Whence cometh evil?

“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?”

Epicurus – Greek philosopher, BC 341-270

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67 comments so far

  1. mephisto666 on

    the best quote ever!!!

    • raych on

      totaly!!!

  2. x on

    Not from Epicurus.

    • Muhammad Ali on

      .. Yes, it is.

    • Aria on

      if not please tell my its from an American Author so I can use it for an American Literature project… pretty sure it is though.

  3. jason on

    This quotation is interesting because it points out the fact that in order for God to be worth worshipping, He must be both omnipotent and Good. While this argument is clever, it is fallacious.

    1. God must be omnipotent.
    2. God must be Good.
    3. If there is evil, God is can’t be both.
    4. Therefore if there is a God, He isn’t worth worshipping.

    The fallacy lies in part 3 where the philosopher assumes that evil is something physical that, like all things physical, must have been created. If I asked the question: “What is darkness?” the only logical answer would be the lack of light. If I asked: “What is silence?” you would have to say the lack of sound. There is no way to measure darkness or silence but through the lack of their opposite, which does exist. I suggest a new (new to the modern non-thinker) argument formulated by St. Augustine which he derived from Socratic and Platonic philosophy.

    1. God is all Good.
    2. God created everything.
    3. Everything is good (or at least aims to some good).

    The problem with evil is that it is the good, perverted. Sex, drugs, and alcohol are good in the end they bring. There is nothing inherently wrong with pleasure. However, the means of obtaining that end are not aimed toward God. By aiming your actions away from God and toward yourself, the side-effect is what we call evil.

    • Clinton on

      Your Claim seems very legitimate but the only problem i see with it is your taking this in a literal since. This is ment to show the hypocrisy of the Christians. They believe god created everything. If he created everything then he created good. The only way to measure what is good is with evil therefor in the process he also created evil. Although it is his fault because he is omnipotent meaning he knows all and could foresee this happening. In the end you come to the conclusion god is a sick tyrant bastard that allows evil to simply happen. Although there lies another problem. In this, god could have irraticated evil and made earth heaven. Why is there a place like this. Unless in heaven there is also pain suffering and evil ? A little bit to think about.

      • august on

        but the christians can always make the argument that god created all the bad things in the world to test us
        wich would make sense if there was an all powerful man
        he have to test to see who is good enough to get in to heaven and as you say to measure good you have to have an opposit force wich is evil
        and what i mean is earth is a place to try a persons free will and to say that good is evil because he test us is not right if he didnt heaven would be a place where pain and suffering existed

      • Fluffybutts on

        Not that I necessarily disagree that the quote does point out this logical flaw, Christians didn’t exist at the time this was written. So when you say, “This is *meant* to show the hypocrisy of the Christians.”, your not being very accurate.

    • Nick on

      I’m sorry, but your fallacy doesn’t actually exist.

      If God is omnipotent, and all good, then “good” would be present, and infinite in all things. Evil cannot exist with the assumption of an All Powerful, All Knowing, All Good God, because his goodness would permeate all crevices, leaving no absence of “light”, and by definition destroying evil (or darkness/silence in your analogy).

    • Benbo on

      Yes, I uinderstand you, and normally don’t reply to thing on this thread, but if god was omnipotent, would he not let out and everasting flow of goodness, so that he does not have to watch over an evil world?

    • Andy on

      The thing about silence and darkness is they are both physical forces, which you can measure. Evil and goodness on the other hand are not physical, they are sensory and subjective. See what happens is, you read Epicurus and you realise that there is an arguement older than the New Testement which seems to have cornered a supposedly benevolent God in a logical hole, this causes what psychologists describe as cognitive dissonance, whereby your thought processes are contradicted – you have a couple of options, you can take on this thought processes, evolve and better your way of thinking or you can try and overcome the dissonance with little mind tricks that humans are massively capable of doing. It is easy for the person in the developed comfortable nation to believe that God is all good and all knowing; but go to the waste of the world, find cities where people are born into poverty, disease and famine – you can say it is the fault of the others around them, but then why do countless babies die or starvation, HIV, war, disease – if there is an all powerful God watching over who chooses not to intervene then how can you refer to him as benevolent – note that an all-knowing God is well aware how that baby will die before it has even been conceived. He is a racist, hateful and spiteful being who does not deserve worship even in the slightest sense.

