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  #1  
Old Feb 24, '12, 9:52 am
MindOverMatter2 MindOverMatter2 is offline
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Default The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

Lets assume for the sake of this thread that the problem of evil proves that it is immoral for God to bring human beings into this world of potential and horrendous suffering, and that therefore, on the grounds that potential evil is incompatible with creation, a good God cannot exist; and if there is a God, such a God is an evil God or is morally indifferent.

Now lets take into account that human beings have the power to create new persons. If the problem of evil precludes the creation of new human beings, then does it not follow that the creation of new children, brought into a world of potential and horrendous suffering and the despair of inevitable eternal-death, is an equally evil and selfish act?

I say that the Problem of Evil is just as much a problem for human beings as it is for God.

Given that fact i vote that we should all be sterilized if we truly want to prevent the suffering of future generations; since the only way to do that is to not have children at all and make the human race extinct. Anything else is irresponsible.
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  #2  
Old Feb 24, '12, 10:21 am
Gorgias Gorgias is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
Given that fact i vote that we should all be sterilized
"assertion". It's an assertion, not a "fact". And it relies on an invalid assumption, as well as lack of clarity about what it means for humans to participate in the creation of new life. Not to mention a problematic reference to "inevitable eternal death".

That being the case, I can't see where you hope to assert a potential course of action. You might ask whether a certain conclusion follows, given the (unreasonable) presumptions, but asking for a particular action in response to a hypothetical is just a non-starter...
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  #3  
Old Feb 24, '12, 10:28 am
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Zundrah Zundrah is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
Lets assume for the sake of this thread that the problem of evil proves that it is immoral for God to bring human beings into this world of potential and horrendous suffering, and that therefore, on the grounds that potential evil is incompatible with creation, a good God cannot exist; and if there is a God, such a God is an evil God or is morally indifferent.

Now lets take into account that human beings have the power to create new persons. If the problem of evil precludes the creation of new human beings, then does it not follow that the creation of new children, brought into a world of potential and horrendous suffering and the despair of inevitable eternal-death, is an equally evil and selfish act?

I say that the Problem of Evil is just as much a problem for human beings as it is for God.

Given that fact i vote that we should all be sterilized if we truly want to prevent the suffering of future generations; since the only way to do that is to not have children at all and make the human race extinct. Anything else is irresponsible.
Purely for the sake of argument, I agree.
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  #4  
Old Feb 24, '12, 10:38 am
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1AugustSon7 1AugustSon7 is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Lets assume for the sake of this thread that the problem of evil proves that it is immoral for God to bring human beings into this world of potential and horrendous suffering, and that therefore, on the grounds that potential evil is incompatible with creation, a good God cannot exist; and if there is a God, such a God is an evil God or is morally indifferent.

Now lets take into account that human beings have the power to create new persons.
I have to stop you here because human creatures do not have the said power.

Further, as is commonly evident, that apparent power is by no means absolute even if we assume, for the sake of argument, said power existed in human creatures. E.g., Abraham and Sara, those before puberty, etc.
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  #5  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:32 pm
Alberti_Devoveo Alberti_Devoveo is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by 1AugustSon7 View Post
I have to stop you here because human creatures do not have the said power.

Further, as is commonly evident, that apparent power is by no means absolute even if we assume, for the sake of argument, said power existed in human creatures. E.g., Abraham and Sara, those before puberty, etc.
If you assume that there is no God, then surely humans have the power to create new humans.

I would say that yes, if you do not believe in God because of the reasons stated in the OP, then yes it is selfish and/or evil to have children.


It is a very good thing that there is a Good God that we can emulate.
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  #6  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:54 pm
belorg belorg is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
Lets assume for the sake of this thread that the problem of evil proves that it is immoral for God to bring human beings into this world of potential and horrendous suffering, and that therefore, on the grounds that potential evil is incompatible with creation, a good God cannot exist; and if there is a God, such a God is an evil God or is morally indifferent.


The most common version of the PoE does not merely say that a good God would not bring human beings into a world of potential and horrendous suffering, it also states that a good and all-powerful God would be able to prevent the horrendous suffering.
So, I am afraid your analogy does not work.

Quote:
Now lets take into account that human beings have the power to create new persons. If the problem of evil precludes the creation of new human beings, then does it not follow that the creation of new children, brought into a world of potential and horrendous suffering and the despair of inevitable eternal-death, is an equally evil and selfish act?
Human beings who create new persons weigh the pros and the contras of bringing children into this world and some of them indeed think that this would be selfish. The problem of evil, among other things, claims that an all-good God would not 'weigh the pros and contras because there should be no contras.

