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Author Topic: New Argument to Explain Suffering of Innocent Children  (Read 1634 times) Average Rating: 0
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amartin
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« on: May 01, 2012, 07:43:35 PM »


What do you think of this argument?-

There are billions of planets with billions of inhabitants on them and even more billions of angels to attend to. There is far more going on out there than you can even conceive. Therefore, don't expect God to attend to your needs. Just receive the rewards when the Son of Man comes with the holy angels to judge mankind.

I call this the Argument from the Largeness of the Universe in Comparison to You.

Of course, most bible-minded people would laugh at this idea because traditionally God is supposed to be intimately involved with everyone at every minute. Maybe they are right. But I believe that it is the only recourse left before denying God's direct and efficient causation over the physical world.
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 07:58:48 PM »

i'll stick with free-will, sin, and the ripple effect they have combined on mankind and the rest of creation.
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 08:06:52 PM »

I would rather believe that innocent children starve and suffer because not-so-innocent adults use their free-will for wickedness which leads to the exploitation of these children, and that God cannot interfere at every moment because it would impede on free-will, which, is an essential doctrine for salvation, therefore He promises justice at the end for them.
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 08:08:51 PM »

I think they just don't get any guardian angels because of pre-existing conditions.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 08:20:35 PM »

What type of God are we dealing with here? If God is omnipotent and all that stuff, then it wouldn't matter if there were a gigagillion planets with a gigagillion people (and so forth), because tending to them in minute detail would still be easy peasy. The argument might work in some deistic philosophies, but I don't think that that's what you're assuming for this...?
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 08:28:16 PM »

i'll stick with free-will, sin, and the ripple effect they have combined on mankind and the rest of creation.

 I think you're on to something big here! (I'm agreeing with you...)  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 08:38:27 PM »

I think they just don't get any guardian angels because of pre-existing conditions.

 Grin
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 08:47:34 PM »

I would rather believe that innocent children starve and suffer because not-so-innocent adults use their free-will for wickedness which leads to the exploitation of these children, and that God cannot interfere at every moment because it would impede on free-will, which, is an essential doctrine for salvation, therefore He promises justice at the end for them.

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 08:54:22 PM »


What do you think of this argument?-

There are billions of planets with billions of inhabitants on them and even more billions of angels to attend to. There is far more going on out there than you can even conceive. Therefore, don't expect God to attend to your needs. Just receive the rewards when the Son of Man comes with the holy angels to judge mankind.

I call this the Argument from the Largeness of the Universe in Comparison to You.

Of course, most bible-minded people would laugh at this idea because traditionally God is supposed to be intimately involved with everyone at every minute. Maybe they are right. But I believe that it is the only recourse left before denying God's direct and efficient causation over the physical world.


 Well, we could postulate, speculate and pontificate all the live long day but what matters is this:  How does 'Original Monotheism' answer this question?  Inquiring minds wanna know...
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 09:05:00 PM »

I would rather believe that innocent children starve and suffer because not-so-innocent adults use their free-will for wickedness which leads to the exploitation of these children, and that God cannot interfere at every moment because it would impede on free-will, which, is an essential doctrine for salvation, therefore He promises justice at the end for them.

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.

God's will isn't to create a utopia on earth. It is to bring man to salvation.
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 09:05:17 PM »

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.

Unfortunately it's not quite so simple. Also, God does indeed interfere with our free will, so that concept is only part of it. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 09:06:52 PM »

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.

Unfortunately it's not quite so simple. Also, God does indeed interfere with our free will, so that concept is only part of it. Smiley

i would say that is most likely one or two things (or a combination thereof):

1) such an act affects our free will in some inexplicable way
2) such an act is not beneficial for man's salvation
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 01:13:43 AM »

I would rather believe that innocent children starve and suffer because not-so-innocent adults use their free-will for wickedness which leads to the exploitation of these children, and that God cannot interfere at every moment because it would impede on free-will, which, is an essential doctrine for salvation, therefore He promises justice at the end for them.

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.

Ahh but then God would be indirectly impeding on our free-will. The Earth is a random event, the way that the Earth works is governed by laws and climate etc. By causing unnatural rainfall, God would be interfering with the way the Earth naturally functions, and thus indirectly impeding on our freedom since our free-will is based off of the condition of the Earth.
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 01:53:38 AM »

I would rather believe that innocent children starve and suffer because not-so-innocent adults use their free-will for wickedness which leads to the exploitation of these children, and that God cannot interfere at every moment because it would impede on free-will, which, is an essential doctrine for salvation, therefore He promises justice at the end for them.

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.

Let's be clear: the cause of starvation in Africa is the wickedness of man. If selfishness and greed did not reign, the continent of Africa would be well-equipped to provide for itself. Unfortunately, selfishness and greed do reign.
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 02:14:41 AM »

He has a point. In fact, Africa may be the most resource-rich continent in the world, which is probably why it has been exploited naked so much all throughout history by Europeans and Arabs.
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2012, 03:55:39 AM »

Argumentum ad God is too busy to care for you?
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2012, 05:36:42 AM »

He has a point. In fact, Africa may be the most resource-rich continent in the world, which is probably why it has been exploited naked so much all throughout history by Europeans and Arabs.

Africans have usually played a part in screwing themselves over, lots not just make it about outsiders.
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2012, 07:17:37 AM »

I would rather believe that innocent children starve and suffer because not-so-innocent adults use their free-will for wickedness which leads to the exploitation of these children, and that God cannot interfere at every moment because it would impede on free-will, which, is an essential doctrine for salvation, therefore He promises justice at the end for them.

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.

Ahh but then God would be indirectly impeding on our free-will. The Earth is a random event, the way that the Earth works is governed by laws and climate etc. By causing unnatural rainfall, God would be interfering with the way the Earth naturally functions, and thus indirectly impeding on our freedom since our free-will is based off of the condition of the Earth.

Are you joking? This is the worst nonsense that i have ever heard: "God would be impeding our freewill by making it rain."
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2012, 08:20:41 AM »

Are you joking? This is the worst nonsense that i have ever heard: "God would be impeding our freewill by making it rain."

So far as I can figure, the Christian God is the sort that puts His children in a position where they can solve their problems, and then let's them do the solving with the tools that they've been given rather than handing them the solution gift wrapped. It tends to work out better that way I guess.
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2012, 08:38:07 AM »

I would rather believe that innocent children starve and suffer because not-so-innocent adults use their free-will for wickedness which leads to the exploitation of these children, and that God cannot interfere at every moment because it would impede on free-will, which, is an essential doctrine for salvation, therefore He promises justice at the end for them.

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.

Ahh but then God would be indirectly impeding on our free-will. The Earth is a random event, the way that the Earth works is governed by laws and climate etc. By causing unnatural rainfall, God would be interfering with the way the Earth naturally functions, and thus indirectly impeding on our freedom since our free-will is based off of the condition of the Earth.

Are you joking? This is the worst nonsense that i have ever heard: "God would be impeding our freewill by making it rain."

if God alleviated all the suffering in the world then how would we co-suffer with Christ and tend to those who are suffering/in need?
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2012, 02:22:26 PM »

I would rather believe that innocent children starve and suffer because not-so-innocent adults use their free-will for wickedness which leads to the exploitation of these children, and that God cannot interfere at every moment because it would impede on free-will, which, is an essential doctrine for salvation, therefore He promises justice at the end for them.

All God would need to do to fix starvation in the dry areas of Africa would be to make it rain. There is no impeding free will in that.

Ahh but then God would be indirectly impeding on our free-will. The Earth is a random event, the way that the Earth works is governed by laws and climate etc. By causing unnatural rainfall, God would be interfering with the way the Earth naturally functions, and thus indirectly impeding on our freedom since our free-will is based off of the condition of the Earth.

Are you joking? This is the worst nonsense that i have ever heard: "God would be impeding our freewill by making it rain."

I would respectfully disagree. I think James is on point here. The condition of life as we know it is due to the fall of man. As I understand it (oversimplifying here) this 'condition' is God's Grace and mercy as He did not extinguish mankind for Adam's disobedience, but out of love for us set up circumstances that enable us to be refined into the 'type of soul' that will see God's light as Truth, Love, and purification as opposed to how Adam saw Him after the fall which was fear that manifested into shame etc. The broken condition of mankind and this world is an opportunity to come back into communion with Him.

