HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Doctrine that evil is not real makes God responsible for evil and not us
 
FIRSTLY...
 
Free will is the power to intentionally do good or evil. To do neither is to do both. So its intending both good and evil then.
 
The Church says that God is wholly good and made all things from nothing.
 
There is a lot of evil and suffering.
 
The Church says we are responsible for that because God gave us freedom and we misused it. The Church says that evil and suffering are not powers but are merely good things in the wrong place. They are the abuse of good. Evil is the absence of good. Deliberate evil is called sin - sin means doing what is against the commands of God that we are to be good.
 
The question we are asking is, does having the power to do good or evil fit the doctrine that evil is not real though it feels real?
 
THE "EVIL IS MISPLACED GOOD" DOCTRINE V FREE WILL 
 
What if we blame free will for evil and then say that evil is not real but is just distorted good? If God's record is pure because evil is a good that fails to be good enough then what do you need to blame free will for evil for? You don't.
 
If evil is just the absence of good then when we intend evil the will is not evil but is just falling short of good. In other words, we are trying to be good but doing it wrong. In other words, we do evil for the good results it may have and don't do evil for its own sake. This is another perspective that shows that talk about sin and having the power to choose good or evil makes no sense. It shows that only the results of an action can be judged but not the action itself. One may as well scrap belief in free will altogether.
 
Suppose that evil is good in the wrong place and that it may have good consequences. Then knowing its good in the wrong place is not going to comfort us or help us. In fact it will make us feel we are freaks for when we are very hurt we cannot look at evil as merely an absence of good. We cannot be grateful that its good in its way. Our alleged free will is supposed to be the power to choose good or evil. But we cannot genuinely have free will when the thought that evil is mere incorrect good is so alien to us. Its not natural for us.
 
Even if you make a being that can do evil for its own sake and who sees it as a real thing and not just as a negation of good, several fatal problems emerge. The evil use of the being’s will is still good because it cannot do better and is doing its best. It wants to be good at evil for example. So no matter what you make you cannot get away from the fact that we can only intend good even when we do evil and the evil intention intends the good results of evil not the evil itself. If the being could choose to stop seeing evil as good and start seeing evil as evil and doing evil for evil’s own sake then the being would have to be able to become insane for doing evil because it is evil would be more insane than anyone could imagine so it makes free will far more impossible than the view that the evil we do is mistaken for good does. If we only mean to be good there is no point in God letting us do evil. He would not be manipulating us if he made us do only good out of our own nature.
 
Suppose the evil is good in the wrong place and that it may have good consequences. What matters first of all to the believer in God?

Our tendency to think we have free will is seized upon by the Church to make us think it serves a good God. It blames us for evil and exonerates him. Blaming is vindictive because it implies we need to be punished at least by disapproval and by being made to feel guilty as long as we are not sorry. To say we are responsible for sin has the following problem. Declaring a person responsible without blaming is about telling a person that they can change what is making them feel bad so its all about making them feel better without any concern for God or morality or sin. Declaring that is not a problem for the atheist! To say we are responsible for evil is ignoring the element of sin. For a believer in God, sin is the main thing. It cannot be ignored or its seriousness downplayed and its unfair to if there is a God. Thus the defence of God is only cosmetic - it increases the evil. It creates a culture of blame and resentment and fear. 

It is evil to blame us for the sake of a God that may not exist. You would not consider a person to be good if they said you were to blame for your teeth being rotten as to say you got some disease or whatever would be to accuse the tooth fairy of negligence or cruelty.

The notion that evil is not real but is merely good that is not good enough leads to some interesting things. What if a person is a cynical malicious gossip? His friends may say, "You tell it as you see it!" That is saying, "You are to be praised for being a gossip." It does not make their condemnations of cynicism and gossip sincere. If you love the person you will be forced to praise what good they do even if it is the good of evil. That you condemn proves that you do not. To view a person as dangerous and harmful makes you hate and that is what hate is all about.

To say God should allow evil to happen for it is just good falling short of better good and has no real existence solves nothing because somebody had to make the power for created things to fall short. Even free will cannot cause the falling short unless God creates forces within the person that fall short of real good that free will can draw upon to do evil. We never do anything without a reason and without feeling which proves that if free will goes astray it was impulses that went astray that led to this. If God is right to do such evil and make evil for evil is just non-good and not a real thing as the argument says then how can doing evil be evil if God is all-good?
 
Conclusion
 
The notion that evil is not a power but really an assessment of an action or event contradicts the free will defence. It does not let God off the hook for having the power to stop evil and not using it. At least it gets us off the hook!
 
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THE WEB
  
www.colorado.edu/philosophy/wes/Tooley2.html
 
THE ARGUMENT FROM EVIL AND THE EXISTENCE OF GOD by Michael Tooley.
 
http://www.nd.edu/~rpotter/courses/finitism.htm
 
FINITISM AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, R Dennis Potter,
 
www.ffrf.org/fttoday/august97/barker.html
 
THE FREE WILL ARGUMENT FOR THE NON-EXISTENCE OF GOD by Dan Barker