## The problem of evil

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

Moderator: Dan~

### The problem of evil

The Problem of Evil

Proof that it is logically impossible for an all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing being to exist in the presence of disasters and suffering like 9/11, babies getting cancer, the Holocaust, rapists brutally raping children, massive earthquakes killing thousands of people in Haiti, etc.

Christians often make the claim that God knows everything. If asked for specifics, they’ll say this includes knowledge about when and where a rapist will brutally rape a child or when and where the next major earthquake will hit. Christians also often make the claim God can do anything. If asked for specifics, they say this means he is capable of doing things like diverting a typhoon so it harmlessly dissipates over the ocean, causing a car to break down, causing a sword to disappear into thin air. Christians also often make the claim that God loves everyone. If asked for specifics, they'll say this means things like God doesn't want for the families of children who get cancer to suffer and that God doesn't want for children to get brutally raped.

While we all my dispute what "evil" means, we can all agree that things like genocide, ISIS attacks, destructive tsunamis, destructive tornadoes, the Holocaust, babies getting cancer and mass shootings at schools do occur. For the purposes of this essay, these are examples of "evil".

Given the specifics Christians have provided about their God, we can conclude the following three things:

1) If God can do anything and knows everything, then he must not love us enough to want to prevent things like 9/11, babies getting cancer or destructive earthquakes killing 200,000 people in Haiti.

2) If God can do anything and loves everyone, then he must not know about the ISIS terrorist who is about to blow up a subway station, the rapist who is about to brutally rape a child or the typhoon which is about to slam into the coast of the Philippines and kill tens of thousands of people.

3) If God knows everything and loves everyone, then he must be incapable of preventing things like the Holocaust, the Boxing Day Tsunami or any of the mass shootings at schools.

In an attempt to reconcile this, Christians will resort to one of a number of arguments. One common argument is that God needs to allow evil to accomplish a greater moral purpose. This argument fails, as it suggests if God does prevent the evil occurrence, then somehow that would deem him impotent with respect to accomplishing a greater moral purpose. Since we're talking about a god which can do anything, such a response would be a straw man. Another common argument is that God will not interfere with man's free will. Again, this argument fails, as in cases like babies getting cancer or a typhoon wiping out tens of thousands of people, no one's free will is violated. Furthermore, a god which can do anything would be able to prevent a rapist from brutally raping a child without interfering with the rapist's free will and would be able to prevent an ISIS terrorist from chopping off the head of an innocent westerner without interfering with the terrorist's free will.

What can we conclude from this? That we know with 100% certainty that a God which can do anything, knows everything and loves everyone does not exist.
In the event of an impending catastrophe, only a coward would sit back and do nothing if given the power to do anything.

Mutcer
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### Re: The problem of evil

Yo dog. God like, works in mysterious ways and his plan is incomprehensible to our feeble, human minds because we're sinners and all that. How arrogant of you to assume you can deconstruct the psychology of God. Even worse...who are you to decide what's good and what's evil? Are you God?
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too.

What exactly is logic? -Magnus Anderson

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Mr Reasonable
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### Re: The problem of evil

Mr Reasonable wrote:Yo dog. God like, works in mysterious ways and his plan is incomprehensible to our feeble, human minds because we're sinners and all that. How arrogant of you to assume you can deconstruct the psychology of God. Even worse...who are you to decide what's good and what's evil? Are you God?

??

You seem to have a problem with our friend doing exactly what scriptures tell him to do.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Have you not followed that good biblical advice?

If not, why not?

And if you have, why chastise our friend for being a better follower of scriptural wisdom than you seem to be.

Regards
DL

Greatest I am
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### Re: The problem of evil

Mutcer wrote:The Problem of Evil
.

I have no problem with evil.

Here is an old O.P. I wrote to try to convey why evil, in a real sense, is quite good for us.

Gnostic Christianity’s hidden in plain sight secret. We must do evil.

Given evolution and evil, is the Gnostic Christian myth more intelligent than the Christian myth?
The Gnostic Christian myth explains evil quite nicely as compared to what Christianity has produced.

