Is there ULTIMATELY A Good Reason for Evil?
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT ATHEISTS SPEND A LOT OF TIME INSULTING AND MAKING FUN OF A GOD THAT THEY INSIST DOESN’T EXIST, DOES THIS SOUND TO YOU LIKE UNSTABLE THINKING?
THINK ABOUT IT, DO YOU SPEND LOTS OF YOUR TIME INSULTING AND MAKING FUN OF GREEK AND ROMAN GODS?
The following remarks are from the “Walk Away” site ,Which now does not exist on the net
(Funny how these sites disappear so fast.).
“At the outset God made this into a life-and-death situation.
God staked the entire future of mankind on this one event.
The moment that Adam and Eve ate that fruit, wheels were set in motion that would ultimately result in the doom of mankind.
Without some kind of intervention from God we would all be damned.
God does promise to intervene, but it’s like building a nuclear bomb and setting it to go off in a large city at 12:00.
Then, when all of the people of the city come to you for mercy, you disarm it for them.
Does that make you a hero for disarming it or a lunatic for building it in the first place?
The whole thing was orchestrated to make us feel dependent upon God.
That says a lot about God’s character.”
But I would ask you this:
would that be a far assessment?
If the situation were indeed as the skeptic portrays it, then we all should join him in abject abhorrence and revulsion toward such a “god”.
His response is the heart-full response, to a heart-less situation.
But this skeptic’s position is one of considerable exaggeration and has most of its emotional force in innuendo.
You can see that he essentially superimposes his theological ‘portrait’ of God’s heart over a passage that has absolutely nothing to do with the subject.
The accusations he makes of God in the piece about orchestrating the whole thing to get us to fail so that His Son would later “look good to us” is methodologically naive at best, and “reverse fundamentalism” at worst.
What is evil?
Could it have an ultimately good purpose for our lives?
The first step in answering the problem of evil is this: What this thing “evil” actually is.
This is a valid syllogism.
If the premises are true, then the conclusion would be true as well.
Great job Mr. Atheist…..BUT….
The problem with that line of reasoning is that the second premise is untrue.
Evil is not a thing , evil has no ontological status in itself.
The word ontology deals with the nature of existence.
When I say that evil has no ontological status, I mean that evil, as a thing in itself, does not exist.
Let me give you an illustration to make this more clear.
We talk about things being cold or warm.
But coldness is not a thing that exists in itself; it has no ontological status.
“Cold” isn’t a thing.
It’s a way of describing the reduction of molecular activity resulting in the sensation of heat.
So the more heat we pull out of a system, the colder it gets.
Cold itself isn’t being “created.”
Cold is a description of a circumstance in which heat is missing. Heat is energy which can be measured.
When you remove heat, the temperature goes down.
We call that condition “cold,” but there is no cold “stuff” that causes that condition.
Here’s another way of looking at it.
Did you ever eat a donut hole?
I don’t mean those little round sugar-coated lumps you buy at the donut shop.
I mean the hole itself.
Donuts holes are actually what’s left when the middle is cut out of a donuts.
Same thing with a shadow.
Shadows don’t exist as things in themselves;
they’re just the absence of light.
Evil is like that.
Evil isn’t like some black, gooey stuff floating around the universe (LIKE IT’S COUNTER PART “THE DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE” IN STAR WARS) that clings onto people and causes them to do awful things.
Evil is the absence of good, a privation of good, not a thing in itself.
Remember that EVIL is not MORE POWERFUL THAN GOOD, it merely FILLS IN the void left after good leaves!
When God created the universe, he created everything good.
He made a universe that was perfectly good.
Everything was as it should be. After God was completely done with creating everything, something happened that reduced the good in the world.
That loss of good is called evil.
That’s why in Genesis 1 we read “it was good” many times.
From the record we know that God didn’t create evil.
Ezekiel 28:15 (KJV)
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. “
His heart was the BIRTHPLACE of an ever-increasing “Void” born from Lucifer’s growing self-indulgence, and AS MORE OF WHAT MADE HIM GOOD WAS CONSUMED HIS ORIGINAL CREATED PURPOSE WAS CONFUSED TO HIM AND HE COMPENSATED FOR HIS LOST PURPOSE WITH A NEW PURPOSE, ONE OF “EVIL BLACK DESIGN, A BLACKNESS HE COULD FEEL!
