Paper Help !!! Anything is helpful

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Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 09:27 pm
I am writing a paper about the Fall of man and how this created the Moral and Natural evils in the world today
well while learning about the Existence of God we talked about how God could exist as being
1) All Good
2) All powerful
3) All Knowing

And still allow evil- It is broken down into

1) Moral Evil - Choices by people that cause evil - Due to free will
2) Natural Evil - Things that occur not by products of choice ex - Tornados, Volcanos, Tsunami etc...

The argument is to prove that God still exists even though these evils occur.... the argument that I face is that if God is

1) all good .. he would make no evil not test anyone
2) All powerful - could stop evil from occuring or atleast less than is ..
3) All knowing - Knows that this evil exists

My teacher said that one of the holes in my argument is that natural evil existed prior to the fall of man ex - Dinosaurs and the meteor that made them extinct .. etc

Does anyone have any helpful information on Natural Evils or Pre Human Evil ???

Thank you SOOOO MUCH!!
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 11:12 pm
@mattman33,
I am probably not helpful at all, but I will try anyway. I would argue that there is no such thing as natural evil--only cause and effect. For example, a supernova happens and many stars and planets in the vicinity are obliterated. Is this really evil? More complex elements are formed as a result allowing more complicated life forms.

Even in the example of a hurricane. A city happens to be too close to the ocean on a barrier island. A hurricane wipes out the city and as a result the inland forms a new barrier for the inland, and less is destroyed in future storms. Is that evil?

I think evil is a subjective designation; therefore, cannot apply to what we call the objective realm. Evil is a moral concept which we cannot look at outside the realm of morality.
 
Jay phil
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 08:24 am
@Theaetetus,
mattman33
"My teacher said that one of the holes in my argument is that natural evil existed prior to the fall of man ex - Dinosaurs and the meteor that made them extinct .. etc"

It is a very popular notion, and held by many that the phenomenon of "coming to be and passing away" is an evil. But, is it true? Could labeling it an evil just be an emotional response on the side of passing away?
Just a thought.

Good luck on your paper.
 
proV
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 09:02 am
@Jay phil,
Yes, I would also agree that solution to your "problem" lies in (re)defining the word "evil".
I was asking myself (who hasn't?) the same question, but biased from Catholic point of view I always failed. So I started to look for answers elsewhere and finally found them in eastern religions (hinduism) and the karma (balance) law. And now everything makes sense. Even the Bible. Smile Not that this is the only right way but It helped me to see things from clearer perspective.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 09:29 am
@mattman33,
Some comments which may or may not be of use to you.
1. In Nature, there are events that are the results, we seem to believe, that are subject to cause and effect and follow the regularity of laws. Study these as thoroughly as we can, we do not see morality working in Nature; it is only when viewed from a human perspective that such events are good or evil. Nietzsche wrote: There are no moral phenomena, only moral interpretations of phenomena. So the term "natural evil" in this sense doesn't make sense.
2. One supposes that if there were natural evils (and their opposite), that these would have existed both absolutely and eternally. Thus they would be co-existent independently with God, who would have had nothing to do with their creation.
The alternative is that for natural evils to exist, there must be a nature to contain them or account for their origin, and they could not exist independently of the world-as-nature.
 
absence phil
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 07:56 pm
@jgweed,
I think something to keep in mind is the definition that is given to God. If God is fully actualized then there is no answer to why there is evil in the world, but if God has potential, potential to change, to grow, to adapt, to make mistakes, then the evil in the world becomes simply a word that has been given to describe an emotion and physical ramification of our own potential during our pursuit for actualization. The language that we use is our attempt to understand that which we experience. When we call something evil it is an attempt to grasp something that is unattainable without the word evil. We are held hostage by the language we use because it is connected with our experiences, our teachings, and our beliefs. Best of luck on your paper.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 09:17 pm
@absence phil,
mattman33 wrote:
I am writing a paper about the Fall of man and how this created the Moral and Natural evils in the world today
well while learning about the Existence of God we talked about how God could exist as being
1) All Good
2) All powerful
3) All Knowing

And still allow evil- It is broken down into

1) Moral Evil - Choices by people that cause evil - Due to free will
2) Natural Evil - Things that occur not by products of choice ex - Tornados, Volcanos, Tsunami etc...

