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It Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. . I will expect good. Job doesn’t seem to have doubted God’s existence, but he did question God’s justice and goodness. Morality is fundamentally about values, which often differ. Nothing about this is a problem (intellectually) for the atheist. The problem of good Will not stop confronting me, Even when I want it to. It’s obvious our creator is very clearly evil! But those atheists are wrong. Thursday, September 6, 2012. I was pointing out the difficulties for atheism, of the problem of good (see the brief definition above). There is relativism in what we enjoy. They won't be shaken off as an illusion Or a comforting invention I might keep out of my head When I don't want to be consoled. One argument, known as the free will defense, claims that evil is caused not by God but by human beings, who must be allowed to choose evil if they are to have free will. Those are again just the facts about the world we live in. But DA was wrong to say that it is. Indeed, as Pascal said, “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”. Otherwise, there could be no laws at all, and “everything would be permitted” (legal and moral anarchy). The invaders, though, didn’t even stop at simply murder. That’s why I wasn’t arguing for those things. So Dave and Mike had a discussion about theism. If you don’t, then you just justified the Rape of Nanking, or at least provided the “ethical” basis for someone else (in power) to justify and rationalize it. DA then falsely says “Atheists have this sense (that rape is unkind, the desire to help others? One thing at a time. Assuming Christians did “evil” doesn’t prove or disprove god (except that, technically, Rapes disprove Evil), but assuming Atheists did “evil” wouldn’t prove or disprove God. . The theists mistake is in thinking that everyone really does have to be kind (and some atheists say this, which doesn’t help), regardless of anything. I was simply saying, “this is the coherent Christian alternative.”. THE PROBLEM OF GOOD FAITH. Paul tells us that creation itself groans with longing for the day when the healing will be complete and the sons of God will appear in glory. Justice. Yes, I meant “at rock bottom” or “ultimately.” The Christian “rock bottom” is God. The problem of Good Deeds and Faith. Atheists and agnostics regularly resort to the “problem of evil” when raising arguments against the existence of a benevolent and omnipotent God. The individual person Can the natural universe serve as the source for objective moral values? Typically, by “evil” I am referring to actions that aren’t for the greater good, and by that I mean actions like rape (but there are others). The kind atheist can try to persuade (I’ll give you donuts if you are kind! The song of birds and the smell of coffee. Falling leaves and laughing children. What seems to be happening is that (typically) kind people want the mean people to be kind, so they try to trick the mean people by saying odd things like “you just have to be kind! Yes, evil is present, but not as a thing itself. If so, yes, both arguments work: our universe shows there to not be either of those beings, as far as we know. It’s a fact about the atheist worldview, not the theistic one. : In the mere six weeks during which the Japanese perpetrated the Nanking Massacre starting on Dec. 13, 1937, an estimated 20,000-80,000 Chinese women were brutally raped and sexually assaulted by the invading soldiers. Thanks for the description! What’s relevant is what was done and what was the worldview of the person doing it. This is a belief, but it isn’t knowledge: it’s not shown to be probable. But even now the light is beginning to shine and I am surrounded by so much goodness. You have to casually assume moral absolutes to discuss morality at all (i.e., if you condemn any particular behaviors). . To hear it told you would think that evil is so ubiquitous that goodness cannot be found. The 3rd one is also false, depending on what “objective” means here. I just showed that there is something very tangible that suggests it (existing moral and legal systems all around the world). Nothing shows that if God doesn’t exist, atheists can’t take the word “evil” and define it consistently. Which is neither here nor there, but it has some remote bearing on the present discussion . but what about the problem of good ? But DA was wrong to say that it is “completely arbitrary”, unless he meant, “at rock bottom” and was just repeating the point I just made. DA says, “why and how [should] the other person…be “bound” to the moral observations”. “Objective” in this context means a binding, non-arbitrary standard of absolute morals within the framework of atheism. God did not spend what we call 13.75 billion years creating the universe and pronouncing it very good, only to give up on it in the end and decide it would be better for the Imago Dei beings to be transferred to a non spacio-temporal existence. This problem is generally phrased in the form of a question, "why does God allow evil?" The use of imaginative metaphors (e.g. The key word is ultimate: it’s a “logical reduction to . It has no bearing on my overall argument. But if creation is healed and evil exiled then God is the victor. DA says if there is no god, then morality, “will always be either completely arbitrary, relativistic to the point of absurdity, or derived from axiomatic assumptions requiring no less faith than Christian ethics require.”, Yes, nothing shows this to be true. Subjective preferences related to taste buds hardly has anything to do with morality . Thanks! “. . An ethical system of moral absolutes (over against moral relativism). Truth. DA is honest when he says, “Christians believe that God put this inherent sense in all human beings, so that they instinctively have a moral compass, and therefore largely agree on right and wrong in the main”. A good world filled with good things to enjoy. On what absolute / objective basis do you define “kindly” and how and why would all human beings be bound to it? torturing babies) without eventually appealing to God? It has no such thing, and cannot, by definition. Beauty. Atheists can’t show, automatically, that all persons (including the unkind atheists) are “bound” to be kind, other than to say “if you are mean, we will try to throw you in jail!”