EPICUREAN FRAUD: AN ESSAY
Edward E. Rochon
Edward E. Rochon on Shakespir
Epicurean Fraud: An Essay
Copyright © 2017 by Edward E. Rochon
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Some Other Works by the Author
American Theodicy: An Essay
Apocalyptic Timeline: An Essay
Atheism & Fraud: An Essay
Biblical Exegesis & Fraud: An Essay
Deist Check Off List
Divine Irony: An Essay
Drama Free Verse
For the Sexes: The Gate of Hell
Joy of Life in Verse]
[Misery of Life in Verse
Pyramid of Ed]
[The Second Coming: An Essay
The Waist Land: A Parody
Visions in America
Visions in America II]
Table of Contents
The title refers to an Epicurean inspired flowchart of supposed logic that is meant to dissuade people that God exists. This is an ebook and readers generally do not see graphics of the size required to display the flowchart, unless they view it on a computer reader or read a PDF version. I display the flowchart in an attached graphic. This is not the original online flowchart. I recreated it to an approximation of the original, not wishing to use the graphic as is for various reasons. Do not worry that you cannot read it. The outline that you may be able to see of the flowchart should give you an idea of the argument. I will spell them out in print in a way that I hope will accurately show the flowchart. You can look up this Epicurean Paradox flowchart in images on your computer search engine should you find this helpful.
This atheist moron crap without a shred of evidence, empirical or otherwise, to support their arguments, these crypto-idolaters, sneering at people who accept the obvious, are annoying. It is especially so as they claim that affirmation of God is irrational, superstitious, a provocation to immorality, and so is offensive. The brain washers of academia use this to corrupt the morals, intellectual integrity of the young and old, in order to foist their own beliefs (yes beliefs) upon a world that would not otherwise accept them. Conditioning is a powerful tool to totalitarianism, the animal nature much prone to it. Hardly needless to say, anything that might lend the mind to think outside the box is extremely offensive to these people. Psyche must be biology as the flesh can be intimidated, tempted, tortured, confined to prisons, or hypocritically confined in mental asylums, or simply killed to prevent honesty from disrupting the dystopic life of the world.
As I have mentioned before, these people are utter frauds. They disdain religion but are pseudo-scientists, shaman filth of the religion of atheism that is idolatry. They claim their souls are nothing but filth, and we should have no compunction in calling them such, though in the usual sense of the word, scoundrels who revel in lies, fraud, licentiousness, deception to defraud a world, including themselves. They are loyal to nothing, superstitious, self-destructive and intellectually dishonest across the board.
Chapter 1: Epicurean Paradox
The flowchart is displayed below derived from the original: Epicurean Paradox:
Figure 1: Epicurean Paradox Flowchart
If you have a reader, or are still unable to see the print, I will describe the outline to you:
The center flow of 7 blocks consists of 1 statement (Evil Exists) and 6 follow-up questions. These blocks are all answered by Yes. The boxes to the left and right are statements or questions for the No answers. The 7 central questions/statements are as follows:
One: God Exists
Two: Can God Prevent Evil?
Three: Does God Know About All The Evil?
Four: Does God Want To Prevent Evil?
Five: Then Why Is There Evil?
Six: Could God Have Created A Universe Without These?
Seven: Then Why Didn’t He?
You see one statement and 6 questions above. On the left in boxes you have a series of statements and one question. These are:
Top Left Box: Then God is not all-powerful.
2nd Box: Then God is not all knowing.
3rd Box: Then God is not good / God is not loving.
4th Box: Could God have created a universe with freewill but without evil?
On the right side you have two comments about the central statements: These are:
Top Box: If God is all knowing, he would know what we would do if we were tested, therefore no need to test.
Bottom Box: An all powerful, all-knowing, all-good God could and would destroy Satan.
We need to talk about a few things before debunking these flowchart delusions:
The Excluded Middle: Some questions are either yes or no. There is no third, fourth or any other number of answers. Some questions are framed to make it appear that this is so but are fallacious. These are The Fallacy of the Excluded Middle.
