The only effective argument against the existence of a maximally perfect God is rooted in the existence of evil
Download 479 b.
The only effective argument against the existence of a maximally perfect God is rooted in the existence of evil.
Logical Problem of Evil
The reason some believe these two claims cannot both be true in the same reality is succinctly stated by St. Thomas Aquinas:
Rebutting the Logical Problem of Evil
“God is real is not strictly ruled out by the evil we perceive, the the reality of God is shown compatible with the evil we perceive . . . . A defense need not be likely, need not be supported by evidence so that we ought to believe it. A defense can be imaginative, indeed wildly imaginative, so long as it is conceivable given what we know.”
How to show that the two claims (‘A maximally perfect God exists’ and ‘Evil exists’) are not logically inconsistent:
The Absorption Principle
Evils such as sickness, earthquakes, and hurricanes result from the free, but immoral, choices of fallen angels (demons).
In Plantagina, all the evil produced by the free, but immoral, choices of moral creatures is outweighed by the goodness of the creatures’ ability to make free and moral choices.
Consequentially, these two claims are NOT logically inconsistent.
God’s Sovereignty: “God, the Divine Artisan, freely and knowingly plans, orders, and provides for all the effects that constitute His artifact, the created universe with its entire history, and executes His chosen plan by playing an active causal role sufficient to ensure its exact realization . . . . [W]hatever occurs is properly said to be specifically degreed by God; more precisely each effect . . .
“is either specifically and knowingly intended by Him or, in concession to creaturely defectiveness, specifically and knowingly permitted by Him, only to be then ordered toward some appropriate good”
Prescinding from the Question of Implications for God’s Sovereignty, our Conclusion can be:
Evidential Problem of Evil
A Theist must admit that evil does count as evidence against the existence of a maximally perfect God, otherwise theistic claims become vacuous.
“‘displaying that God’s inscrutable plan requires at times even the suffering of the suffering of the faithful;’ ‘God has a plan but . . . .’ Any statement that is compatible with every conceivable situation does not assert anything about any particular situation and is, therefore, not even in theory falsifiable. And, if a statement cannot, even in principle be shown to be false, then it cannot be shown to be true either, which means that it has no [truth value at all], which means it has no cognitive value [at all] . . . .”
A theist must concede that the existence of gratuitous evil, i.e. evil that is not the logically unavoidable side-effects of greater good(s), would falsify the claim ‘A maximally perfect God exists.’
“[T]he [believer] does recognize the fact of pain as counting against Christian doctrine. But, it is true that he will not allow it – or anything [else] – to count decisively against it; for he is committed by his faith to trust in God. His attitude is not that of the detached observer, but of the [committed] believer. Perhaps this can be brought out by yet another parable. In time of war in an occupied country,
“a member of the resistance meets one night a stranger who deeply impresses him. They spend that night together in conversation. The Stranger tells the partisan that he himself is on the side of the resistance--indeed that he is in command of it, and urges the partisan to have faith in him no matter what happens. The partisan is utterly convinced at that meeting of the Stranger’s sincerity and constancy
“and undertakes to trust him. They never meet in conditions of intimacy again. But, sometimes the Stranger is seen helping members of the resistance, and the partisan is grateful and says to his friends, ‘He is on our side.’ Sometimes he is seen in the uniform of the police handing over patriots to the occupying power. On these occasions his friends murmur against him: But, the partisan still says, ‘He is on our side.’
“He still believes that, in spite of appearances, the Stranger did not deceive him. Sometimes he asks the Stranger for help and receives it. He is then thankful. Sometimes he asks and does not receive it. Then, he says, ‘The Stranger knows best.’ Sometimes his friends, in exasperation, say ‘Well, what would he have to do for you to admit that you were wrong and that he is not on our side ?’
“But, the partisan refuses to answer. He will not consent to put the Stranger to the test. The partisan of the parable does not allow anything to count decisively against the proposition ‘The Stranger is on our side.’ This is because he has committed himself to trust the Stranger. But, he, of course, recognizes that the Stranger's ambiguous behaviour does count against what he believes about him. It is precisely this situation which constitutes the trial of his faith.”