So donut holes don’t exist;
they’re just the absence of donut.
Shadows don’t exist;
they’re just the absence of light.
And evil doesn’t exist
(As a tangible thing, IT IS THE EMPTINESS or void left;
it’s just the absence of good.
Satan would be the first example of an independent a source of evil.
Adam and Eve would also be a source of evil with regard to the human race.
They didn’t get Satan’s evil; they initiated their own.
Satan influenced them–he made his own hole in goodness–but Adam and Eve made their own holes in goodness.
They’re responsible for their own evil.
It isn’t that Satan did something bad and passed that stuff on to them, because evil is not a stuff.
This is a key point in this discussion.
They cannot “dip into” evil because it’s not a thing to dip into.
When we make a shadow, we don’t do it with shadow stuff, but by blocking existing light.
Satan’s heart was “Blocked up” with self-pride, thinking of himself more highly than he was created to think of himself and each successive ACTION from that moment on caused more and more of a void in his heart toward his MASTER CREATOR!
In the same way, evil doesn’t cause our actions.
In fact, it’s the other way around.
It is our “IMPULSES” to do as we feel that cause us to go deeper and deeper into the void of sinful ACTIONS which only spreads the inner darkness we feel.
God did not create Adam and Eve with bad stuff in them. What He did was to create them with a capability to rebel against Him or choose to do wrong.
This is called moral free will, and it’s a good thing, but it can be used for bad. It can be used to rebel against God, which digs out a hole in goodness, so to speak.
Satan and man both used their free moral agency to originate actions that fell short of the goodness of God.
God had good reason for letting the VOID of evil to take its course, It has caused a lot of suffering, but that suffering has, in turn, also brought about a lot of good under God’s direction.
THIS ONLY SEEMS CRUEL TO US BECAUSE OF FAULTY REASONING ON OUR PART!
Remember that God sees the END of everything FROM the beginning, he knows the PERFECT way to turn every circumstance around to the help and glory of the original plan which WE NOT HE MESSED UP!
When you forgive someone who’s wronged you and you treat him kindly, is that a good thing?
Sure it is, but you couldn’t forgive him if he hadn’t done something bad against you.
I’m not saying that we should do evil so that the good of forgiveness could come about.
I’m showing that it’s not a contradiction to claim that good can come out of evil.
Romans 6:1-2 (KJV)
” What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? “
It’s not good to promote evil itself, but one of the things about God is that He’s capable of taking a bad thing and making good come out of it.
Mercy is one example of that.
Without sin there would be no mercy.
That’s true of a number of good things:
bearing up under suffering,
dealing with injustice,
acts of heroism,
Now the real question at this point is,
“Was it worth it?
Good can come out of evil, but was it worth it in the long run, the measure of good that comes out of the measure of evil in the world?”
And my response is that the only One who could ever know that is God. You and I couldn’t know that because our perspective is too limited. Only God is in a position to accurately answer that question.
Apparently God thinks that, on balance, the good is going to outweigh the evil that caused the good, or else He wouldn’t have allowed it to happen.
Christ paid a tremendous price, an example of the tremendous love God had for us.
God would not be able to show His sacrificial love unless there was something to sacrifice for.
Here’s the problem, and this is why we don’t think that, on balance, it’s really a fair trade. We think that life is about giving us pleasure and making us happy.
That’s what we think. This view is very prevalent in the United States. Our personal happiness, pleasure, and enjoyment are the most important things in life.
That’s not what the Bible teaches at all, though. There are aspects of enjoyment, but the ultimate reason we were created was not so we can have fun and enjoy life.
The point here is that we CANNOT lose sight of the FACT that this world is in the state it’s in BECAUSE WE SCREWED UP,NOT BECAUSE GOD SOMEHOW DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING!
This is part of the message of the book of Hebrews.
Even Jesus was conformed-made mature-by the process of suffering.
In God’s mind, the goal of the process-being conformed to the image of His Son-is a much greater good than the bad of the evil that we have to put up with on this earth.
The balance is definitely on the side of good.
I admit that this is not an easy issue, and part of the reason is that we bring some personal baggage to the discussion.
Part of the baggage is that we have this idea that if God put us here on this earth and created the world for us to live in, then it seems to make sense that the greatest good in our minds-is our immediate sense of personal pleasure and satisfaction.
