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Does all the suffering and pain tell us anything about the nature of God?

Posted by on Nov. 5, 2012 at 6:32 AM
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I went to a talk the other day and the guy set out the logical reason why, although there is evil and suffering in the world, God is actually good. Thing is, you can do the reverse...

'Here is Adam Deen's argument for the good of God switched into the argument for an evil God. Same logic.

Free will: Evil god gave us free will, so we sometimes choose to do good, even though evil god hates it. And free will also allows us to be morally responsible for evil acts, which evil god loves. He could have made us into puppets that only do evil, but then he would not have the pleasure of seeing us choose evil. To maximize evil, evil god designed us so that we can perform evil acts from our own will.

Character-destroying: Why does evil god create some beautiful things? For contrast. To make the ugly things look uglier. Why does evil god make some of us unusually healthy and wealthy? To make the suffering of the sick and poor even greater. Why does evil god let us have children that love us unconditionally? So that we will worry endlessly about them.

First order goods allow second order evils: Some evils require certain goods to exist. For example, jealousy could not exist without there being someone who has something good for your to be jealous about. Evil god had to give some of us good things so that the rest of us could feel jealousy.

Mystery: Evil god has a plan for how all the apparent goods in the world will ultimately lead to maximal evil, but evil god is so far beyond our reasoning ability that we cannot understand his plan.'


That above was set out by an athiest. Seems logical.
Is God good or evil? Does all the suffering and pain tell us anything about the nature of God?

by on Nov. 5, 2012 at 6:32 AM
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Replies (1-10):
jesusfreak7
by Christian on Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:02 PM
2 moms liked this

GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF EVIL

GOD GAVE US FREE WILL,

 IT IS WHAT MAN HAS DONE ,(BECAUSE OF SIN ) WHY THERE IS SO MUCH PAIN,

 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; [17] But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children -- [18] with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

 The fact that God is Merciful God is Merciful, full of mercy.

God has mercy on those who call upon Him in faith.

But You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great steadfast love; and You did not forsake them. SO GOD IS GOOD AND NOT OF EVIL

Clairwil
by Group Owner on Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:47 PM

To continue to show that, on the same evidence, transposition is still possible...

Quoting jesusfreak7:

GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF EVIL

GOD GAVE US FREE WILL,

 IT IS WHAT MAN HAS DONE ,(BECAUSE OF SIN ) WHY THERE IS SO MUCH PAIN,

 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; [17] But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children -- [18] with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

 The fact that God is Merciful God is Merciful, full of mercy.

God has mercy on those who call upon Him in faith.

But You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great steadfast love; and You did not forsake them. SO GOD IS GOOD AND NOT OF EVIL

GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF GOOD

GOD GAVE US FREE WILL,

 IT IS WHAT MAN HAS DONE ,(BECAUSE OF HUMAN COMPASSION ) WHY THERE IS SO MUCH JOY IN THE WORLD,

God is quick to anger, but slow to reveal the details of his revenge, because that's more cruel.  He has a deep abiding hate for those who don't do what they are told.  SO GOD IS EVIL AND NOT OF GOOD.

jesusfreak7
by Christian on Dec. 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM
2 moms liked this

really? I BELIEVE JOHN3:16

for GOD so loved the world that he gave his ONLY son that whoever believes shall not perish but have everlasting life. john 3:16

if your god is satan then you got it right HE IS EVIL.

 FOR MY GOD JESUS CHRIST WHO SHED HIS INNOCENT BLOOD ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS IS GOOD, LOVING, KIND, COMPASSIONATE, AND EVERYTHING RIGHT, PURE, HOLY, I COULD GO ON AND ON. MY GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

jcribb16
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Well said!  Why would anyone wish to even want to make opposite scenarios of God's true nature is beyond me.  Like you said, "If your god is satan, then you've got it right - HE IS EVIL."

Quoting jesusfreak7:

really? I BELIEVE JOHN3:16

for GOD so loved the world that he gave his ONLY son that whoever believes shall not perish but have everlasting life. john 3:16

if your god is satan then you got it right HE IS EVIL.

 FOR MY GOD JESUS CHRIST WHO SHED HIS INNOCENT BLOOD ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS IS GOOD, LOVING, KIND, COMPASSIONATE, AND EVERYTHING RIGHT, PURE, HOLY, I COULD GO ON AND ON. MY GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!


Clairwil
by Group Owner on Dec. 5, 2012 at 4:24 PM
Quoting jcribb16:

Why would anyone wish to even want to make opposite scenarios of God's true nature is beyond me.

Because if the same evidence can be equally well explained by Scenario-A or by Scenario-B (which is the opposite of Scenario-A), then that demonstrates that the evidence may not be used as valid grounds to support the likelihood of Scenario-A over the likelihood of Scenario-B.

This is a principle of logic that is independent of what the evidence and the two scenarios actually are.   For example, you can't use people looking closely at your mouth as evidence that your toothpaste is making your teeth look better, if you could also explain their looking by the hypothesis that they reason why they are looking at your mouth is because the toothpaste has made your teeth look worse.

Clairwil
by Group Owner on Dec. 5, 2012 at 4:29 PM
Quoting jesusfreak7:

really? I BELIEVE JOHN3:16

for GOD so loved the world that he gave his ONLY son that whoever believes shall not perish but have everlasting life. john 3:16

if your god is satan then you got it right HE IS EVIL.

