Friday, September 18, 2009

The real problem of evil rather than the PoE

The PoE is, of itself, not of much interest to me. As stated in its logical form it suffers from problems of definition and logical flaws. I am far more interested in the concept of evil.

Evil is not a topic to be trivialised by intellectual debate and I am concerned that the statement of and refuting (and in my opinion it is well refuted) the PoE does just that.So let me pose a few questions regarding evil.

1. Do atheists (forgive the generalisation) acknowledge that evil exists?

2. If you assert that evil exists, tell me please what it is – from an atheist perspective? It is the breaking of the law, which is criminal and not necessarily evil. Certainly there are theist descriptions aplenty … but I am interested to know how atheists see evil.

Hamba kahle – peace


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Diversions - good and bad

I have been away from my blog for a long while and I have missed the chance to vent my spleen on 'home turf'.

My diversion to Debunking John Loftus was a mistake. I should have watched to see how the blog developed - it is simply not my style. I may not agree with JWL, but I do not know him, to like or dislike, so I am not comfortable with the personal tone on Debunking Loftus. On the plus side, JWL banned me from DC which gave me the opportunity for his peculiar brand of atheism to flush itself out of my system. That said I have enjoyed interacting with many on DC.

Also on the plus side, freed from DC I have explored many of the increasingly common atheist sites at my leisure. Found some good and some bad - had some challenging discussion on a number of them. Certainly in my travels I have tried to avoid those atheists that seem to base their entire case on an inerrant literal interpretation of the Bible. This avoidance is perhaps the main factor in challenging and developing my theism. It was good to debate with those who actually had a point to make.

While a few have caused me to sit back and ponder my theism, it still comes out as the rational position for me.

Perhaps the discussion that has given me the most food for thought is a point made on "Common Sense Atheism" - itself not normally a font of powerful reasoning, but in this case the provocative challenge slipped in. The point raised was; could I clearly demonstrate the differences in this world attributable to God compared to what would be without God. Easy to dismiss with a cheap shot, but I wonder if it is possible to argue the point at all. After all, our only experience is in this world, with or without a God - what would we objectively use as an alternative frame of reference.

Yes we can develop a set of criteria that will prove our case, but would they pass muster as an objective frame of reference?

Hamba kahle - peace