Epicurus (341-270 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher known today (particularly in skeptical circles) for providing what some claim is a knockdown argument against belief in God. Epicurus’ argument focuses on the problem of evil and how it might present a problem for a classical concept of God generally embraced by theists; Epicurus presents the following set of questions and propositions,
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Epicurus captures the heart of skepticism embraced by many today, which is the use of evil and suffering in the world as an argument against God. It functions as a justification for why one shouldn’t believe in a good God, or a God that theists usually hold to. Whether this argument succeeds or not, one should not hesitate to credit Epicurus for raising an important question concerning the obvious evil in the world in light of belief in an all-powerful and all-loving creator God, or gods. However, theists find that the conclusion to Epicurus’s argument that believers are unjustified in believing theism does not follow. It is helpful to break down the argument to present the theistic response:
If God is willing but not able to prevent evil, then He’s not omnipotent (therefore not God).
One way theists have responded is by pointing to the narratives in the Bible that teach that God is willing to prevent (or end) evil but does not. This does not necessarily mean that God cannot prevent evil. Importantly, for the theist, this raises difficult questions. One answer to this question is that God does not prevent all evil (or instances of evil) because he has morally sufficient reasons for allowing evil to exist in the world. Philosopher, theologian, and apologist William Lane Craig argues,
“In terms of the intellectual problem of suffering, I think that there you need to ask yourself is the atheist claiming, as Epicurus did, that the existence of God is logically incompatible with the evil and suffering in the world? If that’s what the atheist is claiming, then he has got to be presupposing some kind of hidden assumptions that would bring out that contradiction and make it explicit because these statements are not explicitly contradictory. The problem is no philosopher in the history of the world has ever been able to identify what those hidden assumptions would be that would bring out the contradiction and make it explicit” (1).
As Craig challenges, how could the atheist, skeptic, or anyone else, know that God would not, if he existed, permit the evil and suffering in the world? This is an assumption made and seldom extends beyond this. Craig thinks that there are reasonable grounds for thinking God can indeed permit evil and suffering in the world. His reason is that evil and suffering is a way for God to bring the maximum number of people freely into his kingdom to find salvation and eternal life. To achieve this would require the existence of evil and suffering, and perhaps only in such a world could the maximum number of people freely come to know God and find salvation. Craig explains that what the skeptic is required to do to counter this possibility,
“So the atheist would have to show that there is a possible world that’s feasible for God, which God could’ve created, that would have just as much salvation and eternal life and knowledge of God as the actual world but with less suffering. And how could the atheist prove such a thing? It’s sheer speculation. So the problem is that, as an argument, the Problem of Evil makes probability judgments, which are very, very ambitious and which we are simply not in a position to make with any kind of confidence.”
If He is able but not willing, then He is malevolent (therefore not God).
This line builds on the assumption challenged by Craig above. Theists will also respond that given biblical revelation it is clear that God will one day be the one to rid the world of evil and suffering. Thus, if God’s ultimate goal is good then it would show that he is not malevolent; rather, it suggests that God has reasons for allowing evil and suffering to exist in the world because it somehow accomplishes his purposes.
Many theists are convinced that the Bible teaches that every person is in his or her heart evil. This is not to say that all people are inherently evil because the Bible teaches that they are all made in God’s good image, but that because of humanity’s rebellion (the Fall) evil has come to pervade the hearts of all people. On this teaching, one must wonder how God could rid the world of evil when the people he is said to love have evil within their hearts. Perhaps this is a reason why the Christian God permits evil and suffering in the world because he knows that to go on a crusade to destroy evil he might just have to destroy people whom he sent Jesus Christ to die for.
If He is able and willing, then where does evil come from?
This premise of the dilemma views evil as being something real, perhaps as the antithesis to what is good. But Craig and fellow apologists find this a problem for atheism rather than for theism. Even many atheist philosophers have conceded that objective good and evil do not exist on atheism, for philosophical naturalism does not allow it. Instead, humans create standards of morality, which makes morality subjective rather than objective. The challenge this presents atheism is that if morality is merely subjective (as opposed to being objective), then how can the atheist meaningfully claim that “evil” and “suffering” have any significance, even as an argument against God? Consider the words of William Provine that there are “No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there any absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life” (2).
