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Why does God permit evil????

 
 
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 05:04 am
Hi,

"I am aware that there have been previous threads along this line, but I wrongly posted it as a statement instead of a question"

Did God create evil as a way of realising goodness?? God is supreme and the ultimate in accountability for good and evil is his (The buck really really stops with him)

Why did God stand back and do nothing during the holocuast?

Why does God permit natural catastrophes like the tsunami that killed 250 thousand people recently?

Why does God create an entity like a virus that does nothing but kill its host?

Etc Etc
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xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 05:14 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan, it only proves there is no such thing as a benevolent god.
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 06:40 am
@xris,
xris;101697 wrote:
Alan, it only proves there is no such thing as a benevolent god.


Right xris God can not be just benevolence the evidence against that is absolute.

But maybe he has more than one attribute maybe he is capable of booth good and evil as he must be if he exists
0 Replies
 
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 06:54 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;101695 wrote:
Did God create evil as a way of realising goodness?? God is supreme and the ultimate in accountability for good and evil is his (The buck really really stops with him)

God didn't create evil at all. Man is the creator of evil. Nothing evil was in this world until man made it so. Around the same time, man also created the idea of a deity called God.

Alan McDougall;101695 wrote:
Why did God stand back and do nothing during the holocuast?

God doesn't stand. I AM. The holocaust was all man.

Alan McDougall;101695 wrote:
Why does God permit natural catastrophes like the tsunami that killed 250 thousand people recently?

God doesn't permit. I AM. Imbalance in man will always cause nature to balance itself out.

Alan McDougall;101695 wrote:
Why does God create an entity like a virus that does nothing but kill its host?

God doesn't create. I AM. Viruses come more from fear and imbalance than from anything else. H1N1 is a good example of such. The fear and the energy behind it ripples in waves throughout our universe. Fear causes imbalance. When anything is taken out of balance, nature brings it back into balance.

God doesn't permit. I AM.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:02 am
@Justin,
Justin;101701 wrote:
God didn't create evil at all. Man is the creator of evil. Nothing evil was in this world until man made it so. Around the same time, man also created the idea of a deity called God.


God doesn't stand. I AM. The holocaust was all man.




What about natural disasters? Hurricanes, earthquakes, plagues, crop failures, drought, floods. Man did not cause these, did he?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:22 am
@kennethamy,
To quote Karen Armstrong:

"Surely everyone knows what God is: the Supreme Being, a divine Personality, who created the world and everything in it. [Some readers] looked perplexed if you point out that it is inaccurate to call God the Supreme Being because God is not a being at all, and that we don't really understand what we mean when we say that he is "good", "wise", or "intelligent". People of faith admit in theory that God is utterly transcendent, but they seem sometimes to assume that they know exactly who "he" is and what he thinks, loves, and expects. We tend to tame and domesticate God's "otherness."

Descriptions of God cannot be accurate in the way I can accurately describe my wall color red. Descriptions of God can, at best unless they are idolatrous, only point to the ineffable reality of God.

Let me give you another quote from British critic George Steiner: "It is decisively the fact that language does have frontiers that gives proof of a transcendent presence in the fabric of our world. It is just because we can go no further, because speech so marvelously fails us, that we experience the certitude of a divine meaning surpassing and enfolding ours." He goes on to say that "what lies beyond man's word is eloquent of God."

Ever wonder why Zen Buddhism uses koans like "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"? Steiner gives you the answer.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:31 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;101709 wrote:
To quote Karen Armstrong:

"Surely everyone knows what God is: the Supreme Being, a divine Personality, who created the world and everything in it. [Some readers] looked perplexed if you point out that it is inaccurate to call God the Supreme Being because God is not a being at all, and that we don't really understand what we mean when we say that he is "good", "wise", or "intelligent". People of faith admit in theory that God is utterly transcendent, but they seem sometimes to assume that they know exactly who "he" is and what he thinks, loves, and expects. We tend to tame and domesticate God's "otherness."

Descriptions of God cannot be accurate in the way I can accurately describe my wall color red. Descriptions of God can, at best unless they are idolatrous, only point to the ineffable reality of God.

Let me give you another quote from British critic George Steiner: "It is decisively the fact that language does have frontiers that gives proof of a transcendent presence in the fabric of our world. It is just because we can go no further, because speech so marvelously fails us, that we experience the certitude of a divine meaning surpassing and enfolding ours." He goes on to say that "what lies beyond man's word is eloquent of God."

Ever wonder why Zen Buddhism uses koans like "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"? Steiner gives you the answer.



But then, why is God praised and worshiped for His goodness and His justice, and His wisdom, if 'we don't really understand what we mean when we say that he is "good", "wise", or "intelligent" '? For all we know, God may really be evil if we do not know what we are talking about when we ascribe virtues to God. Isn't that right?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:39 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;101712 wrote:
But then, why is God praised and worshiped for His goodness and His justice, and His wisdom, if 'we don't really understand what we mean when we say that he is "good", "wise", or "intelligent" '? For all we know, God may really be evil if we do not know what we are talking about when we ascribe virtues to God. Isn't that right?


No, that is not right.

I never said that we do not know what we are talking about when we do talk about God. Nor did any of the people I chose to quote.

You might try paying attention to the Steiner quote. Or, if you are searching for a constructive question, you might ask what Armstrong means by "transcendent" and the significance of her choice of words.

As for why we praise God for this and that, I gave you the answer: because to say that God is "good" points to the reality of God. We can talk about the ineffable, just not with the absolute accuracy with which we typically speak about material objects.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:44 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;101716 wrote:
No, that is not right.

I never said that we do not know what we are talking about when we do talk about God. Nor did any of the people I chose to quote.

You might try paying attention to the Steiner quote. Or, if you are searching for a constructive question, you might ask what Armstrong means by "transcendent" and the significance of her choice of words.

As for why we praise God for this and that, I gave you the answer: because to say that God is "good" points to the reality of God. We can talk about the ineffable, just not with the absolute accuracy with which we typically speak about material objects.


Well, God would be just as real if he were evil. Isn't that right? The fact remains that people do praise God for His goodness, so what does it mean to say that when we do that, we can't really mean God is good? Then what are people doing when they praise God for being good? I have paid attention to what Steiner wrote. That is why I am bewildered. (But then, Steiner always bewilders me). When God created the word "and saw that it was good" what does that mean?
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:50 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;101706 wrote:
What about natural disasters? Hurricanes, earthquakes, plagues, crop failures, drought, floods. Man did not cause these, did he?

Not necessarily. However, disasters like this occur as natures way of keeping balance. Man has tried to dominate and control nature through science etc., rather than work with nature and/or God in balance and harmony.

I believe we inadvertently bring about many of the natural disasters by demonstrating our own imbalance. Imbalance in human relations, chemical imbalances, nuclear energies, etc. etc.

The one thing I see demonstrated over time and in all of natural science is BALANCE. Humankind has brought imbalance to the equation and nature will not have it. Nature and the balanced nature of God, (I'm using the God term loosely here) is something most humans are unaware of. Instead, they think of God as a deity in the sky that allows evil and doesn't prevent disasters. When humankind comes to the realization of our own responsibility in this universe instead of blaming a mythical deity such as God or Satan, we will then begin to change how we see the world and realize just how responsible we actually are for what happens in the world.

It all comes back to balance. Natural disasters bring about balance in the system of nature. We see it as something totally different however, nature is balance and nature will remain in balance and if any man should wish to bring imbalance, nature will bring man to his knees.

So we keep building nuclear bombs, we go to war, we kill each other and treat each other with anything but the God given balance that has been so expertly expressed in the natural order of things. Then we ask why? Why does God allow, why does god permit, why.. why? We're asking a mythical deity why and then praying to him for forgiveness for our sins... as if it actually means anything other than settling the restless ego.

Why god why? Why do you allow satan to manipulate men into doing bad things. Why god do you allow evil in this world? Why god do you allow cancer and disease? Why god... why? In this case I think we're missing the boat standing around asking why instead of discovering for ourselves that in the stillness of nothingness, of empty space, of balance, of love, therein lies the God that just is or the inexplicable laws of nature, duality and energy.

We feed time and space with out thoughts and energy and time and space respond accordlingly in balance... and yet we still sit here on our hands asking why?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:51 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;101718 wrote:
Well, God would be just as real if he were evil. Isn't that right?


No. That is not right, Kennethamy. God is utterly transcendent (something that has already been said), so to speak of God as literally evil would be inaccurate. To speak of God as being evil in anyway is to be speaking of some God other than the God of any major western monotheism.

kennethamy;101718 wrote:
The fact remains that people do praise God for His goodness, so what does it mean to say that when we do that, we can't really mean God is good?


How many times will you ask this question? My answer will not change.

kennethamy;101718 wrote:
Then what are people doing when they praise God for being good?


Some are being idolatrous, others are using the familiar term good to express something that is ultimately ineffable. But I'm just restating the answer from my last posts.

kennethamy;101718 wrote:

When God created the word "and saw that it was good" what does that mean?


It doesn't mean any one particular thing.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:58 am
@Justin,
Justin;101720 wrote:
Not necessarily. However, disasters like this occur as natures way of keeping balance. Man has tried to dominate and control nature through science etc., rather than work with nature and/or God in balance and harmony.

I believe we inadvertently bring about many of the natural disasters by demonstrating our own imbalance. Imbalance in human relations, chemical imbalances, nuclear energies, etc. etc.



Not necessarily? How does our own "imbalance" (whatever that means) cause earthquakes or volcanic eruptions? Can you explain that? We must have causal influences even many scientists are not aware of. You mean that volcanoes watch us, and then try to emulate us?
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;101712 wrote:
But then, why is God praised and worshiped for His goodness and His justice, and His wisdom, if 'we don't really understand what we mean when we say that he is "good", "wise", or "intelligent" '? For all we know, God may really be evil if we do not know what we are talking about when we ascribe virtues to God. Isn't that right?

That's a good question. I can tell you why they praise and worship. They do this because some other man told them that's the way to yet another mythical place called heaven. Each Religion has their own version of this.

Do any of you remember Jesus? Now while Jesus or the life of Jesus cannot be verified and many of his words or supposed words were passed on verbally, literally decades after the resurrection, never once did I read anything said by Christ that he demanded to be worshiped and praised. Is this not the same Christ that went into the temple where they were worshiping and praising and tip over tables in a fit of rage? Is this not the same Christ that "ye are also sons of God".

Worship and praise is a man made thing. Again, it's part of settling the restless ego and making the ego feel comfortable. It's the blind leading the blind and literally the bowing down and worshiping of a mythical created deity. They call it IDOLATRY. Worshiping is more for others to see than it is for discovering the consciousness of Christ within.

As humans, we are easily manipulated into doing and thinking some funky things. Heck, look at the manipulation governments dole out amongst their people. We follow whatever trend comes along and then ask each other why? We give ourselves as slaves to the church or to the governments and conveniently forget to give of ourselves freely to each other in balance. Mankind is manipulated and has been manipulated to gain control over by just a few men... and aren't we just easy to buffalo.

Praise and worship fill an egotistical gap, it's not something that will save us from ourselves as we continue to be out of balance and evil towards each other.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:18 am
@Justin,
Heaven is mythical - it is mythos. But it is not mythical in the same sense as unicorns are mythical. While we are talkin' Jesus, let's recall that he said that Heaven is among us. Let's remember that Jesus said not to worship like they do in the temple, but to pray in our closets.

Let's also remember the purpose of praise and worship, which is most certainly not making the ego comfortable. These practices, except when idolatrous which is to say unskillfully practiced, are used to go beyond our selves, to enter into the otherness that typifies skillful religion and spirituality.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:20 am
@Alan McDougall,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Heaven is mythical - it is mythos. But it is not mythical in the same sense as unicorns are mythical.

Why do you think this? It seems to me unicorns are mythical in much the same sense.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:26 am
@Zetherin,
In the sense that unicorns are imaginary beasts, whereas Heaven is a descriptor for human beings living peacefully and lovingly with one another. You will never see a unicorn, but, if you are lucky and work hard enough, you just might get a glimpse of Heaven.
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;101724 wrote:
Not necessarily? How does our own "imbalance" (whatever that means) cause earthquakes or volcanic eruptions? Can you explain that? We must have causal influences even many scientists are not aware of. You mean that volcanoes watch us, and then try to emulate us?

Science is only aware of what it can measure and let's not forget the goal of science and it's limitations to the scientific method. Volcanoes don't watch us. It would take an entire book to explain this and it's completely off topic or actually, it's leading into another topic of good discussion.

I will direct you to a couple other posts:

http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/secondary-branches-philosophy/uncategorized/14-balance.html

http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/philosophers/twentieth-century-philosophers/walter-russell/2869-breaking-law-balance.html
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:38 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;101732 wrote:
In the sense that unicorns are imaginary beasts, whereas Heaven is a descriptor for human beings living peacefully and lovingly with one another. You will never see a unicorn, but, if you are lucky and work hard enough, you just might get a glimpse of Heaven.


I suppose if we interpreted "heaven" as a metaphor for "human beings living peacefully and lovingly with one another", but I was referring to the literal interpretation - a metaphysical paradise where good people go after death.

I suppose we could interpret "unicorn" as a metaphor too, and say it means "the strength and willpower of mankind", or something along those lines, but the literal interpretation I would say is mythical and doesn't exist.

I just thought you needed to clarify that, so thanks for doing so.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:45 am
@Justin,
Justin;101725 wrote:
That's a good question. I can tell you why they praise and worship. They do this because some other man told them that's the way to yet another mythical place called heaven. Each Religion has their own version of this.

Do any of you remember Jesus? Now while Jesus or the life of Jesus cannot be verified and many of his words or supposed words were passed on verbally, literally decades after the resurrection, never once did I read anything said by Christ that he demanded to be worshiped and praised. Is this not the same Christ that went into the temple where they were worshiping and praising and tip over tables in a fit of rage? Is this not the same Christ that "ye are also sons of God".

Worship and praise is a man made thing. Again, it's part of settling the restless ego and making the ego feel comfortable. It's the blind leading the blind and literally the bowing down and worshiping of a mythical created deity. They call it IDOLATRY. Worshiping is more for others to see than it is for discovering the consciousness of Christ within.

As humans, we are easily manipulated into doing and thinking some funky things. Heck, look at the manipulation governments dole out amongst their people. We follow whatever trend comes along and then ask each other why? We give ourselves as slaves to the church or to the governments and conveniently forget to give of ourselves freely to each other in balance. Mankind is manipulated and has been manipulated to gain control over by just a few men... and aren't we just easy to buffalo.

Praise and worship fill an egotistical gap, it's not something that will save us from ourselves as we continue to be out of balance and evil towards each other.


But the question is not why (in the sense of asking about the motive) people praise God. The question is why (in the sense of justification) people praise God if the truth is that it they cannot know what it is they are praising God for, since "good" as applied to God does not mean what it means when "good" is applied to anything else. This all relates to the Euthyphro thread, by the way, where the suggestion is that what is good is decided only by God, so that whatever God does, X or not-X, it is by definition, good.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 09:18 am
@kennethamy,
Zetherin;101738 wrote:
I suppose if we interpreted "heaven" as a metaphor for "human beings living peacefully and lovingly with one another", but I was referring to the literal interpretation - a metaphysical paradise where good people go after death.


Interpretation requires something to interpret, some source. If we take as our source the various teachings attributed to that fella Jesus, taking his teachings on Heaven to suggest "a metaphysical paradise where good people go after death" is like interpreting the "Red Wheelbarrow" as Communist propaganda. It is an incorrect interpretation.
 

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