The following is my alternate opening statement for debate night the other day. While preparing the Christian side of the "problem of evil" it occurred to me how to construct an even tighter logical argument from evil than any I've seen before.
The ontological argument for God's existence allows us to prove a negative when it comes to closing all possible loop holes
in regards to evading the logical
problem of evil. If God can be defined in order to accommodate any
evil of any
kind, that God is by definition not
the most excellent being the ontological argument seeks to establish. If the ontological argument succeeds, it must succeed in direct proportion
to the success of the logical problem of evil.
Christians admit there is evil in the world. In fact they declare it. They have to or Jesus is out of a job.
Hence, this is their
internal coherency problem regardless of whether objective moral values exist in a non-theistic world. To pretend otherwise and contrive a problem of evil for atheism is a fatally flawed
strategy as a result. Christians HAVE
to clean house first
. Whatever you do to the definition of God to make him compatible with evil necessarily
diminishes his status as a morally perfect agent
. It is unavoidable. Christians are often as skilled at finding 10 million unnecessary reasons why they fail to be morally perfect agents as they are at giving their morally perfect God a free pass on the most heinous of moral failings. They obviously know what their own standard ought to be, but then they don't apply it all the way around. Don't get me wrong. I am as supportive of their rights to psychologically abuse themselves as I am completely unable to fail to apply their own standards consistently at the necessary expense of their worldview.
If for any reason there is a logical reason why an all good God simply must create a situation that entails evil, then by definition that concept of God as a most excellent being is incoherent. Period
. It is unremarkably easy to imagine better and the ontological argument by definition doesn't allow that. Heck, even if they don't buy the ontological argument, Christians are still forced to apply the ontological standard
as an accurate description
of the God they may be arguing for with other
Christians would have to argue at the very least
(in order to explain the reality we do know of and Biblical doctrine) that God MUST
create creatures who have the variety of free will that allows for perverse
options (as opposed to say, being freely
able to select from all good options
like they expect to happen in their afterlife
). Not only does this contradict the idea that God is complete
in and of himself, not only does this contradict the idea that God has free will
and the luxury of not creating anything at all if he has nothing nice to speak into existence, and not only is this a gross failure of imagination
to suppose that a morally perfect creation is logically impossible, but by definition one cannot be a most excellent being who is FORCED
for any reason to allow evil. That is a handicapped
"most excellent being."
Hence the very nature of the ontological standard, again, by definition precludes it and ANYTHING
like it, thus proving the negative and closing all possible loop holes. Even positing the additional existence of an all powerful evil
deity that keeps the created world in gridlock
between good and evil infringes on the definition of a "most excellent" good deity since obviously he's not so excellent if he can't beat up that guy.
So there is no black swan here. Case closed.
Christians will be unable to simultaneously convince me to give up on what the most obvious definition of what a "most excellent being" would be or what a perfect moral agent would be like, and in addition to this convince me that there may be some unknown escape route from the logical problem of evil. They can't
and they have
to do both
For this reason the existence of the Christian God is simply impossible to defend.
And before anyone accuses me of conveniently defining God out of existence, remember it was the Christians who tried to conveniently define him into existence first. I just took their standards seriously.