Perfectly evil God

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Let us engage in a philosophical discussion.

    I propose that God exists. Moreover, I assert that God is maximally, perfectly evil. By this, I mean that God's ultimate aim for human beings is to maximise their suffering and pain. This is God's plan for the world.

    Some misguided atheist types would no doubt claim that the God I have described does not exist. Some misguided religious types might make a similar claim, probably on different grounds. So...

    Challenge #1: Can anybody produce a convincing argument that the God I have described does not exist?

    and

    Challenge #2: If you're religious, you might have been brought up to believe that God is perfectly Good rather than perfectly Evil. My claim is that this is a mistake. Can you show that I am wrong and you are right?

    Be aware that the position I am taking here is an intellectual one and is not necessarily a reflection of my personal beliefs. Think of me as Devil's Advocate (or evil God's advocate, if you prefer).
     
    ajanta likes this.
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  3. river

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    This god does exist , back to ancient times 6000yrs ago and further back .

    Most do not know this .
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Well, that was easy.
     
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Say a parent, has lived a long life, practicing at the school of hard knocks. Based on their accumulative experience and their wisdom based on 20/20 hindsight, they tell their child how to live their life, so they can avoid all the pitfalls of life and avoid its suffering. The child, hears their parent, but via will power and choice, chooses to live in the moment and follow their own path, based on the path of the herd. This composite brings them face to face with all the pitfalls of life, causing them suffering. Is the parent at fault for not forcing them to follow the path like a robot? Or is it the parents fault, the parent did not alter hard realty in ways that all the impulsive and irrational choices of their child, always brings their child happiness?

    An analogy for human suffering is a natural ecosystem. A natural eco-system is based on a delicate balancing act of many dependents components. When the system is in balance, all the components can be optimized at the same time. However, this system is delicate and it does not take much to throw it off balance. Perturbations in any of many components can cause the entire system to suffer.

    Many people, who ask about suffering, are also asking why did God make the human analogy of the eco-system so delicate. The answer is, if a tree or animal can do it, humans should be able to, especially if humans are higher up ladder. What is the benefit of dumbing down nature. There is a human ecosystem, leading to happiness, but it has a delicate balance that needs a higher human common denominator to work.
     
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Possibly.
    To maximise one's suffering, that person can have no moment of happiness other than to accentuate the suffering that will follow. Suffering must surely exceed happiness in a given lifetime.
    There needs to exist just one person who has never had suffering that exceeds the happiness in their life.
    If such a person exists/existed then God may be evil and may succeed most of the time, but is not maximally or perfectly evil.

    It depends upon how we judge, if we are capable of doing so, what is maximally evil, what is perfect evil.
    And whether life on Earth is merely a set-up for the eternal suffering that is to follow such that the suffering need not be incurred on Earth at all. Cos if the perfect evil only occurs after death, how are we to know at all?
     
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Thankyou, Sarkus. You have raised the Problem of Good.

    It appears that there is some happiness in the world, even such that some people apparently lead lives with more happiness than unhappiness. Is this not inconsistent with God being perfectly evil? Answer: no.

    To really appreciate evil and suffering, there must be something to compare it to. For this reason, God allows some happiness in the world, to make the suffering and the hurt and the death all the more alarming and horrible.

    Regarding the afterlife in Hell, where God likes to send everybody, God would surely be well satisfied with people building up false hopes that they might go to a better life after death, even if this life seems bad. That way, when people find out the truth - that they will end up in Hell regardless - they will be all the more terrified and unhappy.

    And here's the real genius: God allows people free will, so that they can freely choose to do evil. After all, if there was no free will then people would be like puppets and their evil would just be a reflection of God's evil. Much better, from God's perspective, to allow people the opportunity to choose evil of their own volition. The evil that is chosen by people gives God more satisfaction than evil that God himself creates, because, being omnipotent and all, God can create his own evil as much as he likes. And the point of creating people in the first place is to watch them suffer. How delicious to watch them suffer as a result of their own choices! People are free to choose to do evil and thus destroy the happiness of other people, which is something God loves to see, being perfectly evil himself.
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    But if suffering in hell is eternal, it must also be punctuated with a significant amount of happiness... An eternal amount, no less (such is the nature of infinity)... in order to continue the comparison.
    Can a God that offers an eternity of happiness, whether a fraction of the suffering or not, be considered maximally evil?

    I see what you're trying to do, but I think you'll still have the difficulty of getting agreement on what is "perfect" or "maximally" evil, as that is surely subjective as far as we understand it?
     
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Sarkus,

    I'm not too worried about the "perfect" or "maximal" part.

    Let's just concentrate on whether we can show that God is evil (or good, perhaps - though nobody has yet suggested that).
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, okay. Then no, I have no such convincing argument. I was thinking that the determining factor might be in the "perfection" of said evil, and that while one might be able to argue (although I offer no such) that an evil God exists, they would struggle with the notions of "perfect" etc.
     
  13. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know what "maximally evil" means. Could it mean God knows nothing but what humans regard as evil?

    Did "God" create us in the way God created us, or does you concoction create us in a way believed by you?

    Did "God" create us to suffer, or did he make us believe that we don't have to suffer, but make us suffer any way?

    I don't know enough about this concoction to make a decision.
    Are asking us to make a comparison to the God theists accept. Or are you proposing that the God theists accept, is this concoction?

    God can only be perfect, no matter His actions. Our regarding God, limits God to our comprehension of perfection. A bit like the limitation of your concoction.

