorical difference. Argue that Christians are comparing apples to oranges.

Since there are still avenues of debate open, even if we can't explain how something is done, I removed the claim that this resolution for the problem of suffering "renders critical thinking redundant". --Bertrc (talk) 18:02, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

P.S. The long winded discussion of this concept is in the archives. --Bertrc (talk) 18:29, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

The Evil God Challenge[edit]

ThisWikipedia seems like something worth covering? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:06, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

On quotes and indentations[edit]

Does the quote about Fraulein Fritz belong in Mysterious ways section of or evidence of evil section?[edit]

Do we really feel wassisname's rant belongs with Mysterious ways? He goes on longer than the entire body of that section. I really think that it should be up there near the head in the evidence section. He may froth, but he hits the crux of of the question we all have: "I see evil! How the flock is that possible, if there is a God?" The rest of the article is all the ways apologists try to explain, rationalize, understand or justify the existence of evil. His quote is about a very blatant example of evil that the entire article has to address (A description of chattel slavery, the holocaust or the treatment of Muslims during the Bosnian war would also have worked) Shouldn't the quote, therefore, be in the "Evidence of Evil" section? I just don't think the present "evidence of evil" quote about how animals treat each other is as effective as a quote about how people treat each other. Also, the quote doesn't seem to apply specifically to the "mysterious ways" argument. (The "Absence of God" section's quote also seems misplaced)--Bertrc (talk) 13:54, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

"Wassisname"? You mean, Christopher Hitchens? Talk about flashing us your entire hand right away in regards to how well read you are on the topic at hand. Also, "froth"? He's making a point that is strong and unanswerable, and he's making it in context to theologians who had just argued that the Fritzl case was an example of "God moving in mysterious ways" and ultimately not Evil due to what must clearly be plans for her to enjoy a future existence in heaven. Also, you blanked out an excellent quote from the section you claimed to "give a body". I have since re-inserted a better version of that addition, all without purging a sourced quote while doing so. Also, the "Evidence of evil" quote you wish to move is the ultimate quote on the exact problem of evidence for or against a benevolent deity. There's nowhere else that quote belongs on the page, either. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:12, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Not knowing Hitch? That's a paddlin' another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 21:30, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Nah, I'm just a bit aphasic about names. All these people kind of run together in my head. I've been known to label Shakespeare as the author of Dave Barry quotes! (And I like being sacrilegious about other people's objects of worship. :-P~ ;-) ) --Bertrc (talk) 18:54, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
The section I gave a body to was the "Evil is the absence of God" section. I didn't blank out that excellent quote. I moved it to the "Free Will" section, since that is what the quote was addressing. I would never have thought that that move was controversial. Are we talking about the same section? --Bertrc (talk) 18:33, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
I re-moved (not removed) the quote about free will. --Bertrc (talk) 20:59, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Um . . . If the evidence quote I want to move is the ultimate quote on the problem of evidence for a benevolent deity, then shouldn't it be in the "evidence" section? What am I missing here? At the moment, you are burying it towards the bottom within an unrelated section (or, rather, within just one of many sections that are equally related to attempting to explain/rationalize/understand/justify the existence of evil) The quote applies to all the arguments. What about it is specific to Mysterious ways? --Bertrc (talk) 18:33, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
. . . Okay, then. In the evidence section, where I assume we want the most powerful statement, can I replace the quote about the birds and the bees and the parasitic wasps with the quote about some lunatic abusing his daughter for 24 years? Or do we actually consider the violence committed in the animal kingdom to be a more striking example of evil than the violence committed by man? --Bertrc (talk) 20:59, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
Done. Note: I moved the quote about the evil lunatic; I did not remove it. Because the quote is so darn long, the huge space in the diff might look like it has been blanked, but you'll note that the same giant quote was re-added above. I have overwritten the quote about the animal kingdom. --Bertrc (talk) 17:28, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

John Stuart Mill quote[edit]

Stop calling it "moving" or "replacing" when you blank out quotes. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:33, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