The Contrary State: There are in fact some questions that can be yes under one circumstance and no under another. Do you need to be perfectly good to do a good deed? We would suppose we know that a good deed has the indefinable attribute of not being definitively determined. There are questions of motive, intention, just what is a good deed. So a fairly decent man may be capable of an evil deed according to the parameters. Or do you deny that good or evil deeds exist? Let us exclude indefinable attributes to the extent possible. For example, all masses fall to the earth from free fall at the specific rate of roughly 32 ft./sec per second. Not if you have a parachute opened, not if you are a spore being lifted by an updraft, not if you are a feather falling from a bird’s tail. Not if extraterrestrial technology is placing a beam on it that defies gravity, or a human invents one and has not told anyone, or will shortly in the future. Do you say only according to the determinants established by Isaac Newton, not subject to significant air resistance? Can you prove Newton understood what gravity was, knew all the factors involved? You cannot unless you are God. In any case, it ain’t necessarily true and falls within the contrary state.
The Excluded Interrogative: This supposes that one statement leads to only one or two possible follow-on questions, or only to n number of questions. This is always highly suspect.
Unproven Assumptions: Assumptions, commonly agreed upon or not are not proof. Any statement concerning indefinable attributes such as justice, beauty, emotional causality (cause of feeling), understanding of the psyche (including your own psyche) fall into this realm. It is not an assumption that indefinable attributes do not exist. It does not matter if someone questions them unless that someone is you, and then your own assumption is fallacious. You cannot talk about what does not exist in the absolute, only in the relative. That is, you may or may not have a pebble in your hand at a specific time. That is a relative fact. That you will never have a pebble in your hand or will in the next second is a relative assumption that falls into a contrary state. It may or may not be true.
One: Evil Exists: We have heard it claimed that evil is simply ignorance. The assumption is that evil makes enemies of others, jeopardizing one’s own life and well being, and would be unnecessary to the wise, they being able to get by without theft, undermining the reputation of others, murdering for advantage or for a feel good thrill. We also hear evil is lust motivated by a callous disregard for the interests of others or even of oneself. The first assumption calls into question the existence of evil, or at least is quite different from the second assumption, though often the same in consequences. But we know bad things happen both through ignorance and vice. It is common for religious people to believe in the latter explanation of evil, while conceding the misfortune of the other, and perhaps not considering it evil. But the law will not accept ignorance as a legal excuse for torts, and for good reason. People would remain ignorant and proving malicious ignorance is difficult. You might suppose God would know but held the Israelites liable to repentance for unintended transgressions, and the fact is that original sin is operant whatever the final cause debate may qualify. First, children suffer for the failings of their parents. The adulteress wife or husband may taint the health of the baby with VD. The drunkard destroys himself and causes hardship to family and even friends.
Certainly God could stop the consequences of other people’s bad behavior but does not by any apparent standard in current life. Indeed, Yahweh passed on guilt to future generations, and then later stated that would no longer be the case at some specified point in time for him, and strictly forbidden to earthly judges, that is, a prohibition of bills of attainder. But if an aristocrat has his nobility by patent transferable to his children, where is the injustice of depriving it to his children, it being unmerited other than by circumstance? So the children are not executed for treason but still suffer as we all suffer from the faults of others. Only the total separation of heaven and hell would stop this.
This is only background information. We will say yes to the statement of evil’s existence.
Two: Can God Prevent Evil?: That depends on the parameters. Accepting freedom of conscience as an innate attribute, and that God ordained this by his omnipotence, to deny the possibility to act on that desire, would be to deny freedom of conscience and to make God less than omnipotent. Surely, it is within his power to do so, except by atheist assumption that it is not, and assumption is not proof.
You will see that the argument is trying to force an either/or argument that is not the case. The middle possibility of the omniscience of God bringing about freedom of conscience while not culpable for evil is in fact in play. To deny God this, is to deny the argument of refutation that he does not possess omnipotence, or (He does not exist?) Additionally, you must prove that freedom of conscience is evil in itself. Why are we not all automatons?
Then we go on to the question of achieving through willpower. We know that human weakness precludes perfect fulfillment of what we first desire and then will into existence through action. We clearly have no unqualified willpower. We have those who deny the existence of willpower. We will reject that the counterargument is anything other than opinion, and not supported by any evidence.
