Paul Draper's Argument from Evil - The Best One?

Is this a better Argument from Evil than the traditional ones?
It doesn’t just discuss certain kinds or amounts of evil, but rather the conditions under which evil usually occurs.
It targets the distribution of evil we find in this world and tries to show that they don’t appear to indicate any larger purpose.

Hi :wave: jayjay2

I could only get about 1 minute in… the term “evil” isn’t defined on the outset, and I stopped when the video went to an animal trapped in a wildfire as “evil”…

So, there are definitions of “evil”;

Usually it’s use is tied to “supernatural” or “immoral” … How do you define “evil”?

Personally, I see either negative/positive; self-love/empathy; “nature” (eg. Lion kills baby zebra to feed its cubs) in various combinations.

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I dont really see the problem.

If we agree that there are instances of suffering that could be labeled as ‘evil’ thats enough, it seems to me.

Whats weird is, at the one minute mark, the argument hasn’t even been presented yet.


To have an argument or debate, a specific “meaning” to the term has to be understood.

So, is a lion feeding her cubs a baby zebra evil?

Re: video. I can’t debate a clip, but you are here, so I assume you want to talk about it and your understanding of the clip’s argument. :grinning:

Wow, that is a lot of gobbly gook. The author treats “evil” as a thing, a noun, something tangible. I disagree. The world is harsh, almost all animals are destined to be someone else’s lunch.

Despite all the babble, it comes down to a simple fact, that a god must be evidenced before I can begin to discuss any god’s attributes.


Or succumb to nature (earthquakes, fires, drought, floods, etc) and of course aging and illness, etc, etc…

Evil can indeed refer to a deed. But it can also be thought to reference a state of affairs, such as suffering.

Too complicated? What isn’t sufficiently clear?

So the baby zebra suffers. Meanwhile the cubs’ bellies are full and they are satisfied. Is this “evil”?

The suffering of the zebra could be labeled an instance of evil

BTW - “suffering” is a term humans on the “outside” may apply to certain situations. You’d be surprised at how “comfortable” the brain’s chemical releases can make it for the person being effected (eg. car accident victim)…or hunger (a person’s body over time compensates mentally for the bodily starvation)…

AND “suffering” is also subject to the one saying they are “suffering” …just have a conversation with a hypochondriac…

So then what is the “argument” you are wanting to discuss?

The suffering of the zebra could be labeled an instance of evil

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What does that have to do with anything?

Jay jay - you tell me…what is the argument or point of this conversation, in your own words.

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Paul Draper’s Argument from Pain & Pleasure (theres a video)

I don’t care about a video, I care about YOUR thoughts on the subject.

I can watch YouTube anytime…

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Let me put it like this:

How much do you know about classical arguments from evil?

From Epicurus to Leibniz to Plantinga to Paul Draper.

Zippo. So teach me. Present something we can discuss.


To me evil implies culpability, you could start there. A deity that had both limitless knowledge and power, would also have limitless choice, if designed a world with ubiquitous suffering and created that world, then that to me would be evil, but of course such a being’s culpability would not end there, as simply allowing that suffering it could prevent would also IMHO be evil.

FWIW, a lion killing a baby zebra to feed its cubs is not evil, as the lion is not exercising choice in the way I understand it, and cannot therefore be culpable for it’s actions. A human choosing to shoot a lion just for the fun or thrill of it is making a choice, we could go on forever, but evil requires a being or entity to choose to act in a way they need not.

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LOL Sheldon …jayjay hasn’t even told me whether he believes god is even involved with evil.

But your explanation starts a form of discussion.

Evil is so far “suffering” (jayjay2)

  • so I propose we just keep “suffering” to its subjective meaning.

Unless I need to post a definition.