Some thinkers have found the existence of evil and suffering to confirm rather than negate the existence of a God. The famous apologist and novelist C.S. Lewis was an atheist who one day noted how he had been using evil and suffering to reject the existence of God, but then realized that atheism undercut moral objectivism. This caused him to doubt his atheism because if he accepted a naturalistic worldview then how could he make any meaningful moral judgment, including the judgment that evil and suffering is proof against God? Lewis found that if he were to make meaningful moral claims then he would have to embrace belief in God. It is God who provides a transcendent standard that can ground moral claims and beliefs.
Theists like Craig continue to hold to a tradition that has long since claimed to know where evil has its origin: in the Fall. The Bible teaches that evil resulted from the Fall when humanity chose to reject God. Through that rejection, evil entered the world, and that is where it comes from.
If He is neither able nor willing, then He is not God.
If God has sufficient reason for allowing evil and suffering to exist then the conclusion that he is not God because evil exists does not follow. Some atheist philosophers have noted a weakness in the argument from evil and suffering; William Rowe, for example, claims that,
“Some philosophers have contended that the existence of evil is logically inconsistent with the existence of the theistic God [who is all-powerful and all-good]. No one, I think, has succeeded in establishing such an extravagant claim. Indeed… there is a fairly compelling argument for the view that the existence of evil is logically consistent with the existence of the theistic God” (3).
As noted by Craig, the atheist making the argument from the incompatibility between a good God and the existence of evil needs to know more than he possibly could. At most, the argument must remain an assumption and, if we are to follow Craig’s argument, an unjustified one at that.
1. Craig, William Lane. 2009. Transcript: Does God Exist? William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens. Available.
2. Provine, William. 1998. Scientists, Face it! Science and Religion are Incompatible. Available.
3. Quoted by Louis Pojman. 2012. Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology. Boston: Cengage Learning. p. 314.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Atheist must find orthodoxy,it will provide the right answer at anything
This article is pure crap. Please answer a simple question with a simple answer, not with fallacies like circular logic: “Is there a God? Yes. Prove it. Read the Bible. How can you be so sure it is true? Because it is the Word of God”. Pfffff, crap.
Epicurus had a few questions, please answer them punctually. Without the Bible. Do not use the Bible as proof or as mean of information.
Why not use the Vedas as proof? Why not use the Qur’an as proof? Why not use Norse Legends as proof? Hmmmm???? These books are as good and false as the Bible.
The point of the article wasn’t to prove God’s existence as you were hoping for. The point of the article was to refute Epicurus objections to the common monotheistic God, and answering that through the monotheistic Christian worldview which requires the bible.
The article did answer them punctually and made no claims to answer anything else outside of Epicurus loaded questions.
For you to expect this article to prove God or use a god from a different worldview is like me reading a vegan cookbook and throwing it away bc it didn’t explain anything about the intramolecular forces between the organic molecules of the food. In other words, the chemistry of cooking is already established beforehand, or at least presupposed, and moving on to further subjects.
The author had every right to use the bible as a source of refutation because Epicurus is referring to God of the bible.
The article also doesn’t use circular reasoning, idk where you’re even getting that from. It did a great job with outside sources to also show that Epicurus’ claims are invalid.
I recommend checking out the links that the article provides, bc it uses sources outside the bible, aka the William Lane Craig links.
Epicurus died in 270 BC.
“And how do we know that that [salvation] wouldn’t require a world that is simply suffused with natural and moral suffering?”
actually, that is exactly what Epicurus and atheist are pointing. this world, this nature and our existence is a creation of such God, therefore pain and suffering is part of the creation of this sadistic entity.
Your position is valid and legitimate once you can justify the existence of evil, to define evil itself, therefore your claim of the sadistic entity is not itself a justified claim.. you judged from the perspective of the existence of evil that the creator is sadistic, but what about the good that exists, how it can be justified?? And can an evil God allow for goodness in this world?? Rational people would say no, an all evil, sadistic God will not allow goodness to exist. Then what becomes of the objection that this world is created by an evil God because of the existence of evil??
Epicurus’s and athiests’ position are not justified, because if God doesn’t exist, then you have no objective ground to object against evil and to name bad actions evil.
I’m not saying believing in the existence of God, but the ontological necessity of this being.
Consider these questions in your search for truth.
It does not mean God is evil it means God is flawed which means he doesn’t exist God has to be a perfect being with no flaws in order to be God in the first place. The fact God demands or at least desires worship is itself a flaw in my opinion as a perfect being would not be vain.
There are also chapters like “God’s wrath against mankind” a perfect being would not have wrath against nobody they might not even have emotions as emotions are a weakness what would a perfect being that doesn’t reproduce or even have any need of emotions be ruled by them?
First off God’s allowing of bad things does not mean God is flawed, there are many reasons why bad things would need to be allowed such as free-will for example. Having free-will means having the ability to hurt oneself, which is a bad thing, but not allowing free-will would be the greater evil. I gave a more in-depth analysis further down the page.
God’s desire of worship has nothing to do with vanity, as that assumes that it is only for personal and selfish reasons that God desires such, if that were so God could easily force people to worship him instead of making it a choice. Worshipping God helps people humble themselves and have a closer relationship with God helping them better themselves, rather like a parent encouraging their children to seek them out so they can enlighten them and better them.
A good parent punishes their child when their child knowingly and deliberately did something wrong. Wrath is a stronger word for it but does not mean that there are not circumstances that justify it.
There is no basis for the assumption that God is ruled by emotion, emotion can be logical. Parents might not reproduce anymore after having children, but we would consider them imperfect and horrifically bad parents if they felt no emotions or love towards their children. Likewise, a good ruler cares about their people and needs to have emotion to be able to be so. Do you wish to be rid of your emotions?
Do you believe in objective or subjective morality and what is your reason for doing so?
If free will is the reason for evil I have a few issues maybe you can answer. 1 if God know everything which would be required for him to be all powerful, then he knows how everyone’s life will turn out he know who will die and who will be born. So do we really have free will if that is the case? 2 there have been experiments done that prove that pure free will does not exist as the subconscious mind makes decisions before the conscious mind even registers the choice.
2 issues with this idea that free will is the answer. First God is omniscient so he knows everything about the timeline so do we really have free will if God knows what happens? Second experiments have been done that prove objective free will doesn’t exist as our subconscious knows what we do before we consciously decide. I cannot accept that free will is the answer to God’s hands off approach to evil harming his oh so beloved children.
Another example would be Adam and Eve. They are only a few days old or so by the time they eat the fruit of knowledge, an evil serpent tricked Eve into eating it, and they could not even conceive of the concept of evil without eating the fruit in the first place. The way I see it is if you told your toddler not to eat a cookie before dinner but then their uncle told them it was ok so they ate it, so you kick them out onto the street and leave them to die, but not only that you condemn their entire family line for all eternity in the unlikely event the child actually survives. Are we really to judge a naive child for their misguided actions? If only God can know why bother with him in the first place? It seems you can be damned for really innocuous reasons so I find it hard to accept Yahweh being flawless. Another problem is there is absolutely no objectivity to the Bible or anything to do with religion. So many groups have different interpretations such as do animals have souls (most say no but I have heard some argue they do because they want to believe their dead pets are still alive) or are all of the children who were not baptized burning in hell or sitting in purgatory. Another issue I have is with the Ten Commandments 3 of which are about worshipping God none of which are about not raping people. There is actually a lot of rape in the Bible some of which is condoned how is this the perfect word of God? If the Bible is fallible God isn’t perfect.
I’ve noticed that Christianity is often very strong in areas where poverty & suffering occur but in the West spoilt atheists use this suffering as an excuse for them to reject God.
“it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. Matthew 19 23-26
Also the Pope makes 70,000 dollars a year, now some might not call him rich but it is definitely not poverty he is living in like Jesus did. The average wages worldwide is 18,000 dollars a year and average US about 50,000 so it is not like he is making a ton of money but he does have everything paid for him and most bishops have very nice houses even though they get paid less than average. Would this mean that the catholic holy men would have a hard time getting into heaven?
Not just Christianity Buddhism and Islam are also very strong in impoverished areas because they need something to believe in and uneducated people who have extremely hard lives easily fall into religion. Not to say that people who are religious are necessarily uneducated just that the more developed and stable a nation is the less religious extremism there is.
Epicurus actually reveals that tge problem of good and evil side by side in time and space is not as trivisl or as simple as some people want to pretend.