I had a conversation with a young man about homosexuality. He challenged me with this point:
“Why would God create people as homosexuals if He didn’t want them to experience the pleasure of homosexual sex?”
Now, of course, I and the Bible don’t agree that God created people to be homosexuals.
It wasn’t God’s design that they have this desire, this is a perversion of natural sex drive for so many reasons .
But even if I conceded such a thing, why must I admit that-since one was created with a capacity for pleasure-only a mean, cruel God would allow conditions in which they’d have to say no to that pleasure?
When you think about it for a moment, doesn’t it strike you as odd that we’ve developed a view that in order for us to acknowledge God as good, He must give liberty to all of our passions?
And if God doesn’t give liberty to all of our passions-if He doesn’t allow us what we want, when we want it-
if He ever asks for self-sacrifice,
if He ever allows a condition in which we hurt,
in which we suffer,
in which we are inconvenienced,
then certainly He must be a cruel God?
Isn’t that an odd view?
Do you know what kind of person thinks that way?
A child sees what it wants and goes to get it,
and if it’s stopped,
that child puts up a fuss.
A little two-year-old who wanted to go into the house while wearing muddy shoes.
She was stopped, and she put up a fuss when her shoes were removed.
Mom and Dad knew, though, that there were other things more important than their daughter’s desires at that moment.
Now she didn’t understand it.
Unfortunately, we’ve bred a society that are, in many ways, like a bunch of adult two-year-olds, grown-ups who believe it’s their divine right to feel every pleasure they can possibly feel, to never encounter any difficulty, any pain, any suffering. And if they do, then God must be a cruel God.
I don’t at all mean to brush away the terrible impact of evil on people’s lives.
But I’m talking about a frame of mind that we do seem to have, a frame of mind that we are first and our pleasures are first and God owes that to us.
And if He denies us our pleasures to any degree, then there must be something wrong with Him.
Now if God is a good God, and He denies us our pleasures, then I’ll tell you one thing, there’s a good reason He does so.
That’s what it means to be a good God.
I’m not going to buy the idea-
No, it’s fair to say that God has allowed suffering in the world for very good reasons, even though we’re not clear on all of those reasons, yet.
By the way, what’s the alternative?
If you conclude there’s no God because of the existence of evil, then there’s no possibility of ever redeeming that evil for good.
British philosopher Bertrand Russell said that no one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God.
My response to Mr. Russell is, “What would you say to a dying child?”
What could an atheist say?
You see, in that circumstance, there’s no possibility of redemption for that evil.
In fact, it doesn’t seem to make sense to even call it evil at all if there is no God.
But with God, at least there’s the possibility that the evil can be used for good.
That’s the promise of the Scriptures.
And so, instead of the syllogism, “God created all things, and evil is a thing, therefore God created evil,” we start from a different point.
“All things God created are good-which is what the text says-and evil isn’t good, therefore God didn’t create evil.”
Then we can progress to, “If God created all things, and God didn’t create evil, then evil is not a thing.”
You see, those two syllogisms are just as valid as the first one (if God created all things, and evil is a thing, then God created evil), and it seems that the premises are more reliable.
The premises seem to be accurate and true.
The questions we have to ask ourselves are:
If we have good reasons to think those two things, then our new set of syllogisms work.
We can then strongly trust that when God does allow a privation of good (evil) to influence our lives, He does it not for evil designs, but ultimately for good purposes.
Below is an interesting article:
How Can A Good And Loving God Permit Suffering?
The answers given to the question below are not meant to be exhaustive but are intended to teach you how to argue your point using logic.
No matter what that point may be, arguing it successfully will depend on your ability to:
1: Recognize the precision of language in what is being said and in what you are saying.
Questions concerning Christianity may be passively or aggressively stated:
If there is a loving God, why does He permit us to suffer? – passive
2: Recognize the argument.
Formalizing this issue into a proper argument allows for greater clarity of thought and would look like this:
A loving God would not permit us to suffer.
Some people suffer horribly.
Therefore, a loving God does not exist.
3: Question a faulty premise
There isn’t anything wrong with the process of inference in the above argument; However, our criticism lies with the legitimacy of the first premise.
Since ‘loving’ is a characteristic that is applied to both humans and God, we make note of the comparison and make an analogy:
A loving parent would not permit his child to suffer.
While every analogy, by definition, falls short of being 100% representative of the concept it attempts to simplify, it is insufficient to claim an analogy to be weak or false without justifying that claim.
