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manbearpigg

Problem of Evil

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And there it is..God would have known the nature of his creations and why they will or will not believe...All this about him allowing you to make a choice ( calling it freedom of choice ) is pointless in the end if he already knows exactly what choice you will make and why you made it... It would be completely illogical and very stupid for anyone to try and claim that god has no way of knowing, because the second they do, they have stripped him of what makes him almighty ... The odd one will try and make it out like god is limited to powers but is more like us humans and he cannot know what you will do... It is a weak and not a good argument, but you might hear one of two that will come out with something that illogical... This is only because they cannot give a good answer to counter it, so they make it up as they go..

In my understanding of Christianity, not only is it true what you say - God does know the choices we make, but it is also true that no one can make the choice to follow God unless God calls them.

Just thought I'd muddy the waters a bit for you :)

~ PA

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I don't have proof that a GOD does not exist, in fact i believe that logic tells me he has to exist. I follow Newton and Aquinas so I believe the first mover or action is "GOD".

However I have given proof why an Abrahamic God (omni-all) most likely does not exist due to the fallacies i have pointed out.

to answer my counter-argument, an ant possesses the ability to identify us humans as a THING at least. to us, we cannot even touch or interact with God as we know it. An ant is able to touch us or bite us and see us as a threat. We cannot do those things to a GOD. either the difference is much greater in us to GOD or our perception is so limited a GOD does not matter if he existed or not. His actions are unknown to us and quite possibly unable to interact with us.

I do agree that God is most likely quite different than the Abrahamic God expressed in scripture. I don't believe there is any religion that is completely correct. However if God was unable to interact with us I'd say he wouldn't be much of a God. I think it's more a choice not to as opposed to an inability to.

All of these are simply speculations of course. It just makes sense to me personally though.

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In my understanding of Christianity, not only is it true what you say - God does know the choices we make, but it is also true that no one can make the choice to follow God unless God calls them.

Just thought I'd muddy the waters a bit for you

And if he doesn't call you, you are discriminated against? .God already knew that there would be billions born into different religions, and it is not their fault, He knew it all before it ever took place....If he is supposed to be one who understands all ( that he created ) then he would have already have known it all before any one of us...He knows the in's and outs of every last belief ever held, before it was created...In fact he knows what future beliefs are to be held long after we leave this life...

And IF he calls you and you cant hear it..? .... If he calls you and you ignore it? .... He already knows what will happen and what you will do .. He knows it all before you ever will, whether you don't get called ( for some mad reason ) Or you do, and don't respond.....He knows exactly all what you will or will not do, before you make a move...If you wished, you can make a long list of things, in the end, I can say god already knows beforehand what we will do and how it pans out before we can ever know, which is part of him being all knowing...... Doesn't muddy the waters, just strengthens my point...

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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And if he doesn't call you, you are discriminated against?

In one sense, yes. God did "elect" some people and not others. That may be a form of discrimination. However, those who are not called were created for the purpose of not being called, so it's not an unfair discrimination.

And IF he calls you and you cant hear it..? .... If he calls you and you ignore it? .... He already knows what will happen and what you will do .. He knows it all before you ever will, whether you don't get called ( for some mad reason ) Or you do, and don't respond.....

Theologically this is an impossible statement. If God calls you, you will answer. To not do so implies that the will of man can overthrow the will of God.

Doesn't muddy the waters, just strengthens my point...

I think you misunderstood my point. I wasn't posting to argue against you, just to add information you may not have considered. It does muddy things a little - the whole free will/predestination debate hinges on it. I agree with you that God knows what will happen, but that doesn't lessen my belief in him, or in my belief that predestination and free will can coexist (despite being mutually exclusive concepts).

~ Regards, PA

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In one sense, yes. God did "elect" some people and not others. That may be a form of discrimination. However, those who are not called were created for the purpose of not being called, so it's not an unfair discrimination.

Why do that? Why make people only to expressly not 'call' them?

Sounds pretty cruel.

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Sounds pretty cruel.

Have you read the book of Job recently if you want to hear about cruelty. What is God's answer? Basically he tells Job I am more powerful than you are so you have no right to question me.

