Why does God allow evil?

  • Thread starter Laser Eyes
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  • #26
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I didn't mean to imply that the disobedience of man would be inevitable, I just meant it could be a possibility. And I guess I am blaming God for our choices. He is our life-mentor. It's kinda like a homicidal maniac. At first you blame him. Then it surfaces that he was abused by his parents, his father taught him how to use his sniper rifle that he kept from Vietnam, blah, blah, blah... and you end up holding the parents partially responsible for the wacko's actions.
Why do you blame God for our choices? It is our choice after all, not God’s. We are the ones with the power. Whether you like it or not you have free will and you are responsible for the choices you make. God does not look on us as victims of our circumstances. That excuse will only go so far in explaining our actions. Ultimately we are responsible for what we do and God does hold us accountable for our actions.

Somehow Adam altered his biology and passed along to his descendants a genetic defect. Did Adam change his chromosomes by making the decision to eat the apple, and do our genes continue to be affected in this manner each time we are disobedient?
The consequences of being cut off from God meant that Adam did change physically. I can’t give you an exact scientific description of the process. The best analogy I can think of is pulling a fan’s plug out of the electric socket. The fan will slow down and eventually stop running. God is a source of energy and it was God’s energy that enabled Adam to continue physical regeneration and remain youthful. The reason we grow old and die is because we are cut off from the source of all life.

All the more reason why god has no excuse for punishing defective humanity wouldn't you say?
God makes allowances for our defective condition but he still holds us responsible for our own actions. Defective though we are we still have great power to choose what we will do. God does not treat us as victims of the world we find ourselves in. He knows we still have free will.

But God is supposed to be omniscient!
So god is not all knowing after all? How does this compare to passages in the Bible claiming the opposite?
God is omniscient and he is all knowing but he can choose not to know also. That is what he does. God deliberately does not look at the specific choices that we will make in the future. It is not because he can’t do so. He makes a conscious decision not to know. That way there can be no suggestion that our futures are predestined.
 
  • #27
BoulderHead
The consequences of being cut off from God meant that Adam did change physically. I can’t give you an exact scientific description of the process. .
If not a scientific description can you give me a theological description of this? I mean, is this written in the Bible somewhere?
The best analogy I can think of is pulling a fan’s plug out of the electric socket. The fan will slow down and eventually stop running. God is a source of energy and it was God’s energy that enabled Adam to continue physical regeneration and remain youthful. The reason we grow old and die is because we are cut off from the source of all life
I thought the reason we grow old is because we are cut off from eating the fruit of the tree of life. Is this tree what you mean by the source of all life, and do you think such a tree can yet be found?
God makes allowances for our defective condition but he still holds us responsible for our own actions. Defective though we are we still have great power to choose what we will do. God does not treat us as victims of the world we find ourselves in. He knows we still have free will.
God also holds us responsible for the actions of others. Isn’t this why we are punished for the sins of Adam and Eve?
God is omniscient and he is all knowing but he can choose not to know also. That is what he does. God deliberately does not look at the specific choices that we will make in the future. It is not because he can’t do so. He makes a conscious decision not to know. That way there can be no suggestion that our futures are predestined.
Far be it from me to claim I knew the mind of god. So when you said that “God did not know that Adam would disobey him…” you meant that god chose not to know. I find this fantastic.
 
  • #28
FZ+
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God is omniscient and he is all knowing but he can choose not to know also. That is what he does. God deliberately does not look at the specific choices that we will make in the future. It is not because he can’t do so. He makes a conscious decision not to know. That way there can be no suggestion that our futures are predestined.
But he does, doesn't he? Why else do we have prophets?
 
  • #29
kyleb
duh FZ+, of couse prophets are in it for the money.
 
