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If There Is A Good God, Why Does He Allow Evil And Suffering?

Elvira

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It is important to distinguish between the logical problem and the emotional problem of evil.

 

slightlyperfect

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It is important to distinguish between the logical problem and the emotional problem of evil.

The more important issue is, even if this god exists, why humans would want to worship something ethically weaker than themselves. To sacrifice that level of cognition and moral integrity for something empirically unproven is just bizarre to me, but many religious people do it.

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Good4Nothin

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This question is always asked by people who don't like religion. It's like they think we should remain infants all our lives, and have all our desires filled at every moment.

What exactly is "evil?" Anything we feel is bad? And how bad does it have to be for us to call it evil?

Is it evil that everyone dies? Do you demand a world where everyone lives forever, like in that Vonnegut story?

Is it evil that you don't get everything you want when you want it?

Obviously there are degrees of evil. Exactly where should the line be drawn, exactly what do you think God (which of course you don't believe exists) should allow?

No matter how much evil God prevented, there would still be some left, and you would complain about that. It's an impossible question and demand, and a philosophically incorrect question to ask.

What about all the evil that our species has created? When humans were primitive and lived in natural environments, they were much less destructive. The more comfortable and convenient we make our lives in the present, the more damage we cause to the environment. Should God prevent people from inventing things and using technology, to prevent nature from being destroyed?

How would God prevent people from inventing things and using technology? By making us robots who can only do what God makes us do?

The whole question is ridiculous and impossible to even talk about. The more you think about it, the less it makes any sense.
 

slightlyperfect

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This question is always asked by people who don't like religion. It's like they think we should remain infants all our lives, and have all our desires filled at every moment.

What exactly is "evil?" Anything we feel is bad? And how bad does it have to be for us to call it evil?

Is it evil that everyone dies? Do you demand a world where everyone lives forever, like in that Vonnegut story?

Is it evil that you don't get everything you want when you want it?

Obviously there are degrees of evil. Exactly where should the line be drawn, exactly what do you think God (which of course you don't believe exists) should allow?

No matter how much evil God prevented, there would still be some left, and you would complain about that. It's an impossible question and demand, and a philosophically incorrect question to ask.

What about all the evil that our species has created? When humans were primitive and lived in natural environments, they were much less destructive. The more comfortable and convenient we make our lives in the present, the more damage we cause to the environment. Should God prevent people from inventing things and using technology, to prevent nature from being destroyed?

How would God prevent people from inventing things and using technology? By making us robots who can only do what God makes us do?

The whole question is ridiculous and impossible to even talk about. The more you think about it, the less it makes any sense.
You've pretty much outlined the case for an omnipotent god's non-existence.

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Good4Nothin

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You've pretty much outlined the case for an omnipotent god's non-existence.

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First I never said anything about an omnipotent god. And I thought I explained why people can't have what they want, because they don't know what they want, and what they want isn't what they need anyway.

So you want god, or the Universe, to provide everything your little heart longs for, and also gave everyone else what their little hearts long for. And you can't see any possible problems with that?
 

Rich2018

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It is important to distinguish between the logical problem and the emotional problem of evil....

I've already explained this to you several times:


Christians retreat into one of three redoubts when debating their god:


1. I just know (when asked why they believe)
"I believe,, I believe, I believe..." (with hands over their eyes)


2. God of the Gaps:
A biologist might admit that he/she doesn't know the origin of life
Christians will exclaim "Therefore God" (claiming that god is the default position)


3. God moves in mysterious ways:
God gets all the credit when something good happens (like a child with cancer showing a miraculous recovery after the pope touched & prayed for him/her)
God gets none of the blame - like when the other 99 children succumb to their cancer and die.
When asked why god did save them too, it is because "God moves in mysterious ways".


So in direct answer to you...it is excuse #3.
 

Skeptic Bob

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Well, I don’t believe in free will, so that isn’t an explanation I personally find compelling. And even if I believed we have souls that give us free will in a universe otherwise governed strictly by physics, we still didn’t get a choice which soul we got. God decided if I got this soul or the soul of Charles Manson.

But even if I grant free will is true, then it doesn’t explain all the suffering and misery in the world that isn’t caused by humans.

If I actually believed in an all powerful, all knowing god, I am not convinced it would operate on anything remotely resembling our system of ethics or the concept of good and evil.
 

Good4Nothin

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I don’t want to derail this thread so I’ll point you to an old thread of mine on free will:

https://www.debatepolitics.com/philosophical-discussions/221336-why-dont-believe-free.html

"Experiments seem to indicate that unconscious parts of your brain make the decisions and moments later you become consciously aware of the decision and mistakenly believe you consciously chose the action for yourself."

No. Those experiments just show that most of our thinking is subconscious. That doesn't mean we have no control over our thoughts, just that the "self" is a whole lot more complex than the way neuroscientists are defining it.
 

slightlyperfect

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"Experiments seem to indicate that unconscious parts of your brain make the decisions and moments later you become consciously aware of the decision and mistakenly believe you consciously chose the action for yourself."

No. Those experiments just show that most of our thinking is subconscious. That doesn't mean we have no control over our thoughts, just that the "self" is a whole lot more complex than the way neuroscientists are defining it.
You make an important point. We can only control what we can control. But that doesn't mean human cognition is impotent. We can figure out what is ethically important to us. And preventing unnecessary tragedy is a priority. If a god can't conform, that's not our responsibility.

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Elvira

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You make an important point. We can only control what we can control. But that doesn't mean human cognition is impotent. We can figure out what is ethically important to us. And preventing unnecessary tragedy is a priority. If a god can't conform, that's not our responsibility.

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You can turn that around and say if we can't conform to God's standard of good, that is not His responsibility...
 

Elvira

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So?
What is his responsibility?

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As our Creator, He knows what is best for us...if we resist His guidance, that is on us, not him...
 

Airyaman

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Such a silly question.

Mine would have been: "If a god who wants humans to believe in it exists, why does it always get other humans to speak for it?"

Seriously, without other humans telling us about gods, there would be no other reason to believe in the existence of said gods.
 

Elvira

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But he's all-powerful?

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All-powerful does not mean He forces us to do anything...that is what free will is all about...He wants us to come to the realization on our own that we need His guidance...otherwise, our loyalty means nothing nor will it last...
 

slightlyperfect

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All-powerful does not mean He forces us to do anything...that is what free will is all about...He wants us to come to the realization on our own that we need His guidance...otherwise, our loyalty means nothing nor will it last...
All-powerful means this god is all-knowing, so free will cannot exist. It's a logical contradiction, like the video describes.

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Elvira

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All-powerful means this god is all-knowing, so free will cannot exist. It's a logical contradiction, like the video describes.

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Um no, it does not...He can use His power any way He chooses...or not...that is all powerful...
 

Good4Nothin

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People get confused because they expect to be able to grasp the incomprehensible. If you have no sense of something higher than ourselves, you will expect too much from your little human mind.

We don't know what God thinks or what God wants from us. Well, maybe we know, but it can't be simply described in words.
 

Elvira

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People get confused because they expect to be able to grasp the incomprehensible. If you have no sense of something higher than ourselves, you will expect too much from your little human mind.

We don't know what God thinks or what God wants from us. Well, maybe we know, but it can't be simply described in words.

People also fail to realize power is not God's only quality...His power is oftentimes buffered with His other qualities of love, justice, and mercy...for instance, he could've destroyed Adam and Eve and Satan in the instant they disobeyed, but He didn't...He allowed Adam and Eve to conceive, otherwise, none of us would've ever had the chance for life...thus His love and mercy came to the forefront...
 

Logicman

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All-powerful means this god is all-knowing, so free will cannot exist. It's a logical contradiction...

It's a bogus argument. There's nothing that says God can't be all powerful and at the same time allow people to have free will. You've got free will right now to receive or reject Jesus as your Savior. And while you're deciding, God remains all powerful and all knowing.

The fallacy of your argument is that while God knows what your future choices will be, he doesn't determine them for you. You make your own choices.

And if people wind up in Hell, it will be because they exercised their free will choice to reject Christ.
 

Rich2018

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"Experiments seem to indicate that unconscious parts of your brain make the decisions and moments later you become consciously aware of the decision and mistakenly believe you consciously chose the action for yourself."

No. Those experiments just show that most of our thinking is subconscious. That doesn't mean we have no control over our thoughts, just that the "self" is a whole lot more complex than the way neuroscientists are defining it.


I'm aware of these experiments...that brain activity is measured before a subject comes to a decision.

But we can't know what this brain activity is.

I believe that it is just emotional responses....stimulations. We then consciously decide which option to take in response to them.


We have free will.

All sentient beings do.
 

slightlyperfect

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As our Creator, He knows what is best for us...if we resist His guidance, that is on us, not him...
There are many assumptions in one sentence present here. But what I will say is that a good that demands unnecessary blood sacrifice is not worthy of our worship and should not be guiding us.

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