The argument is to prove that God still exists even though these evils occur.... the argument that I face is that if God is

1) all good .. he would make no evil not test anyone
2) All powerful - could stop evil from occuring or atleast less than is ..
3) All knowing - Knows that this evil exists

My teacher said that one of the holes in my argument is that natural evil existed prior to the fall of man ex - Dinosaurs and the meteor that made them extinct .. etc

Does anyone have any helpful information on Natural Evils or Pre Human Evil ???

Thank you SOOOO MUCH!!


If God is literally all powerful, then natural evil's are his responsibility - tornadoes and such. If God is all powerful and all knowing He is able to prevent the so called natural evils.

I would suggest that good and evil do not exist - following Khetil's Nietzsche quote.

More importantly, I would suggest that language about God is figurative; language about God only points to the truth, without actually being true. God is ultimately inexpressible.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2008 09:51 pm
@mattman33,
mattman33 wrote:
My teacher said that one of the holes in my argument is that natural evil existed prior to the fall of man ex - Dinosaurs and the meteor that made them extinct .. etc


... a paper that opens by making an assertion and closes by refuting that assertion is not a bad paper - and that way you can turn your teacher's negative into a positive :a-ok: ... but if you don't have a mind to take that route, see if you can find Schneewind's The Invention of Autonomy: A History of Modern Moral Philosophy in your library - you can find some pretty sophisticated philosophical gymnastics along these lines in there ... another possible tack to take here would be to assert that God created good and evil at the exact moment He created man - but while that may serve to patch one hole, it may leave others open (if not open more!) ... good luck with the paper!
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 04:53 am
@mattman33,
Ooo... hope I'm not too late here.

If I understand your arguments right, it could all mesh together if you can somehow show that nothing existed prior to man; that there were no natural phenomena prior to his creation. Do this, and you might have a shot at a cojent argument. Perhaps the "created all in 6 days"-theory really was talking Six Days (and not metaphorically). I dunno...

But that's a stretch... in my opinion; and I'd echo the other comments here about defining evil first and foremost. I'd like to also say that proving god in any way - and in any form - is problematic at best (this being my belief only - your mileage may vary).

Good luck with this. I think a lot of us here might be curious to see what you came up with.

Thanks
 
Deftil
 
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 11:58 am
@mattman33,
You're trying to come up with a theodicy that reconciles natural disasters, and includes the concept that all evil is a result of the fall of man?

whoa boy. I don't think one can do it very convincingly.

I mean, science shows that natural disasters occurred before humans existed, so I suppose you would either have to argue that the science is untrue, and is some sort of test.... or that the dinosaurs were very bad and God punished them with meteors. Yea, seems like a pretty big stretch either way.

You can't drop the idea that God is all omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect? Maybe God could be really powerful, but not ALL powerful, and that would explain his inability to stop all natural disasters.

Can you drop the idea that natural evils are a result of the fall while holding onto the idea that moral evils resulted from the fall?

Well, if worst comes to worst, I guess you could just say that natural disasters are God's form of population control. It then seems cruel to us, but is for the greater good that He ultimately does it.

You might want to take a look at this and see if it helps any - Dr.Barry Whitney and have a look around the rest of the site as well, maybe.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 07:26 pm
@mattman33,
You could just get around it by answering that God created the best possible world, and no better world is possible for God to have created.

"Omnipotence" is defined by St. Thomas Aquinas as being able to do all which is possible.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 08:58 pm
@mattman33,
mattman33 wrote:
I am writing a paper about the Fall of man and how this created the Moral and Natural evils in the world today
well while learning about the Existence of God we talked about how God could exist as being
1) All Good
2) All powerful
3) All Knowing

And still allow evil- It is broken down into

1) Moral Evil - Choices by people that cause evil - Due to free will
2) Natural Evil - Things that occur not by products of choice ex - Tornados, Volcanos, Tsunami etc...

The argument is to prove that God still exists even though these evils occur.... the argument that I face is that if God is

1) all good .. he would make no evil not test anyone
2) All powerful - could stop evil from occuring or atleast less than is ..
3) All knowing - Knows that this evil exists

My teacher said that one of the holes in my argument is that natural evil existed prior to the fall of man ex - Dinosaurs and the meteor that made them extinct .. etc

Does anyone have any helpful information on Natural Evils or Pre Human Evil ???