Quote:
I say that the Problem of Evil is just as much a problem for human beings as it is for God.
It is a problem for human beings, but nobody I know of claims that human beings are perfect

Quote:
Given that fact i vote that we should all be sterilized if we truly want to prevent the suffering of future generations; since the only way to do that is to not have children at all and make the human race extinct. Anything else is irresponsible.
Or we could all become homosexuals
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  #7  
Old Feb 24, '12, 1:10 pm
MindOverMatter2 MindOverMatter2 is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by belorg View Post
It is a problem for human beings, but nobody I know of claims that human beings are perfect
I fail to see how that removes human responsibility. Humans can still make the choice of becoming sterile.

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Or we could all become homosexuals
Well, if you can figure out a way to make that possible, i am sure that option will be available to you belorg, free of charge.
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  #8  
Old Feb 24, '12, 1:51 pm
Serious Serious is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
Lets assume for the sake of this thread that the problem of evil proves that it is immoral for God to bring human beings into this world of potential and horrendous suffering, and that therefore, on the grounds that potential evil is incompatible with creation, a good God cannot exist; and if there is a God, such a God is an evil God or is morally indifferent.
The second one is more likely. But most definitely not "good".

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
Now lets take into account that human beings have the power to create new persons. If the problem of evil precludes the creation of new human beings, then does it not follow that the creation of new children, brought into a world of potential and horrendous suffering and the despair of inevitable eternal-death, is an equally evil and selfish act?
It is a selfish and stupid act. However, humans have a few excuses, which God does not have. One is God's assumed omniscience - that is humans can hope that their offspring's life will not be overwhelming suffering. This is a reasonable assumption, since most people do not have to endure unbearable suffering. We certainly do not have that omniscience, and thus we can hope for a decent life for our offspring. The second excuse is that we are biological beings, who have a strong, biological desire to propagate our genes. God does not have that biological "urge".

As such your comparision fails. However, I have to concede that the whole procreation process is irrational.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
I say that the Problem of Evil is just as much a problem for human beings as it is for God.
It is not the same, due to the factors delineated above. We do not have the power to eliminate suffering. God does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
Given that fact i vote that we should all be sterilized if we truly want to prevent the suffering of future generations; since the only way to do that is to not have children at all and make the human race extinct. Anything else is irresponsible.
Sure it is dumb. The trick of nature is that the huge urge to procreate is strongest at the immature age, when people are more driven by their hormones than by rational thinking.
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  #9  
Old Feb 24, '12, 2:23 pm
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1AugustSon7 1AugustSon7 is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by belorg View Post
The most common version of the PoE does not merely say that a good God would not bring human beings into a world of potential and horrendous suffering, it also states that a good and all-powerful God would be able to prevent the horrendous suffering.
So, I am afraid your analogy does not work.
What analogy?

What difference would the inclusion of the details of "the most common version of the PoE" make to this argument, exactly? And how is your objection on that point even relevant to this thread? He after all did stipulate, "Let us assume for this thread..."


Anyways, and regardless,

The PoE is silly because it harpoons on man's intrinsic desire to exist (which means the world can't be that bad if we actually would rather live than not, even in this world) or general conviction that to exist is a substantial good that is at least better than non-existence, which atheism must ultimately deny (i.e. that he/man/we actually exist(s)). If there is no after life (for example) then you completely cease to exist at the moment of death. If that is bad, then to exist in the first place must be good or at least better, even in a world filled with so much intolerable suffering and evil. The Problem of Evil is, in fact, the Problem of non-Existence or the threat or danger thereof.

Like all false and specious arguments, the PoE manipulates emotions and sentiments in order to by-pass reason and common sense. If evil is so bad and rampant in this present world, then being killed, for example, is not actually an evil and, in fact, there is no evil. This inevitably results in moral relativism and decline: i.e. more evil!

Last edited by 1AugustSon7; Feb 24, '12 at 2:35 pm.
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  #10  
Old Feb 25, '12, 12:57 am
belorg belorg is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by 1AugustSon7 View Post
What analogy?

What difference would the inclusion of the details of "the most common version of the PoE" make to this argument, exactly? And how is your objection on that point even relevant to this thread? He after all did stipulate, "Let us assume for this thread..."
Because even if on Mind's version the PoE is an equally big problem for humanity than it is for God, that does not mean that is also the case for the most common version of the PoE.


Quote:
Anyways, and regardless,

The PoE is silly because it harpoons on man's intrinsic desire to exist (which means the world can't be that bad if we actually would rather live than not, even in this world)
That's why my inclusion is relevant, because the PoE does not say that the world is completely bad, rather the PoE says that the world is not completely good and that, given a tri-omni God a perfectly good world is to be expected.