    • Piman on

      > This quotation is interesting because it points out the fact that in order
      > for God to be worth worshipping, He must be both omnipotent and Good.

      I don’t think this is correct.
      The quotation does *not* claim that _if_ an alleged being which we are calling “Christian God” has the claimed qualities of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence, then He/It would be worth worshipping. There is no mention of worship; only the *definition of God* at the end.

      The quotation actually says that *there is no way / explanation-for-how* the God could be all of these: omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, *given* the observed presence of evil in the world. It seems to be logically impossible, and it is something that Christian-teachings fail to address. They have *defined* their God with all these qualities, and then ignore that that’s inconsistent. It would be like mathematicians defining “2 + 2 = 5”, but changing nothing else in mathematics.

      Then, your definition of evil is incomplete:

      > By aiming your actions away from God and toward yourself,
      > the side-effect is what we call evil.

      Are you saying that *all* evil comes from some human’s action?
      Some human diseases cause much suffering, but weren’t caused by any human action, let alone one which “strayed from God”.
      As do volcanos and earthquakes.

      Has it not occurred to you that God chooses not to intervene in crimes? That He/It created the whole system in the first place, and knew *exactly* what was going to happen (else that would contradict limitless knowledge and power)?

      The problem is that we’ve decided to believe in something before we have sufficient evidence. And we stubbornly stick in our present belief, *no matter what* the future evidence is. This is called “complete faith”, and it is not a virtue; it is just stubbornness and laziness.

    • Aragot Flaspirine on

      Technically, darkness is the absence of light, and silence is the absence of sound. These measures don’t have an opposite. However, take a measure of something with an opposite, such as pain an pleasure, and analyze that. Surely, pain isn’t the absence of pleasure. No, the absence of pleasure would just be.. nothing! If we measure pleasure as being positive, then obviously pain would be negative. Just because one is without pleasure does not necessarily mean they are in pain.

      Evil is not the absence of good; for “good” is used in the sense that it measures how “beneficial” an action is. Evil is the opposite of good, because it causes harm. The absence of good might just be an action that neither benefits nor harms. Therefore, your analogy with sound and light is irrelevant.

      It could be stated both ways .. “good does not exist” .. “what we consider as good is in reality absence of evil”

      Why does it have to be “evil” that doesn’t exist?

    • Chris on

      Jason you miss the entire point of the quote. Epicurus isn’t being critical of god, he is proving there isn’t one. He used logic to show god cannot exists. He literally destroyed the entire concept of god! Or at least the notion god exists, watches us, gives us rules, and cares for us.

    • Jason on

      I see major problems with your reasoning here. This quotation is not saying a god must be these things, but points out the problems in the descriptions people give for their god/s.
      “Everything is good” to a degree is lazy thinking. You cherry picked, “Sex, drugs, and alcohol as if these things are inherently evil, they are far from it! They are just tools. Rape on the other hand is not a tool, it’s an action. Are you saying rape is good to a certain degree? Maybe to the point of view of the rapist you might say? Than “good” looses it’s value. Why? Because we never consider an individual’s morality over group benefit. This is part of being human, our morality, and the constant tuning of it.
      We created gods and gave them our greatest achievements, while cursing ourselves for not living up to our own expectations. Maybe gods are just a side effect of our infantility.

    • hersh on

      This is not a refutation of god per se, it instead is meant to refute his attributes.

    • nicolas on

      one of the principals of Christianity is that god created good, so the same logic should be applied to evil

  4. Yaldabaoth Demiurge on

    Jason,
    Your argument only regresses the issue. It does not invalidate the argument.

    Even if “evil” is not a thing…it still exists and persists. Even if god did not directly create it, if he is still omnibenevolent and omnipotent and omniscient he is still sovereign and has the final authority in letting evil exist in the first place (no matter its nature or cause – sin, freewill, rebellion, etc) and allowing it to persist for so long.

    Therefore your argument is meaningless in reconcilling this synogism. It would have been more appropriate for the argument: 1) God created all things; 2) evil is a thing; 3) therefore, God created evil…not this one.

