:: Saturday Night Whimsicals - Morality ::
:: Extended into Sunday Afternoon Since I Just Couldn't Finish Writing What I Wanted To Write ::
There're things we read about in the papers that probably induce us to take one stand or another.
:: The Problem of Evil ::
In the philosophy of religion and theology,
the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of
evil or suffering in the world with the existence of an omniscient,
omnipotent, omnibenevolent god.
The problem of evil arises from the supposition that a perfectly good god
would not have created a world containing evil,
or would not permit its continued existence in the world,
and that an omniscient and omnipotent god should be
able to arrange the world according to his intentions.
Since evil manifestly exists, it would seem that a god intends it to exist.
Therefore such a god is either not perfectly good,
or not omnipotent.
With the further premise that if a god exists,
it must be perfectly good,
omniscient, and omnipotent,
one can conclude from the existence of evil that no god exists.
Epicurus is credited with first expounding this problem,
and it is sometimes called the Epicurean paradox or the riddle of Epicurus
— although the argument is not really a paradox or a riddle,
but rather a reductio ad absurdum of the premises.
Epicurus drew the conclusion that the existence of evil is
incompatible with the existence of the gods.
:: The Problem of Hell ::
The problem of Hell is a variant of the problem of evil, aimed specifically at religions which hold both that:
1. An omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnibenevolent (all-loving) God exists.
2. Some people will be consigned to Hell forever, and will be eternally tortured.
Opponents of the doctrine of Hell claim that the punishment is
disproportionate to any crimes that could be committed.
Humans can commit only a finite amount of sin,
yet Hell is essentially infinite punishment,
and common sense seems to suggest that few
(if any) people deserve such punishment.
Against the alleged injustice of Hell,
some theists have maintained that God is so infinitely great
that any transgression against him warrants an infinite punishment.
On this view, the correct punishment for a crime is proportional
to the status of the wronged individual.
Opponents of this view reply that the correct punishment is
also proportional to the intentions and understanding
of the wrongdoer.
Arguing from the concept that "The wages of sin is death,"
those who accept the teachings of the Bible assert that
any amount of sin in and of itself is worthy of damnation
to Hell and all the associated punishments.
Because sin is by definition an ultimate denial of God's authority,
any sin is infinite in quality.
Another argument is that,
although no crime warrants eternal punishment,
sinful behaviour can continue in Hell,
thus warranting an "extension of the sentence"
that an individual must serve -
and such extensions can continue on
forever with each new sin.
There is a counter to this argument:
Those assigned to Hell are destined to suffer there forever.
For this to be justified,
it must be inevitable that they will continue sinning eternally
and continue to deserve further punishment.
Hell becomes a futile punishment which
cannot serve to prevent sin.
Furthermore, if the sinners in Hell cannot avoid
further sin they cannot easily be seen as
responsible for their actions once they enter Hell.
Wikipedia is fun.