Quote:
If that is bad, then to exist in the first place must be good or at least better, even in a world filled with so much intolerable suffering and evil.
To exist in the first place may indeed be better, but that does not mean that to exist is as good as logically possible. And that's what the PoE is all about.


Quote:
The Problem of Evil is, in fact, the Problem of non-Existence or the threat or danger thereof.
That is simply not true.

Quote:
If evil is so bad and rampant in this present world, then being killed, for example, is not actually an evil and, in fact, there is no evil. This inevitably results in moral relativism and decline: i.e. more evil!
The PoE does not say that evil is "so bad and rampant", it merely says that there is evil, which is incompatible with an all-good God.
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  #11  
Old Feb 25, '12, 3:36 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

I agree with your conclusion that we shouldn't bring more children into the world unless we can ensure they will have enjoyable lives not outweighed by suffering but the real problem is how it could be proved that their lives would be dominated by suffering.

Even if God didn't exist life would be worth having if injustice and suffering didn't exceed enjoyment and fulfilment...
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  #12  
Old Mar 1, '12, 7:32 pm
LovePatience LovePatience is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
Lets assume for the sake of this thread that the problem of evil proves that it is immoral for God to bring human beings into this world of potential and horrendous suffering, and that therefore, on the grounds that potential evil is incompatible with creation, a good God cannot exist; and if there is a God, such a God is an evil God or is morally indifferent.

Now lets take into account that human beings have the power to create new persons. If the problem of evil precludes the creation of new human beings, then does it not follow that the creation of new children, brought into a world of potential and horrendous suffering and the despair of inevitable eternal-death, is an equally evil and selfish act?

I say that the Problem of Evil is just as much a problem for human beings as it is for God.

Given that fact i vote that we should all be sterilized if we truly want to prevent the suffering of future generations; since the only way to do that is to not have children at all and make the human race extinct. Anything else is irresponsible.
People are exploring this question. However, it does not logically follow that because of the horrendous suffering and despair of death that one should be sterilized.

1) Most of the suffering is preventable and caused by negative human actions or indifference. People starve, not because there is not food to go around, but because others are too selfish to share. Not all people are committed to evil. Any of the saints is a person committed to love. It is conceivable that just as we have made advances in scientific technology, good people will also win the fight against evil such that it is also rare. Thus, one could argue that we should fight to prevent evil rather than sterilizing ourselves. Those who are committed to doing the good could believe that their children are likely to be like themselves and thus if they are grateful for life, why wouldn't their children be?

2) Here's a philosophical discussion on the morality of adoption vs. having one's own children. http://www.askphilosophers.org/question/4106 It concludes that people should really have a stronger preference for adopting. However, caring for other people's children while not having the chance to have one of one's own is an injustice. So there is something called superogatory; it needs to be done, but it is not incumbent upon us as individuals to do it.


In fact, thoughts about the evil in the world is the reason why the religious vocation (chastity) is superior to the lay vocation, and those who won't admit this are anathema. It is better to spend one's life ending evil than spend one's life having children.
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  #13  
Old Mar 3, '12, 4:13 am
kama3 kama3 is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by LovePatience View Post
It is better to spend one's life ending evil than spend one's life having children.
One does not preclude the other.

In fact, it is even better to have N children and raise them so they can fight evil when they grow up, because you go from 1 evil-fighting agent to N evil-fighting agents in the next generation. If your children have children and raise them correctly, then you can have N^2 evil fighting agents in two generations, and N^k evil-fighting agents after k generations, which is a clear win strategy-wise.

Now, if people would just raise their children correctly...
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  #14  
Old Mar 3, '12, 5:22 am
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ThinkingSapien ThinkingSapien is offline
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
I fail to see how that removes human responsibility. Humans can still make the choice of becoming sterile.
Some do. And some simply choose to not have kids by other means (avoiding sexual intercourse or the use of birth control).
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  #15  
Old Mar 3, '12, 5:23 am
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Default Re: The Problem Of Human Evil and the Creation of new Life.

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Originally Posted by MindOverMatter2 View Post
Given that fact i vote that we should all be sterilized if we truly want to prevent the suffering of future generations; since the only way to do that is to not have children at all and make the human race extinct. Anything else is irresponsible.
That's the kind of dark thought linked to clinical depression - we sometimes read of a dad who killed his family and then himself out of the depressed delusion it would spare them all further suffering.

But on a brighter note, once that's definitely ruled out, sterilization should be open to all those who think it's a good argument. After all, it's what's known as natural selection.
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