Thank you SOOOO MUCH!!

You know; I could write your paper for you, but to teach you to write the paper I would have to teach you philosophy... Shall I continue??? Are you like in high school???What grade is your teacher in???
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 08:59 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian wrote:
You could just get around it by answering that God created the best possible world, and no better world is possible for God to have created.

"Omnipotence" is defined by St. Thomas Aquinas as being able to do all which is possible.

Being all powerful makes all actions possible...
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 10:16 pm
@Fido,
With the classic definition, even God can't make a square circle, since the square circle is contradictory, and therefore impossible absolutely.
 
averroes
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 10:42 pm
@mattman33,
All good: God gave us the pleasures of life, along with the free will and mind to use them as we please. He is also good enough to, after we have abused these blessings, still love us and forgive us.
All-knowing: God knows that we have evils inside of us, and knows us enough to see the good in us. He also is knowing enough to give us strife so that we may 1) know peace and happiness and 2) learn
All powerful: He gives us myriad blessings, along with sorrows for reasons listed above.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 07:06 am
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian wrote:
With the classic definition, even God can't make a square circle, since the square circle is contradictory, and therefore impossible absolutely.

We have been squaring circles since the Greeks, and we would not do it if we thought it impossible... The problem is the fact that circles are by conception perfect, as are squares, and in reality there is not one perfect example of either... We concieve of all reality as perfect, as ideas are... The conceptual dog is a perfect dog...The one we have sometimes nips our friends and craps on the carpet...
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 09:08 am
@mattman33,
Logically, there is no good without evil, just as there cannot be day without night.
A universe without potential evil, would have no good either.

Try and play God. Write a story without an antagonist, or without a distinction between good and bad. Its just ridiculous to ask for a world of good without evil. It makes as much sense as having up without down.

Karma only half explains the issue. If all good and bad actions were the result of Karma, then how did the first bad action take place?

If the worst thing that happenned to anyone was to stub her toe, then that would make headlines as a global catastrophe, and the faithless would consider it to be evidence that God was not omnipotent.

The Aquinas quote is an excellent one to begin with. The universe is perfect because it has the freedom to result in any event. Anything less would appear kitch, and the atheists, now full of faith, would complain that the world was not intense or real enough.

A square circle = a cylinder.

Look at it from the side, it appears square.
From the top, it appears as a circle.
 
proV
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 09:42 am
@Poseidon,
Poseidon wrote:

Karma only half explains the issue. If all good and bad actions were the result of Karma, then how did the first bad action take place?


I don't think it has. Think of it as a children's swing like this:http://katalog.flora.si/prodimg/thumb410_Gugalnica%208310.jpg


Here the action and reaction (bad and good) are simultaneous. And so for any desired moment. The question still remains though; who set/is keeping it in motion. So the problem isn't Newton's third law but his first one.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 09:53 am
@Poseidon,
Poseidon wrote:
Logically, there is no good without evil, just as there cannot be day without night.
A universe without potential evil, would have no good either.

Try and play God. Write a story without an antagonist, or without a distinction between good and bad. Its just ridiculous to ask for a world of good without evil. It makes as much sense as having up without down.

Karma only half explains the issue. If all good and bad actions were the result of Karma, then how did the first bad action take place?

If the worst thing that happenned to anyone was to stub her toe, then that would make headlines as a global catastrophe, and the faithless would consider it to be evidence that God was not omnipotent.

The Aquinas quote is an excellent one to begin with. The universe is perfect because it has the freedom to result in any event. Anything less would appear kitch, and the atheists, now full of faith, would complain that the world was not intense or real enough.

A square circle = a cylinder.

Look at it from the side, it appears square.
From the top, it appears as a circle.

Good and evil are not just related to each other... They are good and evil in relation to human life, our lives. They are forms, but also forms of our relationships..Like all these ideas, they are how we structure our lives and social behavior.
 
Jay phil
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 10:00 am
@Fido,
QUOTE:
"Logically, there is no good without evil..."

Is it possible that the "Good" is a principle, and that evil is a condition?
Just a thought.
 
 

 
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