Sunday, 10 August 2008
Good vs. Evil
Typical apologist argument for god: god exists because good and evil exist and we could not have good and evil without an objective standard from god.
There are, of course, numerous problems with this argument. First, it is assumed that good and evil are objective things, which has not been shown. This would be begging the question. The best we can discern is that the concepts of good and evil are man-made. They come from our culture. This is why a Muslim man might find killing his daughter to be good if she has dishonored the family while another person would look at this action as highly immoral.
Another problem is the assumption that without god, nothing can be objective. This is simply not true, however. There are numerous philosophies devoted to developing objective standards of good and evil, like Utilitarianism, that don't depend at all on some edict given from on high from some deity.
Another problem is the fact that the argument assumes god's existence and that only god can provide such things as good and evil. This is begging the question. Since we have no evidence for god, what is left for the apologist is to argue against every other conceivable option, until only the option of god is left. This is clearly impossible though, because how would one know if all the options (known and unknown) have been examined properly?
One more issue I'd like to bring up is that the apologist in the this argument usually seems to demand that only their god can fit the bill, when in reality, if their argument actually held weight, just about any god would be capable of fitting the bill. In short, even if this argument didn't have the above problems, it would still only be an argument for some type of theistic thought and that's it.