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    1. #1
      Jason76's Avatar
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      What about human suffering? How can God allow it?

      Another Big Atheist Argument


      Well, Jehovah's Witnesses gave a straightforward answer - in claiming God would restore all the kids killed in car accidents, people burned by fires, animals abused, people tortured in all sorts of abominations. Anyway, that seems like a good answer - but still, the sheer cruelty of the extreme bad things of life - makes me wonder. I mean, kids dying everyday from hunger and there is supposedly a loving God?

    2. #2
      psalms 91's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jason76 View Post
      Another Big Atheist Argument


      Well, Jehovah's Witnesses gave a straightforward answer - in claiming God would restore all the kids killed in car accidents, people burned by fires, animals abused, people tortured in all sorts of abominations. Anyway, that seems like a good answer - but still, the sheer cruelty of the extreme bad things of life - makes me wonder. I mean, kids dying everyday from hunger and there is supposedly a loving God?
      It is called satan causes evil and we are allowed free will, good or bad. Turning evil around for good does not negate that but rather God uses the circumstances to have good come out of it. We do not see nor can understand how God does what He does but we see the end result. As long as there is sin and satan is here there will be trajedy and bad things.
      Isaiah 40:31

    3. #3
      jsimms435's Avatar
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      Pain and death are the consequences of the fall of man. The Bible says the wages of sin is death Romans 6:23. In the beginning, it was not like that.

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    5. #4
      tango's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jason76 View Post
      Another Big Atheist Argument


      Well, Jehovah's Witnesses gave a straightforward answer - in claiming God would restore all the kids killed in car accidents, people burned by fires, animals abused, people tortured in all sorts of abominations. Anyway, that seems like a good answer - but still, the sheer cruelty of the extreme bad things of life - makes me wonder. I mean, kids dying everyday from hunger and there is supposedly a loving God?
      This sort of question appears every once in a while, where someone thinks it's really clever to argue that if God could end suffering but chooses not to then he is evil, and if he is incapable of ending suffering then he isn't much of a god. All this misses the point completely, it's little more than the equivalent of a meme that makes a point clearly and succinctly but just doesn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny.

      The simple reality is this. If I have a big stick I may choose to hit someone with it. That will cause them to suffer pain. The only way God can stop that suffering is to take my free will away, such that I can no longer hit people with my big stick. At that point we all become little more than robots, programmed to do nothing other than good things.

      Another aspect of it is equally simple. It's easy to look at some of the more horrific articles in the news and wonder how a loving God can allow such things. We see the tiny children horribly abused by their parents, untold destruction caused by natural disasters and the like. It's easy to wonder how a loving God can allow it. But what would happen if God did suddenly decide to stop those horrific events? There would be no more natural disasters, no more horrific abuse of babies etc. And before long our standards would move such that the newly defined worst case would cause us horror and we'd ask how a loving God could allow it. Before long we'd stub a toe on a piece of furniture and wring our hands wondering how God could allow such a horrific thing to happen.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    6. #5
      Josiah's Avatar
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      "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Or "If God is all loving and all powerful, how come there's so much bad in his world?"


      They are bad questions....


      1. There are no good people. Bad things happen to bad people. They happen to everyone but then everyone is bad.


      2. God may PERMIT stuff.... and even in a sense enable it.... but that doesn't make it His primary will. Did God KNOW Adam and Eve would fall? Yes. Did God allow it? Yes. Did God empower Adam and Eve to do this (as indeed to breathe)? Yup. Was it His primary will? Nope. My son is walking now, but not too well. He attempts feats he is not yet up to - and takes some tumbles. Do I know this will happen? Yes. Is it my -primary will that he falls and cries? Of course not. People make a bad assumption that knowing equals causing.


      3. Contrary to what some non-religious people assume, religion is not about answering questions, they are about RELATIONSHIPS - with the divine, with one another, with the world around us. They are about living in the real world - with God and each other. The Bible is not a philosophy book. The Bible is not an answer book. I agree that most of us can come up with a long list of good questions but it's absurd to think the Bible is required to answer them (especially to our satisfaction). The Bible itself says its purpose is "that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in His Name." The Bible doesn't get into philosphical questions, it addresses our relationship to God and others, it addresses living in this world AS IT IS. So, the issue for the Bible (and Christianity) is not WHY there's bad but what are we to do about that? The Bible has long sections (even whole books) that affirm that evil, injustice, wrong, pain, suffering, persecution exists - but it never explains ultimately WHY but rather WHAT NOW, how do we live in that, how does our relationship with God impact that, how God might even use that. The Bible is not a philosphy book, it's a religion book. It doesn't deal with the theoretical but with living.



