Saturday, June 9, 2007

Interview on the problem of evil

There is a 15 minute interview (Nigel Warburton interviewing me) on the problem of evil and the existence of God available here.

It's an mp3. I understand it will also be available as an ipod download on itunes shortly...

5 comments:

Jan B.W. Pedersen said...

Hello Stephen

I had the pleasure to listen to your discussion on the problem of evil at Philosophy Bites. I think it was a good move to use Epicures as a steppingstone for your later comments on how the argument pro an al good, all knowing and omnipotent God mirrors the argument pro an al evil, all knowing and so forth God hereby displaying how utterly unconvincing the argument is. This also displays I dare say the peculiar phenomenon of faith and demonstrates how unreflective it is.

To use Harold Blooms words from Omens of the Millennium: “If you can accept a God who coexists with death camps, schizophrenia, and AIDS, yet remains all-powerful and somehow benign, then you have faith.” For the modern critical thinker faith at this level seems incomprehensible but hey. I guess one could view faith as love for the incomprehensible or impossible. Still the question remains what on earth motivates people to develop and rely on such a faith?

Jan B.W. Pedersen, Frederiksberg, Denmark

Stephen Law said...

Thanks Jan. I have to say, I don't know the answer to your final questions. I wish I did. My suspicion is that there is a genetic component (as Dennett suggests).

Jeremy said...

Wonderful! The arguments are brought home with such clarity that any carelessly-left cobwebs are swept away, and contradictory notions are disposed of. This really ought to be played at least once in every school!

Jan B.W. Pedersen said...

Dennett might be on to something yet I think the vast majority of todays belivers have been brought up in - in lack of a better word a religious context. Asking critical questions about faith or religion is questening not only the truthvalue of the faith or religion but the value of ones culture, ones upbringing, ones parents and their way of life etc. My guess is that such questions in most cases would be met with severely liftet eyebrows and spawn a rather nasty family-atmosphere. Not all people have the courage to go against the stream and stand alone. I imagine that most people will rather live as happy pigs rather than as an unhappy Socrates.

Jan B.W.P.
PS! I can conform that one can download the interview from iTunes

Ron Murphy said...

Hi Stephen,
I find the problem of evil irrelevent. It's Ockham's razor that trumps the problem of evil, not the other way round as you suggest in
http://www.humanism.org.uk/site/cms/contentViewArticle.asp?article=1475.

I wanted to make a quick point, but it became a rant, so I've put it here:
http://ronmurp.blogspot.com/