Why Is There Evil In The World?

Let’s start this out with the right perspective. Those who claim to know the most about evil are theists so let’s see what the Christian Bible says.

Isaiah 44:24 and Colossians 1:16-17

  1. God created all alone (Isaiah 44:24)–“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself, and spreading out the earth all alone.”

  2. All things created by/through Jesus (Colossians 1:16-17)–“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Well, that clears things up. The god God made everything of every description. There doesn’t seem to be much wiggle room to tack ‘except evil’ on the end of it.

Of course atheists have a lot to say about the ‘problem of evil’ and the issues surrounding arguments for and against. It is difficult to argue about something which is very poorly defined. Webster’s (my favorite) says:

adjective \ˈē-vəl, British often & US also ˈē-(ˌ)vil\

: morally bad
: causing harm or injury to someone
: marked by bad luck or bad events

1 a :  morally reprehensible :  sinful, wicked <an evil impulse>
b :  arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation>

2 a archaic :  inferior
   b :  causing discomfort or repulsion :  offensive <an evil odor>
c :  disagreeable <woke late and in an evil temper>
3 a :  causing harm :  pernicious <the evil institution of slavery>
b :  marked by misfortune :  unlucky

Clearly it’s not so easy to define this word. Many people would define it as pain and suffering or the cause of pain and suffering. Whatever the definition we now know what the god God created it or allowed it to create itself. This is all problematic for a number of reasons.

  • It is difficult to discuss unless all parties agree to the meaning.
  • All parties will not always agree to the meaning.
  • Some people think anything that is not “godly” is evil, whatever godly means.

https://americangallery.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/small_hear-no-evil-see-no-evil-speak-no-evil.jpg?w=629&h=354

I’ve got a different view. There is no evil. That explains why it can’t be defined well enough for everybody to agree on the definition. Aside from the fact that there are no gods, there is also no “opposer” or satan or evil. Existence simply is. It does not care about humans nor morality. Evil, pain, suffering, wrong doing: all these exist or seem to because we humans (theists mostly) are trying to impose a made up set of standards for what is good and what is not. We do this from a completely anthropocentric position. Theists try to impose what they call absolute morality which does not consider any animals other than humans. It is hardly absolute then. We can clearly see that many animals exhibit moral actions and emotions.

http://www.ethics.emory.edu/pillars/health_sciences/Beastly%20Morality%20Pic%201

Any definition of evil has to compliment a definition of morality and good. Any definitions of either that do not account for the morality we see in other animals is incomplete at best and at worst a mere human contrivance to serve the speaker’s own ends.

There is no evil in the world as theists would define it, there is only pain and suffering and that is what we expect to see in a harsh cold unforgiving universe that does not care about our species one way or the other. The universe is unfolding as it should and unless we all work together we will remain caught in the trap of delusion and superstition, slaves of ignorance.

So how do you define evil? I want to know.

 

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  1. Evil=Justin Bieber’s Essays on Anything 😛

    • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
      You were really high up in my estimation and you just jumped a bit higher!

  2. I think there is evil in the world, whether you are a theist or not, you are still endowed with about the same degree of evolutionary development and functionality as a human being, evil in it’s basic definition the same for everyone, for theists however its meaning is a lot more encompassing and expansive, illogically so.
    I’d define evil as a force reserved exclusively for humans to both be generated and beheld by them….like any other moral or ethical concept. I am not as adept as you when it comes to expatiating on these nebulous subjects, so please don’t pick me apart semantically or pedantically, but i think in common terms people identify evil as any and all corrosive forces which cause undue, unwanted, and unconsented to pain & suffering and stem from those people who posses the full mental capacity to foresee and appreciate the consequences of their actions. Intent to harm and indifference to harm is what evil is. And it surely exists. Evil exists in the same way kind exists..or beautiful.

    • I will not argue with you as I will not argue with deists. We see things from a different perspective and what you call evil I simply understand as the universe unfolding as it should. There are people who are harmful to others and this might be described as evil but I would not ascribe it to evil, as if the bad person was possessed of it somehow. Some people are simply enough broken.