So the top left box [Then God is not all-powerful] does not follow from the premise as to whether God can or cannot prevent evil. He can allow evil and still be omniscient, omnipotent and perfect in nature. It is the atheist assumption that the existence of freedom of conscience resulting in evil makes God culpable. It does not necessarily do that.
As for allowing bad conscience to be fulfilled by evil deeds from time to time, this goes to motive and extenuating circumstances. God can say to the atheist: “Shut up, what do you know about it to question my judgment?” Or to believers as well. It is the opinion of atheists that the universal deluge makes God a murderer. But what about the babies? “Shut up, what do you know?” Babies suffer far worse fates than drowning. The parents were violent and evil according to the story. You are not qualified to tell God what evil is when you do not know his motivation and the parameters used to effect the deed. How could you, atheist? You do not even claim that he exists, merely your idol of a universe exists, and that quite often claimed to have popped in out of nothing.
Is it not true in mortal life that a little pain can prevent more pain and trouble? The man who sets his dislocated shoulder in the wilderness is most likely helping himself. Doctors before anesthesia needed to cause pain to prevent more pain and death. Lancing the boil may help stop chronic pain over time and aid healing. Suppose God deems it expedient to have even innocent people suffer for their greater good? But the immensity of the tragedy of human history! What are a few thousand years of angst to eternity? And this God can remove your memories of it? And why would anyone dwell on bad memories when in paradise, thus polluting his joy? And look how the old lose their memories. But why do it if not remembered? We hear that the heart never forgets, and that God will circumcise the hearts of believers. You do not remember the details but learn the lesson in order to never do what Satan and his fallen angels did.
But why can’t God teach without the pain? Again, we assume an omniscient mind being questioned by a fool. God’s ways are not our ways, and this is written in scripture. Who are you to tell God what is expedient? You do indeed know what evil is, but not what God’s motives are other than by faith or what you might accept in scripture by faith. You have not proven your case that evil makes God either evil or less than omnipotent. By definition of freedom of conscience, this is not a question of lack of power, but the decision of God on how his omniscience is manifested to man for his own purposes and for man’s.
Who wants to believe that God is evil? No one but a fool. So why believe it without proof? Why, because you are a slandering and conceited pretentious fool and atheist. But then fool and atheist is redundancy is it not?
The excluded middle and possible interrogative alternative is not removed and the paradox is false and fallacious.
Three: Does God Know About the Evil?: A transcendent God does and it does not prove he is evil, nor does it prove he is fallible. The conclusion of the 2nd box on the left [Then God is not all-knowing] does not follow from the question. You have not excluded the middle option. This is at best a contrary state of maybe yes or no. Your assumption that the 2nd box is the only possible alternative answer is fallacious. I suppose, being a fool, the atheist will deny this. Hey, what can you do. And they wonder why believers get angry at them and heap scorn on their fallacious arguments. To be sure, their so called politeness is a brass knuckle under a velvet glove, and some atheists (very many) are quite insulting. When is a rebuke a rebuke and not an insult? They accuse God of being evil. Believers are complicit with him, supporting his actions, so believers are evil, mass murderers, abettors of evil, and all the other accusations atheists make against religious people. If religious people throw back the accusations, why should atheists care, since they have no souls, merely automatons incapable of being other than what combinations of atoms make of them? But the believer knows better and sees the malice beneath the lie.
Four: Does God Want To Prevent Evil?:It is entirely conceivable and reasonable to perceive God as both loving and good while allowing evil for whatever prescribed period and for the ultimate good of mankind. The reasons have been laid out above. So the 3rd Left Box assumption [Then God is not good / God is not loving] does not necessarily follow from the question. The excluded middle is not removed. He can reconcile all three: evil, goodness, love and be consistent, as can believers. We see another fallacious example of the excluded middle, a contrary state parading as a contradictory state.
Five: Then Why Is There Evil?: We have discussed several possibilities already that do not exclude God from being both good and omnipotent. A little suffering now may make men better prepared for eternal salvation, avoiding the sin of the fallen angels that did not go through this. As for Satan, angels are called sons of God. Being so, they also are sentient, know ethical standards, and have freedom of conscience, otherwise they would be mere animals. The sceptic is not qualified to claim that freedom of conscience is evil. God has it. That is what man is. He would not be man otherwise.