    • jason on

      You are saying that God allows evil, or the lack of goodness (i.e. works against God) are being allowed by God for too long a time. Well, I would ask you to post for me this perfect world you’re envisioning. In reality, we don’t know what that would be like. If you take away evil, you would have to take away the cause of evil (e.g. sin, free will, rebellion, etc.) So what is a world without sin or free will or rebellion? You can’t oversimplify the idea of God while making the argument against Him infinitely complex.

      I understand the second part of your argument. It’s important that you understand mine. I took the argument of Epicurus to mean that God – being all good – cannot exist if He created evil. You took it to mean that a God who does not prevent evil cannot exist if He is all good. See the difference? The second argument is based on an assumption. You don’t really know if a God that is 100% good would allow evil to exist because you don’t know what a world without evil would be like.

      • book of duh on

        Yeah, your reasoning is still wrong. First of all, he does quite well know what a world without evil would be like. It would… be without evil. And that is sufficient for the point to be made.

        Perhaps your next tactic will be to deny any cognizance of what the word “evil” might mean. Clearly you’re an epistemic relativist, which is a nice way to say that you make shit up as you go along.

      • jason on

        No, actually.
        I didn’t ask for the definition of a world without evil. Saying that a world without evil is simply “without evil” is like saying infinity is something that goes on forever. It doesn’t allow us to conceive infinity. The problem with discussing a world without evil or a world that is wholly just is that we have no conception of what that would be like. We have an idea of which way to go, and we can work towards that idea, but we haven’t a conception.

        E.g. If we define evil as anything that causes pain and suffering, we can group events in time that relate to this definition. War, sickness, natural disaster, etc. If you break these down into their components (i.e. killing in terms of war, pain in terms of sickness, and any sort of extreme force of nature: vibrations, heat or lack thereof, high-speed winds) you will find it very hard to imagine a world without evil. If all of these things were taken away, we would be left with a world without feeling or death. Whaaaaa???

        Forgive me, but your definition has left me dumbfounded.

      • Lodatzor on

        Your own argument is undone by the flaws you perceive in the counter-argument.

        If God is benevolent, then he loves us. If we are able to suffer, then this is in accordance with his design of us. What purpose does our suffering serve in order to fulfill that love? If he wishes only for us to be happy, why does he permit conditions which make us unhappy? What kind of ‘love’ is that?

        It is, of course, conditional love. He wishes, presumably, for us to suffer unhappiness so that we might beg him to relieve it. In return for such benevolence, we must obey his laws, and love him in return. If we do not, then we are punished for not obeying and loving him.

        In short, as the OT tells us, this God is a jealous god. Jealousy is malevolent. Therefore, if God is omnipotent and yet allows suffering, God is malevolent.

        Unconditional (i.e. perfect) love would not permit such suffering. God, therefore, cannot be perfect.

  5. Yaldabaoth Demiurge on

    in other word, god is our landlord and has been allowing or causing us to live in darkness and the cold for too long…

  6. dado2 on

    You guys r dumb, you cant have good without evil, there would be no point. Where would the free will in that be. If god only made us to be good, and we could only think good, then we would be slaves and everyone would be happy. But we are not slaves, we can fuck up and do what we want, so there is evil.

    • tommythecat on

      so what about heaven then? does free will cease to exist in heaven? as we are told heaven is a good place, so if god could eradicate evil in heaven why not on earth? please don’t use the “this life is a test argument” because if it is a test then god is not all knowing, as if he was he’d know the result of the test before the test

      • John Doe Anonymous on

        Life is not a test…. It is an education

  7. childfreekey on

    Came across this googling. I love this quote, and it makes a brilliant point. And dado2, you prove that point. Why would god give us free will if he knew we would suffer? For that matter, why would he create us at all?

    • jason on

      If you knew everything about God would He be worth worshipping?

      • jason on

        What is
        102716! / 47 * 8.2372361 / 7 pi + (the number of times I blink in a day)
        Just because you can’t answer that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

      • jason on

        And no, I’m not trying to prove that God DOES exist. I’m proving that you can’t prove He doesn’t.

