Is evil necessary to have good, and is that why God allows evil?

shnarkle

Well-known member
In case you're not familiar with the term theodicy, it is defined as the vindication of God's goodness and authority in the presence of evil. A common theodicy Christian apologists offer is that God must allow evil to allow good because good cannot exist without evil. I submit that this theodicy is logically flawed. To see what I mean, consider the following argument:

We need good in the world.​
We can't have good without evil.​
Therefore, we must endure evil to experience good.​

The second premise needs to be shown to be valid. So if we let G represent "good" and ¬G represent "not good" or "evil" and ⊢ be the symbol for "therefore," then the second premise can be formalized:

G ⊢ ¬G.

It's easy to prove that this form is not valid not only for G but for any proposition. Using a truth table, premise G can be true yet the conclusion ¬G can be false! Because an argument is only valid if its conclusion is always true when the premise(s) are true, this argument is not valid.

In other words, if good is the case, then evil need not follow.

Jesus usefully observes that " only God is good". Let's say that only God exists. Therefore evil doesn't exist, but more importantly, evil is a pointless, effectively meaningless term.

We live and think in dualistic terminology. For there to be polarity, there must be TWO poles. You can't have one without the other. If there is no polar opposite to good, then there is no frame of reference to determine what is good.

For example, if we have an infinitely or transcendent good God, by comparison everything else is pure evil. A Gandhi or mother Teresa is just as evil as a Pol Pot or a Stalin in relation to an infinitely good God.

However, from the perspective of someone who is evil, the distance between Gandhi and a mass murderer is significant. The contrast is night and day.

Western philosophy's logic is dualistic. So while good can exist without evil, it cannot meaningfully or logically exist without evil. Do you see the difference? If evil doesn't exist, the concept of evil becomes redundant or pointless right along with the concept of good as well.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
If God is all-powerful, then He can put an end to evil.
Non Sequitur. Being full of power does not necessarily mean it can be exhausted. Omnipotent is more accurately referring to potential rather than anything that may be manifested as a result.
Why then does He not put an end to evil?
Evil is a judgement. Again, if only God is good then only God is capable of accurately defining evil.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
a proposition like "a thing is good" need not be followed by its negation: "another thing is not good." It's like saying that if you eat a good pie, then you must eat a bad pie.
The problem with this theory is that if all pies are the same or if everything is the same, these attributions of "good" are meaningless.

There's no reason why all pies cannot be good.
Tell that to the pie taster who has just eaten a pie made with sour apples. Is a pie that is accidently made with salt rather than sugar going to be as good as one made correctly? Not only is it not as good, it is clearly a bad pie.

We can call a mud pie "good", but it doesn't then follow that it is good for eating.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
I can read the Bible any time. Can't you speak for yourself for once rather than constantly parroting the Bible?
Not really because the same events I read of in the book happened to others happened in me. Cant understand the book at all least you become part of it.
 

JonHawk

Well-known member
JonHawk:
What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. Rom 4:3-5

Therefore, inheriting the promise depends entirely on faith in order that it may be given as an act of grace [His unmerited favor], so that the promise will be [legally] guaranteed to all the descendants [of Abraham]—not only for those [Jewish believers], but also for those [Gentile believers]
(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead Rom 4:16-17
Being fully assured that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but it is also imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Rom 4;21-25 (Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead; 1 Peter 1:21)

Now that we are in the faith, we are baptized into Christ Jesus. Gal 3:25-29

They all ate and drank from the same spiritual Rock that accompanied them, and that Rock was Christ Jesus, the Messiah. 1 Cor 10:4

Through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. Eph 3:6
I can read the Bible any time. Can't you speak for yourself for once rather than constantly parroting the Bible?
Congratulations. Anyone can run amok constantly parroting themselves but what does that have to do with the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus?
While evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, having known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 3:13-16
Cant understand the book at all least you become part of it.
'You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." John 5:38-40
 
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Gary Mac

Well-known member
JonHawk:
What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. Rom 4:3-5

Therefore, inheriting the promise depends entirely on faith in order that it may be given as an act of grace [His unmerited favor], so that the promise will be [legally] guaranteed to all the descendants [of Abraham]—not only for those [Jewish believers], but also for those [Gentile believers]
(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead Rom 4:16-17
Being fully assured that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but it is also imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Rom 4;21-25 (Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead; 1 Peter 1:21)

Now that we are in the faith, we are baptized into Christ Jesus. Gal 3:25-29

They all ate and drank from the same spiritual Rock that accompanied them, and that Rock was Christ Jesus, the Messiah. 1 Cor 10:4

Through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. Eph 3:6

Congratulations. Anyone can run amok constantly parroting themselves but what does that have to do with the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus?
While evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, having known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 3:13-16

'You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." John 5:38-40
If you was willing to come to Him you would not be the sinner you say you are and you would. be exactly like Him as Jesus was exactly like Him. But you are not willing to come to the same place in the Farther that Jesus was in the Father to be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect and do you know why you are not perfect as Jesus was perfect in the Father? You are of Paul as a sinner instead. No way you can be the sinner and be Gods perfection . Gnostic teachings -- Right? LOL
 

Unknown Soldier

Active member
Jesus usefully observes that " only God is good". Let's say that only God exists. Therefore evil doesn't exist...
I know it won't do me any good to correct you, but it doesn't follow that if only God is good, then evil doesn't exist. If I'm the only person who is smart, then concluding that nobody is stupid would be, excuse me, stupid.
...but more importantly, evil is a pointless, effectively meaningless term.
That doesn't follow either.
We live and think in dualistic terminology. For there to be polarity, there must be TWO poles. You can't have one without the other. If there is no polar opposite to good, then there is no frame of reference to determine what is good.
But good and evil are not polar opposites. Good and evil are just different, and their existences do not depend on the existence of the other.
For example, if we have an infinitely or transcendent good God, by comparison everything else is pure evil. A Gandhi or mother Teresa is just as evil as a Pol Pot or a Stalin in relation to an infinitely good God.
That's not true either. If God is the greatest good, then other things can be good too--only less good than God.
However, from the perspective of someone who is evil, the distance between Gandhi and a mass murderer is significant. The contrast is night and day.
Yes, the differences in goodness between any two agents can differ from the difference in goodness between another pair of agents, but that doesn't mean that only one of the agents can be good while the other must be evil.
Western philosophy's logic is dualistic.
Actually, these days logic anywhere in the world is about the same. I've studied logic, and opposites are merely a subset of propositions that are evaluated.
So while good can exist without evil, it cannot meaningfully or logically exist without evil.
Lots of good exists without evil. You can eat a good meal without experiencing indigestion, for example.
Do you see the difference?
No.
If evil doesn't exist, the concept of evil becomes redundant or pointless right along with the concept of good as well.
Evil does exist although the perception of evil varies from one person to another.
 

JonHawk

Well-known member
'You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." John 5:38-40
If you was willing to come to Him you would not be the sinner you say you are and you would. be exactly like Him as Jesus was exactly like Him. But you are not willing ...
But we can all see how willing you are to reject Christ and how devoted you are to your gnostic delusions.

“He who believes in the Son is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:18-19
 

Ontos

Active member
In a way God does have obligations. Just as parents have obligations to care for the kids they brought into the world, God has an obligation to care for the people He has brought into the world.