Doing evil must have conscious volition. In law, they call that idea, mens rea. It is the cornerstone of secular and religious law and shows guilt and the knowledge that one is doing evil to another. When present, that is the only time sin can be applied to mankind.

Gnostic Christians posit an evil God, Yahweh, because of his creation of the evolutionary system in place. This system forces us to do evil to others when we win competitions. We must compete to survive and thrive. We must do evil and that is why we see Yahweh as evil. In a more modern sense, not so much evil as a necessary evil. In the Gnostic Christian view, this allows hope that there is another God above Yahweh that might have a better system that excludes that evil. Yahweh then is just our idea of a system we do not like for it’s evils, and we actually hope to be wrong in our evaluation of reality.

Do you recognize that you must do evil to survive and that the Gnostic Christian myth is a better way to explain evil than the Christian myth does?

Regards
DL

Greatest I am
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### Re: The problem of evil

As an ex nihilist and atheist the discussion of evil or good revolves around idealism in the construction of historical societal norms in evaluating destructive behaviors through enforcement of human authority. It's as simple as that, no God is necessary. There is of course some grey areas in that what some view as evil others do not and sometimes under extreme circumstances violence or destructive forms of behavior become necessary for survival. (End justifies the means.) Morality and ethics are very elastic or fluid constantly changing with revaluations or revisionisms, they never remain the very same for long adapting/changing as circumstances of environment evolves. (As humans and societies evolve or devolve.)

