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MrBene

If God exists...

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Posted (edited)

I searched using different tags trying to find a similar post/topic but I was not able to.

So, I was discussing today with a friend (a christian) about what happened in a city of my country where a building blown up and 10 people died, many of them students with long lives ahead.

Anyway, the point is, if God exists, why does he allow suffering? why does he allow bad government and bad people ruling the world? why does he allow good people dying and bad people are still alive?

Perhaps it doesn't make much sense to you but for me, sometimes when these things happen (a friend of mine lost her 1 year old son last year) I always wonder why do we believe the things we believe if at any moment good and innocent people die. I am not saying that humans are not responsible, they are, but still, if we're ruled by a superior entity that sees everything and make stuff happen, then why innocent people die in unfair circunstamces?

I would like to read believer's opinion.

Edited by MrBene

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He's terrible at playing Sims: Universe.

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this topic is done at least a few times a month i think. i think that life is a blip of time compared to the after life, so to say why do people die, is to view that experience ends when life does. so good people dieing in a world that we complain about, while bad people have to endure it. with the student thing we need combustion to keep us warm i.e fires, surely its that the upkeep of the building wasnt maintained properly, that was the problem rather than god causing it.

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I have no direct knowledge, only opinions.

My thoughts are that there are "higher dimensions" that we are not commonly aware of. Just an opinion.

Within these so-called higher dimensions might be life-forms much different than human. Again, just an opinion.

"Suffering" might be considered subjective, as we all know that suffering often leads to "learning to now not touch the hot stove, etc.."

In that context, "suffering" is a good thing at times. Other times it can certainly kill.

Yet, I struggle with issues of religion and human suffering on very high scales, such as deformities, cancer, etc...

As such I have no answers. I guess the Bible and other renowned scriptures speak of our world(our dimension) as being inundated with "evil" spirits. I have ZERO idea if that is the source of suffering, but there is a presumption in some circles that it plays a role.

I would like to think that when I die such mysteries will be revealed, rather than an eternal darkness like with the squishing of an ant.

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The issue is called "theodicy" in theology and philosophy: If God is good, why does God allow evil (suffering, pain, etc.). There is no easy or obvious answer. Many traditions state that God created humans with free will which, when abused, leads to evil. This begs the question of why an omniscient God would create "free will" because of its obvious negative consequences. Others find haven in the category of "mystery." Some, embracing "mystery," purport that the undeserved suffering of Jesus on the cross redeems whatever evil we encounter in this life. Another old-time explanation, of course, is that suffering in this life is redeemed or rewarded in the afterlife ("pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by"). As this was employed to justify American slavery, I personally detest it.

There are may other popular and profound theories, but these are some of them.

My own opinion is that suffering and evil are part of our entitlement as humans, and Jesus (by going to the cross) indicated there are no depths of degradation and debasement which we can undergo that he hasn't already experienced. That's just my opinion.

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I think DecoNoir gave us a very simple answer. We have no reason to assume that God is good and moral.

Actually, we can assume that the Christian Bible is a one-sided propaganda if it was really formed under divine intervention.

Or, like I suspect, it's just a form of simulation with virtually no intervention.

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The issue is called "theodicy" in theology and philosophy: If God is good, why does God allow evil (suffering, pain, etc.).

Theodicy predates Christianity. The Hebrews wrestled with this problem, see Job and Ecclesiastes. The pagan Greek Epicurus posed the problem thus;

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?

Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing.

Then ---Whence Cometh Evil?---

Is he neither able nor willing?

Then why call him God?"

My own opinion is that suffering and evil are part of our entitlement as humans

That addresses the problem of moral evil, humans as moral agents. The larger problem I think is the evidential problem of natural evil; carnivores, ebola virus, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.

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Posted (edited)

It's not an easy question to answer. But at the end of the day I think that suffering is a necessary part of human existence (without suffering we cannot appreciate what we have). And sure, some people cop it worse than others. I don't know why one person suffers greater than another. But the existence of such suffering poses no problem in my belief in God. It's just part of life.