It is obvious in human life that some temporary suffering can prevent much more enduring and more dangerous suffering later. In the case of the moral question and God, his omniscience can see this as necessary. Sure he could prevent the child from breaking his leg when jumping out of the tree, but the big picture in his eyes sees a greater good in the long run. Be careful child; do not be reckless with your health and life child; be astute and consider your actions. These are all useful in mortal life, and should be of value all around. Wisdom is wisdom. God may know the child will turn to evil unless chastised at an early age, so he is looking after the immortal soul of the child.
Question Five branches off into two right side boxes: [If God is all knowing, he would know what we would do if we were tested, therefore no need to test us]. Yes, God knows but not us, not our fellow men, family, friends. Let us say he is doing it for us, to show us our weaknesses to stave off eternal damnation. You might say he could implant this in our mind intellectually. Men’s minds are both cognitive and emotional. Cognition is specific, while emotions suffuse the psyche. They are not the same. Our emotions may incite us to sin as well as ignorance. God could supply emotional understanding as well? It would not be the same to just implant the warning, because it is not the same. Moreover, freedom of conscience, this that makes us what we are, demands that the options be potential, though not forced by God. God predestines by foreknowledge but not by divine ordination of events. He makes men and knows the future but deems the hardships of life necessary to a greater good, something that Epicurus is not qualified to comment upon, at least not in completely excluding the existence and righteousness of God.
The bottom right box: [An all powerful, all-knowing, all-good God could and would destroy Satan] In the first place, the omnipotence of God made immortal souls according to the tenets of Christians and other sects. Therefore God would nullify his own ordinance, confounding himself, limiting his omnipotence, and that is not omnipotence. Second, power refers to things pertinent to power. Eternal principles are not subject to power and is inadmissible to use them as qualifiers of power. Mathematics is founded upon eternal truths. Making 4 + 4 = 5 is not power but nonsense. But, look, even I put the false equation in my ebook. God could do the same and doubtless in the blink of an eye. If the sons of God are immortal in spirit, then they are immortal, period. It may be your contention that a world of automatons would be better. What about the righteous men who will enjoy eternal bliss as sons of God? What do automatons enjoy? The above flowchart statement ain’t necessarily true.
Six: Could God Have Created A Universe Without These?: This means without evil and troubles. Yes, but not a universe where sentient beings with immortal souls and freedom of conscience exist. And if he did not create this world, just because you think it folly, he would allow you to limit his power. What kind of omnipotence is that? Freedom of conscience is just that. It is not God’s provenance, but that of the owner of the conscience. As to why God allows the bad desire to be acted out on others? Maybe the others are sinners too. Or the reasons already suggested for evil will answer the question.
By the way, between statements five and six, the flowchart mentions some reasons for the problem, that are conveniently left in small print:
Left Reason: It is necessary for the universe to exist.
Right Reason: Other Reason.
It is also necessary for freedom of conscience to exist to actually be free, thus entailing the potential for evil. From impulse comes will. Men have some limited power over themselves and other limited power over other agents. Evil is possible without direct intervention by God. We have discussed possible reasons for this already. By the way, if no one sinned, then there would be no evil, even though people possess freedom of choice. Why not place the blame on men rather than God? You see it is possible to give men free will and a world without evil, providing the men do not sin.
Other reason, simply makes plain that Epicureans are ignorant by their own admission. This ignorance opens up a world of vindication to the Almighty.
Seven: Then Why Didn’t He?: Why didn’t God create a universe without evil? We have already discussed reasons that invalidate the intent of this atheist swindle that supposes a case proven.
The final box on the left poses the question: [Could God have created a universe with free will but without evil?] The question loops back to the why didn’t he question. Yes, he could, but not one with sentient beings with consciences, unless these beings did not act out evil deeds. Even if the evil deed was stymied, desire is an evil deed in its own right. Recall that Jesus made plain that murderous intent is also murder, etc. And anyone can see the force of his argument. Evil intent is what produces evil. Evil intent, desire is the mediate means to evil deeds, the aider and abettor, the contractor of the deed. We have discussed reasons why he allows evil from the point of view of the ultimate welfare of creation.