What was good social practice of yesterday might be considered evil and malicious tomorrow, vice versa. All of this we can say morality or ethics is a circumstantial, historical, and imperfect phenomena but nonetheless a necessary component of maintaining social order.
"I'm sorry, but the lifestyle you've ordered that you've grown accustomed to is completely out of stock. Have a nice day! "-$$Zero_Sum Evil Neo-Nazi Extraordinaire. Posts: 2705 Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:05 pm Location: U.S.S.A- Newly lead Bolshevik Soviet block. Also known as Weimar America. ### Re: The problem of evil Good post. Regards DL Greatest I am Philosopher Posts: 2084 Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:07 pm ### Re: The problem of evil Another explanation is that the creator of mankind is finite in powers even though he created mankind and wanted us to fare well. I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio. https://dannerz.itch.io/ -- a new and minimal webside now hosting two of my free game projects. Dan~ ILP Legend Posts: 10085 Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:14 am Location: May the loving spirit of papa hitler watch over and bless you all. ### Re: The problem of evil Dan~ wrote:Another explanation is that the creator of mankind is finite in powers even though he created mankind and wanted us to fare well. If we need evil to fare well, then it is more good for us than evil for us. Right? Regards DL Greatest I am Philosopher Posts: 2084 Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:07 pm ### Re: The problem of evil If it is good for everybody, it no longer qualifies as evil. I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio. https://dannerz.itch.io/ -- a new and minimal webside now hosting two of my free game projects. Dan~ ILP Legend Posts: 10085 Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:14 am Location: May the loving spirit of papa hitler watch over and bless you all. ### Re: The problem of evil Is it evil to steal to respect your parents? Is it evil to kill those who force people to not keep the sabbath day holy? Is it evil to lie about not worshipping false idols? These are pressing questions that need answers, right now! Silhouette Philosopher Posts: 4031 Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am Location: Existence ### Re: The problem of evil In canada we dont worship books. I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio. https://dannerz.itch.io/ -- a new and minimal webside now hosting two of my free game projects. Dan~ ILP Legend Posts: 10085 Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:14 am Location: May the loving spirit of papa hitler watch over and bless you all. ### Re: The problem of evil Dan~ wrote:If it is good for everybody, it no longer qualifies as evil. It would to the losers of the competitions, but if they recognize the necessity, I agree that they should see more good in evolution than the evil that comes to losers. Regards DL Greatest I am Philosopher Posts: 2084 Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:07 pm ### Re: The problem of evil Silhouette wrote: Is it evil to steal to respect your parents? Do all parents deserve respect? No. Is it evil to kill those who force people to not keep the sabbath day holy? Have you not heard that there is no compulsion in religions? Or so religions tell us even as they use Inquisitions and Jihads. Is it evil to lie about not worshipping false idols? Lies are generally thought of as sins. These are pressing questions that need answers, right now! I am surprised you would need someone else to answer those simple questions for you. Regards DL Greatest I am Philosopher Posts: 2084 Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:07 pm ### Re: The problem of evil Dan~ wrote:In canada we dont worship books. Hmm. We do have our right wing loonies just as they do in most countries. I wonder if whoever designed the loony was thinking of those for the human loonies. Regards DL Greatest I am Philosopher Posts: 2084 Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:07 pm ### Re: The problem of evil Greatest I am wrote:Do all parents deserve respect? No. Commandment 5 (sometimes 4): Honour your father and mother, u sinner! In case you want to challenge the difference between honour and respect, just switch the terms in my original question. Do you violate this commandment or 8/7: thou shalt not steal? Greatest I am wrote:Have you not heard that there is no compulsion in religions? Or so religions tell us even as they use Inquisitions and Jihads. Commandment 4 (sometimes 3): Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. How are you supposed to do this if people are preventing you? Of course, they could still be remembering the Sabbath day even if they're forced not to keep it holy, but what if their brain was interfered with to disrupt this capacity to remember? Do you violate this commandment or 6/5: thou shalt not kill? Greatest I am wrote:Lies are generally thought of as sins. Yes, and commandment 2 (sometimes 1) says thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. In case you want to dispute making graven images and worshiping false idols then as before, just switch the terms in the original question. Do you violate this commandment or 9/8: thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour? Greatest I am wrote:I am surprised you would need someone else to answer those simple questions for you. You seem to have missed the point behind my trolly post, which I put together with little thought in a matter of seconds that was simply to ask "is it evil to violate one commandment for another?" You say there's no compulsion in religions? How do you reconcile this with ten commandments? Commandments that are not compulsory? You're ordered to uphold all these things but really it's just a guide? You might say that some commandments are more important than others, that killing is more evil than making a graven image, but if so surely the less evil one is still evil to break? The lesser of two evils is still evil. I skimmed you saying something about evil being inherent in religion, and I was glibly making the same point as inherent in even its most fundamental and widely known set of rules: the ten commandments. Silhouette Philosopher Posts: 4031 Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am Location: Existence ### Re: The problem of evil None of you ignorant ones has read even the first chapter of the Bible. The problems began with the discernment of good and evil. The tree of knowledge from which Eve was tempted to eat the fruits. What "we" since see as "evil" is tribulation. "Beyond Good and Evil"; the restoration of the garden. What happens, when an "evil" deed is done upon you? You become more aware of your soul. "Wy was this done to me?" You are forced to ask. If you do not ask this, it will happen again, and again, and again - if you simply judge and dismiss as "evil" the person that did the deed, such deeds will come upon you again and again, like Israelis upon Palestinians until they heed the "evil" in their own hears, which means their violence, their will to live, their will to dance in the holy spectacle - like the Jews learned from the what was inflicted upon them by nazis and now are dancing every Sabbath-eve these days. Heed, ye lame ones Heed your life-force, cultivate the fire that shines from your eyes, and so you will ward off evil-doers. Last edited by Jakob on Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:58 pm, edited 3 times in total. For behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals Jakob ILP Legend Posts: 7140 Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:23 pm Location: look at my suit ### Re: The problem of evil Silhouette wrote:[ quote="Greatest I am"]Do all parents deserve respect? No. Commandment 5 (sometimes 4): Honour your father and mother, u sinner! In case you want to challenge the difference between honour and respect, just switch the terms in my original question. Do you violate this commandment or 8/7: thou shalt not steal? I will ignore your semantics just as you ignore answering my question. I do not steal anymore. Greatest I am wrote:Have you not heard that there is no compulsion in religions? Or so religions tell us even as they use Inquisitions and Jihads. Commandment 4 (sometimes 3): Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. How are you supposed to do this if people are preventing you? I do not follow the filthy commandments, but Jesus himself answers the question you put when he said that the Sabbath was created for man and not man for the Sabbath. IOW, we can ignore it should we choose to. Of course, they could still be remembering the Sabbath day even if they're forced not to keep it holy, but what if their brain was interfered with to disrupt this capacity to remember? Seriously? Ok. That would be as mean, cruel and abusive as what this link shows. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACyLTsH4ac Do you violate this commandment or 6/5: thou shalt not kill? I do not kill anymore. Greatest I am wrote:Lies are generally thought of as sins. Yes, and commandment 2 (sometimes 1) says thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. In case you want to dispute making graven images and worshiping false idols then as before, just switch the terms in the original question. I speak of lies and you speak of idols?? Do you violate this commandment or 9/8: thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour? I do not lie anymore. Greatest I am wrote:I am surprised you would need someone else to answer those simple questions for you. You seem to have missed the point behind my trolly post, which I put together with little thought in a matter of seconds that was simply to ask "is it evil to violate one commandment for another?" First. They are lousy commandments and not worth following as written. Second. All moral issues are subjective and to follow a command that goes against ones moral sense is the thing to do. You say there's no compulsion in religions? As you can see below, that is not what I said. I said. --- Have you not heard that there is no compulsion in religions? Or so religions tell us even as they use Inquisitions and Jihads. First. The first pat is a question and not a statement. Second, do you not spot the cynicism dripping off of the second sentence? How do you reconcile this with ten commandments? Commandments that are not compulsory? You're ordered to uphold all these things but really it's just a guide? As you can read above, I do not have to reconcile anything. I just needed to adjust how you read. You might say that some commandments are more important than others, that killing is more evil than making a graven image, but if so surely the less evil one is still evil to break? The lesser of two evils is still evil. Not to Christian dogma that says break any commandment and you end in hell. Be it a small lie, lusting even just mentally after a woman or murder; all get you thrown into hell. I skimmed you saying something about evil being inherent in religion, and I was glibly making the same point as inherent in even its most fundamental and widely known set of rules: the ten commandments. [/quote] I do not recall implying that evil was inherent in religion but would agree that that is the case for most of our mainstream religions. They are idol worshipers and I see that as evil. I do not see anything evil in Gnostic Christianity. If I did, I am free to rid my ideology of it or just seek a new ideology or religion. Regards DL Greatest I am Philosopher Posts: 2084 Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:07 pm ### Re: The problem of evil "I'm sorry, but the lifestyle you've ordered that you've grown accustomed to is completely out of stock. Have a nice day! "-$$\$

