How can God and Evil Co-exist?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by upinflames900, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. upinflames900 macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    #1
    Philosophical question I know, but I am looking for your input. The question is framed like this:
    1. God is omnipotent (all powerful)
    2. God is omnibenvolent (all good)
    3. God is omniscient (all knowing)
    Therefore
    1. God would not want to create evil because he is all good, and because he is all powerful, he would have the ability to not create evil.
     
  2. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #2
    I can't speak for the Judeo-Christian tradition, but in most religions, gods are not omnipotent nor benevolent. They are selfish creatures who do things to advance their own goals and only seem to punish humans (or in the case of monotheistic religions, lessor gods) when they show hubris.

    As a point of fact, in most religions gods are not all knowing (which is why Zeus is tricked by Prometheus).
     
  3. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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  4. Randman macrumors 65816

    Randman

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    #4
    You can make a viable argument that without one, you cannot have the other. Nature abhors a vacuum.
     
  5. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #5
    It's simple:
    God allows choice. Freedom to accept or deny him.
    With freedom comes the ability to do evil.
    Thus evil is allowed to exist.

    Evil came into existence in the garden of eden. Before that fateful decision, man would not perish nor do evil.

    This is the Christian monotheistic view of God and evil though, other religions may view it differently.
     
  6. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    #6
    So God creates man with the ability to do evil but then punishes him for it? Makes sense... :rolleyes:
     
  7. upinflames900 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    #7
    I was thinking this, but the problem is if God is all good, why would he allow for this freedom of choice which would only cause evil? In other words wouldn't God want to prevent evil if he could? Wouldn't you prefer to not have the ability to do evil than the choice? Also God being all knowing, would know that if He gave you this freedom, it would be harmful to you, so why again would we do that?

    BTW: I am not attacking you at all, I am just playing devil's advocate (ironic in this situation hu?)

    Any ideas as to how evil and God are reconcilable?
     
  8. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #8
    No, he gives man a choice... did you miss that part? It was the pivotal point in my argument. :rolleyes:

    If you choose to do evil, yes there are consequences.

    No worries, this topic really interests me as well. I'm curious to see how others believe.

    Man was created to be only good. Lucifer (once an angel) was designated by God to test man's obedience. This test was failed when Adam and Eve ate from the tree.

    Not sure if you ever attended sunday school, but God provided them with a paradise (garden of eden) and they were to populate the earth and the only rule they had was to never eat from the tree of knowledge (which they did), the penalty for which was death.
     
  9. tonywalker23 macrumors regular

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    #9
    Read about Joseph then read genesis 50.20. Read book of job then read Romans 8.28. Of course we don't understand it. We are not all knowing and are travelng through time. God does know all and sees the end from the beginning.
     
  10. upinflames900 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    #10
    Understandably, but shouldn't we seek to try to understand it? Or at least can't we seek to try to understand at least some of it to an extent? Can part of believing in God be logically based?

    Just my thoughts as usual not an attack.
     
  11. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    #11
    I understood that, but why punish someone for something you gave them the ability to do? If God is good wouldn't he want to prevent evil? Why does God just let evil men ruin the lives of good people?
     
  12. upinflames900 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    #12
    Not sure if I believe it exactly, but I heard an argument for this:

    God wants us to love him on our own accord. The idea is that God creates us inherently good, and wants us to continue to be good throughout our lives, but he doesn't want to control us (such that we are robots) and therefore allows us free will. Also why would he create us if we didn't have free will, it would be essentially like him creating preprogrammed robots. I don't know if that is correct though, because if God is omniscient then he knows everything that is going to happen anyway.

    Idk just making it more confusing :)
     
  13. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #13
    God created man to honor him.

    Think about this:
    Would you rather have a country full of willing citizens with the freedom to elect you their president...

    OR

    Rule as a dictator and force your subjects to re-elect you every term.

    Which satisfies the ego more? That people actually want you elected, or they just have to?

    This is loosely what God experiences I think.
     
  14. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #14
    So your god has an ego that needs to be satisfied?

    Hardly benevolent, I think.
     
  15. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #15
    He is a jealous God.
    And I didn't say HE had an ego, that was just the best worldly example I could think of.

    And FWIW, I don't think the OP is interested in hearing "It doesn't matter because he doesn't exist." I think they have actual questions :rolleyes:
     
  16. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #16
    That's quite a vice for an omnipotent fellow to have.

    I'd almost prefer the ego.
    Nonetheless, what you described very closely approximates an ego (and more importantly, one that needs constant stroking). A rose by any other name...

    I didn't write that.
     
  17. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #17
    Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

    Exodus 20:4-6 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
    or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that
    is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the
    earth: {5} Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve
    them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the
    iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and
    fourth generation of them that hate me; {6} And showing mercy
    unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    What I described is a deity who enjoys seeing his children turn to him.

    Indeed you did not, just figured you were headed there.
     
  18. upinflames900 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    #18
    This really brings up the question of why did God create man? Which seemingly would be to praise him, which makes sense. God wants us to worship him, yet if a man (as a dictator) wants to be worshiped it is wrong. Hmmm....
     
  19. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #19
    But a dictator has something to gain from his subjects (money, power, resources). God does not need these things.
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #20
    You'll find theres basically room for everything in fairytale land.
     
  21. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #21
    The root motivation nonetheless appears to be from jealousy and an oversized ego.

    Ask any parent, and they will tell you that their children being happy in life is more important to them than their children worshipping them.

    I don't have to head there; the internal contradictions of any religion (not just Christianity) do that for me.

    Perhaps a better question to ask is why he waited so long to make man? We are it seems of latter development compared to other creatures. Why bother making precambrian creatures (can Trilobites worship god?)? Why weren't velociraptors good enough for his worship? Even today, elephants and whales have more brain mass, surely they would make superior subjects children?

    If it's about the number of followers, why not imbibe every creature on Earth to be able to worship him? And why stop at one planet? We have eight planets and several smaller planetary bodies in the Solar System. Collectively I'm sure they could have supported dozens of times the population of Earth.
     
  22. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #22
    And yet you grace us with your presence once again while we discuss these "fairytales." It intrigues me why you remain interested in these topics since they are apparently far beneath your rock solid logic and science.
     
  23. upinflames900 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    #23
    Ahh... yes... one potential answer comes from St. Augustine who says that God is timeless (or without time) meaning that he did not wait (because there is no time) to create man. This is a rather confusing point, but if true seems to satisfy that problem. The question is is that true? Does God exist outside of time?
     
  24. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #24
    Things that don't exist don't have to co-exist, like Superman and eskimos.
     
  25. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #25
    Indeed. So if this god does exist outside of time (or functions independently of time), why does he bother with a few billion creatures on one tiny little planet? Is his ego so great that he can't get beyond himself to do greater things?

    And if this god exists outside of time and is benevolent, can he stretch the parameters of the universe? Can he fit a googolplex of people in the universe? Can he create an object so fast that he himself could not catch it?
     

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