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Why did God create the world this way?

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.
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Mysterio448
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Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Mysterio448 » January 20th, 2019, 2:59 pm

When you really look at it, the world is just full of living beings that are constantly making meals of other living beings. Carnivores eat herbivores, and herbivores eat living plants. Big fish eats small fish which eats smaller fish. Viruses reproduce by exploiting the cellular mechanisms of a host and then they slowly destroy that host. Humans in the developed world eat things like beef, chicken, pork, and fish that, by the time we eat it, is so butchered and processed beyond recognition that one often forgets the meat used to be a part of a living, sentient being. Violence, agony, dismemberment, destruction -- these things are not just qualities that exist in the world but are a fundamental law of the world. Here https://youtu.be/fmwC9HzcWbQ is a video of a deer being eaten alive and disemboweled by two komodo dragons. A scene like this is a great visual reference of the concept I'm discussing. An innocent animal is being unceremoniously butchered and consumed in front of its own eyes by uncaring predators. This is not "evil"; this is part of God's design.

What I'm getting at is not about the problem of evil or the problem of suffering as those issues are normally discussed. I'm saying that this innate cycle of violence and bloodshed is the very engine by which the world operates. It is not an unsightly blight upon the world, it is the world.

Some Christians might propose that this state of the world is the result of the fall of Adam. But I don't see how this is the case. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, God did not pronounce a general curse upon the whole world but rather a specific set of curses as punishment.
Genesis 3:16-19 - To the woman he said, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you." And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
As you can see, the concept I'm describing here is not stipulated in the above passage.

The world's "engine of violence" cannot be explained away as a mere curse, as one would find it hard to conceive how the world could exist without this engine. Unchecked reproduction cannot be maintained. The phrase "Be fruitful and multiply" must be accompanied by the phrase "be merciless and kill".

So, I suppose my question is this: Why did God create the world this way? I'm not asking why did God create violence or why does God allow violence. The question is more fundamental than that. Why did God choose to make this "engine of violence" the very substance of the world that he created?

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Scott » January 21st, 2019, 11:58 am

It is unclear whether the primary topic of Original Post is meant to (1) make and support a conclusion or (2) ask a philosophical question.

It appears the Original Post could be claiming and providing argument to support the following conclusion: the very engine by which the world operates is an innate cycle of violence and bloodshed. To me, that conclusion seems somewhat agreeable except for its vagueness. Decent evidence and argument to support the vague conclusion was provided in the Original Post.

However, it appears alternatively the Original Post might be meant to ask a question about a very different subject which is someone along the following lines: "Why did God create the world [to operate by an engine of innate violence and bloodshed]?" If so, I feel that question represents a loaded question fallacy.

The evidence, elaboration, and argument in the post almost all seems to support the conclusion rather than the loaded question and the assumptions with which the loaded question is loaded. As is often the case, I believe it's the unspoken assumptions that are most doubtful and debatable than the spoken ones, the question itself, or any potential answers to the question.

The question appears to possibly assume all of the following without specifying them as premised of the question:

(a) At least one god exists.
(b) That god is the only god that exists (i.e. there is one and only one god).
(c) For some reason, what is in the Christian religious texts matters as to us understanding the nature of that god, but for some reason all the other religions' texts aren't as important to understanding the nature of the god.
(d) The world was created by that god.
(e) That god is responsible for the world that was created, meaning the god presumably had full control over how the world was created versus being subject to some kind of universal laws or such that even partly governed how the world was created.
(f) The god has free-will.
(g) The god has reasons for what it does.
(h) That god has desires and preferences.
(i) For some unknown reason, that god would have reason to not want to create a world with violence or has reason to prefer a world with less violence (meaning that the god's choice to create a world with violence requires explanation).

Even if they had been stated instead of loaded, if any of the above loaded assumptions are invalid or untrue, the question loses meaning.

The above list is not meant to be exhaustive or exact, especially since the reader (me in this case) is forced to guess at the exact nature of the unspoken premises since they are loaded in instead of explicitly stated. Those are just guesses at what the unspoken loaded premises of the question are; I could be wrong about that list.

Due to the loaded question fallacy, I would conclude that overall the question lacks meaning and thus any and all answers are wrong. (But as always I could be wrong.)
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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Fdesilva » January 21st, 2019, 2:17 pm

I would say the following
1. The rabbit will run from the fox because it treasures the life it has and does not want to be eaten. So no matter how short once life is the entity living it finds it worth while.
2. In a finite world one must die in order to give another generation a go at life. In this act there is self sacrifice and generosity.
3. If you believe in God of the bible the story does not end here. There is a place called heaven where resources are infinite and life is endless. All animals end there and humans that want to love endlessly. Those that want to hate endlessly are given such a place which is hell.

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Eduk » January 21st, 2019, 6:18 pm

All animals end there and humans that want to love endlessly. Those that want to hate endlessly are given such a place which is hell.
Must be soul destroying to believe stuff like that.
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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Fdesilva » January 21st, 2019, 8:07 pm

Eduk wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 6:18 pm
All animals end there and humans that want to love endlessly. Those that want to hate endlessly are given such a place which is hell.
Must be soul destroying to believe stuff like that.
Every generation to date has its share of people who create a hell for themselves and others with their life. As such courtesy of such people, hell is not an abstract but a lived reality for many. The only way to end this hell on earth is if each person thought of the consequence to themselves and others of their actions. Such thinking is called love.

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Mysterio448 » January 22nd, 2019, 3:17 am

Fdesilva wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 2:17 pm

2. In a finite world one must die in order to give another generation a go at life. In this act there is self sacrifice and generosity.
I think a corollary of the theme of my original post would be "why couldn't God have created the world in such a way that the rabbit could just die of old age rather than being agonizingly torn to pieces and consumed by the fox?" Why did God design rabbits to procreate so prolifically that it would be necessary for them to be killed (e.g. eaten by a fox) at a faster rate than they would naturally die of old age?

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Greta » January 22nd, 2019, 8:24 am

The transition from nonfeeling rocks to potentially advanced entities that are beyond suffering apparently includes a painful interim growth phase. I am guessing that biology is basically a harsh and painful period in an evolutionary process that precedes biology and will supersede it.

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Fdesilva » January 22nd, 2019, 3:37 pm

Mysterio448 wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 3:17 am
Fdesilva wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 2:17 pm

2. In a finite world one must die in order to give another generation a go at life. In this act there is self sacrifice and generosity.
I think a corollary of the theme of my original post would be "why couldn't God have created the world in such a way that the rabbit could just die of old age rather than being agonizingly torn to pieces and consumed by the fox?" Why did God design rabbits to procreate so prolifically that it would be necessary for them to be killed (e.g. eaten by a fox) at a faster rate than they would naturally die of old age?
Suppose the universe was devoid of life it would have no pain but it would also have no pleasure. It would have no intelligent creature to appreciate its beauty and mechanics. A creature capable of thanking the creator or denying the creator. When man looks at the heavens its infinite size prompt him to think of eternity. It moves one’s mind to the possibly of heaven. When one sees the suffering of other creatures, one is moved think of eternal suffering and the possibility of hell. What would be worst is if the rabbit did not die when the fox took a bite, but grow back like a plant, for the fox to bite again. Suffering is the antidote to selfishness and sloth. When we see our loved ones suffer, we are moved to care. Sickness makes us look for remedies. Many such remedies come courtesy of the suffering inflicted on laboratory rats. Yet that suffering inflicted in the quest for knowledge is not in vain, for when in billions of years from now, when the sun shall die, if man is not capable of building a Noah’s ark then all is doomed. Finally, it is suffering that made it possible for God to suffer in our place in the person of Christ to save us from hell.

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Greta » January 22nd, 2019, 5:20 pm

Fdesilva wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 3:37 pm
When man looks at the heavens its infinite size prompt him to think of eternity. It moves one’s mind to the possibly of heaven. When one sees the suffering of other creatures, one is moved think of eternal suffering and the possibility of hell.
So heaven lies in the impersonal and hell in the personal?

I remember a time standing on a tropic beach sunset when it suddenly occurred to me that things are only beautiful at a distance - that the Sun is not ball of light in the sky making beautiful reflections on the water but a monstrously huge zone of concentrated nuclear energy in space. I would drown quickly in the cold waters and the clouds exist in the freezing cold with low oxygen far above the safety of the ground.

Once you get close to any of these things that inspire grand dreams they are either lethal to us or not so lovely close up.

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Jklint » January 22nd, 2019, 6:39 pm

He, She, Whatever must have been in a bad mood during the first six days.

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Mysterio448 » January 22nd, 2019, 8:52 pm

Greta wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 8:24 am
The transition from nonfeeling rocks to potentially advanced entities that are beyond suffering apparently includes a painful interim growth phase. I am guessing that biology is basically a harsh and painful period in an evolutionary process that precedes biology and will supersede it.
According to my understanding of evolution, it is not a teleological process that involves progress. Evolution is merely the process of a species adapting to a changing environment. It is not the end goal of life, but is rather a passive side effect of life.

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by LuckyR » January 22nd, 2019, 8:54 pm

A couple of things in the OP need clarification. Firstly animals eat, killing is just the mechanism by which they do so. They don't kill just to kill.

Secondly everything gets eaten, even the rabbit who dies of old age or disease.
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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Mysterio448 » January 22nd, 2019, 9:05 pm

Fdesilva wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 3:37 pm
Mysterio448 wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 3:17 am


I think a corollary of the theme of my original post would be "why couldn't God have created the world in such a way that the rabbit could just die of old age rather than being agonizingly torn to pieces and consumed by the fox?" Why did God design rabbits to procreate so prolifically that it would be necessary for them to be killed (e.g. eaten by a fox) at a faster rate than they would naturally die of old age?
Suppose the universe was devoid of life it would have no pain but it would also have no pleasure. It would have no intelligent creature to appreciate its beauty and mechanics. A creature capable of thanking the creator or denying the creator. When man looks at the heavens its infinite size prompt him to think of eternity. It moves one’s mind to the possibly of heaven. When one sees the suffering of other creatures, one is moved think of eternal suffering and the possibility of hell. What would be worst is if the rabbit did not die when the fox took a bite, but grow back like a plant, for the fox to bite again. Suffering is the antidote to selfishness and sloth. When we see our loved ones suffer, we are moved to care. Sickness makes us look for remedies. Many such remedies come courtesy of the suffering inflicted on laboratory rats. Yet that suffering inflicted in the quest for knowledge is not in vain, for when in billions of years from now, when the sun shall die, if man is not capable of building a Noah’s ark then all is doomed. Finally, it is suffering that made it possible for God to suffer in our place in the person of Christ to save us from hell.
This appears to be addressing the "problem of evil" issue. But this thread is not about the problem of evil. The question is not why does God allow suffering in the world but why did God create a world full of beings that are constantly destroying and eating each other? What kind of God designs the world in this way?

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Greta » January 22nd, 2019, 11:05 pm

Mysterio448 wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 8:52 pm
Greta wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 8:24 am
The transition from nonfeeling rocks to potentially advanced entities that are beyond suffering apparently includes a painful interim growth phase. I am guessing that biology is basically a harsh and painful period in an evolutionary process that precedes biology and will supersede it.
According to my understanding of evolution, it is not a teleological process that involves progress. Evolution is merely the process of a species adapting to a changing environment. It is not the end goal of life, but is rather a passive side effect of life.
That's what they say, isn't it? However, when we ignore the stated ideals and simply observe the hard reality and the evidence it brings, it's clear that growth and development is the same everywhere, be it for a single organism, an ecosystem, a biosphere or a planetary system.

The notion that the Earth operates differently to its inhabitants is, I think, a remnant of human magical thinking, along with some opinions that we are not part of nature but some extra element, be it divine or parasitic.

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Re: Why did God create the world this way?

Post by Libertarian2100 » January 23rd, 2019, 12:31 am

I think you realize this, but to even answer this question one has to assume a god did indeed create the universe. What if in fact no God created the universe ? Then the answer to your question significantly changes, which is what I'm going to get at right now. However this answer will be from the perspective from which there is no good reason to postulate that the earth was created by God. If this is the case, then the answer to your question can be basically understood through a decent understanding of biological evolution.

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