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Have you read the book of Job recently if you want to hear about cruelty. What is God's answer? Basically he tells Job I am more powerful than you are so you have no right to question me.

I've heard that story before and it's one of the (many) things that makes me not want to follow the christian god because of how willing he was to subject an innocent man to horrors just to prove a point.

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Why do that? Why make people only to expressly not 'call' them?

Sounds pretty cruel.

Why is it cruel? Take a moment to actually ask why is it cruel....

Take yourself, for example, if God had chosen otherwise, you'd be believing just like a Christian. But you've admitted to me several times that you hate much of what Christianity stands for. Surely it would be more cruel to BRAINWASH you into believing something you inherently cannot stand than it is to keep you as you are.

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Why is it cruel? Take a moment to actually ask why is it cruel....

Take yourself, for example, if God had chosen otherwise, you'd be believing just like a Christian. But you've admitted to me several times that you hate much of what Christianity stands for. Surely it would be more cruel to BRAINWASH you into believing something you inherently cannot stand than it is to keep you as you are.

Hmmm now, let me think about why its cruel. Well one group of people (ie Christians) get to spent an eternity in some sort of paradise while another (everyone else) is either a: etrnally tortured or b:permenantly erased. I get you're ok with that because youre on god's side and get a nice happy afterlife but the fact you cant see that it's cruel for the rest of us just gets tossed in the trash is beyond me.

No, I don't want to be brainwashed to serve a psychopathic god. But you're essentially saying that the only alternaive is a form of spiritual genocide and worse, you can accept that with a smile on your face.

When the choice is between being brainwashed and murdered both choices are abhorrent. But yes, I'd rather die on my feet as a free thinking human being than on my knees as a slave to something that's inherently evil and anti-humanity

However, you neatly side stepped the question posed to you.

Edited by shadowhive
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I agree that God could have created an alternative world. But he didn't, he chose to do it this way, and in this way the world has suffering in it. I don't see that as an automatic argument against God's existence (as the "problem of evil" line of reasoning implies).

Apparently Darwin realized the implications of his theory of evolution. Not just the demise of special creation, but more importantly the unnecessary pain, suffering and death of untold number of beings over millions of years. How much of this unnecessary suffering could have been avoided if only God had created the world and everything in it in six days.

This cruelty, which is what it is by definition, is doubly perplexing since God allegedly created a world free of pain, suffering and death, so it was indeed possible to mitigate this natural evil. Also, allegedly, in the end times a new world will be molded, where the lion will lay down with the lamb. Just not now, later. Sucks to be born in between these two utopias.

Leibniz also posited the "best of all possible worlds" explanations, or modern theological terms; nomic regularity. Either way, it's just another way of saying "that's just the way things are", which of course, is no answer at all.

Was there really only one way to get to the stage of modern humans except by hundreds of millions of years of suffering for non-humans?

I wish I still had access to scholarly databases. Here's one good book on the theological implications of needless animal suffering.

Even Christian apologists like C.S. Lewisobserved that “So far as we know beasts are incapable either of sin or of virtue; therefore they can neither deserve pain nor be improved by it.”

C.S. Lewis, Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, 1940.

Moral evil is easily answered; free will. That's why you will find library stacks filled with books on moral evil. The section allocated for natural evil is almost empty. There is no satisfactory answer to it.

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Hmmm now, let me think about why its cruel. Well one group of people (ie Christians) get to spent an eternity in some sort of paradise while another (everyone else) is either a: etrnally tortured or b:permenantly erased.

I cannot biblically support Option A. As for Option B, would you like me to find a quote (recently, less than a week old) from a person on this site who has said that FOR THEM, permanent erasure (that is, dying forever) would be "heaven" for them..... I can find the post, I should have bookmarked it for such an occasion as this.

However, you neatly side stepped the question posed to you.

You are right, I apologise. If you would like a biblical answer (and I don't expect agreement), see Romans 9:

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

~ Romans 9:22-24

What if those who weren't called were created so that those who were knew what it meant to not be called? Kind of like a pro-footballer who trains their entire lives to make the Cut for first-team selection, how can they appreciate making the team if they didn't have to beat three other players for their starting position. Would a footballer really respect their place in the squad if they just walked up and took their place? No. In fact, the opposite happens - those who are naturally gifted at sport when they are young don't need to work to make the first team, so when they reach the Pro's, they also think they just need to turn up and make it. They don't understand that at the top they actually need to work for it, and those who are most gifted are often those who fall hardest and never make it at all.