Excellent article! I don’t believe in a God or subscribe to any religions. James does an fantastic job at debunking Epicure’ s logical inferences. What I would like to add is that both epicurean and theological logic fail to consider that in the universe there’s no such things as Good or Evil. Those concepts are constructed by society, and dynamically shift throughout history. What was viewed as evil in ancient times might not be today and the opposite is true too. Therefore, Epicure and theology are both addressing a pointless argument, much like trying to define whether Dark is different from light. Both are basically the same, the presence or absence of light. A dark or lighted room keeps its intrinsic quality and structures regardless of external conditions. It’s only the perception that changes. An erupting volcano destroying a town is no more Good or Evil than child labour, for example. We simply agree as a society what should be considered good or evil. For the victorian capitalist society, for example, child labour was totally acceptable. Hence, from the premise that good and evil have no universal qualities or definition, the question whether there is or not a willing and /or able God is irrelevant.
Child labor is acceptable to the person profiting from the labor but not acceptable to the laboring child. Slavery was acceptable to those profiting from slavery but not acceptable to the slave.
What you call “historically acceptable” was not acceptable under God or Man. It was only “justified” by those perpetuating the evil.
Mankind justifying evil. That has not been acceptable under God ever.
The concept that there is no such thing as good and evil is constructed by society and can therefore by this logic can be ruled out for being such. How someone views something does not change what something actually is. Although many views on morality have changed it has mostly stayed the same, all societies reached the conclusion that things such as unjust stealing and killing is wrong, they disagreed about what circumstances might make it just but agreed on the general premise. Many people even in Victorian times did not view child labor as acceptable, after they convinced others of the objective truth of this fact they outlawed it.
Would you want to live in a house that had no light?, no because you can’t see. A house with out light is different from a house with lights. The room without light is intrinsically different from a room with lights. A solar system without a sun capable of producing light is fundamentally different from a solar system with a sun producing light. A room without light might be have all the other things in it, but you will have a very difficult time navigating it, a room without some of the furniture might be the same except for the furniture missing but that missing furniture still makes a difference even if everything else it the same, if it happens to be someplace you liked to site, quite intrinsically different.
I don’t think the Bible really says killing is wrong just look what the Israelites did to the Midianites. They killed all of they’re leaders and captured the women and children. Then proceeded to kill all of the males and all the women that were not virgins. After that all the virgin women basically become sex slaves.
Epicurius’ argument is sound, his logic is undeniable for those are willing to find truth through logic. The only fault in Epicurius’ statement above is his last statement, “why call him God”. That conclusion assumes that a being must be “all-powerful” in order to be God. In other words, if God is not able to prevent suffering, then he is not worthy to be considered God. The question is why? Why must a being be all powerful in this 3-dimensional realm we exist in, in order to be two things. First, human beings Creator. And second, the One who made a way for human being to enter into eternal life.
In terms of Craig’s argument, “In terms of the intellectual problem of suffering, I think that there you need to ask yourself is the atheist claiming, as Epicurus did, that the existence of God is logically incompatible with the evil and suffering in the world?”; did Craig purposely ignore the second premise, which is that a being who is omnipotent and loving (stated from the reverse angle “malevolent”) would stop evil? It is sad to see Christians and Biblians bound by a theology that is contradictory because things that are contradictory are not true.
Please see https://www.thepeacefulrevolution.info/almighty-god.html
I will say that Epicurius argument uses sound reasoning but is ridiculously far from being undeniable for someone who is truly willing to find truth through logic as there are very detailed arguments against his point.
Concerning the why call him God part, this has to do with definition, the definition Epicurius and Christians in turn accept is that God is all-powerful by definition and according to the word believed to have been given by him and by what he has shown himself capable of doing. Epicurius accepts the same definition of God that Christians do, you just happen to have a different definition.
Keep in mind that James is only taking excerpts from Craig, Craig has had responses to point two, but the author only chose to give some of Craig’s response to point one choosing instead to give their own response. I do think the James’s own response to point two was insufficient.
I would not both with the reading more from the author you have cited, this is not one of the more intellectual atheist I have come across, if you are looking for atheists who make try to make a case against Christianity there are atheists who make much stronger points. Concerning the points the author tries to make against Paul, the author assumes that an all powerful God is a God who would do anything that we want him to do otherwise he is not all-powerful, there is insufficient basis for that assumption, Jesus knew that God could rescue him and acknowledged such but also understood the purpose behind what would happen, Jesus’ death then according to Jesus’ own teachings would not have been do to a lack of power.
The author demonstrates a complete lack of understanding and willingness to understand Paul’s point about if God is for us who could be against us? Paul suffered plenty at the hands of others and talked at length about the suffering of himself and other Christians, the author should have recognized that Paul meant something different. Paul’s point was that they would succeed in spreading the message and joy of the resurrection of Jesus as long as God was with them, in that no one could go against God’s will and succeed. Christianity has spread quite far and wide.
