The Problem of Evil

ExpectantlyIronic

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#1
Since this has been brought up in other threads, I figured I'd make one dedicated to it. The basic idea is that God cannot both be good and omnipotent if evil exists in the world. If the Christian God exists, then why are there limited resources, earthquakes, tornadoes, disease, etc? Also, this is not supposed to be a generic atheism vs theism thread, so try not to post "evolution suxxors" or "God = no evidence" if possible.
 

Eilt_Druin

Registered Member
#2
The basic idea is that God cannot both be good and omnipotent if evil exists in the world.
Why not? The existence of evil has no affect on God's omnipotence. Omnipotent means having power over all; it does not require actually using that power. God has power over evil, but sometimes chooses not to use that power. That doesn't make God any less good, either.

If the Christian God exists, then why are there limited resources, earthquakes, tornadoes, disease, etc?
Because God doesn't hand things out to people on a silver platter. He helps those who help themselves. Living life is about overcoming the challenges that we encounter each day, including those things you mentioned. Without challenges, humans become stale creatures. Part of God's goodness is allowing us to overcome these challenges on our own so that we don't run crying to him for every little thing.
 

Jokulhaups

Registered Member
#3
Why not? The existence of evil has no affect on God's omnipotence. Omnipotent means having power over all; it does not require actually using that power. God has power over evil, but sometimes chooses not to use that power. That doesn't make God any less good, either.



Because God doesn't hand things out to people on a silver platter. He helps those who help themselves. Living life is about overcoming the challenges that we encounter each day, including those things you mentioned. Without challenges, humans become stale creatures. Part of God's goodness is allowing us to overcome these challenges on our own so that we don't run crying to him for every little thing.
So lets assume that i have the power to do anything i want.

would you not consider me a bad person if i simply stood by and watched a woman be raped? If i had the power to stop it and I was "good" then i would stop it, if for no other reason than the act of rape (i'm sure we can all agree) is evil.

I guess what I'm saying is that if it was a human then that person would be bad for standing and doing nothing to help the woman, but somehow being God makes it ok for him to do this?
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#4
Eilt_Druin said:
Why not? The existence of evil has no affect on God's omnipotence. Omnipotent means having power over all; it does not require actually using that power. God has power over evil, but sometimes chooses not to use that power.
God is alleged to have created the world, though, and thus actively created an imperfect one with frequent and terrible natural disasters. If we take him to be omnipotent, that is. Simply suggesting that he's rather apathetic doesn't seem to cut it.

Eilt_Druin said:
Without challenges, humans become stale creatures. Part of God's goodness is allowing us to overcome these challenges on our own so that we don't run crying to him for every little thing.
Challenges like chronic diseases that slowly eat away at folks prior to killing them? God's idea of a good "challenge" seems to be more in line with that of the antagonist from the Saw films, than with that of a good-natured basketball coach. If there must be challenges to maximize goodness, than certainly they could be more like obstacle course challenges, than those of a particularly creative torture chamber.
 
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#5
So lets assume that i have the power to do anything i want.

would you not consider me a bad person if i simply stood by and watched a woman be raped? If i had the power to stop it and I was "good" then i would stop it, if for no other reason than the act of rape (i'm sure we can all agree) is evil.

I guess what I'm saying is that if it was a human then that person would be bad for standing and doing nothing to help the woman, but somehow being God makes it ok for him to do this?
Your a person!

God is "omnipotent"

That means that, basically by definition, we cant understand gods reasons for things.

Because hes a better entity then us.

Stop trying to understand the un-understandable.
 

Jokulhaups

Registered Member
#6
I said i have the power to do anything i want

which would make me God. except that i happen to be human with the powers of God in this scenario.
 
#8
God is "omnipotent"

That means that, basically by definition, we cant understand gods reasons for things.

Because hes a better entity then us.

Stop trying to understand the un-understandable.
People have often used the excuse that we can't understand God so God doesn't have to behave in a compassionate manner. In the Bible God orders people to commit genocide and rape, but apologists use the same argument that you did: We can't understand God, therefore it's okay. I think that's a cop-out, but a useful one in that it gives people license to do the same kinds of violent things and excuse themselves by saying that God told them to or that they know more than we do and we couldn't understand.

Many religions are contradictory in that they say that we have free-will, but then turn around and credit or blame God for things that happen. You can't have it both ways, either we have free-will and there are no supernatural beings (good or evil) twisting our behavior or we DON'T have free-will.

Everything I see suggests that we have free-will and there are no beings/creatures with greater power than we have forcing us to do things. The idea that there is a powrerful evil being like Satan is not supported by the facts. If such a being existed we would see his handi-work, but we don't, all we see are the things that human beings can do--there's no Stephen King evil happening. In the end people will probably do absolutely everything that is within their power to do--no matter how disgusting or heinous--but that doesn't mean that they were influenced by a supernatural evil being.
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#10
Interesting questions. Here's a thought to chew on: (ow?)

Say you told your kid not to stick metal objects into the outlet. You know bad things will happen if he/she does, and made it clear that doing so would cause problems (and pain) for your kid. Well he or she does it anyway and gets shocked or worse.

Who is at fault? Are you not loving because your kid got hurt? In this case you are for the most part all knowing about what could happen in this situation. Kid sticks metal into the outlet = kid gets the shock of a lifetime. You knew this, you told the kid not to do this and he/she decided to do it anyway.

That situation goes to show that you can know what will happen and take the necessary steps to warn your kid, but in the end it's still up to free will.

That's how I see it at least. Feel free to question my argument but I think for the most part it makes sense.