Anthropomorphizing God can help us relate to Him, but just because we anthropomorphize Him doesn't mean he suddenly gains human parental obligations. This just goes back to what I said "man qua finite can gain or lose goodness which means he has virtuous ends to achieve i.e. obligation. This isn't the case at all with God." It's not the case because God qua infinite can neither gain nor lose anything - which includes goodness - which means he has no virtuous ends he has to achieve, indeed; God just-is goodness.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
I know it won't do me any good to correct you,
I eagerly await those who are legitimately able to correct me. I'm still waiting.
but it doesn't follow that if only God is good, then evil doesn't exist.
Strawman argument. I never made that claim. Please try to address what I'm actually posting.
If I'm the only person who is smart, then concluding that nobody is stupid would be, excuse me, stupid.
Agreed, and see above.
That doesn't follow either.
It is when there is no such thing as evil, and as has already been pointed out, my argument openly points out that if there is only God...etc. Q.E.D.
But good and evil are not polar opposites. Good and evil are just different,
False. Good and baseballs are different. Good and evil are antonyms and antonyms are opposites.
and their existences do not depend on the existence of the other.
What other??? If there is no other, what are you referring to??? You've already lost the argument by refencing that which you claim doesn't exist.
That's not true either. If God is the greatest good, then other things can be good too--only less good than God.
False. You're continuing to engage in Strawman arguments. I never claimed that God "is the greatest good." Please consult a dictionary before pretending you understand what I'm posting.
opposites are merely a subset of propositions that are evaluated.
Sure, but then that only supports my claim.
Lots of good exists without evil.
More straw. Lots of good is not all good.
You can eat a good meal without experiencing indigestion, for example.
Whatever. You're wandering off on pointless tangents again.
No.

Evil does exist
Prove it.
 

Unknown Soldier

Active member
The problem with this theory is that if all pies are the same or if everything is the same, these attributions of "good" are meaningless.
That's not true. Meaning does not always depend on contrast. So to know what A is, it is not always necessary to know what not A is. For example, you don't need to know what "not hot" means to understand what hot is.
Tell that to the pie taster who has just eaten a pie made with sour apples.
A pie taster need not eat that sour pie to know what a delicious pie is. In fact, I've eat many delicious pies, and I've never eaten one sour pie.
Is a pie that is accidently made with salt rather than sugar going to be as good as one made correctly? Not only is it not as good, it is clearly a bad pie.
Sure, a pie like that would probably not taste good. But that fact is irrelevant to the fact that it's no problem at all to know a what a delicious pie is without knowing what a yucky pie is (see my comments above).
We can call a mud pie "good", but it doesn't then follow that it is good for eating.
In the context of the OP, "good" is referring to that which is beneficial, benevolent, or valuable. Please go by that definition when posting on this thread. If you disagree with my conclusion that the existence of good is at least in many cases possible without the existence of evil, then you need to demonstrate logically that evil must attend good.
 

Unknown Soldier

Active member
I eagerly await those who are legitimately able to correct me. I'm still waiting.

Strawman argument. I never made that claim. Please try to address what I'm actually posting.

Agreed, and see above.

It is when there is no such thing as evil, and as has already been pointed out, my argument openly points out that if there is only God...etc. Q.E.D.

False. Good and baseballs are different. Good and evil are antonyms and antonyms are opposites.

What other??? If there is no other, what are you referring to??? You've already lost the argument by refencing that which you claim doesn't exist.

False. You're continuing to engage in Strawman arguments. I never claimed that God "is the greatest good." Please consult a dictionary before pretending you understand what I'm posting.

Sure, but then that only supports my claim.

More straw. Lots of good is not all good.

Whatever. You're wandering off on pointless tangents again.

Prove it.
Schnark, why not get educated about how to use sound logic and to argue it properly? You seem to have an interest in logic and debate. Wouldn't it be better to use them in the right way? That way you would be much better at formulating logically valid arguments and effectively delivering them. Who knows? You might make a name for yourself if you're willing to put some work into learning the craft.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
In case you're not familiar with the term theodicy, it is defined as the vindication of God's goodness and authority in the presence of evil. A common theodicy Christian apologists offer is that God must allow evil to allow good because good cannot exist without evil. I submit that this theodicy is logically flawed. To see what I mean, consider the following argument:

We need good in the world.​
We can't have good without evil.​
Therefore, we must endure evil to experience good.​

The second premise needs to be shown to be valid. So if we let G represent "good" and ¬G represent "not good" or "evil" and ⊢ be the symbol for "therefore," then the second premise can be formalized:

G ⊢ ¬G.