? I said I replaced the animal kingdom quote. That is not the same as blanking. Heck, I waited 10 days for an answer to the question: "Is a quote about violence in the animal kingdom a better and more striking example of evil than a quote about some lunatic who abused his daughter." Then, in my post, I said I moved the lunatic quote and overwrote the animal kingdom quote. So again, I ask (and this is a question for everybody): "Is a quote about violence in the animal kingdom a better and more striking example of evil than a quote about some lunatic who abused his daughter." --Bertrc (talk) 17:45, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I believe so, yes. The point of the evidential problem is that it goes outside of human-caused evil and looks at natural evil. Furthermore, the Hitch quote is about when preachers give the "mysterious ways" defense. I agree that the Catholic quote didn't fit under Absence of God, so I moved it to "sinners get screwed" (as that quote details the act of sinning, not free will). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:48, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
? Where does that quote bring up mysterious ways? I see a reference to some "Off-setting reward" type argument (which I realize, as I write this, should have a section) but I don't see anything about "We just can't understand how this will/can/could be redeemed." --Bertrc (talk) 18:07, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
The debate from which the quote is lifted finds Christopher in a situation where the apologists say that God's ways are mysterious but that God is also good in the end, so there's really nothing to complain about. To which Hitchens lifts an example that they didn't think about — the Fritzl story, as it happens — and recites it as an example of the callousness of the shrugging "mysterious ways" mindset. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:10, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Except that that context is not captured in the quote. His quote only talks about somehow making up for it. In and of itself, the quote has nothing to do with mysterious ways. (BTW, if the debate really was "mysterious ways" and not "I'll make up for it", can you give a transcript link? A link to such a debate should be included in the section) Would a new "I'll make up for it. I promise" section be a suitable compromise? (If the debate, itself, was an "I'll make up for it" rationalization, I'll include your link in the new section, too) --Bertrc (talk) 18:17, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
The context is obvious from both the quote and from the very opening sentence of our own written text for the Mysterious Ways theodicy, which reads "...which works in a mysterious way after our deaths to somehow transform previous suffering". The Fritzl case being an excellent example of why this is an immoral view. As Hitchens points out (literally echoing our own writing): "That's allright, that she went through that, because she'll get a better deal in another life?". It is perfectly contextual, and spot on, at that. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:28, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, it is spot-off. ;-) I think I see the misunderstanding. "Transform" is very different from "off-setting with some reward". The mysterious ways answer is not parallel to saying "Finishing this marathon was great. It was totally worth all the suffering to get here." That's not mysterious at all; we all understand the concept of rewarding/paying somebody for their effort, work, pain and suffering or emotional distress (Well, anybody living in the litigious society of the U.S. understands it) Rather, the mysterious ways argument is parallel to saying "Wow! The marathon is done! This is awesome! This whole experience from start to finish is awesome! It was awesome! It will be awesome! Everything is awesome and I'm not even part of a team!" The result, in such a case, does not make up for the suffering to get there; the result somehow retroactively transforms the previous experience so that it will no longer have been suffering. A race, seeing your child go through an addiction, a picture puzzle, an equation or concept that seems impossible, fighting the prismatic Dragon with your gnome illusionist, a lovers' quarrel, unemployment; they can all cause suffering, but, after you reach the end, you can be in a place where you would not prefer to have fully achieved the end result without the experience of getting to that result. Would a new "I'll make up for it. I promise" section for wassisname's quote fit your needs? --Bertrc (talk) 19:29, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I think your attempts at explaining what you mean are courageous; however, it is also clear that you misunderstand the mysterious ways theodicy. You say;
The mysterious ways argument is parallel to saying "Wow! The marathon is done! This is awesome! This whole experience from start to finish is awesome! It was awesome! It will be awesome! Everything is awesome and I'm not even part of a team!"
...which is not what the mysterious ways theodicy entails at all. What you describe here is some unknown theodicy — it sounds like the argument you make here is that there is no evil in the first place? Like I said; some unknown theodicy. -- Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:58, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
The mysterious ways theodicy is a way of accepting what is clearly evil and saying that maybe it all adds up in the end (read: on the other side)? It is a way of arguing from ignorance that, if God sees the entire big picture, and we're stuck with our tiny perspectives, then maybe even clearly evil things had to be experienced on the path to an ultimately greater good? As in, the daughter of Fritzl being destined for some kind of sainthood in heaven or whatever, which would mean that — in the larger scheme of things — she was in fact not dealt a bad hand, but a good hand! Some finite earthly suffering for a measly 24 years, and then an eternity of exalted status in heaven! That's the mysterious ways argument. And the quote is not "spot-off". Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:58, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Except that what I describe clearly is mysterious ways. What you are describing is not what we have written and also is not mysterious. "Mysterious ways" is, at its heart, the belief that although we don't understand why things happen, there is a reason and method behind it and that things will somehow be made "right." If you'll pardon me paraphrasing from that book, "Mysterious Ways" is the belief that God will somehow work all things for our good. How can it be made right or for our good? Well, that is what is mYsTeRiOuS . . . IOus . . .ious . . . What you describe is the basic mercantle idea of an off-setting reward when somebody gets to Heaven (or that getting into heaven is somehow an off-setting reward). Hmmm, let me try subsectioning into "Transformative", "Reward" and "Incomprehensible". Maybe that will be found to be acceptable. --Bertrc (talk) 21:09, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
nb. my "is" is facetious. I'm poking fun at your "clear", "spot on" and "perfect" position. ;-) I understand that this is a debate that does not really have a quantifiable, correct answer. --Bertrc (talk) 21:09, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Free will quote[edit]

Do we really think a quote about free will is better suited in the absense of God section, than in the Free Will section?! For the moment, I'm going to assume that the reverter was just being lazy, but if anybody really believes a quote about free will belongs in the absence of God section, please put your defense here. --Bertrc (talk) 17:52, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

While we're accusing people of being lazy... If you would pay closer attention, you would notice that the Absence of God segment is left without a quote by my edits. That is, as I already mentioned above, because that quote deals with the act of sinning, not the absence of God. As a result of this, I moved it to under the Sinners get Screwed theodicy (with the quote that used to sit there becoming the new opening quote). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:58, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Heh, race condition here as well. You initially wholesale reverted everything (including the free will quote location) Good to see the move. --Bertrc (talk) 18:03, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Yep, like I wrote on your talkpage just now (heh), rollbacks have to do that. It's a weakness. But it's the option you're left with when there are multiple edits. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:04, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Indenting "I'm God"[edit]

I don't agree that it should be indented. The "I'm God" defense is qualitatively different fron the mysterious ways theodicy. The point of the mysterious ways theodicy is that it assigns God unknowable reasons. "But I'm God" is instead an appeal to authority, in the vein of divine command theory. These should not be confused. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:53, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Meh, I guess I could see that argument. Don't quite agree with it (Yes, it is a bit of authority, but the underlying premise is that you lowly schmoes just would not be able to understand) but not worth quibbling over. Sorry for my edit comment -- we had a bit of a race condition. --Bertrc (talk) 17:58, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
No worries. Thank you for hearing me out. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:00, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

God is simply unknowable theodicy[edit]

I re-added this slightly snarky section. I think I'd be amenable to moving it up as a main intro to the theodicy section (with a little bit of editting) since just about all the theodicies include an element of it, but I really disagree it should be removed. Heck, it is probably the most common explanation: "He's God; it's what He does; you're not gonna understand it; get over it". One might feel it is the worst one, but that doesn't mean it should be removed (Heck, Trump is possibly our worst president-elect, but that's not an excuse to remove his page) --Bertrc (talk) 22:01, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Fair enough — I agree. Like all theodicy, it's yet another example of an appeal in futility. For that reason, it belongs in the article. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:00, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Where should we put a quote that is the underlying basis of mysterious ways?[edit]