  3. You are wrong. You didn’t really read what i said, you just reiterated what you said because that is the narrative you’ve locked into. It’s akin to what a theist would do, which is ironic. They are not possessed of it, they generate it, i said that it is a human quality, a byproduct of human agency and only so in human eyes, animals cannot perceived evil as they are not endowed with moral considerations, so there is no evil in the animal world, not even when evil is being done to them by human hand. it’s not an object, it’s a quality. By your logic nothing exists and nothing matters, there is no right or wrong, there is no reason to devise a moral codex or aspire to anything, it’s all just a universe unfolding.. but you argued for free will didn’t you? and if you argue for free will you cannot deny its potential to inflict pain, which descriptive word is it’s potential to be evil. You are contradicting yourself. EVil then is when your free will hurts others.
    Trying to peek behind the impenetrable door between reality and human reality to get some kind of a bird eye view of things, is such a futile pursuit, because you’ll only have the vantage point of a human, your thoughts will only formulate as linearly or not as your brain allows. So whatever the chemical or developmental reasons which make someone cause harm, be pernicious, whatever you want to call it, when they do, the words that work to describe both the motivation to harm and the harm itself are not “oh that’s just the universe sneezing” it’s “that’s an evil actl and an agent of evil” Utilizing ones agency for harm is what evil is.

    • When I’m told I’m wrong, I listen. I did misunderstand you. What you are saying here is something that I agree with. You define evil as harming others and I will agree that this is bad, I do not find evil as a word to be useful due to the baggage it carries. I absolutely agree with you when you talk about no evil in the animal world even when bad things are done to them. it is a human construct. I can work with your definition of evil… I cannot agree that it is a thing unto itself. You are using evil to replace the phrase ‘unnecessary or purposeful harm’ and that definition I am okay with. In my own terms you are calling evil the act of violating the law of reciprocity, wilfully or not.

      My post states that evil is ill-defined. When we agree what ‘evil’ means then we can have a satisfactory discussion. I do not disagree with you in your definition of evil for you use it as a label rather than a noun. We are in accord, I think, on what evil is if this is a satisfactory understanding of your use of the word evil.

      My apologies if I misrepresented your definition or misunderstood it. When earthquakes strike, some call it an evil. On this I disagree. When harm is done by violating the law of reciprocity I’m quite okay with labelling that very very bad or even evil. It is still within the scope of the universe unfolding but the effect is definitely bad or, as you say, evil.

      • well..ok then. Thanks. I surely do appreciate that. You have recovered my esteem.
        On a different end I just had a very emotional tearful discussion/argument with my husband, who also apologized to me…so I am 2 for 0 and that’s not bad at all :D. Now i have to put my wet face back together.
        Men.

        • Know that I am not out to hurt people. I’m simply unabashed in discussion. Now I know what you mean when you say evil… I’ll remember it

          • haha oh i know, trust me…i don’t take anything on here personally..i don’t even take anything at home personally…some things are just unfair, unfair stuff makes me wale like a baby…i didn’t misunderstand you at all, as i said i just felt you weren’t listening.

            • Oh, haven’t I heard that before. It’s how I learned to sit up and listen when someone tells me I’m wrong. I do hope your day goes much better than it started. I’m off to sleep soon. Some of us do that.

              • Why?

                • Some of us sleep because of biology and some because we’re fecking lazy. I’m in the former group.

                  As for your day, it would brighten mine to know yours goes better than it started. I seem to have some vestment in this now. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea, I just do. If you want the world to make sense you’ll have to buy the premium ticket.

                  • Cus i’m the daughter you never had? 😀

                    • Wow, this bit could go really wrong… I have no idea why. I’m intrigued and frightened at the same time. Too frightened to look away. It is what it is… whatever that is and I do not want to miss it. That makes no sense but it is what I’m feeling

                    • geesh….ok lol over think things much?

                    • Always. Usually it doesn’t show. Most people call me anally retentive but most people are not nice. I like women who like horses… ok?

                    • Well then you’re gravely in error and i’d reevaluate your priorities. Women who have horses are for the most part fucking nuts, and not in a good cute, eccentric mysterious kind of way, they are the worst kind of cat ladies, they are dumb, vain, conceited, without the ability to self evaluate and entirely devoid of hubris…i might be generalizing a bit, but still. ….and you said “like” not have….strike everything i just said from your memory card

                    • Along with trying to hide my immortality I try not to show any ability to know things. Yes, I know what women who have horses are like… why do you think I’m frightened?