It's easy to prove that this form is not valid not only for G but for any proposition. Using a truth table, premise G can be true yet the conclusion ¬G can be false! Because an argument is only valid if its conclusion is always true when the premise(s) are true, this argument is not valid.

In other words, if good is the case, then evil need not follow.
The whole argument is flawed.
What type of Christians would argue that your premises and conclusion are true?
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
That's not true.
It's most definitely true. Nothing is the same regardless of where, what, when, who, etc. Nothing is always nothing. There is no "good" nothing and "evil" nothing. There is no delicious nothing or sour or bitter nothing. it's just nothing. The same holds true for pies that are all identical. There is no way to claim that one is better than another if they're all identical.
Meaning does not always depend on contrast.
Where did I make that claim?
So to know what A is, it is not always necessary to know what not A is.
Moving the goal posts. Look at what I'm actually posting which is addressing what you actually posted.
For example, you don't need to know what "not hot" means to understand what hot is.
There is no such thing as 'not hot' if everything is "hot". If I'm walking down the street on the hottest day of the year and it turns out that lo and behold every day is this hot, then it isn't hot at all. It's the same temperature it always it. Hot is a meaningless term when temperatures never vary.
A pie taster need not eat that sour pie to know what a delicious pie is.
He has no way to know how delicious it is. Feed an infant carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli, and they will eventually come to the conclusion that one is favorable to the other. They may find carrots more appealing than the broccoli, or tomatoes more tasty than the spinach, but if you feed an infant cocoa puffs, snickers bars, and salt water taffy for a few days, they will spit out those carrots and tomatoes because they're disgusting to them.
In the context of the OP, "good" is referring to that which is beneficial, benevolent, or valuable.
False. Read your OP again. Nowhere are you referring to "good" as beneficial, benevolent or valuable.
Please go by that definition
Please read your own OP.
If you disagree with my conclusion that the existence of good is at least in many cases possible without the existence of evil,
I'm not making that claim either. I'm simply pointing out the flaws in your argument which you have yet to even address.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
Schnark, why not get educated about how to use sound logic and to argue it properly?
Why don't you concentrate on what I'm actually posting instead of resorting to pointless Ad Hominem attacks?
You seem to have an interest in logic and debate.
I'm pointing out the flaws in your arguments which you have yet to address due to the fact that you are responding to my posts with arguments which I'm not presenting in the first place. These are Strawman arguments.

Pretending you know much of anything about debate or logic and claiming that I don't doesn't prove anything without proof. Claims are not proof.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
The whole argument is flawed.
What type of Christians would argue that your premises and conclusion are true?
One is forced to grasp at straws when dealing with these types of OPs. For example, it occurred to me that he might be thinking that those who were accusing Paul of doing away with the law were Christians. Paul asks if one must sin the more that grace may abound which is similar to what this OP is trying to address. Paul doesn't think so.
 

Unknown Soldier

Active member
Why don't you concentrate on what I'm actually posting instead of resorting to pointless Ad Hominem attacks?
What you're "actually posting" is so nonsensical that it just isn't worth my time to rebut it. Your posts are full of both logical and factual errors. Again, learn how to argue logically.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
What you're "actually posting" is so nonsensical that it just isn't worth my time to rebut it. Your posts are full of both logical and factual errors. Again, learn how to argue logically.
Given that you are incapable of articulating these logical or factual errors, you have effectively conceded the points I've made. Thanks for playing, but you aren't presenting logical arguments to begin with. You're posing arguments that no one is making, and I'm not the only one who has noticed this blatant tactic either.
 

Caroljeen

Well-known member
Which argument is flawed?
The two premises and the conclusion. The entire argument.

We need good in the world.
We can't have good without evil.
Therefore, we must endure evil to experience good.
I've spoken to some Christians online who have made the argument that we can't have good without evil. I hope you understand that that's not true.
I totally understand that that is not true.
 
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