Problem of evil

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Problem of evil

#1

Post by 1over137 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:36 am

Since some people were interested in the question of evil I decided to make this thread.


Problem of evil
---
Following is from writings of Prof. John Frame. I took out the stuff below.
---
First, there is natural evil and moral evil. The former includes anything that brings suffering, unpleasantness, or difficulty into the lives of creatures. Earthquakes, floods, diseases, injuries, and death are examples of natural evil. Moral evil is the sin of rational creatures (angels and men). According to Scripture, moral evil came first. Natural evil is a curse brought upon the world because of moral evil. It functions as punishment to the wicked and as a means of discipline for those who are righteous by God’s grace. 
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One approach to the problem is to claim that the presence, or at least the possibility, of evil in the world is good, when seen from a broader perspective.
In Scripture, God uses evil to test his servants (Job, 1 Pet. 1:7, Jas, 1:3), to discipline them (Heb. 12:7-11), to preserve their lives (Gen. 50:20), to teach them patience and perseverence (James 1:3-4), to redirect their attention to what is most important (Ps. 37), to enable them to comfort others (2 Cor. 1:3-7), to enable them to witness powerfully of the truth (Acts 7), to give them greater joy when suffering is replaced by glory (1 Pet. 4:13), to judge the wicked both in history (Deut. 28:15-68) and in the life to come (Matt. 27:41-46), to bring reward to persecuted believers (Matt.5:10-12), and simply “that the works of God might be displayed” (John 9:3, compare Ex. 9:16, Rom. 9:17).
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It is certainly true that when God brings pain and suffering upon people, he has a good purpose. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). And in a context dealing with the sufferings of Christians, Paul says, “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). Recognizing and affirming this principle is an essential element in any Christian response to the problem of evil. For it is essential to realize that even though God does bring evil into the world, he does it for a good reason. Therefore, he does not do evil in bringing evil to pass.
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In the last day, God’s justice, mercy, and righteousness will be so plain to all that nobody will accuse him of wrongdoing. Rather, “All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." (Rev 15:4b
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Apostle Paul, who underwent much more suffering than most of us, even says that “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17).
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Joseph was surprised at the means God used to lift him from a status as slave and prisoner to that of Pharaoh’s prime minister.
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For the burden of proof is, after all, not upon us. It is the objector who must show that the evils of this world cannot be part of an overall good plan. I have shown many ways in which God brings good out of evil, even when it seems impossible for the good to prevail. Can the objector prove that God is unable to integrate the present evils into an overall good plan.
---
Do we want to say that God is the “cause” of evil? That language is certainly problematic, since we usually associate cause with blame. 
---
The very transcendence of God plays a significant role in biblical responses to the problem of evil. Because God is who he is, the covenant Lord, he is not required to defend himself against charges of injustice. He is the judge, not we. Very often in Scripture, when something happens that calls God’s goodness in question, God pointedly refrains from explaining. Indeed, he often rebukes those human beings who question him. Job demanded an interview with God, so that he could ask God the reasons for his sufferings (23:1-7, 31:35-37). But when he met God, God asked the questions: “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me” (38:3). The questions mostly revealed Job’s ignorance about God’s creation: if Job doesn’t understand the ways of the animals, how can he presume to call God’s motives in question? He doesn’t even understand earthly things; how can he presume to debate heavenly things? God is not subject to the ignorant evaluations of his creatures.
---
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

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Re: Problem of evil

#2

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:24 pm

There is no such a thing as "natural evil" in regards to natural disasters.
Natural disasters are called that ONLY when a natural event like a hurricane of earth quake takes lives.
No one calls an earthquake that kills no one or destroys nothing a "natural disaster".
Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc, are all natural occuring events that happen for natural reasons.
No evil what so ever.
Moral evil exists because humans are free to do either good or bad, it's just that simple.
Why does God allow this?
God instills in each of Us the ability to know right from wrong, as divine creator, that is more than enough since, as sentient and free beings it falls on US to choose, not God to dictate.
God also instills on us the ability to TEACH and UNDERSTAND right and wrong so that none have any excuse ( other than the mentally ill of course).
Moral evil exists because WE choose for it to exist ( we choose by doing what we know to be wrong AND by choosing to be apart from God).