      • JustMy2Cents on

        But… The equation you posted CAN be solved. It’s simple math (although the order of division and multiplication is ambiguous, don’t know if that was your intention or not. Regardless, a number of possible answers can be found), and some observation to find out how many times you blink in a day. In fact, that’s what science is. That’s what facts are. That’s what truth is. What you can solve, what you can prove, through experimentation, observation, calculation, etc. Sometimes, you may not get an answer. Then throw it out and try again. Sometimes you get a few different answers. Maybe all of them are right, maybe you just have to try again. Point is, you get answers that have been logically proven and true.

        And the whole “you can’t prove he doesn’t exist” arguement is, quite frankly, ridiculous, and the fallback for an arguement that’s been lost. Unicorns exist because you can’t prove they don’t then. Bruce Willis is an alien. IT’S TRUE CUZE YOU CAN’T PROVE HE’S NOT. HE USES CLOAKING TECHNOLOGY!!!!11!!ONE!!

        I haven’t read most of the other comments, I was just scrolling and skimming when the scientist and mathematician inside me died a little after reading your comment. Hey, it’s the internet. So if I’ve missed some big point in the comments, forgive me and refer to my name.

      • John Doe Anonymous on

        Do you worship your parents, or expect your children to worship you? Of course not. All you want from your parents and children is their love. True love can only happen willfully.

  8. Colly on

    To be fair you are digressing from the point. It is just a philosophical statement with a fair argument to make. Evil is more of a force than a physical entity, an innate capability in all human beings much like the force of good. All the philospher is declaring is the fundamental fault in religious preaching. If God is willing and able to prevent evil, why doesn’t He? And if that is the case, He is not the benevolent creator He is made out to be by the over-fed zealots in gold and white. Whatever people make of this cosmic accident is their choice. There is sense in the original statement. God is merely a comfort blanket for those who cannot comprehend all the workings of the universe, when there is no other explanation or word or reason. A filler, if you will.

  9. Dani on

    I love this qoute. Just reading some comments,some good arguments going on here. Good or evil is a result of the actions that we take and the intentons that we have. Natural disasters cannot be termed evil, unless they are directed willfully by some one or some force with the intent to cause harm. Otherwise the harm might come only from our failure to adapt or ressist.
    Something is evil since it causes suffering. If god were to be all knowing, all seeing and omnipotent, He should in theory as the quote suggests be able to prevent evil. Even if we can’t, if he is all knowing, god should be able to imgine a world without evil, and if evil is lack of good and he creates all that is good, he is in the best position(and argueably the only one able) to prevent evil. If he chooses not to, and wishes to allow suffering, is he truely worthy of worship? Or rather, is there a point to this worshipping?
    The idea of diversity and free will is not very valid here, as free will can be allowed while still preventing evil. We can still think freely without thinking evil, as every thing doesn’t come down to just one good choice and one evil one- eg There are many good uses of neuclear physics, that doesn’t involve WMDs. if all evil was prevented and a world without evil was created (then we will not be able to conceptualise a world with evil) we can still be allowed to have the ability to think freely – just not anything evil. Even now, our freewill would only extend to the limits that would have been defined by a creator (if he exists). If we say he is mystical and mysterious, then again, why worship some one you do not know. If you do not know him, how can you decide he is worth of worship. Is it then Worship out of love and respect,and admiration, or out of fear of the unknown. If you fear god, is he really all good and virtue? or does he have the ability to cause harm himself?

    At the end of the day if removing evil entails removing all causes of suffering, then yes, it would require total detachment from what we know has the “world”. This is what a budhhist will call nirvana.

  10. Kevin on

    “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

    Jason, the fallacy is the statement and assumption that: ‘God is all good’. Or rather defending God exists at all. The first two words in that position; “God is…”

    The arguments defending that which cannot be proven by logic or evidence are mute. Faith is not proof. Faith is hope, wishful thinking, impassioned desire and boastful ignorance.