      - Josiah




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      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    7. #6
      Lucian Hodoboc's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      The only way God can stop that suffering is to take my free will away, such that I can no longer hit people with my big stick. At that point we all become little more than robots, programmed to do nothing other than good things.
      And that would be a bad thing?

    8. #7
      Jason76's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      This sort of question appears every once in a while, where someone thinks it's really clever to argue that if God could end suffering but chooses not to then he is evil, and if he is incapable of ending suffering then he isn't much of a god. All this misses the point completely, it's little more than the equivalent of a meme that makes a point clearly and succinctly but just doesn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny.

      The simple reality is this. If I have a big stick I may choose to hit someone with it. That will cause them to suffer pain. The only way God can stop that suffering is to take my free will away, such that I can no longer hit people with my big stick. At that point we all become little more than robots, programmed to do nothing other than good things.

      Another aspect of it is equally simple. It's easy to look at some of the more horrific articles in the news and wonder how a loving God can allow such things. We see the tiny children horribly abused by their parents, untold destruction caused by natural disasters and the like. It's easy to wonder how a loving God can allow it. But what would happen if God did suddenly decide to stop those horrific events? There would be no more natural disasters, no more horrific abuse of babies etc. And before long our standards would move such that the newly defined worst case would cause us horror and we'd ask how a loving God could allow it. Before long we'd stub a toe on a piece of furniture and wring our hands wondering how God could allow such a horrific thing to happen.
      I'd say some real pansies would get annoyed by a toe, LOL. Anyway, I don't think people, generally, would complain about that - so it's a weak argument.

    9. #8
      tango's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post
      And that would be a bad thing?
      Love is a meaningless concept unless it is freely given. How can you love unless you also have the option to not love?
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    10. #9
      tango's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jason76 View Post
      I'd say some real pansies would get annoyed by a toe, LOL. Anyway, I don't think people, generally, would complain about that - so it's a weak argument.
      If stubbing a toe was the worst thing that could possibly happen to you because God had prevented anything worse from ever happening, chances are people would complain. Compared to being gang-raped and burned alive it's utterly inconsequential but in a world with no greater ills than that it would, quite literally, be the worst thing that you could even imagine happening. And so I suspect people would complain about it.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    11. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      This sort of question appears every once in a while, where someone thinks it's really clever to argue that if God could end suffering but chooses not to then he is evil, and if he is incapable of ending suffering then he isn't much of a god. All this misses the point completely, it's little more than the equivalent of a meme that makes a point clearly and succinctly but just doesn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny.

      The simple reality is this. If I have a big stick I may choose to hit someone with it. That will cause them to suffer pain. The only way God can stop that suffering is to take my free will away, such that I can no longer hit people with my big stick. At that point we all become little more than robots, programmed to do nothing other than good things.

      Another aspect of it is equally simple. It's easy to look at some of the more horrific articles in the news and wonder how a loving God can allow such things. We see the tiny children horribly abused by their parents, untold destruction caused by natural disasters and the like. It's easy to wonder how a loving God can allow it. But what would happen if God did suddenly decide to stop those horrific events? There would be no more natural disasters, no more horrific abuse of babies etc. And before long our standards would move such that the newly defined worst case would cause us horror and we'd ask how a loving God could allow it. Before long we'd stub a toe on a piece of furniture and wring our hands wondering how God could allow such a horrific thing to happen.
      Is your will free if God must approve of your action or not approve of your action with every decision you make? Do you imagine that God has never stopped you or changed your mind because it was not in His plan to have you do what you might have done?
      I am always amazed at how humans demean God and reduce Him to a wimpy sideshow that they think of as God. I dare people to actually observe the God of Scripture because He is much more powerful and Sovereign than rebellious free-willers ever realize.

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