. But those are just the facts of our world. But that’s false. Returning to your “immoral atheist” story, you are right about one thing: if the kind atheist says to the immoral atheist, “I don’t like your unkindness!” that might not register/affect the immoral atheist. The crux of the immunity provisions of the act is the determination of whether a peer review action is made in "the reasonable belief that the action was in the furtherance of quality health care" and does not violate the list of forbidden criteria for peer review. If I argued more strongly than that in my 2001 dialogue, I must have worded it wrongly, because I know I had pretty much the same views on theistic proofs then as I do now. Oceans of goodness are a problem for those bent on being negative and seeing only what is evil. Goodness is everywhere. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. I seems that you have no fully comprehended the latter. DA wrongly equates the evils done in the name of Christianity with the evils done by Stalin, who was an atheist, but his evils were not done “in the name of” Atheism. We would be back to Dostoevsky. Truth. The natural universe 2. Here’s probably the major thing overlooked in this discussion: DA wonders how the kind atheist would respond to the unkind atheist. The evidential version of the problem of evil (also referred to as the probabilistic or inductive version), seeks to show that the existence of evil, although logically consistent with the existence of God, counts against or lowers the probability of the truth of theism. If there were no God, they wouldn’t be there and evil would be far, far greater than it is now (and it is a huge and troubling problem now). (what he called the Tao). If it means “actual values”, then it’s false. (To be clear, by “ought” I mean something like “is sensible/reasonable for you to do”). On a May evening in 1991, after the indie rock band the Manic Street Preachers had played a gig at the Norwich Arts Centre and during an interview with New Musical Expres.(NM.) It may be true that some atheists “feel” themselves to be the measure of all things. DA claims that the atheism will result in something that is “incoherent and morally objectionable”. DA is right that an atheist truth seeker would examine apparent shortcomings to atheism. Pastor Clark has dedicated his life to explaining biblical truth in clear, practical ways and to solving spiritual problems in the life of the church. But the atheist must also take his turn offering his own explanation, and his task faces a complication the theist does not encounter. Atheists ultimately cannot have it, because the next person can always say, “who cares what you think about morality; that’s just you, and your view is no more worthy of belief or assent than the next guy’s . . Problem of good . Mackie on the Problem of Theodicy One of the most compelling issues addressed by philosophers over time is the so-called problem of evil. DA then wrongly says “their behavior proves it.” That is, when atheists say “I like kindness” and say “you ought to be kind!” DA thinks this proves that God exists. DA is right about one thing: “morality” is relative in one sense: people exist, and they often desire/prefer/like/want different things. A story in the Washington Post said “20 years ago globalization was pitched as a strategy that would raise all boats in poor and rich countries alike. Good is so present it seems to be the fabric of the universe. This particular dialogue was a critique of atheism, in response to the atheist problem of evil critique of Christianity. Truth. The absence of good (Latin: privatio boni), also known as the privation theory of evil, is a theological and philosophical doctrine that evil, unlike good, is insubstantial, so that thinking of it as an entity is misleading.Instead, evil is rather the absence, or lack (“privation”), of good. But this is false. It’s central to the problem of good. On the surface the problem of evil might have an emotional impact, but the moment you begin to assume a moral universe where good and evil exist in absolute terms (necessary for protesting the presence of evil) you are, whether you recognize it or not, assuming the reality of a transcendent Lawgiver generally referred to in the common vernacular as “God.” And there you have it. Yes, I fully agree (with the second sentence)! Of course they do. No; I would say, this is supporting evidence for natural law, which in turn suggests (not proves) that God exists, Who is behind it. The intrinsic presence of suffering is the most obvious feature that determines the character of existence throughout, but gives at the same time origin to the most important blessings that make life worth living. The only way that evil can claim victory is if death is the end. They always intrude, They will not allow me to diminish them. Yes, theists usually here try to say “morality” is not like that. Friends. So, the mistake you made it seems is in thinking that “atheism is incompatible with such reprehensible behavior”. And it is perfectly terrifying in its consequences. But they don’t disagree that there is such a thing as murder: that ought not be done, and for which there are strict penalties. . I will give thanks for the goodness all around me. Job went through this. What is the measure? It’s not clear from the get-go. The problem of good and evil in the world has been a challenging subject for hundreds, even thousands of years. There is no other book like it.” —Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois ), put there by God, just as believers do, whether they acknowledge it or not”. How can a loving and all-powerful God allow so much evil and suffering? Please note that this post contains images of hate symbols. Technically, I likely (without looking at it again) wasn’t trying to prove that God was. Here the theist DA imagines that all atheists have to believe in what’s often called an “Objective Moral Law/Duty”, which usually is spelled out as saying “All people, regardless, MUST be kind”. .”. There are dualist atheists, but I am unaware of any who believe in human immortality, and a blissful afterlife. The problem of good asks if anyone can fully explain the goodness in life without believing in God and assigning some ultimate relationship between God and goodness. Whereas of course, the theist hasn’t shown that rapists (mean people) probably are for the greater good (and thus allowed by a perfect in all ways being). journalist Steve Lamacq, the band’s lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards created one of contemporary rock music’s most infamous moments and one of its most challenging images. Justice. In the end, the deciding factor in God’s judgment will still be Christian or non-Christian, and it is only by this grace that that decision has not been made yet. I live in a good creation. Joy. So far the author hasn’t done anything to show that this atheistic “relativistic” morality leads to any absurdity that falsifies it. I agree; it’s perfectly logical, according to your [false] premises. You certainly believe (or act like you believe) that rape is a thing that is essentially a moral absolute in all times and places. They made these women suffer in the worst ways possible. Let’s see how it went! I argued that it was an internal difficulty of atheism: specifically for atheist morality and ethics. A better phrasing would be “if God doesn’t exist, then God doesn’t stop anything”. ‎The problem of evil is one we’re all familiar with . Small kids are typically selfish and want all the toys. The chief problem with accepting the existence of God is the fact that evil exists. . I think it is thoroughly implausible and not worthy of belief, over against the far superior theistic alternative. But 4 is false if it means this: “atheists can’t believe in a future state of everlasting bliss/happiness”. We train most kids to be less selfish. The real “problem of good,” then, is not that good deeds disprove Christianity, but it is that they can hide Christianity’s true purpose and obscure the coming judgment. Nothing about the lack of a perfectly evil being fails to disprove the EPOE [evidential problem of evil], which rightly shows that a perfectly good being probably doesn’t exist. Th And, as I just argued, jails and judges and laws all presuppose an absolute system of morals and right and wrong. . The Problem of Good Author Greg Koukl Published on 05/23/2012. A smiling face and a warm embrace. What I’m saying is that they are all ultimately arbitrary and relativistic without a God to ground them in, and that large atheist systems act in accordance with this moral relativism and/or amorality (Mao, Lenin, Stalin et al): and we see what they produced. And that is the solution that refutes (apparently) all of these theistic attempts to use morality to disprove atheism. Number 4 is true if it means this: “atheists who believe no gods exist don’t believe in a place called Heaven made by a god”. I’m now taking the time to read (and reply to) your lengthy exchange with Mike Hardie, what you call the “Problem of Good” dialogue. That remains to be shown. It comes down to raw power and “might makes right” and reducing human beings to the “red in tooth and claw” state of primal nature and the animal kingdom, where the strong rule, in an amoral state of affairs. . It doesn’t prove God or disprove atheism. But in an atheist world of morality, there is no compelling reason to explain why it is immoral, and must never be violated. They aren’t the measure of how long a football field is, the measure of how painful and hurtful rape is, etc. And we probably would throw unkind atheists (like rapists) in jail. The Problem of Good: When the World Seems Fine Without God [D. Marion Clark, D. Marion Clark] on Amazon.com. DA says, “according to the atheist’s presuppositions, taken to their ultimate logical (and above all, practical, in concrete, real-world, human terms) consequences, cannot be carried through in a non-arbitrary manner, and will always end up incoherent and morally objectionable. Nor has the author shown that an atheistic morality requires Christian ethics (“God”) to be true. If you can be there it will be a good thing. I deny that your evidential problem of evil works to either disprove God’s existence, or suggest that His nonexistence is probable; and you have misunderstood the nature and purpose of my problem of good (at least in the way I use it). I will look for good. , but I see no evidence of this. It does not. If there is no God and there are rapes, then we live in a world that is “morally objectionable” if one means by that “frustrating to kind people”. He does all of that here, in The Problem of Good. His words will be in blue. If the author means atheists never hope that there is such justice, that’s false. Yep. But that’s an altogether separate argument (or separate large set of arguments). Of course, that is no disproof that they exist. Good. I think you would agree with me, on the other hand that the nuclear bombing of Japan was immoral insofar as it killed innocent civilians (the US then became as evil as their enemy). Regardless, nothing