Zero_Sum
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### Re: The problem of evil

Jakob wrote:None of you heathens has read even the first chapter of the Bible.
The problems began with the discernment of good and evil. Three of knowledge from which Eve was tempted to eat the fruits.

What we see as "evil" is tribulation.

I have read all of the bible.

So you have taken it upon yourself to rename the tree of knowledge of good and evil to the tree of knowledge of good and tribulation.

What you see as tribulation/evil, your Exusltet hymn calls Adam's sin a happy fault and necessary to God's plan.

That follows the older Jewish interpretation that is superior to0 yours and that is possibly why Gnostic Christians also see Eden as our place of elevation and not the fall that Christianity stupidly put to us becoming as Gods in the knowing of good and evil.

Now if you can tell us you think Christianity reversed the moral of that myth to a fall while calling Adam's sin a happy fault and necessary to God's plan, then you will have something worth hearing.

Regards
DL

Greatest I am
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### Re: The problem of evil

Greatest I am wrote:
Jakob wrote:None of you heathens has read even the first chapter of the Bible.
The problems began with the discernment of good and evil. Three of knowledge from which Eve was tempted to eat the fruits.

What we see as "evil" is tribulation.

I have read all of the bible.

But not with attention, perhaps.

So you have taken it upon yourself to rename the tree of knowledge of good and evil to the tree of knowledge of good and tribulation.

I did no such thing, you are thus a liar.

What you see as tribulation/evil, your Exusltet hymn calls Adam's sin a happy fault and necessary to God's plan.

My what?

That follows the older Jewish interpretation that is superior to0 yours and that is possibly why Gnostic Christians also see Eden as our place of elevation and not the fall that Christianity stupidly put to us becoming as Gods in the knowing of good and evil.

You know nothing, and you know it not.

