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

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

  1. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Ghost, you should go post in the free association or fecal force threads... blow off some steam. You don't have to pull eight hour shifts arguing serious biz on the internet. You're allowed to relax and have some fun, now and then.
    Last edited by harpuah, Sep 14, 2012
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  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Oh 100% sarcastic. Truth would be to heaven like water to an airplane made entirely of soluble aspirin.
  3. Coruscant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 6
    re: harpuh's post- That unintentional misspelling is awesome.
    Last edited by Coruscant, Sep 14, 2012
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  4. LifeInTechnicolor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
  5. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    What misspelling? O:)
    Last edited by harpuah, Sep 14, 2012
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  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    LiT, in all seriousness, you cannot have a search for truth under most philosophical schools that arrives at the doorstep of a location predicated on faith. And that's not to say faith is not consistent with truth, but rather - at it's fundamental level, truth is about using patterns of reason to establish is something is true or not. Yet, religion requires faith, which is unhindered by proof, truth, reason or logic. It doesn't have to be. You have faith because you are looking for something satisfying on a deeper level, really - something numinous, which doesn't have to be truthful.
  7. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    After all the verses you linked Ghost, I really can't see how the Word of God can possibly match up with your belief that atheists and those of other creeds and beliefs can go to heaven. Sure, you can believe it, but the Word of God is Word of God. And if it's not, then I don't know why God would let that kind of incorrect handling of His Word go around in the first place.
  8. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    I mean, you're assuming a some really big things here. First, you're assuming that everything that the Bible says happened, happened (or at least that Ghost/Christians believe this). Which just isn't historically true. Second, you're assuming that God has attributes like any other normal person (or at least that Ghost/Christians believe this). Which isn't necessarily the case. Third, you're assuming that Christians/Ghost believe that God is all powerful/able to do whatever he wants. Which isn't necessarily the case. Fourth, you're assuming that Christians/Ghost believe that God actually acts and makes decisions, much like a human does. Which, again, isn't necessarily the case.

    It is not unfair to make these assumptions, because many people do believe what you are assuming they believe. But it seems a bit...ungracious to assume that Ghost and/or all Christians believe any of these things. It seems to me like you're more interested in getting your point across and proving just how right you are than you are in having a meaningful conversation. Maybe I'm wrong. But that's how it reads.
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  9. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    They call him Ego_Sai for a reason.
  10. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I don't take everything in the Bible literally, especially in the places where it tried to personify God or describe/explain God's actions.

    I don't see anything wrong with saying adultery is less than perfect, but no one should be stoned or condemned by other people for it. God alone should be judge, and God always offers forgiveness when asked if your heart is true.


    I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here, but from what I'm getting, remember some of the key words of Christianity: humility and forgiveness.

    Ok, this is getting back to the original topic! :p I still have to give my detailed response for this, which I will, on why there is suffering and evil even though (in my belief) there is a loving God.

    But as to a few other points here...

    *Yes, God did "make" us this way... we aren't perfect

    *Of course all the suffering since Jesus' death isn't because of some divine punishment, it's simply the human condition

    *God never left us, God dwells in all those who love... that's the Holy Spirit. God is still with us.

    The bar isn't set too high, we're expected to make mistakes, and God forgives them.

    No, I don't think the punishment for failure is eternal torment, and I have a big problem with those who do. But even the Evangelicals would stress the importance of us all being imperfect, and the value of forgiveness, and forgiving others.

    I agree that Fear of Hell has resulted in some very ugly. despicable things in the world... and that it's one of the biggest reasons why atheists reject religion (even though that view of hell isn't in most religions, of even in all of the Abrahamic faiths). But it's not part of my belief system. And Jesus himself said we should not judge or condemn others.

    Thanks for the good post.

    But LifeinTechnicolor was saying from the Catholic view, if you want to know the truth, then you're still going to heaven, even if you're an atheist.


    I knew that. :p My response to you wasn't really a response to you, it was a prebuttal to Ender_Sai.

    Oh I've taken plenty of breaks, gone to the gym and class and dinner this afternoon. And I'm not always this focused, haven't even argued religion in like a year, just got worked up earlier today, that's all. I have plenty of fun here too, or else I wouldn't come :p




    EDIT:

    If you want more Bible passages to support my beliefs, just ask, I didn't feel like posting too many unless you wanted more (I think I only posted 3). But I'm not trying to convert anyone. Just saying that, as a Christian, I believe that about hell/heaven/salvation/Jesus. And there are many, many other Christians who do too. Many mainstream Protestant denominations; Catholics and Mormons have a similar, though not identical, view too. I also don't believe that everything in the Bible should be taken literally, in a historic sense or a scientific sense or sometimes even in a moral sense. God gave us brains for a reason, and tha authors may have been inspired by God but they were still human, capable of mistakes and bias too.
    Last edited by Darth-Ghost, Sep 14, 2012
  11. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    I'm giving you an assignment... tomorrow morning after you unleash your morning bowels, I want you to craft a descriptive wall of text and post it in the fecal force thread.
    Last edited by harpuah, Sep 14, 2012
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  12. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I'd rather not :p
    Last edited by Darth-Ghost, Sep 14, 2012
  13. Coruscant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2004
    star 6
    harpuah, what are you doing stalking on Ghost while he goes to the dump? [face_worried] :p
    Last edited by Coruscant, Sep 14, 2012
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  14. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Prenn; you're saying someone who has to date indicated they are staunchly atheist is taking the view that God is a man made construct and therefore unreasonably giving God a slew of human attributes?