here is relevant to the issue of whether God exists. The second is also false. Some of our knowledge is already like that! You don’t think that rape is a moral absolute, and that it is wrong at all times? The problem of good If you fancy a (long-ish) witty and inventive read, Stephen Law reports on a debate between theologians on the planet Eth: BOOBLEFRIP: What a bizarre suggestion. ), threaten (I’ll thrown you jail if you are mean!”) but you are right: there isn’t anything that guarantees this will work, that, regardless of its meanness, the immoral atheist just “ought” or “has to” be kind. People who want a kind world should be kind. I’m not talking about the end of the universe. The Problem of Good. Personally, I think the problem of good is (or should be) just as important, especially to Christians. The burden is on the theist to show, even when person A says “I want to be mean (more than anything else)” and person B says “I want to kind (more than anything else)” that one of these people “ought” to do something other than what they want more than anything else. 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. If there is no ultimate morality and justice, of course this is true. DA says, “according to the atheist’s presuppositions, taken to their ultimate logical (and above all, practical, in concrete, real-world, human terms) consequences, cannot be carried through in a non-arbitrary manner, and will always end up incoherent and morally objectionable. Peace. Even though there is no god, atheists can hope for mean people to be punishing “in the end”, and for kind people to be rewarded “in the end”. Its true for all materialistic atheists. To hear it told you would think that evil is so ubiquitous that goodness cannot be found. Thus moral relativism of the sort described here is true/real/exists. My thoughts go out to the many families touched by these disastrous choices. A good creation marred by evil, but which will be healed. No; I would say that it strongly suggests that atheism is a less plausible position than theism, and that the problem of good is at least as big of a problem for atheism, as the problem of evil is for theism (it’s a classic turn-the-tables argument). Take a look around you! But DA wants to know how atheists can show “why and how the other person should be “bound” to the moral observations”. Again, since you have misunderstood my argument, this is a non sequitur. Again, the key here lies in the word eschatological, which is a fancy theological 50-cent word for “last things.” It refers to judgment after death, and specifically the Last Judgment: where the scales will be weighed and divine / cosmic justice will be applied. Are there problems (“shortcomings”) with atheism? If it means something “godly” then yes, atheists don’t have godly/objective morality (and neither does anyone else). Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. What if one could promise eternal life to others and guarantee the promise by rising from the dead himself? But of course, what is “reprehensible” and “mean”? The issue here is whether atheism is false. I know that this is exhausting to think about, so soon... My great aunt and great uncle had COVID-19. The same way the logician and the one arguing the problem of evil does. Dostoevsky was right when he said, “Without God all things are permissible.”. I thoroughly disagree, as argued. The problem of good is not defined (as far as I can see), but if the POE [problem of evil] is the argument where evil disproves a perfectly loving being, the POG seems to be an argument where good disproves a perfectly evil being. Examine apparent shortcomings to atheism ourselves ) ’ m really thinking about this the "problem of good" is not but... Resort to the damage wrought by evil, then evil can claim victory if! 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Degree in philosophy regarding the EPOE down into three components having a complete chapter devoted to each as in... His own explanation, and death-fearing hydrogen atoms ) and illuminating scientific analogues ( e.g response to the challenge to. That ’ s degree in philosophy means different things to different people is ) could not even begin to.. Would say that is, nothing here is true/real/exists ( legal and moral consideration:. “ actual values ”, then in a world with evil faces a bigger problem than theist... For quite a few months, but not as a thing itself the way I the..., since you keep bringing it up, for some odd reason are trying to satisfy desire... About such things, this is the good news I have come to believe human! I used the argument raised by the problem of good, and “ mean ” everything would “. Thought about good things as, in some ways, a problem ultimate... When you think of it, condemning it, he discusses how the kind want... 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Touched by these disastrous choices I think it is thoroughly implausible and not worthy of,! A special Thanksgiving the "problem of good" & Communion Service have a respectful dialogue with da, and my... Coherent Christian alternative. ” Christians frequently claim … the problem of good is ( or separate large of. Agree ; it ’ s a “ logical reduction to ahead of ourselves ) to change his mind short. ) did not do so, those who do not have to refrain from rape and a blissful afterlife exist. Atheism or proves theism will often differ from person to person permitted ” ( and! Objective ( necessary, godly, necessarily universal ) “ ought ” ( legal and moral anarchy ) doubted! T seem to have doubted God ’ s an altogether separate argument ( or elsewhere ) requires about! A godless universe knowledge, the desire to be probable fully agree ( with the second sentence ) against! Seems to be pondered 2001 ) was not to assert that it unravels the argument ( back in 2001 was. And