This has to be done through free will just as we fell by free will. He will not change the condition of the world (make it rain in Africa contradicting this condition He set) as He loves us and whatever happens here does not compare to what He unltimatley offers us. The famines in Africa can also be solved if man were less selfish and more giving. Less selfish and more giving is exactly the type 'forging' of ones soul that leads to seeing God as love instead of torment. My understanding anyway.
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2012, 02:29:12 PM »

Let's be clear: the cause of starvation in Africa is the wickedness of man.
Agreed, but because of the conditions suffered through the fall of man.

Quote
If selfishness and greed did not reign, the continent of Africa would be well-equipped to provide for itself. Unfortunately, selfishness and greed do reign.

Again, I think this is limited to the post-fall conditions.  Selfishness and greed [of people currently living] is not to blame for children getting cancer.
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2012, 02:39:30 PM »

He has a point. In fact, Africa may be the most resource-rich continent in the world, which is probably why it has been exploited naked so much all throughout history by Europeans and Arabs.

True.
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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2012, 02:45:49 PM »

...Africa may be the most resource-rich continent in the world, which is probably why it has been exploited naked so much all throughout history by Europeans and Arabs.

Don't forget to add Africans to the list of people who have exploited Africa.
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2012, 03:07:00 PM »

[/i] reign.

Again, I think this is limited to the post-fall conditions.  Selfishness and greed [of people currently living] is not to blame for children getting cancer.

I would suggest that in some cases at least, it is. Second hand smoke of a selfish parent? Environmental issues (if proved to cause cancer) that exist because of greed, etc. ??
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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2012, 03:18:31 PM »

[/i] reign.
Again, I think this is limited to the post-fall conditions.  Selfishness and greed [of people currently living] is not to blame for children getting cancer.

I would suggest that in some cases at least, it is. Second hand smoke of a selfish parent? Environmental issues (if proved to cause cancer) that exist because of greed, etc. ??

Point taken and as you said, in certain cases there is a direct link (although good luck finding evidence of a kid with lung cancer from second-hand smoke).  But kids get Leukemia. You can't blame that on selfishness or greed.     
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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2012, 03:32:37 PM »

I honestly don't understand the reason why innocent children suffer. The best I can come up with, is that it is only possible if God brings some greater good out of it that I cannot pin down. But I don't know what that greater good is. So, is there a satisfactory answer? I dunno. I just have to trust in God's goodness.
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2012, 04:00:16 PM »

[/i] reign.
Again, I think this is limited to the post-fall conditions.  Selfishness and greed [of people currently living] is not to blame for children getting cancer.

I would suggest that in some cases at least, it is. Second hand smoke of a selfish parent? Environmental issues (if proved to cause cancer) that exist because of greed, etc. ??

Point taken and as you said, in certain cases there is a direct link (although good luck finding evidence of a kid with lung cancer from second-hand smoke).  But kids get Leukemia. You can't blame that on selfishness or greed.     

I hear ya. I'm not disclaiming your point overall. I reflect on this with a lot of uncertainty. You wisely point out the direct link, when there is one, is not even typically conclusive. I believe some of the sufferings such as the OP's question is due to the fall of man as it sounds like we agree. I believe some are due to personal sins. Distinguishing between them can be a struggle in itself. When that infant is close to our personal lives it can be extremely difficult to accept and deal with. If I have a point it would be that whatever the mysteries and uncertainties, at least we can take refuge that these 'sufferings' are intended to allow us the opportunity to grow in Christ and eternal communion with God. How else could God be Love and Just as we all claim Him to be.
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« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2012, 04:20:15 PM »

Agreed, but because of the conditions suffered through the fall of man.

Yet the fall of man was and is a process (as St. Athanasius said, for example). It's not like it was all peachy, the fall happened, Adam and Eve got kicked out, and -BAM- Cancer, Autism, and all those other things we deal with suddenly appeared in humanity. The post-fall deterioration of man was a process, one that is still going on.
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« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2012, 04:29:00 PM »

Agreed, but because of the conditions suffered through the fall of man.

Yet the fall of man was and is a process (as St. Athanasius said, for example). It's not like it was all peachy, the fall happened, Adam and Eve got kicked out, and -BAM- Cancer, Autism, and all those other things we deal with suddenly appeared in humanity. The post-fall deterioration of man was a process, one that is still going on.

As in the fall created the conditions, and the corruption of man deteriorates those conditions?
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« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2012, 04:30:15 PM »

This OP for once does actually beg the question.

Are children innocent?

Let's go with Rome or pasadi and say no.
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« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2012, 04:39:44 PM »

Agreed, but because of the conditions suffered through the fall of man.

Yet the fall of man was and is a process (as St. Athanasius said, for example). It's not like it was all peachy, the fall happened, Adam and Eve got kicked out, and -BAM- Cancer, Autism, and all those other things we deal with suddenly appeared in humanity. The post-fall deterioration of man was a process, one that is still going on.

very well said!
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« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2012, 04:53:47 PM »

Agreed, but because of the conditions suffered through the fall of man.

Yet the fall of man was and is a process (as St. Athanasius said, for example). It's not like it was all peachy, the fall happened, Adam and Eve got kicked out, and -BAM- Cancer, Autism, and all those other things we deal with suddenly appeared in humanity. The post-fall deterioration of man was a process, one that is still going on.

As in the fall created the conditions, and the corruption of man deteriorates those conditions?

So far as I understand it, yeah. Certain things happened at the fall... we were given "garments of skin" and all of a sudden had to deal with a whole host of problems we hadn't dealt with before. But it's not like every problem we have today had suddenly taken root at the time of the fall. And it is not just that things deteriorated just because of the fall, as though we can blame the fall for all our problems; rather, each generation also actively added to the problem. Thus while some say "we all sinned in Adam," it's important to also take responsibility for the fact that we are all still sinning. We are all interconnected, so it's not like 2 people living a long time ago made a mistake, and because of this everything became terribly bad, and poor little moderns have to deal with the consequences, while our own sins don't really impact anyone but ourselves and those around us. No, Adam and Eve's sin impacted all of humanity, and so do our sins (albeit not in quite as spectacular or obvious a way).
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« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2012, 05:00:41 PM »

Are you joking? This is the worst nonsense that i have ever heard: "God would be impeding our freewill by making it rain."

So far as I can figure, the Christian God is the sort that puts His children in a position where they can solve their problems, and then let's them do the solving with the tools that they've been given rather than handing them the solution gift wrapped. It tends to work out better that way I guess.

Yeah its really working out... 16,000 children dying daily from starvation.
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« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2012, 05:07:03 PM »

This OP for once does actually beg the question.

Are children innocent?

Let's go with Rome or pasadi and say no.

Add King David to the list.  "In sin did my mother bear me."
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« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2012, 05:11:12 PM »

Are you joking? This is the worst nonsense that i have ever heard: "God would be impeding our freewill by making it rain."

So far as I can figure, the Christian God is the sort that puts His children in a position where they can solve their problems, and then let's them do the solving with the tools that they've been given rather than handing them the solution gift wrapped. It tends to work out better that way I guess.

Yeah its really working out... 16,000 children dying daily from starvation.

Yes, it's sad (no sarcasm intended). And I could just as easily curse the sky because my wife died at the age of 27 (while we were having marital problems, and thus now have no chance at reconciling), or because I was born with a fairly debilitating (to this point, anyway) mental illness. What good would that do? I'm not going to start living a bitter life, where I constantly blame God for not healing me or other people I love, or saving them from a premature death. I also refuse to allow "16,000 children dying daily from starvation" to change my approach to reality. Well, strike that, it should change my approach--it should impress upon me that I need to do more to help other people. It's fine to struggle with the problem of evil, and frankly I have flirted with some forms of deism/taoism mostly because they seemed like rational escapes... but IMO that wouldn't line up with reality, as messy as reality can be.
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« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2012, 05:15:08 PM »

The premise of the OP in this thread is pretty ridiculous.  I usually don't like just saying something is ridiculous and leaving it at that without offering any counterpoints...but yeah.  Blaming God for humanity's foul-ups is ridiculous and there isn't really anything more to say about it.
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« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2012, 05:38:14 PM »

The premise of the OP in this thread is pretty ridiculous.  I usually don't like just saying something is ridiculous and leaving it at that without offering any counterpoints...but yeah.  Blaming God for humanity's foul-ups is ridiculous and there isn't really anything more to say about it.

God is to "blame".

You can't have perfect foreknowledge, free will, and be all powerful and then be off the hook when things going astray.

Some would say it is one of the reasons God became incarnate and suffered and died.

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« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2012, 06:11:14 PM »

Are you joking? This is the worst nonsense that i have ever heard: "God would be impeding our freewill by making it rain."

In itself, it does sound ridiculous. But try looking at it in the big picture. Lack of rainfall is not the only reason why children are starving; for example, ask yourself, why are they living in a barren part of Africa with no rainfall or good farmland in the first place anyway? I'm sure there are some historical reasons as well as present reasons. Maybe the reason they are there is because their ancestors were relocated to that horrible part of Africa due to the Arab slave trade or European colonialism, or present civil wars in Africa right now have driven them to these places. By making it rain, God is indirectly impeding on the free-will of the people who caused these children to end up in these places. If God does this, then these people can never be held accountable for their actions because it would be like God is stepping in every time we screw up to erase the consequences of our actions. Is this a satisfactory answer? Not at all, and I struggle with this same dilemma every day. But I imagine that the logical answer is something like this.
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« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2012, 08:19:09 PM »

So as it turns out, you're really not a believer in anything are you?  You come here to mock beliefs by being mocked?
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« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2012, 08:25:22 PM »

The premise of the OP in this thread is pretty ridiculous.  I usually don't like just saying something is ridiculous and leaving it at that without offering any counterpoints...but yeah.  Blaming God for humanity's foul-ups is ridiculous and there isn't really anything more to say about it.

God is to "blame".

You can't have perfect foreknowledge, free will, and be all powerful and then be off the hook when things going astray.

Some would say it is one of the reasons God became incarnate and suffered and died.


Well...if you are going into the story of the Fall of man, it was in a way an explanation of showing that God is not to blame for all that is happening.  With that in mind, if this world was a better place, some Church fathers felt He would still be incarnate.

So one can say, He is killing two (or more) birds with one stone.  But rather than get rid of suffering, He enlightens us by showing how suffering can be a form of salvation, and this if the suffering is willfully done.  In other words, go out there, immerse yourself in the poorest of places, live as they live, and bring those communities up with you.  It's a story of death to the world, and resurrection from this death.  It's the story that the Apostles lived.  Sure enough, "blameworthy" would mean that God felt guilty for creating us.

In the end, because God is ultimately a mystery, we have to concede that His ultimate thoughts are a mystery, especially when it comes to the suffering.  But at least He taught us not to sit down and ponder about them, but to do something about them as much as we can.  He asked us at the very least if you do these things to "ONE" of my brethren.
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« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2012, 10:28:41 PM »

Sure enough, "blameworthy" would mean that God felt guilty for creating us.

He did more than that. He repented of it.
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« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2012, 11:09:30 AM »

I'm still having a problem with the whole "innocent" children thing. 
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« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2012, 03:39:35 PM »

I'm still having a problem with the whole "innocent" children thing. 

Yea, I'm with ya. My understanding is children are born with Original (Ancestral) sin, yet are still innocent of personal sin. There is also the subject of 'the age of accountability'. Does Orthodoxy even recognize that term?

For me, it is very difficult when speaking of baby's, to see them as anything but innocent. Can I get much closer to the Divine than when holding an infant? Ya know what I mean?
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« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2012, 04:51:35 PM »

Can I get much closer to the Divine than when holding an infant? Ya know what I mean?

A lot. I could count dozens, probably hundreds of ways.

Infants are boring if you have more testosterone than (Gabriel help me out here with some of that folksy down home wordplay) a                 .

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