    Siblings all see their parents differently. Within the same family one may see their parents as great, while the other sees them as evil. The parents always remain fixed in their character and personality despite.

    You are right for you, because that is how you understand God to be.

    Jan.
     
  14. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    If it's evil God's aim to make us suffer, why the need to compare it?
    Or are you adding sadism into the mix?
    That said you will need to reword the opening description.

    Why should suffering be horrible, if suffering is the very essence of our existence. Wouldn't we all be ecstatic?
    I dare say we wouldn't be able to comprehend anything outside of our nature. Wouldn't you?

    Only because they are not the production of your evil God. An evil God produce, would come into his/her own, and have no conception of terrible. They would be unhappy if they didn't constantly feel what we would describe as evil, and terrible.

    Jan.
     
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Jan Ardena:

    As I said above, I'm not too concerned about "maximal" evil. But we're talking about an omnipotent being here. An omnipotent being would have no bounds on the extent of evil he could do.

    Why does it matter?

    This isn't about me, by the way. See above.

    I think to be really evil, God would want to give hope that suffering would end or be reduced or eliminated, while at the same time making sure that it went on and on. False hope adds to the suffering, don't you think?

    Well, I often hear from theists that there's a God, and that this God is maximally Good, or something like that.

    I'm trying to explore whether one can tell the difference between a world created and run by a good God, compared to one created and run by an evil one. Do you think there's any difference?

    So God can be perfectly evil.

    So if God exists, it would be impossible to tell if God was good or evil?

    Would a sadist God be more evil than a non-sadist God? Remember we're hypothesising a very evil God here.

    Most people don't enjoy suffering. And an evil God would no doubt come up with a plan to frustrate any masochists.

    Then we couldn't comprehend a good God, either. And yet, religious people often assert that God is good.

    Why not?

    An evil God wouldn't want people to be happy, and would do everything to make sure that people were as unhappy as possible.
     
  16. birch Valued Senior Member

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    Well, if someone actually consciously made this universe and nature this way, i always thought its evil.

    Even without the concept of god. You think, holy sh$%, this place is so evil, weird, and crazy. Where the hell am i? I got off the wrong universe, this cant be happening etc type feeling.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    If there were such a god, why are we not up to our short & curlies in molten lava?

    Because we need a comparison state?

    Consider human-level torture. It is possible to keep a human conscious, alert and perpetually sensitive to pain for quite a long time. It's not like tortuers let their captors out for a bask in the sun for a few hours every afternoon.

    If we can instigate this level of suffering, why can't this god?

    If you really feel we need a "break" to make it maximally effective, why are we not hip-deep in molten lava for, say, 23.5 hours of the day, with a half hour to regain our neutral state?
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, the wondrous thing about this life - whether bestowed to us or not - is that we are free to make of it what we wish. We are free to look at the bad, and think it's a terrible world, or we are free to carve out a corner of good.

    Happiness is not an external property in which you live. Happiness is an internal state that you choose to pursue.

    Furthermore, if this god gave us the free will to decide to find happiness, surely that is a loving gift. The most loving gift possible.
     
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    DaveC426913:

    It comes down to the free will thing again. Evil God wants us to choose evil, not just inflict evil on us. It would indeed be easy for evil God to simply torture everybody continuously, or something like that, but would that be as evil as making people with free will who could choose to be evil themselves?

    My point here, as I said before, is to compare to the common religious idea that there is a good God in the world. Then what of the Problem of Evil? Why is there needless suffering if God is good? Believers often tell us that this has something to do with free will etc. In other words, they make the same kind of argument that I'm making for evil God.

    And similarly, from evil God's perspective, the wondrous thin is that we are free to look at the good and think it's a good world, or we are free to carve out a corner of evil.

    And so, I suppose, is unhappiness?

    And if evil God gave us the free will to decide to do evil, surely that is what we'd expect from an evil God giving evil gifts. The most evil gift possible.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  20. birch Valued Senior Member

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    If by design a god was trying to inflict suffering, life on this planet has all the hallmarks. Competition for resources, cant go back in time to fix and dont know the future, pain and suffering, disease, asshole or stupid people etc. It keeps you alive with just enough threat of pain to keep you going to usually suffer some more or be disappointed etc. The perfect mixture of sadism. Food chain. Analogy: Prison colony where the wardens and their family live well and the rest have to deal with threats from eachother and fighting over what scraps they throw down or allow.

    I hate this god even if it doesnt exist. I put myself hypothetically in a creator's shoes, would i create such a system if i cared? No.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  21. Capracus Registered Senior Member

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    The god of your model appears to value and take pleasure in orchestrating human suffering, which would make that activity good in eyes of said god. Shouldn’t God pleasuring himself be considered the ultimate example of good, and the antithesis of evil? Humanity should be honored to be instrumental in God’s pleasure; therefore I see no evil in the god you portray.
     
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Capracus:

    You've opened a different can of worms. Is something Good or Evil just because God says it is, or is there an independent standard of Good and Evil that we are able to judge for ourselves? Probably it's best to keep that discussion for another thread.
     
  23. Capracus Registered Senior Member

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    598
    James:

    It was the only aspect of your presentation that could be used to effectively address the question you posed. Stating God to be omnipotent, he essentially becomes the basis for any standard of good and evil. In this case there is no standard outside of God. So the best answer is: if it pleases God, it must be good.
     

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