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

  11. Mark on

    Fear is a good thing. It is what keeps us all in line. Its is natural human nature to have fear. Why is that?… to keeps us straight. If God didn’t create sin, then we would have nothing to fear. Think about when a parent yells at their child because he did something in-etiquette. The parent tries to make the child regret what he has done by making the child have fear. Jesus invents sin (this is in my opinion) to keep us in line, or to fear him. The world is not 100% Christians, therefore (in God’s opinion) we are doing something in-etiquette. Sin exists because God is trying to punish us for straying away from something we know is not right. People get mad and try to forget about God, they grow up and have children and never inform them that there is a God so they get curious and go to places like the internet. There they meet people that are still mad and they tell them lies about God. That is when an atheist is created…well they grow up and have kids and tell them that there is no god and that Christians are insane, and them they have kids and then so on and eventually you get a world exactly like ours where non-believers outnumber believers. Now sense they outnumber Christians, they do not fear the lord anymore because they band together to form groups of atheists and philosophers..this keeps going until there are no Christians left and we all burn in HELL BECAUSE WE CANT STOP COUGHING ON OUR PRIDE TO CONSULT THE NO-LONGER-EXISTING CHRISTIANS…this is why God is coming early to pick up all the Christians on a cloud of angels before all of them are gone.

    • herpderp on

      loosen the grip on that crack pipe you’ve been smoking.

    • Zak on

      Please know this beforehand I don’t think your a troll I think you believe what your saying which scares me even more.
      also to all of the other atheists here I am going to put this guy to rest. After this leave him alone. He’s not going to change. Once again I’m doing this so you guys don’t have to.
      First of all I’m am an atheist and will only respond to LOGIC. Now on to your point. Your saying the reason why I’m am an atheist is I’m scared. That simply not true. I am an atheist because I can safely say my arguments are driven by logic and my fellow atheist are also people you can reason with.
      You say God is like a parent who puts us in a time-out. I don’t know about you but my mom never burn my city down or flooded the world.
      Christens NOT ATHEIST’S believes God give second chances that is just BS.
      Lastly listen closely to what your saying. Your say atheist follow philosophers people who devote there lives to become smarter.
      I could.go on but I got to go.

  12. blc303 on

    Guys. I love reading the comments here. Not because I want to jump into the fight, but that people keep fighting.

    So. All you God loving folks out there, keep fighting. All those that want to fight against the fight, keep the flag flying.

    Just remember to think about the person we are talking about here wasn’t a Christian but a Greek. Remember, he was probably talking not about “God” or “Jahowa”
    but Zeus.

    • herpderp on

      Dude, loosen the grip on that crack pipe you’ve been smoking

      • herpderp on

        sorry, meant to reply to the person above you

  13. Jim on

    Here is a video you might want to consider. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jRMWKz4hbw

  14. Alex on

    So many people arguing about something that does not exist. It’s sickening.

  15. Marshall on

    Dude, what if God was on here posting?
    “I think God exists because…well, I am that I am.”

    • Justin Time on

      Dude, where’s my car?

      I yam what I yam.

  16. Zira on

    Let me sum this up in a simple manner.
    Would you date a girl, if she was always setting up traps for you to fall into? Paying her friends to make a move on you, so she could catch you cheating? I didn’t think so. Why follow a god that is a jealous girlfriend?

    • ATrain on

      Well put.

  17. Beverley on

    I agree totally with the Epicurus quote. But if god did exist, he is malevolent for letting evil happen, where is the free will of the baby that is dying of starvation or abuse, or if free will is what it is really all about then I exercise my free will by refusing to believe in, or certainly at least not worship a malevolent god,

  18. atreestump on

    “Circular reasoning works, because circular reasoning works.” See the problem? If you have to defend your god and try to prove his existence to everyone, than he’s either not there at all, or doesn’t care whether people believe in him or not.

  19. TheLegendaryRPG on

    Still great.

  20. cheesesauce on

    Great quote! This is one the reasons I’m an atheist.