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Moral evil is easily answered; free will. That's why you will find library stacks filled with books on moral evil. The section allocated for natural evil is almost empty. There is no satisfactory answer to it.

First, the concept of "free will" is up for debate. Second, the concept of "natural evil" is actually quite succinctly explained by the same reasoning I posited earlier - what if the purpose for mankind on this earth is not happiness? the problem of evil is predicated on the assumption that if God exists he desires that its creation spend life here on earth as happy and content as can be. That is an assumption that must be challenged, and cannot be verified by those who claim the problem exists.

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I cannot biblically support Option A. As for Option B, would you like me to find a quote (recently, less than a week old) from a person on this site who has said that FOR THEM, permanent erasure (that is, dying forever) would be "heaven" for them..... I can find the post, I should have bookmarked it for such an occasion as this.

The key words in there (and I'll bold them to be cear) is for them. You can find quotes for people for think that heaven for them is anything from a field of flowers, being surrounded by loved ones of being locked in a room of a celebrity of their choosing. So one person saying that heaven 'for them' would be permenant death is as pointless to your arguement as a quote from someone else saying that heaven for them is an a room of infinite chocolate.

You are right, I apologise. If you would like a biblical answer (and I don't expect agreement), see Romans 9:

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

~ Romans 9:22-24

What if those who weren't called were created so that those who were knew what it meant to not be called? Kind of like a pro-footballer who trains their entire lives to make the Cut for first-team selection, how can they appreciate making the team if they didn't have to beat three other players for their starting position. Would a footballer really respect their place in the squad if they just walked up and took their place? No. In fact, the opposite happens - those who are naturally gifted at sport when they are young don't need to work to make the first team, so when they reach the Pro's, they also think they just need to turn up and make it. They don't understand that at the top they actually need to work for it, and those who are most gifted are often those who fall hardest and never make it at all.

You know, you really shouldn't be a preacher. Because the more I read from you, the worse your god seems to be. It seems almost every time we get in any sort of discussion you manage to actually make me even less willing to be christian than when I entered it.

That comparison doesn't hold much weight. For several reasons. First, if you dont make the team a trap door doesn't open beneath your feet dropping you into a rancor pit. Failure does not mean instant death and you always have the chance to try again. Second, you can be naturally gifted (chosen) or you can train really hard and get in the same position. And third everyone else isn't there just for the benefit of raising you up.

Perhaps that's analysing it a bit too much.

Basically what youre saying is god created everyone else so the chosen can see how superior and how better they are than everyone else by comparison. Lovely.

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The key words in there (and I'll bold them to be cear) is for them. You can find quotes for people for think that heaven for them is anything from a field of flowers, being surrounded by loved ones of being locked in a room of a celebrity of their choosing. So one person saying that heaven 'for them' would be permenant death is as pointless to your arguement as a quote from someone else saying that heaven for them is an a room of infinite chocolate.

Exactly. And my point was that not everyone thinks an eternal life with God is good. If you don't like the "key words" I presented, then take yourself as an example - would you be happy to be forced to spend eternity with a God whom you (later in this post) admit you DO NOT want to follow?

You know, you really shouldn't be a preacher. Because the more I read from you, the worse your god seems to be. It seems almost every time we get in any sort of discussion you manage to actually make me even less willing to be christian than when I entered it.

I preach from time to time at the youth group associated with my church, but for the most part I don't need to be so blunt as I am with you.

That comparison doesn't hold much weight. For several reasons. First, if you dont make the team a trap door doesn't open beneath your feet dropping you into a rancor pit. Failure does not mean instant death and you always have the chance to try again. Second, you can be naturally gifted (chosen) or you can train really hard and get in the same position. And third everyone else isn't there just for the benefit of raising you up.

Perhaps that's analysing it a bit too much.

It was an analogy, I thought that was obvious. My point was that those who strive for something cannot appreciate it if they do not have an idea of what it means to fail.

