Author Topic: Since God allows evil, it follows that...  (Read 835 times)

Offline St. Columba

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 772
  • Thanked: 251 times
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2019, 12:27:32 PM »
If you'd like to know my own opinion here, I think truth lies somewhere between the conventional theistic ideas and dualism. Evil considered in itself has no independent existence, its very essence being conceivable as a great empty nothingness and drive to swallow up and annihilate, but, given God and his work ad extra, it necessarily exists and will always exist, and is actualised through subjective freedom. It isn't God's "evil twin", but it is a kind of anti-God, deprived of self-existence, personhood and omnipotence, an acosmic parasite that is in itself no act and all potency, and whose first victim, as it where, was Satan.  :pray3:

Interesting Kreuzritter.  This is tricky.  If evil in itself necessarily exists, as you say above, does this not imply that God is incapable of preventing evil, moral or otherwise?

No, it doesnít stop God from preventing the work of evil manifesting. But it will always exist, like a black hole of nothingness, in relation to everything else, waiting to swallow it up. Evil has no absolute existence just as there is in no conceivable sense any ďabsolute nothingnessĒ - that is the truth in the deprivation concept.

Malicious hatred and perversion exist, as do those demonic essences we encounter and feel in the soul that shake us to the bone, whether those who call evil a mere ďdeprivationĒ or not, and they are not reductionistic deprivations of a good; they are exactly what they are. Itís not that itís inconceivable how somebody intentionally raping, torturing and murdering little kids could have its cause in a mere deprivation and itís motive in willing some lesser good. No. Itís that no logic or causal chain can take one from a good or neutral phenomenon, via some deprivation, to the real, vital, experiencable essences of these things, any more than a collection of photons can make a colour or chemicals and electrical signals an emotion. Itís more semantic juggling that reduces the world to intelleigible concepts at the expense of the phenomena themselves.

Fascinating.  Thank you.  I like it when you are on "Kreuz-control"!  :)

(a) "as a great empty nothingness and drive to swallow up and annihilate" .  How can nothingness have a drive? Whom, or what, is setting this "drive" in motion and maintaining it?

(b) You seem to be saying that evil, even as a no-thing, is "ontologically" prior to the exercise of freedom.  So why does God allow evil, even absent freedom?  Or is it simply temerarious (and necessarily overly reductionistic and low-resolution) to even attempt an answer?
People don't have ideas...ideas have people.  - Jordan Peterson quoting Carl Jung
 

Offline St. Columba

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 772
  • Thanked: 251 times
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2019, 02:26:59 PM »
Can evil ever result from a mistake, or mishap?  (specifically, a physical evil)  If so, how can we account for this possibility?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 02:31:38 PM by St. Columba »
People don't have ideas...ideas have people.  - Jordan Peterson quoting Carl Jung
 

Offline Michael Wilson

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 6310
  • Thanked: 3958 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2019, 10:28:56 AM »
It seems to me that if you equate suffering with evil, then it does happen all the time; an example that just occurred here in town: One of my former students went to the Dentist to have her wisdom teeth extracted; she was anesthetized, but the anesthesiologist made a mistake on the quantity he gave her, and she went into a comma; she eventually came out of the comma after 6 mo. But its been over a year and she is still suffering from the effects of this error.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 

Offline Daniel

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2263
  • Thanked: 474 times
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2019, 07:57:03 PM »
Can evil ever result from a mistake, or mishap?  (specifically, a physical evil)  If so, how can we account for this possibility?
What do you mean by a 'mistake' or 'mishap'?

Humans make mistakes all the time. And evil often follows from those mistakes.

But to God there are no mistakes. Every mistake made by a man, and every evil which follows from that mistake, was no mistake to God. Not only did the evil happen, but it was God who arranged/willed/caused that evil to happen. Why? Nobody knows. My guess is that it's for some 'greater good', though I cannot prove it. The 'greater good' would need to be something which is somehow better with the evil than without it. For that end God not only makes it possible that evil can follow from human error, but He ensures that evil does follow from human error.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 08:27:39 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8099
  • Thanked: 2581 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2019, 11:00:02 AM »
Quote
The form (soul) comes from God, so the form would be the same regardless.
  This is ambiguous.  In order to be a premise for what you wrote after, this has to be interpreted as dualism.  I reject dualism, the idea that God puts a ghost into a meat robot.