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Re: Problem of evil

#3

Post by 1over137 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:34 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:There is no such a thing as "natural evil" in regards to natural disasters.
Natural disasters are called that ONLY when a natural event like a hurricane of earth quake takes lives.
No one calls an earthquake that kills no one or destroys nothing a "natural disaster".
Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc, are all natural occuring events that happen for natural reasons.
No evil what so ever.
Moral evil exists because humans are free to do either good or bad, it's just that simple.
Why does God allow this?
God instills in each of Us the ability to know right from wrong, as divine creator, that is more than enough since, as sentient and free beings it falls on US to choose, not God to dictate.
God also instills on us the ability to TEACH and UNDERSTAND right and wrong so that none have any excuse ( other than the mentally ill of course).
Moral evil exists because WE choose for it to exist ( we choose by doing what we know to be wrong AND by choosing to be apart from God).
Natural was meant in a sense that it is felt, sensed or seen.

Going to bed now. :sleep: Back to the rest later.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Problem of evil

#4

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:58 pm

First, there is natural evil and moral evil. The former includes anything that brings suffering, unpleasantness, or difficulty into the lives of creatures. Earthquakes, floods, diseases, injuries, and death are examples of natural evil. Moral evil is the sin of rational creatures (angels and men). According to Scripture, moral evil came first. Natural evil is a curse brought upon the world because of moral evil. It functions as punishment to the wicked and as a means of discipline for those who are righteous by God’s grace.
Earthquakes do NOT happen because of moral evil "contaminating" the world, they happen because of plate tectonics ( think a pressure relief system).
Hurricanes help transport excess heat out of the tropics to the higher latitudes.
It's quite obvious why floods happen.
Etc...
Does Man have an effect on them? YES< of course !
But He is not the cause.
Floods get aggravated because Man destroys nature's natural draining and barriers, Hurricanes increase in intensity and frequency because of man's effect on the climate, people die in earthquakes because man builds homes over faults, etc, etc.

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Re: Problem of evil

#5

Post by RickD » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:24 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
First, there is natural evil and moral evil. The former includes anything that brings suffering, unpleasantness, or difficulty into the lives of creatures. Earthquakes, floods, diseases, injuries, and death are examples of natural evil. Moral evil is the sin of rational creatures (angels and men). According to Scripture, moral evil came first. Natural evil is a curse brought upon the world because of moral evil. It functions as punishment to the wicked and as a means of discipline for those who are righteous by God’s grace.
Earthquakes do NOT happen because of moral evil "contaminating" the world, they happen because of plate tectonics ( think a pressure relief system).
Hurricanes help transport excess heat out of the tropics to the higher latitudes.
It's quite obvious why floods happen.
Etc...
Does Man have an effect on them? YES< of course !
But He is not the cause.
Floods get aggravated because Man destroys nature's natural draining and barriers, Hurricanes increase in intensity and frequency because of man's effect on the climate, people die in earthquakes because man builds homes over faults, etc, etc.
While I don't think natural evil is a "curse" brought about because of moral evil, one could make the argument that natural evil exists as part of this temporary universe, which exists because of moral evil. God knew beforehand that Lucifer would fall. God's best possible creation to eradicate moral evil as quickly as possible, is this exact universe we now live in. In order for man to freely choose to love God, this temporary universe was a "perfect" creation for that purpose.
But, as far as natural evil occurring as a direct result of, and immediately after Adam's sin, then I don't see that.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Problem of evil

#6

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:25 pm

Or since only GOD can be prefect there is no reason to expect His creation to be perfect?
God said it was good, not perfect.

