Question about a modified problem of evil...

Discussions on a ranges of philosophical issues including the nature of truth and reality, personal identity, mind-body theories, epistemology, justification of beliefs, argumentation and logic, philosophy of religion, free will and determinism, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
derrick09
Valued Member
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:47 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Southeastern Kentucky
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Question about a modified problem of evil...

#1

Post by derrick09 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:41 pm

This question has to do with a modified version of the problem of evil. Now I"m under the impression that most of you here who are Christian apologists along with most other thoughtful Christian apologists that the problem of evil is a non issue since if God doesn't exist than objective good and evil do not. It's all just molecules in motion so to speak. But, instead of the problem of evil or why God allows evil to exist, I have found a better question that I think a few thoughtful atheists and agnostics have asked, why did God allow Satan to exist, rebel, and ultimately be the ultimate source of sin and evil? I suppose one answer I could give if a unbeliever asked me this is to say God allowed things to go like this as a powerful way to display his power and glory. But what do I say if the unbeliever asks the following "well if God wanted to demonstrate his glory and or power, why did He choose this way to do it (i.e. allowing evil to exist) than to do things another way"? Have any of you here ever come across this de lima and if so, what kind of responses do you give? Thanks and God bless.
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

smiley
Established Member
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:27 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#2

Post by smiley » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:50 pm

This is one of the things that, in my opinion, make absolutely no sense on Classical Theism.

The "glory" answer is a Calvinist one, and quite frankly, it's total nonsense. A loving God who lets millions of people, including little children, be raped, enslaved, tortured, mutilated, starve to death, and so on, for the purpose of demonstrating His "glory"? And most of these people never even hear of the Christian God.

And not only that, but most of these people who suffered will end up in Hell. Thus, not only did they suffer in this life, they will also suffer in the after-life. And all for the sake of God showing how mighty and glorious He is. This is not what I'd describe as a "loving God" at all.
"Imagine if we picked the wrong god. Every time we go to church, we're just make him madder and madder." - Homer Simpson

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#3

Post by jlay » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:54 pm

I'm certain there are a great many things that will not be evident or clear to us until we enter eternity. This would be one. Of course anytime I ask a question like this, I have to ask, why did God create me, and allow me to rebel and bring ruin to His creation. Yikes.

Smiley,
This is the classic, "I don't like the way things are. I don't like God's M.O. So, therefore he isn't true."

Why should we care what you describe as 'loving?'
Other than telling us what you don't believe, how bout for a change you lay your cards on the table, and tell us what you do believe.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

smiley
Established Member
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:27 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#4

Post by smiley » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:03 pm

jlay wrote: Smiley,
This is the classic, "I don't like the way things are. I don't like God's M.O. So, therefore he isn't true."
Wrong. This is a purely logical problem. It's not about what I like.
Why should we care what you describe as 'loving?'
You shouldn't. I am working under the definition of loving that virtually all people agree with.

A being who willingly lets most of His "children" suffer the way they do for the purpose of showing how "glorious" He is, is not loving.
Other than telling us what you don't believe, how bout for a change you lay your cards on the table, and tell us what you do believe.
I did. It's everywhere around the forum.

I believe the suffering in the world is caused by Satan and not in accordance with God's will.
"Imagine if we picked the wrong god. Every time we go to church, we're just make him madder and madder." - Homer Simpson

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#5

Post by jlay » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:27 pm

I believe the suffering in the world is caused by Satan and not in accordance with God's will.
The Devil made me do it, huh?

When you say, suffering is 'caused,' not in accordance with God's will, I can find agreement with you, only to an extent.
Before we go any further it is important to understand what you believe. Regardless of what you claim about other posts, I have been unable to understand your position up to this point.

First- What is your view of scripture?
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

smiley
Established Member
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:27 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#6

Post by smiley » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:52 pm

jlay wrote: First- What is your view of scripture?
What do you mean? And how is this relevant to the topic?

If you're asking me if I think it was inspired by God, then yes, I do.
"Imagine if we picked the wrong god. Every time we go to church, we're just make him madder and madder." - Homer Simpson

User avatar
warhoop
Recognized Member
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:06 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Oregon
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#7

Post by warhoop » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:10 pm

This question almost always invariably turns into, "if I was God, this is how I would do it." We attempt to project our finite reasoning onto infinite wisdom. I believe the subscription to glory is the correct one, but that really is cold comfort to those outside of a relationship with God, grieving, or troubled by the concept of pain and suffering.

As difficult, or maybe impossible as it is, we still have to bear in mind the endgame. It is not a zero sum conclusion. There will be a victory. If Ultimate Good is to be triumphant, then ultimate evil has to be the loser. And the only way that the conclusion can be reached is through the confrontation and conflict of the two. If the outcome is to be Perfect (Perfect God, Perfect Plan), then it has to be a Perfect Battle, not a battle by proxy (Israel didn't just occupy the Promised Land, they fought for it). This isn't a video game. Real soldiers have to meet on a real battlefield to achieve a real objective.

