Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Problem of Evil: Conceptual Welfare Chiseler

Definitional dependency embarrasses the mere concept of the problem of evil.

You don't add anything to dislike by calling it evil. Just as Schopenhauer said about pantheism: you don't add anything to the world by calling it God.

To recognize anything to be evil or negative in any sense beyond human dislike already requires a problem-free ultimate ideal goodness to contrast itself to and therefore give it meaning and recognizability as evil instead of being merely disliked, however extreme, exceptionless, and absolute that dislike might be on its own. This is how the problem of evil steals its meaning.

Evil can be recognized as evil only in the light of a contrasting already-existing problem-free good.

Without some concept of perfect goodness, you don't get to add the histrionic "evil" label to "everyone dislikes it" and get out of that anything more than "everyone dislikes it".

So the whole problem of evil is on definitional welfare. When you need evil so much that you're willing to steal its criterion of meaning from the concept of ultimate perfect goodness to even know that it's evil in the first place.

This is why the problem of evil is a childishly stupid objection.