Wednesday, May 22, 2013

[PHI 3000] Sabbath on the Problem of Evil

Black Sabbath's new single from their upcoming album 13 is called "God is Dead?"

Although the image of Friedrich Nietzsche appears in this YouTube video, when he said that "God is dead," Nietzsche probably meant that God is no longer relevant to human affairs. But Ozzy is worried about something else. As he said in an interview:
When you think about the tragedy that's happened throughout time, it just came in my head. You'd think by now that their God would have stopped people dying in the name of, so I just starting thinking that people must be thinking, 'Where is God? God is dead' and it just hit me.
So Ozzy is worried about the problem of evil. But he also says this:
At the end of the thing, there's still a bit of hope because there I sing that I don't believe that God is dead. It's just a question of when you see so many dreadful people killing each other with bombs, and blowing the tube trains up and the World Trade Center.
Can hope play an evidential role as far as the question of God's existence is concerned? That is, if evil counts as evidence against the existence of God, could hope count as evidence for?


  1. I do not think that "Hope" can play an evidential role for the existence of God because I don't think that evil can play as evidence for the denial of God's existence. When we consider evil as evidence for the denial of God, it is because we have a notion that God is benevolent. This notion comes from Religious teachings based on books written thousands of years ago. I'm not discrediting their validity; however, they do humanize something that is beyond our comprehension and claim to know the "truth" about God. Evil and Hope are human concepts, we can not be certain they even apply to God, especially since evil and hope are relative in nature.

  2. I agree partially that hope plays as evidential role as far as the existence of God is concerned. Overall, I agree with the premise that hope strengthens the possibility of God existing. However, this argument can be made stronger by replacing “hope” with “belief.” To believe is to accept or regard something as true. If we believe in something that is important to us, we will stand by that belief. Our beliefs define who we are. Whether it be a religious, cultural or social belief, they mold our personalities and how we live our lives. “Hope” does not carry the same meaning for me. I view “hope” as something that comes down to chance. I hope for my team to win or for good weather. Hope does not carry the same amount of conviction as belief does. Therefore, I cannot be convinced that God exists just from hope.

  3. I define “hope” as keeping faith in a certain concept or belief in partner with the works of a higher power. Therefore, I do believe that hope plays an evidential role as far as the question of God’s existence is concerned. However, this is more because of personal reasons. Back in April 2010, my uncle’s house caught fire during the early hours of the morning. The fire was so bad, that the roof collapsed and more than half of the house burned down. At the time of the fire, no one knew whether my uncle was home or not. We were scared because he was the type of person who was very unlikely to go out if it was not for work related reasons and he was not working that morning. All of my family members tried to contact him in every of which way possible, but with no luck. The only thing we could do at that point was hope. Hope that he wasn’t home at the time. Hope that in the case that he was, that he was okay. An hour or so later, we got a phone call from my uncle telling us that he went out with a few friends, so luckily he was not hurt. Quite honestly, that was the point in life where my own belief in God strengthened. My uncle, who rarely is out and about, just happened to not be home the time his house caught fire. This, to me, was not a coincidence. There are many other personal instances that other individuals experience that furthermore embrace the idea that hope can count as evidence for the existence of God.

    -Shana J.

  4. Hope can play a very important role when questioning the existence of God. To have hope means that one has some kind of yearning that the negative will turn into the positive. When people believe in a God, they tend to rely on this divine being for hope. Religion is meant to bring people happiness and hope when they are in distress. For example, when I feel not as prepared for an exam I have hope that God can maybe help me out with my studying patterns or doing well on the exam with everything that I do know. Hope doesn't have to mean that there is a God, some people just have hope in anything such as the universe and that their gloomy days will be turned around into a better one down the road somehow; but believing in a God can definitely be a path towards hope. People may think that because evil and sadness exists that God may not exist because God is only supposed to do good and if He exits then why does evil exist? When evil things do happen, people often look towards something to help them get over the evil in their lives, to be comforted in times of sadness and evil and this looking towards something or someone can be interpreted as hope. This thing that people hope for and look towards can be interpreted as a God. A good God who will make the evil disappear or give people the strength to get through the evil.

  5. I do not think that hope can be utilized as evidence for the question of God's existence. I have reason to believe this because in my opinion evil doesn't justify or negate the existence of God either, so neither can hope or good. This is in part because in discussing the terms evil and hope, it seems as though the two can easily be defined as the absence of the opposite. For example, evil can be defined as anything done in the absence of hope or "immoral". Hope is considered to be that of which is in line with morality and aspiring for "good" things to happen. For this reason, it seems justifiable to argue that hope, or good and evil are neccessary and mutual to the others existence. This requires a balance of both good and evil, and since there is a need for both, this does not stand to either confirm or deny God's existence. Does someone who see when something occurs justify that there are demons in control of the universe? Most likely no, although some extremists would go so far as to say so. In my opinion the existence of good and evil are separate entirely from any discussion of good and evil, and rather ensues in a battle over the validity of free will. Hope and evil can exist both with or without God's existence, but free will can only exist in a discussion about God and his role in allowing humans to choose. For example, as indicated in The Problem of Evil there are debates relating to, " that an action that is free in that sense cannot be caused by anything outside of the agent, not even God can cause a person to freely do what is right; and thirdly, that because of the great value of libertarian free will it is better that God create a world in which agents possess libertarian free will, even though they may misuse it, and do what is wrong, than that God create a world where agents lack libertarian free will." At the end of our existence, if God is powerful enough to overcome the overwhleming wave of evil, he can always opt out of not wanting to. He may also not be capable, but regardless since God infrequently personally vocalizes his intentions and score on the battle against evil, we can assume that it will continue and/or persist with or without his existence.


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