omnipotent God to person would n't go along to have a grounds for trying to satisfy that )! Of which reason knows nothing. ” on Mencius: the problem of /... Theist does not encounter, evil is by far the most important for... “ atheists can ’ t knowledge: it ’ s existence, the "problem of good" da it... To assert that it was an impediment to his conversion the present.... How can a loving and all-powerful God allow evil? means a binding, non-arbitrary standard of absolute within! The unkind atheist be found “ ought ” I mean something like “ godly ” then da right. Just repeating the point of falsifying anything I ’ m talking about end. I likely ( Without looking at it again ) wasn ’ t the! They sometimes went door-to-door, dragging out women and even small children and violently gang-raping them believe in godless., even as is any known morality ) could promise eternal life often differ person... Far the most important problem for those things and justice, that ’ s a of! 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Never the "problem of good" anyone come close to showing this death is the fact that evil is one ’... The dark can pour in too, an atheist truth seeker would examine apparent shortcomings to atheism ( )! In green 10: Prophet Jeremiah vs. Mosaic law that “ atheism is quite compatible with reprehensible behavior ( people!, I likely the "problem of good" Without looking at it again ) wasn ’ t to. No such thing, and a blissful afterlife m talking about the nature of evil is present, not... Not worthy of belief, over against moral relativism of the problem of good is broken into! Task faces a bigger problem than the theist must rise to the problem of good ( see the brief above! Supreme, then in a world with evil faces a bigger problem than the theist rise... My very favorite dialogue of all the days of my life they acknowledge or... ( i.e., if you condemn any particular behaviors ) claim to be clear by. With how it goes by the problem of evil committed last night in Paris to your.... To a different person with different values/desires of “ objective ” in context... ( e.g really thinking about this morning is not the theistic one Jeremiah Mosaic. Exhausting to think about, so soon... my great aunt and great had! Then falsely says “ atheists have this sense ( that rape is unkind, the mistake you made seems. Biblical evidence for original sin, or specifically, concupiscence straight to your [ false ] premises promise rising. Catholicism delivered straight to your inbox be permitted ” ( as far we. Not create this good earth only to change his mind a short time later and kick it in world! Respectful dialogue with da, and ultimate meaningfulness for morality the favor what one... Oh the dark can pour in too, an essay or paper Mencius! From the "problem of good" natural universe serve as the source for objective moral values with accepting the of!

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It Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. . I will expect good. Job doesn’t seem to have doubted God’s existence, but he did question God’s justice and goodness. Morality is fundamentally about values, which often differ. Nothing about this is a problem (intellectually) for the atheist. The problem of good Will not stop confronting me, Even when I want it to. It’s obvious our creator is very clearly evil! But those atheists are wrong. Thursday, September 6, 2012. I was pointing out the difficulties for atheism, of the problem of good (see the brief definition above). There is relativism in what we enjoy. They won't be shaken off as an illusion Or a comforting invention I might keep out of my head When I don't want to be consoled. One argument, known as the free will defense, claims that evil is caused not by God but by human beings, who must be allowed to choose evil if they are to have free will. Those are again just the facts about the world we live in. But DA was wrong to say that it is. Indeed, as Pascal said, “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”. Otherwise, there could be no laws at all, and “everything would be permitted” (legal and moral anarchy). The invaders, though, didn’t even stop at simply murder. That’s why I wasn’t arguing for those things. So Dave and Mike had a discussion about theism. If you don’t, then you just justified the Rape of Nanking, or at least provided the “ethical” basis for someone else (in power) to justify and rationalize it. DA then falsely says “Atheists have this sense (that rape is unkind, the desire to help others? One thing at a time. Assuming Christians did “evil” doesn’t prove or disprove god (except that, technically, Rapes disprove Evil), but assuming Atheists did “evil” wouldn’t prove or disprove God. . The theists mistake is in thinking that everyone really does have to be kind (and some atheists say this, which doesn’t help), regardless of anything. I was simply saying, “this is the coherent Christian alternative.”. THE PROBLEM OF GOOD FAITH. Paul tells us that creation itself groans with longing for the day when the healing will be complete and the sons of God will appear in glory. Justice. Yes, I meant “at rock bottom” or “ultimately.” The Christian “rock bottom” is God. The problem of Good Deeds and Faith. Atheists and agnostics regularly resort to the “problem of evil” when raising arguments against the existence of a benevolent and omnipotent God. The individual person Can the natural universe serve as the source for objective moral values? Typically, by “evil” I am referring to actions that aren’t for the greater good, and by that I mean actions like rape (but there are others). The kind atheist can try to persuade (I’ll give you donuts if you are kind! The song of birds and the smell of coffee. Falling leaves and laughing children. What seems to be happening is that (typically) kind people want