26

What you are describing is the Platonic view of good and evil, that no one does wrong willingly, but only out of ignorance. An unusually clear and explicit statement of this concept is found in Plato's dialogue The Meno, but it is implicit across his writing on morality, for instance in his discussion in the Republic of the tyrant as the most miserable of ...


16

I don't think this is an answer, but its a long series of comments. TLDR; there are many more considerations to the problem of evil than you seem to address. You've missed a key element of Leibniz's theodicy, and in a way that seems to grossly distort his thought. God creates the best of all possible worlds, yes, but this is not to say that there is some ...


10

The money from "blood diamonds" isn't bad because of some abstract moral principles but because of practical implications: it is used to finance brutal rebel groups. The "bad money" is used for them for purchases of weapons etc. From the moral point of view the whole chain is the same evil because it is used to finance warlords and provide them with means ...


10

Why not create a world with freedom of the will, but without suffering? This seems to allow two possibilities: No wrong choices are allowed. Wrong choices do not cause suffering. To assert 1. would threaten to deny freedom; one quick argument is that freedom to choose which ice cream flavor is not true freedom. I presume there are more advanced forms of ...


8

NOTE: This answer was given to a previous incarnation of this question. The block quotes I am responding to come from this incarnation. If I have the time I will modify my answer to respond more directly to this version of the question. When a person is placed in a position of absolute power, is it necessarily true that this power will condemn that person ...


7

Your puzzle turns on an ambiguity in the words 'can' and 'could'. In "God can do anything that is logically possible", we have the 'can' of ability. This is the same sense in which I can ride a bicycle or lift a heavy bag. But in asking "Could God have created such a world" you are using the 'could' (or 'can') not of ability but of possibility. In the same ...


6

The natural rebuttal to Russell here is that he has misunderstood the Stoic understanding of Happiness. In choosing their actions and goods in a principle of "Rational decision in accordance with nature", Stoics do not deny what would make them happy. Happiness for the Stoics just is making that choice willfully. Perhaps Russell might be right were he to ...


6

Your conclusion relies on some absurd premises. First, "our definition of being good is determined by distinction between good and evil" is a huge assumption you're making. You're also operating under the premise that if something doesn't happen, people can't imagine or conceptualize it. By your logic, people in developed countries wouldn't consider ...


6

Xunzi is a confucianist that sees nature as evil. Since humans come from nature their inborn tendencies are evil. Xunzi states that humans without ethical norms or rituals will only attempt to satisfy their desires. A human that is cold, will attempt to warm himself, one that is hungry will eat. He believes that human nature is only egoism. In order to ...


6

Doesn't this then give the idea of a 'bad' person a different implication - we wouldn't say the same to someone if they made a mistake in math or in their finances yet people who are simply in moral reasoning get this pejorative label. We usually take an extra step in judgment if we think of a person/act that is morally bad is bad in general. That is ...


5

Embryos are a stage in development of human organisms. To phrase the issue concisely: If something is X at the end of a time interval, then either it must become X during that interval, or else it must have been X from the start. Therefore, becoming X requires a distinct change - "person" is a binary distinction. There are no "half-person" or "3/7ths ...


5

The issue is you're approaching the problem in a different direction. The theodicy you lay out is derived from these premises: God is moral, and logically cannot be the source of evil Evil exists The only source of evil is free will Notice that the starting premise is that God is not evil. Anselm's ontological argument underlies this notion. If God were ...


5

You are asking a very fundamental question. Its original formulation in the West was in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro in which Socrates asks Euthyphro: Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods? (10a) Consequently, that fork has received the name Euthyphro's dilemma. Is has been discussed ...


5

In the neo-Platonic tradition, from Plato, through Plotinus, and from there integrated into mainstream Christian and Islamic theology, good is the only true reality, and evil is just the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of light, and cold is the absence of heat. But there are other religious and philosophical traditions in which goodness ...


