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 willing and able ? Then whence cometh evil ?

Is he neither able nor willing ? Then why call him God ?

Epicurus.

Any thoughts ?

Tags: Epicurus

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Yes, I have put this same argument to theists and their usual (boringly repetitive) reply is:  "It is not for humans to question nor interpret God's motives."

They simply ignore or deny Epicurus's riddle has any value.

Maintaining their delusion is far more important to them than justifying it in the real world!

 

 "It is not for humans to question nor interpret God's motives."

Oh my goodness, how many times have I heard that! It is my job to question and doubt, not follow  that awful advice. The good thing about questioning, as finding various ways of seeing a problem. Just in the process of reframing an issue often offers options otherwise now considered, for example. 

I wonder what kinds of prayers believers expect or intend for God to answer? Do they say prayers there will be no cancer, only to discover through the ingenious of science that they do have cancer? So, God failed that prayer. Next comes the prayers for success of treatments; what if God doesn't answer those prayers? How far down on the scale do they go saying prayers and not getting what they want and still believe God answers prayers?

If a person defeats a cancer death, it is not because of prayers to a delusion, it is because of science and all the ways new developments become available. Putting one's confidence in the power of prayer is putting confidence and comfort in alchemy.

I am so very impressed with my team of doctors and the technology they use to diagnose and treat the disease. Confidence, based on demonstrative statistics brings far more confidence than superstition. Peace, based on knowledge offers more comfort than beliefs. Trust, based on well trained team members presents a greater sense of assurance than faith.

Is God willing to prevent cancer, but not able ? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing ? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both willing and able ? Then whence cometh cancer ?

Is he neither able nor willing ? Then why call him God ?

Joan:

Your whole reply here is deep and powerful.

Joan, a moving response and nothing I can add.  Only that I hope for you safe and effective treatment that gives you a long life and minimal discomfort.  Physical and emotional.

I second what Sentient said Joan.  I also hope for that for you as well Sentient.

Sentient, and I return the hope for you. Your surgery is so far more involved than mine, I don't even feel I should be writing about mine. I hope you rest often and enjoy your beautiful garden without being tempted to pull or dig. That is a difficult temptation. My team does not rely on prayer, but on knowledge. I am sure yours does as well. 

 

I LIKE your variation on Epicurus' theme, Joan.  Brilliant!

The revision brings Epicurus right up close and personal. 

Most of the christians around me have told me... "The reason God does not prevent things like cancer.. natural disasters.. etc.. is because after the fall of man... (What their bible tells them in Genesis) They were taken out of the Garden into a broken world." This is how most counter me when I present this riddle. They say that their religion covers this and that this is not a logical argument for them. How can I argue this? 

I ask why you would worship a gawd who "set-up" his "children."  I always tell them I'm a better parent than their sick gawd.

Yes booklover, you are definitely a much better parent than their dyslexic's dog.
The story of "Original Sin" which Branden has highlighted proves this.
I upset many theists by emphasising the Adam biting the apple tale.

Any parent who would condemn and punish any child (or animal) for life (eternity) for disregarding one house rule shouldn't be allowed to have children nor keep pets.
This story is absolute proof of their dyslexic dog's Malevolence!

Yes the very first book of the buy-bull provides proof of gawd's extreme Malevolence and it remains malevolent until the very end as it is strongly emphasized in 'Revelations'.

There is no true benevolence shown by their gawd anywhere in the entire buy-bull.

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