    I'm quite aware that how I view god is not how a Christian would, and that most Christians differ in how they see God. Truly, I am. The issue for me is that any records we have of contact with god is either from two millenia ago, when superstitious peasants stumbling around the deserts had divine contact; or people who I simply don't trust saying they've had chats with him and actually seen angels, demons and the spirit of Bruce Lee.

    So yes, Prenn, I think man invented god and it's ok to judge God by human standards since he acts like one in the books he's been cataloged in.
  16. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Read your post again, I think you forgot a word... lol
  17. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Oh man... my typos are ****ing priceless tonight. :p
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  18. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    That's fine bro. You can judge god all you want. Although it seems like a waste of time to worry about judging something you don't believe exists. But that's your call. What I'm saying is, you shouldn't judge Ghost for believing something he doesn't believe. You can think what you want about god and how much of a jerk he is. Just don't project that on to other people, judge them for that, and then expect to be taken seriously and/or liked.
    Last edited by MASTERPRENN, Sep 14, 2012
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  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    But i see two issues with this;

    1) God is a hypocrite of the "do as I say, not as I do" variety. Jesus defends an adulterer, showing Christian forgiveness but it's still saying the act was wrong. Yet Jesus is the son of an adulterous union..?
    2) Isn't the part of the bible about the person who is without sin casting the first stone problematic because it means that judgment is for God alone (being perfect) so man cannot govern other men by law, because to do so would require a lack of sin? As in, to govern, we have to judge which means we are disrespectful of God and therefore, sinning.

    So, again, God sets the bar too high for man so they will fail. Man is never good enough nor can they be. So, is this God?

    [IMG]


    I'm saying, man is fallible. Which I actually think is one of our best qualities. We are also inquisitive. But God knows this, apparently, since he made us. So why then send Jesus to fail as a man, if the end result was humanity being given an example they can't possibly hope to emulate but if they don't they risk hell?

    But Ghost, God is supposed to have the power to alleviate the suffering and evil, and yet he doesn't. He basically set a test with a ridiculously high fail rate. Earth's just where you separate the wheat from the chaff, meaning it's a playground/experiment for God's amusement and Heaven's where the serious stuff happens. So it's not god playing dice with the universe so much as playing The Sims with earth. I used to put my Sims in small rooms with a window, no door, and a bar and make them drink for hours. I was mean to them. I played God as man created him!

    If though we take Jesus' example, it's impossible to be that good. I know Jesus forgives, but what's the point? It's like a gruelling endurance race where all who finish get the same 1st place medal - only so few finish the gesture's meaningless.

    I recall a story about God flooding the world which doesn't reconcile with your comments here... :p

    If Pascal hadn't made his damn wager...! //shakes fist

    But I don't reject religion for this reason. I find that such an intellectually unsatisfying exercise. To me it is startlingly clear as a man made construct for control of the masses, imbuing a "don't be a jerk" code with unquestionable authority and strict compliance. Religion served it's purpose - it's just no longer relevant in my book.
  20. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Having read this entire thread, I find it interesting that the bulk of the disdain seems leveled at the Judeo-Christian God and accompanying orthodoxy. Moreover, it seems that the conversation seems hardly focused on "the problem of evil" but rather is being used as an avenue to lash out at or mock people's earnest (if misguided) beliefs.

    That said, it does not follow that the existence of "a God" necessitates that this God be universally benevolent. Indeed, there is significant theological evidence to suggest that God in his various incarnations for various religions is, at best, conditionally benevolent. What's more, in most religions, "God" displays a tendency to be vengeful, petty, even outright cruel at times. Ostensibly, the people on the receiving end of God's wrath are deserving of it. In just the Pentateuch alone (again, visiting the Judeo-Christian religion) we have the story of Noah, the enslavement of the Jews, the death and destruction wrought by 10 plagues, the death of countless Jews in the desert as they wandered aimlessly for 40 yrs (while being "led" by God), the wiping out of indigenous cultures to support the establishment of the Jewish people in their promised land, and much, much more. Nothing about any of this indicates that God is universally benevolent. We could draw similar observations from the New Testament and certainly find examples in many other religions.

    The point is not to bash God (however you believe in him/her) but only to point out that simply accepting that God exists does not require that you also accept that God is universally benevolent. In fact, you would have to ignore a significant amount of theological evidence (something you clearly give weight to since you accept the existence of a God described in one text or another) in order to accept the notion of an omni-benevolent God.

    So to answer the question, IF a God exists, then
    1. human-caused suffering exists because God either cannot nor will not interfere with human actions.
    2. nature-caused suffering exists because God is not omni-benevolent and either doesn't care about or is the source of the suffering (both answers are supported by religious texts).

    Edit: After reading Ender's latest posts, I agree with him on substance, if not on style. :p We're saying much of the same thing in many respects.
    Last edited by Souderwan, Sep 14, 2012
  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    "Bro"? o_O

    Prenn I'm not judging Ghost. I seriously cannot see evidence in the canon of a benevolent father figure God that outweighs or overrides the capricious God figure. I'm saying "yes, but what about..." and it seems from his responses Ghost is more than willing, and more than capable, of holding court on that. There is a fundamental ideological disconnect here; to me, God is a character in a pair of books and to Ghost an omniscient, omnipotent deity. One of us will assess God like a character in a book, the other won't. Ghost at least can debate it.
  22. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    [face_love]
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  23. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    You're still a big meanie. :p
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  24. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    *imagines a bemused-looking Christopher Hitchens getting fitted for wings and halo*
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  25. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    The all-knowing god not knowing Hitchens wingspan or halo size.