Yes, God Wills the soul, and He creates it by permitting moral and natural evil.  The moral evil is also a direct consequence of the Greater Good of Free Will.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8099
  • Thanked: 2581 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2019, 11:06:46 AM »
Quote
But maybe the question is, why should God have created you at all if He had to allow evil for it to happen?
  One possibility, God created me because He knew in my later years I'd commit some horrible moral evil: I'd become a communist and go to hell.  This change in my life would shock 10 heathens who would convert to the Faith and go to heaven.  I go to hell, and 10 heathens go to heaven.  Would a sane, intelligent god allow this to happen?  Of course.

 
Quote
The history of the world didn't HAVE to include all the evil events even if it would not be the same world without them. Adam and Eve didn't HAVE to sin and we didn't have to exist; others would exist and they would be the happier "we".
  Happiness?  The only thing that matters is heaven.

I have my own theory, and I don't hold by it much:  Existence is an optimization problem.  The constraint is Free Will, plus all of the attributes of God, primarily Truth.  The objective is to optimize the situation such that you maximize heaven and limbo, and minimize the suffering in hell.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8099
  • Thanked: 2581 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2019, 11:13:17 AM »
Quote
This is just more mechanistic reductionism. Whatever else this abstraction of "information" is, it's not a subject, no collection of it is a real unity, it is not conscious, it is not alive, and it does not will, think and feel.
  Mechanistic reductionism?  It opposes mechanistic reductionism.
Quote
It also exists only in relation to the machine that interprets it and material that encodes it.
No.  The representation of information has those attributes.  The information is real, but it is immaterial.  Furthermore I'm more interested in what created the information and what perceives it.  These too are immaterial.

Quote
The "solution" already exists, in the immediate experience of my self, by my self, as my self, the transcendental, simple, irreducible "I".
I pretty much said the same thing:
Quote
At the core of our being is this simple fact: I Exist.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline Kreuzritter

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 685
  • Thanked: 549 times
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2019, 12:18:43 PM »
Mechanistic reductionism?  It opposes mechanistic reductionism.


Yes, reducing the soul to a set of information that, moreover, has meaning as a quantified abstraction in relation to measurable physical variables. It doesn't matter that it's "immaterial". So are the laws fo physics and its theories; they are nevertheless mechanistic reductions fo reality.

Quote
Quote
It also exists only in relation to the machine that interprets it and material that encodes it.
No.  The representation of information has those attributes.  The information is real, but it is immaterial.

Immaterial or not, it exists only in relation to the machine that interprets it and material that encodes it.  Everything you've cited in relation to DNA and the formalism of Gibb's and Shannnon entropy has this property. The idea of information in itself is just nonsense, as much nonsense of that of a word in itself, but given the Aristotelian world view in which you're formulating this, with information as "form" of a material object, and your stance against the notion of a "ghost in a meat robot", I would think you'd be ready to admit as much.

(Nothing new or particularly interesting is being put forward here by citing "information". This whole conversation could just as well have taken place over the ideas and truths of mathematics and its laws, which are immaterial.)

Quote
Furthermore I'm more interested in what created the information and what perceives it. These too are immaterial.

In which case we're straight back to the "ghost in the machine" problem. A collection of information no more constitutes a real, self-identical unity and makes a conscious subject than does a structure of matter or the two considered together.

Quote
This is ambiguous.  In order to be a premise for what you wrote after, this has to be interpreted as dualism.  I reject dualism, the idea that God puts a ghost into a meat robot.

There are more conceptions outside of the Scholastic dichotomism of human nature than just dualism and monism.

As it is, most systems are set on confusing materiality with corporeality and nowadays both of these with a law-bound external physicality reduced to the abstract theoretical world of atomistic physics. But they are equally set on confusing the immediate material object of consciousness and impressions, feelings and movements of the body and soul, with spiritual acts and the individual spirit itself under the term "mind". Of course I reject dualism too, but I reject it on the very grounds of its blind and erroneous categorisation of "body" and "mind", and that error may very well have its roots in Western theology.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 12:23:55 PM by Kreuzritter »
 

Offline Santantonio

  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 117
  • Thanked: 59 times
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2019, 05:07:10 PM »
Of course I reject dualism too, but I reject it on the very grounds of its blind and erroneous categorisation of "body" and "mind", and that error may very well have its roots in Western theology.