I've undone a different undo. At its root, underlying every attempt to explain or rationalize suffering via "God moves in mysterious ways" is the idea that God is simply too big to understand. Christians, Jews, Muslims and probably a passel of other theistic religions accept this because they believe we need a God that is too big to understand. If our understanding could encompass God's will, then He would be too bounded to deal with all the messed up stuff out there (According to most monotheistic and probably most theistic theologies) The quote "If God were big enough to be understood, he would not be big enough to worship" distills that concept into a single, short, and (albeit IMHO) elegant sentence. The idea is not limitted to just the transformative approach to getting a grip on the existence of evil. It is fundamental to the underlying Mysterious Ways school of thodicy. That is why I placed the quote "like that" (If, by "like that", the editor meant "there") . . . If "like that" did not mean "there", then I guess I could benefit from a fuller explanation of "like that". --Bertrc (talk) 22:23, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Undid the undo, again. Please contribute to the discussion if you feel it should be different. Why do you think a quote that applies to all mysterious ways rationalizations belongs only in the Transformative sub-section? (Or what did you mean by "Like That"?) Read my original post, immediately above, for a fuller explanation of why I think it belongs at the higher level. --Bertrc (talk) 22:58, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

Does cold mean that there is no energy?[edit]

I have undone an undo in the "Evil is the absence of God section. I have removed the paragraph that says the "Evil is an absence of God" theodicy contradicts omnipresence. The analogy backing this theodicy equates evil with cold, and God with energy. Thus, the analogy does not contradict omnipresense, since we experience cold, even though there is heat energy present. The analogy thus claims we experience evil, even though God is still present. The less God is present, the more evil we experience. --Bertrc (talk) 22:11, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Omnipresence is defined by Wikipedia as "the property of being present everywhere". Tons of psalms also support the claim that he is literally everywhere, for example:

God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order, in every level of causality, every fleeting moment and momentous event of natural history... (Psalm 8:3, Isaiah 40:12, Nahum 1:3)

God is indivisible. God does not dilute by being everywhere. As Wikipedia puts it:

In the Judeo-Christian religions, God is omnipresent in a way that he is able to interact with his creation however he chooses, and is the very essence of his creation. While contrary to normal physical intuitions, such omnipresence is logically possible by way of the classic geometric point or its equivalent, in that such a point is, by definition, within all of space without taking up any space.

Omnipresence thus conflicts with the suggestion that the presence of evil is just the absence of God, for the simple reason that evil is apparently present all over the place.
Is this clear enough? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:19, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately not. Let me give an attempt at being clear enough: As you said, omnipresence is the property of being everywhere. Heat energy is everywhere (at least, within the bounds of the expanding physical universe) There is simply less of it in outer space than there is of it in the molten core of Earth. Thus, if the analogy is equating God with Heat, it is comparing one omnipresent existence with another. Heat also interacts with anything that can be interacted with; it is simply a question of "How much heat" --Bertrc (talk) 22:29, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
*Ha* In fact, if I might be allowed to use "energy" instead of "heat", I could put forth an argument that, without God, the physically expanding universe is simply the creation of energy. Energy is, therefore, interacting with its entire creation. It simply interacts less with stuff on one side of Mercury then it does with stuff on the other side of Mercury. The analogy becomes even more fitting and the "lack of omnipresence" paragraph becomes even less fitting. :-P~ :-D (Yes, I'm being facetious, but it is kind of cool to think about, no?) --Bertrc (talk) 22:42, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Your very analogy to heat is faulty, constituting a false analogyWikipedia. Heat energy isn't "everywhere", or there'd be no quantas — but that's irrelevant anyways, because God/evil and heat/cold are not analogous to begin with. So please forget heat, and try to grapple with the actual concepts presented instead. Now then. There isn't "less" or "more" of God anywhere; God encompasses everything. Picture a Euler diagram — all of circle A (the Universe) is contained inside circle B (God). To sit inside A, claiming that "B isn't everywhere" (in A) is a literal paradox. Clear enough? I'm almost down to using crayons here. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:46, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
. . . Dude, I thought you didn't believe in God, so what do you mean when you say "God encompasses everything"? ;-) :-P~ --Bertrc (talk) 22:32, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Facepalm Reverend Black Percy (talk) 05:04, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

About as clear as it gets[edit]

A = All of Creation
B = God

If this doesn't take, I honestly don't know what will. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:59, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Okay, if I might be allowed to stretch the poor abused analogy to the breaking point, let's use your diagram. Circle B represents energy in the Universe and, analogously, God's presence. Circle A represents our solar system and, analogously, the spatial and temporal dimensions of God's creation. Everywhere in the solar system you will find energy/background radiation just as everywhere in existence you will find God. However, more energy will be located in certain parts of the solar system than others just as God is more present in some situations (temporally and spatially) than others. --Bertrc (talk) 22:44, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Your analogy is not just bent way past the breaking point; it's a false analogy. If you really think that the below Euler diagram actually describes the distributions of (quote) "energy in the physical universe" and (quote) "energy in the solar system", then you're basically Ken Ham in terms of your basic science literacy. If you don't really think that the below Euler diagram actually describes said distributions, then you've just discarded your own false analogy as the irrelevancy it is. Which one will it be, I wonder? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 05:04, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
Okay, let's try to clear up one little thing, since we are obviously talking past each other on the grander scale: The poor abused analogy I was referring to was the comparison of God to energy. I could certainly be wrong, and perhaps there is absolute zero somewhere within the bounds of the physical universe (Please do let me know where) That is why I reduced the scope even more in the "muddy" section, below. Is the comparison of God to energy the analogy you are claiming is false? When you say it is false, do you mean it is wrong? --Bertrc (talk) 16:44, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
We're not talking past each other, so much as you're talking out of your ass. I know exactly what you've been meaning by your analogy to heat and cold. It's not a complicated analogy in the least. The problem is, said analogy is not relatable to omnipresence. Remember, analogies are only helpful when they are actually analogous to the matter at hand. It's not enough to just make an analogy and then try to shoehorn it onto whatever unrelated concept you'd like. The glove actually has to fit, Leibniz. And making the analogy between omnipresence (deductive universal constance) and heat/cold (anistropic transferable energy) does not fit.
But what's even worse is, you don't even seem to realize that this is not the main problem. No analogy fits perfectly, and some analogies can be made to fit better than others. What leaves me thunderstruck in all this, however, is that not only is your analogy imperfect at best, you also don't seem to realize that you're confusing your own analogy with the actual discussion of omnipotence. In that sense, you've completely veered off from the discussion. I don't think you understand the concept of omnipotence (since you try to impose limits on it), and I don't think you understand that you've been overtly conflating "discussing your analogy" with "discussing omnipotence". Here's the discussion so far, in a nutshell:
You: Well [thing you don't get] kinda works like a bicycle. Because on a bicycle...
Me: What? I'm sorry — I know perfectly well how a bike works, but [thing you don't get] has nothing to do with bicycles.
You: Well see I know quite a bit about bicycles, and there's no way that [thing you don't get] could work that way. It's just not how a bike is built.
Me: Are you drunk, dude? We're not discussing bicycles, we're discussing [thing you don't get]. Now could you please save the bicycle analogy for something else?
You: Could we get somebody in here that understands bicycles better than RBP? There's no way a bike could work like [thing you don't get] is claimed to do. Because see, on a bike...
Me: Dude, dude, dude — we're not discussing bikes here. We're discussing [thing you don't get].
You: Yeah I know it's what I've been discussing lol, and besides I never read any definition of [thing you don't get] that says it couldn't be a twelve speed. Because if you really think about how the gears on a bike work...
Me: No offense, but here is a drawing which clearly shows that A ⊊ B. Do you get it now?
You: Well that's not how a bike even works, so...
Me: I genuinely fear that I may have to author and perform an explanatory play involving talking hand puppets for you at this point.
You: Don't get all worked up and give yourself a stroke just cause you don't get bicycles lol. :-) ;-P :-3 ;-D
Compound this with the fact that you start inserting your farts (?) as premises in your argument below, and a meme is officially born. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:24, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
*sigh* Can somebody other than me please give this a try. I seem to have gotten on RBP's blacklist and nothing I say seems to be getting through . . . Or does nobody else care (a perfectly valid position) --Bertrc (talk) 01:30, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