Ultimately our happiness on earth is somewhat meaningless. To paraphrase, what good is there in attaining everything in this world but not attaining eternal life? So don't fret if you're suffering. Be content whether suffering or not, though that is most definitely easier said than done.

And now that's said, I'm done. Hope it's helpful :)

Edited by Paranoid Android

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I searched using different tags trying to find a similar post/topic but I was not able to.

Wrong-o. This is an old stalwart topic, addressed in this forum many times and in practically every atheist/theist debate you can find.

And why pick your explosion? Take 9-11. Take the Holocaust. Take the Turkish genocide of the Armenians. Take the genocide of the Afghan buddhists. Take Pol Pot.

Theists have found their excuses, and atheists keep pointing to the absurdity of the benevolent personal god concept.

I came up with that already in second grade.

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I came up with that already in second grade.

I wasn't a believer in second grade. I didn't grow up in a Christian home. I turned to Christ as an adult studying at university.

It's funny how people take different paths to their world views.

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I wasn't a believer in second grade. I didn't grow up in a Christian home. I turned to Christ as an adult studying at university.

It's funny how people take different paths to their world views.

I wasn´t a believer then either. But I was curious, as I am now. It is funny how people use their intellect, or chose not to.

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I wasn´t a believer then either. But I was curious, as I am now. It is funny how people use their intellect, or chose not to.

Was that a well placed jab or an attempt at a punchline?

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I wasn´t a believer then either. But I was curious, as I am now. It is funny how people use their intellect, or chose not to.

Ah, are you attempting to not-so-subtly imply that while studying at university I "chose not to use my intellect" and convert. Suffice it to say my choice has worked well for me. Good day, I won't disrespect you by insulting the non-belief you hold to be true.

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Posted (edited)

It's not an easy question to answer. But at the end of the day I think that suffering is a necessary part of human existence (without suffering we cannot appreciate what we have). And sure, some people cop it worse than others. I don't know why one person suffers greater than another. But the existence of such suffering poses no problem in my belief in God. It's just part of life.

Ultimately our happiness on earth is somewhat meaningless. To paraphrase, what good is there in attaining everything in this world but not attaining eternal life? So don't fret if you're suffering. Be content whether suffering or not, though that is most definitely easier said than done.

And now that's said, I'm done. Hope it's helpful :)

One could also say that what's the point of eternal life if the current life we're living is meaningless. And there's no assurance that the next life would be better. The trick would be, I think, to make the present, what we have now, what we KNOW we have, worthwhile & joyful. I don't expect eternal life, nor particularly want it, either. I am content with life on this planet, being in the here & now, After all, if one believes in a god, s/he put us here, surely for a purpose. It's up to each of us to discover that purpose; it is my belief that we aren't here to suffer, but to celebrate, to savor, to dance, sing, tell jokes, sit our children on our laps, tend our gardens, to find the divine in everything we do and every where we go. If we do that, then how is it possible to suffer?

Edited by Beany

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Ah, are you attempting to not-so-subtly imply that while studying at university I "chose not to use my intellect" and convert.

I am not talking about you. I am not into name-calling. I am stating as a general principle that joining a cult is not a rational decision.

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I am not talking about you. I am not into name-calling. I am stating as a general principle that joining a cult is not a rational decision.

Zaphod, I'm going to suggest right now you choose your words carefully. The last thing this thread needs is a flame war, and your wording is pushing it.

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Zaphod, I'm going to suggest right now you choose your words carefully. The last thing this thread needs is a flame war, and your wording is pushing it.

I am not interested in flame wars, and I see nothing wrong with my wording.

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I am not talking about you. I am not into name-calling. I am stating as a general principle that joining a cult is not a rational decision.

