Monday, 29 August 2011

A Trilemma

First off, a trilemma is like a dilemma but with three things, not two. Now that's out the way, this is one of the most famous trilemmas ever.



  1. if God is unable to prevent evil, he is not omnipotent
  2. if God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good
  3. if God is willing and able to prevent evil, then why is there evil?

Yes, I tried to hide it with the title, but I am going to to talk about God again. There are three things you need to know about God:

1. He is omnipotent, he is everywhere at once
2. He is omniscient, he knows everything
3. He is omnibenevolent, he has an infinite capacity for Good. I guess you could call it all forgiving.

The fourth thing to note is that there is the existence of evil. People say that the existence of evil means that there is a doubt in God, but, this is not true. God knows everything, and he has an infinite capacity for forgiving, and if he is everywhere then he clearly knows about the existence of evil. 

So, why is there still evil? Because God knows that there must be evil. God accepts evil. Think about it for a few seconds, when did you grow the most as an individual, as a person? Was it when everything went your way? No, that made you complacent, it was when you went through hardships, you went through a lot of bad stuff, and you came out a better person because of it. I've been through a lot of crap in my life, but it made me who I am today, and I thank God for that. I might not thank him for all the shit he put me through, but I thank him for who I am.

If God knows everything, it's fair to assume he knows a lot more than we ever will, it's fair to assume that he knows stuff that would blow our minds, and it's safe to assume the existence of evil is one of them. When things stop going wrong in your life, congratulations, you've achieved the pinnacle of your perfection, at least, until you need something more, and more hardships come your way.


My basic point is like Satan in South Park says "There can't be good without evil so it must be good to be evil sometimes"

Damn I should be a philosopher. 


Oh, BTW, I'm not trying to convert people here, I'm not interested in an Atheist vs Christianity fight. I'm not even Christian, I'm Agnostic. Although looking up what an agnostic actually is, it doesn't define me. It's someone who neither believes, nor disbelieves in God. I just have views on God that differ from every religion I know. Maybe I should just start my own. So yes, I'm not a Christian, I'm not an atheist, not really wanting a huge argument in the comments, and I'm not really an agnostic either it seems. It was simply my intent to solve a trilemna and make people think. Whatever your views on God are, they're yours, and you have every right to them :)

40 comments:

  1. The trilemna pretty much sums up why i'm an atheist lol.

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  2. Nice way to explain the dichotomy of good/evil. New Age religion is what I believe in, for I've never had one knock on my door, or 'convert' me into their type of belief.

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  3. Without the bad, we have no way of truly appreciating the good. If everyone's life was constantly sunny, happy, and nothing but good fortune happened to us, I bet we'd take everything for granted a lot more.

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  4. @A Beer for the Shower That's an even simpler way of summing up this post, and the general message I was trying to send :)

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  5. Wasn't there one more line?
    I think it went something like:"If he is not willing or able to prevent evil, than why call him god?"

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  6. If you look at god as a crazy woman it all makes sense. May I recommend you take a peek at principiadiscordia.com

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  7. @Inverse You're right about that actually. I must address that at one point. And so I shall, in a comment, so I hope people read it lol.

    God is defined as "The creator", "The supreme being". I think that if you take the supreme being as his definition, then yes, he could still be called God. I could call myself God, make a religion around me and be worshipped, but that doesn't mean I created everything. Though I do think that God did bang the big bang. The term God doesn't really imply anything other than being the creator, and the supreme being, and some religions have several Gods each with their own purpose. If God is "supreme" enough to understand the necessity of evil, I consider that a good sign he is a "supreme" being. Hence he still falls under the definition of a God.

    A religion based on me doesn't sound too bad actually...

    Anyway, the point of this post was to explain the existence of evil, but thank you for raising a good question :)

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  8. Or God simply doesn't care about us anymore and has started another project?

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  9. @FangMaybe he just never cared to begin with either really. If you consider the infinite universe theory, the dude sure has enough on his plate to not be dealing with it all at once, even if the bible says he's more than capable of doing it.

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  10. I do respects everyone's belief :)

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  11. It may be true that evil makes you who you are, but how about the people that get tortured and killed in the most horrible ways? Like being baked in an oven, your eyes cut out and a scalpel to your brain. I could list so many more. You just can't justify that.
    I'm sorry to say that, you as a believer probably (or not) dislike me for this, but I don't believe in god at all

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  12. @NeonNo I don't dislike you for that at all. I've said many a time that I'll appreciate anyone's beliefs, that includes a lack of belief. If I said you had to believe in God I'd be more of a hypocrite than I'm about to allow myself to be. There are some things that can't be justified, like that, and I'm not about to attempt to justify them. There are many many fates worse then death. I would say though, after all that, that if he did stop extreme things like that, eventually people are going to want the more mundane things stopped, and then people would complain that he didn't stop some things but stopped others. IE a massive disaster was prevented, but someones life wasn't spared. Then you get the whole "One life over many" thing going on. I think it would be better to not stop any evil, than to stop some, and be judged for not stopping all. People judge God too, probably more than he judges us. I'm now worried people will dislike me for this reply lol. Like I said, I'm not trying to justify things like torture, I wouldn't be able to if I tried.

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  13. you're using fallacies. It doesnt matter if God is able to prevent evil. The true question is, why God has to prevent evil?

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  14. @Linux and Life That is something I had hoped I had partly answered with the simple answer "He doesn't, there's no real need to."