About as clear as mud[edit]

A = Energy in Our Solar System
B = Energy in the Physical Universe

Hey everybody, can somebody else give this a try? RBP and I seem to be talking past each other and I'm worried he's goig to start breaking his crayons in frustration. He doesn't think I understand him, and I don't think he understands me. I think he is interpreting the analogy to present God as a digital omnipresence -- that the analogy presents God as either being present (warm and Good) or not (cold and EEEEvil) with no in between -- I disagree that the analogy presents God as all or nothing since cold is not all or nothing. Whether evil is analogous to cold is a qualitative judgement call, IMHO; however, I think I can say, rather quantitatively, that, at the resolution of our senses, temperature is not experienced in a digital manner. You don't feel cold because there is no energy. Instead, you feel a temperature and consider that temperature to be warm or cold as part of a sliding range. My interpretation of the analogy is "A situation is more evil, when God is less present in it, just as things feel more cold, when there is less energy present." That does not contradict omnipresence. I guess you could say my interpretation contradicts uniform omnipresence, but I have never heard any claim that God is uniformly and equally present everywhere; I've only ever heard that God is everywhere (just as energy is everywhere). Heck, most books and sermons exhort us to be more centered on God; that implies an analog scale. Heh, an analog scale for the analogy; see what I did there? :-) --Bertrc (talk) 22:32, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

"Uniform" omnipresence? So your argument is — remarkably — that "omni" somehow does not entail uniformity? This, despite the fact that "omni" literally means:
  • All
  • Universally
  • In all ways, places, etc.
  • Without limits
Time and time again, your reliance on your own patently false analogy to heat and cold leads you astray in your attempts to understand the very basic concepts being discussed. Guess what the harm is in getting tangled up in false anlogies?
Notice that "omni" means "without limits". Thus, the extent of presence implied in "omnipresence" is infinite.
Literally infinite amounts of heat or cold isn't present in all ways and places, universally and without limit, now is it? Obviously not — but that's all irrelevant anyways, because nothing in your analogy has anything to do with what we're discussing — the concept of omnipresence.
Again; we're not discussing heat. We're not discussing cold. We're discussing omnipresence. Try to keep this in mind.
And omnipresence is definitionally limitless. That means that any limit you try to impose on it is deductively wrong. The same is not true for heat, or cold, or anything else that isn't omniqualitative.
Is this finally clear? Have I got that across? Thank you! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 05:04, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
. . . Are there any basic physicist students out there who can try to describe the concept of energy in the universe? RBP may be approaching apoplexy, here, so somebody other than I might be able to phrase things better. Or are there any English students who want to try giving a definition of "omnipresence"? The only definition I ever heard is that "omnipresence" is the quality of being everywhere. Where does it say "omnipresence" is the quality of being everywhere equally and/or in infinite amounts? Let's bring the scale down:
  1. Within the room in which I am typing, energy is everywhere. Energy is literally omnipresent within this room . . . or is there some argument to claim that energy is not omnipresent within this room, and that we can actually locate some spot(s) that are at absolute zero? --Bertrc (talk) 16:31, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
  2. Within this room, some areas have more energy than others. For example, since I have just passed some gas, my seat is presently warmer than the empty seat next to me . . . Or is there some argument that my room has already achieved heat death, and that the room is now at uniform entropy? --Bertrc (talk) 16:31, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
  3. Within this room, the amount of energy is quite bounded. I am, after all, still alive and time is running normally . . . Or is there some argument that . . . um . . . I'm not sure what infinite energy would be but let me know if there is an argument that my room has it. --Bertrc (talk) 16:31, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
You're doing it again. Facepalm Sir — are you, in fact, William Lane Craig with a concussion?
You start out by asking for a definition of omnipresence. I've given you several already, both the dictionary- and the theological definition. Giving you more won't help, because you ignore those and then leave the topic of omnipresence altogether — preferring to digress completely into talking to yourself about thermal physics. All your arguments are therefore equivocal red herrings.
1) Faulty premise: Energy is not omnipresent in your room. That's a fallacy. Omnipresence deductively does not vary, nor could it ever be "isolated" — never mind to your room, as the discreet area called "your room" is per definition not omniqualitative. You then add a false dilemma where you explicitly juxtapose "absolute zero" as "the opposite of omnipresence". This is like reading an early draft of a Ray Comfort book at this point. Please repeat the following out loud to yourself ten times: heat and cold have nothing to do with omnipresence. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:24, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
2) Ok so — your life story aside — I have clearly overestimated your ability to reason logically. You literally seem to be implying that either we concede that your nasty butt farts cozily warm your buttocks against your chair, or that your room has "achieved heat death" and that "the room is now at uniform entropy". Go fart some more, dude. Get it all out of your system.
3) Wow. Jesus Christ. Uuuh... The energy in your room is not "bounded", whatever you mean by that. I assume you have radiators and insulated walls to fight heat leakage, and so on? Unless your entire house is in some kind of Rick and Morty-type stasis, your room (and entire house) is certainly unbounded for the purposes of thermodynamics. If it wasn't for the steady influx of ventilated air from the outside, you'd probably have suffocated on your own farts by now, farter boy. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:24, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
The fact that you would involve "time" and "you being alive" (as clearly evidenced by your constant farting) into an argument this Time cube-y demonstrates without a doubt that you're absolutely not a student of physics yourself (and, no — high school doesn't count). You're not exactly a logician either, so that rules out even introductory level philosophy. It could be theology, but I actually doubt it, based on the truly weird way in which you're putting forth your argument. So like, what the hell is even your major, bro? ProctologyWikipedia? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:24, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
1) Can anybody chime in, since RBP and I seem to disagree on the definition of omnipresence? I believe omnipresence means "being everywhere"; ie. something is only not omnipresent if there is some place where it does not exist. I think RBP believes omnipresence means something is everywhere, equally; ie. that if something is more concentrated in one location than in another, then it is not omnipresent. --Bertrc (talk) 01:36, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
2) I'm sorry. I promise, no more flatulence jokes! --Bertrc (talk) 01:36, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
3) Bounded. ie Limitted. As opposed to infinite or limitless . . . That's why I used the term "infinite" as the opposite of "bounded" in my post. --Bertrc (talk) 01:36, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Too many forks. Trying a new section for the cold analogy.[edit]

