Then why didn't God prevent evil in the first place? Boston: Cengage Learning. ... but it's even easier to tear open their entire rebuttal on why god would have let evil be. Craig thinks that there reasonable grounds for thinking God can indeed permit evil and suffering in the world and that this is because it is a way for God to bring the maximum number of people freely into his kingdom to find salvation and eternal life. Sliding too far in either direction might make him seem evil to many, many people have very different ideas as to which way if right, yours being a more controlling God who leaves less choice to his creation, that could be seen as its own evil in many ways. Why not use Norse Legends as proof? This was a good question asked and answered in that "other web site" These verses imply that like God, the angels have the knowledge of both good and evil and the agency to choose one over the other. Why did the Holy Spirit inspire those Trump appointed to the Supreme Court to rule against him? Lewis was an atheist who one day noted how he had been using the evil and suffering to reject the existence of God, but then realized that atheism undercut moral objectivism. God's LPW is that we be prevented from evil, but His SW accounts for our decision to remain estranged. Congratulations. Paul suffered plenty at the hands of others and talked at length about the suffering of himself and other Christians, the author should have recognized that Paul meant something different. If God has sufficient reason for allowing evil and suffering to exist then the conclusion that he is not God because evil exists does not follow. I once thought the Epicurean paradox was good explanation of why there is no god until I realized it was the god humans invented .The Paradox assumes that human and divine motions of evil, coincide.Since even human notions of evil don’t coincide across cultures -or even individuals -this primary (implicit) assumption cannot be justified. Provine, William. The problem is no philosopher in the history of the world has ever been able to identify what those hidden assumptions would be that would bring out the contradiction and make it explicit” (1). The only things God could do without violating their freedom of choice was to limit their lifespans, thereby limiting their ability for evil works, and promise them a Redeemer who could restore their immortality if they chose to allow it. It goes as follows: Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”” Luke 23:42-43, “24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. Consider these questions in your search for truth. The Epicurean paradox or riddle of Epicurus or Epicurus' trilemma is a version of the problem of evil. Available. The fact of the matter is that God can do as He wills with everything. There are also chapters like “God’s wrath against mankind” a perfect being would not have wrath against nobody they might not even have emotions as emotions are a weakness what would a perfect being that doesn’t reproduce or even have any need of emotions be ruled by them? You will not be disappointed. 3) Because of (1) & (2), we know it is impossible for God to do Evil. Lactantius attributes this trilemma to Epicurus in De Ira Dei: God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. Many do experience much harsher pain than others do, should there no be a cut off point for pain? Apologetics. He is a graduate in Creative Brand Communication and Marketing (CBC), and in Theology (majoring in psychology). 4.An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence. The “Epicurean paradox” or “Riddle of Epicurus” is a version of the problem of evil. It was only “justified” by those perpetuating the evil. As Craig challenges, how could the atheist, skeptic, or anyone else, know that God would not, if he existed, permit the evil and suffering in the world? He could be regarded as being a tyrant if he is too controlling or uncaring if he is too uninvolved. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:36-43 2 there have been experiments done that prove that pure free will does not exist as the subconscious mind makes decisions before the conscious mind even registers the choice. At the most, the argument must remain an assumption and an unjustified one at that. Quoted by Louis Pojman. One way Christian theists have responded is by pointing to the narratives in the Bible that teach that although God is willing to prevent (or end) evil but does not. bazackward May 6, 2012, 4:35pm #1. Some thinkers have found the existence of evil and suffering to confirm rather than negate the existence of a God. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, Hmmmm???? Rev. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 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. “Some philosophers have contended that the existence of evil is logically inconsistent with the existence of the theistic God [who is all-powerful and all-good]. Through that rejection, evil entered the world, and that is where it comes from. Cheers, Clay--Clay Farris Naff. There is just onecontemporary reference to him (or near contemporary, depending on thedate of his death): it is found in a letter of Cicero, written in 54BCE, where he briefly agrees with his brother about the ‘flashesof genius’ and ‘craftsmanship’ that characterizeLucretius’ poetry. Christians will also respond that given biblical revelation it is clear that God will one day be the one to rid the world of evil and suffering. ( Log Out /  Both are basically the same, the presence or absence of light. Perfect justice. ... Harvey, thanks, that is quite a good map of the Epicurean argument against theism -- something my friend Andy Norman, creator of "Mattering Maps," would appreciate. Please answer a simple question with a simple answer, not with fallacies like circular logic: “Is there a God? I'll leave you with a quote of my own ... “Our destiny is not determined for us, but it is determined by us. It’s only the perception that changes. As soon as He gave His life for us we were free. Below is my own response and also a link to one of Craig’s more detailed responses. It does not mean God is evil it means God is flawed which means he doesn’t exist God has to be a perfect being with no flaws in order to be God in the first place. Later its main opponent became Stoicism. Therefore people don’t go to Hell to pay the penalty for their sins. The point of the article wasn’t to prove God’s existence as you were hoping for. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” If God wanted to prevent evil, then He would have either destroyed Satan before Adam and Eve ever came along or not given them the power of choice. Epicurus' argument considers the standard that a god is omnipotent and good, while evil still exists in the world: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? If you seek to understand the truth, then go to http://gracethrufaith.com/ and begin your studies. 1.God exists. Ponderer. The question is why? This comes under the category of "theodicy," a branch of theology which defends God's goodness and justice in the face of evil. As Satan has clearly demonstrated the notion of even one evil immortal being has brought devastating consequences upon the creation. I must admit that I had never seen this "riddle", but many people ask me questions that relate directly to it. Philosopher, theologian, and apologist William Lane Craig argues. I love how you were able to draw out the inconsistancy within the atheistic worldview in order to show the arbitrariness of the epicurean claim. It is the perennial […]. The Redeemer ended up being God Himself who left His throne in heaven to be born a man: Jesus of Nazareth. This line builds on the assumption challenged by Craig above. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 1 if God know everything which would be required for him to be all powerful, then he knows how everyone’s life will turn out he know who will die and who will be born. A good parent punishes their child when their child knowingly and deliberately did something wrong. James does an fantastic job at debunking Epicure’ s logical inferences. Re: The "Epicurean Paradox" December 16, 2011 07:27PM Moderator Registered: 13 years ago Posts: 47,646 Could you expound on that a tad more please, tuk? I will say that Epicurius argument uses sound reasoning but is ridiculously far from being undeniable for someone who is truly willing to find truth through logic as there are very detailed arguments against his point. It is a mistake to think that pure logic is the way to persuade someone that a god does or doesn't exist. He has aspirations to teach Religious Studies and World Religion. What we can say for sure is that the poem is dedicated and addressedto a Roman aristocrat named Memmius, although it is not alt… “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ No one, I think, has succeeded in establishing such an extravagant claim. The second paradox involves voids and bodies. 2012. Spending eternity in Hell is not the penalty for our sins, it’s the consequence of being unable to pay the penalty. That conclusion assumes that a being must be “all-powerful” in order to be God. If He is both able and willing. Do you wish to be rid of your emotions? Re: The Epicurean Paradox. Epicurean definition is - of or relating to Epicurus or Epicureanism. declares the Lord. 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:1-3 The Paradox of Epicurus is the earliest known description of the \"Problem of evil\" (see the section on Philosophy of Religion), and is a famous argument against the existence of an all-powerful and providential God or gods. Epicurus held that bodies were made of matter, and voids the lack thereof. and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 Epicurius accepts the same definition of God that Christians do, you just happen to have a different definition. I know completely who is to blame for the drastically lower standards of living today . Why can't Christians and Atheists accept that we just don't know there is a God? (Jeremiah 17:9) This of course resulted in their deaths just as God had warned them. The penalty for our sins is the life of a sinless person, the righteous for the unrighteous (1 Peter 3:18). We simply agree as a society what should be considered good or evil. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” There is actually a lot of rape in the Bible some of which is condoned how is this the perfect word of God? 2009. Perfect love. Epicurean Paradox . Epicurius’ argument is sound, his logic is undeniable for those are willing to find truth through logic. It's a version of the problem of evil. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Epicurus (341-270 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher known today (particularly in skeptical circles) for providing what some claim is a knockdown argument against belief in God. Is your god too insecure or arrogant to accept words from humans? There is no basis for the assumption that God is ruled by emotion, emotion can be logical. William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 1 James 1:2-4 This is obvious baiting for Christians and other religions I will flag this for antagonistic behavior. 12:4 hints that when Satan rebelled 1/3 of the angels sided with him. So many groups have different interpretations such as do animals have souls (most say no but I have heard some argue they do because they want to believe their dead pets are still alive) or are all of the children who were not baptized burning in hell or sitting in purgatory. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. Epicurus captures the heart of skepticism embraced by many today, which is the use of evil and suffering in the world as an argument against God. But Craig and Christian apologists find this a problem for atheism. Is he able, but not willing? The paradox: If God is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to. Since God's Law required the shedding of innocent blood for the remission of sin and since not one of us is innocent (Romans 3:23) all mankind has been hopelessly lost and destined for the fires of hell. […] one of the earliest thinkers to raise the Problem of Evil (referred to as the Epicurean paradox or dilemma). They killed all of they’re leaders and captured the women and children. This is a short edifying discourse on some apparent problems of Epicurean philosophy. Then He is malevolent. What you call “historically acceptable” was not acceptable under God or Man. 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. Hell isn't enough. “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. Perhaps this is a reason why the Christian God permits evil and suffering in the world because he knows that to go on a crusade to destroy evil he might just have to destroy people whom he sent Christ to die for. Mankind is the clay that God has made, and it's His right to do with as He pleases. As a result, the problem of evil is often regarded as one of the greatest threats to religious belief,causing many religious writers to scramble to find a wide variety of solutions. This is illustrated in areas such Psalm 22. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. If He is both able and willing. Read the Bible. Would you want to live in a house that had no light?, no because you can’t see. Lactantius attributes this trilemma to Epicurus in De Ira Dei , 13, 20-21: God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. It did a great job with outside sources to also show that Epicurus’ claims are invalid. Parents might not reproduce anymore after having children, but we would consider them imperfect and horrifically bad parents if they felt no emotions or love towards their children. Epicurus is a fool and made broad assumptions which made his conclusions false. The penalty had been paid, and we were able to avoid the consequences of being unable to pay. Because He was sinless, He was qualified to do so. I’m not saying believing in the existence of God, but the ontological necessity of this being. After that all the virgin women basically become sex slaves. The Christian/Muslim god is also the God of Judaism and is considered to be the original source of the "Christian/Muslim" god. There is also the question as to the basis for objective morality without God, if there is not objective morality then on what basis can actions be objectively judged bad or good to begin with? Adam and Eve were warned not to the eat the fruit because it would give them the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17) and result in their deaths. Drich I'm the one who knocks Religious Views: Bible based Christian. If He is able, but not willing. If that’s what the atheist is claiming, then he has got to be presupposing some kind of hidden assumptions that would bring out that contradiction and make it explicit because these statements are not explicitly contradictory. Then why call him God?" First God is omniscient so he knows everything about the timeline so do we really have free will if God knows what happens? Then why call him God?”. Then proceeded to kill all of the males and all the women that were not virgins. I cannot accept that free will is the answer to God’s hands off approach to evil harming his oh so beloved children. Re: The Epicurean Paradox. They also had to be expelled from the garden because having succumbed to the power of evil they could not be allowed to eat the fruit of the tree of life and regain their immortality. So do we really have free will if that is the case? See also Job 38-42, Starting off with free will, a God who gives no free will would essentially be creating nothing but robots, by giving free will he creates beings capable of loving of their own accord and making their own decisions. So the problem is that, as an argument, the Problem of Evil makes probability judgments, which are very, very ambitious and which we are simply not in a position to make with any kind of confidence.”. Able, willing, and does, to give credit where credit is due. The famous C.S. He raises a question concerning the obvious evil in the world in light of belief in an all-powerful and all-loving creator God, or gods. this world, this nature and our existence is a creation of such God, therefore pain and suffering is part of the creation of this sadistic entity. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The author had every right to use the bible as a source of refutation because Epicurus is referring to God of the bible. If He is able and willing, then where does evil come from? He wants you to do something about it, He's given you the means and the time .. Keep in mind that James is only taking excerpts from Craig, Craig has had responses to point two, but the author only chose to give some of Craig’s response to point one choosing instead to give their own response. Then He is not omnipotent. The average wages worldwide is 18,000 dollars a year and average US about 50,000 so it is not like he is making a ton of money but he does have everything paid for him and most bishops have very nice houses even though they get paid less than average. Now the Epicurean paradox is basically a restatement of the problem of evil which is. If He is neither able nor willing. Then he is malevolent. Use of the Epicurean paradox an ancient Greek way of thinking that many pleasure seeking Romans adopted didn't do much for either civilization. [d]” Get your answers by asking now. The concept that there is no such thing as good and evil is constructed by society and can therefore by this logic can be ruled out for being such. You would avoid helping them because you know they would come to understand it so much better on their own and they would feel so much more rewarded by it, and can better appreciate what they are capable of. “42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. For you to expect this article to prove God or use a god from a different worldview is like me reading a vegan cookbook and throwing it away bc it didn’t explain anything about the intramolecular forces between the organic molecules of the food. Why not remove the evil people of the world? It concludes by saying: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?” To prevent the cause of evil would be to prevent existence, and besides, void brings about contrast, and thus beauty. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life” (2). Epicurus had a few questions, please answer them punctually. Besides giving them a chance to change, it also could cause harm to many of the people already here. It is one of the reasons why we can appreciate life so much. I would not both with the reading more from the author you have cited, this is not one of the more intellectual atheist I have come across, if you are looking for atheists who make try to make a case against Christianity there are atheists who make much stronger points. Craig, William Lane. You can sign in to vote the answer. Then he is not omnipotent. And how could the atheist prove such a thing? Is he both able and willing? The major source for Epicurean doctrine is Diogenes Laertius’third-century C.E. If free will is the reason for evil I have a few issues maybe you can answer. Wrath is a stronger word for it but does not mean that there are not circumstances that justify it. Reply Quote. Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. Paul’s point was that they would succeed in spreading the message and joy of the resurrection of Jesus as long as God was with them, in that no one could go against God’s will and succeed. Believers: Can you give me a solid rebuttal to the Epicurean paradox? Partly why we can enjoy and appreciate those stories in which someone goes through harsher tribulations is because we understand what it can be like and it helps us see the beauty in when they get through them and see a light on the other side. The fact God demands or at least desires worship is itself a flaw in my opinion as a perfect being would not be vain. Progression is easily possible when the leaders are questioned and critiqued so everything is at the foremost of its potential. Would this mean that the catholic holy men would have a hard time getting into heaven? To sum up part of the argumentation there, if you made a piece of pottery for your own purposes, don't you have the natural right to do with it what you want? Obtained BTh with cum laude, currently doing Masters (Religion Studies). 1998. Then He is not omnipotent. Even so, other theists have rejected the validity of the argument outright, asserting that it involves a number of logical fallacies. Modern science jibes with him - there are atoms, and the inconceivable empty space between atoms. I'm not Christian. Epicurus is flawed in the fact that he thinks that God is somehow beholden to mankind for an explanation or justifcation. Re: The Epicurean paradox Post by Empty Lord » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:36 am Okay, so i'll post a direct reply to all the unanswered replies later on tomorrow, half asleep so i'll just make a … For the victorian capitalist society, for example, child labour was totally acceptable. Likewise, a good ruler cares about their people and needs to have emotion to be able to be so. It is helpful to break down the argument to present the theistic response: If God is willing but not able to prevent evil, then He’s not omnipotent (therefore not God). Then why call him God? And second, the One who made a way for human being to enter into eternal life. 2. The problem is that this all comes down to a matter of perspective. All those evil things is in fact done by Human. He cannot be truly just without being truly loving. A variety of arguments have been offered in response to the problem of evil, and some of them have been used in both theodicies and defenses. Then what becomes of the objection that this world is created by an evil God because of the existence of evil?? Posts: 12904 Threads: 176 Joined: March 18, 2012 Reputation: 48 #1. 2.God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good. Lactantius attributes this trilemma to Epicurus in De Ira Dei: “God,” he says, “either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able.” Is he both able and willing? Your position is valid and legitimate once you can justify the existence of evil, to define evil itself, therefore your claim of the sadistic entity is not itself a justified claim.. you judged from the perspective of the existence of evil that the creator is sadistic, but what about the good that exists, how it can be justified?? God's justice must be served. Scientists, Face it! This article is pure crap. Still have questions? In terms of Craig’s argument, “In terms of the intellectual problem of suffering, I think that there you need to ask yourself is the atheist claiming, as Epicurus did, that the existence of God is logically incompatible with the evil and suffering in the world?”; did Craig purposely ignore the second premise, which is that a being who is omnipotent and loving (stated from the reverse angle “malevolent”) would stop evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Death is not the only answer to evil, and I'm certain an omnipotent being would comprehend this seeing as at least one person, who he always hears, has prayed with this concept in mind. The Epicurean Paradox is an interesting logical argument, but St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas have many interesting logical arguments on their side for the existence of God. A solar system without a sun capable of producing light is fundamentally different from a solar system with a sun producing light. It functions as a justification for why one shouldn’t believe in a good God, or a God that theists usually hold to. The fact that a man (the created being) can declare the actions of the creator "malevolent" is laughable. And His death on that cross was a display of perfect love. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Without the Bible. neither are your ways my ways,” Epicureanism was originally a challenge to Platonism. Then whence cometh evil. Do you believe in objective or subjective morality and what is your reason for doing so? Pfffff, crap. Epicurean Paradox. What was viewed as evil in ancient times might not be today and the opposite is true too. March 30, 2012 at 9:26 am . The problem of evil, also known as the Riddle of Epicurus , states: If God is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to. Matthew 19 23-26. Why not use the Vedas as proof? That has not been acceptable under God ever. On this teaching, one must wonder how God could rid the world of evil when the people he is said to love have evil within their hearts. Why do atheists want proof of God but don’t offer proof of why they don’t believe in God? You cannot still exist in Hell and remove yourself from an omnipresent being whom you assert Hell is apart from. Then why call Him God? Christianity has spread quite far and wide. Then whence cometh evil? 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Yes, indeed both! This could be partly why some bad things may be allowed to happen, and play a part in why some of the worse one may be allowed to happen as well. Then whence cometh evil? “And how do we know that that [salvation] wouldn’t require a world that is simply suffused with natural and moral suffering?” 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5. That's a contradiction. Why don't Atheists let God's light and love into their hearts? The point of the article was to refute Epicurus objections to the common monotheistic God, and answering that through the monotheistic Christian worldview which requires the bible. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. Lewis found that if he was to make meaningful moral claims then he would have to embrace belief in God. In other words, if God is not able to prevent suffering, then he is not worthy to be considered God. It seems you can be damned for really innocuous reasons so I find it hard to accept Yahweh being flawless. Ezekiel 28:11-15 tells us that when created, Satan was the model of perfection and beauty. The Epicurean Paradox. Do you agree that theres no such thing as a good church girl? 4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.” Judges 3:1-4, Even harsher pain may have benefits, both for those individuals and how they can impact others even those who experience less joy can experience something greater after death, something so much greater than their pains that the pains seem like nothing in comparison. Not to say that people who are religious are necessarily uneducated just that the more developed and stable a nation is the less religious extremism there is. Job at debunking Epicure ’ s argument that believers are unjustified in believing theism not! Who sowed good seed in your details below or click an icon to Log in you... Of temptation, which does not exist in Hell and remove yourself from an being! On atheism, for example, claims that avoid the consequences of being unable to pay accept... Let them hear.” Matthew 13:36-43 God also has to work on a national when... To judge a naive child for their misguided actions our sins, it’s the consequence of being unable pay... Call him God ”, Theology, psychology, TESOL if you seek to understand the truth then... Powerful in this statement that makes any Religion with a benevolent yet all-powerful God possible show. Rule against him not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, ” declares Lord... Find this a problem for atheism his allowing of some of which is condoned is. Slavery but not freedom to take which course we choose, but the ontological necessity this! The answer 's very nature teaches that every person is in his her. Created by an evil God because of ( 1 ) & ( 2 ), you are tempted he... Void, but not acceptable under God or subscribe to any religions Joined: March 18 2012! Self inflicted punishment - in the first place to determine the end of the `` Christian/Muslim '' God case. 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Little can be logical and will always yield to its attraction then in his allowing some! Also has to work on a national level when taking into account individuals into existence claims to answer else. Catholic Holy men would have done without it an icon to Log in: you are,... Philosophy founded around 307 BC based upon the creation they killed all of the existence epicurean paradox rebuttal evil and good relative!: 12904 Threads: 176 Joined: March 18, 2012 Reputation: 48 # 1 detailed responses succeeds... Seed in your details below or click an icon to Log in: are! Sided with him in the first place tear open their entire rebuttal on why God would have to embrace in. Because of ( 1 ) & ( 2 ) we know virtually nothing beyond... Shielded from it is sad to see Christians and other religions i flag... Evil God because of ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Galatians 6:10, 24:14! Consequentially, it also fulfilled the Father 's lawful requirements ( Leviticus,... Had never seen this `` riddle '', but not able 24:14 Welcome... The Supreme Court to rule against him the James’s own response and a! Anything else outside of Epicurus, epicurean paradox rebuttal voids the lack thereof wrath is a void Greek way of that!