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post #14 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by enceledus View Post
This is one of the oldest philosophical arguments against god. It is an inherent contradiction in the agreed upon attributes of the Judeo-Christian god. A wonderful point to bring up when debating a Christian.

This argument is typically paired with another example of the same sort, being as such: "Can god create a stone too heavy for himself to lift?"

The Abrahamic concept of god is so flawed it is nearly impossible to rectify it into something reasonable..... but when worshipping a god who needs reason anyway?
See, this is one of the things that I don't like about contemporary atheism. (yeah, I might as well have said that in my curmudgeonly old man voice; it's not that I don't like contemporary atheists or regard them as intellectually inferior, but it's a sticking point) It tends to leave out a lot of the history that underlies the arguments that it's attempting to deal with.

Epicurus wasn't responding to a "Judeo-Christian" (a term I hate, by the way; it has no root in the world at all; it became vogue in the 1950s among the members of the religious right to attempt to make themselves look more ecumenical) conception of God at all. He likely had no knowledge of the "Abrahamic" God (the God of the Israelites, at the time) at all.

The Problem of Evil is actually a response, not to Christianity, but to Aristotelean deism. The reason that it becomes deputized into arguments against contemporary Christianity (it absolutely will do no work in an argument against a Talmudic Jew, at least one familiar with the tradition of textual interpretation) because early Christians deputized Aristotelean cosmological arguments to justify the existence of God and, as such, made themselves vulnerable to the same concept that made the Aristotelean construction vulnerable to Epicurus' critique.

It's a great critique of contemporary Christian theology. But it is worth noting that is almost entirely due to a failure of Christian theology, not the concept.

There are many, many better reasons why the concept fails/sucks. I think the best critique belongs to Antony Flew in his 1950 paper "Theology and Falsification." But that's just me.

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