Thought you might like this one last thing in the evening. AK Haart is running the Epicurean question:
… that if G-d has both the power and the desire to stop evil, why does he not do so?
This is to put the argument back to front, IMHO, the cart before the horse. Let’s presuppose that there is a G-d and we both believe in Him. Fine, now the question is valid – why does he not prevent or avenge evil? This is addressed below.
If, on the other hand, we do not believe He exists, then we can hardly blame Him for anything which goes on, can we? We can’t have it both ways because that is not logical. Do we believe … or do we not?
If not, then the discussion ends here and thanks very much for coming along today – bye for now.
So, for those who are still here, agreeing we can’t keep changing our minds, swinging backwards and forwards between believing and not believing, depending on how we’re faring at any point in the debate but sticking to one position only, we now proceed on the basis that He does exist.
If He does, then there are three immediate questions:
1. What is His form? Is He a part of the ether or a person or a force or is He perhaps a scientific genius from another dimension? There’s evidence for your concept and I believe there’s evidence for mine. Mine will become apparent further on.
2. What are His powers? Is He omnipotent in every last degree or has He set things up so that His powers are deliberately constrained? Sort of like putting your money in a term deposit.
3. What’s His agenda?
It seems to me that this debate revolves around the concept of Free Will.
Take the analogy of the inventor and his puppet. He’s spent a long time carving it and making it look like him, it’s clothed and yet lifeless and he wants to see it walking and talking [Pygmalion]. Of course it can’t because it has no innate locomotion or thought process so he can only do as children do – pretend it’s alive, give it its voice and make believe it’s operating as a human being.
He’s had enough of this so he invents locomotion and free will, after having spent eons in the lab, coming up with a little grey box and a thing coursing around the body of the puppet called – oh – blood, let’s say. To write this code in the first place, he had to model it on something and as the only being with free will in the place is him, he has to use his own life code as the model.
One of his sidekicks gets to hear about this and when he knows that a little bit of this life force, the DNA, is going to be multiplied millions of times over and all these little ex-robots are going to be running around in this new garden the inventor has planned, the sidekick is mightily peeved and vows to steal the code and give himself free will, i.e. making himself into a little god in his own right but as the code was meant for a human, not for one of his metabolism, the resultant mix would be diabolical.
Knowing this and what the sidekick would do – he’s made of different material to the ex-puppets – the inventor builds in failsafes, just as any computer programmer does. The sidekick now basically turns into a hacker.
One of the powers the inventor gives to the ex-puppet is that of Belief, a most necessary adjunct to that of Free Will because, equipped with this, the ex-puppet can actually choose not to believe and not to do as he was asked to. He can act against instinct and design. And here is the philosophical dilemma of the inventor. He can prevent Free Will by means of auto-coercion but it defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.
And what is the purpose of the exercise?
It’s to watch this ex-puppet, which he calls Man, for want of a better term, procreate, develop, evolve, learn to cope and to reach a state of overcoming all obstacles and vicissitudes because the inventor knows it’s only by passing through the furnace that the organism is hardened enough to survive.
Perhaps he needs these new hardened organisms for his own plans elsewhere, further down the track.
The sidekick realizes that his chance is slipping away and unaware of the coded failsafes embedded in every ex-puppet at the point of birth but believing that somehow the secret is passed on at that point and maybe also at death, he’s determined to hack this code any way he can. He has to stop these ex-puppets multiplying. What’s worse, every one of them has mutations – i.e. is different to the predecessor in some small way. For the sidekick, it’s a total nightmare.
The only surefire way to gain this knowledge is for the ex-puppet to voluntarily relinquish his or her code – Free Will again. It can’t be coerced but can be coaxed.
Fast forward a few eons
It’s pretty clear that the maniacal sidekick has had such success cutting off the ex-puppets from their Maker and that leaves the ex-puppets entirely defenceless. The protection depended on a mayday call from the ex-puppet to his Maker but like all the encryption and correctly coded algorithms which give you access to a programme on the net, if you never ask, you never get and even if you do ask, you have to ask properly, i.e. with Belief that that which you’re asking for can be given..
In other words, if you ask for help but you don’t believe it can be given … it won’t be. Simple as that.
So the prime task of the sidekick is to kill Belief in the ex-puppets, to have them mocking Belief, mocking the idea that there even was a Maker in the first place. Then, when the agents of the sidekick move in, the ex-puppets are easy meat, exposed sheeple. Their one and only chance of protection they’ve now voluntarily given away to a “pocketful of mumbles, such are promises”.
One of the errors the ex-puppets made, you see, was to believe that they could, alone, change the world for the good. in fact one lot, calling themselves communists, socialists, communitarians, whatever, even had a school, based in Frankfurt, dedicated to this delusion.
Of course, the ex-puppets make a pig’s breakfast of it, due to their innate fallibility and thus all sorts of misery, dismay, depression, pain and suffering follow, at the behest of the sidekick but the ex-puppets are now so hardwired, so set against the idea of a Maker, that they allow the future to continue to disappear, throwing up their hands and wondering why.
And then the final insult, added to injury, is that they turn around, whilst the oligarchical elite is doing its worst, and curse the very Maker they don’t even believe in for all their woes. It’s exactly like a child refusing any constraint, any help, almost killing himself and then moaning that his father did not protect him from it. Even worse, he then blames every father and mother who ever lived, good or bad, for all society’s woes, not once considering that he might have been the root cause all along.
At this point, society is in steep decline and madness has gripped the people. While there was belief of sorts, there was sanity. Now there is no protection whatever from the ravages which arrive, one after the other.
What’s even worse is that, in their obstinacy, they’ve actually endangered those few who did still believe and who kept the channels of communication open. They’ve unwittingly allowed the enemy to run riot, exactly like the people of the UK are allowing the EU to run riot, whilst the few blog furiously from the edge.
It’s a theory and just as good as any other, especially as it is based on events as they’ve transpired. And what about the original Epicurean question – why does He allow all the suffering?
He doesn’t. Those who won’t accept His help allow it. If the vast majority would straighten up and fly right, it would kill off almost all the mayhem in one fell swoop. Back would come the rule of law, patriotism, bringing children up right, the reestablishment of the work ethic and all other goodies – productivity, enough food, freedom, respect, the right relation between men and women and so on.
Not going to happen though, methinks.