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  15. People still follow institutionalized religions? I thought our western society was supposed to be educated, free-willed and open-minded; guess not.

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  16. I am not ahteist but respecte!

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  17. @cheshire Some people might, but I don't. Being religious does not = lack of intelligence, free will and open-mindedness. My dad is a Christian, but he doesn't go to church much, he's one of the smartest people I know, and he's pretty comfortable with homosexuality. There's just a lot of religious nutbars who ruin it for the rest of them.

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  18. I would like to think that god is not unwilling, but due to how he "made" humans, he gave them free will, and has every intention to follow through with leaving it that way. Being an Atheist myself, I have every intention of thinking that not god, but the adujstment bureau, has taken our free will, and make us evil by tiny nudges. Not trying to start a debate, but I don't think you can judge good and evil as a person. In the past we have judged what is evil by what a book tells us an all powerful being told us to do. If he exists, I am willing to admit that he sure as hell knows more than we can ever imagine, and he has such an understanding of what he wants good and evil to be, that there is no way a simple human can grasp the subject. So he hypothetically gave us 10 rules that will give us a basic understanding of what he wants us to do or not.

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  19. @MortHD That is actually another excellent point. How do we know what is good and what isn't? I have actually asked Christians before what if night was day and day was actually night. But I was extremely bored back then. He does also have every intention of letting us do what we please. If he stopped a mass murderer from killing someone, he has taken away the free will, which people would either not grasp, or complain about.

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  20. Religious people can rationalize anything, even the irrational. :)

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  21. I'm just in the middle. I just always avoid this religious mishap.

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  22. @ShawIrrational is fun though :) Usually they rationalize it by going "Dude, it's God, you can't question that" but I do like to question that and not just say "It's God, go away". Or try at least.

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  23. I don't know and don't care.
    We're all going to die, the answer makes no difference.

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  24. If god is everywhere is everything god? Are we god?
    As for good and evil I find those words very undescriptive. Good is what? Helping caring for others and trying to better the world? Evil is hurting others and only caring about yourself?
    All this good evil god talk seems vague.

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  25. I'm a catholic and i find this offensive!

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  26. @Bersercules I did read a comic where the punchline was that whenever you take your dick out to fap, you hit God in the eye lol. It's a point I raised in the comments, no one can really define what is good or bad anyway. If something hurts us, it's bad, but maybe later on in life, good things came of it. Is the bad event then a good event? It's neither, it's just an event that we term either bad or good. I suppose the even simpler answer to the trilemna is, there's no such thing as good or bad.

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  27. damn right you should be a philosopher! that was light-weight mind blowing!

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  28. Free will argument. Personally, I don't think a supreme being operates within the definition of "good" of "evil." It wouldn't think like us. It would think beyond us, beyond our capabilities. Maybe things happen for a reason. Maybe evil exists as a dynamic counterbalance within the universe. Maybe it's used to test the good and the just. But, then again, Atheist.

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  29. @Generally Disgruntled I have a post on free will coming up soon. That is a good point that has been raised. Morals, right and wrong, these are human concepts. Or quite possibly human concepts at least. It really could just be that whatever supreme being there is doesn't operate using them, or that there isn't even one at all lol.

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  30. I think the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal addresses a similar (if not the same issue) discussed here but I doubt I'll be able to find it, the archive it too large, sorry. :(

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  31. I'm very agnostic too, though I grow tired of the term. I prefer non-religious.

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  32. Your dad is comfortable with homosexuality sounds kinda awkward, sorry :D

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  33. @NeonIt does a bit doesn't it? lol. He just accepts people for who they are.

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  34. @Mark Well, he may have a lot on his plate then, but isn't that his own choice? He went all like "and I shall create the world and other cool shit", and created our universe. And you can't say he couldn't know what a daunting task it would be to keep up with it, because he knows all. So he wouldn't have done it in the first place if he knew he was going to have a hard time.
    But then again, why doesn't he create a bunch of underlings that link to his subconscious, so they can do the nasty work "for" him?

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  35. @FangIf his nasty work is to keep the place in good running order we've sure cocked that one up haven't we? Interesting thought though :)

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  36. Yeah well, if god was so awesome, he would make it so we can live without suffering and anything bad happening to us. Some need to develop and be who you are because of hardships is again totally pointless, since if he can do anything, he should make it so you are the best you can be from the get go.
    I doubt that there is any god, but if there is, he's an asshole.

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  37. @Bob Well yeah, the dude can be a dick. But if everything was so great from the get go, there wouldn't be much point really. I'd like to think of him more as the kind of parent who'd do anything. Parents may piss you off and do weird shit, but they typically have your best interests at heart.

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  38. Very well worded! When talking about little evils the argument that we should grow due to adversity makes complete and perfect sense. The problem I have with many religions is that its followers will often kneel and pray for help while thousands of their friends are being slaughtered or killed by natural disasters. I find it hard to justify the argument of growth when I hear about middle eastern dictators committing genocide. If there is a message in those situations it might also be to use that free will of ours and deal with things ourselves instead of waiting for our parent to fix it.
    In my mind, whatever is out there doesn't necessarily have the three qualities Christians often ascribe to it. If such a being or beings even is conscious by our definition, I don't see why it should care what we do on this little backwater rock.
    Of course if they're right and there is a God with all those qualities, great! Unfortunately, some of his fanclubs are still crazy.

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  39. @Astaroth It is indeed one big problem with religion. We need to fix things for ourselves. I'll be talking a little about that next week actually.

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