Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able ? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing ? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both willing and able ? Then whence cometh evil ?

Is he neither able nor willing ? Then why call him God ?


Any thoughts ?

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Melinda, I don't know about "smart", but I am very curious. Very many topics get introduced here, and I love chasing down more information. 

When you wrote, "I should have read your post at the beginning before I jumped in with my own!" I know your are correct, but not in this case. It is sensible to read what others have added and then comment to the theme. The pro of that is the context flows. The con is that fresh, uninfluenced responses get lost. 
Your thinking and writing are clear and you show a great deal of compassion. Your pure love of life infects me with great joy! Thanks dear friend. You are a treasure. 

They prey because it gives them a feeling that they are contributing, false warm fuzzy glow.

Neurologically it can also produce hallucinations to add to the warm fuzzy delusions, just the same as deep meditation can.

So essentially, deep and concerted prayer is a form of meditation that can produce warm, fuzzy delusions in some people.

Most notably in the Islamic guys I lived with who actually become entranced with their five times a day prayer ritual.

Warm fuzzy delusions feel good for children. Adults need far more and we sure do get great responses on this site. Your contributions really kick me in the behind ... you make me think. Thanks for being you and being here. 


Often the "new atheists" and some of the newer atheist groups seem to believe that prior generations have nothing to say.  That they invented critical thinking and freedom from gods.  More power to them - every older person was young once.  But your quote reminds us of the wisdom from, not only prior generations, but that there were wise thinkers from previous millenia.

We are always reinventing the wheel.  Still, it's  comforting to know that the roads we tread were built by those who came before us.  I hope we can build for those who follow.

As for the words themselves, in over 2,000 years there is still no countering to the paradox.

Interesting also, the paradox can't refer to the modern christian / jewish / muslim god(s) because Epicurus lived in polytheistic, centuries prechristian Greece.

"For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia—peace and freedom from fear—and aponia—the absence of pain—and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and evil; death is the end of both body and soul and should therefore not be feared; the gods do not reward or punish humans; the universe is infinite and eternal; and events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space."

I like this site; thanks Sentient. 

"Maintaining their delusion is far more important to them than justifying it in the real world!"

"There's no winning against devout crackpots!"

I read the above comments when I was just about to make my reply, but these two replies effectively say everything.

Epicurus is totally mah bro. And that riddle is one of the main things that supports my atheism.


There is simply no countering Epicurus' riddle. It demolishes the argument of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God.

On the Atheist Forums at, I encountered a theist that tried. He claimed that God is both willing and able, and does protect True Believers from evil. I said, then why are do pedophiles in the Catholic Church take advantage of alter boys? He said the alter boys were not true believers. I then said, what of a murderer who truly believes in god versus a nonbeliever who has done no one harm? He said God favors those who love them. At this point, I thought it was clear that his God was not fair or benevolent.

So I suppose the altar boys don't REALLY love god, eh?  And that gets them buggered and messed up and the whole deal.  Some loving god!  I'll do without, thanks.




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