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Amorality Verus Immorality

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on May 29, 2003 04:59:21 UTC

Hey Mike, I've been thinking about your response today, and I agree that it sounds quite convincing, but I think that it kind of falls apart under scrutiny.

The first issue before I get into the main point is the simple one of "Why would God create a universe bereft of his presence?" Simply redefining "evil" to mean the absence of God simply pushes the issue back to why God would allow his presence to be absent.

Secondly, I think that your definition of evil is rather flawed. The distinction between "evil" and "absence of good" is in my opinion the same as the distinction between immorality and amorality. The difference is significant. To be amoral is to be devoid of moral sentiment (not knowing the difference between right and wrong), but to be immoral is to have moral sentiment contrary to those considered "good" or "right." (to know the difference, and intentionally choose evil.) I would argue (to bring theology into the mix for lack of a better placeholder) that the absence of God would result in amoral behaviour (whether it be a lunatic breaking open someone's head to see what brains look like, or the Terminator going on a killing spree, or a snake devouring a rat) while the *presence* of evil would result in immoral behaviour (Hitler's genocides, or priests molesting altar boys, or something simple such as domestic abuse, etc.)

That is, the lack of good results in the lack of moral sentiment, but the presence of evil results in people consciously choosing to do evil acts. I view "badness" to be far more than the lack of goodness. Intent is required, intent that is counter to the mentality of goodness.

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