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Re: Problem of evil

#7

Post by RickD » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:29 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:Or since only GOD can be prefect there is no reason to expect His creation to be perfect?
God said it was good, not perfect.
I guess it depends on what one means by "perfect". Perfect, meaning without sin, no. Perfect, meaning ideal to bring about a desired effect, yes.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Problem of evil

#8

Post by neo-x » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:23 am

While I don't think natural evil is a "curse" brought about because of moral evil, one could make the argument that natural evil exists as part of this temporary universe, which exists because of moral evil.
As far as I see it Rick, if the planet earth is designed by God within the rules of physics then earthquakes, floods and hurricanes and tornadoes, therefore natural evil, if one were to call it that, must exist before the fall too.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
And with that we went below to the flame-flickering Darkness of the lower deck
and to a cold almost the equal of the Dante-esque Ninth Circle Arctic Night
without.


//johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Problem of evil

#9

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:54 am

RickD wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Or since only GOD can be prefect there is no reason to expect His creation to be perfect?
God said it was good, not perfect.
I guess it depends on what one means by "perfect". Perfect, meaning without sin, no. Perfect, meaning ideal to bring about a desired effect, yes.
Fair enough and I think that the world is and always has been "perfect" in that regard, to bring about the desired effect.
Life is bountiful here, all types of life and that is because of HOW the world works.
It falls on man to adapt top the world, to respect it and care for it, not to try to "bend" nature to his whim and then pay the price.

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Re: Problem of evil

#10

Post by RickD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:05 am

neo-x wrote:
While I don't think natural evil is a "curse" brought about because of moral evil, one could make the argument that natural evil exists as part of this temporary universe, which exists because of moral evil.
As far as I see it Rick, if the planet earth is designed by God within the rules of physics then earthquakes, floods and hurricanes and tornadoes, therefore natural evil, if one were to call it that, must exist before the fall too.
I agree, neo. I don't think the way the world functions, changed because Adam sinned. Vegetarian snakes and sharks didn't suddenly evolve into killers because Adam sinned. They were designed the way we know them, to play their parts in the "circle of life". Same thing can be said about natural disasters. Natural disasters are necessary for the earth to maintain life as we know it.

All I meant in my above quote you posted, is that this temporary universe exists because of sin. More precisely, our universe exists as the most ideal way to get rid of sin and evil.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Problem of evil

#11

Post by BryanH » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:27 pm

I just copy pasted this from the other topic...

@Ichtus

I know what you mean with the heat example. That was a mistake from my part. Mainly when I talked about dichotomies, I was referring to the human personality and traits.

@Now coming back to the original discussion

1) I did ask one question here which got no answer:

The story of Lucifer, the fallen angel.

He was banished because he wanted to be the equal of God. This story leads to a logic paradox:

"Can God create another God?"


2) If we follow the logic saying that God is only good, then he can't actualize evil... At the same time, God is not a free moral agent because he is only good.

Here I have 2 dilemmas:

a) How does Hell exist without evil being a separate characteristic? As mighty and powerful as Lucifer might be, he is only a creation of God. Lucifer can't exist independently of God. As Byblos said, the judgement day will place people in one place or another: pure good or pure evil(hell).


b) There is also the story with he forbidden tree. God said to Adam and Eve that eating or even touching a fruit of that 'single' tree will kill them. Actually the one who actualized evil was God himself by not keeping his promise. If he would have kept his promise, Eve would have died the moment she touched the fruit and Adam would have never eaten. He lied. (we have already seen that God kills people as a form of punishment)

@natural evil

Nature can be controlled to a certain point and with years passing by while we advance technologically, we will control nature more and more if we don't self destruct by then.

From my point of view I don't think there is such a thing as natural evil. It's just nature being nature.

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Re: Problem of evil

#12

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:42 pm

BryanH wrote:
1) I did ask one question here which got no answer:

The story of Lucifer, the fallen angel.

