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.
Gertie
Posts: 1424
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

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

Post by Gertie »

stephen Law has a cheeky take on this with his Evil God Challenge
https://lawpapers.blogspot.com/2009/06/ ... ng-in.html

If there is a mindful creator of the universe, the problem of evil is real and has to be adrressed, and for me philosophical technical arguments in defence of the perfect goodness of such a god are insignificant in the face of the incalcuable suffering built in to the creation.
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 1087
Joined: October 3rd, 2012, 7:29 pm

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

Post by Greatest I am »

Belindi wrote: January 6th, 2022, 7:31 am
Greatest I am wrote: January 5th, 2022, 12:35 pm
Belindi wrote: January 5th, 2022, 8:16 am Greatest I Am wrote:
I am not sure what you mean when you say natures imperative.
By "imperative" I refer to the fact that nature trumps all other claims to power.
Which is why I think nature should be the only power we should venerate and elevate.

Nature is our creator and sustainer.

Regards
DL
Yes, but human hopes and visions for the future are also natural. Even religions are natural. Even the worst human beings are natural. I doubt if you venerate cruel men.
If they do what I would do, I would respect the cruelest.

I venerate nothing but nature, my creator and sustainer.

Anything else would be idol worship.

Regards
DL
EricPH
Posts: 83
Joined: October 22nd, 2021, 11:26 am

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

Post by EricPH »

Belindi wrote: January 6th, 2022, 7:31 am I doubt if you venerate cruel men.
Slavery was regarded as a legitimate form of income by many countries.
The Holocaust was considered legitimate by those in power.
Sadly, in both the US and the UK, the bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq was considered legitimate.

As much as good people would have opposed all these events in history, power rules. Along with millions of others I opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; but it meant nothing. When Bush said, God bless America and he went off to bomb Iraq, I am absolutely sure it was not a war that God would approve of. Just because Bush used words like crusade and bless America, this does not constitute a religious war.

God must look down on mankind with despair. Why is it so difficult to obey the greatest commandments to love all your neighbours as you love yourself? Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Love and pray for your enemies, show mercy and forgiveness. You don't need science and logic to understand these simple commands, they are to do with kindness.
Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 4313
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

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

Post by Belindi »

EricPH wrote: January 13th, 2022, 2:48 pm
Belindi wrote: January 6th, 2022, 7:31 am I doubt if you venerate cruel men.
Slavery was regarded as a legitimate form of income by many countries.
The Holocaust was considered legitimate by those in power.
Sadly, in both the US and the UK, the bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq was considered legitimate.

As much as good people would have opposed all these events in history, power rules. Along with millions of others I opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; but it meant nothing. When Bush said, God bless America and he went off to bomb Iraq, I am absolutely sure it was not a war that God would approve of. Just because Bush used words like crusade and bless America, this does not constitute a religious war.

God must look down on mankind with despair. Why is it so difficult to obey the greatest commandments to love all your neighbours as you love yourself? Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Love and pray for your enemies, show mercy and forgiveness. You don't need science and logic to understand these simple commands, they are to do with kindness.
Bush and Blair depersonalised the foreign people. Bush and Blair claimed to be fighting an idea when in fact they were killing people not an idea. Hitler and his Nazis depersonalised non-Aryans so they could be murdered.

The comparative strength of Christianity is it's more than an ideology , it's based on a real life as lived by a real man.
User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 3122
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

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

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Gertie wrote: January 6th, 2022, 9:54 am If there is a mindful creator of the universe, the problem of evil is real...
Evil to/for who/what??? That's the problem. That what is evil for one living thing is 'good' for another. There is no 'evil' in RL, until and unless we clarify at whom the evil is directed, and by whom. Only then can we assess it meaningfully.
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"
Gertie
Posts: 1424
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

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

Post by Gertie »

Pattern-chaser wrote: January 14th, 2022, 12:59 pm
Gertie wrote: January 6th, 2022, 9:54 am If there is a mindful creator of the universe, the problem of evil is real...
Evil to/for who/what??? That's the problem. That what is evil for one living thing is 'good' for another. There is no 'evil' in RL, until and unless we clarify at whom the evil is directed, and by whom. Only then can we assess it meaningfully.



Those are fair points, but I was making a different one. ''The Problem of Evil'' is a theological term which covers both evil doings - and suffering generally. It's the latter I was talking about.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_o ... efine%20it.

As I said -
for me philosophical technical arguments in defence of the perfect goodness of such a god are insignificant in the face of the incalcuable suffering built in to the creation.
User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 3122
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

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

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Gertie wrote: January 14th, 2022, 4:00 pm As I said -
for me philosophical technical arguments in defence of the perfect goodness of such a god are insignificant in the face of the incalcuable suffering built in to the creation.
But almost all living things kill and eat other living things to survive. This killing and eating must unavoidably include a fair amount of suffering for the things that are eaten, yes? Can you even imagine a world in which this was/is not the case?
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"
EricPH
Posts: 83
Joined: October 22nd, 2021, 11:26 am

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

Post by EricPH »

If there is a God, why is there evil?
The fear of God is the start of wisdom. If we feared God, then we would do no evil.

