The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

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patrick
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The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby patrick » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:05 pm

Where did evil come from? Where did Satan's choice to do evil come from? And why did God allow Eve to be swayed by Satan? I've been seeking answers for these questions, but for all my seeking I can only conclude that it must be that, one way or another, the potential to do evil is good.

I've been wondering if perhaps this is such a thorny pill to swallow that so many people turn their backs on God. Because evil itself obviously isn't good, so it seems wrong for it to have been allowed in the first place. Perhaps what's really at stake here is a disagreement over how to balance a love for good versus a hate for evil. If it's even partially true that the potential for evil is good, then the total hatred of evil would mean sacrificing some degree good, while the total love of good would entail tolerating some degree of evil.

Thoughts? And I'm not partial to the possibility for evil being good, so if you have another explanation for whence cometh evil, that's cool too.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby Nessa » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:10 pm

I wouldnt say the potential for evil is good in and of itself but free will is good. And part of free will is being able to decide to do evil.

At least thats what I think right now.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby abelcainsbrother » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:53 pm

patrick wrote:Where did evil come from? Where did Satan's choice to do evil come from? And why did God allow Eve to be swayed by Satan? I've been seeking answers for these questions, but for all my seeking I can only conclude that it must be that, one way or another, the potential to do evil is good.

I've been wondering if perhaps this is such a thorny pill to swallow that so many people turn their backs on God. Because evil itself obviously isn't good, so it seems wrong for it to have been allowed in the first place. Perhaps what's really at stake here is a disagreement over how to balance a love for good versus a hate for evil. If it's even partially true that the potential for evil is good, then the total hatred of evil would mean sacrificing some degree good, while the total love of good would entail tolerating some degree of evil.

Thoughts? And I'm not partial to the possibility for evil being good, so if you have another explanation for whence cometh evil, that's cool too.


God just allowed us to make choices and we chose evil but he had a plan to redeem man and woman despite the evil.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:57 pm

I think, the hardest thing to explain, is how "free will" is created or allowed as part of creatures.

One reason perhaps is because we are largely only familiar with a mechanical materialistic world. So then, we're wired to understand matters a certain way. For example, we might visualise God creating us from some substance of His own (which God doesn't actually have, since God is immaterial, so this can't possibly be the case). And then we wonder, well how is this "consciousness", a being with it's own "free will", created to be independent from God. So we think in rather robotic terms of the programmer programming a robot. Surely God in creating a person's soul and essence (as a programmer does with some the robotics software), God is essentially defining who they are? I disagree with this.

God in creating "free creatures", such creatures are created with an ability to truly define themselves in the world that they find themselves within. Someone once put it to me, like God doesn't necessarily create our "will" to be this or that, more than allows an emptiness of sorts wherein we move to define ourselves. So then, God in creating Satan didn't define Satan to be an enemy but merely allowed and tolerated that which Satan would become to bring about some greater ultimate good. Some say that there is no greater and ultimate good than "love", and "love" can't be commanded, but is only possible where persons have the capability to choose not to love. To "not love" also means being able to turn against someone and do evil. Here many theologians would argue that in order for the maximum good to exist ("love"), such necessarily entails evil being allowed to also be committed. So it's like a package deal.

So Satan's choices, like our own, indeed come from ourselves defining who we are. How it works, I doubt we will ever know here. Yet, I see no contradiction with saying that God created creatures to possess their consciousness and act freely according to how they want, that such is in fact a possibility. Indeed, if we believe we do possess a will of our own (which aligns with our inner common sense intuition), then it must be a possibility no matter what one believes of God.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby patrick » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:46 am

Kurieuo wrote:I think, the hardest thing to explain, is how "free will" is created or allowed as part of creatures.

One reason perhaps is because we are largely only familiar with a mechanical materialistic world. So then, we're wired to understand matters a certain way. For example, we might visualise God creating us from some substance of His own (which God doesn't actually have, since God is immaterial, so this can't possibly be the case). And then we wonder, well how is this "consciousness", a being with it's own "free will", created to be independent from God. So we think in rather robotic terms of the programmer programming a robot. Surely God in creating a person's soul and essence (as a programmer does with some the robotics software), God is essentially defining who they are? I disagree with this.


I liked the whole post, but this part I found to be particularly insightful. Between the book of Job and 2 Thessalonians 2:7, there is good reason to think we simply won't find out how free will (the root cause of evil) works while on Earth. And while many take that as evidence of absence, in the counterarguments I've looked at, what I find is that it's essentially written off as being at best "random." Such line of thinking reduces an organic experience we all have ready access to to a black box that we can fully cognize. And even if that's a necessary step in order to conceptualize it, it's also insufficient to categorically rule out free will.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby Mallz » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:19 am

patrick wrote:Where did evil come from? Where did Satan's choice to do evil come from? And why did God allow Eve to be swayed by Satan? I've been seeking answers for these questions, but for all my seeking I can only conclude that it must be that, one way or another, the potential to do evil is good.

