"Natural" Evil

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Alpha~Omega
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"Natural" Evil

#1

Post by Alpha~Omega » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:45 pm

I was recently in a "debate" with several atheist's all shouting out loud in objection to my faith. I seem to get into these elephant hurling situations and get extremely overwhelmed and unable to answer any of their belligerent questions. One of the questions I was asked was, "Where was your God during the japan tsunami?". This pertains to a whole category of other natural disasters that inflict human suffering. The only answer I could give was that without these systems sentient life would be unable to exist. They did not think this was a good answer and neither did I. After this experience i find myself wondering if there is a better answer, as this encounter has left me rather unmotivated, abandoned, and saddened at my ability to represent God and speak of his creation :( .

So to sum it up:
What are some good arguments for Natural evil?

Ive been unable to come up with any sort of decent answer, and find my faith in distress. As with most of my questions... I'm sure the answer is right in front of my nose.

side note: I am extremely fortunate to be able to come here and ask you guys some questions i cant find answered elsewhere in the forum. All of the intelligence in this forum astounds me, and i hope one day I can have the wisdom you guys have.

Many blessings and thanks alot! :)
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#2

Post by RickD » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:57 pm

On the home site, there's an article about evil & suffering. That has some good answers.
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.

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#3

Post by Alpha~Omega » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:04 pm

I read that last night. Couldn't of God made an instance in which these processes happen yet don't hurt anyone? I'm not referring the the "tinkering God" portion of that essay either. What about the fact that God has control over death? There is a lot that has to be taken into consideration here and the essay on the home site seem to reiterate some of the same points. Maybe I'm just reading it wrong but that's what i get from it.

Just some quick thoughts.
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#4

Post by MarcusOfLycia » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:12 pm

One way I look at this is that there are two possible positions when you talk with atheists. Each one has implications.

God exists: Your arguments now are not "How could God do this" but "Why did God do this". And the answer, if God exists (which He does in this case) is relatively simple: He has a plan of redemption for mankind and He uses all things that happen to that end. This lifetime is a speck on an infinite line of years, and He knows that whether a life is 3 years long or 300 years long in this lifetime, what truly matters is how that life in relation to Him. So, God can take lives of anyone at any age and still be Just because they may still spend their eternity with Him - this speck of a life might even feel like a dream.

God doesn't exist: You can't question why evil exists and why things happen, and arguing about why "God did it" and "Where was God" is pointless. It doesn't matter. If He doesn't exist, what value is there in blaming Him? You suddenly, however, lose something pivitol you had in the previous scenario: Hope after death.
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#5

Post by Alpha~Omega » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:19 pm

God doesn't exist: You can't question why evil exists and why things happen, and arguing about why "God did it" and "Where was God" is pointless. It doesn't matter. If He doesn't exist, what value is there in blaming Him? You suddenly, however, lose something pivitol you had in the previous scenario: Hope after death.
I was "almost" thinking about this. What you have said is very good, but I think it might be difficult to get the typical belligerent atheist I seem to deal with so often to realize this. Very good point though Marcus, ill be pondering this concept for a while. Thanks
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#6

Post by jlay » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:20 pm

God is the same place He always is. He is in the same place when they lie, steal, lust, break the speed limit, cheat on their taxes, manipulate people to get their own way, etc.

There is no evil in a tsunami. Evil implies motive or intent. There is none in a natural act.

The Bible is consistent in explaining why there is suffering in the world. There is something terrribly wrong between God and man. The world is broken because of sin. So the people condemning God for the 'natural evil' are in fact responsible for it.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#7

Post by RickD » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:41 pm

The Bible is consistent in explaining why there is suffering in the world. There is something terrribly wrong between God and man. The world is broken because of sin. So the people condemning God for the 'natural evil' are in fact responsible for it.
That's only from a young earth perspective. Some people believe natural evil (disasters) were happening on the earth before man sinned. This temporary life's problems are minuscule compared to what God has in store for those He has called according to His purpose.
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.

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#8

Post by jlay » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:17 pm

That's only from a young earth perspective. Some people believe natural evil (disasters) were happening on the earth before man sinned.
Actually Rick it doesn't make any difference. If this is true and there were natural disasters, they weren't in the garden paradise, and man was protected from their effects.

These objections are always rooted in how they affect humanity.
-“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

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#9

Post by Alpha~Omega » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:33 pm

So do to our fallen state, everything else in this world is also fallen. So our sin is what creates these natural disasters which inflict suffering on us?

What about physics what would it be like if these natural disasters did not happen?
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#10

Post by Seraph » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:14 pm

Err natural disasters are the results of various functions of the Earth, not the sins of people. They are natural and have been here long before people existed.

I think you covered it pretty well Alpha~Omega. Earthquakes and tsunamis are a natural byproduct of plate techtonics, which are required for life to exist. Hurricanes and tornadoes are formed by differences of temperature and air pressure which are necessary for wind. Many things that people call "natural evil" are processes that are either necessary or beneficial in the long run. Volcanoes for example are destructive to cities that are built around them but they also "recycle" the material in the Earth's crust and make new land formations.

