View Active Topics          Latest 100 Topics          View Your Posts          Switch to Mobile

Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Discussions Religion and Theology, Scriptures, Bible Debate, etc.

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 06 Sep 2011, 06:01

ProfWag wrote:
Ben Masada wrote:God has absolutely nothing to do with the suffering of millions of people on this planet. Man was granted with the attribute of freewill. If you read Deuteronomy
30:19, you will see that the Lord has set before us life and death, blessing and cursing; and has advised us to choose life that both, we and our seed may live without suffering. It means that it has become up to us the kind of life we will choose for us and our seed to live. Usually, the kind of suffering we subject ourselves to, we are the ones who have subject ourselves to. Therefore, it is up to us to fix our blunders and return to the ideal way, which was God's way. Now, sufferings as a result of natural disasters, it is a little more complicated to understand but God is still not in the picture. The problem is that we just happen to be on the wrong place at the wrong time. When the first commandment to man was given in Genesis 1:28, to grow and multiply, it was not to mean only as far as progeny was concerned but also in the development of man's intellect. It is expected by now of man to know of earth's vulnerable places for natural disasters to happen, and take care that casualties be brought to a minimum if not completely eliminated. Therefore, man is supposed to learn and avoid what causes suffering, and not to blame God for our own shortcomings. This is simply childish behaviour.
Ben

You're kidding me. Right?
God, according to the bible, is THE most destructive person in history.

Organized religion and governments runs a close second.
User avatar
NinjaPuppy
 
Posts: 4002
Joined: 28 Jul 2009, 20:44






Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Ben Masada » 07 Sep 2011, 12:10

ProfWag wrote:
Ben Masada wrote:God has absolutely nothing to do with the suffering of millions of people on this planet. Man was granted with the attribute of freewill. If you read Deuteronomy
30:19, you will see that the Lord has set before us life and death, blessing and cursing; and has advised us to choose life that both, we and our seed may live without suffering. It means that it has become up to us the kind of life we will choose for us and our seed to live. Usually, the kind of suffering we subject ourselves to, we are the ones who have subject ourselves to. Therefore, it is up to us to fix our blunders and return to the ideal way, which was God's way. Now, sufferings as a result of natural disasters, it is a little more complicated to understand but God is still not in the picture. The problem is that we just happen to be on the wrong place at the wrong time. When the first commandment to man was given in Genesis 1:28, to grow and multiply, it was not to mean only as far as progeny was concerned but also in the development of man's intellect. It is expected by now of man to know of earth's vulnerable places for natural disasters to happen, and take care that casualties be brought to a minimum if not completely eliminated. Therefore, man is supposed to learn and avoid what causes suffering, and not to blame God for our own shortcomings. This is simply childish behaviour.
Ben

----------------------
You're kidding me. Right?
God, according to the bible, is THE most destructive person in history. If he doesn't like something, he has no problem killing it. Sorry, I can't worship that kind of person. Moses was a murderer, God killed Egyption children, and so forth. We're supposed to worship that kind of supportive destruction? Nope, not for me. Sorry.

----------------------
No, I am not kidding; I am rather deadly serious. So much so, that I am ready to make a deal with you, to become whatever you profess in terms of religion if You prove with a quotation in the Tanach of an instance when God proved to be the most destructive person in history. First of all, God is not a person or like a person to become destructive like for example Hitler. God is Spirit and incorporeal at that. There is no destructiveness in incorporeality.

Then, you say that if He does not like something, he has no problem killing it. You must be talking about an anthropomorphic god who kills what or whoever he does not like. The God I am talking about is not anthropomorphic. I don't know what religion you come from, but it seems to me you must worship a person, and a dead person for that matter.

Then, you say Moses was a murderer. No, he was not; he was a politician, who cares for what is his. He saw someone on the way to kill one of his brothers and killed him first. This means to stich for each other's.

Then, you say that God killed Egyptian children. Can you prove it? The text says that the thing happened by means of an angel. Angels in the Tanach are emanations. A plague could be an emanation. Angels also mean messengers. Maybe someone sent someone else, inside work, to do the job and the job was done.

Nobody is supposed to worship anybody, even the real God Creator of the universe. How would worshiping God help anyone? I bet you have someone in your family who does worship this kind of supportive destruction you are talking about. But not you? Congratulations! Someone with some commonsense. Welcome to the club. But if you prove what I asked, I'll become one like you.
Ben
User avatar
Ben Masada
 
Posts: 11
Joined: 06 Sep 2011, 00:04

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby ProfWag » 07 Sep 2011, 19:02

Ben Masada wrote:No, I am not kidding; I am rather deadly serious. So much so, that I am ready to make a deal with you, to become whatever you profess in terms of religion if You prove with a quotation in the Tanach of an instance when God proved to be the most destructive person in history. First of all, God is not a person or like a person to become destructive like for example Hitler. God is Spirit and incorporeal at that. There is no destructiveness in incorporeality.

By Tanach, I hope you mean the Old Testiment as I cannot read Hebrew. In any event, Genesis 6:13 "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
Assuming, of course, that the story of Noah is non-fictional which I don't think it was. I certainly don't want you to change your religion, and I also know that you are well aware of this passage and am sure you'll have some excuse that god's destruction on the earth was not destruction at all, but something else. And that's fine as everyone is entitled to an opinion. From where I sit, however, if that story were to be true then yes, god virtually destroyed the good earth that he created.
As for the religion I profess, I was raised Baptist until they scared the sh!t out of me in sermons by telling me that I'll go to hell if I fart wrong. I then became non-denominational Christian. In my later years, my views changed to the point where I no longer believe in spiritual intervention of any kind. Personally, I believe that religion was someone's cruel joke, centuries ago, to help ease the suffering of those who lose a loved one.
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Craig Browning » 07 Sep 2011, 21:22

No, I am not kidding; I am rather deadly serious. So much so, that I am ready to make a deal with you, to become whatever you profess in terms of religion if You prove with a quotation in the Tanach of an instance when God proved to be the most destructive person in history. First of all, God is not a person or like a person to become destructive like for example Hitler. God is Spirit and incorporeal at that. There is no destructiveness in incorporeality.


Don’t ask me for exact passages I haven’t the time to look them up BUT, in Genesis, Exodus & the bulk of the Old Testament “God” orders the genocide of at least one entire race (giants) and the destruction of several communities; The Giants, memory serving, were one of his “mistakes” that he needed to get rid of because they would not kiss his glowing tukkiss. . . then again, the communities he destroyed, most of them at least, were devastated militarily, for the same reason. . . or have we forgotten about the exploits of David, Joshua and others of the day?

As to what “God” is or isn’t, remains a question in that it is said to be ALL THINGS but true to the routine of the clergy, they start insisting that it is “not” this, this or this. So he/she must be etheric in that we cannot define it, we can only assign it very human attributes.

Then, you say that if He does not like something, he has no problem killing it. You must be talking about an anthropomorphic god who kills what or whoever he does not like. The God I am talking about is not anthropomorphic. I don't know what religion you come from, but it seems to me you must worship a person, and a dead person for that matter.


Hmm… I recall something in the Torah about “chosen peoples”? Then there’s those little instances I pointed out in the above, the whole thing around Caine & Able. . . Samson. . . David. . . Abraham. . . Israel. . . do we need to go deeper?

Then, you say Moses was a murderer. No, he was not; he was a politician, who cares for what is his. He saw someone on the way to kill one of his brothers and killed him first. This means to stich for each other's.


I’d kind of agree with you on this point, but loosely. . . let’s say that I understand where you’re coming from here.

Then, you say that God killed Egyptian children. Can you prove it? The text says that the thing happened by means of an angel. Angels in the Tanach are emanations. A plague could be an emanation. Angels also mean messengers. Maybe someone sent someone else, inside work, to do the job and the job was done.


Angels are also people (i.e. those that visited Lot and his family in Sodom -- there are other instances as well involving Jacob, Ezekiel, etc.) within the bible but more importantly they are established as a race that preceded man (and envied man) who had no free will (which is what they coveted in man) and thus, they had to do as the boss man told them to do; in the case of the famed “Angel of Death” the heavenly hosts were told to fulfill the sentenced pronounced by Pharaoh. . . analytically however, we are pretty certain that it had to do with far more natural things than Angels or pixies.

Nobody is supposed to worship anybody, even the real God Creator of the universe. How would worshiping God help anyone? I bet you have someone in your family who does worship this kind of supportive destruction you are talking about. But not you? Congratulations! Someone with some commonsense. Welcome to the club. But if you prove what I asked, I'll become one like you.


Hmmm… what happened to the Sabbath, not bowing down to any God/idol other than “the lord thy god, the god of Israel”, etc. etc.?

Either you’re studying a completely different book than I’ve studied for the past four decades or you are another cherry picker that’s trying to act smarter than a 5th grader. I’m willing to try to see how you contradict what’s been traditionally understood and taught for much of the past 3,000+ years but for some reason I’m betting you’re going to miss your mark. It has nothing to do with you personally, just years of studying with Rabbis, ministers from most all Christian denominations as well as clergy from Islam and other world faiths; for some reason I just can’t believe they were all wrong.
User avatar
Craig Browning
 
Posts: 1526
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 05:20
Location: Northampton, MA

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Scepcop » 11 Sep 2011, 20:15

Ben Masada wrote:No, I am not kidding; I am rather deadly serious. So much so, that I am ready to make a deal with you, to become whatever you profess in terms of religion if You prove with a quotation in the Tanach of an instance when God proved to be the most destructive person in history. First of all, God is not a person or like a person to become destructive like for example Hitler. God is Spirit and incorporeal at that. There is no destructiveness in incorporeality.

Then, you say that if He does not like something, he has no problem killing it. You must be talking about an anthropomorphic god who kills what or whoever he does not like. The God I am talking about is not anthropomorphic. I don't know what religion you come from, but it seems to me you must worship a person, and a dead person for that matter.

Then, you say Moses was a murderer. No, he was not; he was a politician, who cares for what is his. He saw someone on the way to kill one of his brothers and killed him first. This means to stich for each other's.

Then, you say that God killed Egyptian children. Can you prove it? The text says that the thing happened by means of an angel. Angels in the Tanach are emanations. A plague could be an emanation. Angels also mean messengers. Maybe someone sent someone else, inside work, to do the job and the job was done.

Nobody is supposed to worship anybody, even the real God Creator of the universe. How would worshiping God help anyone? I bet you have someone in your family who does worship this kind of supportive destruction you are talking about. But not you? Congratulations! Someone with some commonsense. Welcome to the club. But if you prove what I asked, I'll become one like you.
Ben


Are you a Christian? It's not clear. Do you believe the Bible is literal truth and infallible?

Check out this list of verses where God killed lots of innocent people, including children.

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Debunk ... Page20.htm

Check out this death toll tally sheet between God and Satan. The results might surprise you.

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Debunk ... Page22.htm

Get real.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Scepcop » 11 Sep 2011, 20:21

Check out this chapter in a book about Gnosticism. It depicts the Fall of Man in the reverse way that the Bible does, with Lucifer being the liberator and God being the oppressor. This seems to make more sense, since God lied in that story about Adam and Eve being sure to die if they ate off that forbidden tree, while the Serpent told the truth, that they would not die but have their eyes opened, knowing both good and evil. How can that be? lol

http://www.theforbiddenreligion.com/the ... vation.htm

It also describes the Bible God as a tyrant and a lower level deity, not the highest one.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Craig Browning » 12 Sep 2011, 00:10

Scepcop wrote:Check out this chapter in a book about Gnosticism. It depicts the Fall of Man in the reverse way that the Bible does, with Lucifer being the liberator and God being the oppressor. This seems to make more sense, since God lied in that story about Adam and Eve being sure to die if they ate off that forbidden tree, while the Serpent told the truth, that they would not die but have their eyes opened, knowing both good and evil. How can that be? lol

http://www.theforbiddenreligion.com/the ... vation.htm

It also describes the Bible God as a tyrant and a lower level deity, not the highest one.


Not certain where you get that though I fully understand the concept; many occultists of eastern & western thinking have discussed this for generations as have theologians. It's not actually a Gnostic idea, the Gnostics more or less imply that Ialdabaoth Yahweh was the bastard child of the Goddess Sophie who, upon discovering there were other gods above him and that he was a "sin" in and of himself, created his own world, people, etc. and ruled them by a dictatorial hand while the true "Heavenly Father" sent to that world certain devices and messengers that would help correct the problem, starting with a certain serpent type fellow that hung out in fruit trees; even theologians and rabbi alike have argued that the serpent was necessary, some even believing he was one of the incarnate forms of Jesus (who of course, was also Buddha at one point. . . but that's not our point of discussion :twisted: ) Ialdabaoth's primary point man on earth was Moses NOT Abraham. . . we're talking two completely different gods, Ialdabaoth more or less deceiving a rather stressed-out and confused Moses -- the outcast fallen prince of Egypt -- by manipulating his less than educated mind where it comes to Hebrew beliefs & traditions. Let's face it, a Prince of Egypt wouldn't study the religion of slaves, wouldn't have been raised according to their views, etc. BUT, he would be familiar with the idea of a Monotheistic point of view, given that it was originally an Egyptian born idea (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhenaten for a clue).

Almost word for word, the ways of Ialdabaoth Yahweh mirror the biblical tale of Lucifer and this includes the pseudo sense of rebellion towards the true creator of the Universe (BTW. . . this does tie-in to the thread about creation and the whole chicken v. egg issue). It is something echoed in the Koran and which can be found in other traditions, some arguing that there are strong parallels in certain parts of Egyptian mythology.

I'm using this particular point in Gnostic traditions around the Demiruge as part of a novel I've been playing with for the past 25 years or so entitled "Lucifer's Plot". What better way to steal the hearts & minds of man than to paint the "truth" as evil and promote your ideas as being the "true path" by way of this or that orthodoxy & dogma? It's not that the devil's best trick on man was to convince us he doesn't exist, but to trick us into believing he's the good guy. :mrgreen:
User avatar
Craig Browning
 
Posts: 1526
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 05:20
Location: Northampton, MA

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 13 Sep 2011, 04:00

My Left brain has loathed the paradoxes in the abstract ideal of Plato's Triple O for forty years. "Twain" prefers ideas to have referents in the real world.

I am more convinced than ever that Plato's abstract version of a transcendent “God” is a logical impossibility. That's the fourth of the "things" I "know" are true, as I said in my math mysticism post.

Yet for at least thirty years, I have noticed there is "something" in the universe that fulfills the strict definitions of the terms all powerful. all knowing, all good, and even all present.

It is the "lucisphere", the "field of light", which consists of the interaction of all light from the moment the universe became transparent to the last flicker of heat death (if that is the life-cycle of the universe.)

For this "entity", rather it has any awareness, or is merely force, is all powerful in the sense that it is the source of all energy aside from magneticism and motion (and if matter is merely light squared on itself, the term is more apt.)

Photons have minimal awareness. This implies the "lucisphere" is "all knowing" It simultaneously is aware of everything that is aware of it thru all time and space, and it keeps them in agreement. Light appears to me to be the likeliest candidate for quantum mechanics' universal decider, and for, in Platonic and Christian terms, the “Logos” “For the word was God, and the word was “Light'!”
(Cherry picking, I know, but as the Unitarians say, “If it helps us, it comes from God. If it doesn't, it doesn't.” That tells you what the cherries are.)

Light is even as omnibenevolent as Mark Twain's version of the Great Spirit. It shines alike on Auschwitz and zebras.

Light is not transcendent, but as far as immanence goes, it is the most impressive fact of this universe, and the largest real object I have ever found to contemplate. Ben Masada, you are welcome to incorporate this idea in your Christian atheism. It sustained me as a Christian when I was drowning in the non divine bs, and it sustains me when I realize Pascal's universe is full of light.

By the way, stopping “evil” is not its function. I believe “evil” falls in three classes.
Physical evils, earthquakes, floods, etc, are simply Murphy at work, and not personal.
The suffering that comes from being organic beings is part of the process and of being trapped in a moment. From the eternal perspective, it is the shadow of contrast, and a needed part of the picture.
The unneeded suffering humans cause each other is the result of laziness and stupidity. Its our job to do and to learn. Are teachers evil when they flunk students?

As for the specifically Christian God “flunking” the majority of the human race, and your metaphor of making a dollar while losing four, whatever “the devil” thinks or the ratio of world to soul is, I do not think souls are negotiable.
Christian soul making is more like refining. What does a ton of slag matter when one finds a diamond? What do a thousand caterpillars eaten by birds matter when one gets a butterfly? (They matter to the birds)

Did I answer your question, Scecop?
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
User avatar
Twain Shakespeare
 
Posts: 375
Joined: 20 Jul 2010, 05:19
Location: El Paso Del Norte on the sunny Jornada del Muerta

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby TSM » 25 Feb 2012, 02:49

Is God playing by the rules?


Are there a set of universal rules which have always existed and that always will exist that cannot be broken, and to which everything within the universe must be servile. I will have to back up a little to explain where that comes from.

According to my understanding of the biblical, Christian religions (and I am the first to admit, there are gaps in my knowledge) God created the world, the universe, the stars, and mankind. He is touted as an omnipotent being, whose powers are unlimited, and whose capabilities are boundless. The impression I have is that God makes the rules, and then, obviously, can break them at will.

The law of gravity is a good example. We would consider this law to be universal; in fact, Einstein relied on it being just that (although no one really understands what this meant). It exists throughout the known universe, and reality as we know it would no longer exist if it didn’t. Some philosophers have argued about whether the law of gravity existed before Newton created his formulas, however, the physical matter of the universe was behaving according to that law long before Newton was struck down by the apple (Adam was struck down by an apple too, but at least he had the sense to eat it. History did not record whether Newton feasted on his cranial assailant).

NOTE: Philosophers have argued about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. We now know that it depends whether they are dancing cheek to cheek, or doing the Jitterbug – Tom Robbins

God does not need to obey the law of Gravity, and would not be bound by it (add to that all of Newton’s laws of motion, the laws of thermodynamics, the laws of the conservation of matter, and the laws governing what you see on commercial television). There are countless tales of the appearance of visions of the heavenly horde singing “Joy to the world”, and these apparitions appear be free of the shackles of any bothersome friction coefficients.

John 6:1-15
10/Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. /11/ Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. /12/ when they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost." /13/ so they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.

Where’s the precious “conservation of matter” law now? It seems clear that God is not bound by these laws.

In the moment of creation, these laws were created along with all the matter of the universe, endlessly bound to dance the Charleston to gravity’s song. Assuredly, if God chose to, he could reverse that action, and change the rules (on the eighth day, God said ‘Let E=mc3’)

These are not the laws I am looking for.

The laws I want to explore were not written by Pythagoras, Kant, or the Pied Piper, we have to infer them by God’s actions. One of the earliest actions God took, besides creation, was to cast Satan out of Heaven.
2 Peter 2:4 (KJV)
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”

Why did God do this? Is it because Lucifer sinned? Apparently. So, why is God so adverse to sin? Is it that he just doesn’t like it, is it just his opinion (maybe he likes blue skies, Midnight Oil and walks on the beach too?), or is he bound to oppose it by some universal law of good versus evil, light versus darkness; do they just repel like opposite poles of a magnet?

And why leave Lucifer alive to ruin the perfection of Gods creation, why not just destroy him; extinguish his very existence? The only two logical answers I can see for this are, 1) God cannot destroy Satan, 2), there is a chance that Satan can be redeemed. If Satan said sorry, would God take him back, slay the fatted calf and dress him again in finery?
Ezekiel 28:13 (KJV)
…every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold:…

Somewhere here is the basis of the law that I can sense. Throughout the Old Testament, God demanded blood sacrifices as atonement for sin.

Hebrews 9:22 says, "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."

Why would God demand that we destroy one of his creations (OK now that’s been said before!) to appease his own personal dislike for sin? Is it possible that there is an immutable law at work here, and that God does not choose to demand this sacrifice, but that he is just acting in servitude to the laws by which He is bound?

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD;
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door: and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
(an all knowing being – well WTF?)
OK, so Able did well by bring blood offerings, and Cain failed because he brought “the fruit of the ground”? I wonder, if Cain had traded his fruit of the ground with Able for some animals with blood, and sacrificed, those, would God have been happy?

God went further, and even demanded that his own son Jesus be a sacrifice to atone the sins of man. Jesus pleaded for a way out, but God declined, and the sacrifice was made.

Surely, if God truly is forgiving, he could forgive for free, no payment required. It seems like a shitty kind of forgiveness to say “Yeah, well, I’ll forgive ya an’ all, but you gotta kill somin”.

I’ve heard this argument before, but not really in this context. Why are the wages of sin death? Did God create this law, and if he did, why, what was the purpose. Is it just something that we are not supposed to understand? Is it a law that God did not create, does even the Almighty have to play by the rules?

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer gods than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours
– Stephen Roberts
User avatar
TSM
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 20 Feb 2012, 10:43

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Craig Browning » 27 Feb 2012, 01:36

QUESTION: Which biblical God are you referring to?

Up to Exodus you will find several different names of Gods and even a Goddess or two if memory is correct (there is more than one account of goddess reference in the whole of the torah and Old Testament).

I understand and agree with a huge chunk of what you present in the above, but I likewise believe you've taken the typical atheist/cynic's point of view and exaggerated things such as "why can't god break the rules it created?" The theological explanation (at least within the more progressive circles) is that the rules of physics, chemistry, etc. do apply to the divine and what we have discovered and learned how to explain when it comes to creation and existence is how it made things so. In my mind this makes far more sense than the hypocritical deity you suggests exists and sadly, so many want to make real -- "he's above all things" being the claim established by the believer, not the deity itself. . . at least not when it comes to the older texts pre-dating Moses and the Exodus and more specifically, "the deal" Moses made with Yahweh for the soul of Israel. . . a thing far more sinister than Daniel Webster's dealings with old Scratch.

Those who do not want to believe will never accept any proofs or testimony that would give reason to change their elected views. Similarly, the ardent believer will never be swayed from how they witness unto God or the Gods and ways of the spirit. Fortunately, the majority of the world's populace is neither rigid nor gullible but willing to contemplate and seek balance, knowing that water always seeks its own level and as such, equilibrium is the only place in which "truth" can reside. ;)
User avatar
Craig Browning
 
Posts: 1526
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 05:20
Location: Northampton, MA

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby TSM » 27 Feb 2012, 09:09

Hi Craig,

Thanks for the insights. I guess I agree with you - once "God" created the laws of physics and chemistry, the known universe was bound by the same laws, however, no doubt truly pragmatic theologians would also concede that these laws were created by God - they did not exist prior to creation, and he could have created them differently (why does E=mc2). Now that they are created, allowing them to be broken would seem to un-create them. Perhaps I'm wrong on that, and all the laws of chemistry and physics pre-date creation - no matter. I'm not trying to understand why God can't create a rock so big he can't pick it up. That's a senseless question with no purposeful outcomes to it's asking.

What I am interested in is - the wages of sin are blood. They always have been, and still remain so. The reason Christians no longer offer live sacrifices is that Jesus was sacrificed to act as a proxy for all the fatted oxen. Now the blood is only symbolised during communion. Does this mean that sin is somehow a universal law much like gravity? When was this law created, and to what purpose? Perhaps it also existed before creation? And what is the payment of blood getting for us? Gravity demands no payment, no act of choice.
User avatar
TSM
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 20 Feb 2012, 10:43

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Craig Browning » 28 Feb 2012, 01:56

Actually "sin" is Universal but not in the manner the church wants to paint it (which they borrowed from Zoaster, by the way, as they did many elements of their teaching like that silly one-way ticket to heaven or hell which wasn't part of Christian doctrine till the latter 5th century c.e.)

"Sin" relates to imbalance as well as ignorance. In certain theological circles (gnostic) it is believed that the original sense of sin stemmed from "God" not being able to define who or what it was; it existed within a vacuum of sorts -- a great void, as most texts state. It spent considerable time contemplating itself but in order to better understand it created "the Universe" and placed life upon the various planets -- life that contained an aspect of itself (a divine spark) so that the emotional, mental and spiritual evolution of these creations could help it remember who and what it is and its purpose; after all, the primary destiny in all the world's great teachings is to "return" to the divine state be it Nirvana, Heaven or Utopia or as some suggests, we ourselves becoming as God -- an independent divinity that has been "all things" and as such, has an omnipotent sense of presence.

Based on this particular theological theory you could say that humankind exists as the result of God having a middle-age crises and loss of identity; the damning, arrogant form of God described in the Old Testament reveals the anger, insecurity and bitterness of the classic middle-aged male whose existence hasn't gone according to plan. He feels like a total failure and so he becomes calloused and his "children" with an iron hand. . . kiss my ass or die! The Old Testament is filled with dozens if not hundreds of examples in which this attitude hold true; the Flood tale, Sodom & Gomorrah, the military crusades of Joshua & David and so much more -- Yahweh was a mass murderer when it came to those humans/creations (not all were "human") that he saw as "mistakes" (like Lillith and the Giants) or saw as disobedient kids because they wouldn't kiss his holy tukkis. Unfortunately Christians & Muslims both adopted this same immature attitude early in their formation to present time, delivering to the world more chaos and deceit than any other social or political element in all of history.

So "sin" exists where imbalance is prevalent; when we, as individuals, governments and institutions loose our way and forget who we are supposed to be, our actual purpose and agenda. This could be seen as the first and perhaps, greatest sin though scriptures from around the globe recognize one specific action as the greatest and most unpardonable of sins -- total denial of the divine. When we come to that level of consciences there is no route to salvation in that we have snuffed out that spark of the divine that was once set within our being.

As I've said many times, imbalance is where Karma comes into play as an aid -- a means by which we can fill the voids and correct our personal state of imbalance. Metaphorically, we become as God is theorized to be; a single entity seeking clarification of the self and realizing that it is only through honest knowledge of the self that one finds genuine salvation -- freedom from "sin". I think this is why so many mislabeled "atheists" project that coveted calm and serenity we find in various holy ones and those monks who have lived a strong monastic life of service. On so many levels the path towards atheism is a spiritual quest for certain folk but it's not so much a disbelief in God as it is the realization that the Divine is far to vast to be contained within a book or building and most especially, a quorum of men who think themselves "special". "God" is not a thing that can be defined or institutionalized and the realization of such ignites a unique passion in a rare number of persons who find solace. They aren't out trying to devastate people's faith but rather show them the next step in their spiritual journey in a fade-free manner; the realization that we are the creators, not some "thing" residing outside of us.

This is obviously too huge an issue to cover in a single post or even a single discussion, but I have hopefully revealed the circle of travel and why it is the most likely and even logical course of things if we are to consider the spiritual and metaphysical as being parts of the over-all equation.
User avatar
Craig Browning
 
Posts: 1526
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 05:20
Location: Northampton, MA

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby calvaryoakville » 23 Jul 2012, 10:01

Try to study the book of Job in the old testament... :D
User avatar
calvaryoakville
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 23 Jul 2012, 09:51

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Craig Browning » 23 Jul 2012, 22:03

calvaryoakville wrote:Try to study the book of Job in the old testament... :D


What most forget about Job is that it isn't Lucifer/Satan (pick a name) that torments him but rather God; God puts all the torments and challenges in front of him so as to prove to the devil that that man's faith and dedication was unshakable.

Fact is, the God of the bible does more to create and justify inhumanity that his counter-part ever does. But there is an interesting point we haven't touched on yet.

If GOD is "ALL" . . . is Omnipotent, Infinite, and the Whole of the Universe -- Alpha & Omega; wouldn't that mean that he is likewise Satan, a Female Deity, a Dark & Sinister Thing, a Manipulator or Humankind?

In order to be ALL and as encompassing as biblical teachings suggest, there is no other truth to be found; Satan is God's alter-ego, they are one in the same. :twisted:
User avatar
Craig Browning
 
Posts: 1526
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 05:20
Location: Northampton, MA

Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Scepcop » 13 Dec 2012, 14:30

For some reason, Google Adsense disabled ads to this site because it somehow thinks that this thread contains autogenerated content. WTF? Does anyone know what it's talking about? Is there some misunderstanding? There is nothing autogenerated in this thread. How do you reason with them? They are getting more anal retentive all the time. Why can't they loosen up?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

PreviousNext

Return to Religion / Theology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests