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Author Topic: Archbishop of Canterbury: my doubts about existence of God  (Read 144 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: Today at 08:58:42 AM »

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He added that there were moments when he was struck with doubts even while praying, including during his regular morning jogs near Lambeth Palace.

“I love the Psalms, if you look at Psalm 88, that’s full of doubt,” he told the congregation.
....
“We know about Jesus, we can’t explain all the questions in the world, we can’t explain about suffering, we can’t explain loads of things but we know about Jesus.

“We can talk about Jesus – I always do that because most of the other questions I can’t answer.”
« Last Edit: Today at 08:58:59 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: Today at 09:01:19 AM »

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He also said that Christians cannot explain why suffering exists in the world but that the answer was faith

It looks like someone wasn't catechized very well...
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« Reply #2 on: Today at 10:27:50 AM »

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He also said that Christians cannot explain why suffering exists in the world but that the answer was faith

It looks like someone wasn't catechized very well...

Actually, there is no answer to the question of evil, even in Christianity. As per the book of Job, God's answer is basically "This regards the very foundations of how reality is, because you are a piece of that whole, you'll never be able to understand. What you want is peace of heart and that you will get by moving on from this question and remembering that I am good, loving, merciful and I will have the last say"

That is echoed by Elder Paisios when he says "What I see around me would drive me insane if I did not know that no matter what happens, God will have the last word.”

My own take on that is that question "Why evil and suffering?" is wrong in itself. Real evil and real suffering are so precisely because they lack meaning, so to ask why about something that is fundamentally an absence of "whys" is nonsensical in itself.

We do have partial answers though, specially in the temptations of Christ.

Why don't you use your omnipotent power to fulfill man's material needs? Because man is not to live on bread alone.

Why God don't you make yourself obvious? God can't be "seen" by being tested, implying that even if He did something like being perpetually visible on His throne floating in the skies, people still wouldn't believe in Him the right way.

Why God, don't you just solve all the problems by force of coercion? Because by doing that God Himself would be acknowledging brute force as more powerful than Himself which it is not.

Then, in the Sermon of the Mount, He teaches us the right way to achieve all that the devil tempted him to:

Blessed the meek: for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed the pure in heart: for they will see God.

Blessed those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

That which the devil offers through brute strength: material fulfillment, vision of God and control of the world can only be obtained through meekness, purety and martyrdom.

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« Reply #3 on: Today at 11:21:02 AM »

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He also said that Christians cannot explain why suffering exists in the world but that the answer was faith

It looks like someone wasn't catechized very well...

Actually, there is no answer to the question of evil, even in Christianity. As per the book of Job, God's answer is basically "This regards the very foundations of how reality is, because you are a piece of that whole, you'll never be able to understand. What you want is peace of heart and that you will get by moving on from this question and remembering that I am good, loving, merciful and I will have the last say"

That is echoed by Elder Paisios when he says "What I see around me would drive me insane if I did not know that no matter what happens, God will have the last word.”



I call B.S. on that.  Have you read the entirety of the Scriptures?  Or are you just going to pluck from Job?  St. Paul gives some very definitive answers especially in his Epistle to the ROmans.  St. Athanasius answers this question very clearly and succinctly in his work, On the Incarnation.   So, don't peddle this crap that there is no answer to this in Christianity.

Now, doubt, on the other hand is found in many Psalms and in many saints.  But doubt is not evil.
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« Reply #4 on: Today at 11:45:31 AM »

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He also said that Christians cannot explain why suffering exists in the world but that the answer was faith.

Suffering exists in the world on account of the Fall, as the result of sin, and because of free will.  One only has difficulty reconciling suffering with the existence of God when on believes that the world as it is today is as God created it and as God intended, and when one believes that the purpose of life is to be continuously happy and comfortable. 

One has to realize that salvation is much closer to the person suffering than the person who is comfortable and content in this world.  If we are always happy and comfortable, we will delight in this life and not care if there is a God or a life after death.  When we suffer, it is much easier for us to have the humility which leads to salvation and to know our need for God and dependence on Him.  Young children who suffer receive many crowns, and sometimes the suffering of the innocent is an occasion for the salvation of their relatives and caretakers. 

Orthodox Christianity does have an answer for all of these questions, though some do not want to accept such answers. 
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« Reply #5 on: Today at 11:54:01 AM »

The archbishop's doubts are perfectly understandable, but they suggest that a career change might be in order.
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« Reply #6 on: Today at 11:56:41 AM »

I think there is an answer to the question of evil. And that is it's lack of human empathy and a wanton disregard for other's interests and only a self-interest that leads to evil. Evil is caused by human beings who disregard the significance and value of other human beings.
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« Reply #7 on: Today at 12:27:12 PM »

Evil is simply a lack of good, not something that exists in a positive way. I'm not sure if the Archbishop thinks that God somehow created a "thing" called Evil. In any case, this is still better than some of the heterodox broad churches (which tend to stand in as a stereotypical representative of "all Anglicans" in some EO and RCC circles) who have openly atheist clergy.
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« Reply #8 on: Today at 12:44:05 PM »

I like Jason's answer, though I imagine a skeptic can always challenge these explanations and answers. Why should the Fall have caused suffering everywhere else? Why are the descendants punished for the sins of the fathers? What is wrong with seeking to be content in this life, or why is it so important not to be content in this life simply in order to believe in an afterlife? Every answer begs a new question, but that goes for both the Orthodox Christian's answers and the skeptical secularist's answers.

For me, and I think this corresponds with Orthodox teaching, we have to work with the world as it is, and the world is full of suffering, and just declaiming in despair that there is no answer doesn't help us nor does it motivate us to find a deeper joy and happiness underneath all the suffering. Orthodoxy gives us reason and ability to be happy even in a sad situation, whereas skepticism offers nothing in this regard, only perhaps a temporary escape if we manage to cloak ourselves in a materialistic bubble of earthly pleasures. But even then, death and suffering have a way of bursting that bubble, and then we find we have nothing to fight it with.
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« Reply #9 on: Today at 12:50:53 PM »

The archbishop's doubts are perfectly understandable, but they suggest that a career change might be in order.

I don't even know if I'd go that far. 
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« Reply #10 on: Today at 02:15:53 PM »

I think many of this religious clerical are at least doubting persons if not unbelievers. At least he is being honest. Smiley
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