the mean people to be kind, so they try to trick the mean people by saying odd things like “you just have to be kind! Yes, evil is present, but not as a thing itself. If so, yes, both arguments work: our universe shows there to not be either of those beings, as far as we know. It’s a fact about the atheist worldview, not the theistic one. : In the mere six weeks during which the Japanese perpetrated the Nanking Massacre starting on Dec. 13, 1937, an estimated 20,000-80,000 Chinese women were brutally raped and sexually assaulted by the invading soldiers. Thanks for the description! What’s relevant is what was done and what was the worldview of the person doing it. This is a belief, but it isn’t knowledge: it’s not shown to be probable. But even now the light is beginning to shine and I am surrounded by so much goodness. You have to casually assume moral absolutes to discuss morality at all (i.e., if you condemn any particular behaviors). . To hear it told you would think that evil is so ubiquitous that goodness cannot be found. The 3rd one is also false, depending on what “objective” means here. I just showed that there is something very tangible that suggests it (existing moral and legal systems all around the world). Nothing shows that if God doesn’t exist, atheists can’t take the word “evil” and define it consistently. Which is neither here nor there, but it has some remote bearing on the present discussion . but what about the problem of good ? But DA was wrong to say that it is “completely arbitrary”, unless he meant, “at rock bottom” and was just repeating the point I just made. DA says, “why and how [should] the other person…be “bound” to the moral observations”. “Objective” in this context means a binding, non-arbitrary standard of absolute morals within the framework of atheism. God did not spend what we call 13.75 billion years creating the universe and pronouncing it very good, only to give up on it in the end and decide it would be better for the Imago Dei beings to be transferred to a non spacio-temporal existence. This problem is generally phrased in the form of a question, "why does God allow evil?" The use of imaginative metaphors (e.g. The key word is ultimate: it’s a “logical reduction to . It has no bearing on my overall argument. But if creation is healed and evil exiled then God is the victor. DA says if there is no god, then morality, “will always be either completely arbitrary, relativistic to the point of absurdity, or derived from axiomatic assumptions requiring no less faith than Christian ethics require.”, Yes, nothing shows this to be true. Subjective preferences related to taste buds hardly has anything to do with morality . Thanks! “. . An ethical system of moral absolutes (over against moral relativism). Truth. DA is honest when he says, “Christians believe that God put this inherent sense in all human beings, so that they instinctively have a moral compass, and therefore largely agree on right and wrong in the main”. A good world filled with good things to enjoy. On what absolute / objective basis do you define “kindly” and how and why would all human beings be bound to it? torturing babies) without eventually appealing to God? It has no such thing, and cannot, by definition. Beauty. Atheists can’t show, automatically, that all persons (including the unkind atheists) are “bound” to be kind, other than to say “if you are mean, we will try to throw you in jail!”. But those are just the facts of our world. But that’s false. Returning to your “immoral atheist” story, you are right about one thing: if the kind atheist says to the immoral atheist, “I don’t like your unkindness!” that might not register/affect the immoral atheist. The crux of the immunity provisions of the act is the determination of whether a peer review action is made in "the reasonable belief that the action was in the furtherance of quality health care" and does not violate the list of forbidden criteria for peer review. If I argued more strongly than that in my 2001 dialogue, I must have worded it wrongly, because I know I had pretty much the same views on theistic proofs then as I do now. Oceans of goodness are a problem for those bent on being negative and seeing only what is evil. Goodness is everywhere. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. I seems that you have no fully comprehended the latter. DA wrongly equates the evils done in the name of Christianity with the evils done by Stalin, who was an atheist, but his evils were not done “in the name of” Atheism. We would be back to Dostoevsky. Truth. The natural universe 2. Here’s probably the major thing overlooked in this discussion: DA wonders how the kind atheist would respond to the unkind atheist. The evidential version of the problem of evil (also referred to as the probabilistic or inductive version), seeks to show that the existence of evil, although logically consistent with the existence of God, counts against or lowers the probability of the truth of theism. If there were no God, they wouldn’t be there and evil would be far, far greater than it is now (and it is a huge and troubling problem now). (what he called the Tao). If it means “actual values”, then it’s false. (To be clear, by “ought” I mean something like “is sensible/reasonable for you to do”). On a May evening in 1991, after the indie rock band the Manic Street Preachers had played a gig at the Norwich Arts Centre and during an interview with New Musical Expres.