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Featured Should God have created a world without suffering?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Trailblazer, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Good thing that is not what my religion claims then... You best knock on the Christian door, not the Baha'i door.

    “Be fair to yourselves and to others, that the evidences of justice may be revealed, through your deeds, among Our faithful servants. Beware lest ye encroach upon the substance of your neighbor. Prove yourselves worthy of his trust and confidence in you, and withhold not from the poor the gifts which the grace of God hath bestowed upon you. He, verily, shall recompense the charitable, and doubly repay them for what they have bestowed. No God is there but Him. All creation and its empire are His. He bestoweth His gifts on whom He will, and from whom He will He withholdeth them. He is the Great Giver, the Most Generous, the Benevolent.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 278
     
  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    No, I do not praise God as often as I should....

    I meant that God is not responsible (accountable) to humans what what He does. God is responsible for creating, ruling and maintaining all of existence.

    “Baha’is believe in an almighty creator who has fashioned the universe and has made man in his own image; they believe in a non-created cause of all existence, in a single God. The word ‘God’ is a symbol for that transcendent reality by which all existence is ruled and maintained. What we call God is not, as the critics of the concept of God believe, a product of human imagination, a creation of the mind, a fanciful invention which has no reality, or a reflection of particular social and economic circumstances.”
    (Udo Schafer, the light that shineth in the darkness, p. 19)

    God is apart from and immeasurably exalted above all created things and exercises undisputed sovereignty over the world of being and that is why God is not accountable to anyone.

    “Regard thou the one true God as One Who is apart from, and immeasurably exalted above, all created things. The whole universe reflecteth His glory, while He is Himself independent of, and transcendeth His creatures. This is the true meaning of Divine unity. He Who is the Eternal Truth is the one Power Who exerciseth undisputed sovereignty over the world of being, Whose image is reflected in the mirror of the entire creation. All existence is dependent upon Him, and from Him is derived the source of the sustenance of all things. This is what is meant by Divine unity; this is its fundamental principle.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 167


    With sovereignty, God is not accountable to humans for anything he does or does not do.

    I would take note of this post, posted by an atheist who has great logical abilities: #36 Revoltingest
    You cannot know what God thinks or feels or what God cares about from looking at what happens in the world. Whenever people criticize God for what they believe He doesn't do to stop suffering from natural disasters that is just an ego projection. God is nt responsible to stop Tsunamis or anything else and that is what I meant when I said God is not responsible.

    "creating a world where 200.000 people were killed by the tsunami" -- God created a world where such things are possible but God did not cause the tsunami.

    Whenever you compare a human such as yourself or any other human to God that is the fallacy of false equivalence because God is not a human so God is not accountable for anything He does or does not do. God exercises undisputed sovereignty over the world of being,

    False equivalence is a logical fallacy in which an equivalence is drawn between two subjects based on flawed or false reasoning. This fallacy is categorized as a fallacy of inconsistency.[1] A colloquial expression of false equivalency is "comparing apples and oranges".

    This fallacy is committed when one shared trait between two subjects is assumed to show equivalence, especially in order of magnitude, when equivalence is not necessarily the logical result.[2] False equivalence is a common result when an anecdotal similarity is pointed out as equal, but the claim of equivalence doesn't bear scrutiny because the similarity is based on oversimplification or ignorance of additional factors.
    False equivalence - Wikipedia
    You cannot encapsulate God with logic, as God is infinite so operates outside of human logic.
    God is not subject to moral behavior because God is not a human being. The way we know that God is benevolent is from scriptures, which is the only way we can ever know anything about God.
    You can "say" whatever you want to say, what I believe is another matter. This thread was just an exercise to see what people think about what God and whether people think that God should have created a world without suffering or not.
     
    #222 Trailblazer, Jul 29, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I said:
    Moreover, there is no way for humans to know if God could have achieved the same ends without the potential for suffering because we are not all-knowing as God is.

    What I said was based upon logic. Humans cannot know what God could have done because humans are not all-knowing. How is that a definitive statement about God's nature? Why is that arrogant?
    It is not logical to say that God can change His nature. Why would God want to change His nature? God is what God is. God is perfect. Of course that is a religious belief but it is also logical.

    Nothing and nobody is more powerful than God but God being all-powerful does not mean God can do anything, it means God has all power to do anything that is within His nature to do. God cannot become a man because than God would no longer be God because God is not a man. God cannot be wrong because infallibility is an immutable attribute of God. God cannot become malevolent because benevolence is an immutable attribute of God. God cannot be less than all-powerful or less than all-knowing because those are immutable attributes of God.
    The Bible was written by humans but it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. The scriptures of my religion were penned in the hand of a Messenger of God so it is the direct Word of God through Baha'u'llah. Anything in any scriptures is more accurate than anything people imagine about God because scriptures are the only way to know anything about God. That is my position, you can accept it or reject it.
    You can declare anything you want to but you cannot become God.
    I do not assume it, I get it from scripture, not just the Bible but also the Writings of Baha'u'llah. The only way humans can ever know anything about God is through what the Messengers of God reveal about God. Anything else is based upon sheer imagination. What's the point?