I guess I'll try one last time. I fear I may be offending with my attempts at humor, for which I apologize. I was just trying to have fun because . . . well, it is fun. I promise I will make no more flatulence jokes or attempt lighten the mood. My jokes seem to have pulled things way off topic. --Bertrc (talk) 01:49, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

So, the analogy compares God to energy. The less energy in a substance, the less warm or more cool it feels (depending on which direction the energy is flowing when you touch/encounter it) Following the analogy through, if God is like heat, He can be less present in a situation. This is particularly apropos when viewing decisions people make or situations arising from those choices. Background: One of the more central ideas in Christianity is that we have added things other than God to that foundational spot inside us -- the things that drive our decisions because we derive our feelings of worth, security, joy, etc. from them -- It's not that we have completely eliminated God, but that God now competes with non-divine, non-eternal things (family, money, luxury, power, respect, popularity, what-have-you) for our heart of hearts. On the whole, Christians believe that the more we worship things other than God, the more damage we do and the more broken/sinful/evil our actions become. Now then, the "God is like heat" analogy is essentially saying that as God is less incorporated into situations and decisions, they become more evil, just as objects are more cold when less energy is included. That is what I was trying to get across in my last edit. I honestly believe that claiming the analogy means God is either fully present or fully absent (as opposed to being present along a spectrum) is building a strawman. In the interests of compromise, would people accept if I remake my change to the first paragraph, but leave the "God is completely absent" paragraph? --Bertrc (talk) 01:49, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Okay. I will remake my change to the first paragraph, but leave that strawman paragraph that comes second. (I do reserve the right to tackle that strawman paragraph again, at some future date, when I have more bandwidth! :-) :-P~ ) --Bertrc (talk) 17:45, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Hate to reopen an old thread but RBP is right here. Omnipresent by definition would mean that God is equally present in every place. You keep going back to heat — that's an argument from analogy. God is no less present at the deaths of children from Sarin in Syria than he is more present at the conversion of a drug addict to Christianity. Stop using the heat analogy. It isn't working. God is never absent in the slightest. For him to be omnipresent, he must at all times be in every place at once, equally. Koi "I could really use an animator because I have so many ideas floating around in my head" development 14:00, 11 July 2017 (UTC)

Counterproductive edit-warring[edit]

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Starting to use the article proper as a vechicle for the (apparently still unresolved) discussion already taking place here is disorderly, not orderly, and a patently bad idea.

An impasse between two editors means exactly one thing: other editors need to get involved as well — and, if they see fit to do so, weigh in. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:56, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Agreed! Well, I agree that other people should voice an opinion. Come on, people! RBP, I take it from your response, that you don't like my proposed compromised (Changing the first paragraph, but leaving that second paragraph alone) --Bertrc (talk) 17:42, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I have followed your antics from the sidelines, Bertrc, but I saw no reason to involve myself because, in so many words, you are just plain wrong, the paragraph you keep deleting is apt and pertinent to the subject and indeed it describes the problem simply and succinctly. ScepticWombat (talk) 14:58, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Wombat! It was lonely with just RBP. Anybody else care? There's not much I can work with, being "just plain wrong", since it doesn't really address any of the reasons I brought up for why I thought the second paragraph was just plain wrong (or, to be more politic, strawman'ish) Do you think omni-presence means something has to be in all places equally? (or, specifically, that God would have to be included in all decisions, situations and actions, equally, in order to be omnipresent?) Or, can something be omnipresent if it exists along a spectrum, the way you can have more or less energy, while still considering energy to be present. Separately, what are your thoughts on my proposed compromise (making my change to just the first paragraph, but not touching the second one)? --Bertrc (talk) 18:09, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

This is pathetic[edit]

Frankly, that is so easy to disprove the omni*** of God with this and similar paradoxes says a lot about why religion, ignorance, and prosecution of people who show the nonsense of that have gone and go so many times together. That is one of the reasons why I became an skeptic (other, how full of errors and inconsistences is the Bible and how shallow it is to be "a history of the Universe", as those idiotic fundies love so much to say) --Panzerfaust (talk) 12:44, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

More theodicies that need answering[edit]

Can we add sections on the Greater-Good (G-G) and Creation-Order (C-O) theodicies? These two are the ones that I currently hear the most about. We can all see that the G-G theodicy is a solid theory (how could God use the Holocaust for the greater good?), and the C-O theodicy doesn't address the LPOE at all while also not defending the EPOE well. Furthermore, the G-G theodicy asserts that God is dependent on Evil in order to bring about good, meaning that in the traditional sense, God isn't God as he depends on something other than himself (is not self-sufficient).

