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.

If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#1  Postby Floyd » February 27th, 2007, 10:30 am

If there is a God, why is there evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much needless suffering in the world, from natural disasters and such? Why would a loving God do this?
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If there is a God, why is there evil?



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Post Number:#2  Postby captain_crunk » March 1st, 2007, 6:20 pm

My guess is simply due to free will (natural disasters, obviously, don't really have much to do with human free will; as for natural disasters, I think they happen because, although God created everything and whatnot, he lets the world to itself in some aspects to function without his direct control).
I've pondered this myself as well. What do you think?
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Post Number:#3  Postby Tito » March 1st, 2007, 8:38 pm

The easy answer is that there is no God. I also do not believe in 'EVIL' per se but that can be for another topic.
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God's existence

Post Number:#4  Postby sergioakaskyler » March 1st, 2007, 8:51 pm

The existence of a God does not necessarily mean the existence of a conscious (as we define it) being, much less an all good and benevolent (as we define it) being.
The spiritual world, if it exists, could not, or at least should not, (if we are to have confidence in our abilities of reason for thinking of a higher or separate level of existence) contain the same kind (to say the least) of consciousness as we would expect in the physical realm. Otherwise, if we are not to be so bold as to believe we can logically explain things of the spiritual world, then there is no way we could or should ever try to explain any kind of "conscious" thought or activity of God or any other spiritual being.
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Post Number:#5  Postby Arvy » March 1st, 2007, 11:12 pm

If there is a God, why is there evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much needless suffering in the world, from natural disasters and such? Why would a loving God do this?


I think you need to worry about considering whether or not there is a god first. If you can answer that question, all your other questions will make more sense (or less, as it were).
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Post Number:#6  Postby Bk2Kant » March 1st, 2007, 11:49 pm

My idea of what God is does not feed into this apparent contradiction. I think of God as the creater I think God developed us, gave us free will, and left us to our own ruin or prosperity. No need to think God is all good because God is all powerful (or at least more powerful than us...presumably)
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Post Number:#7  Postby captain_crunk » March 2nd, 2007, 1:30 pm

Bk2Kant wrote:My idea of what God is does not feed into this apparent contradiction. I think of God as the creater I think God developed us, gave us free will, and left us to our own ruin or prosperity. No need to think God is all good because God is all powerful (or at least more powerful than us...presumably)


Yeah I'm pretty much in agreement with you on this one. Well put. Althogh I personally do believe God is all good, I'm with you all the way in terms of free will. 8)
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Re:

Post Number:#8  Postby MindFreeza » March 3rd, 2007, 7:40 am

If there is a God and evil still exists it must be because it is a necessary part of the fabric of existence. The experience of evil is a very personal thing, it is very much a part of the experience of causality. If somebody dies, whether or not it is evil depends on how and why they died. If they died of natural causes after living a long and happy life, it is hard to see their death as evil. Death is necessary for new life to occur. If a person was murdered it can be seen as evil. Is evil synonymous with immoral?
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#9  Postby calenture9 » March 5th, 2007, 11:44 pm

Floyd wrote:If there is a God, why is there evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much needless suffering in the world, from natural disasters and such? Why would a loving God do this?


Maybe God doesn't care if God exists.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#10  Postby MyshiningOne » March 7th, 2007, 10:37 pm

calenture9 wrote:
Floyd wrote:If there is a God, why is there evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much needless suffering in the world, from natural disasters and such? Why would a loving God do this?


Maybe God doesn't care if God exists.


Do we even exist? Why or why not?
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#11  Postby MyshiningOne » March 7th, 2007, 10:51 pm

Floyd wrote:If there is a God, why is there evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much needless suffering in the world, from natural disasters and such? Why would a loving God do this?


I'm not trying to persuade anyone to follow a certain religion, but here's my idea on this:

When you look into a dark closet, what is
usually the first thing you do? Turn on a light, maybe?
You couldn't see without it, so now you are able to see everything around you. Everything's not quite as scary
as before. I see that God works in a similar fashion.

If there was no darkness in the world, would there be any need for a higher power? There would be need for
prayer, compassion, etc... It would be a world devoid
of suffering, but there would also be no joy.
Happiness cannot exist without sadness, just like a
light in a hallway or closet cannot exist without
the darkness to greet it.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Post Number:#12  Postby MyshiningOne » March 7th, 2007, 10:53 pm

Tito wrote:The easy answer is that there is no God. I also do not believe in 'EVIL' per se but that can be for another topic.


Some people don't. They think of evil as negative
force which can affect us for the better. I think
it's actually a Zen Buddhist philosophy.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Post Number:#13  Postby MyshiningOne » March 7th, 2007, 10:54 pm

captain_crunk wrote:
Bk2Kant wrote:My idea of what God is does not feed into this apparent contradiction. I think of God as the creater I think God developed us, gave us free will, and left us to our own ruin or prosperity. No need to think God is all good because God is all powerful (or at least more powerful than us...presumably)


Yeah I'm pretty much in agreement with you on this one. Well put. Althogh I personally do believe God is all good, I'm with you all the way in terms of free will. 8)


We have to have a free will.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Re: If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post Number:#14  Postby captain_crunk » March 7th, 2007, 10:56 pm

MyshiningOne wrote:Do we even exist? Why or why not?


Obviously we DO in fact exist otherwise we'd be unable to ask the question as to whether we exist or not. However as for proof that we exist, I don't know that we'll ever really prove it. Descartes was right on with the whole "I think therefore I am" thing. That's about as close to a definitive answer as we can get, I think.
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Post Number:#15  Postby MyshiningOne » March 8th, 2007, 11:27 pm

I think Hume was the one to ask this question.
His argument was very difficult for many
philosophers.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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