 FOR MY GOD JESUS CHRIST WHO SHED HIS INNOCENT BLOOD ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS IS GOOD, LOVING, KIND, COMPASSIONATE, AND EVERYTHING RIGHT, PURE, HOLY, I COULD GO ON AND ON. MY GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

To continue the transposition:


God is so evil that he is even willing to see his own son be brutally tortured and, in fact, he created everything counting upon that happening.

jcribb16
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 4:51 PM

What is theodicy?

The term “theodicy” refers to vindicating the divine attributes of God, particularly holiness and justice, while acknowledging the true existence of physical and moral evil.

Skeptical philosopher J. S. Mill framed the following argument in an attempt to show that, because evil exists, the God of the Bible could not exist:

• If God were all powerful, He could destroy evil
• If God were all good, He would want to destroy evil
• But evil is not destroyed
• Therefore, an all-powerful and all-good God does not exist

If the premises of Mill’s argument are true, the conclusion naturally follows. But the question is, are Mill’s points valid?

Theologians and philosophers have debated this issue perhaps more than any other where God is concerned. The answer is not a simple one that fits into sound-bite pieces, but it can be broken down into the following points.

First, it must be acknowledged that evil exists. Unlike some faiths such as Hinduism and Christian Science that deny the actual reality of evil, Christianity never does. Christianity confirms the existence of evil, and classifies it into (1) natural evil such as disease and physical catastrophes; (2) moral evil, which can be summed up as “man’s inhumanity to man”; (3) supernatural evil, such as Satan and demons.

Christianity and the Bible are not shy in stating that all three forms of evil are real and directly affect humankind.

Next, the Bible asserts that an all-powerful and all-good God exists. Just a few Scriptures that confirm this claim are the following:

“But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3).
“Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You” (Jeremiah 32:17).
“…but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b).
“The Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done” (Daniel 9:14).
“No one is good – except God alone” (Mark 10:18b).
“…God is love” (1 John 4:8b).

If the Bible declares that evil and an all-powerful and all-good God exists, there is only one inescapable conclusion: God has ordained that evil exists.

http://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-theodicy.html

jcribb16
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Cont....

The only ways to escape the conclusion that God ordains evil’s existence are to reinvent God so that He is either not all-powerful or not all-good, ascribe to process theology / open theism that says God didn’t know evil would ever come about, or focus far too much on human free will by arguing that God allowed human beings to overrule His will (that no evil should ever exist) by exercising their free will to choose evil over good. (Free will does provide some insight into the problem of evil. While God wills that no evil should ever exist, He also wills that humans should exist. He has designed humans to exercise free will in order that relationship with Him would be authentic. This means allowing humans an option between His good and a lack thereof (or evil)).

This declaration – that God ordains evil to exist – causes gasps from many Christians who claim that such a thing means either God created evil or that He is somehow personally responsible for it. Neither is true.

Instead, the answer lies in understanding that God has ordained that evil exists for a purpose. The Westminster Confession, articles III and V, state this truth in the following manner:

God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.

In other words, God is not the author of sin in that He did not actualize it – His creatures did on their own accord. However, He did ordain that evil exists so that it would bring Him glory. God redeems what is meant for evil and uses it for His good purposes (see Genesis 50:20 for example).

Scripture confirms this when it says, “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say?” (Romans 3:5, emphasis added). Paul, writing in Romans, says there is a clear contrast between evil and God that is shown via humanity’s unrighteous or evil acts. Evil actually brings God glory by showing His righteous character. There is no other way such a thing could be understood.

Sin and evil also showcase God’s love, which Paul describes in the fifth chapter of Romans: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s love is on display in all its beauty because of sin and Christ’s act of mercy for sinners. Again, without evil/sin, such a thing could not be clearly manifested.

Paul says the same basic thing in chapter 9 of Romans: “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory” (Romans 9:22–23). Here, both God’s wrath and love are on display and both bring Him glory.

God receives glory from His wrath against sin just as much as He does through showing love and mercy. A quick illustration of this point is found earlier in Romans when Paul says, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth’” (Romans 9:17).

The purpose of Pharaoh’s ruthless personality and evil acts over the Israelites for hundreds of years was to make known the power of God and bring Him glory. The writer of Proverbs simply puts it like this: "The Lord has made all things for Himself, even the wicked for the day of evil" (Proverbs 16:4).

So evil serves a purpose in God’s plan, but He will one day fully destroy evil after using it for His purpose. The writer of Revelation says one day God will, “wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

This is how J. S. Mill’s argument is defeated. God is all-powerful so He can destroy evil, and He is also all good so He wants to destroy evil. But evil is not destroyed – yet. But, one day it will be. Therefore, all will eventually know that an all-powerful and all-good God exists.

Clairwil
by Group Owner on Dec. 6, 2012 at 2:42 AM
Quoting jcribb16:

God is all-powerful so He can destroy evil, and He is also all good so He wants to destroy evil. But evil is not destroyed – 
yet. But, one day it will be.

To continue...


God is all-powerful so He can destroy good, and He is also all evil so He wants to destroy good. But good is not destroyed – 
yet. But, one day it will be.  He's doing it to brag, showing off his power by delaying the final crunch so the audience have more time to fear and to admire the artistry of his mad combat skillz.

AdrianneHill
by Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 7:12 PM
His mad ninjas skills of evil
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