As an aside, couldn't a third POE be considered? We have A) the LPOE, B), the EPOE, and I propose C) the Existential POE. My question asks why does (sometimes significant amounts or of significant magnitude) evil happens to me in particular? I do see that C) could be a subset of B). 152.26.197.31 (talk) 17:01, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Do we have one which is just rejecting P2 or P1?[edit]

Because that would be a plausible solution, and I've definitely seen arguments of the form of rejecting P2, at the least. "What you think of as evil is not actually evil."KrytenKoro (talk) 23:08, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Moving a thread from a talk page[edit]

The following was originally just supposed to be general navel-gazing about the nature of God and good and evil so I started it directly with a user on their talk page; however, it boomeranged right back to discussing the the problem of evil so I got permission to throw it back onto this page. We got bored with it, but other people might want to play around. This contains the "Transformative" fork of the discussion. The "Evil is like Cold" fork was copied to the other article's talk page. --Bertrc (talk) 19:24, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Omnibenevolence vs Good[edit]

Hey Christopher, I started a thread in the "Evil is like Cold" talk page. --Bertrc (talk) 21:20, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Moving this here, since it is a bit off topic (I am just philosophizing)
You posted: Omnibenevolent=loving everyone, how could an evil person/God love everyone? Christopher (talk) 07:22, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
For specificity, I'd say "omnibenevolence == wanting the good for everybody", rather than "benevolence == loving everybody". I think loving somebody means more than just wanting the best for them. I think it includes an investment into their well-being; tying your own happiness with theirs; driving your decisions around them, etc. --Bertrc (talk) 20:06, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Regardless, I think we evil people can exhibit either trait. We can love everybody; we just love ourselves more than we love other people. We can want good for everybody; we just don't want to let other people's good interfere with our own good stuff. --Bertrc (talk) 18:54, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
You really are being pedantic now, I'm still waiting for how this solves the PoE. Christopher (talk) 08:02, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
He didn't want the best for amputees, or Holocaust victims. Christopher (talk) 08:03, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know we were discussing that directly. I was just musing about the nature of and perspectives on evil. Heh, you say "pedantic", I say "precision"! :-D :-P~ ;-) Let's consider 3 flavors of the Problem/paradox of evil:
1) If God created everything and God is good, how can there be evil/suffering? He must not be good if he created evil or he didn't create everything.
2) If God is present everywhere, and God is good, how can there be evil/suffering? He must not be good if he is present in this evil situation or he must not be present.
3) If God is all-powerful and omnibenevolent, how can there be evil/suffering? He must not be able to stop it, or he must not be nice enough to want to stop it.
I think you are concerned with the 3rd flavour, but the "evil is like cold" theodicy really only addresses the first two. I think the "evil is like darkness" argument is also good for understanding the nature of evil. . . . Um, before we get really deep into this, are you an amputee or a holocaust survivor (or in a really bad place for some other reason?) I certainly do not want to trivialize things for you, if you are, by coldly analyzing how suffering could exist. I think the "I know what it ain't" view is the best perspective for confronting or dealing with suffering; however, that view is understandably considered avoiding the question if you just want to debate or shoot the bull. --Bertrc (talk) 19:18, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
"Precision"? That's rich — considering you won't even agree that A ⊊ B. And it goes without saying that your false analogy to "heat and cold" is far from multi-applicable; rather, it is not even wrong. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:50, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
(EC)I'm not in a position that means I don't want to talk about the PoE, no. The "evil is like cold" argument fails for a number of reasons: 1) It fails for religions where their God is omnipresent as nothing can be the "absence of God", 2) It fails for religions where the God is all powerful and all loving/all good/whatever because even if he wasn't everywhere he could choose to be where a homeless person is to prevent suffering. Christopher (talk) 20:55, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Cool! I'll trust you and assume that you are not a holocaust survivor or a double amputee and that you are in a good enough place not to be upset if we smugly and analytically consider suffering while sitting comfortably in our ivory towers. :-) I certainly agree with your second point, which I believe is referencing the third flavor of the PoE I list above; that third flavor of the PoE is better addressed by other theodicies. However, I would disagree with your first point. Let me break those up into two sections. --Bertrc (talk) 16:48, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

The existence of suffering vs a benevolent God[edit]

Even though you've given me the go-ahead, I'd like to reiterate that suffering is awful and that I think we should lean on "I know what it ain't" when we are in times of crisis. With that being said . . .

So, I feel the "Transformative" theodicy (with a smattering of the vaccination analogy) is the strongest apologetic argument to address the third flavor of the PoE I listed above (If God is all-powerful and omnibenevolent, how can there be evil/suffering? He must not be able to stop it, or he must not be nice enough to want to stop it.) Essentially, the idea is that a God with infinite power and ability could transform and redeem any magnitude of evil/suffering.

My favorite analogy is when I trained for a marathon: There is one incline that I hated; that's no hyperbole; I loathed it. However, sometimes, when I reached that top and started on the straight away, I would realize that the entire run, up to that moment, was awesome. I don't just mean reaching that top; I don't mean that achieving that goal and taking in that view was better because it contrasted to the suffering of that bloody incline; and I don't mean that the suffering of that incline was balanced out because the result was so spectacular. What I mean is that the entire run -- leading up to the incline, running the incline, cruising along the straightway at the top -- was somehow transformed retroactively into an amazing, wonderful experience even though I had been suffering and wanting to give up just moments before.