                      Wait, did I just say that?

                    • not woman….DAUGHTER..SAY IT WITH ME ME. DAUGHTER YOU NEVER HAD. NOT WOMAN

                    • I get it. Did I imply something else without knowing it?

                    • Maybe not..i might be jumpy i tend to attract the wrong kind of attention..i am used to in some way wrangling it.

                    • Relax, no wrong attention here. intrigued does not mean spellbound, at least not how we spell it in American English. I do hope you have a good day. I’m off to the land of nod.

                    • Oh please, dont do that. You know i am not off base. I know.

                  • What do you do for work

                    • Usually I go in late, pretend I’m busy and hope nobody notices 🙂

                      I’m a systems engineer for telcoms networks.

                    • yeeesh I was hoping for something a bit more spectacular! I guess if I ever have an engineering related disaster i’ll know who to call on!

                    • not to worry. I pride myself on being a 21st century renaissance man. No, I don’t do paintings but pretty much anything else, I got it. There is an art to hiding immortality, systems engineer is fairly convincing.

                    • I draw and paint a little…as you see…:) but am no renaissance woman that’s for sure, too dern lazy

                    • It’s a hobby for me. Know how to do everything. Waiting around in a barnyard is one of those things I learned how to do… sigh

  4. Sadistic behaviour verges on something that can be considered ‘evil,” yet this seems to be an entirely human phenomena. Torturing animals for pleasure is one example.

    • All bad human behaviors are human nature 😉

      • Ooooh, you’re trying to trap me into making a Dawkin’s Error 🙂

        • LOL wut?

          • 🙂 Dawkin’s (accidentally) fucked-up recently when he tried to distinguish between types of rape. It attracted all sorts of shit-flinging and forced him to make a clarification.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/richard-dawkins-says-date-rape-is-bad-stranger-rape-is-worse-on-twitter-9634572.html

            • Ohhhh

  5. Everything that god created was good, so if evil exists- whatever the definition- it is good.

    • God can’t create evil, he created everything, there is no evil

      Sin would be evil, there is no sin

      Or. .. There is no gods

      • or maybe we read that part wrong. Can we consult a priest to tell us what it means to say god created everything?

        • We should probably go by the book on this one

  6. One of my favorite verses:
    “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Isa 45:7 KJV

    I define evil as causing intentional harm in circumstances devoid of self defense, survival and vengeance. I also throw in harm caused by negligence. Ultimately, it boils down to what I’d liken to pure selfishness. For me, my act of killing of fly is purely selfish, only for the reason I did it, which is because it annoyed me. So, because I think this way, I tend to try and not kill flies and endeavor, instead, to let them go. I also believe animals have morals. Seems male lions are some murderous cats, most especially when it comes to hyenas. Dolphins gang rape their females from time to time. If they enjoy sex, as we humans do, I’d say they have a selfish motivation which has nothing to do with survival, vengeance, or self defense. Of course, there is most definitely a flaw in my definition. The one I see immediately is, how does one justify vengeance?

    • Justification assumes some morality… where are y ou getting that from?

      • My own conception of morality. I couldn’t see particular acts, acts none could call benign, as “good” without some form of justification. I can’t say I have a rationale behind it. All I can say is, it’s how I think. My problem, I feel, is that I have no idea how to define justification beyond my Self. Like, with Mike Brown. I can relate to why what happened to him happened to him. I would call his killing unjustified and, therefore, murder and evil because, to be justified, he had to present a threat the cop could not overcome with the other tools he has available to him, from his hands to his taser. But, I understand that many people would disagree and would say he was totally justified. I think an agreement on what justification means is the only real way to find a satisfying definition of evil.

        Or I’m just rambling some nonsense here to get into the discussion on good and evil because it’s one that fascinates me to no end. :p

        • Good and evil is subjective and we as a society have set up rules on what that means… in any particular case we judge the actions by the rules and sometimes we want to change the rulies. It’s always subjective though.

  7. And Satan was a cop out excuse for a problem the Jews had to get around the moment they realized that YHWH was the one responsible for evil.