    It is also logical that if God created humans God would want what is best for humans. If God was malevolent God could wipe us all out in a heartbeat since God is omnipotent. Instead, God leaves us alone for the most part, except when He sends Messengers, which is a benevolent act.
    That is a logical possibility since there is no actual proof that God exists or that God is omniscient and omnipotent, and if that is the case what is the point of discussing God and what God should have done? A nonexistent entity cannot "do" anything.
     
  4. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    Ok, so your religion does not claim that God is maximally benevolent? If that is the case, then I acknowledge ignorance. And my case being not applicable to your morally sub-standard God.

    But in that case, why do you feel the need to rationalise? Why not simply say: God is not the most benevolent being there could be, and therefore some not-so-benevolent things can happen.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  5. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, maybe I didn’t understand it correctly, but I didn’t find there an explanation why everyone could not overcome it.
     
  6. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    God is not morally sub-standard just because He does not live up to your expectations of what a God should do.
    God IS the most benevolent being there ever could be.
    Things that happen that might not seem to be benevolent to you but you do not determine what is a benevolent action.
     
  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    And I didn’t find an explanation why everyone could overcome it.
     
  8. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    Well, let me rephrase then: is your God maximally benevolent, or not?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  9. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    God is maximally benevolent because nobody can be more benevolent than God.
     
  10. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    Ergo, my critique is not only applicable to the Christian God. But to your God too.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
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  11. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    We're both saying things about God on the basis of logic. The difference is that when I say something you disagree with, you dismiss it out of hand on the basis that "humans can't know everything about God". You don't apply the same limitation to your own statements.

    "Humans cannot know what God could have done because humans are not all-knowing." :cool:

    You're still ignoring my question. What are you saying exists that has the power to prevent God from changing his nature? If God has all power, what else could have the power to prevent him from doing literally anything? This isn't about choice or rationality, only about the pure ability to do so.

    That's a circular argument since you only have the scriptures themselves to tell you they were inspired by God. Regardless, even if we accept that, they're still going through the lens of flawed humans and therefore the result would inevitably be flawed. Again, it falls back to your statement that we can't know everything about God because we're not all-knowing.

    I can explain why I reject it too. You can flip-flop between from logic to faith when logic doesn't work for what you want to believe.

    Not necessarily. It is perfectly possible to create something and use it for your own benefit rather than the creations (we do it all the time). A god could create life for his own benefit (whatever that might be).

    You started the thread. What is the point?

    If this was just about individual personal beliefs and opinions it wouldn't matter. The issue is that these beliefs are built up in to religions and those religions are used as reasons and tools to influence and control people. Rules, laws and consequences are imposed as a result. And when people make statements along the lines of "What I believe is unquestionably true and nobody else can counter it" that obviously opens the door for potentially anything.
     
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  12. AppieB

    AppieB Member

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    I'll start with this quote:
    Well, if you rule out (human) logic, then the conversation is over. Neither me nor you can say anything meaningful about God. What is left are illogical statements and wild assumptions, which can be disregarded off the bat. There is no argument and no reason to accept anything you say.

    Unless maybe you can proof God exists. But how are you going to do that without using logic and reason?

    Nonetheless, I still have a few questions:
    He didn't cause the tsunami directly, but he could have created a world where 200.000 people were killed instead of 230.000 people. Right?
    If so, why didn't he create this world with less suffering? Does God care about human suffering? Does God act with empathy?
     
    #232 AppieB, Jul 30, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  13. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Yes, man has brought ruin, but God will bring to ruin those ruining the Earth - Revelation 11:18 B
     
  14. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    With evil things God does Not test....... James 1:13-15
    I find it was sinner Satan who challenged God and Job according to chapters one and two of Job.
    Job keeping his patience and his integrity under adverse conditions proved Satan a liar and so can we.
    At the time, Job did Not know about the challenge (Job 2:4-5) but we can know about it in the book of Job.
     
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  15. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    There was No suffering in Eden. Mankind was meant to live forever on Earth without suffering/sickness.
    Sinner Satan challenged God's Sovereignty and challenged God at chapters one and two in the Book of Job.
    Sinner Satan challenged that when our ' flesh ...'(Physical heath) is touched/affected we would Not serve God.
    Both Job and Jesus proved Satan wrong and so can the rest of us.- Job 2:4-5
     
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  16. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    Sinner Satan challenged that because your God was negligent.
    Why He keeps Satan alive, whilst He can annihilate him in no time, is still one of the mysteries of that myth.

    But of course, we all know why God keeps Satan alive. If He did not, He would run out of scapegoats.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Revelation 11 KJV

    14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

    15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

    16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

    17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

    18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.


    I believe that these verses are about the return of Christ, who was the seventh angel. I believe God's wrath is come and people will be judged according to whether the recognize the return of Christ, who was Baha'u'llah who awakened the spiritually dead.
     
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    God does not keep Satan alive because Satan never existed since Satan is a mythical being.
    It is the Christians who keep the mythical Satan alive for a scapegoat, not God.