  • #30
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If not a scientific description can you give me a theological description of this? I mean, is this written in the Bible somewhere?
There are some relevant scriptures. The Bible refers to God as the source of all life, having great energy and never growing tired - Psalms 36:9; Isaiah 40:26,28. It is said that those trusting in God shall run and not be weary - Isaiah 40:31. Adam would lose his connection to God if he disobeyed him: "if you forsake him he will cast you off forever......if you turn away, he will abandon you" - 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2. God pronounced his abandonment of Adam following Adam's sin - Genesis 3:19.
I thought the reason we grow old is because we are cut off from eating the fruit of the tree of life. Is this tree what you mean by the source of all life, and do you think such a tree can yet be found?
Both the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were actual trees in Eden (Genesis 2:9) but their fruit was no different to the fruit from other trees. They were just ordinary trees. They were used by God for symbolic purposes. If Adam had remained faithful to God then after a period of time God would have allowed Adam to eat from the tree of life. The tree of life represented God's gift of everlasting life. If Adam had eaten from the tree of life God would have felt obliged to fulfil his promise of everlasting life so after Adam sinned God expelled him from Eden and barred his return to prevent Adam from eating its fruit. - Genesis 3:22-24. God is the source of all life, not any tree. The tree of life has nothing to do with us growing old. I doubt that any tree from Eden exists but even if it could be found it is meaningless today.
God also holds us responsible for the actions of others. Isn’t this why we are punished for the sins of Adam and Eve?
We suffer the consequences of Adam and Eve's sin but it is not a punishment imposed by God. Generally speaking God does not hold us responsible for the actions of others. God judges everyone individually. - 2 Timothy 4:1
Far be it from me to claim I knew the mind of god. So when you said that “God did not know that Adam would disobey him…” you meant that god chose not to know. I find this fantastic.
Yes, that's exactly what I meant. The ways of God are indeed fantastic: "My ways are higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:9
 
  • #31
BoulderHead
I would say that you have some very interesting interpretations of the Bible, why, I would go so far as to say that I like some of them. Unfortunately, the Bible is not something I could ever believe in personally, and the need to interpret it, for me at least, is a proof that it is not what it claims to be.
 
  • #32
greeneagle3000
what if...

what if god IS evil?
that explains everythng right?

genesis 1:26 and
genesis 3:22

read it carefully and tell me what's wrong.
 
  • #33
73
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what if god IS evil?
that explains everythng right?

genesis 1:26 and
genesis 3:22

read it carefully and tell me what's wrong.
If God is evil why did he create love?
 
  • #34
FZ+
1,561
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(With a nod to Iacchus - sorry) So he can laugh His head off when it falls apart? If we do not have love, how can we have Lust, Hatred, Adultery, Perversion and all those things that God really prefers?
 
  • #35
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If we do not have love, how can we have Lust, Hatred, Adultery, Perversion and all those things that God really prefers?
FZ+
I noticed that in another thread you said, "I am an agnostic/atheist." It is curious that you would debate the nature of a God that you don't believe exists. I suspect that you use the notion of an evil God as an argument to convince yourself that there is no God.
 
  • #36
BoulderHead
Originally posted by Laser Eyes
FZ+
I noticed that in another thread you said, "I am an agnostic/atheist." It is curious that you would debate the nature of a God that you don't believe exists. I suspect that you use the notion of an evil God as an argument to convince yourself that there is no God.
Speaking on my own behalf I find the ability of people to believe quite fascinating and wish to understand where they 'went wrong' in their thinking or what type of experiences they may have had to convince them...

For those without experience of this type I suspect they have doubts and wish to argue against atheists and agnostics, perhaps hoping to convince them, as a way to strengthen their belief in their beliefs.
 
  • #37
FZ+
1,561
3
FZ+
I noticed that in another thread you said, "I am an agnostic/atheist." It is curious that you would debate the nature of a God that you don't believe exists. I suspect that you use the notion of an evil God as an argument to convince yourself that there is no God.
You seem to miss the agnostic part of it. I think it is better to assume god exists, but that says nothing about the discussion. Rather, your suspiscion implies some sort of wierd schizophenia which I am sad to say, I don't have. At least, we think we don't.

Rather, I am wondering whether it is just as correct to contemplate the idea that God is evil as it is to say God is good. The arguments point neither way. I see this as an area of discussion that has never really been contemplated. You cannot discuss the link between morality and god, if you just focus one whether God is good. You would then miss a big proportion of the data. Why do you say immediately that God must be good? There is nothing to lose to question one's own beliefs. I might be wrong, even. But without debate, we have no progress.

And come to think of it, that would be very boring, wouldn't it?
 
  • #38
BoulderHead
But without debate, we have no progress.
...and quite often we have no progress even with it.
 
  • #39
greeneagle3000


Originally posted by Laser Eyes
If God is evil why did he create love?
how do you know if god created love?

it seems that no one has read what i asked to. so i will detail it.

this comes from the king james version of the bible
when creating men.
"genesis 1:26. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.."
unbelievable? here's more
"genesis 3:22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become
like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth
his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for
ever" -- "

What i'm trying to say is that the gods are evil
 
  • #40
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You seem to miss the agnostic part of it. I think it is better to assume god exists, but that says nothing about the discussion.
As I understand the term agnostic it means someone who neither believes in nor denies the existence of God but makes no assumptions about it. Leaving that aside can you be satisfied with making an assumption about God's existence? If so then that's fine but wouldn't it be better to know the truth? And if there is a God don't you think he would want us to know about his existence and make it possible to find out?
I am wondering whether it is just as correct to contemplate the idea that God is evil as it is to say God is good. The arguments point neither way.
Do the arguments really point neither way? If God is evil why is there so much about the world that is really good? Why did the evil God make such a beautiful environment to live in? Why did the evil God give us such wonderfully designed bodies that are a masterpiece of engineering? Why did the evil God make for man a beautiful companion to love? Why would an evil God create such a marvelous experience as sex, would that even occur to an evil God? Why did the evil God give us colours, he could have made the world black and white? Why did the evil God give us a wonderful variety of foods? Why did the evil God give us music? Why did the evil God give us such wonderful brains? And a million more things that I could think of. Why if God is evil is there not widespread hatred of him?
 
  • #41
73
0
this comes from the king james version of the bible
when creating men.
"genesis 1:26. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.."
unbelievable? here's more
"genesis 3:22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become
like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth
his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for
ever" -- "

What i'm trying to say is that the gods are evil
If you're going to use the Bible to support your arguments then you have to take the whole Bible, not just part of it. Your argument assumes that the first man that God made was like us today. He was not. Adam was a perfect man without wrong inclinations. After God had finished his creative works which included man the Bible tells us, "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." - Genesis 1:31 Doesn't this scripture suggest that the first man was not evil? How then can you use our imperfect condition today to argue that God is evil?

The scripture at Genesis 3:22 could be interpreted in a different way. Another meaning it could have is that God reserved for himself the right to set moral standards, to "know" what is good and evil. By eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Adam chose to ignore God's moral code and decide for himself what is good and what is evil (ie "knowing good and evil" like a God).
 
  • #42
FZ+
1,561
3
As I understand the term agnostic it means someone who neither believes in nor denies the existence of God but makes no assumptions about it. Leaving that aside can you be satisfied with making an assumption about God's existence? If so then that's fine but wouldn't it be better to know the truth? And if there is a God don't you think he would want us to know about his existence and make it possible to find out?
Hmm... I use a different, and as russ_watters will inevitably point out, less correct definition. Mine is that we can simply not know the truth of god's existence at the moment. But to add to it, I believe it better to live with the assumption of god's non-existence, until evidence appears to counter it. Hence, we cannot know the truth. But we can make a guess as to the general direction. As to if God wants us to know of his existence, why don't we know it? Why does the world follow different religions, and some don't believe at all? Rather, God based on faith would perhaps be dependent on us not knowing. By a crude use of the free will defence, if we could know, we cannot freely choose to suck up to God. Or so it seems.

Do the arguments really point neither way?
Yes they do, if you are prepared to contemplate the suggestion.



If God is evil why is there so much about the world that is really good? Why did the evil God make such a beautiful environment to live in? Why did the evil God give us such wonderfully designed bodies that are a masterpiece of engineering? Why did the evil God make for man a beautiful companion to love? Why would an evil God create such a marvelous experience as sex, would that even occur to an evil God? Why did the evil God give us colours, he could have made the world black and white? Why did the evil God give us a wonderful variety of foods? Why did the evil God give us music? Why did the evil God give us such wonderful brains? And a million more things that I could think of. Why if God is evil is there not widespread hatred of him?
1. Free will defence. God needs good, for there to be free will. Without free will, there can be no real suffering and guilt.
2. It's not that good. Why out of all the infinitely many better universes he could make, did he make such a bad one?
3. Because they happen to be so excellent at inflicting and taking pain, getting damaged and wounded, being ignorant.... and all the other things. Is not the body of Hitler such a wonderfully designed masterpiece of engineering?
4. And then made it (biblically speaking) betray him in such a ironic and cruel fashion?
5. Because the desire for it would consume us? Interesting how sex has been a taboo for so many thousand years....
6. Why would a good god give us colours? Erm... I don't see anything good or evil about colours. Rather neutral, like it seems the nature of the universe, and any god must be.
7. If you see the sort of meals I eat each day, I would rethink that statement. Why isn't everything delicious?
8. Think of all the music you really HATE. There's your answer.
9. So we can think of many more ways of suffering and debauchery?

All statement can be turned round with more or less the same argument used to justify a good god. You just need to look on the bad side of things. Every silver lining has a big black cloud in the middle. Ah the joys of pessimism...

oh and 11:
Because he lies?
 
  • #43
greeneagle3000
Originally posted by FZ+
oh and 11:
Because he lies? [/B]
that explains everything.
would ebil lie to his people?
i don't need to take the whole bible to support me. part of it is burnt. you can read it for yourself if you like.
 
  • #44
1,481
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I have always thought of that story as a metaphor of human evolution.
Before we became human we were as the beasts in the fields with no knowlege of right or wrong or God for that matter. We had no problems other that surviving and reproducing.
When we developed enough intelligence to become wise, i.e. develope a moral code and a sense of good and evil, part, I think, of forming societies, then evil came into the our world along with good. We covered our nakedness and learned to labor for our and our society's future benefit. In short we became human and began to know ourselves and strive to know God(s).
Our falling from grace is a "logical" construction oof the church to explain exactly what you are trying to explain or discuss in this thread. How or why could an all powerful all knowing God create such an imperfect being such as man and allow all the evil and suffering exist in the world of his loving creating.
I think also the it was and is exploited by the churches to make themselves and indispensable part of our lives and our society to give themselves power over us and of course wealth with out having to really work for it.
I don't think mankind has fallen but is rather striving to reach a state of grace, a good loving knowing relationship with themselves and their God.
 
  • #45
BoulderHead
Before we became human we were as the beasts in the fields with no knowlege of right or wrong or God for that matter. We had no problems other that surviving and reproducing.
Hmmm, you might enjoy a topic I began (and haven't finished yet because my DVD player stopped working...) in Mystics and Pseudo Science;

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1022
 
  • #46
73
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I'm glad you resurrected this thread Royce because another argument occurred to me to deal with FZ+'s suggestion that maybe God is evil and this world is his way of tormenting us. There is another reason why that does not make sense. If God is evil then could this world really be the worst he can do. I mean just look at the world. Sure there is a lot of things wrong with the world but there are also many things that make life wonderful. People grow up, realise dreams, fall in love, enjoy the arts, music, movies, play sport, learn about the plants and animals and so on. Our wonderfully designed bodies and the beautiful and resource-rich environment we live in give us great opportunities to live happy lives. People all over the world are enjoying life and love being alive. So the question is, if God is evil, is this the worst he can do? I mean really. Come on. You have got to be kidding me. Even we puny humans with our limited thinking capacity can make life worse for someone if we want to. We know how to torture a person with physical pain. We can cause mental stress to someone. We can deprive a person of their liberty and cause unhappiness. There are many things that could have been done differently if God wanted to create a being and then torment it. Yet this world is supposed to be the worst that an evil God can do? If this is as bad as he can make it then he would have to be the most incompetent God that ever existed. That's the logical conclusion as it seems to me. If God is evil then he must be incompetent.
 
  • #47
BoulderHead
if God is evil, is this the worst he can do?
How about this senario; it is his greatest work.
God has created a situation where mankind can drive itself nuts trying to figure out what's going on and what they ought to believe in, if anything. As an added bonus, all the faithful will be laughed at so loudly come judgment day that God's breath alone will cast them all into Hell...
“Hahaha, I really had you people going didn't I? You actually believed you might be going to Heaven...Ah, hahahaha” (*souls caught in the gust and blown into the pit*).

Sure there is a lot of things wrong with the world but there are also many things that make life wonderful. People grow up, realise dreams, fall in love, enjoy the arts, music, movies, play sport, learn about the plants and animals and so on. Our wonderfully designed bodies and the beautiful and resource-rich environment we live in give us great opportunities to live happy lives.
Yeah, I truly do appreciate this existence. I wish we could all live happily ever after, too.
There are many things that could have been done differently if God wanted to create a being and then torment it.
There are infinite possibilities, that presents us with a problem. We do our best to understand, but it isn't easy.
 

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