Isn't evil prove that God exist ? 1. Evil exists. 2. Evil is a departure from the way things ought to be. 3. If there is a departure from the way things ought to be, then there is a way things ought to be. 4. Therefore, there is a way things ought to be. 5. If there is a way things ought to be, then there is a design plan for things. 6. If there is a design plan for things, then there must be a Designer. 7. Therefore, there must be a Designer. If the universe is the product of chance as opposed to intelligence, then there is no design or purpose built into the universe. Since one can rationally apply a standard of goodness to an object only if that object was designed with the purpose of meeting that standard, isn't evil which itself is a deviation from that standard of goodness prove that God exist?

Thanks for the interesting argument. I'd challenge premise (5) for starters. Not all normative truths require a designer or decree-giver. Consider this valid form of reasoning: P and Q; therefore, P. That form is a way that people ought to reason (and fortunately, most do). Or consider this invalid form of reasoning: If P, then Q; not P; therefore, not Q. That form is a way that people ought not to reason (even though, unfortunately, they sometimes do). Who decreed that it ought, or ought not, to be that way? Who designed that? Answer: No one. Or at least we needn't assume that anyone did.

Indeed, if "P and Q; therefore, P" is a way people ought to reason only because someone designed things that way, that suggests (and perhaps even implies) that someone could have designed things so that "P and Q; therefore, P" was a way people ought not to reason, or so that "If P, then Q; not P; therefore, not Q" was a way people ought to reason. But those suggestions (or implications) make no sense, as far as I can see.

Granted, my example involves logical norms rather than moral norms, but I can't see how that difference rescues premise (5).

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