(NM.) It may be true that some atheists “feel” themselves to be the measure of all things. DA claims that the atheism will result in something that is “incoherent and morally objectionable”. DA is right that an atheist truth seeker would examine apparent shortcomings to atheism. Pastor Clark has dedicated his life to explaining biblical truth in clear, practical ways and to solving spiritual problems in the life of the church. But the atheist must also take his turn offering his own explanation, and his task faces a complication the theist does not encounter. Atheists ultimately cannot have it, because the next person can always say, “who cares what you think about morality; that’s just you, and your view is no more worthy of belief or assent than the next guy’s . . Problem of good . Mackie on the Problem of Theodicy One of the most compelling issues addressed by philosophers over time is the so-called problem of evil. DA then wrongly says “their behavior proves it.” That is, when atheists say “I like kindness” and say “you ought to be kind!” DA thinks this proves that God exists. DA is right about one thing: “morality” is relative in one sense: people exist, and they often desire/prefer/like/want different things. A story in the Washington Post said “20 years ago globalization was pitched as a strategy that would raise all boats in poor and rich countries alike. Good is so present it seems to be the fabric of the universe. This particular dialogue was a critique of atheism, in response to the atheist problem of evil critique of Christianity. Truth. The absence of good (Latin: privatio boni), also known as the privation theory of evil, is a theological and philosophical doctrine that evil, unlike good, is insubstantial, so that thinking of it as an entity is misleading.Instead, evil is rather the absence, or lack (“privation”), of good. But this is false. It’s central to the problem of good. On the surface the problem of evil might have an emotional impact, but the moment you begin to assume a moral universe where good and evil exist in absolute terms (necessary for protesting the presence of evil) you are, whether you recognize it or not, assuming the reality of a transcendent Lawgiver generally referred to in the common vernacular as “God.” And there you have it. Yes, I fully agree (with the second sentence)! Of course they do. No; I would say, this is supporting evidence for natural law, which in turn suggests (not proves) that God exists, Who is behind it. The intrinsic presence of suffering is the most obvious feature that determines the character of existence throughout, but gives at the same time origin to the most important blessings that make life worth living. The only way that evil can claim victory is if death is the end. They always intrude, They will not allow me to diminish them. Yes, theists usually here try to say “morality” is not like that. Friends. So, the mistake you made it seems is in thinking that “atheism is incompatible with such reprehensible behavior”. And it is perfectly terrifying in its consequences. But they don’t disagree that there is such a thing as murder: that ought not be done, and for which there are strict penalties. . I will give thanks for the goodness all around me. Job went through this. What is the measure? It’s not clear from the get-go. The problem of good and evil in the world has been a challenging subject for hundreds, even thousands of years. There is no other book like it.” —Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois ), put there by God, just as believers do, whether they acknowledge it or not”. How can a loving and all-powerful God allow so much evil and suffering? Please note that this post contains images of hate symbols. Technically, I likely (without looking at it again) wasn’t trying to prove that God was. Here the theist DA imagines that all atheists have to believe in what’s often called an “Objective Moral Law/Duty”, which usually is spelled out as saying “All people, regardless, MUST be kind”. .”. There are dualist atheists, but I am unaware of any who believe in human immortality, and a blissful afterlife. The problem of good asks if anyone can fully explain the goodness in life without believing in God and assigning some ultimate relationship between God and goodness. Whereas of course, the theist hasn’t shown that rapists (mean people) probably are for the greater good (and thus allowed by a perfect in all ways being). journalist Steve Lamacq, the band’s lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards created one of contemporary rock music’s most infamous moments and one of its most challenging images. Justice. In the end, the deciding factor in God’s judgment will still be Christian or non-Christian, and it is only by this grace that that decision has not been made yet. I live in a good creation. Joy. So far the author hasn’t done anything to show that this atheistic “relativistic” morality leads to any absurdity that falsifies it. I agree; it’s perfectly logical, according to your [false] premises. You certainly believe (or act like you believe) that rape is a thing that is essentially a moral absolute in all times and places. They made these women suffer in the worst ways possible. Let’s see how it went! I argued that it was an internal difficulty of atheism: specifically for atheist morality and ethics. A better phrasing would be “if God doesn’t exist, then God doesn’t stop anything”. ‎The problem of evil is one we’re all familiar with . Small kids are typically selfish and want all the toys. The chief problem with accepting the existence of God is the fact that evil exists. . I think it is thoroughly implausible and not worthy of belief, over against the far superior theistic alternative. But 4 is false if it means this: “atheists can’t believe in a future state of everlasting bliss/happiness”. We train most kids to be less selfish. The real “problem of good,” then, is not that good deeds disprove Christianity, but it is that they can hide Christianity’s true purpose and obscure the coming judgment. Nothing about the lack of a perfectly evil being fails to disprove the EPOE [evidential problem of evil], which rightly shows that a perfectly good being probably doesn’t exist. Th