    • That’s funny… in a psychotic kind of way

      • Well, I’m pretty sure you know about what He and Luci did to Job. I mean, we have to place the blame for that one somebody besides God, even though the story clearly shows God taken the devil’s bet. It’s pretty disturbing…

        • Most of the holy texts are disturbing… wholly

          • I do like the Book of Revelation, though. At least, when I’m baked. You can’t go wrong with dragons and whores.

            • ROFLMFAO, I never tried that… but will

      • But while I cannot find a real objective morality, I find it very, very odd that such a thing would have a foundation in a deity like YHWH. Why not Bacchus? At least he enjoyed drinking and partying.

        • I’m with you on that one. Dionysus had a good thing going too

          • Time for another video. >:D

    • mstover4
    • September 11th, 2014

    There is a problem with your biblical worldview. As a theist, and a christian, I will say this. God created everything. Evil is a choice to do as webester defined it. Fod did thus not create evil. He created the ability to choose. And man chose evil. A biblical worldview states the origin of evil in the world comes from mans choice to disobeg God in the garden. All this being said I am not looking for an arguement. I will howe er politely discuss it farther.

    • Conversation it is then. Question for you is this: if the God gave us a choice then why destroy all life but on the ark? Why not start over completely. He knew what would happen. He always knew. did God himself not have a choice? If Adam had a choice, why did God work so hard to get him to choose wrongly? Why put the tree in the garden? Why let the snake get in? Why pretend to not know what happened? Or that he didn’t know Why it was going to happen? By creating a choice that he knew would end in evil how can God not be culpable?

        • mstover4
        • September 11th, 2014

        God destroyed all life except on the ark for this reason:sin requires death and they were living in sin so much they would never look to God. Which was the intended relationship. After that he did start over completly he gave the same commands and promises to noah as he did adam. As to did God have a choice: God created man to have a relationship with him, but he wanted a genuine relationship so he gave man a choice. God did not work hard to get adam to choose, in fact he made it quite difficult. He created a garden and put all the trees you can find nuts and fruits and food on in the garden. In the middle he put that tree. He told adam you can eat of any tree except this one. Adam had a plethora of choices. Yet he chose wrong. The snake was God’s creation. Thus it was in the garden and named by adam. Satan used the snake to decieve eve. God did not pretend to not know what happened. The reason he asked adam and eve those questions was because he was seeing if they would confess and repent. But they did not.

        • God did not start over completely, he kept Noah et al and most of the animals. What kind of genuine relationship is it when one side says I want to be your friend but if you disappoint me I will murder you? He put that tree in the middle knowing Adam would eat from it but if that wasn’t enough he let the satan get inside. What kind of father is it that would ensure his knowledge-less children are in danger? Don’t tell me that he couldn’t know the satan would temp Eve.

          The omniscient god created all that was necessary for a bad result knowing it would end as it did. How is he not culpable? Everywhere else in our lives where we say people have choices we hold them culpable for similar behaviors. Did god not have a choice but to create the universe to watch it end in evil? If he had a choice in what to create, why create what you know will end with the eternal torture of billions of people? Every time someone tries to explain that talking snake to me I can never get a straight answer on why the god did not stop the satan from doing as he did. Adam still had a choice and could have made a wrong one without the talking snake. It’s as if the god wanted Adam to eat from the tree of knowledge so he could punish humanity. Why would a loving father or friend do that?

          One more bit. If god started over with Noah, why is it that sin is laid on Adam’s head? Wouldn’t it be on the head of someone after the flood?

            • mstover4
            • September 11th, 2014

            First of all there is no evidence whatsoever that adam and eve were knowledge-less. The bible implies God walked with them. If that is so they would not be knowledge-less. Also who is to say God did not already create Adam and eve with knkwledge. Sometimes a father after teaching a child, if the child does not listen, will allow the child to make a mistake. So the child will now without a doubt the father was right all along.

            I am sorry you have not been getting a straight answer, let me make an attempt. First I have to say apart of it is because he is like the father previously described. Also, yes adam still had a choice without the snake. Ut it is not the snake that is important. It is satan that was using the snake. The reason satan wanted to tempt eve is because he wanted to get back at God. God did not want adam to eat from the tree. That is why he said do not eat from it, or you will die.

