Should I Debate a Calvinist on the Problem of Evil?

So far two people have responded that they would debate me. One is a Calvinist. To debate a Calvinist on the problem of evil is an open and shut case. All I have to do is to ask the Calvinist why God prefers a world like ours to a world where everyone obeys him. Now let's say a Calvinist offers an answer and is unconvinced by any of my replies. I never said I could convince those who hold to absolutely idiotic beliefs such as this one, that they are wrong. Any thinking person not already blinded by their faith would see the obvious and serious problem here. Why does God prefer this world to that one? Answer this if you can.

10 comments:

Grant the Wise said...

Perhaps a world in which everyone obeyed him would be boring, perhaps he would much rather that some be able to oppose him. But I'm not a Calvinist, so I guess this post is not directed at me.

Nonetheless, God always seems intent on giving us a chance to leave his presence.

Matthew said...

Well John,

You can try your hand at a debate. I am not sure what debating a Calvinist might accomplish. If you do, I would only say to try to steer clear of Steve Hays.

Matthew

John W. Loftus said...

I'm not debating an arrogant Calvinist with the self-assured confidence of a Muslim suicide bomber.

Matthew said...

"I'm not debating an arrogant Calvinist with the self-assured confidence of a Muslim suicide bomber."

John, those are the worst of all. They're particularly abusive towards those who disagree with them.

Matthew

Anonymous said...

God does not prefer this world to one in which there is complete obedience. Hence the reason why He is returning to destroy this world.

It is man that has corrupted this world. Remember we are told by Our Saviour, not to love this world, or the things in it. We are merely passing through.

Is this clear???

Drunken Tune said...

Is this clear???

As clear as a puddle of mud, rfoner.

Are you off your medication? If you replaced 'god' with any other deity or supernatural entity, you'd be labeled insane and shuttled off to an asylum.

Aliens are returning to destroy this world. You better believe me, because I just told you. I hear their messages in the fillings in my back molars. They're pissed off because some people like wearing Hawaiian shirts during business-casual days. Is this clear?

Anonymous said...

Why didn’t God create a world where everyone obeys him? Maybe because he wanted to create free beings. God has the power to choose and create and he endowed man with the same abilities. I can close my eyes and imagine trees made of marshmallow. I can create worlds in my mind. I can freely choose a different shirt to wear each morning. That sort of freedom and creative power is completely unexplained in the atheist materialistic universe.

Also, you’re assuming that this world as it is, is in its final form. That’s like going back a couple of billion years ago and looking at the earth and asking, “Why would God choose to create a lifeless planet like earth instead of one filled with life?” The problem is you’re not looking at the final product. The current universe is not the final product.

So, even if this world as it is doesn’t appear ideal it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to ideal some day.

Note: Calvinists do believe in free will. At the very least they believe that Adam was free.

I hope you don't consider your debate a competition but rather a search for truth.

John W. Loftus said...

Actually, anon, one main reason I'm being picky in who I debate is that I'm hoping to learn something worthwhile too. So thanks for the reminder.

faithkeeper770 said...

I'm a calvinist. I wish I had more time to write further and might at another time. But for now I simply want to say that the existence of evil is a very difficult question. I have wrestled with this question myself. Ultimately, to answer that question, I would have to be God. At the very least I would have to know the mind of God. But by very the very definition of God, infinte in wisdom and power, I cannot know God's mind unless he reveals something to me. (Yes, this is a whole other debate for another time.) Therefore, I cannot, nor can anyone, calvinist or not, give a definitive answer for why God has allowed evil to exist. The fact that evil does exist, however, does not prove the non-existence of God. To argue for athiesm on the grounds of evil's existence is to go beyond the scope of the argument.

I wish I could say more now, but I can't. I will check back to read your responses.

Shygetz said...

faithkeeper770, you should probably comment on a more recent thread if you want replies.

The PoE doesn't argue for atheism; it argues against the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God. It leaves open the possibility of a God that either does not know evil occurs, is powerless to stop it, or does not want to stop it.