Body and Mind is only one of hundreds of examples, big ones, of a dualist nature to this world.
To our natural minds, it is apparent and undeniable. The presence of evil is undeniable and cannot thoroughly
be explained away as just another tool God uses to save us. This is because Satan is real and Original Sin is real,
they caused this condition as a matter of God's Justice. We are told and believe this.
Consider upon the juxtapositions and splits that are manifest in twos:

2 arms, 2 hands, 2 thumbs, 2 legs, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 spheres of the brain, 2 testes, 2 breasts, 2 nostrils, arteries/veins,
male/female, sun/moon, day/night, light/dark, fire/water, air/earth, heaven/hell, life/death, love/hate, right/wrong, god/satan, sons of light/sons of darkness, cain/abel, doing/thinking, up/down, east/west, north/south, health/illness, truth/deceit, knowledge/ignorance, spirit/matter, joy/sorrow, angels/demons (shall I go on? no reason to... )

The House divided cannot stand.. and it won't, it will be judged on the Last Day. We are subject to living in these conditions and dying in them until the Second Coming.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 05:08:55 PM by Santantonio »
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8099
  • Thanked: 2581 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #54 on: February 02, 2019, 05:35:08 PM »
Kreuzritter, this is for the benefit of others.

I consider myself still at the beginner level of theology, so I'm writing this aside for the benefit of others who are just starting out.  In what I'll call Greek Realism, there are four causes.  An example demonstrates this the best: the human heart.
Material Cause:  The matter.  We'll sum it up with "cardiac tissue".
Efficient Cause:  The actions that create it.  We'll sum it up with "embryology".
Formal Cause:  The form that distinguishes it from a potato.  Four chambers, valves, etc...  I have been theorizing that this can also be called the information about something.  Furthermore, Information Theory is now a mainstream branch of mathematics and has been forced to accept that there is something that exists called "information".  It even has a unit of measure, the "nat".  Information Theory gave us crypto-currency so it is even an applied science now.  This is a major problem for the heathen.
Final Cause:  It's purpose.  The Final Cause of the heart is to pump blood.

Modern heathens try to deny the last two.  I've read "The Atheist's Guide to Reality" written by one of their leading philosophers.  They hold that there really is no such thing as a heart and that there is no purpose in existence.  Basically what "we" (their self contradiction) call a heart is just the result of random actions of the physical world.

So ends the aside.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8099
  • Thanked: 2581 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Since God allows evil, it follows that...
« Reply #55 on: February 02, 2019, 05:55:23 PM »
Quote
In which case we're straight back to the "ghost in the machine" problem.
I see my problem, I wasn't clear.  I'm not addressing the human soul.  That was me going off on a tangent.  I was addressing your characterization of Greek Realism as "prattle".  In summary, my point is that even the heathens are accepting that there is something called "information" and Jaynes has shown that the information about things is a fundamental State function for basically everything.  Basically modern mathematics now accepts the Form, though I doubt that they would admit this.

As far as the interface problem, I concede that Greek Realism does not solve it.  The soul perceiving things is more easily accepted.  The soul moving things is a mystery.  For that matter, how immaterial field and charge exert a force on the matter of an electron is also unknown.  Described, yes.  Explained? No.

Quote
Immaterial or not, it exists only in relation to the machine that interprets it and material that encodes it.  Everything you've cited in relation to DNA and the formalism of Gibb's and Shannnon entropy has this property. The idea of information in itself is just nonsense, as much nonsense of that of a word in itself, but given the Aristotelian world view in which you're formulating this, with information as "form" of a material object, and your stance against the notion of a "ghost in a meat robot", I would think you'd be ready to admit as much.
  Yeah, probably true.  The form is part of something.  Then there are the Transcendentals, but I would not categorize them as information.  I'd say information is a subset of the immaterial world.  The perception and creation of information are the interesting part.  For now I view our ability to perceive as God's fiat.  We perceive because it is True that we perceive.  A tautology, but it provides clarity.

Quote
There are more conceptions outside of the Scholastic dichotomism of human nature than just dualism and monism.
  If you can suggest something to read on this, I'd be much obliged. 

Thanks for the interesting conversation.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."