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Problem of Evil

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#166    Paranoid Android

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:16 PM

View Postredhen, on 01 February 2013 - 02:11 PM, said:

I don't know what denomination you belong to (if any), or what theology you subscribe to, but without a Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve and the Fall, you're on shaky ground. Without the Fall, the cause of original sin, what need of a redeemer?

Personally, I dislike the idea of vicarious salvation though the ritual of animal and human slaughter.
I describe myself as a Bible-believing Conservative Evangelical non-denominational protestant Christian.  I attend an Anglican church, though I do not call myself "Anglican".  Most Christians I know do not demand a literal Garden of Eden/Adam and Eve/Fall/etc.  "Original Sin" is a concept that is equally valid if it refers to the first time a human being knowingly acted against the wishes of God.  It does not have to be specifically Adam from the garden.


View Postredhen, on 01 February 2013 - 02:11 PM, said:

I'm sure God could have figured out a way to deal with any potential overpopulation problem caused by immortal humans. But lets leave death in the equation, since its absence would strongly violate metaphysical laws on impermanence. I still think God could have put in a little more effort to mitigate unnecessary pain and suffering.
Well, as Bruce Almighty found out, you're willing to try, but without God's knowledge you cannot ever know that you'd be right in doing so.

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#167    redhen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 01 February 2013 - 02:16 PM, said:

Most Christians I know do not demand a literal Garden of Eden/Adam and Eve/Fall/etc.  "Original Sin" is a concept that is equally valid if it refers to the first time a human being knowingly acted against the wishes of God.  It does not have to be specifically Adam from the garden.

And that first act would have been ..... ?


Quote

Well, as Bruce Almighty found out, you're willing to try, but without God's knowledge you cannot ever know that you'd be right in doing so.

I loved the part where everyone won the lottery and therefore only got a few cents, lol. Hollywood aside, I think it might be fruitful to examine some of the best Christian minds of today and see how they deal with evolution and the problem of evil.

The Language of God written by the former director of the Human Genome Project, Francis Collins reconciles (to his mind) natural evolution and the Abrahamic God. He calls his idea biologos. I've read this book and he makes a plausible argument, but no where in the book does he tackle the implications of millions of years of unnecessary pain and suffering.

Likewise, the cell biologist, Ken Miller has written a book, Finding Darwin's God in which he also reconciles (to his mind) evolution and God. He does this using the indeterminacy inherent in quantum mechanics. I've also read this book in it's entirety and again, Like Collins, he does not even try to defend the slow and painful method naturalistic evolution in the context of natural evil.

I have scoured the library stacks at a Catholic university I attended, searched scholarly databases and talked to theologians. There is very little material dealing with the evidential problem of natural evil. It is almost non-existent. I have read what little work that has been done on this subject, and the answers are totally unsatisfactory.


#168    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:22 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 01 February 2013 - 02:57 AM, said:

And yet, hypothesis is permitted.  Remember that while Paul did write - "who are you to talk back to God", in the very next sentence, Paul begins to answer the question anyway - what if God created those prepared for destruction to show his glory to those prepared for glory.  So he did answer the question, just prefaced it by saying that we are only humans and not the creator.

That answers nothing..Romans 9  doesn't give you any answers,  It was written with what If this and that.?. but states you are only human and not god ..Not an answer, just his own statement and a command for you not to question..   When you tell someone not to question you, that is saying you are not giving them an answer, they are not entitled to ask or be given.. You cannot class that as an answer itself.. It holds no logic..

Quote

I don't like the answers given, I wish they were different.   
I meant to ask you before.. Can you explain why you personally do not like what is said in Romans 9 ?  You noted you don't like the answer  ( even though I do not see it as one )  ..Why do you feel that way ?

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 01 February 2013 - 03:22 PM.

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#169    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:31 PM

Quote

The depiction of pre-fall existence being perfect was a theological discourse on the nature of man and God, it was not an historical account of reality.

Quote

I argued that we do not have the knowledge base that God does and therefore cannot say we would do a better job at creation.  And in the context of this discussion we can't say that God should have made a world without suffering, because we simply don't know the ramifications of that.

I don't have a problem with God's ineffability and unknowability, but then why not likewise temper the things you are fairly certain about because of it?  The story about Jesus and his miracles and resurrection, you don't classify that as a theological discourse and not reality I don't think?  I don't see how you have any basis at all either for determining that God is a good god; any action we think is good or bad may be the exact opposite, as we don't know what the ramifications are.  If things that appear evil (millions of years of bloody suffering) are really good, then I see no reason to not think the opposite may also be true.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
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#170    Paranoid Android

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:38 PM

View Postredhen, on 01 February 2013 - 03:15 PM, said:

And that first act would have been ..... ?
I don't know, I can't answer that for you.


