OK, both clever and turn the tables are used ironically in the title. I considered quoting them for effect but the effect would be as ugly as John is stupid. (Sorry – once again I have not bothered to take his whole argument – it’s just more words about evil being a subjective thing we feel. More words don’t make his point any better.)
See what he tries to do and obviously thinks is clever? Frame the existence of evil as an assumption to attack the argument commonly known as the problem of evil, as originally posited by Greek philosopher, Epicurus. I hate that argument, by the way, and I do feel it is an argument that has real problems, none of which are raised by our small-minded friend.
Let’s consider the argument before looking at Johnny-boy’s rant…The problem of evil, as summarized by Wikipedia, looks something like this:
- Premise: If an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient god exists, evil can not.
- Premise: Evil exists.
- Conclusion: An omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient god does not exist.
It’s a philosophical argument. We don’t have to take it too literally but it does a good job of pointing out the absurdity of believing in an all-knowing, all-present, loving god that would allow evil and suffering. I don’t like it because I think it’s an unnecessary argument, unnecessary to speculate about the will of a god before establishing that this god exists. A god could still exist – one that doesn’t care about its creations or demand worship. Not a Christian god for sure, but it isn’t really an argument against some generic kind of creator, so it isn’t an argument I care for, because there is more to atheism than caring what Christians believe.
Johnny-boy takes issue with premise two: Evil exists. (What the fuck, dude?)
His favourite “clever” argument is to reverse the burden of proof, so here he would like to show us that his detractors are making a claim, one that evil exists, which is subjective, and presumably, we can not understand the will of god, so we should not question it. (Plus atheism is a claim and all that, as covered last time.)
One of the reasons I don’t like the problem of evil is the definition of evil itself. It implies loosely a belief in the supernatural. I prefer not to even use malevolent vs. benevolent because malevolent involves evil in its definition. How about malice? The intention to do harm. Of course that opens us up to the good old “free will” defence which is yet another slippery slope. So as I stated, there are genuine problems with the problem of evil. It’s a dodgy argument. Johnny misses them completely.
He would like to think that we are making a claim: The existence of evil is thus about our subjective opinions, our feelings, while in reality we cannot comprehend god’s will. (“Feelings” is thrown into the mix because he’s a conservative American and making your opponents out to be controlled by their emotions is in vogue in their arguments lately.) Of course that’s just dumb. He’s playing with semantics to make it about our feelings, pretending that malice does not exist objectively, which it obviously does. Furthermore, he goes through logical leaps and bounds to ask for evidence that evil exists, while having no problem assuming his creator is real. And lastly, the will of god being something beyond human comprehension? Well, that’s just hand-waving away all logic. To claim that we can’t understand is just a cop-out – it’s a way of avoiding thinking entirely and is really nothing more than an argument from ignorance in disguise. Who cares about the fucking will of god? First show me evidence that this god exists and then tell me what his will is. Anyway, why impose motive on chaos? There is no will because there is no god.