I've been wondering if perhaps this is such a thorny pill to swallow that so many people turn their backs on God. Because evil itself obviously isn't good, so it seems wrong for it to have been allowed in the first place. Perhaps what's really at stake here is a disagreement over how to balance a love for good versus a hate for evil. If it's even partially true that the potential for evil is good, then the total hatred of evil would mean sacrificing some degree good, while the total love of good would entail tolerating some degree of evil.

Thoughts? And I'm not partial to the possibility for evil being good, so if you have another explanation for whence cometh evil, that's cool too.


I see evil as rebellion from God. satan's choice to do evil came from his own desires as a being with self-determination. Any created being with that capability will be able to choose conformity with God (living by His intent/through His will) or in rebellion (any other way). God allowed Eve to be swayed the very moment He created her with the ability of choice over her life and how she interacts with others, just like satan. There is no good in evil, it's an oxymoron to say. Like saying there is darkness in light. It's simply, He created beings with self determination. I would say His purpose (among many) was to create beings who could further propagate goodness through imagination to genesis. It's not that evil was intended, or that He didn't know some would choose rebellion, but that He wanted to have beings that could enjoy His goodness and channel\create joy for existence. I deny there is a good/evil relationship of necessity. Evil simply is the absence or degeneration of the good and is created by beings, not God.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby patrick » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:57 am

Mallz wrote:There is no good in evil, it's an oxymoron to say. Like saying there is darkness in light. It's simply, He created beings with self determination.


I can't help but suspect you misunderstood my point, though to be fair my framing it as "possibility of evil is good" doesn't help matters. That said, I didn't say there is good in evil; rather, my point was that if we assume God is omnibenevolent, and he made a choice that creates the possibility for evil (implicit in creating beings with self-determination), then it suggests that hatred for evil is not really a good standard to apply to God without first looking at His corresponding love for good.

To give an example, many atheists are well aware of the free will defense in response to the problem of evil, yet they frequently reject it on the grounds that free will isn't good enough to outweigh the evil that it brought about. However, that assumes omnibenevolence means a rejection of all potential evil even if such can potentially lead to good as well. Whereas the Christian view is essentially the opposite.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby B. W. » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:33 am

patrick wrote:Where did evil come from? Where did Satan's choice to do evil come from? And why did God allow Eve to be swayed by Satan? I've been seeking answers for these questions, but for all my seeking I can only conclude that it must be that, one way or another, the potential to do evil is good.

I've been wondering if perhaps this is such a thorny pill to swallow that so many people turn their backs on God. Because evil itself obviously isn't good, so it seems wrong for it to have been allowed in the first place. Perhaps what's really at stake here is a disagreement over how to balance a love for good versus a hate for evil. If it's even partially true that the potential for evil is good, then the total hatred of evil would mean sacrificing some degree good, while the total love of good would entail tolerating some degree of evil.

Thoughts? And I'm not partial to the possibility for evil being good, so if you have another explanation for whence cometh evil, that's cool too.



Lot of loaded questions:

To answer requires to answer with questions...

Is God all powerful?

If he denies free moral reasoning, then how could he still be all powerful?

If God denied granting responsibility to those whom he created and designed to be responsible, then how could he still be all powerful?

Is God all wise?

To refine and make pure precious metals, like gold, requires first to remove dross before perfect can come, therefore, which epoch do we find ourselves in?

Is it error to teach what true right is and what true wrong is? If not, then why bother teaching our own children these things?

Is God Just to all?

If God denies justice of reason towards those whom are responsible then how could he really be just?

If God denied his call to humanity to return to himself how could he be really Just?

If God, due to his being all knowing, denied the ability for human beings to freely answer or reject that call, then how could he really be just?

How can one teach what true love is by not being Just?


++++

So Patrick, what do you think?
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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby patrick » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:35 am

B. W. wrote:
So Patrick, what do you think?
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I think this question in particular is pretty insightful

Is it error to teach what true right is and what true wrong is? If not, then why bother teaching our own children these things?


In a lot of ways, how God relates to us can be understood by how we relate to our own children. People might want to shield their children from the consequences of their decisions, if not the responsibility of making good choices in the first place. But if I've learned anything in working with children, it's that rules without consequence go unheeded and unlearned.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby Philip » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:54 am

When it comes to free will, we can freely choose or actions. And God can intervene or influence per His will - or not - be they moral decisions and actions, or immoral ones. But as for the ultimate consequences of our free will choices, we do not get to determine. And certainly that is true of the eternal consequences of our present free will decisions/actions. People want the freedom of rejecting and resisting God, but they don't want the consequences of those. So, many of those aware of the stated consequence of forever rejecting God/denying Christ - their solution is often to pretend He doesn't exist. As if they did not convince themselves there were no such horrific consequence or any God behind them, they would go mad. People can convince themselves of all manner of self-influenced and desired lies they wish to reassure themselves with - so they can both live according to their own moral rules (see, "whatever suits me") and to convince themselves there are no eternal consequences for that. Otherwise, they would go mad, knowing their horrible fate is tied to their own stubborn rebellion and narcissism.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby Mallz » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:59 am

patrick wrote:I can't help but suspect you misunderstood my point, though to be fair my framing it as "possibility of evil is good" doesn't help matters. That said, I didn't say there is good in evil; rather, my point was that if we assume God is omnibenevolent, and he made a choice that creates the possibility for evil (implicit in creating beings with self-determination), then it suggests that hatred for evil is not really a good standard to apply to God without first looking at His corresponding love for good.


I get you, I just don't think Him being omnibenevolent has any more to do with what processes from Him than anything else (justice, joy, rationality, order, etc.). That type of question doesn't frame God, but limits Him, meaning it can't apply to Him. I don't understand "...hatred for evil is not really a good standard to apply to God without first looking at His corresponding love for good". I don't see His hatred for evil having anything to do with His love for good. They don't correlate, which I'm trying to express.

patrick wrote:To give an example, many atheists are well aware of the free will defense in response to the problem of evil, yet they frequently reject it on the grounds that free will isn't good enough to outweigh the evil that it brought about. However, that assumes omnibenevolence means a rejection of all potential evil even if such can potentially lead to good as well. Whereas the Christian view is essentially the opposite.


I don't think the 'good outweighs the evil' is an applicable question for God. It misunderstands the very basic nature of what God is (how can someone have an opinion about something if they don't even know what they're talking about?). I think it's right to think omnibenevolence doesn't include the rejection of all potential evil (again I'm affirming no necessary relation of good with evil, only evil with good and by degeneration/rebellion). Again, evil never processed from God. His benevolence shouldn't be in 'question', here. If anything, it would be His justice, mercy and why he forms all thing by and to His will as He does (and even through our perception of time). I think He allows evil because His creatures made it, and so He will work with it to abolish it instead of abolishing those that created it (even though He almost did during the flood). And there, I see love. I see His benevolence by making a way for man to be reconciled back to Him.

I know it can be hard to talk with those who have emotional problems with God. Blaming God for their existence and misery is pathetic when it's beings who are responsible for the state of the world. I'd suggest not humoring it and instead introduce who God actually is so He can actually be talked about.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:27 pm

This sort of brings in the question why did God not spare the angels, but had mercy on humans. Any ideas?

So far I see a few: Bc we were made in His image, we were tempted, we were on earth and not heaven, or that we were more ignorant than the angels, which ties with us being on earth and not heaven.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby Mallz » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:58 am

thatkidakayoungguy wrote:This sort of brings in the question why did God not spare the angels, but had mercy on humans. Any ideas?

So far I see a few: Bc we were made in His image, we were tempted, we were on earth and not heaven, or that we were more ignorant than the angels, which ties with us being on earth and not heaven.


From my perspective, It's the ignorance reason. Angels, spiritual creatures, were able to have spiritual relations with God directly, knowing more of Him and talking to Him like we are here. And even though humanity brought evil upon itself the path was given by an angel (showing a higher plane of knowledge angels have as they were able to choose and offer choices). We were limited to 'don't eat that fruit'. And the only knowledge of repercussions was that 'we would die'.

And I think He had a different sort of mercy with Angels. I think He talked with and at times pleaded for them to not rebel.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:05 pm

Mallz wrote:And I think He had a different sort of mercy with Angels. I think He talked with and at times pleaded for them to not rebel.

I've heard that idea from Ellen White's writings and while the bible doesn't specifically say so, it does fit with God's character. One could say that even now He has some mercy on the angels, as His plan for them doesn't involve being put into the lake of fire just yet. But knowing them they will just keep adding fire to their heads in that time.

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Re: The possibility of evil is good? Love of good vs Hate of evil

Postby Littlefinger » Mon May 22, 2017 3:28 pm

Good post. I think TEMPORATE evil is an absolute necessity for progress as suggested by the Bible with the tree of knowledge of good and evil which was placed in the center of the garden of Eden. A knowledge of good and evil can not be gained without evil existing at least temporarily. And if you can not know evil, you can not know good since good is the opposite of evil. So I think there was great wisdom in God putting the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden and allowing Adam and Eve to sin, just like he does with all humans. God did not want to promote sin, but he did want to promote choice and progress.

Adam was left with a choice to either remain innocent and good but ignorant, or to humble himself to sin to gain greater knowledge of good and evil, so he could be more Godlike and progress showing his faith in repentance.

Just like Jesus humbled himself to mortality and taking the sins of man on him for a greater good, Adam humbled himself to mortality and took on sin by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Jesus taught not to resist evil. Meaning not resist evil outside of us, though clearly we should not be evil ourselves.
For evil has a purpose. At least a temporary one. I don't think evil will exist permanently, but it will exist as long as it is needed to help people make the choice for good. As long as there is indecision between good and evil there is a need for both to exist. It is first when a person has become completely "perfect" in desire for good, or evil beyond return that evil no longer has a purpose.

You might say that evil is a bit like weights in a weight room or gravity. It is a force of opposition which makes us stronger, wise and better if we resist the evil in us and not the evil outside of us.


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