View Postredhen, on 01 February 2013 - 03:15 PM, said:

I loved the part where everyone won the lottery and therefore only got a few cents, lol. Hollywood aside, I think it might be fruitful to examine some of the best Christian minds of today and see how they deal with evolution and the problem of evil.

The Language of God written by the former director of the Human Genome Project, Francis Collins reconciles (to his mind) natural evolution and the Abrahamic God. He calls his idea biologos. I've read this book and he makes a plausible argument, but no where in the book does he tackle the implications of millions of years of unnecessary pain and suffering.

Likewise, the cell biologist, Ken Miller has written a book, Finding Darwin's God in which he also reconciles (to his mind) evolution and God. He does this using the indeterminacy inherent in quantum mechanics. I've also read this book in it's entirety and again, Like Collins, he does not even try to defend the slow and painful method naturalistic evolution in the context of natural evil.

I have scoured the library stacks at a Catholic university I attended, searched scholarly databases and talked to theologians. There is very little material dealing with the evidential problem of natural evil. It is almost non-existent. I have read what little work that has been done on this subject, and the answers are totally unsatisfactory.
I haven't looked into it as you seem to have, but I still see no reason why suffering (natural or otherwise) is an argument against God.  I am a victim of natural suffering.  I witnessed three people drown, including someone I was coming close to being in a relationship with.  And still I believe that God was in control of it all.

Just saying,

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#171    Frank Merton

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:42 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 01 February 2013 - 03:38 PM, said:

I witnessed three people drown, including someone I was coming close to being in a relationship with.  And still I believe that God was in control of it all.
And I look at the same thing and see so clearly that there can't possibly be a God.  Interesting how two people can look at the same thing so differently.


#172    simplybill

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:00 PM

I believe the Bible because it works. And not only does it work, it's the ONLY thing that works. No other religion or philosophy or political mechanism can say that. The Judeo/Christian values of the Bible actually work in real life.

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#173    redhen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:02 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 01 February 2013 - 03:38 PM, said:

I haven't looked into it as you seem to have, but I still see no reason why suffering (natural or otherwise) is an argument against God.

Wiki does a fairly decent job of summarizing theodicy;

"The evidential version of the problem of evil(also referred to as the probabilistic or inductive version), seeks to show that the existence of evil, although logically consistent with the existence of God, counts against or lowers the probability of the truth of theism":


#174    Frank Merton

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:06 PM

View Postsimplybill, on 01 February 2013 - 04:00 PM, said:

I believe the Bible because it works. And not only does it work, it's the ONLY thing that works. No other religion or philosophy or political mechanism can say that. The Judeo/Christian values of the Bible actually work in real life.
I'm glad they work for you, but I wouldn't say that it is the only thing that works.  I'm a happy Buddhist, and I assure you it works too.


#175    fullywired

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

I saw something on television recently about a child born both deaf and blind and I thought to myself, what kind of god would sentence a child to a life of darkness and silence.  .I expect  I will get the usual replies full of platitudes


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#176    Paranoid Android

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:14 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 01 February 2013 - 03:22 PM, said:

That answers nothing..Romans 9  doesn't give you any answers,  It was written with what If this and that.?. but states you are only human and not god ..Not an answer, just his own statement and a command for you not to question..   When you tell someone not to question you, that is saying you are not giving them an answer, they are not entitled to ask or be given.. You cannot class that as an answer itself.. It holds no logic..
Despite everything else, Paul does offer hypotheses.  You can't know - but WHAT IF this happened the way it did....


View PostBeckys_Mom, on 01 February 2013 - 03:22 PM, said:

I meant to ask you before.. Can you explain why you personally do not like what is said in Romans 9 ?  You noted you don't like the answer  ( even though I do not see it as one )  ..Why do you feel that way ?
I don't like its dismissiveness.  It is a dismissive answer.  No matter what else can be said about the passage, it is what it is, and it is dismissive.

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#177    Paranoid Android

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:18 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 01 February 2013 - 03:42 PM, said:

And I look at the same thing and see so clearly that there can't possibly be a God.  Interesting how two people can look at the same thing so differently.
I can't say whether you have been experience to such a tragedy as I have (people drowning to their death), but I do agree with the general view that two people can look at the same criteria with different conclusions.  That has never been in dispute in my argument....

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#178    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 01 February 2013 - 03:42 PM, said:

And I look at the same thing and see so clearly that there can't possibly be a God.  Interesting how two people can look at the same thing so differently.

Indeed this is most true.. People will view it in a different light.

A real life situation  that sickened me ..My husbands uncle Gerald, spent his life working in the TV repair business, and part time, he worked for his local church..  He was a regular church goer and he organised many church functions.. He was a really decent bloke..