Basically what youre saying is god created everyone else so the chosen can see how superior and how better they are than everyone else by comparison. Lovely.

Not the words I would use. It's not a matter of "better" and "superior", we're all sinners and equally guilty. What it does show is the "riches of gods glory", the mercy and the greatness of God. It's about God, not about us. Edited by Paranoid Android

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the problem of evil is predicated on the assumption that if God exists he desires that its creation spend life here on earth as happy and content as can be. That is an assumption that must be challenged, and cannot be verified by those who claim the problem exists.

I disagree with that although you may just be being hyperbolic, that is not what the problem of evil is at all predicated on: "its creation spending life here on earth as happy and content as can be". The assumption that must be challenged, given that natural evil/suffering-that-has-no-relation-to-the-expression-of-anyone's-free-will-choices exists, is that God is good (and/or that he exists at all). I have trouble thinking of any definition of 'good' that justifies the suffering that some people and pretty much all non-human animals have to go through. There really is not much arguing in my view that if God would not have created animal species who can only survive by killing and consuming other animals, it would have been an improvement for all values of 'good' that we humans understand. If this world was created by Satan I don't think anyone would have trouble calling out this natural evil suffering as indeed evil, and not just because of who created it.

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Exactly. And my point was that not everyone thinks an eternal life with God is good. If you don't like the "key words" I presented, then take yourself as an example - would you be happy to be forced to spend eternity with a God whom you (later in this post) admit you DO NOT want to follow?

No, I don't want to spend even five seconds with your god let alone eternity.

BUT that doesnt mean I don't want an afterlife and it certainly doesn't mean I want my soul destroyed.

I actually do believe in an afterlife, a 'heaven', but that afterlife doesn't involve spending an eternity with god. My idea of heaven involves doing things I like, being reunited with lost loved ones and the like. Which is why the christian options of a: eternity with god or b: destruction both sound completely abhorrent.

I preach from time to time at the youth group associated with my church, but for the most part I don't need to be so blunt as I am with you.

You dont need to be, they're already hooked. Poor things.

It was an analogy, I thought that was obvious. My point was that those who strive for something cannot appreciate it if they do not have an idea of what it means to fail.

Yes it was obvious. However when failure=death, how exactly is anyone supposed to appreciate it?

However, as you stated yourself earlier, the chosen don't have to work for anything do they? They're chosen. And the ones not chosen, regardless of how hard they work or how much they strive for it, never will.

Not the words I would use. It's not a matter of "better" and "superior", we're all sinners and equally guilty. What it does show is the "riches of gods glory", the mercy and the greatness of God. It's about God, not about us.

Of course they're not the words you'd use. Nonetheless, they are accurate. It's all about (as stated above) showing how much better it is for the chosen and the expense of those that are not.

Lets take you and me. You're chosen, I'm not. No matter what I do with my life I could not be seen as good in gods eyes as you are. By contrast no matter how much bad you do could bring you down to my level. For example, I could find the cure for cancer and you could go on a killing spree and you'd still be 'better' than I am by virtue of being chosen.

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It's about God, not about us.

So "god" is a narcissist?

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No, I don't want to spend even five seconds with your god let alone eternity.

BUT that doesnt mean I don't want an afterlife and it certainly doesn't mean I want my soul destroyed.

I actually do believe in an afterlife, a 'heaven', but that afterlife doesn't involve spending an eternity with god. My idea of heaven involves doing things I like, being reunited with lost loved ones and the like. Which is why the christian options of a: eternity with god or b: destruction both sound completely abhorrent.

And how does this point invalidate mine?

You dont need to be, they're already hooked. Poor things.

And where in my comments did you assume all those who attend this youth group are Christian...

Yes it was obvious. However when failure=death, how exactly is anyone supposed to appreciate it?

However, as you stated yourself earlier, the chosen don't have to work for anything do they? They're chosen. And the ones not chosen, regardless of how hard they work or how much they strive for it, never will.

But how do the chosen know they are chosen? And how do those who feel they are not chosen determine that they definitely not chosen?

You did not answer this in your response.

Of course they're not the words you'd use. Nonetheless, they are accurate. ..

No they are not. "superior" and "better" implies that one group is better than another. I know we disagree on pretty much everything, but please give me the courtesy of at least allowing me to believe that those who believe are just as worthy as those who do not.

