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God, Faust, And The Wonderful Mephistopheles

 
 
Reply Sat 3 May, 2008 03:55 pm
Just so everyone knows I'm a atheist who takes a keen observance in religious practices.

( I'm mostly adressing this question to monotheistic traditions like Islam, Judaism and Christianity although I would like to understand other religious perspectives too.)

( Now to the topic at hand.)







Did god create evil?

It would seem to me that god had every opportunity of saving or stopping the fallen angels and lucifer in the inception of evil but instead chosed to do nothing.

If god created evil and certain dualities in the universe it would seem only natural to act on them with ourselves being the children of creation.

And since religious people believe in freewill god is responsible for those who choose to do evil instead of what is defined as good as he created the free will of choice within ourselves to do each.

Since god created evil I don't believe there is any real reason why we as people should not indulge ourselves in wickedness and let us be honest god indulged himself quite a bit in the old testament with the destruction of those he called heretics in a psychological egotistical manner.

Even more interesting is that with freewill mankind can choose to rebel against god which only proves his limitations in that he is not so omnipotent as he leads his followers to believe.

Thoughts?
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de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 May, 2008 06:58 pm
@Pessimist,
Quote:

Even more interesting is that with freewill mankind can choose to rebel against god which only proves his limitations in that he is not so omnipotent as he leads his followers to believe.


How is mans ability to rebel against God evidence of him not being omnipotent?
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 May, 2008 10:21 pm
@Pessimist,
Pessimist wrote:
Did god create evil?

It would seem to me that god had every opportunity of saving or stopping the fallen angels and lucifer in the inception of evil but instead chosed to do nothing.

Well, that's a good question and one often asked. I believe there's a discussion on this forum of basically the same thing. So, did God create evil?... Hmmm... wouldn't this question be impossible to answer without knowing ones perception of God to begin with?

Is God a greater deity or is God the very essence of life? Is God someone to fear or is God the ether in which all is created? Everyone perceives God in a different way so that's a tough nut to crack.

Quote:
If god created evil and certain dualities in the universe it would seem only natural to act on them with ourselves being the children of creation.
Is your perception to believe you are a child of creation? Couldn't evil be a creation of man? Does man co-create? Does man create? Are you creative?

Quote:
Since god created evil I don't believe there is any real reason why we as people should not indulge ourselves in wickedness and let us be honest god indulged himself quite a bit in the old testament with the destruction of those he called heretics in a psychological egotistical manner.
Is this your understanding of God? That he is a being not connected with us that created Evil so that we may partake? What is your perception based on? Isn't your perception base on biblical information?

Are you absolutely certain that we aren't the ones creating the evil? I've never seen God himself down here creating Evil but see mankind doing it all the time... yet we blame this on the unforseen God?... whom we have to fear? Isn't it time for mankind to step up to the plate and take a look around to see just what we've created and stop placing the blame of this creation on somebody up there... called God?

God hasn't created this evil, MAN has. Man has also created their perception of God which has caused more evil than anything else. We blame something else for what we've created instead of owning up to our creation and fixing it within. When is man going to recognize what he himself creates everyday?

Quote:
Even more interesting is that with freewill mankind can choose to rebel against god which only proves his limitations in that he is not so omnipotent as he leads his followers to believe.
Rebelling against anything outside of yourself is actually only rebelling within yourself. Rebel against God you rebel yourself. Hurt another man and you're only hurting yourself. The limitations of man are the limitations he places on himself.
Quote:

...he is not so omnipotent as he leads his followers to believe
Who's leading God's followers? Doesn't man lead the followers to God? Have you ever seen God lead his followers or has the leading of God's followers been done by Man? Was it God that wrote the scriptures or was it man?

Good question. It creates a lot of other questions. If one is to believe that God is a separate entity and understand God as God has been described in the scriptures, then this could be a viable debate. However, it's based on individual perception.

So my perception of God wouldn't allow for God to create evil. Actually, I've never actually seen him do it. I do however see man doing it all time... is this God's fault? Good question... but depends on what you perceive God to be.

Those are my thoughts in general on the subject. On question leads into another which leads into another. Sorry I wasn't able to provide a more definitive answer on the subject. Look forward to reading others thoughts as well.
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 05:21 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
How is mans ability to rebel against God evidence of him not being omnipotent?


If god is omnipotent why would he let his creation rebel?

If god is the source of man's rebellion in that god created evil there is no reason for god to judge man.
0 Replies
 
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 05:26 pm
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
Well, that's a good question and one often asked. I believe there's a discussion on this forum of basically the same thing. So, did God create evil?... Hmmm... wouldn't this question be impossible to answer without knowing ones perception of God to begin with?

