Tom Caylor writes:> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]> To:> Subject: Re: ?> Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 
23:31:19 -0800> > > On Jan 28, 10:35 pm, Brent Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
wrote:> > Tom Caylor wrote:> >> > > The question of the "meaning of life", and 
also the problem of (the> > > existence of) evil (whether you believe in God 
not), has at its core> > > the question of what is this "non-thing" entity 
called a "person"?> >> > > By the way, the problem of evil that I am referring 
to is simply the> > > problem of the existence of evil.  We just know it 
exists.  We see> > > people treated as things. We know it is wrong.  The simple 
existence> > > of evil is a problem.  > >> > If you don't believe in an 
omnipotent, benevolent God who orders the universe> > it isn't a problem.  It's 
just a consequence of different people having competing values.> >> > You are 
talking about a different "problem of evil" than I am.  You> are using the word 
"problem" in the sense of a logical contradiction.> I think you saw below that 
by "the problem of evil" I mean "evil"> itself.  It is something that is more 
direct and palpable, something> that requires a *person* to be conscious of its 
existence, rather than> just a mathematical processor cranking out a logical 
inference.  Evil> *is* the problem.> > At the risk of overkill, but I don't 
want to take any more chances,> let's take an analogy:  weeds on a lawn.  You 
are looking at the> classical "problem of evil" in the sense that if you 
believe that a> benevolent and all-powerful gardener is in charge of this lawn, 
then> (if you narrow the scope of all of the definitions enough) the> existence 
of weeds is a contradiction.  A mathematical processor could> infer that.  I'm 
just looking at the weeds themselves, independent of> any gardener, and saying, 
"This is bad."  Being able to make that> judgment requires a person.Sure, logic 
and science are silent on the question of the value of weeds or anything else. 
You need a person to come along and say "let x=good", and then you can reason 
logically given this. Evolutionary theory etc. may predict what x a person may 
deem to be good or beautiful, but this is not binding on an individual in the 
way laws governing the chemistry of respiration, for example, are binding. 
Unlike some scientific types, I am quite comfortable with ethics being in this 
sense outside the scope of science. Unlike some religious types, I am quite 
comfortable without looking for an ultimate source of ethics in the form of a 
deity. Even if this conclusion made me very unhappy, that might be reason to 
try self-deception, but it has no bearing on the truth.Stathis Papaioannou
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