Now if you can tell us you think Christianity reversed the moral of that myth to a fall while calling Adam's sin a happy fault and necessary to God's plan, then you will have something worth hearing.

If, if, if.

Regards
DL

Many regards.

For behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals

Jakob
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### Re: The problem of evil

Jakob

Thanks for the chat.

Regards
DL

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### Re: The problem of evil

Silhouette wrote:Is it evil to steal to respect your parents?

The commandment is to honor your parents and stealing does not bring them honor.

Is it evil to kill those who force people to not keep the sabbath day holy?

Matthew 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

Romans 13
13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Observe the sabbath as best you can, but resist no man:

Matthew 5
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Is it evil to lie about not worshipping false idols?

To lie and claim you're worshipping an idol when you are not? Why would you do that? But yes, lie is sin.
To lie and claim you're not worshipping and idol when you in fact are? Well it was already evil in worshipping the idol and further evil to lie about it.
Serendipper
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### Re: The problem of evil

Serendipper wrote:The commandment is to honor your parents and stealing does not bring them honor.

Depends, if:
A) They/everyone doesn't know you stole
B) Your stealing brings more honour than it loses
C) They're a family of thieves or they otherwise respect your craft
What if you dishonourably steal to save their lives? You can't honour parents more than saving their lives.

Serendipper wrote:
Silhouette wrote:Is it evil to kill those who force people to not keep the sabbath day holy?

Matthew 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

So Matt is cool with breaking a commandment, good to know.

Serendipper wrote:To lie and claim you're worshipping an idol when you are not? Why would you do that? But yes, lie is sin.

Why you would do it doesn't matter, it's possible to do it, so is it evil or not if you do?

Again, my examples are rhetorical, is it evil or not to break a commandment to uphold another? Apparently you don't have to follow the Sabbath one - any other ones that you don't have to bother with?

Silhouette
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### Re: The problem of evil

Silhouette wrote:
Serendipper wrote:The commandment is to honor your parents and stealing does not bring them honor.

Depends, if:
A) They/everyone doesn't know you stole

Well, I guess God would know and it would dishonor them in the eyes of God since they produced a son/daughter who steals.

B) Your stealing brings more honour than it loses

Eh, it's tough to see how.

C) They're a family of thieves or they otherwise respect your craft

That's a good one

Well, they're already sinning so they're not honorable anyway. Idk, pirates had an admirable life in a sorta way, but from the biblical point of view, nope.

What if you dishonourably steal to save their lives? You can't honour parents more than saving their lives.

Remember that Jesus had to become a martyr. Dying is not dishonorable and the Japanese commit suicide to regain lost honor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seppuku

Serendipper wrote:
Silhouette wrote:Is it evil to kill those who force people to not keep the sabbath day holy?

Matthew 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

So Matt is cool with breaking a commandment, good to know.

No, Jesus said that. The Pharisees were trying to set him up. Here's the context:

12 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Serendipper wrote:To lie and claim you're worshipping an idol when you are not? Why would you do that? But yes, lie is sin.

Why you would do it doesn't matter, it's possible to do it, so is it evil or not if you do?

I said yes.

Again, my examples are rhetorical, is it evil or not to break a commandment to uphold another? Apparently you don't have to follow the Sabbath one - any other ones that you don't have to bother with?

It says to remember to keep the sabbath day holy. What does "holy" mean?

I am the Lord thy God, thou shall not have any gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
You shall not murder.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house, wife, or property.

Try to come up with some other dichotomies and I'll see if I can shoot them down
Serendipper
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### Re: The problem of evil

Serendipper wrote:
B) Your stealing brings more honour than it loses

Eh, it's tough to see how.

How do we determine what is stealing? Can one steal within the law in a society? I would say yes, one can. Capitalist US certainly allows this in many forms. (which does not mean I am a communist in case anyone thinks completely in binary terms and since I believe one can make a great case that the state steals in Communist nations). So we have the laws of the state, the ways property is defined, how one 'gets the right to acquire' property. Maybe those rules are immoral. Perhaps stealing is fair. Perhaps legal acquisition is stealing.
Karpel Tunnel
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