  21. Loo on

    This is a good discussion if I can join in, .. first the assumption of free will is really stupid. most christians believe that God gave man a free will. Lets investigate this theory. First they teach that God made man ‘holy’ with a choice to do good or evil. If man was given the choice to do good and evil, it doesnt make him holy, obviously becuase the predesposition to sin already existed, thus he had to sin, becuase God caused him to sin. This obvious becuase had he not sinned according to the Bible no Saviour would have to be sent, yet the Bible says that Christ was foreordained from before the creation of the world die on the cross. Those who believe God almost gota heartattack when man sinned are stupid arrogant ignorants. from whence did this inclination to sin come from? the answer is from God offcourse! ” I create darkness and light, I create good and evil” . If anyone thinks otherwise he is really a stupid person, anyone who has insight will come to this same conclusion, that if there is a ‘God” evil did come by the will of God. God caused satan, God caused adam and eve to fall. For what reason? For the reason to bring about redemption through Christ. Its all abig mystery that some start to see the answers, mostly those who step out of the popluar christian circles yet remain legitimate to their faith while questioning it.I know this much that if anything in this universe happens outside of God’s will, that the smallest movement of any particle in the furthest universe occures outside of Gods will, God ceases to be god, he is no more God than a fish is a rabbit. Clearly man was made with the ability to do evil, thus was not made perfect to begin with, and the Bible doesnt teach that man was made perfect. Man was already made a sinner before he sinned. And God can’t throw into hell or judgement any part of creation no matter how evil it is for he is responsible for their evil. Thus throw eternal hell out the window. If there is a punishment after death it cant be a torturous eternity, which totally denies the character of God. Most christians will disagree, and say that hell is eternal, God is Sovereign yet man is responsible. What complete nonsense, so If I own everything, and I cause everything , am I not responsible for everything? How could God live with himself if something he made is ultimately in eternal suffering?, would that be pleasing to him? If not , he cannot do it, or else he is not God, for he cant make happen that which is his will. yet most christians believe that there is such a place as eternal hell and man has a free will. Man is not responsible, God is totally responsible. And God deliberately allowed sin enter to enter the universe so that it would serve the purpose of redemption of everything-even satan. You see, the Sovereignty of God is that in both creation, purpose and redemption God is and must be completely sovereign having his will in everything. A holy God could not have made that which carries an imperfection if that imperfection ultimately is not serving as the purpose of perfection. the perfection is now in imperfection stupid christians idiots.The same goes with the idea that the devil is God’s enemy, that God made the devil perfect but he sinned against God and became his ‘enemy’ is as ridiculous and illogical as it is hideous. a God who is all wise and all sovereign could not have made anything that is contrary to his will, or purpose. Thus the fall of satan, the fall of adam, and evil evil that has ever happened in the world must have happened, and is brouight about by the will of God for. To declare otherwise to believe is to believe in a God who made something he doesnt control, such a God cannot be God at all. Yet that is the ‘god’ most people who call themselves christian believe in. So How could God be good in creating evil? the answer is a blashemy to christians-that God is actually both good and evil. Evil rests in God as much as good, otherwise there would be no evil in a universe He created, which would not serve a good result? But what is good? man thinks good is a place where no evil exists, thus man’s imagination of good is his own idea, dont you think that good and evil are subject to much interpretation and are really an unknown phenomena? How many times something you thought was bad actually turned out for good? I personaly think a world with no evil would be a pretty disinteresting place, not in anyway condoning evil. But this whole good and evil is a system like someone else said that God has created and completely controls, or there is no God. Period. The option of believing a God who is not sovereign over evil is no option. Again if he did create a universe (which is an impossibility) of evil being a subject of mans free will which did not have control over, he is NOT GOD., I make the point often becuase stupid ‘christians’ piss the fuck out of me, and probably even piss satan off. The answer to this is that the only God who can be truly God is the God who not only allowed the possibility of evil, but actually purposed it totally. That is the only true christian answer.

  22. dennis on

    God in His wisdom made mankind and womankind not to fathom smthings, in that they are not omnicient in nature. The more you explore in this domain the more you get lost. I like the idea of critical thinking, i also like the idea of believing in the Sovereign one intoto.

  23. Zak on

    This is probably the best evidence for atheists ever. Anything you throw at this can be disprove in a second. And it was written by a guy who did not even know Charles Darwin and died 2000+ years ago. Tells you something about people today.

  24. james000222 on

    “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?”

    Epicurus – Greek philosopher, BC 341-270

    This argument presumes you must have a binary God – one who is either or none.

    Willing to prevent evil? Yes
    Able to prevent evil? Yes
    Allows free will, and thus evil? Yes.

