September 11, 2009

What Should He Have Done?

This skit might seem offensive at first glance, but take a moment to think about it before you pronounce it so. Notice that there is never approval of what they know is about to happen:

Ultimately, this is a restatement of the Argument From Evil. Which is actually an ancient argument indeed, first and best articulated by Epicurus:

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?

2 comments:

DaveBuck said...

As an atheist, I have to remind myself how important it is to heavily prep religious people before suggesting they watch that.

I can imagine some feeling quite anxious and then redirecting their discomfort as criticism or cries of "insensitivity to victims".

No matter how sincere you when it comes to really wanting to have a conversation about the problem of evil or delving into the logic behind some people's beliefs, many will not be able to see past what they perceive as an insulting delivery.

Kudos for putting it up and giving credit to any of your readers who are religious and who you believe can see that this is really a genuine philosophical question.

birdmojo said...

Jaybird here.

I'm an atheist who quite enjoyed the interactions in the movie... but the argument given has, it strikes me, one *HUGE* flaw.

If God is not all powerful (perhaps merely powerful enough to create the world but not powerful enough to prevent bad things without creating even worse bad things...), the deity in question may be worth dealing with on a day-to-day level (think George Burns) even though not the God of Thunder and Lightning we wish existed.

The argument pretty easily makes the case that the God we wish existed doesn't exist...

But I don't really see that as an argument against the existence of, say, Deityness.

Perhaps God is alien to our thinking. Fair enough. Our failure to understand is not argument against Him.

Personally, I find monism to be a better argument against a deity, myself.