A few other comments, the breath of God is all but certainly the spirit of God in the Genesis creation myth. There is something eternal in the nature of man, and so his immortality. We have the finite and the infinite. We have the mind. The infinite is seamless, having no parts, the same throughout. The finite is not seamless, has parts and complexity. The psyche is indefinable and indefinite. The horizon beckons and the mind looks beyond to possibilities not seen at the moment or only imagined. Awareness is awareness throughout as with the infinite, but ideas in the mind are distinct and complex. Feelings permeate the psyche without distinct boundaries and seamless. I am talking of emotional states not senses touching things. Theologically, we have a link to the eternal Godhead in man’s nature. This is one explanation for the image and likeness assertion of scripture.
To recap and add a bit. The sceptic does not know God’s motives, his reasons for doing what he does. They say God does not exist or is evil, or stupid and finite. We have human trials. “If the glove does not fit, you must acquit,” says Johnny Cochran at the OJ Simpson trial. But what if a sly OJ planted the glove as a red herring, making it appear to be on someone’s hand for the murder? OK, we have a finite crime scene in finite time. In theology, the crime scene, if crime there be, is infinite. If the prosecutor is not omniscient, you must acquit. He cannot establish motive. He does not have sufficient evidence to convict. God is not guilty by the beyond a reasonable doubt supposition. You could not even win a civil case based on the Epicurean Paradox drivel discussed here in a fair and impartial court.
God has reason to sue for libel. Finally, nobody wants an evil God. If he were, what could you do about it? Scepticism where God is concerned is quite different from scepticism with respect to men. You can take precautions with men. The sceptic cannot prove his case and has no reason to be sceptical, it being futile. This is dealt with in the Book of Job. Basically, God told Job to shut up and that he was ignorant. To be sure, he demanded that Job state his case with the shut up as subtext. You can say I am putting words into God’s mouth. It is better to ask for God to save you and heal you than to ask why you suffer. Why does existence exist? It exists because it does. You do not like the answer? Do not ask stupid questions, for that is the only answer you are going to get. The question is inane. Why is their evil? Because it is necessary in God’s eyes. Could he give us some details? Sure. He has given some to the biblical believer. If God will not talk to you, make up your own. Failing that: evil exists because it is necessary and so does. Also, note, God is very big on faith as a power tool for man. Why not encourage it by letting man figure things out for himself and/or act on his faith? And the atheist does not have a shred of evidence to back his atheist assertion that God does not exist, and perversely turns the argument around. The complexity and order of things indicates intelligence. And men receive intelligence from somewhere that is present before the child is born, in some sense.
Other Works by the Author
Collected Poems I
Collected Poems II
Elements of Physics: Matter
Elements of Physics: Space
Elements of Physics: Time
Unified Field Theory: An Essay
Space as Infinity II
Golden Age Essays
Golden Age Essays II
Golden Age Essays III
Golden Age Essays IV
Golden Age Essays V
My current biography and contact links are posted at . My writings include essays, poetry and dramatic work. Though I write poetry, my main interest is essays about the panoply of human experience and knowledge. This includes philosophy, science and the liberal arts. Comments, reviews and critiques of my work are welcome. Thank you for reading my book.
A preface indicates that the flowchart came over the Internet. A picture is shown in the essay, doubtless not readable. I explain that I will describe the flowchart while conducting the critique. Chapter 1 is the critique. The basic fraud is to claim an excluded middle that does not exist and then raise paradoxical questions about how God can be both good and omnipotent. The questions are invariably in the contrary state where either yes or no can be a possible solution, since we do not know God's motives nor his reasoning (except by faith and not in the Bible in any definitive way. Hence, Job's dilemma.) We must acquit God of being evil based on insufficient evidence, and show that the so called paradox is nothing of the sort. The flowchart can be found on the Internet under: Epicurean Paradox. Look for a flowchart type poster. I recreate it in my book roughly. You likely cannot read it except on your large PC screen, if then. It is explained for you in the essay.