9/26/2006                                                                                       View Comments

My Debate on the Problem of Evil

by John W. Loftus

As many of you know I've been preparing for my public debate with David Wood of "answeringinfidels.com" on the problem of evil, so I'm not posting much until afterwards. The question is this: "Does the extent of suffering in our world make the existence of God implausible?" The debate is not far away. It takes place on Saturday October 7th at 7 PM, in Norfolk VA, at the Old Dominion University, BAL 104. If you're in the area and can make it please do. The transcript (and video) will be available afterward with comments by Victor Reppert and probably Paul Copan on his side, and Andrea Weisberger and Richard Carrier on my side (plans still in progress).

I don't know of a major public debate that focused specifically on this problem by able defenders of each side for more than a decade (but I could be wrong). It may turn into a book too. A big thanks goes out to those who've made helpful comments on a draft of my opening statement. One person said of my opponent: "He's in trouble." Another said: "I have known for a good while that, among many other things, you are VERY well read on the problem of evil!" Still another: "it seems to cover all the bases." We'll see. I'll keep you posted both here and here.

2 comments:

morgan lamberth said...

If Heaven is a paradis, then why not the same factors here on the Earth> The soul-making notin of John Hick is nonsense in that we do not need so much evil to show moral courage. It won't do to aver that we must have free will in order to praise a god , for that is an ignoration elenchi- not to the point; no rational being want worship and merits it1 Morality binds us all. A god should have given us better quarters. No , not Hick's all or nothing fallacy or straw man that we demand paradise when we just demand no unrequited suffering; he wants paradise in Heaven and we take him to task for not admitting that if he thinks there will be paradise, there should be the same here. Nelson Pike in 'God and Evil" adumbrates on the robot notion that if we were perfect we would indeed be robots; this works against his theodicy ,because that shows that we would be robots also in Heaven. We do not need natural disasters to show free will or for the matter any moral courage,because we still could choose among alternatives . The robot analogy is ,thus, silly . The tests are execrable and we abjure them . We should objurate those who want them. They are indeed irredeemable .So if theists insist on Heaven being a paradise , we call their bluff."As Michael Martin ,from whom I got ideas for this essay: "Finally, the anti-universal thesis is unfair while universalism seems pointless."Now to take serioulsly the account that Yahweh jettissoned Satan and his crew, then it would be possibel still to do wrong there.It is a cop out and a circular argument to maintain that there we would have a different body and different attitude , for that is the very point in contention .It is special pleading to suggest that the two cases should not be the same, for again the tests merit nothing . Logic is the bane of theists. Skeptic Griggsy

morgan lamberth said...

Sorry for the typos. S. Griggsy