Could you then elaborate on your meaning if you weren't referring to me? You don't believe, I turned to belief as a 19-year old. I then said it's funny how we arrive at our belief systems differently (early on you weren't a believer and continue to not believe, I was a non-believer who converted). In reply you choose to use the exact words that I did - "it's funny how...." -but altered it to people who choose or choose not to use their intellect. Then you say that you aren't taking about me before making a statement about joining cults and rationality. To whom are you referring if not to me (or at least people like me who have chosen to believe in a personal God).
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To me it is simple, and works with or without god or a belief in god. Humans have free will. Using free will, we are able to learn, evolve and improve our selves and our race. Free will gives us the knowledge of choices/consequences and the ability to make choices and accept their consequences. It allows humans to be creative and destructive. To create, to encourage joy, love, harmony; or anger, hate, despair etc.

it is all down to us. EVERY single human being has the innate capacity to be one or the other.

A force for good, peace, joy and creativity; or for hate, lust, anger and despair. That is the beauty, the power and the responsibilty, of being human. Be it natural selection/evolution or the influence of god, humans have the POTENTIAL to be gods them selves, to alter the universe and them selves, fundamentally.

I believe we wil survive, grow, and evolve into a race of beings who demonstrate the right and potential to take our place in the universe with other, wise and long lived species,, who also survived the testing times of evolutionary adolescence.

I am an optimist but also I am such a person my self, and i live my life by such precepts, so i know any human being can chose the path to growth, development and enlightenment.

That is what being human means, whether god made us this way, or we evolved.

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funny how the ark of the covenant gets missed in these topics....

in essence the ark is a contract... a contract of non interference..

in the biblical passages there is the story of noah....

not that i put any validity to the story itself, i see it used as a descriptive tool to describe what is meant by the agreement...

an agreement of non interference places all that is good and evil (or whatever) squarely in our own actions and results thereof....

so the aspect of bad people being celebrated and good people having bad things happen to them are our own doing...

with the aspect of tragedies, this gets into another whole realm that has nothing to do with any agreement between any human and deity...

but it can be broken down into subcategories....

the actions of a person or group of people on another group of people....

accidents....

plain and simple....

from the aspect of accidents.... there is a lot of pain and anger.... natural...

but to blame it on some kind of deity is pointless....

in the aspect of tragedies inflicted upon many by a person or persons....

at some point (actually many points) this could have been stopped or changed....

but the inactions of the masses allows them to take place...

and back to the ark of the covenant.... and the non interference agreement....

history is full of examples....

however you chose to see them is up to you...

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this illustrates what i mean....

what we chose to act on vs what we chose to ignore....

acts of "evil" can be stopped or changed if people did something about it...

if the test was not a test...

then all that partake, are as guilty of allowing "evil" to happen...

brings up the only valid question....

"what can i do?"

it all boils down to changing the way we think....

http://www.upworthy.com/its-heartbreaking-to-see-how-people-react-to-the-first-half-of-his-test-compared-to-the-second-2?c=ufb1

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Suffering exists to teach the soul about the physical universe. Separation to develop a sense of self, and physical pain to imprint or encode memories of the parameters of the physical body. I think suffering has more to do with quantum physics and the holographic nature of the Universe than any ephemeral feelings. The more emotional the experience the more powerful and longer lasting the memory it creates. Cutters, self flagellators, those guys in Malaysia who stick swords and pieces of metal through their cheeks, the Filipinos who have themselves nailed up on crosses, and the American Indians who have the flesh of their chests and backs pierced and then hung on hooks up in the air are all being controlled by the soul in order to gather information on the nature of the 3 dimensional + 1 time universe. Like computer code. The soul comes from a place where absolutely nothing exists without it first being thought of, and before it can be thought of it has to be learned or imprinted on the soul so that one day it will be able to use this information to create it's own reality. Who wants to exist in nothingness for eternity?

Physical suffering imprints the parameters of the body on the soul. It teaches the soul what it means and how it feels to be inside or inhabit a body.

Those guys in the middle ages who self flagelllated themselves were being directed by the soul to hurt themselves so that they could be imprinted with the parameters of the body. Like computer code. Cutters, people who hang themselves from hooks, tattoos, body piercing, those guys in Malaysia who stick metal through their gums and skin, are all being used by the soul to learn about the body.

The more emotional and painful the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates. The soul uses the body to learn about the physical universe and then when it's finished it casts it off like an old suit of clothes.