Still, lest his claims become what Mitchell calls “vacuous formulae . . . to which experience makes no difference and which make no difference to life,” a theist must have some plausible response to the appearance of gratuity possessed by many of the evils that actually exist, i.e. some plausible response to the Evidential Problem of Evil.
Responses to the Evidential Problem of Evil
To be evil is NOT to BE as one ought.
“If God cannot do what is logically impossible, then He cannot create something that possesses the full power of being the He Himself possesses, for anything that God creates is by its conception dependent [upon God] for its being . . . . [S]ince the being of creation is only [limited], not absolute, it is lacking also in complete goodness; in other words, it is imperfect.
“This ‘metaphysical’ evil is, then, necessarily attendant upon [creatures] and is the ultimate source of all natural and moral evil.”
St. Augustine, like all theists, maintained that the fulfillment and completion of creatures lie in God.
“The will . . . commits sin when it turns away from [God] toward its private good [or toward] something external to itself or lower than itself. It turns toward to its own private good when it desires to be its own master; it turns to external goods when it busies itself with the private affairs of others or with whatever is none of its concern; it turns to goods lower than itself
“when it loves the pleasures of the body. Thus, a man becomes proud, meddlesome, and lustful.”
Instead of seeking his fulfillment and completion in serving God, Satan chose to corrupt himself in the first of St. Augustine’s three ways: He surrendered to pride and sought to become his own Master.
Despite what Satan might have thought (or thinks), says St. Augustine, he cannot find fulfillment and completion by ruling in Hell.
“There is an enormous emptiness residing at the very core of Satan’s being, a huge and tragic lack of what-could-have-been, of what should-have-been. He is evil, not for what he is, but for what he is not.”
The only “happiness” Satan can available to Satan is to drag down into damnation with him as many others as he can.
St. Augustine ultimately bases this claim on the authority of Christian revelation, e.g. Romans 5:12 – Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. (Douay-Rheims Version)
Still, the traditional translation captures the meaning of the verse as interpreted by traditional Christianity in its Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox forms.
but because of the one who subjected it, in hope creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now . . . . (Romans 8:19-22)
“Thus, God says to the fallen Adam that its by the sweat of his brow that he shall eat, and to the Fallen Eve that she will have pain in childbearing (Gen. 3:16 & 19). Quae causa infirmitatis nisi iniquitas? ‘What is the cause of . . . infirmity but iniquity?”
Humans can attain sanctity only by participating, through Grace, in the saving death and resurrection of Christ.
The phrase “O, happy fault!” comes from an ancient Easter hymn, “The Exultet”:
In the crucifixion, God suffers with and for humans, instead of standing off aloof.
But, he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Evaluation of St. Augustine’s “Evil as the Privation (Corruption) of Goodness” Theodicy
St. Augustine maintains that Adam’s sin brought about an ontological change in, an essential lessening of, the human race.
St. Augustine’s Theodicy contradicts modern, scientific evolutionary theory.
Perhaps God intervened in a way not dissimilar from the mysterious supernatural intelligence in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Also, is it unreasonable to believe that the effects of this original rebellion extend to all of creation?
St. Augustine, following the scriptures, maintains that the original harmony within creation will eventually be restored.
And, the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And, the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Perhaps the greatest challenge posed by St. Augustine’s Theodicy to the “contemporary, non-biblically oriented person” is the remedy he proposes for the Fall – the death and resurrection of Christ.
But, we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But, unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (I Corth. 1:23-24)
As the quote from First Corinthians indicates, the acceptance of St. Augustine’s Theodicy ultimately rests on faith.
Indirect Theodicy (The G. E. Moore Shift)
Both theists and atheists agree that this material implication is true:
Theists maintain its more reasonable to argue this way:
Atheists say it’s more reasonable to believe in the existence of gratuitous evil than it is to believe in the existence of a maximally perfect God.
Both the atheistic and theistic views seem reasonable.
Download 479 b.
Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
Ma'lumotlar bazasi mualliflik huquqi bilan himoyalangan ©fayllar.org 2020
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling