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Author Topic: So Why does God allow Bad things to Happen?  (Read 4362 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 14, 2013, 04:59:56 PM »

Kind of a classic, age-old question--but, still a good one, nonetheless. So, tell me, why does God allow bad things to happen? This is one of those big mysteries that really makes no sense to me no matter how I look at it. No matter how "figured-out" I may think I have it, there always seems to be one fatal problem with it that sends the whole answer sprawling apart. I've noticed this with several of the apologetics that allegedly solve this problem. The western answer to this question is usually something along the lines of "free will hurr hurr!!", which, doesn't make too much sense or hold very much water when you really examine it. I've noticed that the eastern answers I've received are usually something along the lines of God allowing it to happen in order to test and strengthen us. My problem with this answer is that it seems to detract from God's almighty power. If He could do anything, then why would He need evil and suffering to achieve His agenda? Likewise, it gives too much power to the concept of evil, and reduces Orthodoxy to dualism. So what is the proper answer to this question?
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 06:36:44 PM »

This is the ultimate question for me, and I have yet to hear or read a theodicy that works very well. In light of some suffering, the free will argument looks okay. But when you begin to consider the quantity of human suffering, animal suffering, and the secret suffering of some people (say, that of child sex slaves, for instance) that cannot serve any divine purpose whatsoever, there really is no suitable answer to the problem of suffering. As Christians, we can respond to suffering in good or bad ways. But that doesn't get God - an omnipotent, loving, and intervening God - off the hook.
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 08:11:20 PM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 08:38:10 PM »

One must look at these things from different angles, and then you can glimpse other possibilities that you never could. There is also time, that it takes time to make sense or turn bad to good.

There is also the fact that suffering can bring great works and end up doing great things. Eric Clapton is always said to be the one left behind to play the blues created by tragedies. He would never have been able to create those things otherwise.
Thomas Edison is said to have been inspired to create the light bulb, when he was young, the doctor who was operating on his mother on the dining room table, had to tell him that he did not need to continue looking for more candles to help the doctor see what he was doing , since she had just died.

I have been taught to be more sympathetic towards those who are downtrodden by experiencing it myself, also the way we learn is through failure, and there is no other way most of the time.


There is the story of Dogface, who is now Saint Christopher. He was born as an extremely handsome man, and he saw as he reached adulthood , that he was too easily tempted and treated better than his fellow, simply because of his looks. So he asked God to give him the face of a dog because he loved God so much that he knew he would never be all he wanted as a Christian with everyone treating him better than others because he was so attractive to women and men.
So God granted his wish and he ended up as a saint.



Those who never experience pain can never understand, those who are rich , in money or good looks and talent,also cannot understand the plight of others less blessed because they are treated different.
Those who have worn a fat suit to make them look like a fat person cannot believe how they were treated while they had the suit on.
So those who suffer are also wiser for it. Your mother also probably told you would thank her for punishing you now, but you never understand that she was right until decades later.

In Alcoholics Anonymous they are taught to believe that they have to admit they are incapable of controlling what happens in your life, and when you think that you are responsible for all that goes in your life, you end up a mess, because not everyone can be a success all the time, and things happen that we cannot control. By teaching to believe in a "Higher power", They have helped more people overcome thier problems more than any other since they started 80 years ago.

Of course there is also pure evil and things which are sickening and useless. But there will never be anyone who can make sense of it, or any science to explain some things, no matter how you try.

Only through faith can you overcome these things.
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 09:32:13 PM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.

I can't tell if you are being facetious or sincere here. Regardless, it seems to me that the problem of suffering is not necessarily something you have to "iron out" before becoming Christian. Obviously my own reflections in this particular thread are not very supportive of a Christian worldview, but indeed many Christian believers struggle with this issue throughout their lives (Dostoevsky, for instance). The problem of suffering is a biggy, one that I get caught on again and again... both before and since formally becoming Christian. I think that if it doesn't sometimes pose a bit of a problem for an honest thinking person from time to time, then there may be something else going on (e.g. denial, refusal to "go there", complacency, resistance to reality, self-deception, fear, etc). Or perhaps such people, by God's grace, know or can see a lot more than we do (such as the saints)? Lately for me, the hope is that our perspective as creatures in time and matter is simply too limited to understand suffering, and that God ultimately has a good reason for allowing all of it. And it'll all be made right in the end. In the face of all of the terrible suffering in the world, that's not much of an answer. It's just a hope. I guess that is what having faith is all about.  Tongue Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 09:37:07 PM »

God allows you to post, doesn't he?
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 09:55:53 PM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.