This transformation and redemption of suffering is reflected by countless other experiences. Trivially: Would you want to have been able to put that jig-saw puzzle together without having gone through the work and, at times, frustration of having had to hunt for each of those friggin' pieces? More strikingly: Do you wish you had never had any of the uncertainty, drama, and trauma you went through wooing your spouse, now that you are together? Is your joy over the process of coming to understand quantum relativity or Green's theorem diminished by the nights of having banged your head against a wall due to some misunderstanding? (So long as the head banging was figurative) I don't have an artistic bone in my body, but I assume that painters/composers/musicians/sculptors/etc. sometimes suffer as they try to get it just right, but feel unable to do so; I'm willing to bet that sometimes, when they finally do succeed in their vision, they do not think: "This would have been so much better if I had just gotten it right immediately from the start."

Now I'm not saying that this transformation happens every time in all these circumstances and I certainly wouldn't say a tearful, heart breaking fight with the love of my life was as painful as what my cousin went through when his mother died of cancer. However, it does happen sometimes, and I would propose that if my minor sufferings can be transformed/redeemed though the natural processes of this world, within my lifetime, then an all-powerful God of infinite ability could ultimately redeem and transform any magnitude of suffering in a similar or analogous manner. --Bertrc (talk) 16:48, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

So God gives people Ebola, but he magically turns Ebola into a Good Thing™ so everything is fine? Surely it's a lot simpler to just say "the Christian Gods (and other similar Gods) don't actually exist"? Christopher (talk) 17:14, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
Heh, nice try. I see what you did there! :-P~ ;-) --Bertrc (talk) 00:08, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
First, you said "So God gives people Ebola" but God does not give people ebola. That's a dialogue tree we will probably run into in the "Evil is like Cold" analogy, above, and will have to split out into its own section. --Bertrc (talk) 00:08, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Second, you asked "Isn't it simpler to say God does not exist" but the transformation theodicy (and theodicy in general) is not meant to prove that God does exists; instead, the purpose of theodicy is simply to debunk the PoE as a means of proving God cannot exist. Whether God does exist is probably yet another section. --Bertrc (talk) 00:08, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Really nice try, though! :-) --Bertrc (talk) 00:08, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Addressing the part of your statement that is actually on point, I would counter that it is not magical. Consider the pain during my run up that blasted incline, or the anger trying to find the friggin' correct piece of blue sky in a jig-saw puzzle or the tears during a fight with my spouse or the mind-numbing frustration trying to grasp Green's theorem or the nights of terror thinking I won't be able to provide for my family after being jobless or, heck, even the desire to throw my computer out of the window because I can't figure out how to kill the prismatic dragon with my gnome illusionist. Is it magical that those instances of suffering get transformed and redeemed right now in this natural world? --Bertrc (talk) 00:08, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
@Bertc What's with you and the making of incomprehensible analogies? Seriously; I could cite your whole last post back to you as example of this. The best part is, you give poor Christopher a nipple twister for allegedly rambling off-point just as you present the following word salad as 'corrective':

Consider the pain during my run up that blasted incline, or the anger trying to find the friggin' correct piece of blue sky in a jig-saw puzzle or the tears during a fight with my spouse or the mind-numbing frustration trying to grasp Green's theorem or the nights of terror thinking I won't be able to provide for my family after being jobless or, heck, even the desire to throw my computer out of the window because I can't figure out how to kill the prismatic dragon with my gnome illusionist. Is it magical that those instances of suffering get transformed and redeemed right now in this natural world?

I rest my case. Facepalm
@Christopher Bertc's "Gene Ray-isms" aside... Notice the amount of mental contortionism the guy is willing to put in, just to be able to claim the good stuff (e.g. divine guidance in locating the perfect parking spot) as sign of God's loving presence — while at the very same time, billing all the bad stuff (e.g. parasitic flies injecting their worms into the eyeballs of malnourished infants) to a different account?
Ergo; God gets thanks for all the good — and any bad? Why, that's just 'cause it didn't have (enough of) God in it! Amen! Reverend Black Percy (Reverend Black Percy) 12:22, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
@Reverend Black Percy, I'm not sure how you consider the Transformative theodicy to mean God is putting things on somebody else's bill, particularly since, according to the theodicy, He actively undoes all the brokenness and evil . . . Did you mean to put that in the "Evil is Cold vs a Creator God who is Everywhere" section? --Bertrc (talk) 14:33, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
@Christopher, are you confused as to why I would bring up instances where suffering is transformed/redeemed in our normal (natural) world when I am opposing your claim that I am proposing a "magical" (supernatural) solution to the PoE? --Bertrc (talk) 14:33, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure which post you're replying to, your basic argument seems to be "some bad things "become" good things later on, therefore AIDS, the Holocaust and Ebola become good things in the afterlife", "some things do this, therefore some other things do this" is clearly not a valid argument. Christopher (talk) 15:01, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, before you moved my responses, my replies were under the posts I was responding to! ;-) Heh, once again, I see what you did, there; nice try, though. I never said "Some things do this, therefore some other things do this." I said "This can be done to some things that are small, therefore it is possible that this can also be done to other things that are immense" and that is clearly a valid argument [1]. eg. I've never been able to generate enough heat to melt steel, but I have been able to melt tin; tin, with a small melting point, can be melted so it is possible that steel, with an immense melting point, can also be melted. In my life, small experiences of suffering (and even many big ones) have been transformed so that they no longer were experiences of suffering. I hold this up as evidence that retroactive transformation of suffering can happen -- eg. I am suffering while running up that hill, but at some point in the future, that experience will no longer have been an experience of suffering (ugh. Tenses get really screwed up when you talk about changing the past! Perhaps "At some point afterwards, that experience no longer was an experience of suffering" is better) -- If this limitted broken world can transform small (and big) experiences of suffering, then it is possible that an Omnipotent God is able to transform immense experiences of suffering. --Bertrc (talk) 22:36, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Beuller? So, does that explain better how the "Transformative" theodicy addresses the classic PoE flavor. --Bertrc (talk) 01:06, 25 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. My "clearly" is said tongue in cheek. I'm just poking fun at your use of the word. :-P~ ;-)

A missing theodicy[edit]

There’s one answer to the problem of evil that seems hard to dismiss, albeit one that seems to dispel the rest of Christianity.

