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Why does God permit suffering?

 
 
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 10:30 am
With all the misery there is in the world today, it is not surprising that many blame God either for his deliberately causing it or for his inability to end it. Many look at the world situation and proclaim that God must not exist.

So why?

So why does the God, who many believe to be all powerful, who is represented as the very definition of love, allow babies to die of starvation? Why does he permit war and crime and sickness and death?

I submit that the answer can be found partly by reading the story of the fall of mankind in the first three chapters of Genesis. Additionally, one should read the book of Job, focusing on the first few chapters to see the challenge put forth by the rebel, Satan.

In Genesis, Satan calls God a liar and insinuates that folks would be better off without his control:
"At this the serpent said to the woman: "YOU positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God, KNOWING good and bad." (Genesis 3:4,5)

In Job, Satan avers that God's creations serve him only so long as they receive good from him:
"But Satan answered Jehovah and said: "Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul. 5 For a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch as far as his bone and his flesh [and see] whether he will not curse you to your very face."" (Job 2:4)

We know that so far the story from Eden has meant untold suffering for the human race. But in the book of Job, God restored Job and gave him more than he had at first. Is therein an allegorical reference to God's intentions with the entire human race?

Isaiah refers to God's ability to complete everything he starts:
"For just as the pouring rain descends, and the snow, from the heavens and does not return to that place, unless it actually saturates the earth and makes it produce and sprout, and seed is actually given to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it." (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Jesus promises a resurrection for all who have ever lived:
"Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28,29) The wording indicates that the judgement will be based on deeds after being resurrected and learning the truth about God.

Well all this may seem somewhat pollyanna.

You may still ask "Why has it taken so long?" It certainly is obvious to believers of the story that Satan has failed to prove his point and God has every right and motive to set things strait NOW.

Could it be that there are still some who believe Satan's original challenge? That man is better off going it alone?

Do you really think human governments have the answer?

(Compare Daniel 2:44)
 
Raul-7
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 01:06 pm
God certainly puts the determination of believers to the test in various ways; either by periodically giving them trouble or making them undergo suffering. Details of the test are given in the verse below:

We shall test you with fear and hunger, with loss of life and property and crops but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. (Al-Baqara, 155)

However, a believer with total commitment displays his patience under all circumstances. God praises this attitude of believers in the following verse:

How many of the prophets fought (in God's way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in God's way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And God loves those who are firm and steadfast. Their only words were: "Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything We may have done that transgressed our duty; make us firm of foot and help us against those that resist faith." (Al-Imran, 146-147)
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 08:28 pm
Yeah, but the book of Job shows the test comes, not from God, but from his opposer.

"Simon, Simon, look! Satan has demanded to have YOU men to sift YOU as wheat." (Luke 22:31)
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 08:33 pm
Re: Why does God permit suffering?
neologist wrote:
Why does God permit suffering?
Because he is not all powerful and all knowing he is weak and ignorant.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 08:38 pm
Are you saying he exists?
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 08:42 pm
For the sake of this argument I will entertain the notion, as if I do not, then there is no point in replying at all!
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 09:17 pm
If god is presumed to be the personal and interventionist deity as ascribed to by some believers, then satan sounds more like an after the fact rationalization for god's weaknesses, than a merited rationale for god to permit atrocities.
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:13 pm
Why do you assume that God permits suffering? Just because something 'is', does that mean God permitted it?

If I sin, did God permit me to sin? Or did He command me not to?

If I disobey His command, why is it assumed that I had His permission to do so?

Just because God can do 'x' , does it follow that He must do 'x' ?
Pauligirl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:28 pm
neologist wrote:
Yeah, but the book of Job shows the test comes, not from God, but from his opposer.



But it was with God's permission.

And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand."

What kind of a god would allow a test like that? I'd rather have one that would tell da debil: "Touch a hair on the head of my true and faithful servant and I'll toss your pitchforked butt right off this planet."

But no, this god says screw with him all ya like, just don't kill him. Kill his children, his sheep, his camels, kick his asses, but he'll still love me cause I'm da man and this is just soooo good for my ego. Have at him, buddy...er....evil one <wink wink nudge nudge>.

Ack

P
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:33 pm
Pauligirl,

There are plenty of views about the story of Job. One thing I can tell you is that God does not have an ego. He doesn't need one. He can do anything. If He wanted to He could make every single person on the face of this earth bow down to Him and worship Him sunup to sundown.

That's not what it is about. Not at all. It's about choice. It's about our choice to love our God or our choice not to. It's about accepting the love He has for us.

Who needs an ego when they are perfect? Who needs an ego when you can make anyone do anything?
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:34 pm
For the sake of this argument I will entertain the notion that he exists.
real life wrote:
Why do you assume that God permits suffering?

Neologist asked the question "Why does God permit suffering?" not me. I said god is not all powerful and all knowing he is weak and ignorant.
real life wrote:
Just because something 'is', does that mean God permitted it?
Are you then saying god is not all powerful and not all knowing?
real life wrote:
If I sin, did God permit me to sin? Or did He command me not to?
You tell me assuming you believe one of those to be true. I am saying that god is not all powerful and all knowing he is weak and ignorant.
real life wrote:
If I disobey His command, why is it assumed that I had His permission to do so?
Again are you then saying god is not all powerful and not all knowing?
real life wrote:
Just because God can do 'x' , does it follow that He must do 'x' ?
Are you willing to argue that the murdering of over 6 million Jews was somehow for mans' benefit?
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:36 pm
Chumly,

It was NOT God that killed the Jews! It was Hitler. I don't care who he said he was doing in the name of, it was Hitler that did it.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:41 pm
How can you know it was not the hand of god? God has murdered before, it's in the bible.

Or

How can you know that god would have prevented the killing, it he had had the power to do?
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:41 pm
Pauligirl wrote:
neologist wrote:
Yeah, but the book of Job shows the test comes, not from God, but from his opposer.



But it was with God's permission.

And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand."

What kind of a god would allow a test like that? I'd rather have one that would tell da debil: "Touch a hair on the head of my true and faithful servant and I'll toss your pitchforked butt right off this planet."

But no, this god says screw with him all ya like, just don't kill him. Kill his children, his sheep, his camels, kick his asses, but he'll still love me cause I'm da man and this is just soooo good for my ego. Have at him, buddy...er....evil one <wink wink nudge nudge>.

Ack

P


Where does the passage state that God gave any permission?

It states two things:
Quote:
Behold, all that he has is in your power


Nowhere does it say that God gave it into Satan's power. That is an unwarranted assumption. Basically an argument from silence.

and
Quote:
only upon himself do not put forth your hand


It states what God would NOT permit. Nowhere does it say God gave permission for anything. Again basically an argument from silence.

If I tell you "You better not mess with my car" have I given you permission to mess with everything else?
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:47 pm
Chumly wrote:
For the sake of this argument I will entertain the notion that he exists.
real life wrote:
Why do you assume that God permits suffering?

Neologist asked the question "Why does God permit suffering?" not me. I said god is not all powerful and all knowing he is weak and ignorant.
real life wrote:
Just because something 'is', does that mean God permitted it?
Are you then saying god is not all powerful and not all knowing?
real life wrote:
If I sin, did God permit me to sin? Or did He command me not to?
You tell me assuming you believe one of those to be true. I am saying that god is not all powerful and all knowing he is weak and ignorant.
real life wrote:
If I disobey His command, why is it assumed that I had His permission to do so?
Again are you then saying god is not all powerful and not all knowing?
real life wrote:
Just because God can do 'x' , does it follow that He must do 'x' ?
Are you willing to argue that the murdering of over 6 million Jews was somehow for mans' benefit?


Are you trying to argue that God is responsible for the Holocaust? Seems you cannot make up your mind.

You don't believe that God is all powerful, yet you somehow seem to want to pin the Holocaust on Him because He didn't prevent it.

Which is it?

As for my questions, you seem to have completely missed the point of each one. Congrats on your reliability.
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:48 pm
Chumly,

Why is it that so many will believe the parts in the Bible where it appears God is the bad guy but when told of the parts in the Bible where it shows Him loving, etc., those are not accepted?

Curious that.
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:53 pm
Chumly wrote:
How can you know it was not the hand of god? God has murdered before, it's in the bible...........


Since you do not believe the Bible, this is a rather bogus argument on your part. Are you trying to argue the validity of something you don't believe?

Murder is unlawful killing. Since God makes the laws of the universe, any thing He does is in keeping with what He wishes done. Therefore He has not broken any of His laws. So how are you going to argue that God murders? (assuming you believe the history, which you don't )
0 Replies
 
Pauligirl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Mar, 2006 11:57 pm
Momma Angel wrote:
Pauligirl,

There are plenty of views about the story of Job. One thing I can tell you is that God does not have an ego. He doesn't need one. He can do anything. If He wanted to He could make every single person on the face of this earth bow down to Him and worship Him sunup to sundown.

That's not what it is about. Not at all. It's about choice. It's about our choice to love our God or our choice not to. It's about accepting the love He has for us.

Who needs an ego when they are perfect? Who needs an ego when you can make anyone do anything?


You're forgetting something. I don't think this god exists. I think that the folks that made him up and wrote the book gave him a ego. Otherwise you wouldn't have stuff like this "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him". That's a "my god is bigger than your god" thing. Ergo ego.
P
0 Replies
 
Pauligirl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 12:09 am
real life wrote:
Pauligirl wrote:
neologist wrote:
Yeah, but the book of Job shows the test comes, not from God, but from his opposer.



But it was with God's permission.

And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand."

What kind of a god would allow a test like that? I'd rather have one that would tell da debil: "Touch a hair on the head of my true and faithful servant and I'll toss your pitchforked butt right off this planet."

But no, this god says screw with him all ya like, just don't kill him. Kill his children, his sheep, his camels, kick his asses, but he'll still love me cause I'm da man and this is just soooo good for my ego. Have at him, buddy...er....evil one <wink wink nudge nudge>.

Ack

P


Where does the passage state that God gave any permission?

It states two things:
Quote:
Behold, all that he has is in your power


Nowhere does it say that God gave it into Satan's power. That is an unwarranted assumption. Basically an argument from silence.

and
Quote:
only upon himself do not put forth your hand


It states what God would NOT permit. Nowhere does it say God gave permission for anything. Again basically an argument from silence.

If I tell you "You better not mess with my car" have I given you permission to mess with everything else?


Behold, all that he has is in your power

That is not argument from silence. That's permission.

I know you don't want to see it that way, but that's what it says. And if ya notice, the god made no move to stop it.
P
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Mar, 2006 12:17 am
Pauligirl,

I understand that you don't believe He exists. But, if He does and He is the only true God, He doesn't need an ego. There are no other Gods for Him to be bigger than. Laughing
0 Replies
 
 

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