    Indeed, God could have annihilated Satan in a heartbeat if Satan had ever really existed.
     
  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    What I say about God is not based upon logic, is is based upon scriptures. Humans cannot know everything about God but we can know what is revealed by Messengers of God via scriptures. What I say is also based upon logic, but the difference between me and you is that I know how to apply logic to God since I know something about God via the scriptures. All you base your logic upon are two attributes of God, omnipotence and omniscience, and that is not enough to know what God would do or not do.
    I do not need to be all knowing to know what God could not have done because I have the scriptures that tell me something about God. I also have logical abilities that tell me that if God changed His nature he would no longer be God just like if you changed your nature you would no longer be human. It is not possible to change your nature since you were created with it.
    What is your point? I do not know everything God can do and I don't care. All I care about is what God actually does.

    Omnipotence does not mean that God can do anything, it means that God is all-powerful. If God changed His nature he would not be God anymore.
    It does not matter if is circular, it could still be true:

    Circular reasoning (Latin: circulus in probando, "circle in proving"; also known as circular logic) is a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with.[1] The components of a circular argument are often logically valid because if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. Circular reasoning - Wikipedia

    That is true if you are referring to the Bible, but the Bible is not the only scripture that exists. The Baha'i scriptures were written by a Messenger of God and that is just like getting them from God; since Messengers of God have a two-fold nature, they are both divine and human.
    I utilize both faith and logic as one does not work without the other. I mean I am not going to have faith in a religion that is not logical.
    And here is the problem with trying to use the "God is omnipotent so God can do anything" logic alone with no scriptures. You are shooting in the dark imagining all kinds of things that God would never do. The scriptures tell us that God is fully self-sufficient and self-sustaining so God has no needs. That means that God would never do anything for His own benefit because God has everything He will ever need.

    It is the fallacy of false equivalence to compare what humans create for their own benefit to what God does created because humans and God are not equivalent.
    I started the thread because atheists on another thread were saying that God needs excuses and that implies that God should have done something differently. I don't believe that but I wanted to see how any other people believe it.

    Does God need excuses?

    Some religions have been used to influence and control people but that is not true of my religion.
    A believer can believe their religion is true and anyone should be able to question it.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    When I said you cannot encapsulate God with logic, as God is infinite so operates outside of human logic, I meant that God is not limited to what we can conceive of or imagine, God is far above human understanding. All we can ever know about God are some of His attributes and His will for humans.

    I did not say that you cannot use logic at all to try to make sense of God or how God might operate, but you are never going to know about what God is and what God wills by using logic. You need to read scriptures to know that, and I am not just referring to the Bible.
    I'll turn that around: How are you going to prove God exists with logic and reason alone? I think that logic and reason help us figure out how to search for God and help us determine what would constitute evidence that God exists, but one cannot prove that God exists with logic and reason alone.
    That is a question you'd have to ask God because only God knows the answer to that question. All we humans can do is surmise and conjecture using our reasoning abilities and limited knowledge. I believe that God suffers along with us when we suffer and has empathy. Then you might ask: Why doesn't God stop our suffering, after all God is omnipotent? My answer would be because it is not God's job to prevent human suffering. God wants us to learn to ameliorate some of our own suffering and endure what we cannot ameliorate. We have other humans who can help us and I believe God works through these humans. We are all interconnected and can help each other and I think this forum is s fine example of that.

    What I wonder about is why some people have to suffer so much more than other people, as that does not seem fair, but according to my religion those who suffer most attain the most perfection so they are better off than people suffer less. I think you can find many examples of people who suffered tremendously and endured it and became better people as a result, and they have more character than a person who had an easy life and hardly ever suffered at all. Also, people who suffer develop compassion for other people who are suffering so they can help them. They also grow stronger so the next time they suffer i]they can handle it better.

    I have suffered for the better part of my life and I suffered alone for the most part, because whatever help was available did not help me that much. It was only when I finally turned to God for help that things started to turn around, albeit very slowly. Now I can definitely see the fruits of my suffering although at the time I could not see it, all I could see was suffering. Now that many but not all of life's challenges are behind me I can look back and see how I faced them head on rather than trying to run away and that gives me some level of satisfaction, something to feel good about. Also, I am stronger now so I can handle the same challenge when have to face it again. What I used to barely survive I finally learned to face.

    So I can see the benefits of suffering in my own life although if you asked me this even two years ago I would have told you how angry I was at God for all my suffering. I still get angry at God but it never lasts as long and it is not as pronounced. I am sure there are worse things that can happen to me than what has already happened, but I think my mind is somewhat prepared for it. I won't say I have become hard but I am somewhat detached about this life.

    Suffering by choice is not as bad as having things 'happen to me" over which I have no control. I suffer a lot by choice, to serve the Cause of God and grow spiritually. It is a lot of work. I could easily be off on a beach sunning myself because of my wealth, but instead I am here on the forum posting mostly to atheists and I spend most of my free time here. I would rather care more about others than myself because that is what God has enjoined me to do, but it is still hard to put all my personal desires on hold, not knowing if they will be on hold forever. But I have accepted that if they are they are. I live one day at a time.
     
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