Is God a greater deity or is God the very essence of life? Is God someone to fear or is God the ether in which all is created? Everyone perceives God in a different way so that's a tough nut to crack.

Is your perception to believe you are a child of creation? Couldn't evil be a creation of man? Does man co-create? Does man create? Are you creative?

Is this your understanding of God? That he is a being not connected with us that created Evil so that we may partake? What is your perception based on? Isn't your perception base on biblical information?

Are you absolutely certain that we aren't the ones creating the evil? I've never seen God himself down here creating Evil but see mankind doing it all the time... yet we blame this on the unforseen God?... whom we have to fear? Isn't it time for mankind to step up to the plate and take a look around to see just what we've created and stop placing the blame of this creation on somebody up there... called God?

God hasn't created this evil, MAN has. Man has also created their perception of God which has caused more evil than anything else. We blame something else for what we've created instead of owning up to our creation and fixing it within. When is man going to recognize what he himself creates everyday?

Rebelling against anything outside of yourself is actually only rebelling within yourself. Rebel against God you rebel yourself. Hurt another man and you're only hurting yourself. The limitations of man are the limitations he places on himself.
Who's leading God's followers? Doesn't man lead the followers to God? Have you ever seen God lead his followers or has the leading of God's followers been done by Man? Was it God that wrote the scriptures or was it man?

Good question. It creates a lot of other questions. If one is to believe that God is a separate entity and understand God as God has been described in the scriptures, then this could be a viable debate. However, it's based on individual perception.

So my perception of God wouldn't allow for God to create evil. Actually, I've never actually seen him do it. I do however see man doing it all time... is this God's fault? Good question... but depends on what you perceive God to be.

Those are my thoughts in general on the subject. On question leads into another which leads into another. Sorry I wasn't able to provide a more definitive answer on the subject. Look forward to reading others thoughts as well.


Quote:
Well, that's a good question and one often asked. I believe there's a discussion on this forum of basically the same thing. So, did God create evil?... Hmmm... wouldn't this question be impossible to answer without knowing ones perception of God to begin with?


I don't claim to know god.

I'm just a atheist who studies religion who understands the symbol of god through reading various religious stories and having discourses with religionists.

I come to understand what god is through the stories of religionists not because I believe in them ( I don't not even for a second) but because I hear of them in observance.

According to monotheistic sources evil came from the fall of angels namely lucifer. Oddly enough angels are a creation of god and the fall wouldn't of happened if god intervened but ironically god didn't meaning god chosed not to intervene at the birth of evil when he had the power to do so therefore god is responsible for evil.

Even more ironically lucifer rebelled because he wanted to be like god.

Quote:

Is your perception to believe you are a child of creation?


Being a atheist I believe I'm a child of millions of years of evolution.

( Which was what I meant with the whole child of creation statement.)

Quote:

Couldn't evil be a creation of man?


How exactly?

The way I see it violence is biological therefore we are programmed to be destructive in some manner.

Creation holds the key of our aggression not man.

In religion creation came from a god.

Quote:

What is your perception based on? Isn't your perception base on biblical information?



As a atheist my understanding of god relies on sources of those who believe in god in opposite contrast of myself.

Quote:

Are you absolutely certain that we aren't the ones creating the evil?


I'm usually abosolutely certain about very few things.

Quote:

I've never seen God himself down here creating Evil but see mankind doing it all the time...


Points to his illustration of the traditional story of the fall.
0 Replies
 
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 06:52 pm
@Pessimist,
Quote:
If god is omnipotent why would he let his creation rebel?


Why wouldn't he? Free choice is an extremely important aspect of faith. To give you an analogy: I would rather give my son the option to grow up and make horrible decisions than have him grow up with no autonomy. It is my utmost hope and I will do all I can to raise him to make good decisions, but all in all in the end the choice is up to him.

Perhaps God feels the same way. It seems to me that Love requires a free will. What would ones love for God mean if it was forced?

Quote:
If god is the source of man's rebellion in that god created evil there is no reason for god to judge man.


Who says that evil was created?
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 01:36 pm
@de Silentio,
Another interesting point is that in religion choice or free will was bestowed upon man by god.

So not only did god create evil but he gave free choice to people in order that they may choose to be evil in contrast to what was conceived to be good.

Maybe god is sadistic and gets off by watching us tear ourselves apart.
0 Replies
 
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 01:40 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
Why wouldn't he? Free choice is an extremely important aspect of faith. To give you an analogy: I would rather give my son the option to grow up and make horrible decisions than have him grow up with no autonomy. It is my utmost hope and I will do all I can to raise him to make good decisions, but all in all in the end the choice is up to him.

Perhaps God feels the same way. It seems to me that Love requires a free will. What would ones love for God mean if it was forced?



Who says that evil was created?