It's all about (as stated above) showing how much better it is for the chosen and the expense of those that are not.

Lets take you and me. You're chosen, I'm not. No matter what I do with my life I could not be seen as good in gods eyes as you are. By contrast no matter how much bad you do could bring you down to my level. For example, I could find the cure for cancer and you could go on a killing spree and you'd still be 'better' than I am by virtue of being chosen.

How do you know you're not chosen?

And I argue against your premise. I believe I am chosen, but if I continue to do bad I may not actually be as chosen as I think. If I went on a killing spree my actions may indeed condemn me to the group to which Jesus points at and says "away from me, evildoer, I never knew you".

Being saved is not a coverall for doing wrong in the name of God. After a couple of years of discussion between us and you still do not realise this, I thought I was more thorough (either that or you seem to only focus on what you perceive as the negative).

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So "god" is a narcissist?

He is the Creator of all things. He deserves the credit for that. He is not necessarily "in love with himself", but he does demand that those who owe their very existence to him to acknowledge that.

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And how does this point invalidate mine?

Depends what the point is.

And where in my comments did you assume all those who attend this youth group are Christian...

How about the words 'associated with my church'.

But how do the chosen know they are chosen? And how do those who feel they are not chosen determine that they definitely not chosen?

You did not answer this in your response.

You tell me. After all, you're one of the priveledged chosen aren't you? I'm simply one of the lesser humans put there to show how special you are.

No they are not. "superior" and "better" implies that one group is better than another. I know we disagree on pretty much everything, but please give me the courtesy of at least allowing me to believe that those who believe are just as worthy as those who do not.

One group is chosen. One group is not. The chosen get an afterlife, the not chosen get exterminated and are only around to show the chosen how good they are. Now that, to me, speaks that the chosen is,by default, superior and better than the not chosen.

Why should I give you that courtesy?

How do you know you're not chosen?

I have not heard the 'call' of god. I've not sacrificed or shed my humanity and pledged my allegiance to a diety that's content with making others suffer and I never will. I'd no sooner submit to your god than any other kind of dictator.

And I argue against your premise. I believe I am chosen, but if I continue to do bad I may not actually be as chosen as I think. If I went on a killing spree my actions may indeed condemn me to the group to which Jesus points at and says "away from me, evildoer, I never knew you".

Being saved is not a coverall for doing wrong in the name of God. After a couple of years of discussion between us and you still do not realise this, I thought I was more thorough (either that or you seem to only focus on what you perceive as the negative).

Do you know something PA? I hear that a sort of talk a lot from people. And you know what? It seems to be a lie. If I had a penny for every time in the years of discussion a christian (or christian leaders) have done or signed off on something that harms others because 'god says so' I'd have a least a couple of thousand pounds by now, an that's just the ones Id have heard of. The point is rendered asolutely meaningless when christians can and still do evil and when even people like you will stand by and shrug it off because it's biblical and therefore magically allowable.

If jesus really says away from me' to all those chosen that do evil, the actually numbers of chosen would be cut dramatically. Because christians seem to have a degree of evil baked right in. Humanity means absolutely nothing to them, all that matters is what the bible says.

Being saved sure seems to be a coverall for doing wrong in the name of god in the physical world. But I guess that doesnt really matter too much does it? What''s the suffering of the non-chosen matter anyway?

However, my premise still stands on a key point. A person that is not chosen can't do enough to get into your gods good graces. A person could cure every disease, bring about world peace and end world hunger but if they're not chosen it means nothing in your god's eyes.

Edited by shadowhive
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He is the Creator of all things. He deserves the credit for that. He is not necessarily "in love with himself", but he does demand that those who owe their very existence to him to acknowledge that.

There is absolutely no proof that any god created this world.

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First, the concept of "free will" is up for debate.

Philosophically, yes. Theologically speaking, I think free will is a requirement.

Second, the concept of "natural evil" is actually quite succinctly explained by the same reasoning I posited earlier - what if the purpose for mankind on this earth is not happiness? the problem of evil is predicated on the assumption that if God exists he desires that its creation spend life here on earth as happy and content as can be. That is an assumption that must be challenged, and cannot be verified by those who claim the problem exists.