Heaven is infinite joy. Compared to that, any finite joy we get in this world is meaningless. It’s not even an analogy to or a taste of what’s to come, it’s literally no different from suffering (aleph null + 900 is no bigger than aleph null - 900). Of course we’re unequipped to see that until we get to Heaven, but God can see it, and therefore be quite rightly doesn’t care at all about our suffering in this world any more than you care about someone you love losing an infinitesimal amount of something.

This is obviously incompatible with thanking God for all the joy in your life, since that’s just as meaningless as the suffering. And it means it’s impossible to derive any morality in this life—it’s no more evil for me to torture babies than to devote my life to curing cancer, just as it’s not evil for God to let the Holocaust happen. Also, this pretty much requires that everyone go to Heaven—if unbaptized babies go to Hell (or just die) then God is evil, and so am I if I could know that fact and ever do anything but baptize babies. And so on.

But if you throw away the rest of Christianity, doesn’t this allow for an omnipotent and omnibenevolent god?

I feel like I must be missing something here, or I would hear this more often in response to the “no theodicy is possible” arguments. (Presumably a Christian could say: Obviously this theodicy is wrong, but it proves that theodicy is not in-principle unanswerable, or even in-principle unanswerable for human minds to solve, so we should keep trying to solve it.) —157.131.152.164 (talk) 13:28, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

I think that falls under "I'll make it up to you, I promise". --Bertrc (talk) 18:14, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

Issues to be considered[edit]

'Evil' and 'things going wrong' are two distinct 'things or aspects.' (AsteroidDinosaurTerminator was as neutral as the planet Theia.)

We are not God and cannot see from (deity/ies pronoun(s) of choice)'s perspective. Perhaps allowing 'the universe or multiverse' to operate according to laws that are deducible by the inhabitants thereof maximizes God's omnipotence (rather than having to spend much time keeping everything stable and working and remembering what happens where etc) and allowing those sentient entities which emerge the freedom to choose is a sign of omnibenevolence. (Micromanaging does not work and what is the fun/benefit if you know how the script will develop and pan out?). Anna Livia (talk) 19:21, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

I think you have to define what "things go wrong" means. If "going wrong" means what we did not anticipate or want, then I think having the "wrong" thing happen is often "good". I usually lump the terms "evil", "sin" and "brokenness" together under a "not fully centered on God" umbrella. --Bertrc (talk) 17:53, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Does God #choose# to be omnipotent and omnibenevolent - or does (deity pronoun) prefer to see what happens? Anna Livia (talk) 19:21, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

Personally, I assume God simply is omni -potent, -scient, -benvolent. If He has those attributes, I'm not sure the word "choose" is even applicable; God simply "is" (particularly if God is really outside of time so that all times are the same and existent for Him) Perhaps an analogy can be seen in our appreciation of Art -- There are some sculptures and paintings that I appreciate and enjoy simply by virtue of their existence. I don't necessarily appreciate them by virtue of what will happen to them or what I will uncover or learn or see in them; instead I appreciate and enjoy what I already see in them. If you want to throw a temporal angle into the art analogy, think of movies. There are some movies that I appreciate and enjoy watching, just to see what I know happens, happen; I love them for the artistry that is there, not for what I may someday uncover. -- In a similar vein, I think God sees everything about us (What has happenned, what is happenning and what will happen) --Bertrc (talk) 17:53, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

In this context 'things going wrong' covers all the aspects where there is no sentient input and evil where there is some deliberate conscious choice.

A quotation from somewhere, possibly paraphrased - we are given the freedom to choose, but have to choose to do rightly. Anna Livia (talk) 23:48, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Hey @Anna Livia! Man, I barely remember this thread. I'm afraid I still do not understand 'things going wrong' where there is no sentience. What would you consider going wrong in a place where there is no sentience? (Or do you mean something is wrong with there being a place with no sentience?) --Bertrc (talk) 17:56, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
You wash the car and a sudden eddy of wind blows the pile of dried leaves all over the car as against someone deliberately throwing the leaves. Anna Livia (talk) 18:29, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
@Anna Livia, you are on fire with the analogies; love it! With those definitions, IMHO, "things going wrong" does not necessarily indicate or reflect some aspect of brokenness or sin. Having something happen that you do not expect, or particularly want at the moment, is not always a "bad" thing. For it to be "bad", I believe it would have to tie back to some choice by a sentient being to choose something in this world over choosing God. eg. If the hurricane which devastates somebody's property was because of climate changes that resulted from decades of pollution which had been pumped into our atmosphere because people greedily placed profits above God in their lives. (I know it is not as simplistic as that; I'm just giving a loose thought experiment that is slg) then I would view it as one more evil occurrence in the world that Christ had to die for in order for it to be redeemed. --Bertrc (talk) 16:13, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

The omnipotence of God is that we are all given colouring books: God's omnibenevolence is that we are allowed to colour them as we wish (and a proportion of people think that God gives us some instructions on how to do it). Anna Livia (talk) 23:48, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

I like the analogy of the colouring book (and I particularly like your spelling! I'm glad I no longer alone. :-) ) Personally, I might tweak you analogy so that "-potence" is that God can give us a colouring book; "-benevolence" is that He does give us the book and that, while allowing us to tear and damage the book, He let's us know that if we damage the book enough, we won't be able to colour it anymore (not as punishment, but simply by virtue of the fact that it can become too damaged to use) He might step in a few times or so, stopping us from doing too much damage and trying to get us to understand and accept the effect of damaging the book, but ultimately, as an act of love, He let's us make our choice. --Bertrc (talk) 17:56, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
The colouring book (whether with outlines or plain) analogy allows for free will and for the Deity's or Deities' involvement or later analysis of what the user has done (and the Deity/ies can have free time to do other things as well). Anna Livia (talk) 18:29, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Sweet. I like the analogy, because I see a parent sitting with a child as they color the book, taking such joy in the activity (at least, that has been my experience. :-) ) --Bertrc (talk) 16:13, 10 May 2019 (UTC)