Sometimes life doesn't offer us a choice. No one chooses to be burnt, or get a paper cut, or to be bitten by a mosquito and have to scratch, or poison Ivy, or any of a myriad of other unpleasant experiences, but suffering and pain seem to be inherent and inescapable experiences of the physical Universe.

It doesn't matter to the soul whether the experience is positive or negative. All that matters is that it experiences the physical universe, and lots and lots of it. And as far as it being hot or just warm, or freezing cold or just pleasantly cool, it's just a matter of degree. The soul just has to store up enough information to last for eternity.

Life's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and the soul learns holistically whether we want it to or not. We don't have to do jack squat for the soul to learn what it needs to learn. Yes, God is that smart.

There is knowing something and then there is knowing something. For instance, sex. I knew about sex when I was in the fifth grade. I knew a lot about it since I had read the book The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck when I was in the fourth grade. But, knowing what sex is, is way different than having actually made love to another person and actually doing it. The feeling, the emotion, the smell, the sounds, the touch, etc. Those are things you can't capture in a book or even on a DVD. Even just watching somebody else experience it is not the same. You have to participate in it to truly understand it.

There are a myriad of experiences in life that are like that. Tastes, smells, feelings, emotions, touch, sight, sounds, etc. What it feels like to jump into a wave and ride it into shore, what it feels like to ride a bike real fast over a small hump in the road, that feeling in the pit of your stomach, etc.

How do you capture what a green olive tastes like on paper? You can see someone on TV eat an olive but you in no way shape or form know what an olive tastes like until you actually put one in your mouth and bite into it. How do you describe the color red? What a flower smells like? What it feels like to have the Sun warm you? When you say we KNOW something, that is way different than actually experiencing it for yourself. I used to read the encyclopedia when I was a kid, and I learned a lot from it, but reading about something and actually experiencing it for yourself are two entirely different things and the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

Edited by Artaxerxes

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Those guys in the middle ages who self flagelllated themselves were being directed by the soul to hurt themselves so that they could be imprinted with the parameters of the body.

They did it because they didn't want to die from the plague. Seen it many times on the history channel.

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To me it is simple, and works with or without god or a belief in god. Humans have free will. Using free will, we are able to learn, evolve and improve our selves and our race. Free will gives us the knowledge of choices/consequences and the ability to make choices and accept their consequences. It allows humans to be creative and destructive. To create, to encourage joy, love, harmony; or anger, hate, despair etc.

it is all down to us. EVERY single human being has the innate capacity to be one or the other.

A force for good, peace, joy and creativity; or for hate, lust, anger and despair. That is the beauty, the power and the responsibilty, of being human. Be it natural selection/evolution or the influence of god, humans have the POTENTIAL to be gods them selves, to alter the universe and them selves, fundamentally.

I believe we wil survive, grow, and evolve into a race of beings who demonstrate the right and potential to take our place in the universe with other, wise and long lived species,, who also survived the testing times of evolutionary adolescence.

I am an optimist but also I am such a person my self, and i live my life by such precepts, so i know any human being can chose the path to growth, development and enlightenment.

That is what being human means, whether god made us this way, or we evolved.

I agree with your statement, well said !! with the exception of evolved. Given the mathematical complexity of our very existence in this universe, I don't see evolution as being proof of removing God. What is the difference of God putting into motion the creation of the earth over billions of years (what a patient guy) and man eventually evolving from goo ? I'm sure he blinked his eyes while evolution took place, why would evolution be a show stopper for no God, I get lost at this point. - Probably off topic though :)

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If this "god" exists, then it seems he/she/it/? not only allows suffering, but actively participates in it. Exodus, and this is what it says

"This is what the LORD says: 'About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again"

Note that it is "God" himself who commits these murders, not some psycopathic murderer doing "The will of God". Condemned from his own mouth as a killer of "biblical" proportions.

But then a religion based on the painful death of a man, and with it's identifying symbol being a sadistic death, is hardly going to be averse to pain and suffering. Seems more like a death cult than a religion to me, particulary if suffering is deemed necessary for us. Oooops, there's my "agenda" showing again.

Edited by Tutankhaten-pasheri

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