Happiness and contentment is not the opposite of natural evil. Natural evil is denoted as unnecessary pain, suffering and death. This has been around a lot longer than humans, which just exacerbates the problem.

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Depends what the point is.

It's already been made - not everyone wants an eternal life in heaven.

How about the words 'associated with my church'.

So only brainwashed Christians attend church.... right, so Christians are unable to invite their non-Christian friends to attend... I'll take that into consideration, though if that truly is your belief then I pity you.

You tell me. After all, you're one of the priveledged chosen aren't you? I'm simply one of the lesser humans put there to show how special you are.

1- While I believe I am among the chosen, what happens between now and death may change, and I may not be among the chosen, so your point is invalid.

2- I will not rise to the bait you are laying about the "lesser humans". I have not used those terms, and it is deceitful to use such a term to characterise what I clearly do not believe.

One group is chosen. One group is not. The chosen get an afterlife, the not chosen get exterminated and are only around to show the chosen how good they are. Now that, to me, speaks that the chosen is,by default, superior and better than the not chosen.

Why should I give you that courtesy?

Everyone are equal, regardless of where we may end up.

I have not heard the 'call' of god. I've not sacrificed or shed my humanity and pledged my allegiance to a diety that's content with making others suffer and I never will. I'd no sooner submit to your god than any other kind of dictator.

1- Not YET.

2- Assuming you never do, your words betray you and I do not expect you to request or desire an eternity with the God I believe in. Therefore, why do you demand that my belief on the afterlife be exactly the same as yours?

Do you know something PA? I hear that a sort of talk a lot from people. And you know what? It seems to be a lie. If I had a penny for every time in the years of discussion a christian (or christian leaders) have done or signed off on something that harms others because 'god says so' I'd have a least a couple of thousand pounds by now, an that's just the ones Id have heard of. The point is rendered asolutely meaningless when christians can and still do evil and when even people like you will stand by and shrug it off because it's biblical and therefore magically allowable.

If jesus really says away from me' to all those chosen that do evil, the actually numbers of chosen would be cut dramatically. Because christians seem to have a degree of evil baked right in. Humanity means absolutely nothing to them, all that matters is what the bible says.

Being saved sure seems to be a coverall for doing wrong in the name of god in the physical world. But I guess that doesnt really matter too much does it? What''s the suffering of the non-chosen matter anyway?

However, my premise still stands on a key point. A person that is not chosen can't do enough to get into your gods good graces. A person could cure every disease, bring about world peace and end world hunger but if they're not chosen it means nothing in your god's eyes.

Blah blah blah blah.....

And yes, I'm being dismissive. I've had enough discussions with you in the past to know that you understand me better than that. But still you choose to go there, so I'll be just as childish as you and go "blah blah blah"....

Edited by Paranoid Android

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However, those who are not called were created for the purpose of not being called, so it's not an unfair discrimination.

It is unfair IF he lays out a commandment telling everyone to follow him and only him.... How does one expect others to do that IF they never get called? Does this mean those who were never called to follow him, will never make it to heaven? IF so why would he ever do that to anyone, as they are not at fault, he was in control ? Why is it fair for the rest to spend eternity in darkness? ........Why make such a commandment for others to read and follow ? The bible commandments do not say, this is only aimed at a selected bunch...!

To not do so implies that the will of man can overthrow the will of God.

So those who were followers and later in life turned away from following god ( also known as atheists, and we know that many atheists were once followers ) God would have known how that went and why it did, before they ever did... God also knows those who were raised as atheists, and he knows exactly why...He knows people are not at fault So as he knows all of it before anyone else, why would he create them to do this?

If there really is a heaven and I believe so, then why would a god who classes himself as all loving ( which means all and not the selected bunch he calls on ) everyone is equal in his eyes, create those knowing he will never call on them... For eternity they are doomed, while those who were called upon, are not ..No logic involved with that sounds cruel to create people for a full purpose not to be called, which means not to follow him, which means their lives had no purpose.. Pointless creations, for no real reason.. Why bother with a judgement on to these people ? He knew it all beforehand

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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There is absolutely no proof that any god created this world.

I never said there was.... Your point?

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