If we feared the law of the land, we would not murder. But those who murder do not seem to fear the law of the land.
Bush and Blair depersonalised the foreign people.
Bush and Blair seemed to feel that they were above the law. They neither seemed to fear punishment by man or God.
Gertie
Posts: 1424
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

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

Post by Gertie »

Pattern-chaser wrote: January 15th, 2022, 9:27 am
Gertie wrote: January 14th, 2022, 4:00 pm As I said -
for me philosophical technical arguments in defence of the perfect goodness of such a god are insignificant in the face of the incalcuable suffering built in to the creation.
But almost all living things kill and eat other living things to survive. This killing and eating must unavoidably include a fair amount of suffering for the things that are eaten, yes? Can you even imagine a world in which this was/is not the case?
I'm not an omni benevolent god starting from scratch in the universe creating business, but I manage to survive without killing and eating sentient living things which are capable of suffering, despite the fact my species is designed to do so. Designed to survive by causing suffering and death, rather than find sustenance in the abundant minerals the planet is made of, and at the mercy of horrifying diseases which gain sustenance from my and my loved ones suffering and death.

You seem like a kind and thoughtful person, don't you think you could do better with the tools available to an omni god? Or at least don't you think there would be questions to answer if this is what you came up with?

People ask why terrible things happen to themselves and their loved ones all the time, and the answers theodicy provide take a lot of swallowing in the midst of that suffering. Rightly so.
User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 3122
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

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

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Gertie wrote: January 14th, 2022, 4:00 pm As I said -
for me philosophical technical arguments in defence of the perfect goodness of such a god are insignificant in the face of the incalcuable suffering built in to the creation.
Pattern-chaser wrote: January 15th, 2022, 9:27 am But almost all living things kill and eat other living things to survive. This killing and eating must unavoidably include a fair amount of suffering for the things that are eaten, yes? Can you even imagine a world in which this was/is not the case?
Gertie wrote: January 15th, 2022, 11:36 am I'm not an omni benevolent god starting from scratch in the universe creating business, but I manage to survive without killing and eating sentient living things which are capable of suffering, despite the fact my species is designed to do so. Designed to survive by causing suffering and death, rather than find sustenance in the abundant minerals the planet is made of, and at the mercy of horrifying diseases which gain sustenance from my and my loved ones suffering and death.

You seem like a kind and thoughtful person, don't you think you could do better with the tools available to an omni god? Or at least don't you think there would be questions to answer if this is what you came up with?

People ask why terrible things happen to themselves and their loved ones all the time, and the answers theodicy provide take a lot of swallowing in the midst of that suffering. Rightly so.
OK. I believe that a lot of the "suffering" you refer to stems from evolution. But evolution is a mindless thing, without intention or 'goodness'. Now it may be that God, or Richard Dawkins, put evolution in place, with intention and purpose, I don't know.

But you refer to an omni-everything creator-God, who is also said to be, or assumed to be, "good". Such a God could control every aspect of the universe(s), but why would She? Think about it. If God is the direct cause of every event that ever takes place in the universe(s), then the universe would simply be God, or a direct reflection thereof. Creating it would be a waste of time, as God already exists, and needs no reflection. So I imagine that God, having created everything, would retire to a more passive role, mostly watching, and occasionally guiding, the progress of life in Her universe(s).

The goodness you refer to would surely be 'good for all', and not good only for (say) one species of intelligent ape on one tiny planet. To achieve goodness for all, across the universe, would necessarily involve compromises - lots of them. And some of those compromises would be not-good for some living things at the same time as being 'good' for others. Even an omni-everything God cannot cause everything to be 'good' for every living thing. The universe is too big and complex for that, and anyway, the universe, and the life it nurtures, doesn't work like that.

And finally, what is this "suffering" that you describe? Is it an emotional thing? Is it the natural resistance of every living thing to oppose any approach toward death? Or do you refer to pain, with the assumption that other living things experience it more or less as humans do?
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"
User avatar
kk23wong
Posts: 147
Joined: June 28th, 2009, 4:23 am
Location: Hong Kong
Contact:

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

Post by kk23wong »

Maybe the God is just a manipulator of our world and she has to do everything by herself because she is the only one who capable of doing them, both good and evil stuffs.

The abilities of "all-knowing" and "her presence in everywhere", or I have to say this "omniscient" God, allow her to do role-playing on angels, demons, ghosts, holy spirits and even our "inner-self". Thus, the God has created the chaos in our modern world nowadays.

P.S. She talks to a lot of people, not just me. Maybe that some people nearby.
Looking for the Truth Teller in this website http://itsmyurls.com/kk23wong
A Teller is the Teller in the Holy Bible if you are seeking.

Proverbs 12:17 - International Standard Version (ISV) - English
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 1087
Joined: October 3rd, 2012, 7:29 pm

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

Post by Greatest I am »

Evil is a part of creation and must be venerated just as much as good.

In a dualistic reality, how can there not be evil?

Evil is a really small part of reality as compared to the huge good.

Look about and you will agree.

This is why God is said to created both good and evil for his pleasure.

Regards
DL
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 5927
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

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

Post by LuckyR »

Greatest I am wrote: January 17th, 2022, 11:53 am Evil is a part of creation and must be venerated just as much as good.

In a dualistic reality, how can there not be evil?

Evil is a really small part of reality as compared to the huge good.

Look about and you will agree.

This is why God is said to created both good and evil for his pleasure.

Regards
DL
Even though the OP topic is not that interesting logically, it is interesting IMO the different roles that gods are asked to fill by various individuals. Some are creators but are otherwise hands off, others try to be omni-everything, some are the voice in the back of your mind.
"As usual... it depends."
User avatar
Greatest I am
Posts: 1087
Joined: October 3rd, 2012, 7:29 pm

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

Post by Greatest I am »

LuckyR wrote: January 17th, 2022, 1:19 pm
Greatest I am wrote: January 17th, 2022, 11:53 am Evil is a part of creation and must be venerated just as much as good.

In a dualistic reality, how can there not be evil?

Evil is a really small part of reality as compared to the huge good.

Look about and you will agree.

This is why God is said to created both good and evil for his pleasure.

Regards
DL
Even though the OP topic is not that interesting logically, it is interesting IMO the different roles that gods are asked to fill by various individuals. Some are creators but are otherwise hands off, others try to be omni-everything, some are the voice in the back of your mind.
If ones God is anything but your last, your mind, then that God is not worthy of anyone.

That is why a Gnostic Christians names his God, I am, and does mean him or herself.

To give our control of our thinking and actions to another, is idol worship, and acceptance that we are not fit to guide ourselves.

Only poor thinkers should ever want to relinquish their control of themselves to another.

Regards
DL
EricPH
Posts: 83
Joined: October 22nd, 2021, 11:26 am

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

Post by EricPH »

Pattern-chaser wrote: January 17th, 2022, 8:22 am Even an omni-everything God cannot cause everything to be 'good' for every living thing.
If it were God's intention that he wanted evil to exist because that is what he wants. His laws and instructions to us would be for us to do evil.
But God's laws and commands to us are that we should be kind to each other.

If we choose not to love all our neighbours as we love ourselves, that seems to indicate that we don't want God. So why should God have anything to do with us?
Post Reply

Return to “Philosophy of Religion, Theism and Mythology”

Upcoming Philosphy Books of the Month

Emotional Intelligence At Work

Emotional Intelligence At Work
by Richard M Contino & Penelope J Holt
January 2022

Free Will, Do You Have It?

Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral
February 2022

My Enemy in Vietnam

My Enemy in Vietnam
by Billy Springer
March 2022

2X2 on the Ark

2X2 on the Ark
by Mary J Giuffra, PhD
April 2022

The Maestro Monologue

The Maestro Monologue
by Rob White
May 2022

What Makes America Great

What Makes America Great
by Bob Dowell
June 2022

The Truth Is Beyond Belief!

The Truth Is Beyond Belief!
by Jerry Durr
July 2022

Living in Color

Living in Color
by Mike Murphy
August 2022 (tentative)

The Not So Great American Novel

The Not So Great American Novel
by James E Doucette
September 2022

Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall, Hicksite Quaker, Iowa/National Suffragette And Her Speeches

Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall, Hicksite Quaker, Iowa/National Suffragette And Her Speeches
by John N. (Jake) Ferris
October 2022

Previous Philosophy Books of the Month

The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God's Plan

The Biblical Clock
by Daniel Friedmann
March 2021

Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe

Wilderness Cry
by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
April 2021

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute
by Jeff Meyer
May 2021

Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power

Surviving the Business of Healthcare
by Barbara Galutia Regis M.S. PA-C
June 2021

Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure

Winning the War on Cancer
by Sylvie Beljanski
July 2021

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
by Dr Frank L Douglas
August 2021

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts
by Mark L. Wdowiak
September 2021

The Preppers Medical Handbook

The Preppers Medical Handbook
by Dr. William W Forgey M.D.
October 2021

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress: A Practical Guide

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress
by Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, MD
November 2021

Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir

Dream For Peace
by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah
December 2021