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.
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MattT
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Joined: August 10th, 2008, 1:45 am

Post by MattT »

We might be confusing the nouns with the adjectives. Whether a thing or action is described or viewed to be good or evil is subjective. And since they are subjective, they are misused in persuasions. I am no fan of North Korea or Iran's current governments, or Iraq's removed government, but President Bush's "Axis of Evil" comment was way over the top.

True Good and true Evil, the nouns, are different and not subject to interpretation. They are like emotions, but still more primitive, more base. The closest comparison that I can think of is true Love to true Hate.
willowtreeme
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If there is a God, why is there evil?

Post by willowtreeme »

To Luthor:

You said:

First of all IF you believe in God then the whole christian story comes with it, which says that Eve ate from that tree and caused badness whatever, but I tend to look at things more scientifically and there is no wonder why **** happens.

Not knowing with whom you were speaking --

I don’t know if what you are “meaning” to say above is that a “belief in God” precludes accepting the whole Bible as written and interpreted “back then”. I also take a more scientific view. There are many points of view as regards the “apple” and the “tree”. The bible was written using much symbolism and “figurative” and “poetic” speech – in the same way as two poets might sit down and write about a “tree”, the expression and symbolism different, but basic facts the same. So to many people, what is written in the bible may seem almost like a fairy table. I feel that the words were put down in a way that more of the people would be able to understand; i.e. as in the way numbers were used throughout the Bible. For example, the number seven as in the creator having created the world in said days means “complete”, and the number forty, as in the great flood/Noah’s ark, has the meaning of a great trial. Throughout human history, many beliefs have come and gone. What we see as “untrue” today, in their time, was “truth. Scientifically speaking, I don’t feel the world wasn’t created in seven days and perhaps it is still being created, or expanding.

At the same time, to me, the bible is a written history. How historically “correct” may be a working hypothesis, but there is still much historical fact there.

And yes, S_ _ _ does happen.

Peace
YSM
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Joined: December 21st, 2008, 4:42 pm

Post by YSM »

If there is a one true god and it created us (beings who possess free will), then this god's very existence would create potential for opposition (evil). After all, this god would be the master of reality and thus anything it does would be considered good, granted it follows its own beliefs of what it considers good.

I think God avoids intervening with reality in any aspect. Also, without dark you would not be able to appreciate, nor comprehend light and without hatred you would not be able to appreciate, nor comprehend love, et cetera. How can you appreciate a good life if there is no suffering or hardship? How can you appreciate life if there is no death? This idea also shares the concept above in which the very existence of something creates the potential for the opposite of whatever that something is.

If God made it a habit to intervene with our reality every time something went wrong, or created a reality where nothing could go wrong and where everyone was in accordance with Himself, then there would be no meaning. A reality with no famine, disease, or bad weather would not be fully appreciated, nor understood and so too our programmed actions because there would be no alternative.
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Akhenaten
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Post by Akhenaten »

Evil, Good, Semantics, same thing. If I masacred 20,000 people I am evil, but if those 20,000 people were trying to masacre 20,000 other people then I am a hero, but only to one side. If I let them masacre the other people, then obviously I should have gotten involved as others were killed off. However, if I get involved, I myself must kill many people.

'God' is not good, nor evil, actions perputrated are seen as either good or evil by the -humans- involved, as their perspective tells them if they liked it or not, hence Good or Evil. Granted I do not believe in the Christian/Muslim/Jewish god, persay, I do think that even their outlook on it is inaccurate. THe 'old testiment bible' (the books of which are also in the Quran and Talmud) commonly has 'God' refering to himself as a warrior, a sword, a blade, an axe, death and finality. Tell me, in what aspect of this do we find universal good? Someone is going to be unhappy about it, and to them it will be evil.

Does 'god' exist? Yes, I am sure he did exist, as did all other 'gods'... not all of them were nice... I will accept Hindu and Egyptian beliefs that in cycles the human races ascends and certain few become 'Godly Immortals,' over our current 'scientific findings.' We fail to think of the fact that these cultures were practicing science when our people were living in Goat Skin Huts, and have never stopped practicing it. Somehow, in arrogance, we assume we've learned more in the past 2,000 years than societies did in 10,000+ years. Neat trick.

P.S.
THe Story of Osiris and Set is that Osiris was an -ancient- pharoh (to the already ancient egyptians) that had ruled thousands of years in the past. His brother, younger, Set, had him killed with 72 conspirators. Strange perspective on your Gods. Western Society fails to remember that religion was not always treated the same as we do now... Kings were gods to them, and yet we think they mislabeled any aspect of them.... though in our modern religions we go into so much inane detail its almost frightening.

P.P.S. do you need more than the fact that even the bible goes so far as to list OTHER GODS in other societies? By name... and as we've found out the biblical names were all but legitimate.
DISCLAIMER: THIS DOCUMENT does not cover all individuals in the infinite and variable universe. This is in no way is speaking on cases of incredible, random, or odds of more than 1 : Pi against probability.
df544
Posts: 98
Joined: February 20th, 2009, 6:17 pm

Post by df544 »

Between Nature and God there is

Man.

That is, the evolution of existence is

Nothing to Energy
Energy to Matter
Matter to Atoms
Atoms to Molecules
Molecules to Cells
Cells to Organisms
Organisms to Life
Life to Nature
Nature to Ecology
Ecology to Animals
Animals to Humans
Humans to Consciousness
Consciousness to Silence
Silence to God
God to Everything

Everything to Before Nothing
GM1258
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Joined: June 21st, 2009, 10:33 pm

re: why is there evil??

Post by GM1258 »

I think earth is a penal colony of sorts.
Think of it this way.
When you commit a serious enough crime in
society you go to the penitentiary for a
certain length of time.
Likewise, if you commit a serious enough crime in heaven you come here - to earth - for a certain
length of time.

The length of your time here, as well as the trials,
hardships and "evils" you face, are directly proportional to the seriousness of your offense
on high.
While this may seem negative and pesimistic theres
a certain logic to this analogy.
Like why some lead a life of ease and affluence
while others are born blind in some third world
country.

Pastors, clergymen, and the religous right are
always trying to rationalize why "bad" things
happen to "good" people.
They say its a test of faith.
A firmament of fire to build charcacter with God
and blah, blah, blah.... BS!
I say we're here because we made our own bed and
deserve the sentence we get.

Its been said that 2/3 of the angles in heaven sided
with God and 1/3 sided with Satan.
I think those numbers are a little skewed.
I think theres a small slice of that pie who
were on the fence up there and couldn't make
up their minds.
AND THATS US!!
We have a choice to make while we're here.
And that choice will determine our own destiny.
nameless
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Location: Here/Now

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

Post by nameless »

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?
So, what you are really questioning is the notion that the hypothesized 'god' is 'loving'?
And that what you might pridefully ('sinfully') and vainly 'judge' as 'evil' is the same as the 'judgements' of your 'loving' (and 'judgemental') 'god'?
Your first sentence is as meaningful as asking; if there is an orange, why is there baseball.
ape
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Joined: April 6th, 2009, 9:55 pm

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

Post by ape »

nameless 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?
So, what you are really questioning is the notion that the hypothesized 'god' is 'loving'?
ape: Correct.
And Floyd wd only question that hypothesis if he already did not love evil & its opposite good equally, and so was not seeing that the good he loves comes from and produces the evil he hates, and vice versa. God tells him that the key is to have Good Love for the good and its enemy, evil: Matthew 5:43-48.
nameless: And that what you might pridefully ('sinfully') and vainly 'judge' as 'evil' is the same as the 'judgements' of your 'loving' (and 'judgemental') 'god'?
ape: xlnt, except that 'pridefully' is really Hate of self as abased or low or humble pie!:)
nameless: Your first sentence is as meaningful as asking; if there is an orange, why is there baseball.
ape: Hmmmm But isn't an orange a ball that hangs on the tree which is its base? And isn't baseball the fruit of the American League & The National League?
His 1st sentence is as meaningful as asking:
if there is an orange-tree, why are there bad/evil oranges?
Jeremiah 24
1The LORD shewed me,
and, behold, two baskets of figs
were set before the temple of the LORD, ......

2One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe:
and
the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

3Then said the LORD unto me,
What seest thou, Jeremiah?
And I said,
Figs;
the good figs, very good;
and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
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ontologic_conceptualist
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Post by ontologic_conceptualist »

God didn't create evil, God created each of us (even the Angels)with free will from birth, from day one, we decide how to absorb the experiences & teachings of our day to day lives, it is what WE choose to do that is 'Evil', so we are the creators of 'Evil', not God, stand up like a man(or woman) and take responsibility for your actions !!!

When my times comes, I'm not going to COWER before God and say "Oh, um, well oh crap, don't send me to the bad place :? "

I will stand proud & head high "I have done things I'm not proud of, I have not led a perfect or pious life, I have lusted, I have greeded, I have hated, I have revenged & I have killed...but, I have also regreted, I have loved, I have fought to save & help others that I knew would never care or even despise my involvement & I would give all of these & my life again, even knowing I am probably going to be playing Texas Foldem with Lucifer for eternity, all I can say is, forgive me." And I will open my arms hug him and ready myself for the trip to hell !!!
Who I Am Is What I Am
What I Am Is Why I Am
Why I Am IS Who I Am...

The question you should be asking is...who are you?
ape
Posts: 3314
Joined: April 6th, 2009, 9:55 pm

Post by ape »

ontologic_conceptualist wrote:God didn't create evil, ...
Ape: With humility in Love, OC, I proudly present:
Isaiah 45: 7I form the light, and create darkness:
I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Deuteronomy 32: 39See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me:
I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

Job 1: 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither:
the LORD gave [good], and the LORD hath taken away [good]; blessed be the name of the LORD.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Job 2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
10But he said unto her,
Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh.
What?
Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil ?
In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Job 42:
11Then came there unto him
all his brethren,
and all his sisters,
and all they that had been of his acquaintance before,
and did eat bread with him in his house:
and they bemoaned him,
and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him:
every man also gave him a piece of money,
and every one an earring of gold.
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ontologic_conceptualist
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Location: Mobile, Alabama

Post by ontologic_conceptualist »

Yes, humans do have a tendancy to want to blame others for their own faults, easier to say it's God's fault than mine !!!

Otherwise why should Jesus have had reason to do what he did..."Hey dad/me, it's your/my fault, stop punishing these people for YOUR/MY evils"

And even if God did create the 'Option' of doing evil, it is the 'Free Will' of man(or woman) to choose act or not act upon it !!!

Either way, it is MAN'S need to take responcibility for his/her own actions or inactions In life and the after life !!!
Last edited by ontologic_conceptualist on June 22nd, 2009, 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Who I Am Is What I Am
What I Am Is Why I Am
Why I Am IS Who I Am...

The question you should be asking is...who are you?
Nick_A
Posts: 3244
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Post by Nick_A »

God IS perfect. For anything else to exist it must be imperfect. Creation then is imperfect. Imperfection must include that which you define as evil otherwise it would be perfect. Since creation is necessary, imperfection is equally necessary including what is judged as evil.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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ontologic_conceptualist
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Location: Mobile, Alabama

Post by ontologic_conceptualist »

Are you lost? Who are you talking to...me? Your statement seems very perplexing & unrelated to me/subject of my statement in the way as if you did not read my last one !?
Who I Am Is What I Am
What I Am Is Why I Am
Why I Am IS Who I Am...

The question you should be asking is...who are you?
ape
Posts: 3314
Joined: April 6th, 2009, 9:55 pm

Post by ape »

[quote="ontologic_conceptualist"]Yes, humans do have a tendancy to want to blame others for their own faults, easier to say it's God's fault than mine !!!
ape: True. But it 's like: It's not because I am paranoid that they are not out to get me!
People who love God and hate evil do NOT blame God for evil, they blame satan!
People who hate God and hate evil do blame God and then some go on to disbelieve in him.
Job's wife blamed God and hated him!
Hmmmmm
So that attitude is man's problem.

But what if you are NOT blaming God, and he says, I am to blame?
And what if you ARE blaming God, and he says, Yes, I am to blame?

Do you see how the real problem is NOT if we blame God or not, but if we LOVE God or not!

OC, have you ever thought of this: you have!
God is the Director of a staged show of His Life.
We are all, as actors and actresses, playing Him in all forms and disguises and shapes.
We have our entrances, our scripts or scriptures or lines to read, and we have our exits.
All are sinners because God wants them to play that role...so he has NOT given all the key as how NOT to be sinners. So He is responsible or to be blamed for everything! But it's cool since He loves and forgives himself---since there was NO other way for him to do all that he has done: Even HE cd NOT make an up without a down, a good without a bad, see?
So that is why He came to die for us to make up for what he had to do to himself as us and to us as himself: gives us lots of pleasure but lots of pain?
Then this makes sense:
Romans 8: 20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
What do you think?
OC: Otherwise why should Jesus have had reason to do what he did..."Hey dad/me, it's your/my fault, stop punishing these people for YOUR/MY evils"
ape: You said it! Churchill once said that we stumble over the truth but then pick ourselves up and just ourselves off and move on as if nothing happened!
Here is WS:
'All the world's a stage.'
'Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.'
ape
Posts: 3314
Joined: April 6th, 2009, 9:55 pm

Post by ape »

Nick_A wrote:God IS perfect. For anything else to exist it must be imperfect. Creation then is imperfect. Imperfection must include that which you define as evil otherwise it would be perfect. Since creation is necessary, imperfection is equally necessary including what is judged as evil.
awesome!
God IS Love-Perfect or IS Perfect-Love for himself as perfect and imperfect!
So everything he made is also imperfect and perfect, mostly imperfect!!
So OUR perfection can ONLY be in LOVE: having perfect Love for the perfect and imperfect!
That IS perfect!:)
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