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Featured Problem of evil, is this a satisfying answer?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Nimos, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    So all the painful surgeries that people undergo is because doctors enjoy watching their patients suffer? o_O

    A parent who allows their child to undergo such surgery is also to blame because all suffering is without merit in any shape or form? :shrug:

    Can you understand why we suffer pain at all? It is an early warning that something is wrong. We ignore it at our peril. Without pain, nothing would be investigated or corrected.

    There is 'no problem of evil' as long as the cause of suffering is exposed and dealt with....not just a band-aid fix, but with a view to permanent solutions.

    God is allowing suffering because humans thought that they could live their lives quite well without God telling them what to do. He stepped out of the picture and allowed them to experience the full consequences of their independent choices. If he stepped in and made the pain and suffering go away...the impact of the lesson would be lost. This will set precedents for all time to come, so that no man or angel will ever question God's sovereignty again.....the long range view is the only one that explains it all. People tend to be selfish and very short sighted.

    God also has the ability to erase all memory of the pain we have have all been through in this life....bad memories of the past will not hang around to ruin the future.

    God's promise through his prophet Isaiah was...
    "For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth;
    And the former things will not be called to mind,
    Nor will they come up into the heart."
    (Isaiah 65:17)

    This is the future for planet earth and we are at this moment deciding our own destiny by the choices we make.
    That is how I see things.
     
  2. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Consider that I have said: unnecessary suffering. Making your children undergo a surgery to save their lives is not of the unnecessary kind.

    This is correct but it doesn't explain why something has to be wrong in the first place. In other words, if there is nothing wrong there is no need for pain and omnipotence can make it so there is nothing wrong ever.

    The problem of evil stands true even if just one person suffered for just one second and no one else did at any other time. That exact moment in time would posit a logical contradicton. This is why I keep saying that referring to suffering as temporary doesn't solve the problem of evil.

    Why does God need to make humans undergo suffering, or at least enable it, to teach humans a lesson ? An omnipotent being can teach anything by snapping its "fingers". To say that such is not possible is to put a limitation on omnipotence, which is contradictory. You have to give up on omnipotence if you want to give this answer. Which is completely alright, by the way.
     
  3. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Because pain is an early warning signal that something is wrong....without pain, (and its resultant suffering) nothing would be corrected.
    Free willed beings would not be free willed if they had no choices. Pain is necessary to alert us to the fact that its cause needs fixing. Name me things that cause pain and suffering in this world that doesn't need fixing...then tell me how good humans are at doing it on a long term basis. All we do is create more problems that cause us more pain. Humans are proving more and more that they are lousy managers of their own affairs and even worse stewards of this planet. (Revelation 11:18)

    The issues raised in Eden had to be addressed because the rebellion against God came from outside the human race....humans were basically the hostages in the Edenic scenario. Yet they came to view their 'kidnapper' as their god and ruler. By going against their Creator's laws, they thought that they could do better by making their own decisions....so how is that working out for the human race thus far? Has all this time made us wiser? More compassionate? Able to use knowledge to benefit all of mankind, or only the rich? Aren't we living in a "dog eat dog" world where the powerful prey on the weak? What have we learned through God's permission of this object lesson? We are not as smart as we think we are.

    You obviously do not see the big picture. There is a reason why there is so much suffering in the world...God has caused none of it. This is all our own work. What God offered in the beginning was the exact opposite of what we have experienced since creation. Humans chose their independent course because someone suggested that God had lied to them and was withholding knowledge that would be of benefit to them, making them "like God"....was any of that true? God allowed them to see first hand whether that was true and where their choices would take them. If their way was right, then they would have every right to rebel against such a God.....but if they were proven to be in error, then everything God says is beneficial and we should respect his commands as a loving provision from him...not just something to restrict their freedom. You have the same choices as everyone else.

    If he snapped his fingers, then we would not have free will. He did not create us to be robotic, but to use our God-given abilities and qualities to choose to be the kind of humans that God wants to populate his earth.

    Free will is a precious gift but if it is abused, it becomes a real curse. It is the abuse of free will that is at the very base of all 'unnecessary' human suffering. When one person's will is used to rob someone else of theirs, then we have a recipe for conflict. All human conflict ends in pain and suffering, which is seen in all its glory when nations go to war. Every inhuman quality is brought to the fore through hatred and all manner of evil actions that are somehow justified in the process.

    We are demonstrating what kind of people we are every day of our lives. Calling ourselves "Christians" and then rejecting all of Christ's teachings in order to put patriotism before obedience to God is what we see when religion supports nationalism. God is not interested in pathetic human squabbles over which part of the earth belongs to them.....It creates jealousy and envy and a need to take what does not belong to them.....to exercise power over others to get what they want. Are we learning anything from our history...or are we just doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes in different generations?

    Take a step back and see the big picture...it is leading us to the conclusion that the Bible says is the final outworking of God's first purpose....to have this planet populated by those who will obey their Creator, respect his sovereignty, and to live in peace with one another. Those who will be citizens of God's incoming Kingdom are already doing this.

    There is no mystery about any of it because I believe that God's word has explained it all.
     
  4. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    "God is allowing suffering because humans thought that they could live their lives quite well without God telling them what to do. He stepped out of the picture and allowed them to experience the full consequences of their independent choices."

    My God that's asinine. Look at the suffering of innocents..

    Isaiah 65:13-15: “My Servants will Eat, But You will go Hungry.”

    Verses 13-15 predict famine and drought for the wicked people of Israel.

    Though the Jewish Christians who fled to Pella escaped the tribulation and sorrows of war, their non-Christian brethren did not.

    One has to wonder who wrote Isaiah.. Judah hated the people of Israel. Jesus had spent his whole ministry preaching in the north around Galilee and the Decapolis. The Hellenized Jews were more receptive to him.
     
  5. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I am always amazed when people can call God "stupid"....as if he is not in complete control of his actions and where they will accomplish his will in the future.

    Its called "reaping what you sow"......something that God allows to take place for the purpose of teaching us about consequences. What have we learned?

    As is often the case, people will pluck a scripture out of context and make it sound sinister.....read all the verses before the one you quoted. God tells us why he found no pleasure in what Israel was doing.

    V 12..."So I will destine you for the sword,
    And all of you will bow down to be slaughtered,
    Because I called, but you did not answer,
    I spoke, but you did not listen;
    You kept doing what was bad in my eyes,
    And you chose what displeased me.”


    Then he contrasted those with the ones who did want to please God....
    "Look! My servants will eat, but you will go hungry.

    Look! My servants will drink, but you will go thirsty.
    Look! My servants will rejoice, but you will suffer shame.

    14 Look! My servants will shout joyfully because of the good condition of the heart,
    But you will cry out because of the pain of heart
    And you will wail because of a broken spirit.
    For the former distresses will be forgotten;
    They will be concealed from my eyes.

    For those who were eager to please their God, he gave them a glimpse into the future.....

    17 For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth;
    And the former things will not be called to mind,
    Nor will they come up into the heart."


    God has the ability to erase any painful memory of the past.....a new earth will give redeemed mankind a wonderful home for all time to come...as Isaiah continues....

    "No more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or a cry of distress.”

    20 “No more will there be an infant from that place who lives but a few days,
    Nor an old man who fails to live out his days.

    For anyone who dies at a hundred will be considered a mere boy,
    And the sinner will be cursed, even though he is a hundred years of age.

    21 They will build houses and live in them,
    And they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage.

    22 They will not build for someone else to inhabit,
    Nor will they plant for others to eat.

    For the days of my people will be like the days of a tree,
    And the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full.

    23 They will not toil for nothing,
    Nor will they bear children for distress,
    Because they are the offspring made up of those blessed by Jehovah,
    And their descendants with them."


    Isaiah 65 is a chapter that brings hope to those who are obedient in spite of trials. It tells of the life to come....right here on earth.

    They had exactly the same opportunities to listen to Jesus' teachings as the Christians did.....they listened to the wrong people and suffered the consequences. Many of the Jews were caught up in the rebellion against Rome and others were influenced by the religious leaders not to believe a word Jesus said.....it was their choice. Jesus never forced himself on anyone.

    You have to wonder who wrote Isaiah? o_O Seriously....do you have to wonder who wrote any of the Bible? It is either inspired of God and a work produced by him...or it isn't. If you choose to question some parts and not others, then I'd like to know what criteria you use to dismiss the parts that you don't like?

    Either the whole Bible is true and accurate...or none of it is......Your propensity to believe those who want to pick and choose shows how little faith you have in God's ability to create and preserve his own word. What kind of inept god do you worship? :shrug:
     
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  6. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    For the sake of this conversation I will consider that the events in Eden have actually transpired. Why did the rebellion have to be addressed in this specific way that entailed suffering ?

