Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Pseudo-Problem of Evil

This is similar to Zeno's Paradox already assuming it's own falsification in its antecendent, whereby the paradox is asserted because some fraction of the A-to-B distance must already be traversed, a prior non-paradoxical necessity which begs the question of the whole paradox's viability in the first place, all in the attempt to help the conditional successfully infer a self-eliminated consequent. "must" makes it a strict implication of necessity, "If and only if..."

In other words, Zeno's Paradox assumes there is a contradiction to the "no traversals of x to y" consequent in order for it to be possible for the paradox to be stated at all.

That prior necessity to go through partial segments is impossible because it depends on the already-known success of partial segment traversing, each of which is open to the same impossibility because of further sub-segment necessities, and so on without end.

The prior smaller-segment-traversal requirement gets a free ride of non-paradoxicality in order to complete the conditional statement that expresses the paradox.

In the same way,

"If Evil exists,
then there is no God
or no Goodness of God
or no Goodness per se.",

assumes that the antecedent "Evil exists" is problem-free.

Yet it has to be true in order for the conditional itself to be considered true. Whether one is a Christian, merely a theistic or deistic believer in God, or an atheist, the assertion of any kind of objective reality of Evil already begs all the same questions, since it requires a non-problematic standard of Goodness according to which Evil can be identified or asserted as real in the first place

Consequently, there is no problem of Evil that does not assume non-problematic background assumptions concerning Evil's meaning and reality.

If Evil really did contradict Goodness, it's difficult to see how there could be any surviving criteria to begin with, on which to base the claim that Evil is real.

Comment: It seemed to me that your point is that the existence of evil presupposes the existence of God.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: I have actually changed my view on this one, in the process of editing it and rethinking it.]

My response: The claim that Evil exists indirectly assumes belief in God. The belief in Ultimate Goodness directly assumes belief in God because Ultimate Goodness can exist only as an aspect of an Ultimate Mind. But we do use different aspects of this Ultimate Mind Object by themselves as well as in partial and approximative complete sets.

A belief in ultimate goodness must be assumed, to give meaning to the claim that evil exists.

Note that I'm saying that the existence of God is -ultimately- presupposed, not -immediate- or -directly- presupposed by the existence of evil, because "God exists" is not the most direct conclusion or most direct prior assumption of "Evil exists".

However, the claim that evil exists does assume a non-problematic prior notion of good by which evil can be identified as objectively real.

But there cannot be a non-problematic notion of good if the existence of evil somehow negates the good, yet it's required for evil to be a reality that negates this same good that was used to recognize evil in the first place.

One cannot have it both ways. If evil exists as a negator of the good, then there never was the possibility of knowing this, because there would in that case be no prior good as the criterion for initially identifying evil.

Even if this core problem is ignored, the existence of evil could inveigh against the good only if evil could be shown to be unrectifiable in principle, which it cannot without knowing the outcome of all possible states of the total in advance, or apart from their obtaining.

However, such rectifiability would raise the same issue as that of identifying evil to begin with, since a rectified total, in the absence of which evil is identified, would be indistinguishable from the good. A rectified total is the same prior-notion-of-good assumption all over again, but introduced through an implicit back door.

In philosophical shop talk, there is a saying that "everyone has their god-statements", and there's no exception to this in the problem of evil's definitional self-exemption.

Every problem-of-evil claimant has their goodness assumptions, just as every atheist has their mind-god assumptions. Otherwise, there would be no basis for universal construance rules and obligations concerning the total, which are common to just about all objections to the existence or goodness of God.