            • “In Genesis 2, we are told that there were two named trees in the Garden of Eden–the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. When Adam and Eve ate fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, this was a sin against God, since He had commanded them not to do so.” and god promised that if they ate from it they would die. (such a nice father)

              An omniscient god does not need to test Adam, he knew they would eat from the tree. That makes god culpable and I don’t see any way around that. Your example of a father who tests is so the father can know, but god is omniscient, it is an unnecessary test unless the god simply wanted Adam to fail.

              Why did the god let the satan tempt Eve? He knew it would happen before he created the garden. He knew the satan would do as he did, exactly as he did. An omnipotent and loving father would not test his children much less put the satan in the mix to ensure it all goes wrong. That, however, is exactly what the god of the Christian bible did. He ensured it would happen, knowing exactly what would happen and how before he even created the universe. Either he wanted that result or he is powerless to change things or stop the satan.

                • mstover4
                • September 11th, 2014

                It seems you are holding God responsible for evil, correct? If not, where does evil come from. No, in my example it is the children who learn, not the father because he already knows.

                God neither wanted that result nor is he powerless to stop satan. In genesis chapter three God says to the serpent, “I will put enmity between your offspring and her offspring; he shall crush your head, and you shall bruise his heal.” This is a reference and forshadow to Jesus who defeated satan when he died a sinless death and then he conquered death by coming back to life.

                • That’s where I can’t understand it. You clearly think that the god can know about his decision to send Jesus and that he would ‘defeat the satan’ but you don’t see the god as culpable for doing exactly what he knows will end with evil in the world.

                  If you did something that you knew would end in the death of a small child I don’t know of any system of law that would not hold you culpable. It’s akin to hiring a hit man to kill someone and then acting like you didn’t know the victim would be murdered.

                  So god did not want evil but did everything necessary, including not stopping the satan, to let it happen? That’s not love, it psychotic.

                  If the god had not put the tree in the garden, he would still have a genuine relationship with Adam who could still choose to not love the god. If the god had not let the satan tempt Eve he could still have had a genuine relationship that allows for Adam and Eve to not choose the god.

                  A genuine relationship does not require artificial means to spoil the relationship nor is a genuine relationship based on the construct that either you love me and do as I say or I will kill you and he did promise Adam that he’d die on the day he at from the tree. The relationship that the god arranged was not a genuine relationship at all. It was orchestrated to allow the god to punish humanity. It makes the god look like a psychopath.

                    • mstover4
                    • September 11th, 2014

                    Do you blame God for the evil in the world? He did not tell adam when he would die, just that he would. A genuine relationship requires genuine love. Genuine love requires the ability to choose to put others first.

                    • God chose to put himself first, humans second. Genuine love requires not only the ability but the act of putting others first. The god didn’t do that.

                      The god created all things knowing exactly what would happen. If you know that allowing your child to drive to the game tonight will end in their untimely death, are you culpable in their death? The god knew evil would happen but did nothing to stop it and seemingly everything to help it get a foot hold. The god of the Christian bible does not appear to genuinely love humanity. In fact, it rather much looks just the opposite.

                      I think this is a problem for anyone that wants to believe in such a god. Explaining or even understanding why the god acts in such ways is incomprehensible unless you’re willing to accept that he has the behavior of a psychopath or abuser. I’ve been told that the god works in mysterious ways but when those ways mimic abusers or psychopaths it’s not really mysterious, or forgivable.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 11th, 2014

                      God is God. He gets the glory. God does love humans. In fact he loves them so much he died in our place, even though he didn’t have too. Do you blame God for the evil in the world?

                    • If we are to believe the stories in the Christian bible, yes, the god is to blame for evil.

                      I don’t personally blame the Christian god, nor do I think there is evil in the sense that there is objective bad. There is pain and suffering but there is no ‘evil’ and the god can’t be blamed – the god does not exist. The Christian bible is a bad and wrong attempt to explain the world. Its stories make little if any sense.

                      If we accept the stories in the bible as at least partially true, it remains problematic. A deity that dies knowing he will be alive again in less than 3 days is not dying in any sense that matters. That three days and back alive again is a magic trick on the level of what it means. Now, if he thought he’d be dead forever his act would have been very meaningful but an omniscient god knew it was only going to be 3 days… nothing for someone that lives eternal.

                      The bible talks about Jesus taking our place yet a god that genuinely loves humanity would have found it in himself to simply forgive them without blood sacrifice and threats of eternal torture. The god does not love us enough to get rid of hell. His plan for us is ‘worship me or be burned forever’ – that’s psychopathic. How can anyone believe in such a god?