    Without it –where would we be? Robotworld.

    The argument was made above – how does one explain good or evil in the absence of the other?
    You cannot.
    Did God create evil?
    I’m afraid so. He created Satan – Lucifer, hmm? I mean if you believe in God, then you might as well believe in Satan.

    I would ask you to look at the problem from this perspective:
    Does evil exist?

    I would hope that your only answer to this question is “yes”.

    Given that – we can then state that good exists.

    Given that – we can then state that Someone cause good and evil to exist.

    From that statement you can presume safely that I am not a naturalist. It is a ridiculous assumption or inference to derive good and evil from some natural evolution.

    Thus:
    God is real.
    Good is real
    Evil is the opposite of Good.
    I can’t address whether it is just the absence or its own entity. I believe the entity exists though.

    Your choice: worship whom you will, and believe what you will. But to say that Epicurus’ argument is foolproof and that anything that can be thrown at it disproven…this is incorrect, inadequate, inappropriate, wrong, and narrow-minded.

    • Alex on

      No it is not ”incorrect, inadequate, inappropriate, wrong, and narrow-minded” It’s the truth because god hasn’t done anything to help the world. Sorry but until you show a photo of god or anything like that then I have no reason to believe ya.

  25. bob chong on

    what’s in the box? you don’t know and maybe you will never know

    • Justin Time on

      Maybe we are dealing with Jokey Smurf

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  27. Hanuman on

    Great discussion guys!

    In the past I made a post on another website stating my “loss of religion” or belief in god quoting Epicurus, in support of my argument. The post is quite long, so I’ll spare you (http://forum.philosophynow.org/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=8343), but I would like to add to the discussion, the summary of my argument:

    The question I asked myself is how could a benevolent, all-powerful god put me here on earth, give me this brain and personality that has the power and desire to question the logic of things, give me no credible and tangible evidence of his existence, and put me to a trial of if I choose to not believe in him OR if I do not follow his teachings (which are blurred by the existence of so many religions/cults), then these actions in my lifetime (which may last anywhere from 1 second to 100 or so years) will determine whether I spend eternity in paradise or everlasting torment. No, I’m sorry, I’m not buying that..

    Whether or not god(s) exist is something I think we’ll never truly know. However, if he/they are out there, our present evidence would suggest he/they no more care about you then you care about the microbial life crawling around all over your body, which (if self-aware) would probably consider you a “god” of sorts.

    Perhaps there was/is a creator, but benevolent? all-knowing? all-powerful? If so, he died or has been asleep the past 5000 years or so.

  28. MrNimda on

    Or he is like Doctor Manhattan ! (from the Watchmen graphic novel series and movie)

    He is so freaking powerful, he could use superman like a toothpick, yet his connection with the human race is so weak, you could cut it with a scissor!

    If you have never done so either watch the watchmen movie or read the graphic novels. Doctor Manhattan is shown almost to the level of a God but is shown to be almost completed disconnected from humans and their plight. There is something very strangely familiar with that concept.

  29. anonimo123465 on

    If there weren’t any humans, the dog wouldn’t talk either and so he could not be aware of god’s existence like he isn’t; therefore the world wouldn’t know god or human or any word that it exists, but the world would still exist; God is created by humans because if our species hadn’t got awareness there would be no notion of anything; and god is our notion since we have been here before we even know that we are intellectually superior and before we could even speak; so god begins with humans urge of justifyin’ is own randomness in the universe; if god is created by humans then it is not divine; if it’s not divine then it isn’t omnipotent and then you put that epicurean paradox and see what you get 🙂 cheers

  30. UrethralBead on

    It is clear that if god exists (which he doesn’t), and he is omnipotent, omniscient, etc. then he is by far the most vile and evil thing to have ever existed. The idea that an omnipotent god could watch children die of cancer is repulsive, not to mention that Yahweh, the Abrahamic god, commands Saul to kill infants is absolutely sickening and any god like that does not deserve worship, let alone respect.

  31. Lazienkas on

    ….not to mention sacrificing your own child (anyone who does, belongs in a mental institution)
    Humans invented their gods to explain what they did not understand and not the other way around! Otherwise god would not have any human charateristics anyway.QED

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