It is my view that natural disasters are neither the result of humanities sins nor are they God's punishment on people (except for special cases like Sodom and Gomorrah). Rather, although God allows them to happen for reasons unknown, He doesn't delight in them and would want us to help victims.
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#11

Post by RickD » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:13 pm

jlay wrote:
That's only from a young earth perspective. Some people believe natural evil (disasters) were happening on the earth before man sinned.
Actually Rick it doesn't make any difference. If this is true and there were natural disasters, they weren't in the garden paradise, and man was protected from their effects.

These objections are always rooted in how they affect humanity.
I think it does make a difference. If these natural evils did happen before man sinned, doesn't that mean they weren't caused by man's sin? If Adam and eve were in a protected garden, that just means they were protected from the disasters. I'm not sure I'm following you jlay.
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."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#12

Post by neo-x » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:12 am

I was recently in a "debate" with several atheist's all shouting out loud in objection to my faith. I seem to get into these elephant hurling situations and get extremely overwhelmed and unable to answer any of their belligerent questions. One of the questions I was asked was, "Where was your God during the japan tsunami?".
your answer should have been on points, God is there just like he was there when the dinosaurs died, when the Pangaea split up. when the last ice age dawned, Is it the first time this has happened?
There has been life on this planet for more than 3 billion years. all amidst the backdrop of a violent changing planet, with many species rising and becoming extinct, God himself created all these mechanisms. The planet has a mechanism designed by God and it does what it does.

You can ask the atheist that what if he built a lawn thresher and while playing his son came in front of it. would the atheist be responsible for the harm done because it was his intent or simply because he was not good enough to save the boy? i know sounds harsh, but you do see my drift. these systems doesn't give us the stance of God. God can stop them but he won't. that is just not the way he does things.
I think it does make a difference. If these natural evils did happen before man sinned, doesn't that mean they weren't caused by man's sin? If Adam and eve were in a protected garden, that just means they were protected from the disasters. I'm not sure I'm following you jlay.
These natural disasters were in place before man existed, they are our planets features, it is illogical to think that the planet was calm and steady. It was not and these natural disasters were sure to affect Eden as well. read Job's last chapters where God explains to him how he laid the foundations of the planet. I think it is pretty clear.

on a general note, there is no utopia as long as we are in a state of sin and since we are in sin, God can not always protect us as he intends to. It is not justice or vengeance or revenge, it is oil and water, God and sin cant abide. Human suffering will be here as long as "His Kingdom" shows up.

I think to God physical death matters much less than spiritual death, not to undermine healing but in the grand scheme of things. read Luke 20:37-38, the verse is in the resurrection context but the point i am making is this,

Jesus said,
"But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

Even when a person dies in this earthly body he is alive to God in spirit either for reward or punishment but didn't Jesus said to his disciples that Lazarus sleeps, and in fact he was dead. just making a small point. even if one is to die, whatever death he has coming. still to God he is not dead.
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
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I could only turn and stare in horror at the chief surgeon.
Death by starvation is a terrible thing, Goodsir, continued Stanley.
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#13

Post by DannyM » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:46 am

Greg Bahnsen put it succinctly:

"...there is no problem of evil in an atheist's universe because there is no evil in an atheist's universe. Since there is no God, there is no absolute moral standard, and nothing is wrong. The torture of little children is not wrong in an atheist's universe. It may be painful, but it is not wrong. It is morally wrong in a theistic universe, and therefore, there is a problem of evil of perhaps the psychological or emotional sort, but philosophically the answer to the problem of evil is you don't have an absolute standard of good by which to measure evil in an atheist's universe. You can only have that in a theistic universe, and therefore, the very posing of the problem presupposes my world view, rather than his own. God has a good reason for the evil that He plans or allows."

http://www.brianauten.com/Apologetics/a ... script.pdf
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Re: "Natural" Evil

#14

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:30 am

There is no evil in nature, not in the terms we think it.
When an earthquake happens in some remote corner and no one dies, is that EQ still evil? less evil?
The only evil we need concern ourselves with is the evil that WE DO.

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Re: "Natural" Evil

#15

Post by RickD » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:48 am

DannyM wrote:Greg Bahnsen put it succinctly:

"...there is no problem of evil in an atheist's universe because there is no evil in an atheist's universe. Since there is no God, there is no absolute moral standard, and nothing is wrong. The torture of little children is not wrong in an atheist's universe. It may be painful, but it is not wrong. It is morally wrong in a theistic universe, and therefore, there is a problem of evil of perhaps the psychological or emotional sort, but philosophically the answer to the problem of evil is you don't have an absolute standard of good by which to measure evil in an atheist's universe. You can only have that in a theistic universe, and therefore, the very posing of the problem presupposes my world view, rather than his own. God has a good reason for the evil that He plans or allows."

http://www.brianauten.com/Apologetics/a ... script.pdf

Danny, I believe the op was referring specifically to natural evil(natural disasters). Like why God would allow human suffering as a result of earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.
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."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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