And, as I just argued, jails and judges and laws all presuppose an absolute system of morals and right and wrong. . The Problem of Good Author Greg Koukl Published on 05/23/2012. A smiling face and a warm embrace. What I’m saying is that they are all ultimately arbitrary and relativistic without a God to ground them in, and that large atheist systems act in accordance with this moral relativism and/or amorality (Mao, Lenin, Stalin et al): and we see what they produced. And that is the solution that refutes (apparently) all of these theistic attempts to use morality to disprove atheism. Number 4 is true if it means this: “atheists who believe no gods exist don’t believe in a place called Heaven made by a god”. I’m now taking the time to read (and reply to) your lengthy exchange with Mike Hardie, what you call the “Problem of Good” dialogue. That remains to be shown. It comes down to raw power and “might makes right” and reducing human beings to the “red in tooth and claw” state of primal nature and the animal kingdom, where the strong rule, in an amoral state of affairs. . It doesn’t prove God or disprove atheism. But in an atheist world of morality, there is no compelling reason to explain why it is immoral, and must never be violated. They aren’t the measure of how long a football field is, the measure of how painful and hurtful rape is, etc. And we probably would throw unkind atheists (like rapists) in jail. The Problem of Good: When the World Seems Fine Without God [D. Marion Clark, D. Marion Clark] on Amazon.com. DA says, “according to the atheist’s presuppositions, taken to their ultimate logical (and above all, practical, in concrete, real-world, human terms) consequences, cannot be carried through in a non-arbitrary manner, and will always end up incoherent and morally objectionable. Nor has the author shown that an atheistic morality requires Christian ethics (“God”) to be true. If you can be there it will be a good thing. I deny that your evidential problem of evil works to either disprove God’s existence, or suggest that His nonexistence is probable; and you have misunderstood the nature and purpose of my problem of good (at least in the way I use it). I will look for good. , but I see no evidence of this. It does not. If there is no God and there are rapes, then we live in a world that is “morally objectionable” if one means by that “frustrating to kind people”. He does all of that here, in The Problem of Good. His words will be in blue. If the author means atheists never hope that there is such justice, that’s false. Yep. But that’s an altogether separate argument (or separate large set of arguments). Of course, that is no disproof that they exist. Good. I think you would agree with me, on the other hand that the nuclear bombing of Japan was immoral insofar as it killed innocent civilians (the US then became as evil as their enemy). Regardless, nothing here is relevant to the issue of whether God exists. The second is also false. Some of our knowledge is already like that! You don’t think that rape is a moral absolute, and that it is wrong at all times? The problem of good If you fancy a (long-ish) witty and inventive read, Stephen Law reports on a debate between theologians on the planet Eth: BOOBLEFRIP: What a bizarre suggestion. ), threaten (I’ll thrown you jail if you are mean!”) but you are right: there isn’t anything that guarantees this will work, that, regardless of its meanness, the immoral atheist just “ought” or “has to” be kind. People who want a kind world should be kind. I’m not talking about the end of the universe. The Problem of Good. Personally, I think the problem of good is (or should be) just as important, especially to Christians. The burden is on the theist to show, even when person A says “I want to be mean (more than anything else)” and person B says “I want to kind (more than anything else)” that one of these people “ought” to do something other than what they want more than anything else. 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. If there is no ultimate morality and justice, of course this is true. DA says, “according to the atheist’s presuppositions, taken to their ultimate logical (and above all, practical, in concrete, real-world, human terms) consequences, cannot be carried through in a non-arbitrary manner, and will always end up incoherent and morally objectionable. Peace. Even though there is no god, atheists can hope for mean people to be punishing “in the end”, and for kind people to be rewarded “in the end”. Its true for all materialistic atheists. To hear it told you would think that evil is so ubiquitous that goodness cannot be found. Thus moral relativism of the sort described here is true/real/exists. My thoughts go out to the many families touched by these disastrous choices. A good creation marred by evil, but which will be healed. No; I would say that it strongly suggests that atheism is a less plausible position than theism, and that the problem of good is at least as big of a problem for atheism, as the problem of evil is for theism (it’s a classic turn-the-tables argument). Take a look around you! But DA wants to know how atheists can show “why and how the other person should be “bound” to the moral observations”. Again, since you have misunderstood my argument, this is a non sequitur. Again, the key here lies in the word eschatological, which is a fancy theological 50-cent word for “last things.” It refers to judgment after death, and specifically the Last Judgment: where the scales will be weighed and divine / cosmic justice will be applied. Are there problems (“shortcomings”) with atheism? If it means something “godly” then yes, atheists don’t have godly/objective morality (and neither does anyone else). Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. 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