I can't tell if you are being facetious or sincere here. Regardless, it seems to me that the problem of suffering is not necessarily something you have to "iron out" before becoming Christian. Obviously my own reflections in this particular thread are not very supportive of a Christian worldview, but indeed many Christian believers struggle with this issue throughout their lives (Dostoevsky, for instance). The problem of suffering is a biggy, one that I get caught on again and again... both before and since formally becoming Christian. I think that if it doesn't sometimes pose a bit of a problem for an honest thinking person from time to time, then there may be something else going on (e.g. denial, refusal to "go there", complacency, resistance to reality, self-deception, fear, etc). Or perhaps such people, by God's grace, know or can see a lot more than we do (such as the saints)? Lately for me, the hope is that our perspective as creatures in time and matter is simply too limited to understand suffering, and that God ultimately has a good reason for allowing all of it. And it'll all be made right in the end. In the face of all of the terrible suffering in the world, that's not much of an answer. It's just a hope. I guess that is what having faith is all about.  Tongue Smiley

Well, maybe this particular issue can be an exception to some degree. But James has also made similar threads about stuff like venerating saints, confession and communion, basic catechetical stuff. All after his baptism.

BTW I find the insinuation that you aren't honest if you don't question God because of suffering to be fairly insulting.
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 10:03:17 PM »

BTW I find the insinuation that you aren't honest if you don't question God because of suffering to be fairly insulting.

Sorry, William. I didn't mean to be insulting. Perhaps I am generalizing too much.
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 10:11:17 PM »

NVM!
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 10:18:59 PM »

Perhaps the things we view as "bad", are bad in our human eyes.   He created you, can take you away, or do anything to anybody.  We are his.

Also, consider Adam & Eve, we left the garden.
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 10:50:25 PM »


Also, consider Adam & Eve, we left the garden.

Point taken, but it's pretty easy to retort that with Adam & Eve, they left the garden.

If one already "buys into the system," then this sort of response works.  Otherwise, I'm not so sure.
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2013, 10:54:41 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2013, 11:00:23 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2013, 11:10:42 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.

There has to be both God and not-god in the cosmos for anything to have been created, really.
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2013, 01:07:32 AM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.

I can't tell if you are being facetious or sincere here. Regardless, it seems to me that the problem of suffering is not necessarily something you have to "iron out" before becoming Christian. Obviously my own reflections in this particular thread are not very supportive of a Christian worldview, but indeed many Christian believers struggle with this issue throughout their lives (Dostoevsky, for instance). The problem of suffering is a biggy, one that I get caught on again and again... both before and since formally becoming Christian. I think that if it doesn't sometimes pose a bit of a problem for an honest thinking person from time to time, then there may be something else going on (e.g. denial, refusal to "go there", complacency, resistance to reality, self-deception, fear, etc). Or perhaps such people, by God's grace, know or can see a lot more than we do (such as the saints)? Lately for me, the hope is that our perspective as creatures in time and matter is simply too limited to understand suffering, and that God ultimately has a good reason for allowing all of it. And it'll all be made right in the end. In the face of all of the terrible suffering in the world, that's not much of an answer. It's just a hope. I guess that is what having faith is all about.  Tongue Smiley

Well, maybe this particular issue can be an exception to some degree. But James has also made similar threads about stuff like venerating saints, confession and communion, basic catechetical stuff. All after his baptism.

BTW I find the insinuation that you aren't honest if you don't question God because of suffering to be fairly insulting.

I wouldn't be here if Orthodox Christians were discouraged from discussing even the most elemental aspects of the faith at any point in their lives. I appreciate (most of) James' threads because they raise issues that can't really be addressed with short answers and then dismissed; instead, questions such as these must be part of an ongoing discussion. As Dostoevsky said, "My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt."
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 01:40:58 AM »

Good thing you're ironing these basics out before taking any too drastic steps with your inquiry into Orthodoxy like getting baptized or anything.