God wants a world where people will worship him in being against sin or evil which is represented by lucifer yet creates evil and the freewill of choice in order that people can choose to be sinful.

( God creates evil by allowing satan to exist.)

Sounds absurd to me.

Where exactly is the so called enlightenment in all of that?

Could it be possible that god is a sadistic creator who is being dishonest with his creation of people?

Now some religionists will say that such a god is testing people which my only reply is that such a god sounds like a madman who delights in the suffering of people somehow through pleasure.

Quote:

Who says that evil was created?


According to monotheistic traditions the fall of man or what is considered evil came about from Satan who was a angel of many angels created by god.

Even if you wanted to say that the fall of man or evil came from the temptation of the snake in eden which you might not attribute as satan at all my question would be to you who exactly created the snake or even temptation itself? In the traditions of religion wouldn't that be god?

( All of religion being nothing more than a tradition.)
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 01:45 pm
@Pessimist,
I think most of the difficulties here are rooted in the phrases that say something about God. For example, "God created" - what is it for God to create?

If he creates like I create a sculpture, then we're back where we started. But I'm not sure we can safely describe God or God's "actions" the way we do human action. Not only is God not human, God does not seem to exist as a cow exists, or my computer screen exists.
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 01:52 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I think most of the difficulties here are rooted in the phrases that say something about God. For example, "God created" - what is it for God to create?

If he creates like I create a sculpture, then we're back where we started. But I'm not sure we can safely describe God or God's "actions" the way we do human action. Not only is God not human, God does not seem to exist as a cow exists, or my computer screen exists.


Why does any of that matter?

If god creates evil it is god's responsibility that suffering exists.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 01:54 pm
@Pessimist,
But what does it mean to say "God creates evil"?
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 02:20 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
But what does it mean to say "God creates evil"?


God is the source of suffering.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 02:32 pm
@Pessimist,
Interesting claim, which we can discuss, but that doesn't really answer the question. What is it for God to create. You know what I mean if I say I created a painting. You understand that my brain transmitted certain messages to various parts of my body so that I would take some paint, brushes and canvas, and with those brushes, apply paint to the canvas.

But what do you mean when you say "God created evil"? How does God create?

Maybe this is jumping ahead, and we should stick to sorting out this creating matter, but I think we should also consider our subject, evil. Evil is not some physical property or some physical thing. If we say "God created evil" do we mean He somehow (as the means is the above question about creating) implants the concept of evil into the minds of men? Or do we mean He creates (whatever that means) some non-physical thing that exists in the universe which we humans sometimes try to identify as evil?
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 02:50 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Interesting claim, which we can discuss, but that doesn't really answer the question. What is it for God to create. You know what I mean if I say I created a painting. You understand that my brain transmitted certain messages to various parts of my body so that I would take some paint, brushes and canvas, and with those brushes, apply paint to the canvas.

But what do you mean when you say "God created evil"? How does God create?

Maybe this is jumping ahead, and we should stick to sorting out this creating matter, but I think we should also consider our subject, evil. Evil is not some physical property or some physical thing. If we say "God created evil" do we mean He somehow (as the means is the above question about creating) implants the concept of evil into the minds of men? Or do we mean He creates (whatever that means) some non-physical thing that exists in the universe which we humans sometimes try to identify as evil?



I don't see how it is relevant in how somthing is created so long as I know where it was created from.

Perhaps you can show me the relevance of such a thought.

Quote:

Maybe this is jumping ahead, and we should stick to sorting out this creating matter, but I think we should also consider our subject, evil. Evil is not some physical property or some physical thing. If we say "God created evil" do we mean He somehow (as the means is the above question about creating) implants the concept of evil into the minds of men?


According to religion god created lucifer and then tolerated lucifer's embracement of evil where lucifer implants evil in men.

Remember I'm a atheist in that I don't believe that but instead I'm merely telling you what has been told to me.

( I'm a atheistic darwinian determinist by contrast amongst other things too.)

Quote:

Or do we mean He creates (whatever that means) some non-physical thing that exists in the universe which we humans sometimes try to identify as evil?


Why does it matter? Either way he created it and now we all suffer.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 03:13 pm
@Pessimist,
Quote:
I don't see how it is relevant in how somthing is created so long as I know where it was created from.

Perhaps you can show me the relevance of such a thought.


What do you mean by "created"? That's the verb in the sentence "God created evil". If we do not understand the action, all we have is God doing something that is somehow related to the human notion evil.

Quote:
According to religion god created lucifer and then tolerated lucifer's embracement of evil where lucifer implants evil in men.


Who is religion? But seriously, these stories are understood by different people in different ways. I personally suggest that we understand the stories as conveying some message or instruction to the reader, and that they are not to be taken literally. The story of Lucifer fighting God is a story about the danger of envy and ego.

Quote:
Why does it matter? Either way he created it and now we all suffer.


But you will not tell me what you mean by "create" nor have we come to any understanding about what was created, this "evil".
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 03:24 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
What do you mean by "created"? That's the verb in the sentence "God created evil". If we do not understand the action, all we have is God doing something that is somehow related to the human notion evil.



Who is religion? But seriously, these stories are understood by different people in different ways. I personally suggest that we understand the stories as conveying some message or instruction to the reader, and that they are not to be taken literally. The story of Lucifer fighting God is a story about the danger of envy and ego.



But you will not tell me what you mean by "create" nor have we come to any understanding about what was created, this "evil".


Quote:
What do you mean by "created"? That's the verb in the sentence "God created evil". If we do not understand the action, all we have is God doing something that is somehow related to the human notion evil.


As said before it means god is the source of evil.

Your semantic of words make no sense to me.

Quote:

Who is religion?


Traditions, beliefs,mythologies, symbols and stories is religion.

Without them there is no religion and no god.

Quote:

But seriously, these stories are understood by different people in different ways.


And?

Quote:

I personally suggest that we understand the stories as conveying some message or instruction to the reader, and that they are not to be taken literally.


What's the point in creating stories, mythologies, symbols and traditions if you don't take them literally? Your losing me.

Quote:
The story of Lucifer fighting God is a story about the danger of envy and ego.


Well that's fine and all but according to religion god created it all.

Quote:

But you will not tell me what you mean by "create" nor have we come to any understanding about what was created, this "evil".


Through stories we know that god created evil.

Why must we know anything more?

If a man creates a atomic bomb and sets it in a city upon detonation why does it matter knowing how he created it if we know that he indeed created it nonetheless.
0 Replies
 
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 03:27 pm
@Pessimist,
Could man have created God and Lucifer? I've actually never seen either one so couldn't it be that it's a creation in the mind of mankind?

Man creates evil. God is just someone for man to blame it on.
Pessimist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 03:37 pm
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
Could man have created God and Lucifer? I've actually never seen either one so couldn't it be that it's a creation in the mind of mankind?

Man creates evil. God is just someone for man to blame it on.


As a atheist I believe that people did indeed create god and beyond their delusions of religious abstracts there is no god in actuality nor is there any afterlife of salvation.

( We die and our lives become extinguished into nothingness.)

( After that our bodies are recycled into fertilizer.)

But what does this say for so called evil?

Ancient people must of taken a glimpse at themselves in seeing all the destruction within and decided to created a scape goat in order to feel satisfied about themselves in order to gain closure of some sort or to subdue existential anxiety but the irony in this is that through the scapegoat they deny the destruction within themselves by instead blaming others for their own real biological behavior that is a integral part of their existence.

In short it is a form of denial on people's part.

People create stories trying to make themselves fictionally represented through appearances to be noble or moral agents but at the same time carry within them the power of destructive violence which they undoubtedly deny at the same time.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 03:41 pm
@Pessimist,
Quote:
As said before it means god is the source of evil.

Your semantic of words make no sense to me.


You say God is the source of evil - how is God the source of evil? Explain to me why God is the source of evil, and how God can be the source of evil.

Quote:
What's the point in creating stories, mythologies, symbols and traditions if you don't take them literally? Your losing me.


To convey a deeper meaning than simple statements of fact like 'so and so went to the store'. To present moral instruction in a way that the average person can understand.

The same reasons why Kafka was not literal.

Quote:
Well that's fine and all but according to religion god created it all.


Who's religion? People have various views, you know.

Quote:
Through stories we know created evil.

Why must we know anything more?


So as to not make misguided claims. Understanding is preferable to ignorance.

Quote:
If a man creates a atomic bomb and sets it in a city why does it matter knowing how he created it if we know that he indeed created nonetheless.


As I pointed out, we know what it is for man to create, even if we do not know all of the particular details - we know the brain sent certain messages directing certain actions of the body so as to produce something, in this case a bomb. But this God creating thing you have not cleared up yet.

When you say "God created evil" you'll have to explain how God creates and then explain what evil is in order for the statement to be evaluated. Otherwise, you've just made an accusation.
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 03:44 pm
@Pessimist,
Pessimist - That makes a whole lot more sense. I'm not saying that it's wrong to believe in God but it's the definition of God that one perceives makes the difference. God didn't create the evil in this world, nor did lucifer... Man created it just as man continues to create it.

The stories of Lucifer fighting with angels or the angles that were fighting with lucifer... these are all man thought and man created stories. If one of them were present when this was taking place and could have documented this, it would be different. You gotta have faith in something man created and wrote to believe.

Man has one heck of an imagination... always has.
0 Replies
 
 

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