Garys mother  ( my monster in law )  never went near church, unless if she was invited to the odd wedding and funeral.. Other than that Eileen wouldn't show her face... She never cared to look at a bible, and Gary told me she wasn't the praying type.. In fact, Sunday mornings were her hangover mornings..  

His uncle Gerald, is diagnosed with brain cancer...  He was going in for treatment...He prayed hard that all will work out.. He was only in his early 50's and was looking forward to seeing his new grandchildren.. He had so much planned..  The minister to whom Gerald was close friends with,  ( same minister is my brothers father in law )  held some church services asking for others to pray for Gerald...   

After chemo, everyone thought Gerald was going to be better.. I must admit, when I saw him at his sons wedding, I thought he might make it..But he was still sick, he looked so frail ...   Months later before his eldest had another baby, Gerald was told his cancer has spread too far, and nothing more can be done... Gerald died a few years ago..This indeed was sad.. All the praying, church services and treatments, could not save him

What sickened me..  Garys mother,  the one I mentioned earlier .. Had a cancer scare.. What she was told is,  bad cells showing up on her tests, look like it can turn cancerous, if they are left longer.. She needed to act ASAP to eliminate them before anything were to develop into cancer ...  She is one heck of a milker.. She milked the life out of this and fishes for a lot of attention.. Planned meetings to have people sit down to hear her news..  She didn't like it when some said, you are lucky to catch this early and it isn't cancer as yet, so NOT what she wanted to hear..   What she wanted was, for people to cry and show her how saddened it all is..But people were trying to keep her positive.. Eileen even put on one of those sick voices, like as if she had a sore throat..and talked like she did...

Thing is, she didn't need any cancer treatments ( because it wasn't cancer and just a few cells ) but still had regular visits to the hospital and was given meds.. Later her sister convinces her that god spared her, and now Eileen goes to church every week...  She tells people how god looked out for her.. She plumb forgot about her brother in law  Gerald, who was a much nicer man, and dedicated a lot of his time to god and the church, but he was not spared despite church services and prayers along with treatments..

My husband Gary will admit that it just looks so weird.. He is glad his mother never had to face cancer, but he cannot understand why his uncle did.. . He knows what his mother is like..  The sad thing about this was - His uncle Gerald was so looking forward to seeing his grandkids come into the world and grow up a bit... His mother Eileen ( the monster in law ) told my husband she didn't like the fact I was having a second child... So when my little girl did die, Eileen never so much as paid me a phone call.... She doesn't appreciatethe idea of other grandchildren.. All she cares about is herself and when is the next cruise date lined up for her, so she can go off on her usual holidays

Two completely different human beings.. To lay the emphasis -  One was a gentleman, who was well liked,  the other a spoilt rotten wind bag that loves to interfere and huff a lot, who should make special appearances on CSI drama, as she is great at playing the victim   ( Ok I am getting a bit carried away there lol ) . Yet one was spared and the other suffered and died..  The only thing Eileen had to suffer was from a hangover..   So when she thinks she can come into our house and nag about going to church, with her usual line - "But you HAVE to go.. God spared me"..  I cringe  I would love to slap her in the gob and say - Did god spare you from that?  But I wouldn't, I couldn't do that, she just annoys the life out of me and others..

This world we live in is weird..

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 01 February 2013 - 05:06 PM.

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#179    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 01 February 2013 - 04:14 PM, said:

Despite everything else, Paul does offer hypotheses.  You can't know - but WHAT IF this happened the way it did....

Romans 9 is not an answer of any kind..It is a statement and a command.. To let you know your place, and to show that you do not own a right to question god. The statement summed up is - He is god, you are just human, don't even think about it...  No point in beating around a bush,  fact is  no answers in Romans 9  

Quote

I don't like its dismissiveness.  It is a dismissive answer.  No matter what else can be said about the passage, it is what it is, and it is dismissive.

Because it doesn't give you anything to go on.. Dismissive is just one word to describe it and what it lacked ..

I could write a book, create a story, create characters...It's published, people buy it, read it.. I am at a book signing.. but I am met with a few questions  - Chapters 1 and 2 don't make sense..  So I say - Who are you to question my creations, my work?  I am the author, you are just the reader, don't question me.. Besides, the rest of the chapters do make sense ..Now go away

Yes, that should indeed make people feel happy, and I am betting they will be keen to buy anything else I write in future too

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 01 February 2013 - 05:22 PM.

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#180    redhen

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:00 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 01 February 2013 - 04:06 PM, said:

I'm glad they work for you, but I wouldn't say that it is the only thing that works.  I'm a happy Buddhist, and I assure you it works too.

I'm not sure Buddhism has a satisfactory answer to the problem of evil either. Suffering is front and center in Buddhism and dukha has many levels. But the answer is hard to swallow for a lot of people; the trick to ending suffering is not to be born in the first place. Thanks, I'll work on that.






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