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JCC If there is a God, then why is there evil and suffering?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    IF there is a God, then
    1. why is there human-caused suffering? why is there evil? (examples: murder, rape, wars, burglaries, vandalism, car accidents, persecution, etc.)
    2. why is there nature-caused suffering? (examples: extreme weather, geological disasters, starvation, diseases, death, etc.)

    The Evolution thread was starting to be derailed by this topic, and it really deserves its own thread, being debated by people for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.

    I'll post my thoughts later.

    But as a reminder... no generalizing, no stereotyping, no name-calling, everyone should be respected even if you strongly disagree with their views.

    The beliefs of theists are just as diverse as the beliefs of atheists. Just like the only thing atheists have in common is a lack of belief in god(s), the only thing theists have in common is a belief in god(s). There is a great diversity of beliefs even with a single religion, or a single denomination, or a single place of worship. Just something to keep in mind when everyone is making their arguments.
  2. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    So the big bold IF is making me wonder: are we required to take god's existence as axiomatic, or can we construct a non-god system?
  3. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

    Jun 28, 2006
    It's an if then. So I think we can treat this as creating a hypothetical with that given. So I'm going to go with "he's a petty jerk" or "he has no reason to care"
  4. Rosslcopter

    Rosslcopter Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 2, 2012
    Evil and suffering is the work of the devil!
    JediFalcon likes this.
  5. mrsvos

    mrsvos Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 18, 2005
    And spicy Indian food. There's some pain and suffering, for the love of Vishnu.
    MASTERPRENN likes this.
  6. DarthLowBudget

    DarthLowBudget Jedi Master star 5

    Jan 17, 2004
    Because you touch yourself at night.
  7. Rogue_Ten

    Rogue_Ten Chosen One star 7

    Aug 18, 2002
    that joke has now reached its full potential and logical conclusion on this, the 11th day of the 9th month, in the year of our lord 2012

    let it be written. let this day live in infamy. let the eleventh day of september henceforth be known as Because You Touch Yourself At Night Day
    Ender_Sai and DarthLowBudget like this.
  8. timmoishere

    timmoishere Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jun 2, 2007
    Without religion, good people would still do good things, and evil people would still do evil things. But for good people to do evil things? That requires religion.

    So actually, God is the cause of many of the bad things in this world, whether or not he even exists.
  9. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 24, 2005
    If we make the LARGE assumption that God both exists and is indeed "omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent" as Christianity typically claims (which is what this thread is presupposing in asking the question it does), then the only answer there can possibly be is "because there's a really good reason for it."

    That the "problem of evil" has provoked as much discussion as it has throughout history has always seemed kind of daft to me.
  10. Billy_Dee_Binks

    Billy_Dee_Binks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 29, 2002
    If there is a God... what does he need with a starship?
    Souderwan and Darth_Invidious like this.
  11. jp-30

    jp-30 Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 14, 2000
  12. SithLordDarthRichie

    SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London star 8

    Oct 3, 2003
    I would hope that it's because God has left us alone and these things occurred naturally for us to deal with. Supressing human nature wouldn't be right, in the end humans have the ability to eliminate such things from society (as displayed in the future world of Star Trek for example).
    Diseases are a part of nature and evolution, a way to maintain balance. If God just created evolution and left it alone, he had no hand in creating such things.

    Surely this comes down to evolution and natural selection. Life can't go on infinately, so natural processes challenge life and those that are strong enough to survive will do so. It's a self-managing system which is the best system. God might be omnipotent but keeping track of every individual of every species must be hard work, natural selection is easier and more entertaining.
  13. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    Satan used to be an angel who started a war with God then he was sent down to Earth where he preys on the spiritually weak and tricks the spiritually strong to fall.
  14. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Apr 25, 2004
    Actually that's not true. Nationalism does the same thing.
  15. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Feb 18, 2001
    So, basically Satan's that one friend who always suggests tequila?

    I'm glad we're assuming "if" God's real, because now I don't need to invoke other make believe entities like Santa Claus, He-Man or R Kelly.

    Anyway, the point is more that you had to give a carrot with a stick when you made a religion so you said God was basically annoyed at us because we invented proto-jocks and stone-age Republicans and all the small minded hate and focus on stupid sports meant we missed the bigger picture so, like a mature leader, he's sulking by withholding his capacity to right evil. When we behaved again, he'd cover us with his love and evil would be gone. Yet when evil is smote, like Jersey Shore being cancelled, he doesn't turn around and spray God-love all over the world. And you know why?

    Because he's addicted to World of Warcraft.
    CT-867-5309 likes this.
  16. Darth_Invidious

    Darth_Invidious Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 21, 1999
    As written by Milton? Or someone prior to him I guess. Regardless, these things are not the providence of any fictitious supernatural beings. War, crime, and all the horrible things human beings conceive to hurt or otherwise destroy one another are spawned from Man and nothing else.

    Natural disasters and epidemics are caused by nature itself, since we live in a dynamic and ever changing world full of other microorganisms that care little (because they can't care, after all) about how they affect us humans and any other living organism they infect. Earthquakes occur due to shifts in the Earth's crust; just as storms, hurricanes and tornados occur due to specific shifts in weather conditions, not the whims or even inaction of any deity. And of course some of the diseases that plague man are often due to the imperfect and frail nature of or bodies.

    So in the end, the only intangible force, element or whatever your want to call it all those things have in common it's simple random chance. Just bad luck or misfortune. And that isn't even a God we can curse or blame.
    Frank T. and SithLordDarthRichie like this.
  17. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2009
    Free will?

    Again, this is an assumption, but how much of that can be a natural reaction of the planet/ecosystem/etc?

    Could you expand on that? I really don't see the correlation.
    Moviefan2k4 likes this.
  18. timmoishere

    timmoishere Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jun 2, 2007
    Some evil exists naturally. But other evil exists because the perpetrators believe they are performing God's will. If there was no religion at all, there would be much less evil in this world.
  19. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    I've seen angels and dark angels, it makes it harder for me to deny it. And I even seen the big man himself in spirit in his white robe and gold borders around the bottom of his robe. Yeah it's kind of hard for me not to believe that God exists. Especially after those experiances and that is my testimony, you can either believe it or not but I can't deny what I saw.

    God does exist.
    darthhelinith likes this.
  20. EmpireForever

    EmpireForever Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Mar 15, 2004
    Your problem is that you suppose that he cares. Do you think a chemist cares about what happens to the potassium when he puts it in water? He just wants to see what will happen.
    RC-1991 and Ender_Sai like this.
  21. Billy_Dee_Binks

    Billy_Dee_Binks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 29, 2002
    IMO, humanity might be better off with teaching moral and soul searching in school and turning churches into art centers for the community. I just don't see what humanity can gain from believing in a god at this point anymore...
  22. Quixotic-Sith

    Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 22, 2001
    Oh, theodicy...

    Why are you so delicious?
  23. Adam of Nuchtern

    Adam of Nuchtern Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 2, 2012
  24. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    The creator of the universe is unaware of our existence in the same way that we are unaware of the bacteria that live in our belly buttons.
  25. GargantuanThrillMachine

    GargantuanThrillMachine Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 7, 2012
    there is no universal moral code that should dictate human behavior. there is no such thing as good or evil, there is no universal standard of right and wrong. our values and morals come from us and belong to us, whether we like it or not; so we should claim them proudly for ourselves, as our creations, rather than constantly seeking some external justification for them
    THE PortmanLuvva likes this.