He was banished because he wanted to be the equal of God. This story leads to a logic paradox:

"Can God create another God?"


2) If we follow the logic saying that God is only good, then he can't actualize evil... At the same time, God is not a free moral agent because he is only good.

Here I have 2 dilemmas:

a) How does Hell exist without evil being a separate characteristic? As mighty and powerful as Lucifer might be, he is only a creation of God. Lucifer can't exist independently of God. As Byblos said, the judgement day will place people in one place or another: pure good or pure evil(hell).


b) There is also the story with he forbidden tree. God said to Adam and Eve that eating or even touching a fruit of that 'single' tree will kill them. Actually the one who actualized evil was God himself by not keeping his promise. If he would have kept his promise, Eve would have died the moment she touched the fruit and Adam would have never eaten. He lied. (we have already seen that God kills people as a form of punishment)

@natural evil

Nature can be controlled to a certain point and with years passing by while we advance technologically, we will control nature more and more if we don't self destruct by then.

From my point of view I don't think there is such a thing as natural evil. It's just nature being nature.
Satan is OUR adversary, Not Gods.
Satan did not want to be God but to be worshiped as a god ( close enough and bad enough) and he wasn't alone as the fallen angels wanted to be worshiped as gods too ( IMO, the gods that demanded human sacrifice and blood and sex in their rituals were these fallen angles passing themselves off as gods).
Hell is a place of "our" own doing, like Lucifier, we make the choice to either follow God or "be god".

It is often pointed out by skeptics that Adam and Eve did not die the moment they ate the fruit, so God either lied or changed His mind or whatever.
Obviously that seeming contradiction didn't seem to effect the writer of Genesis or any of the copyists down through the ages.
What did God say though?
Did God say they would be struck down and killed at that very moment?
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
No mention of God killing, just Adam dying.
Semantics? perhaps or is there more?

The clue is here, in Genesis 3:
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
On that day that they ate of the fruit, they gave up any hope of immortality and they, as they were, died.

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Re: Problem of evil

#13

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:44 pm

The symbolism is quite clear IMO, humans had all they needed and had the option to be immortal under the presence of God ( as we still do), they chose THEIR way, to find out for THEMSELVES, as the serpent said, they chose to BE GOD rather than to be WITH God.
The lesson is for us now as much as it was for them, then.

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Re: Problem of evil

#14

Post by 1over137 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:07 pm

@ALL
First, there is natural evil and moral evil. The former includes anything that brings suffering, unpleasantness, or difficulty into the lives of creatures. Earthquakes, floods, diseases, injuries, and death are examples of natural evil. Moral evil is the sin of rational creatures (angels and men). According to Scripture, moral evil came first. Natural evil is a curse brought upon the world because of moral evil. It functions as punishment to the wicked and as a means of discipline for those who are righteous by God’s grace.
Do you think that in the Garden, the Eden, there was suffering, earthquakes, floods, diseases, injuries, even death? y:O2
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Problem of evil

#15

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:13 pm

1over137 wrote:@ALL
First, there is natural evil and moral evil. The former includes anything that brings suffering, unpleasantness, or difficulty into the lives of creatures. Earthquakes, floods, diseases, injuries, and death are examples of natural evil. Moral evil is the sin of rational creatures (angels and men). According to Scripture, moral evil came first. Natural evil is a curse brought upon the world because of moral evil. It functions as punishment to the wicked and as a means of discipline for those who are righteous by God’s grace.
Do you think that in the Garden, the Eden, there was suffering, earthquakes, floods, diseases, injuries, even death? y:O2
I think that was the one place where none of that existed, whether an actual place or symbol or allegory for "heaven on earth" ( yet to come but once here already) it is irrelevant.
While Adam and Eve where in Eden, they were immortal, there was no danger of anything.
BUT there still was free will.

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