5

Todd Calder distinguishes between a broad concept of evil which would be any bad state of affairs resulting from either natural causes or moral agents and a narrow concept: In contrast to the broad concept of evil, the narrow concept of evil picks out only the most morally despicable sorts of actions, characters, events, etc....Since the narrow concept of ...


4

Virtue ethics are not proposed as a solution to defining what is good. Rather, it is in contrast to, for example, (direct) utilitarian ethics where it doesn't matter what virtue you may or may not be following; all that matters is outcome. Virtue ethics spares you from considering all eventualities, and instead says: it is good to act like so, even if ...


4

I would say that Alvin Plantinga's free will defense is perhaps the most philosophically rigorous defense that many agree defends the logical possibility of a good God which has created a world with evil. Please see the link for arguments pro/con about his defense. Let's be clear about the argument - it's not just that God always acts good (or is all-good/...


4

Your question is essentially a variation on a debate in the autonomy literature. The question that arises there is the relationship between autonomy and free choices. The two examples most common in the literature are prostitution and burqas. The question in these instances and yours is this: To what extent is autonomy to be located in the immediate will of ...


4

In English we often use the terms good and bad relative to an ideal. (In Spanish it is the same). So we call a person a good person when some portion (Surly a majority but what percent I don't know) of their actions conform to our expectations about how a person should behave. When enough of their actions do no not conform to our moral ideal then we ...


4

Morality doesn't have anything to do with rationality. I'm going to be Nietzsche's advocate and say that "good" and "bad" are just labels on what a given society wants. This is by no means absolute nor static. "Good" and "bad" change across populations and across time. If you are put in a society where everyone agrees that you are expected to do X (bad ...


4

I've given this a lot of thought as a Christian who has studied the Bible a lot and generally agrees with your reasoning here, having found overlap between the two that seems accurate to me. Here is my understanding of things: There are things which an individual inherently knows are right or wrong. There are things to which an individual is ignorant of ...


4

Evil exists. This only works when assuming that there are moral facts in some way. Whether those are absolute, relative, or subjective doesn't matter here. But if no moral facts exist then we can't act morally wrong. If we can't act morally wrong then the label "evil" can't really work prescriptively. Existence of moral facts is certainly defensible and ...


4

If any morally good action is not spontaneous, is it truly morally good? I give to a certain charity in a regular basis - it's part of my written budget, and I have auto-pay set up with my bank for it. I selected that charity in particular after considering what causes are important to me and researching the charity in question to make sure that they were ...


3

TL;DR No, moral acts are definitely not beautiful for Kant. They are objects of respect (as consistent through all works on practical philosophy by Kant), which is to some extend similar, but actually more a kind of the sublime. By virtue of judging it as a case of morality, you exclude the mere reflection on the intuition that is kantian beauty simply ...


3

A paradigmatic protagonist of considering the rewards is Kant. But to him it does not matter if you are rewarded, but if you are doing something because of the reward. Only if you do it without being motivated by the reward at all, it is a good action. That is basically the reason why with Kant there is no promise that you will actually go to heaven if you ...


3

What you are questioning is actually a hotly debated topic. Different groups have very different opinions as to such definitions of words. Your particular question is very apropos for the abortion debate going on in America today. The debate literally boils down to a disagreement as to what is "human." One solution is to have smoother laws without sharp ...


3

The most influential school of thought to hold that The Good is the same thing as God is Neoplatonism, a philosophical school founded by the Greco-Roman philosopher Plotinus, based on his interpretations of the work of Plato. In Neoplatonism, all things are emanations of a single perfect entity consisting of the unity of all perfections --perfectly good, ...


3

This is a complex point that Kant makes in the Religion within the bounds of reason alone text, but the answer in that text is that for Kant once we have made a choice for evil, we can become incapable of later choosing for the good. People who have only read the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals might be shocked by this as it seems to go against the ...


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