Monday

WHY? (Made In Japan)


"Why? (Made In Japan)" is my newest song inspired by the Japanese tsunami. Listen and download as free mp3 at http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10413914 It is a question that Christians cannot answer.


LYRICS:
It's an idea, it's a word
It's a question asked again
It's without a proper answer
It's an endless loud refrain

CH
Why?
Answer
Answer me

You hear it and you know
But you never stop to think
You never get the message
Or find the missing link

It chills and it brings the dread
It echoes in your mind
It challenges and seeks
A resting place to find

There is pain in this song. There is unanswered questions of why thousands, including babies and children, should die in such a tragedy. This is serious business.

Epicurus' problem is very much alive and currently debated in philosophy. It is very relevant to the Japanese tsunami though many Christians refuse to even think about it. Some fundamentalist Christians have criticised me for even raising the problem - but it will not go away.

"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 (341-270 BCE)

Some Christians believe every word in the bible is "God's Word" and and that they have the holy spirit who leads him into all truth and they also have the mind of Christ. Why is it then that these same Christians have no answer for the problem posed by Epicurus? If your religion has no answer to this problem that has been around for over 2000 years then what use is it? What is the answer to Epicurus for those CURRENTLY suffering NOW? The traditional Christian answer is it will all be better WHEN YOU'RE DEAD (FUTURE ... maybe) because that's when Jesus will fix everything because Jesus is a human sacrifice to appease himself (!?) from killing and / or torturing you. That's a very unsatisfactory answer for those CURRENTLY suffering NOW.

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If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.

If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.

If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.

If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.

Evil exists.

If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.

Therefore, God doesn't exist.

That this argument is valid is perhaps most easily seen by a reductio argument, in which one assumes that the conclusion — (7) — is false, and then shows that the denial of (7), along with premises (1) through (6), leads to a contradiction. Thus if, contrary to (7), God exists, it follows from (1) that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. This, together with (2), (3), and (4) then entails that God has the power to eliminate all evil, that God knows when evil exists, and that God has the desire to eliminate all evil. But when (5) is conjoined with the reductio assumption that God exists, it then follows via modus ponens from (6) that either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil. Thus we have a contradiction, and so premises (1) through (6) do validly imply (7).

Whether the argument is sound is, of course, a further question, for it may be that one of more of the premises is false. *[I believe the premise of God's omnipotence is false.] The point here, however, is simply that when one conceives of God as unlimited with respect to power, knowledge, and moral goodness, the existence of evil quickly gives rise to potentially serious arguments against the existence of God. - http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evil/

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Richard Dawkins from "The God Delusion" (Bantam:2006) p. 109

- 'Theodicy' (the vindication of divine providence in the face of the existence of evil) keeps theologians awake at night. The authoritative Oxford Companion to Philosophy gives the problem of evil as 'the most powerful objection to traditional theism'. But it is an argument only against the existence of a good God. Goodness is no part of the definition of the God Hypothesis, merely a desirable add-on.

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The Oxford Companion To Philosophy (2nd edition, Oxford:2005) p. 295

- evil, the problem of.

In Christianity and other Western'religions, God is supposed to be omnipotent (i.e. able to do anything logically possible), omniscient (i.e. to know everything logically possible to know), and perfectly good; yet manifestly there is evil (e.g. pain and other suffering) in the world. Atheists have argued that since an omnipotent being could prevent evil if he chose, an omniscient being would know how to do so and a perfectly good being would always choose to do so, there is no *God of the kind supposed. The problem of evil has always been the most powerful objection to traditional theism. The usual response of theists to this ‘problem’ is to deny that a perfectly good being will always choose to prevent evil, claiming that allowing some evils may make possible greater goods. If God is to allow evil to occur, it must not be logically possible to bring about the greater goods by any better route. Some theists have held that, being only human, we cannot be expected to know for which greater goods the evils of our world are needed. But it seems unreasonable to believe that there are any such goods without some demonstration as to what they are, i.e. without a *‘theodicy’. Central to most theodicies is the ‘freewill defence’. This claims that the greater good of humans having a free choice between good and evil involves no one, not even God, preventing them from bringing about evil. Theodicy needs one or more further defences to explain why God allows evil of kinds for which humans are not responsible, such as the pain of currently unpreventable disease. The ‘higher-order goods defence’ claims that such evils give humans opportunities to perform, in response to them, heroic actions of showing courage, patience, and sympathy, opportunities which they would not otherwise have. This does still leave the problem of what justifies God in allowing some (e.g. battered babies) to suffer for the benefit of others (e.g. parents, social workers, etc. having free choices). The theist may argue in reply that God who gives us life has the right to allow some to suffer for a limited time, that it is a privilege to be used by God for a useful purpose, and that there is always the possibility of compensation in an afterlife. The crux of the problem is whether such defences are adequate for dealing with the kinds and amount of evil we find around us. r.g.s.