And really, thank God for that. Because I'm not a myriad of pixels and indeed a real person, called by God to fight in His Army and on His Behalf, not only do I get to share in His Glory, but that also means that God is intensely interested in my success as His creation, His soldier, His son; because I contribute to the Ultimate Victory. Indeed, it's the battle that strengthens our bond.

So I guess my answer is that you can either bemoan the existence of evil, pain, suffering, etc. and do nothing; or you can arm yourself and go out fight against the injustice that you bemoan.

User avatar
derrick09
Valued Member
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:47 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Southeastern Kentucky
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#8

Post by derrick09 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:57 pm

This is some great stuff! Thanks everyone! :wave:
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#9

Post by jlay » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:24 am

What do you mean? And how is this relevant to the topic?

If you're asking me if I think it was inspired by God, then yes, I do.
I stated that in the question. I've been unable to understand your position. And I'm not real interested in running in circles. It's relevant because I'm trying to understand your theology, and the statements you are making. Often times we find ourselves in a discussion or argument with someone only to find out we missed some info at some point that could have cleared things up. I've seen a lot of statements from you that tear down a position, but I've never been aware of YOUR position itself. To my recollection, this has been mentioned by others. So, all that said......
A being who willingly lets most of His "children" suffer the way they do for the purpose of showing how "glorious" He is, is not loving.
Would you, in light of this statement and your statement that all scripture is god breathed, further explain the issue of suffering as it relates to God's will. I want to make sure we are using 'His will' in the same manner. And when you refer to his 'children' who are you referring to?
There is little doubt that his "children" do suffer. (I'm defining children as the redeemed only) There is little doubt that the scriptures say that God is working all things out for His glory. Little doubt that God permits this suffering.

How would you handle God's statement about Paul. I will show him how much he must suffer.......
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

User avatar
warhoop
Recognized Member
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:06 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Oregon
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#10

Post by warhoop » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:28 pm

Upon further reflection, you could also come at it from a perspective of semantics. Does pain and/or suffering necessarily equate to evil? Scripture certainly says no. I think a case could be made that evil, according to God's word, has more to do with acting outside of God's will than tribulation. That's why Paul refers to his righteousness as filthy rags (quoting Isiah if memory serves) because his will, his desire, his actions weren't aligned with God's. If taking this perspective, that opens the door for many things that we may consider good to actually be evil (see 1John 4:1).

smiley
Established Member
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:27 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#11

Post by smiley » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:58 am

Jlay wrote:There is little doubt that the scriptures say that God is working all things out for His glory.
Which verse are you referring to specifically?
How would you handle God's statement about Paul. I will show him how much he must suffer.......
That Paul must suffer to spread the Gospel. Just the way he did.

That doesn't mean that God was the cause of that suffering.

In any event, I am not saying that God doesn't cause any suffering. This obviously isn't true, given the way God's curses on various individuals and nations are chronicled throughout the Bible. But to say that all the suffering in the world is caused by God for the sake of showing how great He is just strikes me as profoundly evil.
warhoop wrote:Upon further reflection, you could also come at it from a perspective of semantics. Does pain and/or suffering necessarily equate to evil?
I wouldn't say it necessarily equates to evil. There are sufferings that are not necessarily evil. But things like the Holocaust, or tens of thousands of children who die of famine every day, these things obviously are.
"Imagine if we picked the wrong god. Every time we go to church, we're just make him madder and madder." - Homer Simpson

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#12

Post by jlay » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:30 am

I think we are probably a lot more in agreement than we realize. I didn't say he was the cause of all suffering. Although suffering is a by-product of God's judgment against Satan and mankind. His judgment (which is part of His will) against all forms of evil, has placed the world in suffering and death. Now, when I use will in this sense, I am not saying God is manufacturing suffering for His own kicks. But it is His good pleasure to execute justice according to His character. See the flood for example.
It was His will to expel Adam and Eve. Although it was their rebellion that led to it, it was God's judgment to expel them and place them into suffering.
But to say that all the suffering in the world is caused by God for the sake of showing how great He is just strikes me as profoundly evil.

Oh heavens no. I wouldn't say that it is to show how great He is. However, even through the evil acts of Satan and man, God's sovereingty and providence is demonstrated. So, suffering is permitted. And God's glory is utimately revealed through it.
Romans 8:28 was the verse.

So, we would agree that God is not simply inflicting suffering with the intent to show how great He is. God's judgments are just.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

User avatar
warhoop
Recognized Member
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:06 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Oregon
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Question about a modified problem of evil...

#13

Post by warhoop » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:02 am

smiley wrote:But things like the Holocaust, or tens of thousands of children who die of famine every day, these things obviously are.
These are two different things. Killing people for no other reason than for their belief, absolutely evil. Children not having enough food to eat, absolutely tragic, but I wouldn't classify it as evil anymore than I would classify a lion eating an antelope as evil. Just as good has to be purposed, it doesn't just happen, so too must evil. As I said before, cold comfort.

Post Reply