The problem of evil

Aside from the misanthropy of as example islam or stern calvinism, every worldview recognizes that evil is a problem and if a theistic one a theistic problem. In Christian context the problem is how can this omni- everything God be good and yet uphold the existence of evil? There is no rational explanation, at best we can believe we see small parts of a solution and must never claim to see more. But there is way to handle this difficult issue through faith. We can easily recognize – as believers – our very limited comprehension of God. Faith says God must have a reason, God’s reason and it must be good.

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10 thoughts on “The problem of evil”

  1. Ties in with the Divine Command Theory, thus partly explaining your god’s actions and arrogating responsibility for the horrors committed by those who rally to his call.
    All rather silly and somewhat odious.

      1. Why would you think it didn’t?

        ”Faith says God must have a reason, God’s reason and it must be good.”
        And was not the annihilation of the Amalakites and the Canaanites evil?
        Apparently not, as it was Commanded.

        Was not the liquidation of every living thing bar Noah and his soon to be incestuous family evil?

        Using any form of philosophy to justify such actions is unconscionable.
        Yet Christians do it all the time.

  2. Well it might not meet your standards as what a Christian should believe, but we are numerous that don’t believe any of this. It’s actually a quiet common view that the early chapters, tradtionally Genesis 1-11, are not literal, another more or less plausible alternative is a local flood. A global is certanly not possible nor demanded by the text, but ancient people could very easily assume the account was saying this. I explain my silly reasons for believing so in the nonsensical post called “Creation part 1” ;).

    More nonsense is revealed in the end of a post I know you have seen called the “The God of judgement versus the God of love”. Here I explain that the only way the annihilations could be true was if God has established an angelic agency ruling temporarily in his name. Otherwise no harm is done in saying my testing the spirits test rules out faith in such account.

    And there are of cause church father quotes from goodies like Origen and Gregory of Nyssa that display a lack of faith in an angry God.

    1. We are verging on Cherry picking here.

      If the angry jealous god is not real, then why didn’t the Church accept Marcion’s version of Christianity?
      How is it possible to dismiss much of Genesis, but retain the notion of Adam an Eve and Original Sin? and then accept Moses and the Exodus?
      The more Christians try to justify it the more ridiculous it becomes.
      And are we to accept the God of Decalogue is not an angry jealous god?

      Bottom line: Those Church Fathers who compiled the canon probably didn’t expect two people – you and I – to be sitting on opposite sides of the world in front of electronic ”talk-machines” discussing the historicity, archaeology and generally pulling to pieces their carefully crafted work of fiction.

      In fact, all things considered it is a tribute to them that it has withstood the onslaught of common sense so far.

      If the likes of Origen, Eusebius ad Papias et al were able to ‘see’ what you and I were discussing right at this moment they would probably crap themselves, knowing full well that the jig was up.
      They might even be taking bets on how much longer it would last.

      The tenets of Christianity are untenable. Truly. It is only a matter of time.

  3. Well the baddies won because that is human character. Marcion’s editing of the New Testament undermines his credibility. He was doing that very thing that I ask why the church didnt do; remove whatever didnt sound right to him. But his rejection of the angry / evil / jealous God lived on in other ways, just one ancient example is Origenism that lived for a long time and perhaps never really died out.

    I am not talking about dismissing much of Genesis. Most people on the internet are terribly stuck in this non-spiritual assumption; not literal / symbolic = not real / true / relevant. You/they always talk as though it was a golden rule for interpretation or faith. It simply isn’t. Maybe in America that is today’s strong exporter of hyperliteral “interpretation” (what is so interpretative about reading it like todays newspaper?) of the Bible to the world. To the dismay of these people, we can look at countless biblical texts and outrule that a literal reading is likely by their internal harmony. No sorry, it is no cigar that the ancients believed pharaoh was a literal dragon in the Nile and so on. But I do know the other side of the issue. The (hyper)literalists have a strong voice.

    As for your predictment about Christianity who is to say. I don’t see a decline in strong fundamentalism out in the big world. Have you been in Asia? Africa? Woah. You might well be the one crapping yourself when you experience how the work of all your guys seem totally wasted there. Of cause there are voices there as there was people confronting the church fathers, but but.. No indication of your victory around the corner. You know how the Chinese churches grows continually by the millions upon millions? However, my kind of interpretation will never draw crowds :).

    1. I reiterate, archaeology has already disproved Moses, the Egyptian slavery, the Exodus, the conquest of Canaan etc etc.

      *edited a lot, sorry friend, but posts that almost only has the purpose of attack and smear has no room here*

  4. This is not the place for simply saying faith sucks in 10 or more different ways. I have left your one comment of interest. That this issue so simply is a tired myth, again showing that extremists of both directions (believing and rejecting) go too far. Here are some very varied sources:

    http://www.amazon.com/Israel-Egypt-Evidence-Authenticity-Tradition/dp/019513088X

    http://www.amazon.com/On-Reliability-Old-Testament-Kitchen/dp/0802803962/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_z

    http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Exodus-Egyptian-Origins-Hebrew/dp/1581153198/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/egyptexodus.htm

  5. Is it that we must recognize or believe that since god is incapable of evil, his every action must be good and righteous?

    And if so, I suppose that genocide and other such things that god had once commanded (per the bible) are not evil, but are in fact morally neutral. And since actions are morally neutral, then the only thing that makes something either good or bad is whether god commanded it or not?

    I’d like to believe in a god, but I just dont know that I do. At this point, i feel very confident that if there were a god, it couldn’t be the god of the bible. That being said, this isn’t me trying to create problems or be combative – but the above concept was just one of the issues leading to my deconversion.

    Thoughts?

  6. There’s one school of thought that says God is good and so all God does is good. There’s another school of thought saying we should not be so sure in our judgement about God’s actions. The first is essentially Christian Platonism. The second is called Skeptical Theism. Not skeptical about God but skeptical about the traditional assumptions about God, especially our ability to understand God’s actions. Fits better the modern world where God is getting bigger.

    Other than that, why do we have to believe the Old Testament stories, in order to be Christians? There is a lot of circular thinking, friend.

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