Friday, April 8, 2011

Gratuitous Evil: God's Dagger

So I am listening to a debate between William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott. This is one where Craig's opponent actually gets to speak first. In watching the thread at Debunking Christianity the other day about WLC vs Sam Harris, I realized that WLC always speaks first. This in itself is interesting. However, I digress. WLC begins with "As a strictly intellectual problem" (ignoring emotion), "the problem of evil does not constitute a disproof of God." Well duh! There can never be a proof of a negative. Here is where WLC summarizes Sinnott's argument: 1) If God exists, gratuitous evil does not exist. By this WLC means "evil which is morally unjustified, evil which God would have no morally sufficient reason to commit." 2) Gratuitous evil exists. 3) Therefore, God d.n.e. Now of course as a math teacher I will use shorthand notation whenever I can.

Let's look at WLC's interjection between 1) and 2). Gratuitous evil is evil which God would have no morally sufficient reason to commit. Why does God need a reason to do anything? If God is the supreme being of all that has ever and will ever exist, does he need to act morally according to human standards? How does the objective morality exuding from God translate into a code which humans must live by in order to attain salvation? I know, I know, it seems like salvation comes only in our dreams. Wait a minute, that's Nine Inch Nails. I digress again. If evil is something which we should try not to be, why does our supposed creator make evil seem the way it does to us humans, as, well evil, even if it is supposed to balance the cosmic scales at some future time?

I am now reading this to my wife,(so she can proof read it - I suck at writing) and I think she just realized that she is not a Catholic or a Christian. Her beliefs would categorize her as a pantheist or animist, I'm not sure.

Anyway, I might report on the rest of the debate, but for now these are my thoughts.

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