The author clearly has not bothered to look very deeply into Christian responses into the problem of pain and ultimately only aims for the lowest fruit in choosing a Christian response to attack. Below is my own response and also a link to one of Craig’s more detailed responses.
God is not a person and plays a very different role, trying to compare him with the actions of a person for that reason I would not regard as being accurate. There is also the question as to the basis for objective morality without God, if there is not objective morality then on what basis can actions be objectively judged bad or good to begin with?
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
See also Job 38-42
Starting off with free will, a God who gives no free will would essentially be creating nothing but robots, by giving free will he creates beings capable of loving of their own accord and making their own decisions. He could be regarded as being a tyrant if he is too controlling or uncaring if he is too uninvolved. Sliding too far in either direction might make him seem evil to many, many people have very different ideas as to which way if right, yours being a more controlling God who leaves less choice to his creation, that could be seen as its own evil in many ways. Of course, could there be purpose then in his allowing of some of the worse things?
I am only capable of speculating on much of this, so I am not speaking with authority on the topic. Starting off with minor bad things, I think you are probably familiar with the concept of letting someone struggle with something (perhaps building something or learning new material), but trying to avoid helping them if you can avoid it. You would avoid helping them because you know they would come to understand it so much better on their own and they would feel so much more rewarded by it, and can better appreciate what they are capable of. This could be partly why some bad things may be allowed to happen, and play a part in why some of the worse one may be allowed to happen as well. “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 1 James 1:2-4
“3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Good is best appreciated when you have seen its opposite, seeing the worst things helps us to appreciate the good things. Allowing the bad things also helps us be truly diverse; if we all had the exact same nice things we would not be able to be as diverse. The diversity helps us to better appreciate each other as well as ourselves. Someone who suffers more in some ways may have different ways they can help others through their own pains that they not of been able otherwise and has a different way of appreciating the beauty in things, even seeing the beauty in things others may not recognize. “9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:1-3
The reason many become more religious after going through a tribulation is not desperation but because they can better see that beauty and even recognize how God played a role in helping them there. Partly why we can enjoy and appreciate those stories in which someone goes through harsher tribulations is because we understand what it can be like and it helps us see the beauty in when they get through them and see a light on the other side. It is one of the reasons why we can appreciate life so much. This is illustrated in areas such Psalm 22.
Many do experience much harsher pain than others do, should there no be a cut off point for pain? Perhaps there is perhaps there is greater pain than what we can imagine that we are shielded from. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Why not remove the evil people of the world? Besides giving them a chance to change, it also could cause harm to many of the people already here.
“24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”” Matthew 13:24-29
“36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:36-43
God also has to work on a national level when taking into account individuals.
“3 These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): 3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.” Judges 3:1-4
Even harsher pain may have benefits, both for those individuals and how they can impact others even those who experience less joy can experience something greater after death, something so much greater than their pains that the pains seem like nothing in comparison.
“42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”” Luke 23:42-43
“24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. 25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” Colossians 1:24-29
One of Craig’s articles;
I really like this well thought out position.
I love how you were able to draw out the inconsistancy within the atheistic worldview in order to show the arbitrariness of the epicurean claim.
Then when responding gracefully to someone who was overly aggressive, not only do you address the issue, your press the persons objections to the furthest extreme (an all good God cannot allow evil, can it) reducing the objection to absurdity.
Thanks for defending the claims with grace.
[…] one of the earliest thinkers to raise the Problem of Evil (referred to as the Epicurean paradox or dilemma). He pointed to the suffering and evil in the world as evidence against the belief that the world […]
[…] was an objection raised by Epicurus roughly 2400 years ago and it is one that continues to be posed today. It is the perennial […]
“the philosophical naturalism of the atheist cannot account for objective morality or for good and evil, which undercuts the argument itself”
This passage is related to a fallacy that commonly creeps into these discussions. It is an instance of the fallacy of false dichotomy. Abrahamists sometimes think they can show that something (someone) like the God of Abraham must exist because naturalism fails. This is fallacious because in fact there are numerous worldviews other than (1) Abrahamism and (2) naturalism. Especially relevant to this issue is Plato’s theory of the Form of the Good. The Forms are neither gods nor natural objects, but the Good is an adequate basis for objective morality.
Thank you for shaaring this