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Riddle Me This, Christians


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Could a Christian please solve the Riddle of Epicurus for me?

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

 

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Could a Christian please solve the Riddle of Epicurus for me?

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

 

 

A classic problem, solved by St Augustine almost 2000 years ago, by recognizing that "evil" is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a privation of good, just as darkness is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a pr...ivation of light. Since 'evil' is then only a name we give to things which exhibit less goodness than they either could have exhibited or should have exhibited (the distinction here between natural evil and moral evil), we see that everything is really good to some degree (as we should expect from a God who created the world and saw that it was good) and that its lack of goodness (to whatever degree) is what we call 'evil.'

 

Now, we could ask the question "Is this really a solution?" I think it is more appropriately a "dissolution" as Augustine effectively dissolves what turns out to be a pseudo-problem... if you buy the argument which Augustine makes, of course. But, why wouldn't you? ;-)

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Could a Christian please solve the Riddle of Epicurus for me?

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

 

 

A classic problem, solved by St Augustine almost 2000 years ago, by recognizing that "evil" is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a privation of good, just as darkness is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a pr...ivation of light. Since 'evil' is then only a name we give to things which exhibit less goodness than they either could have exhibited or should have exhibited (the distinction here between natural evil and moral evil), we see that everything is really good to some degree (as we should expect from a God who created the world and saw that it was good) and that its lack of goodness (to whatever degree) is what we call 'evil.'

 

Now, we could ask the question "Is this really a solution?" I think it is more appropriately a "dissolution" as Augustine effectively dissolves what turns out to be a pseudo-problem... if you buy the argument which Augustine makes, of course. But, why wouldn't you? ;-)

If it matters as you presented it, I don't. Evil, is positive harm, not just the lack of goodness. Good isn't just the lack of evil either, its a positive thing(meaning its it own entity). That is talking about moral evil there not natural evil. Nature evil, is similar though, its just thinks that cause suffering. Goodness is not only the lack of that, but what is done positively. You can't just simply say, murdering a person, its just the lack of good, its committing a action, which is why its a positive thing. Not everything is good to some degree, murder for example isn't. I am sure I could think of more, but I think I said enough.

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A classic problem, solved by St Augustine almost 2000 years ago, by recognizing that "evil" is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a privation of good, just as darkness is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a pr...ivation of light.

So let's change Epicurus argument accordingly:

 

Is God willing to prevent privation of good, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh privation of good?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

St. Augustine didn't answer that conundrum, did he?

 

 

Since 'evil' is then only a name we give to things which exhibit less goodness than they either could have exhibited or should have exhibited (the distinction here between natural evil and moral evil), we see that everything is really good to some degree (as we should expect from a God who created the world and saw that it was good) and that its lack of goodness (to whatever degree) is what we call 'evil.'

If everything is "really good to some degree" then evil doesn't exist. Everything is good to some degree... Evil doesn't exist. So why even bother about God to save from evil? Save from what? Nothing.

 

Now, we could ask the question "Is this really a solution?" I think it is more appropriately a "dissolution" as Augustine effectively dissolves what turns out to be a pseudo-problem... if you buy the argument which Augustine makes, of course. But, why wouldn't you? ;-)

St Augustine's argument proves that the terms "evil" and "good" are defined by humans and do not exist as such. We create the meaning to what they represent.

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A classic problem, solved by St Augustine almost 2000 years ago, by recognizing that "evil" is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a privation of good, just as darkness is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a pr...ivation of light. Since 'evil' is then only a name we give to things which exhibit less goodness than they either could have exhibited or should have exhibited (the distinction here between natural evil and moral evil), we see that everything is really good to some degree (as we should expect from a God who created the world and saw that it was good) and that its lack of goodness (to whatever degree) is what we call 'evil.'

 

 

 

Of course. Hitler was just a little less good than mother Teresa. God bless 'em.

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Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

You just won't see this until after you're dead. And then only if you had been a True Christian™. And also, you will have been a True Christian™ only if you had previously been predestined and then calledto be a True Christian™ (as discussed in the verses following).

 

But, take Paul's word for it; disregard the fact that he said he'd do and say anything to spread the faith.

 

BTW, The Skeptic's Annotated Bible refers to Romans 8:28 as "One of the greatest and most absurd lies in all of scripture." I'd say it has a whole lot of competition for this title.

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Could a Christian please solve the Riddle of Epicurus for me?

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

 

 

A classic problem, solved by St Augustine almost 2000 years ago, by recognizing that "evil" is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a privation of good, just as darkness is not a positive thing in its own right, but rather a pr...ivation of light. Since 'evil' is then only a name we give to things which exhibit less goodness than they either could have exhibited or should have exhibited (the distinction here between natural evil and moral evil), we see that everything is really good to some degree (as we should expect from a God who created the world and saw that it was good) and that its lack of goodness (to whatever degree) is what we call 'evil.'

 

Now, we could ask the question "Is this really a solution?" I think it is more appropriately a "dissolution" as Augustine effectively dissolves what turns out to be a pseudo-problem... if you buy the argument which Augustine makes, of course. But, why wouldn't you? ;-)

 

If you can't win, spin. What better way to spin than to redefine the meanings of common words?

 

Let me put this in more concrete terms.

 

Is god willing but unable to prevent this?

Is he able, but not willing?

Is he both able and willing? Why does this exist?

 

BNW-vulture-waits-for-child-to-die.jpg

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While reading in the main blog earlier today, I ran across this comment by Egs3 that made me laugh and nod in full agreement.

 

My old retort when I used to bother was that:

if God is omnipotent

if God is omniscient

if God is omnipresent

if I am an abomination,

did god create me to confuse you or did he just make a boo boo?

 

I've sent more than one naive bible thumper home to mama with that one.

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