To a certain extent, anyhow. I’ll provide my own answer, but Joe Carter’s is too funny to not highlight:
1. Tummy aches are a form of harm being done to the physical and/or psychological well-being of a sentient creature.
2. Harm is evil.
3. God–an omniscient, wholly good being–would prevent evil.
4. God did not prevent my tummy ache
5. Ergo, there is no god.
This argument is a type known as the evidential problem of evil, the primary remaining form since the logical problem of evil has been solved.*
As I’ve noted on numerous occasions, I find the entire concept of theodicy to be completely ridiculous. Since I reject the concept of omniderigence, I have very serious doubts about the non-Biblical concept of omniscience, and I believe in the existence of free will, the “problem” of evil as related to God’s existence and/or character is nonexistent. And it’s ironic that it continues to arise, considering that its the materialists of all stripes who face a far more serious problem of evil in their own right.
Now, Bearded Spock describes his argument thusly:
My argument was that Job’s god is so different from the New Testament God, that they cannot both be the same…. Job’s god is as different from the NT God as Allah is.
This is logically fallacious. Job’s god and the New Testament God are both described as beyond human comprehension and human judgment. Therefore, even any apparent dichotomies – I do not admit to them, but I do invite Bearded Spock to delineate them – cannot be given any significant import because they do not provide a sufficiently comprehensive understanding of the deity’s/deities’ character(s). I don’t see two descriptions as being very different at all, but then, I take serious exception to the “god of personal love for everyone” that Spock appears to be imputing to the New Testament god. However, that’s a pretty big tangent, so let’s leave it alone for now.
My further argument that neither the Book of Job nor the NT are legitimately authoritative is secondary.
Fine, then we can leave it for now. I merely note that no one who describes the Bible as “hearsay evidence” with a straight face has a sufficient grasp of either the rules of evidence or archeology for their opinion about legitimate authority to be of any import whatsoever.
IF YOU ATTEMPT TO DEFEND GOD BY REDEFINING EVIL, THEN YOU ARE REALLY DEFENDING EVIL.
Spock appears to be forgetting that he is the one redefining evil; the cited Biblical definition of evil long precedes him. I have no qualms about defending much of what Spock and others call “evil”, be they tummy aches or tsunami; they are in fact nothing of the kind. Now, I don’t know if Spock is an extreme rational materialist or not, but if he is, then he has no logical claim to even make use the word evil, much less quibble over definitions outside of his realm of competence. Spock’s failure here is to understand that God alone is the yardstick; only the creator has the right to define what is good and what is evil according to the rules of his game. In His case, and in His case alone, might does quite literally MAKE right. But this holds only in that might was (presumably) required in order to create; the mere possession of might does not suffice in itself.
Spock shows the inherent danger of arguing by aphorism; when one does not think the matter sufficiently through, one frequently errs by improperly applying the pithy quote.