If there is a God, why is there evil?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Spectrum
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Spectrum » November 11th, 2017, 3:31 am

Scorpio27 wrote:I don’t disagree with your arguments as you presented it with your presupposition that we are only discussing monotheistic theology. Christian and Muslim doctrine I agree must present the argument that their god is perfect and superior based on your argument, but pantheism on the other hand does not support that there is one god superior to all others.
The pantheistic Hindu Brahman is the ultimate and superior over the hundreds or thousands of gods within Brahmic-based-Hinduism.
Wiki wrote:In Hinduism, Brahman (/brəhmən/; ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe.
In the Upanishads, it has been variously described as Sat-cit-ānanda (truth-consciousness-bliss)[12][13] and as the unchanging, permanent, highest reality.
In the pantheistic and panentheistic scenario, the idea of God [or in similar terms] when cornered will have to be either,
  • 1. Empirically possible, or
    2. Non-empirical and impossible
If it is empirically possible, there is no issue if there are directly empirical evidence to justify its existence. Generally, such a God as defined has very low probability which from general understanding is as good as being Zero.

In the case of pantheism in Hinduism where God is Brahman, it implied as an absolutely perfect Being or it is The Absolute itself [with capitial 'A'].
Brahman, as understood by the scriptures of Hinduism, as well as by the 'acharyas' of the Vedanta school, is a very specific conception of the Absolute.
https://www.thoughtco.com/brahman-of-the-vedas-1770045

-- Updated Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:40 am to add the following --

Note the numbers for the largest religions;

Christianity 2,420
Islam ........1,800
Hinduism....1,150
Total...........5,370

So we have 5.4 billion of believers comprising monotheistic and pantheistic belief out of the total human population of 7+ billion which is very high. These 5.4 billion are by default [as argued] will tend towards an absolutely perfect God.

As for other theists, deists, pantheistic, panentheistic, and the likes, their god is either empirical-based [empirically possible] or is non-empirical-based [empirically impossible].
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Atreyu » November 13th, 2017, 7:03 pm

The issue isn't that complicated.

Obviously, the OP asked the question with some obvious assumptions, and, like many questions laced with assumptions, the answer often lies in pointing out those assumptions and questioning their validity.

One could only ask "If there is a God, why is there evil?" if one is assuming

1) God cares about humans.
2) God is all good.
3) God has the power to change the basics of mankind's existence.

All 3 must be assumed for the question to make any sense.

The correct answer is to point out that these 3 assumptions are dubious.

Maybe there is evil, in spite of a God, because:

1) God doesn't give a damn about puny humans.
2) God might not be "all good" as humans define "good". Perhaps God isn't as "good" or "nice" as one thinks, or as one wants, God to be.
3) God might not have the power to change the situation.

Think about it....

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Spectrum » November 13th, 2017, 11:37 pm

Atreyu wrote:The issue isn't that complicated.

Obviously, the OP asked the question with some obvious assumptions, and, like many questions laced with assumptions, the answer often lies in pointing out those assumptions and questioning their validity.

One could only ask "If there is a God, why is there evil?" if one is assuming

1) God cares about humans.
2) God is all good.
3) God has the power to change the basics of mankind's existence.

All 3 must be assumed for the question to make any sense.

The correct answer is to point out that these 3 assumptions are dubious.

Maybe there is evil, in spite of a God, because:

1) God doesn't give a damn about puny humans.
2) God might not be "all good" as humans define "good". Perhaps God isn't as "good" or "nice" as one thinks, or as one wants, God to be.
3) God might not have the power to change the situation.

Think about it....
I think you are lost here.

OP: If there is a God, why is there evil?

To topic we must understand what the elements in the proposition is about.
This is definitely based on what the terms is intended to represent by the majority and taking into account those of the minor views.

I have stated somewhere 5.4 billion out of all 7+ billion humans believe and accept God as a monotheistic God leaning towards an absolutely perfect God.
https://en.wik1pedia.org/wiki/Major_rel ... _religions
An absolutely perfect God represent perfect and absolute goodness, thus no room for evil at all.
I have stated the main impulse that drive theism is a very primal psychological impulse and being a 'zombie parasite' will naturally drive a theist towards the idea of an absolutely perfect God

For you to redefine God as a 'f_u_cktard' which condone evil [as generally understood] is ridiculous.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/****
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Atreyu » November 14th, 2017, 7:55 pm

Spectrum wrote:I think you are lost here.

OP: If there is a God, why is there evil?

To topic we must understand what the elements in the proposition is about.
This is definitely based on what the terms is intended to represent by the majority and taking into account those of the minor views.

I have stated somewhere 5.4 billion out of all 7+ billion humans believe and accept God as a monotheistic God leaning towards an absolutely perfect God.
https://en.wik1pedia.org/wiki/Major_rel ... _religions
An absolutely perfect God represent perfect and absolute goodness, thus no room for evil at all.
I have stated the main impulse that drive theism is a very primal psychological impulse and being a 'zombie parasite' will naturally drive a theist towards the idea of an absolutely perfect God

For you to redefine God as a 'f_u_cktard' which condone evil [as generally understood] is ridiculous.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/****
Actually, I think it was an excellent way to resolve the dilemma.

Why run with the status quo view of "God" when that view is ludicrous? If a question about God is based on a subjective, arbitrary, and dubious view of what a Supreme Being would be, why shouldn't that ridiculous view be pointed out when resolving the question which is based on it?

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by LuckyR » November 16th, 2017, 12:27 am

Spectrum wrote:
Atreyu wrote:The issue isn't that complicated.

Obviously, the OP asked the question with some obvious assumptions, and, like many questions laced with assumptions, the answer often lies in pointing out those assumptions and questioning their validity.

One could only ask "If there is a God, why is there evil?" if one is assuming

1) God cares about humans.
2) God is all good.
3) God has the power to change the basics of mankind's existence.

All 3 must be assumed for the question to make any sense.

The correct answer is to point out that these 3 assumptions are dubious.

Maybe there is evil, in spite of a God, because:

1) God doesn't give a damn about puny humans.
2) God might not be "all good" as humans define "good". Perhaps God isn't as "good" or "nice" as one thinks, or as one wants, God to be.
3) God might not have the power to change the situation.

Think about it....
I think you are lost here.

OP: If there is a God, why is there evil?

To topic we must understand what the elements in the proposition is about.
This is definitely based on what the terms is intended to represent by the majority and taking into account those of the minor views.

I have stated somewhere 5.4 billion out of all 7+ billion humans believe and accept God as a monotheistic God leaning towards an absolutely perfect God.
https://en.wik1pedia.org/wiki/Major_rel ... _religions
An absolutely perfect God represent perfect and absolute goodness, thus no room for evil at all.
I have stated the main impulse that drive theism is a very primal psychological impulse and being a 'zombie parasite' will naturally drive a theist towards the idea of an absolutely perfect God

For you to redefine God as a 'f_u_cktard' which condone evil [as generally understood] is ridiculous.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/****
So the existence and quality of deities are now decided by vote?
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Spectrum » November 16th, 2017, 12:49 am

LuckyR wrote:
OP: If there is a God, why is there evil?

To topic we must understand what the elements in the proposition is about.
This is definitely based on what the terms is intended to represent by the majority and taking into account those of the minor views.

I have stated somewhere 5.4 billion out of all 7+ billion humans believe and accept God as a monotheistic God leaning towards an absolutely perfect God.
https://en.wik1pedia.org/wiki/Major_rel ... _religions
An absolutely perfect God represent perfect and absolute goodness, thus no room for evil at all.
I have stated the main impulse that drive theism is a very primal psychological impulse and being a 'zombie parasite' will naturally drive a theist towards the idea of an absolutely perfect God

For you to redefine God as a 'f_u_cktard' which condone evil [as generally understood] is ridiculous.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/****
So the existence and quality of deities are now decided by vote?
Not 'decided' to be agreed by all. The said existence and quality of a monotheistic God are only claimed by monotheists.

I had stated, if we observe what had happened over the history of mankind, there is a natural implicit trend for theists to gravitate [more like compelled] toward a monotheistic God, as evident with the 5.4 billion theists [out of all 7+ billion humans] who believed in a monotheistic God.

This theistic trend will continue to move toward an inevitably absolutely perfect God as there is no other option except this so as to avoid one's god being dominated by another who claim their God is an absolutely perfect God.

An absolute perfect God must be absolutely and perfectly good, but evil exists, so such a God as claimed cannot be possible, thus impossible.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Belindi » November 16th, 2017, 5:39 am

Spectrum wrote:
(LuckyR wrote)So the existence and quality of deities are now decided by vote?

(Spectrum wrote)Not 'decided' to be agreed by all. The said existence and quality of a monotheistic God are only claimed by monotheists.

I had stated, if we observe what had happened over the history of mankind, there is a natural implicit trend for theists to gravitate [more like compelled] toward a monotheistic God, as evident with the 5.4 billion theists [out of all 7+ billion humans] who believed in a monotheistic God.

This theistic trend will continue to move toward an inevitably absolutely perfect God as there is no other option except this so as to avoid one's god being dominated by another who claim their God is an absolutely perfect God.

An absolute perfect God must be absolutely and perfectly good, but evil exists, so such a God as claimed cannot be possible, thus impossible.
But what happened did not happen for a reason built into existence itself. What happened happened for a multiplicity of historical reasons. Moreover what happened is no guarantee that the trend will continue to happen.

True, evil in the forms of suffering, loss, and meaninglessness exists. God and gods are explanations for evil and formularies for countering evil.

The answer to Lucky's question is either under the heading of
1. What we can know i.e. it's an epistemological question.

or 2. What exists i.e. it's an ontological question.

Lucky did not say what category of question it is.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Solatic » November 18th, 2017, 3:27 pm

There is a passage in Revelations, that thanks God for making us for the sake of His pleasure. And for His pleasure we were made. I often tell people, that God did not want a zombie population of angels, and that we would have to experience suffering to enjoy the good. And whether or not we make it to Heaven is how we react to our experiences, in the capacity of our awareness. Now there is a problem of a constant misconception of determinism of God. God instilled certain laws of physicality into the multi-verse, so that things may have order and structure. So that things may fall into place. And with this, many people believe that God prophecies out of knowledge, knowing what you are going to do before you do it. Yes, He would know that, but He does not interfere unless we sincerely asked for Him to for the right reasons. That's called faith. But for the most part, God prophecies out of wisdom. So what is wisdom? Wisdom is knowing the laws of nature, basically the law of attraction, and the law of averages. Also known as, karma. And knowing this, "karma", He can tell you, that if you do harm, harm will come, and if you heal others, you will be healed. God enforces nature to enforce us, in other words. But still, He prophecies out of wisdom, which is to know the nature of things. So why does evil exist? Let me tell you a story from what I've dreamed.

Death is the greatest lie, and Azazel(Satan) is the father of it. He was a beautiful angel beyond measure, in the exact image of God, but instead of love, he had a great personality. Or in esoteric terms, instead of love, he had vanity. He was gifted many things. A name of his own, Azazel(whose faith is like the goads, whose music is like a doves, whose strength is like an ox.) He was given his own mansion, with a garden, and a seven-stringed guitar, he received a violin later on. He also had two duties, one to worship God, in the temple of God. And the other, to protect the mercy seat, as a guard alongside of Michael. Satan ended up, using all of his volition to master the guitar, and he forgot what it meant to love God. So he asked for a violin, he received it. He mastered it, and then asked for a harp. God denied him a harp, and Satan threw a tantrum unlike anything you have ever seen. In his upset attitude, he attempted to take the mercy seat, the very thing he was supposed to be protecting. In doing so, he accidentally declared war on God. The angels whom loved Azazel, took his side, and they were swiftly put down by Michael and the angels whom still loved God. God asked Azazel, "Why have you done this thing? What am I to do to you?" Satan responded, and said, "Father, I have lost sight of what was good, as well as many of these angels, make us like men in the world, so that we may have a chance to appreciate the finer things of life again. Because we cannot know what things are good, unless we suffer the bad." So God told the devil, "Take you, the angels whom you lead, and exit the gates of Heaven, so I may explain what I will to do, to this place." For Heaven and the Earth were one, at the time. So Satan and his angels entered the abyss, exiting Heaven.

God took Satan to the side of himself, and made the universe, gravity, and all the laws that Satan could recall. For Satan loved nature, hence the garden he had received from God. And God, formed everything to fall into place, as Satan had imagined. For if God were to kill Satan and his angels within Heaven, without testing their essence in the span of mortality, the war that would have followed would have left only one-third of the angels to remain surviving and loving to God. You see, in this dream of mine, I've seen Heaven and Earth separate, and return into its original form many times over. Which means, time in itself is infinite within itself, think ouroboros.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Belindi » November 18th, 2017, 8:38 pm

Solatic wrote within the terms of the myth so I'll carry on with the myth .
There is a passage in Revelations, that thanks God for making us for the sake of His pleasure. And for His pleasure we were made. I often tell people, that God did not want a zombie population of angels, and that we would have to experience suffering to enjoy the good.
Revelations is a book of devotions and so is rather less interesting to a philosopher than is Genesis. Genesis is about the creation of time and space, and the human condition especially the particular condition of having to be independent of God's omniscience. We have to go our own way wherever it takes us.

Time is a main condition of a relative world. When I say "a relative world" I mean a world which is not eternal: God is presumed to be eternal.

Evil exists relative to good. Evil may be said to be relative absence of good or, if you like ,relative absence of God.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Spectrum » November 18th, 2017, 10:18 pm

Belindi wrote:True, evil in the forms of suffering, loss, and meaninglessness exists. God and gods are explanations for evil and formularies for countering evil.
You will note the elements in bold above are all fundamentally psychological elements.
IF,
"God and gods are explanations for evil and formularies for countering evil,"
THEN,
God is fundamentally a psychological issue.

Therefore God must be acknowledged as having a psychological basis.
Thus whatever the issue, the basis of God must be reduced to the psychological.

The Eastern spiritualities and philosophies has recognized the above psychological fundamentals thousands of years ago and has dealt with its problem on that basis rather than believing in an illusory God.
The answer to Lucky's question is either under the heading of
1. What we can know i.e. it's an epistemological question.

or 2. What exists i.e. it's an ontological question.

Lucky did not say what category of question it is.
Regardless whether it is epistemological nor ontological [I don't agree with], the fundamental problem is always psychological and thus we should focus on the brain and mind of the individual[s].
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Solatic » November 18th, 2017, 11:51 pm

Belindi wrote:Solatic wrote within the terms of the myth so I'll carry on with the myth .
There is a passage in Revelations, that thanks God for making us for the sake of His pleasure. And for His pleasure we were made. I often tell people, that God did not want a zombie population of angels, and that we would have to experience suffering to enjoy the good.
Revelations is a book of devotions and so is rather less interesting to a philosopher than is Genesis. Genesis is about the creation of time and space, and the human condition especially the particular condition of having to be independent of God's omniscience. We have to go our own way wherever it takes us.

Time is a main condition of a relative world. When I say "a relative world" I mean a world which is not eternal: God is presumed to be eternal.

Evil exists relative to good. Evil may be said to be relative absence of good or, if you like ,relative absence of God.
I'd say, Revelations can be more interesting than Genesis, because of its symbolism, and what each segment represents. A person is confused about whether to take some parts literal or figurative, as how can a man from the classical age describe what he sees from technology in the future? And the reason why, it would actually be more interesting, because it's a culmination of all things happening toward the end of the age. The end of time, the end of space, the end of the human condition. I'd say asceticism is promoted a great amount in this book, due to the stoic nature of how to practice the discipline. Which is the law of God and the grace of Jesus Christ. I don't know why you've read Revelations, and presume it's about devotions. Prophecy is made from wisdom, which is made from laws, which is made from morality. There is no other real wisdom unless it comes from God.

As for time, there is our sense of time, which is relative. But as for the time we don't see, which spans all the way across existences, it is absolute and very existential.
And why do you think in the Bible, that Jerusalem is God's favorite place in the world? Because that is where His throne was, and where it will be.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Belindi » November 19th, 2017, 5:48 am

Solatic wrote:
I don't know why you've read Revelations, and presume it's about devotions. Prophecy is made from wisdom, which is made from laws, which is made from morality. There is no other real wisdom unless it comes from God.

I read Revelations when I was a schoolgirl and was forced to study Scripture and go to church. Actually I am glad to have reaped the benefits, as much of the human past , all of literature, and our everyday language is interfused with bits from The Bible.

Do you think that prophecy is the same as prediction? Your choice of words is that of a believer who has been indoctrinated to the extent that she cannot think about God outside the box of belief.

Spectrum wrote:
Regardless whether it is epistemological nor ontological [I don't agree with], the fundamental problem is always psychological and thus we should focus on the brain and mind of the individual[s].
But if the fundamental problem of evil is a psychological problem which it obviously is, I don't have to infer that the problem of evil does not also exist cosmically. I am not a theist therefore I don't think the problem of evil exists cosmically, but there is no way I can be sure of that. If there be sovereign good that sovereign good is both psychological and cosmic, or it could not be sovereign.

At least for pragmatic reasons the belief in sovereign good helps to dispel evil.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Solatic » November 19th, 2017, 12:08 pm

No I don't think prophecy is the same as prediction. I believe it has a lot to do with consequence of actions. And before you assume anything about anyone, why don't you ask about their character first hand, since i've never been a part of a church. And you don't know what my view of God is, I never gave my opinion of Him.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Spectrum » November 19th, 2017, 10:54 pm

Spectrum wrote:
Regardless whether it is epistemological nor ontological [I don't agree with], the fundamental problem is always psychological and thus we should focus on the brain and mind of the individual[s].
Belindi wrote:But if the fundamental problem of evil is a psychological problem which it obviously is, I don't have to infer that the problem of evil does not also exist cosmically. I am not a theist therefore I don't think the problem of evil exists cosmically, but there is no way I can be sure of that. If there be sovereign good that sovereign good is both psychological and cosmic, or it could not be sovereign.
Belindi: but there is no way I can be sure of that.
Generally, it is wiser to doubt a positive claim especially a miraculous one without evidence.
Generally and philosophically, it is wiser just to ignore a miraculous negative claim until there is at least something positive from it to doubt about and to prove it, all we need is verifiable evidence.
At least for pragmatic reasons the belief in sovereign good helps to dispel evil.
I agree there are pragmatic reasons to believe in sovereign good [from a God] which can help in dispelling evil but you cannot ignore it is double-edged.
I have argued based on the present trend, the cons of theism are outweighing its pros with the potential threat from SOME evil prone theists inspired by evil laden verses, of exterminating the human species.

Thus it is about time humanity strive to wean off [voluntarily basis] theism [and its evil] as soon as possible and replace its 'good' with foolproof alternatives to deal with the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by Namelesss » November 20th, 2017, 1:49 am

Spectrum wrote:An absolute perfect God must be absolutely and perfectly good, but evil exists, so such a God as claimed cannot be possible, thus impossible.
"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

You appear to lack this ability in your emotional squall against the 'uncomfortable', which you project onto your notion of God.

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