I can't tell if you are being facetious or sincere here. Regardless, it seems to me that the problem of suffering is not necessarily something you have to "iron out" before becoming Christian. Obviously my own reflections in this particular thread are not very supportive of a Christian worldview, but indeed many Christian believers struggle with this issue throughout their lives (Dostoevsky, for instance). The problem of suffering is a biggy, one that I get caught on again and again... both before and since formally becoming Christian. I think that if it doesn't sometimes pose a bit of a problem for an honest thinking person from time to time, then there may be something else going on (e.g. denial, refusal to "go there", complacency, resistance to reality, self-deception, fear, etc). Or perhaps such people, by God's grace, know or can see a lot more than we do (such as the saints)? Lately for me, the hope is that our perspective as creatures in time and matter is simply too limited to understand suffering, and that God ultimately has a good reason for allowing all of it. And it'll all be made right in the end. In the face of all of the terrible suffering in the world, that's not much of an answer. It's just a hope. I guess that is what having faith is all about.  Tongue Smiley

Well, maybe this particular issue can be an exception to some degree. But James has also made similar threads about stuff like venerating saints, confession and communion, basic catechetical stuff. All after his baptism.

BTW I find the insinuation that you aren't honest if you don't question God because of suffering to be fairly insulting.

I wouldn't be here if Orthodox Christians were discouraged from discussing even the most elemental aspects of the faith at any point in their lives. I appreciate (most of) James' threads because they raise issues that can't really be addressed with short answers and then dismissed; instead, questions such as these must be part of an ongoing discussion. As Dostoevsky said, "My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt."

That's not even close to what I said.

Yeah, I am relatively certain that some actual firmness in accepting the Faith is encouraged before entrance into the church. I don't really think converts should join the church and then resolve their issues about basic beliefs. Seems kinda like what the catechumenate is for...
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2013, 02:05:22 AM »

The source of suffering, pain and disease does not come from God. It comes from us and what we do as human beings to each other and to our environment. Our sins radiate out from us like a pebble thrown in a pond. In other words, there is no such thing as a sin that is private and only harms ourselves. And as we have been taught, all sin leads to death.

And for this reason God sent His Son to save us. People forget that because Christ destroyed death with His Godhead there is much power in our prayers and especially in the prayers of the saints and the holy Theotokos. But we do have to make the effort to pray and fast and offer up names to be read during the proskomide. We have had multiple members of my parish healed when we pray as a community for them.

As for the suffering of the innocent, such as children being aborted in the womb, I can only imagine the tears of the Theotokos, streaming down, as She waits for us to take action, to pray, to speak up for the defenseless, to do whatever we can to put a stop to the holocaust.

So the question isn't why does God allow suffering. He has already done everything by suffering on our behalf, dying the cross, destroying death, sending the Comforter, giving us full access to intercessions of His Holy Mother and His beloved saints, and offering us all we need to do battle through partaking of the mysteries of the Church. No the question is why are we too faithless or slothful to pray for those who suffer and to do whatever we can to bring healing to the world?
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2013, 02:23:51 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.

Do you think that our deification cannot happen unless we are immersed in evil? What happened to the idea that we are falling short of the kind of persons that He created us to be? I submit to you that we would still have a challenge even in the absence of evil, suffering, pain and disease. My priest had an interesting take on this, just last week (Sunday of the Holy Cross) he said the following (I am paraphrasing from memory): The creation of man in Genesis ("Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness") was not completed until the Lord was crucified ("It is finished").

This goes along with St Athanasius' dictum that "Christ became like man so that we might become like him." What this means is that we each have our own crosses to bear--affirmative actions that go way beyond eschewing sins, being "good," and overcoming evil, pain and suffering. If you remember the parable of the rich man, he fell short when he could not bring himself to give up all of his wealth, even though he was a righteous man.
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2013, 03:00:15 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.

Do you think that our deification cannot happen unless we are immersed in evil? What happened to the idea that we are falling short of the kind of persons that He created us to be? I submit to you that we would still have a challenge even in the absence of evil, suffering, pain and disease. My priest had an interesting take on this, just last week (Sunday of the Holy Cross) he said the following (I am paraphrasing from memory): The creation of man in Genesis ("Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness") was not completed until the Lord was crucified ("It is finished").

This goes along with St Athanasius' dictum that "Christ became like man so that we might become like him." What this means is that we each have our own crosses to bear--affirmative actions that go way beyond eschewing sins, being "good," and overcoming evil, pain and suffering. If you remember the parable of the rich man, he fell short when he could not bring himself to give up all of his wealth, even though he was a righteous man.

Carl,

A slight correction, I don't think the rich man you referring to is a parabolic figure, much to the chagrin of many I believe.

And I have some slight problems with folks reading a bit much into Christ's words it is finished given when they happen and the possible implications which lie within the Greek which might not be apparent in the English. A reading as the one which you include above does seem lend itself to a more "saved by the blood" protestant reading.
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2013, 07:05:39 PM »

Because if there were no evil in the world, there would be no Batman.

The problem I have with that sort of answer--ie "because A wouldn't be possible," etc, is that it downplays the omnipotence of God by leading to the conclusion that He needs evilness in order for our deification, and thus, leads to dualism.

Do you think that our deification cannot happen unless we are immersed in evil? What happened to the idea that we are falling short of the kind of persons that He created us to be? I submit to you that we would still have a challenge even in the absence of evil, suffering, pain and disease. My priest had an interesting take on this, just last week (Sunday of the Holy Cross) he said the following (I am paraphrasing from memory): The creation of man in Genesis ("Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness") was not completed until the Lord was crucified ("It is finished").

This goes along with St Athanasius' dictum that "Christ became like man so that we might become like him." What this means is that we each have our own crosses to bear--affirmative actions that go way beyond eschewing sins, being "good," and overcoming evil, pain and suffering. If you remember the parable of the rich man, he fell short when he could not bring himself to give up all of his wealth, even though he was a righteous man.

Carl,

A slight correction, I don't think the rich man you referring to is a parabolic figure, much to the chagrin of many I believe.

And I have some slight problems with folks reading a bit much into Christ's words it is finished given when they happen and the possible implications which lie within the Greek which might not be apparent in the English. A reading as the one which you include above does seem lend itself to a more "saved by the blood" protestant reading.

I apologize for not expressing Father Thomas' point, which was that God created us in His image and likeliness and gave us Jesus the Christ to emulate, to include His self-sacrifice. He does not expect us to replicate His sacrifice on the cross, but he does expect us to emulate Him in self-sacrifice. I thought that the homily was on point given the occasion: Third Sunday of Lent when it St Paul's words, we have "crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). The point then is not crucifixion and death, but self-sacrifice, giving up one's most valuable asset. As St Mark points out in his account of the parable of the rich man, Jesus approved of his disciples' self-sacrifice, which was not giving up their wealth (they had none), but their action in leaving "everything to follow (Him)!" (Mark 10:29).

The parable of the rich man is related to the Lord's admonition in Matthew 10: "38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it." Thus, the rich man's cross was giving up his wealth; others' may be giving up on their ambitions, and even their life.

Now, to go back to "it is finished" and its interpretation as the work of creation being finished, I do not doubt that the main interpretation is that Christ's redemptive work was finished--surely a Protestant notion that we do not ascribe to. That said, I do think that the idea of man as a Christlike creature fits well with his creation in God's image and likeness, as well as with many teachings of our Lord.
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2013, 06:20:01 PM »

If God were to stop all bad things from happening, then there would be no freedom to choose or make mistakes.
This would be similar to the Borg in Star trek, where the collective is in control of all thoughts and minds,and there are no individuals with Freewill.
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2013, 11:05:52 AM »

An interesting piece of work by Saint John of Damascus. An extract of his Dialogue between a Christian and a Saracen:

http://irishanddangerous.blogspot.ca/2008/03/dialogue-between-christian-and-saracen.html
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2013, 11:38:45 AM »

If there is no evil, then where could we get our concept of good?  I think evil has to exist in order to make sense of man's moral struggle on Earth.  If everything was just love and roses, that would be Paradise, but this is not Paradise.

Man's constant questioning the concept of evil and suffering, to me, points to one thing and one thing only - we all want to go back home, back to Eden.
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2013, 11:50:38 AM »

If there is no evil, then where could we get our concept of good?  I think evil has to exist in order to make sense of man's moral struggle on Earth.  If everything was just love and roses, that would be Paradise, but this is not Paradise.

Man's constant questioning the concept of evil and suffering, to me, points to one thing and one thing only - we all want to go back home, back to Eden.

++++1
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« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2013, 11:57:13 AM »

If there is no evil, then where could we get our concept of good?  I think evil has to exist in order to make sense of man's moral struggle on Earth.  If everything was just love and roses, that would be Paradise, but this is not Paradise.

Man's constant questioning the concept of evil and suffering, to me, points to one thing and one thing only - we all want to go back home, back to Eden.

++++1


^ Wonderfully said.
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« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2013, 03:59:16 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 
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« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2013, 04:15:25 PM »

Quote
The western answer to this question is usually something along the lines of "free will hurr hurr!!", which, doesn't make too much sense or hold very much water when you really examine it.
Then examine it again and again...
Myself was some years ago under the influence of demons, and I know what it means to have no freedom. It's still the most deep wound in my soul, which I have experienced in my life, although it was just for one, two seconds. Believe me, you don't want to know how it feels like.

For example somebody wants to kill another person, what should God do, but to let it happen? Should he kill every time a person, before he can commit a crime by a bolt or heart-attack?!
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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2013, 04:17:31 PM »

If everything was just love and roses, I would die in luciferic pride!

And it's interesting, that very often especially people who went through the most terrible suffering - particularly very painful and long illness - understands the deep meaning of suffering much better than others, because they sensed the mystery behind it.
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2013, 04:38:50 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.
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« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2013, 10:43:59 PM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

One could consider the source or the question...
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 04:20:27 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.
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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2013, 08:27:14 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

We believe God can make icons weep, perform various miracles, communicate with prophets, and so forth. We don't worship a deistic God who put everything into motion and then left to make some popcorn (and never returned!). Christianity's God is an interacting and intervening God.

You say that placing blame on God removes all human responsibility. But humans simply cannot prevent a good deal of suffering that takes place. For instance, over 98,000 women have died in childbirth already this year. Ouch. Most of them probably lived in poorer countries with less access to modern medical facilities and doctors. But if you contemplate the amount of women and children who have died throughout the centuries in the birthing process alone, the numbers must be staggering. And there hasn't been anything humans knew or could do to prevent it. Then there are natural disasters, diseases, birth defects, and so on. I agree that humans need to take responsibility for the harm that their actions cause other people and creatures. And we must do our best to alleviate the suffering of others. But if God can do something about certain cases of suffering, and does not do something, and humanity lacks the resources or advanced knowledge to do something effective, then is it not safe to surmise that God allows such things? I personally cannot see any way around this. Additionally, many Church fathers say that we must accept everything that comes to us as being allowed by God (for our own purification, humiliation, or what have you) .
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2013, 10:43:20 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed. 

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

If you take man's free will away only then can you ask that question or blame God for "allowing" bad things to happen.  It was Mary's free will choice to have Yeshua. God did not force her to. the whole universe suffers the consequences of the choice Adam and Eve made...   
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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2013, 03:39:12 PM »

Simple answer is, God doesn't, they just happen.

God isn't like a parent who holds their kids hand while they ride a bike down the street. He's like a parent who allows their kid to ride down the street on their own. If they fall, then it happens and he will be there to help the child up, but even so the child has to want to get up.

God has an active hand in creation, buts not like he's going to stick a hand in and stop and explosion or an evil person. What happens happens. If a meteor hits the earth and a quarter of mankind dies, then that is just what happens. It's incredibly sad, but it happens.

I had a childhood friend who refused to wear a seatbelt because God would protect him. But we told him that God trusts that he'd be smart enough to wear a seatbelt and take care of himself. 15 years or so later, he was killed after being thrown from the car during a wreck.
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« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2013, 01:58:33 AM »

Who says God "lets" bad things happen?  The question itself is flawed.  

Why is it flawed? Please explain.

Mainly as the result of making an assumption God actually does allow bad things to happen.  Placing the blame on God when, in fact, it most likely is not His fault is a flawed approach.  It denies all human responsibility at every level.  Whenever I hear this type of statement, my mind immediately thinks of atheistic rhetoric.

We believe God can make icons weep, perform various miracles, communicate with prophets, and so forth. We don't worship a deistic God who put everything into motion and then left to make some popcorn (and never returned!). Christianity's God is an interacting and intervening God.

You say that placing blame on God removes all human responsibility. But humans simply cannot prevent a good deal of suffering that takes place. For instance, over 98,000 women have died in childbirth already this year. Ouch. Most of them probably lived in poorer countries with less access to modern medical facilities and doctors. But if you contemplate the amount of women and children who have died throughout the centuries in the birthing process alone, the numbers must be staggering. And there hasn't been anything humans knew or could do to prevent it. Then there are natural disasters, diseases, birth defects, and so on. I agree that humans need to take responsibility for the harm that their actions cause other people and creatures. And we must do our best to alleviate the suffering of others. But if God can do something about certain cases of suffering, and does not do something, and humanity lacks the resources or advanced knowledge to do something effective, then is it not safe to surmise that God allows such things? I personally cannot see any way around this. Additionally, many Church fathers say that we must accept everything that comes to us as being allowed by God (for our own purification, humiliation, or what have you) .

You blame God all you want.  I won't.

You must be able to prove God allows something before you can ask why He allows it, but since no one can do this...
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« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2013, 02:06:23 AM »

It is always a remarkable spectacle when people who achieve great things focus on their own efforts taking all credit, but when unpleasant events unfold, they question and blame God.  Incredible.
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« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2013, 02:20:01 AM »

I love the hypocrisy when it's always "Thank God!" whenever something great happens, but whenever something bad happens, God is always absent. Either God is responsible for everything that happens or He is not responsible at all. God made humans knowing what we would do with our alleged "freedom," therefore, He is at blame for all the bad. That's like me knowing that person A is going to murder person B and refusing to stop person A (even when I am fully capable). I'd be guilty. If you don't solve the problem you are part of it.  The same applies to God.

The whole "free-will" thing seems quite too rooted in the social Darwinist neo-Rayndian logic of the GOP and religious right--which, is actually quite un-Christian because it assumes that everyone starts off with a fair shake and ignores external factors that often impede upon a person's free will.
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« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2013, 02:26:56 AM »

I love the hypocrisy when it's always "Thank God!" whenever something great happens, but whenever something bad happens, God is always absent. Either God is responsible for everything that happens or He is not responsible at all. God made humans knowing what we would do with our alleged "freedom," therefore, He is at blame for all the bad. That's like me knowing that person A is going to murder person B and refusing to stop person A (even when I am fully capable). I'd be guilty. If you don't solve the problem you are part of it.  The same applies to God.

The whole "free-will" thing seems quite too rooted in the social Darwinist neo-Rayndian logic of the GOP and religious right--which, is actually quite un-Christian because it assumes that everyone starts off with a fair shake and ignores external factors that often impede upon a person's free will.

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.




You can't?  Ok then...
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« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2013, 02:30:21 AM »

I love the hypocrisy when it's always "Thank God!" whenever something great happens, but whenever something bad happens, God is always absent. Either God is responsible for everything that happens or He is not responsible at all. God made humans knowing what we would do with our alleged "freedom," therefore, He is at blame for all the bad. That's like me knowing that person A is going to murder person B and refusing to stop person A (even when I am fully capable). I'd be guilty. If you don't solve the problem you are part of it.  The same applies to God.

The whole "free-will" thing seems quite too rooted in the social Darwinist neo-Rayndian logic of the GOP and religious right--which, is actually quite un-Christian because it assumes that everyone starts off with a fair shake and ignores external factors that often impede upon a person's free will.

This ain't the politic forum, boy.  Thanks for keeping politics out in the future. 

And thank God I don't subscribe to the politics forum or I'd rip you to shreds. Wink
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« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2013, 02:30:57 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.



Okay, being serious now,

My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried. If God is omnipotent, then He let those things happen. There is no getting around it.
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« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2013, 02:39:14 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.


My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried.

Um, where is the proof its all Gods fault?  It looks like you are either guessing or placing the blame in the wrong place.

My father was an alcoholic womanizer...his fault, not Gods.

My wife’s cousin died in a car wreck...his fault, not Gods.

My friend had both of her breasts removed because of cancer...genetics, not Gods fault.

People are murdered...murderers fault, not Gods.

A lot of people have AIDS/HIV or other incurable STD's...sex outside of the design of God, certainly not His fault.

You see, a lot of crap happens all as the result of the fall of man.  Blaming God is stupid.  You want to blame someone, blame man from Adam and Eve on down, including you and me.  We do most of the stuff to ourselves and all is the result of the introduction of sin.
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« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2013, 03:11:21 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.


My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried.

Um, where is the proof its all Gods fault?  It looks like you are either guessing or placing the blame in the wrong place.

My father was an alcoholic womanizer...his fault, not Gods.

My wife’s cousin died in a car wreck...his fault, not Gods.

My friend had both of her breasts removed because of cancer...genetics, not Gods fault.

People are murdered...murderers fault, not Gods.

A lot of people have AIDS/HIV or other incurable STD's...sex outside of the design of God, certainly not His fault.

You see, a lot of crap happens all as the result of the fall of man.  Blaming God is stupid.  You want to blame someone, blame man from Adam and Eve on down, including you and me.  We do most of the stuff to ourselves and all is the result of the introduction of sin.

God created us knowing all of these things would happen but He let it happen; therefore it is His fault. There is no getting around it. If my dog goes and tears someone's sofa, it's my fault because I let the dog loose knowing what it would do. It's the same with God and humanity.
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« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2013, 05:34:22 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.


My mom was pistol-whipped as a teenager, I was born with PKU and my mom miscarried.

Um, where is the proof its all Gods fault?  It looks like you are either guessing or placing the blame in the wrong place.

My father was an alcoholic womanizer...his fault, not Gods.

My wife’s cousin died in a car wreck...his fault, not Gods.

My friend had both of her breasts removed because of cancer...genetics, not Gods fault.

People are murdered...murderers fault, not Gods.

A lot of people have AIDS/HIV or other incurable STD's...sex outside of the design of God, certainly not His fault.

You see, a lot of crap happens all as the result of the fall of man.  Blaming God is stupid.  You want to blame someone, blame man from Adam and Eve on down, including you and me.  We do most of the stuff to ourselves and all is the result of the introduction of sin.

God created us knowing all of these things would happen but He let it happen; therefore it is His fault. There is no getting around it. If my dog goes and tears someone's sofa, it's my fault because I let the dog loose knowing what it would do. It's the same with God and humanity.

Well, if this is the thought process for placing blame, wouldn't our parents be the first in line because they know we will do stupid stuff, but they have kids anyway...right?

Now that I think about it, we should blame all food manufacturers because they know someone somewhere is going to choke on their product and die so the death of that person is the fault of the company that produces that food.  And lets not forget spoons make people fat.

Maybe we should get rid of all cars because the companies know someone is going to do something stupid in a car and kill someone.  

I like this game...well, except it doesn’t really work.

And in case you missed it, which you did, God created a perfect world without pain, sorrow or death.  Man screwed it up, and you still want to blame God?  You would rather have been a zombie creation?  Yeah, I suppose it is easier to blame God instead of accepting personal responsibilities. 
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« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2013, 08:53:55 AM »

CHALLENGE:
Prove to me God has allowed something bad to happen.

You can't?  Ok then...

I can. Or do you need the same kind of caught-red-handed-on-video-in-real-time proof that you demand for evolution?  Wink The Christian God is an interacting and intervening God. He is not the aloof God of Deism. We believe that God has the power to do anything (omnipotence), knows everything (omniscience), and is all-loving. If we believe that He has the power and resources to intervene in certain instances to prevent or ease someone's suffering, but does not for whatever reason, then it is safe to conclude that He allows the suffering to continue or take place. It's that simple.

Suppose I have a family of a bunch of kids. My first 2 kids disobeyed me, so I just stop caring for them all. A couple of the kids I really favor, though. I feed them, give them the best education, medical and dental care, and pretty much get them anything they want. But I let some of them get horrible diseases, like the butterfly skin disease, where a baby's skin just falls off whenever it is touched, and if lucky, it will grow to be an adolescent with pieces of its limbs falling off before it dies at age 15 or so (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidermolysis_bullosa). At any time I could end this child's suffering. I know how. But I don't. A couple of the kids I just let starve to death. I just don't allow them any access to food. I could feed them, quite easily. But I do not. One kid I allow to get raped and molested, maybe used as a sex slave for all of his youth, and put through the most demeaning forms of torture and humiliation. I could easily stop letting these wicked people hurt this child in this way. But I don't. One of my kids is a schizophrenic who hears voices and pulls his hair out. I can fix it. I know how. But I don't. Maybe I'm still mad about my first two childrens' disobedience? Who knows? The fact is that I can put an end to these childrens' suffering, but I instead allow it all to happen.

Either God chooses not to intervene to end someone's suffering. Or He lacks the power and resources to do so (not a Christian belief). Or He is indifferent (certainly not a Christian belief!). Or it is just waaaay beyond our comprehension why He allows such horrible suffering, but He has a very good reason for it and will make all things right in the end (this is my tenuous hope). As for blaming ourselves, I have enough guilt and shame in my own life that I don't need to try to take responsibility for all of the suffering, sin, pain, disease, childbirth deaths, starvation, plagues, tsunamis, and dental problems in the world!
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« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2013, 09:34:41 AM »

I see a lot of opinion, but no proof.
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