    Even if God didn't cause it, he allowed it to exist. I maintain this is incompatible with an omnibenevolent/omnipotent being.

    To what extent is the limitation in our capacity to harm others a threat to the concept of free will ?

    In essence, you are saying that if you couldn't do evil we wouldn't have free will, right ?

    So, how much and what kind of harm do you have to be able to do to have free will ? What is the bare minimum to qualify as free will ? Now, with that answered, why is it possible to deal more harm than that ? I am asking because different people have different physical limitations on how much harm they can do. How do you reconcile this ? Perhaps an example is due: do quadriplegic people have free will ?

    Second, why does it have to be a dichotomy between being able to do evil and being a robot ? I don't see why other alternatives are unviable.

    Third, why does free will justify suffering ? People who propose free will as the answer generally don't explain why it is qualitatively better to have it than not.
     
  7. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    It's not a false accusation.

    Obviously the moral question is in context of a god that would force someone to go through 5 years of suffering, while he can choose not to do so.

    You'ld have to practically do it on purpose to misunderstand the question you were asked.

    Not the argument.


    Not the argument.

    Almost the argument.
    The actual argument: a god who is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, would prevent evil / suffering from occuring. "omnibenevolent" means that one will do everything in his power to prevent evil / suffering. "omnipotent" means that everything is within one's power.

    It seems to me that an omnipotent/omnibenevolent can't exist in the same universe as where evil and suffering is allowed to occur pretty much non-stop.


    There's nothing "self serving" about pointing out inconsistencies and self-contradictory stuff in claims.


    Great, but the question you were asked was not that. The question you were asked was:

    What would be more evil (or "less good" if you prefer):
    - To just provide eternal bliss
    or
    - to first force someone through 5 years of unnecessary extreme agony and only after that provide eternal bliss.
     
  8. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Evil and good exists in everyone of us. What we show is up to us.

    The Fight of Two Wolves Within You

    One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

    The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

    The one you feed will win.


     
  9. Road Warrior

    Road Warrior Seeking the middle path..

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    Disagreed. By leading with a false accusation, you've nullified the rest of your post. Good luck!
     
  10. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    Nope. Again, it's not a false accusation. And now I'll demonstrate how it isn't.

    Here's my post that kick started it, which was in context of omnibenevolence / omnipotency and allowing unecessary suffering:

    So, 5 years of unecessary suffering then.

    What is more evil?
    5 years of pain followed by eternal bliss
    or
    eternal bliss.


    I asked you wich of both is more evil.
    You replied with "neither" and added following quote:

    Pain ≠ Evil

    This, as if my question was merely about the presence / existance of pain. While it obviously was about God forcing someone to endure pain.

    So you weasled out of answering the actual question, by pretending the question was about something else. By playing dumb. It was very obvious from context what the question actually was.

    To top it off, when I then rephrased my question so that it didn't leave any room for such dishonest tactics, you then dodged answering it by "complaining" about "false accusations" followed by a bunch of strawmen that had nothing to do with the question.





    I can only conclude that you went that way, because you don't want to answer the question, because the (obvious) answer leads to a conclusion that is not to your liking.

    I'll answer for you then, since it's so super easy.

    To force someone, a child even of all things, to go through 5 years of suffering before providing an eternity of bliss is "more evil" or "less good" then simply providing an eternity of bliss without first forcing the 5 years of suffering.

    This leads to the obvious conclusion:
    An omnipotent (all powerfull) entity that is also omnibenevolent (maximally good), would NEVER go for the "more evil" or the "less good" option.

    Sooo........................

    In a universe where 5 year olds die after 5 years of suffering from leukemia, one of these must be correct:
    - a god exists that is not all-powerfull (= couldn't help the kid but he wanted to)
    - a god exists that is not omnibenevolent (= could have helped the kid, but didn't care to)
    - a god exists that is neither all-powerfull or omnibenevolent (= couldn't help if he wanted to but didn't care to anyway)
    - no god exists

    It also rules out the following:
    - a god exists that is all powerfull AND omnibenevolent


    For the simple reason that an all-powerfull, omni-benevolent god would prevent preventable suffering.





    You may return to your usual excuse-making.
     
  11. Road Warrior

    Road Warrior Seeking the middle path..

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    Disagreed, but I'm content to let others decide for themselves.
    Best of luck. Let me know when you care to have a discussion that doesn't involve personal attacks and false accusations.
     
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