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

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

  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Dalai Llama spits when he talks. Disgusting, really.
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  2. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    He's saying the spokesperson for Buddhism isn't a member of the Camelidae family.
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  3. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    star 7
    I get the pun, my objection was to the characterization of Tenzin Gyatso as a broadly Mahayana thing.
  4. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Look I'm not really up on Tibetan names sorry.
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  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    My understanding was that he spoke for the Tibetan schools, not the Indian or Japanese? Like I said, ages since I looked at this stuff so happy to be corrected.
  6. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    He indeed speaks for the Tibetan schools, but they're just a fraction of the Mahayana... experience?... and some classifications of schools of thought that I've seen don't even group Tibetan Buddhism into that category, as they prefer to keep Vajrayana separate since they let lots of esoteric nonsense in.

    Don't get me wrong, all sorts of weird mysticism creeps into Mahayana as it's essentially the Reader's Digest mass appeal form of the faith (and it is a faith). Pure Landers think you can become a god by thinking really hard on your death bed, a ton of schools think future potential Buddhas walk the Earth like Cain in Kung Fu, and even Chán/Zen (True confessions? Basically my religion.) accepts a bunch of garbage about temporary enlightenment. But Vajrayana is... kind of another ballgame altogether on that front.
  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I'm not wholly comfortable calling it a faith, though I suspect that's 110% due to bias on my part. There's no denying karma and the consequences of positive/negative karma are wholly faith-based; but in my mind, I am more willing to give them a pass than I am having faith in a benevolent, bearded God who has at some point hated Jews, hated gays, hated blacks making wildly inconsistent pronouncements depending on which scribe wrote what book...

    It's like, you can rationalise karma as a metaphor (reincarnation, you are on your own though you could also be metaphoric) and it doesn't sound like you're putting a fig leaf over a druken and sloppy God's withered Scriptures. Yes, get that mental image out of your mind.
    Last edited by Ender_Sai, Jan 29, 2013
  8. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    > Pure Landers think you can become a god

    ZPaul?
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  9. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Yeah, that's what I thought, about all the branches of Buddhism being more decentralized and not having an overarching international structure. The current Dalai Lama is definitely the most famous Buddhist, but traditionally the Dalai Lama's were political rulers of Tibet (there was no separation of state/sangha when Tibet was independent... and sometimes they exercised political power, sometimes they were figureheads), and he doesn't seem to be the Mahayana equivalent of the Catholic Pope.


    And Ender, thanks for bringing up Buddhism, so many times all religion is equated to being like Conservative Christianity in these JCC/Senate threads. I was already familiar with those concepts, and have brought them up before (like in the Atheism thread), but many people reading this thread might not be aware.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jan 29, 2013
  10. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    But do you know what the Dalai Lama once said? "If science proves an aspect of Buddhism to be untrue, then Buddhism will have to change." I wish all faiths could be that open-minded.
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  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Buddha basically said the same thing.

    And I agree with it when it comes to Christianity too.
  12. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Ok, I don't know if I've given my answer, so here it goes.



    But first, the question should be split into two questions.

    1. If there is a God, why is there human-caused suffering?

    2. If there is a God, why is there nature-caused suffering?


    The first is easiest to answer. God has given up some of his unlimited power and unlimited knowledge, and entered into the stream of time, in order to allow us to have Free Will. Why do we have Free Will? Because our purpose is to learn how to truly love, and love is a choice, it can't be compelled. We have Free Will so we can choose to love, which includes the option to not love. You can't love without Free Will. (Would anyone really want to live in a world without any love or freedom? Would we really even be considered "alive" then?) That freedom, that choice, explains why humans can cause suffering. ... So, that answers why there is human-caused suffering, even if there is a God. As for the question "why do humans with free will inflict suffering on themselves and others?"... well, we're human. We're ignorant. We're prejudiced. We're afraid. We're angry. We imperfectly love. Sometimes, we don't know what all the effects of our actions will be. We're imperfect beings in an imperfect world, which leads me to answering the next question.


    Why is there nature-caused suffering? Why are we imperfect, why do we live in an imperfect world? Well, if we were perfect and lived in a perfect world, even if we technically had the "choice" to reject love, why would anyone have any reason to? Technically, it would still be a choice, but it would be an extremely-easy no-brainer. Technically, it would still be love, but it would be extremely weak love. So God created a universe, writing the laws of nature, so there would be limitations and imperfections imposed on life. So, as thinking and feeling beings, we would have reasons... potentially strong reasons... to choose NOT to love. A reason to give up, in apathy, and think nothing matters, and that you won't even bother caring anymore. The stronger the reasons not to love, the stronger the love will be when it is chosen. Think of how strong the love is of (for example) people who die so their friends may live... in a perfect world, that would never happen, and love would never ever be that strong. And the reason why we exist, our given purpose, is to learn how to truly love.

    (Also, when we enter heaven/paradise [assuming it exists], we'll be able to better appreciate it. To use a more earthly example, if a prince/princess has such great wealth and so many skilled servants that whatever they ask for, they immediately receive, and they've lived like that their entire lives, and don't know that it's possible to live without that instant gratification for everything they want... does anyone think they really appreciate what they have, does anyone think that they're really happy? Wouldn't a poor orphan who grew up on the streets until their old age, and then discovered they were royalty and went on to live like the prince/princess described above, be able to better enjoy and appreciate what they have, instead of having it all from the beginning? Now, imagine how much happier we'll be to live in paradise, after a lifetime of suffering. If we had spent all of eternity in paradise, would we really care, would we even be happy? Probably not. Even if we were technically "happy," would the happiness be that strong, without anything to contrast it with? I don't think so, it wouldn't be able to compare to the happiness of experiencing it for the rest of time after a lifetime of suffering. This way, the way the universe actually does exist, we get the best of all possible worlds. At its core: every person is good, life itself is good, the universe itself is good.)
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Feb 13, 2013
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  13. Legacy Jedi Endordude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2012
    star 3
    Since I am now better equipped to answer this question than I was when I first answered a while back, I might as well re answer it.

    Why is there suffering in the world? This is why, because of us!

    It all started approximately 6 thousand years ago when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, it looked good, but in the end it brought death, which is God's punishment upon mankind because we are wickedly evil. We all deserve it, and God will deal it out one way or the other.

    With that said, there is a way out of death, and to heaven. Want to see if you are good enough to go to Heaven? God gave us the Ten Commandments to use as a mirror and see if we are good enough. Let's look at a few.

    Have you ever lied? Big lie or small lie, a lie is a lie. If you lied, by definition you are a liar.

    Have you ever stolen anything? Something as big as a pencil or as small as the white house's diamond toiled seat? If so you are a thief.

    Have you ever lusted? Looked at the opposite sex with nasty thoughts? Come on guys don't deny it! Bad news, Jesus said "Whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." If you did that, you are an adulterer.

    Have you ever hated anyone? Well the bible says that "whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him." The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart, if you hate, you are guilty of murder!

    As, you see, God is infinatly holy, and we are but dirty rags in his sight, because we are so unrighteous!

    Not convinced yet? I will continue.

    Have you ever taken God's name in vain? What you have done is turned the name of the one who gave you life into the equivalent of a four letter curse word! And I'm sorry to say, but God says he "will not hold anyone guiltless, who misuses his name."

    Have you made a god, or bowed to a god who is made up. Do you worship Allah? The Mormon or Jehovah Witness Jesus? Money? Or even fun pass times like Star Wars? If you put anything above God, it is an idol, and that is called idolatry, which makes you an idolater.

    Please understand this, we are enemies of God! He despises lying lips, he is against those who bow down to carved images. And like a good judge he will punish wrong doers! He is so good that any evil thing can't be in his presence, he is a jealous God, and if you disobey him, he will justly send you to his prison called Hell. The bible says if you break the law at one point, you are guilty of breaking them all! If you have done any of the above sins, you have condemned yourself to hell.


    I do not say this in self righteousness, because I am a wretch, I have broken the above laws of God in way to many ways! There is no way I can get to heaven alone, "there is none who does good no not one" and I am certainly guilty and deserve the wrath of God. I am not getting it though! Because God legally dismissed my case!

    Do you know how he can dismiss your case?

    Here is how!

    The Bible says "God commanded his love towards us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"

    Approximately 2000 years ago God himself came down in the form of man. 100% God. 100% man. His name was Jesus. He lived a perfect life, and never broke any of the laws we broke. Although he did no wrong, he was put on a cross and murdered. He took The Father's wrath for us, he paid our fine! Three days later he rose from the grave defeating death, and proving that he took our punishment! The Bible says "for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no man can boast!" Only God can save you!

    You see if we Repent (turn from sin and run to God) and put your faith in him (trust him like you trust a parachute) you will be saved from Hell! And not only will His Spirt Save you, but also he will transform your life and make you a new creation. You will be made more like him, and he will help you overcome sin!

    Salvation is not about happiness, but about fleeing the wrath to come. Don't chose Hell, where the fire will never cease, choose an eternity with him on a perfect new earth, something we don't deserve, but he will give to us, only if we repent and trust in him. He died for you, please understand he is "The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and no man comes to the father but by him!"

    So with that said, we are the reason there is suffering, and evil in the world, it's all our fault! And God will one day fix that, either you trust in him and be made pure, or you reject him and he will get rid of you via Hell. Listen! "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his own soul!" Repent and Trust in Christ now! He paid your fine on the cross! And if you follow,him he will be your friend, your teacher, and your master. Trust in Christ now, before it is to late, because you don't know when you will die.

    Please think about what I said, we all want to live, Truth is absolute, you are either right or wrong, so make sure you are right!

    I hope you guys understood what I said, if you have any questions I would be honored your answer them here or privately in chat!
  14. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Wait, what about 2015?!?!
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jul 2, 2014
  16. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    I think he actually believes what he wrote to be true. Isn't that cute?
  17. Legacy Jedi Endordude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2012
    star 3
    Why do I need Help? And why is it so crazy to believe what I wrote?
  18. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
  19. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Because none of it is true. Your threats are empty and meaningless. A fictional hell does not scare me in the slightest.
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  20. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Maybe if I use exclamation marks I can make my points look salient!
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  21. Legacy Jedi Endordude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2012
    star 3
    That made no sense? I would be honored to answer any question you have, but all you do is through insults at me, I can't really answer insults. How do you know it is "crap"
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Ignore the peanut gallery, Legacy Jedi Endordude and tell us EVERYTHING YOU KNOW about 2015. I'm paying attention.
  23. Legacy Jedi Endordude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2012
    star 3
    It's not true? How do you know what you just said was true?
  24. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Because it's fiction. You don't scare me.
  25. Legacy Jedi Endordude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2012
    star 3
    2015, Episode VII. Nuff said. I wasn't referencing when the earth will end. No human knows that.
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.