                      • mstover4
                      • September 11th, 2014

                      Where does pain and suffering come from?

                    • Pain and suffering is simply the universe unfolding as it does. In the randomness of the universe, pain and suffering will happen, it is expected. Statistically, we’ll all find pain and suffering at some time in our lives. Some folk more than others. Pain and suffering is a part of living. That we can manage to mitigate it or minimize it in some areas is a testament to the abilities and perseverance of humankind.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 11th, 2014

                      Did order come from the universe, too?

                    • There’s the rub. What humans generally see as order is just the laws of nature doing what they do. There is evidence to show that biology is just chemicals dispelling heat in the most efficient way possible. All life and seeming order in the universe is exactly that, the process of dissipating energy. The universe is headed toward heat death and life as we know it is accelerating that process in one or more ways. Order, as you perceive it can also be seen as acceleration toward the chaos of heat death rather than order in defiance of chaos.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 11th, 2014

                      Does structure come from these, biological chemicals? I’m trying to figure out what you are saying. Order is an acceleration into chaos…that doesn’t make sense to me. Chaos is related to entropy, correct? If so, is order related also?

                    • What I’m saying is that order is only a perception. If the universe is headed toward heat death and chaos, anything that dissipates energy accelerates the process in some way even if from our very diminutive point of view it looks like order.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      In order for chaos to increase doesn’t it have to come from something a little less chaotic. So the thing before it would have more “order” right?

                    • No, that is simply not true except from a specific perspective where you are looking at a specific and small aspect of the natural world. High levels of energy are ‘less chaotic’ than low levels so to make what you’re saying understandable you are calling high levels of energy ‘order’ … are you not? The highest level of energy or order then would have been the big bang singularity.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      Can I ask a question? If you believe all this…what do you believe human’s purpose is?

                    • There is no intrinsic or objective purpose for humans or any other life. It simply happens to be. If we look within the confines of evolution then it might be said that our purpose is to reproduce. In the grand scheme of the universe, humans have no purpose. Biology, while probably inevitable, has no intrinsic purpose. Life simply is the universe dying slowly.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      So our lives, which every human works so hard to have and to keep, and humans throughout history have glorified life, are pointless? Why? What then is the point in life? Why do we not kill all babies? Why do we choose to keep on living? Why do so many trillions of humans all throughout history, have believed there is more to life? If life is the universe dying, amd there is no purpose for humans, do you not have a purpose, a plan, for your life?

                    • Please don’t make me cut/paste the definition of ‘intrinsic’ here. If life had intrinsic purpose or meaning no one would ever think to ask the question “what are you going to do with your life?”

                      Lack of intrinsic meaning is a state while ‘pointless’ is a conclusion. They do not mean the same thing, not even in this regard we are talking of.

                      When someone decides to be doctor or teacher or carpenter they have given purpose to their lives. Your Jesus spent a lot of time trying hard to convince people to make the purpose of their lives to worship and follow him. This indicates that there is no intrinsic purpose to life as a human.

                      That you jump to killing babies is insulting. I might be making an assumption or two but it sounds to me like you are saying that without your god people will turn into rapists and murderers. Is it _only_ fear of your god that keeps you from killing people? If not, why not, and why would you expect non-believers to be any less civil than you are?

                      People _want_ to believe there is meaning to life because it is difficult to contemplate the idea that there is no intrinsic purpose to life, that we are simply here like any other animal on this planet. Humans tend to think they are special so there must be some purpose. They held an anthropogenic view of the universe for a very long time. The universe does not revolve around the Earth and humanity.

                      I have a purpose for my life and something of a plan. It is one that I decided for myself just as everyone else does .. mostly. Few of us can claim that god spoke to them and told them to choose a specific vocation. We choose our purpose and imbue our lives with meaning that makes sense to us. Ask a lot of people and most will tell you that the most important thing in life is family – viola! there’s your meaning and purpose though you can add more if you want. You’re not restricted to just a single choice.

                      If you have a look at godless people around the world you will find that most of them are happy and productive people. They are kind and generous and generally most hold the same traits as any good believer. To think or insinuate that they don’t or can’t is insulting.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      What is the standard of what is right? I, mean, who says what they decided years ago is right just becaused it works? What if we have been doing it wrong and just hadn’t noticed? Even if what works is right, does that become the standard? There are many different ways something can work, who is to say the way we do it is best?

                      If man creates there own purposes because there is no other, then any and every plan would have to be justified, correct? I’m not meaning to jump to extremes I’m just trying to understand. That would mean hitler and mother Teresa’s, who both created there own purpose, are equally right? I know morals come in to play, but if one can create their own purpose, would it not be right to be able to create your own morals as well?

                    • There is no objective standard of what is right, there is only what we agree upon as a society. This is why different cultures have different values. The laws change when thinking changes or there is need of changes. You are telling me that laws written years ago might not be right but you advocate for a book written thousands of years ago which has never been updated at all. Are you kidding me? What if your book is wrong and nobody noticed? We, as a society, are who says how we do it and we can change our minds collectively and change laws. I bet you are in favor of changing some of them right now to better suit your theistic beliefs.

                      Why does a plan have to be justified? How does one justify climbing mountains or skydiving? Creating a purpose for your life in no way implies that it is a moral purpose. Why you jump to that conclusion is beyond me. We all create our own morals anyway. Your bible advocates for slavery and killing witches. I bet you have decided that these activities are immoral all on your own or at least without the help of your god or holy book. How do you know your morality is right? Why is your morality different than that of your god as described in the holy book?

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      If there is no objective standard of what is right, is there an objective standard of truth? Plans for life are going to have some sort of moral purpose and values behind it. What is right and what we value, though related, are not necessarily the same. I know my morality is right because I have a clear standard of what is right and wrong. I belie e if right and wrong are going to exist there has to be something more than society telling me what is right and wrong. Society has not always been right, how am I to know if they are this time. My morality is not Different then what God described.

                      Can you please tell me where you find the advocation for slavery and killing witches so that I may read it in the bible?

                    • Slavery: http://www.religioustolerance.org/sla_bibl2.htm
                      Witches: exodus 22:18 (among many other inherently immoral edicts)

                      There is a standard of truth: what is true for everyone in all places at all times, is testable, repeatable, and falsifiable. Right and wrong, on the other hand, are judgement values, completely subjective. You would agree that it is wrong to kill but YHWH would accept nothing less than genocide from Joshua even though he could have made all the canaanites pack and leave peacefully like he got all the animals to the ark. Plans for life do not require any sort of moral purpose. You might choose your purpose to be robbing banks. I don’t recommend this and it probably won’t end well for you but you can still decide this is your purpose. The very words right and wrong are the labels that we give to ethical values and these are judged subjectively. It’s not right to steal but it wouldn’t be called wrong if the theif were stealing bread to stay alive. there is no objective moral standard. The judgement of right or wrong is always subjective. It’s not right to kill unless it’s in self defense – see, subjective.

                      If your morality is what your god described, I pity you.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      What do you mean when saying “truth is falsifiable” if it is falsifiable then it was never truth. So truth is relative? Like right and wrong?

                      I found a good article explaining “does the bible advocate slavery?” http://www.exploregod.com/does-the-bible-advocate-slavery

                      As to the wirches. The Torah the first 5 books in the old testament consists of laws. These laws could be moral or civil, for governing purposes, that is the case with the witches. The reason God commanded joshua to kill the canaanites is because, God being omniscient knew they would fall into the canaanites wat of life, and God set his people apart. Also Canaan, the forefather of the canaanites, was cursed. So the death of the canaanites is also a fulfillment of a promise. If you continue reading the story of Joshua you find that at first he did not kill all th canaanites, and see the results of what happened.

                      I believe in the moral laws God established in both the old and new testaments.

                    • Please type ‘define falsifiable’ into the google search bar.
                      Where does your bible say slavery is bad? It doesn’t. Where does it say there are no witches? It doesn’t. It doesn’t say protect those accused of sorcery. It details how Israelites are to treat their slaves and where they can obtain them. This is advocation for slavery. You didn’t say, is slavery immoral?

                      You say you believe in the moral laws of both old and new testaments. Have you stoned anybody caught working on the sabbath lately?

                      As for Joshua, yes, YHWH demanded genocide. The omniscient, omnipotent deity demanded a human commit genocide. He was able to dispatch soddam and ghemorha all by himself but demanded genocide from Joshua.

                      Exactly how is it that you can say the god who gives you morality has civil laws which are not moral laws? It was moral/right to murder for Joshua but not you. Clearly anything this god wants is viewed as moral. Any edict given by this god would then be moral, no?

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      Though, at that time slavery was accepted by society, the way the isrealites treated their slaves was morally and extremely different than the other cultures. The hebrew word that often translates slave has a connotation more of bondservent then what we think oftoday as slaves.

                      Stoning on the sabath day is a civil law. Honoring the sabath is the moral law. Stoning was the civil consequence for breaking the moral law.

                      Yes, God told Joshua to conquer canaan, because that was the land God was giving them.

                      God has moral laws that apply throughout history and all time. The civil or civic laws were specific to the ancient nation of Isreal on how they should be a governing body.

                      God is Sovereign. His ways are just. Having Joshua kill conquer the canaanites served two purposes. God judging canaan and God fulfilling his promise to the nation israel.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      I have another question. If we suffer because we are biologically composed that way. Why do we do bad things, and why, if it is a biological reason, do we try not to do it, and try to do good instead?

                    • ‘bad things’ and ‘immorality’ are human constructs based on the law of reciprocity. This is a concept you probably know as the golden rule. This is a survival strategy for social species. What violates that concept is seen as bad or immoral. That said, there is nothing that says we humans are bound to the law of reciprocity for any reason or any purpose, it’s simply the best way we’ve found to survive and propagate the species, therefore we try to not violate that rule and by your understanding that is us trying to do good. Remember that good / bad and moral/immoral are simply human constructs to understand the properties of the law of reciprocity. Killing is bad, except when it is not. It is all subjective.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      This concept, the golden rule comes from the bible.

                    • It is in the Christian bible, but that is not its origin – see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule#Buddhism

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      No matter where it came from you are borrowing a theist explanation for the golden rule. Instead of an atheistic one. You claim to be an atheist and yet use a theistic explanation. I find a problem with that.

                    • Are you saying that Confucianism is theism? Theists took it from the secular world. That doesn’t make it theistic. There is nothing moral in the Christian bible that can’t be found earlier elsewhere.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      How did they come to the conclusion of morals, was it chemical?

                    • I am fairly shocked that you would enquire like this. They came to the conclusion of what works. It did not have to be called morals or even be thought of that way.

                      Imagine how they came to put lines on the roadways? They didn’t start out with lines on them. Why and how did they ever come to the conclusion of safety. Was it chemical? See how silly that sounds?

                      Philosophical thought has been around as long as humans have been around. When they found something that worked, they kept doing it. The law of reciprocity does not need a name to exist. Long before it was taught as a sound method of interaction in eastern philosophies, it existed as a good way of doing things wherever humans lived.

                      When theists talk of morality they generally talk as if there is no such thing as morality without a god. There is and we call it ethics. Ethical behavior requires no deity.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      Why are you shocked that I would enquire? I’m simply trying to understand what you believe, and why.

                    • I’m shocked that you appear to have no idea how people can use their free will to make decisions about what is good and what is bad in their view.

                      • mstover4
                      • September 12th, 2014

                      They can use free will to make decisions about what is good or bad. But it doesn’t explain if they are right or wrong.

    • bobbyv231
    • September 13th, 2014

    I believe evil does exist, I’ve wrote on it before actually

    http://mindforfaith.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/argument-of-evil/

    • Disillusioned
    • October 12th, 2014

    ‘Evil’ exists only as human behavior; the word is an adjective used to describe willful acts of harm to a considerable magnitude. A tornado may cause a lot of harm, but it wouldn’t be considered ‘evil’ because it lacks intent.

    • If evil requires intent, what then is it when god punishes with natural disasters? Surely one cannot conclude that natural disasters have intent, right? So if that which is without intent can have otherworldly causes and designations, surely evil can also have such a role.

        • Disillusioned
        • October 12th, 2014

        If a god uses his powers to cause suffering and destruction, then it is reasonable to regard him as evil, or his deeds, at least. I would go a step further and regard anyone, god or mortal, as evil if they have the power to prevent harm but don’t.

        • and that is exactly where I’m at with the various gods.

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