Analogies can be very useful and are considered to be an appropriate tool in inductive reasoning.
Or would he?
A parent who would not permit his child to suffer would never deprive his offspring of any want, nor would he discipline the child.
What then, do we mean by ‘suffer’?
If we limit the definition of suffering to physical pain, then we have to acknowledge that loving parents do permit their children to suffer pain, at least to some degree, when they allow them to have immunization shots, or undergo chemotherapy or teach them how to ride a bike, knowing that the chances of them falling and getting hurt are probable.
Therefore, a loving parent does permit his child to suffer physically, if he considers the suffering to be insignificant and for a greater good.
But would a loving parent permit his child to suffer significant pain for a greater good?
Therefore, we consider any significantly painful infliction as harmful to our bodies and our existence.
The difference between man and God is that God is fully aware of man’s spiritual reality in addition to his physical reality.
God knows that physical suffering cannot harm our eternal souls. God knows that our physical destruction is not an end to our existence.
Of what significance is an hour of physical suffering compared to eternity?
Of what significance is a lifetime of suffering compared to eternity?
We can conclude that from God’s perspective, our physical suffering is relatively insignificant.
This is not to say that He is unsympathetic or oblivious to our pain; loving parents feel empathy when their child receives a shot, knowing full well that the pain is inconsequential.
But what greater good can be derived from our suffering? Is there a greater good involved?
What would justify God sending us to live in a physical world with physical dangers?
Why didn’t God let us stay in the Garden of Eden?
If men were made to live forever in their natural, sinful state, they would be eternally hellish creatures.
God sees the greater good being accomplished in the transformation that will allow us to live eternally in heaven, a transformation that can only take place in the physical world.
Spiritual lessons can’t take place in the garden; they have to take place in a desert.
It isn’t that God wills us to experience misfortune, but that these misfortunes are merely the consequence of living in a physical world within our physical bodies.
Every day, loving people make the decision to bring children into this world, knowing that it is a world filled with risk and injury.
God is no less loving for having created the world in which we all live.
But one may ask,
“Why doesn’t God do what He can to prevent these injuries, as any good parent would?
The argument quickly reduces itself into absurdity.
At what point should God cease to prevent suffering?
Should He suspend gravity for every trip of the foot?
In short, we would be asking God to suspend the physical laws that allow our very existence.
We are saying, “Surely, God, there had to be a better way than all of this!”
But until we can create a better planet that contains no risk to physical life, I shouldn’t think that we would be in a position to criticize.
For all we know, the existence that we are experiencing now may well be the only logical possibility of existence.
4.State your position in the affirmative.
In summary, the initial argument against God’s existence was:
A loving God would not permit us to suffer.
Some people suffer horribly.
Therefore, a loving God does not exist.
We make the following rebuttal:
1) We consider parents to be loving when they permit their child to suffer insignificantly for a greater good.
2) Our greater good is salvation.
3) Our earthly suffering is insignificant when examined in the scope of eternity.
4) Therefore, we can experience suffering and still believe in the existence of a loving God.
Some skeptics have a difficult time understanding Divine Rights.
Who does God think He is, anyway?
This argument leaves no doubt that if a Biblical god exists, His declarations of morality and purpose are objective realities, while human morality and purpose can only be imaginary in the absence of a Biblical god.
Answers to counter-arguments are given Here.
LIFE’S PURPOSE AND MEANING
In an atheistic philosophy, there are certain things that concern the reality of life that must be accepted as illusion because, without God, that is the only thing they can be. We live our lives as if they have a real and genuine purpose.
Most people will say that their lives have meaning, regardless of their philosophy.
But a life that is created by chance, and natural selection, can have no inherent or objective purpose or meaning.
Instead, such a life can only have a self-assigned, subjective meaning.
A non-objective, self-assigned meaning is purely imaginary!
It is a subjective opinion of what can only be a subjective reality.
We may have different, subjective opinions as to what that purpose is, but these are subjective opinions concerning an objective reality.
As a demonstration of the imaginary quality of self-assigned, subjective purpose, examine the tumultuous life of ‘Andy’.
When Andy was in school, he decided that his goal in life was to become a doctor and help alleviate the pain of his patients.
This was the self-assigned purpose he gave to his life; without this purpose, his life would have very little meaning. For 6 years, this self-assigned purpose motivated him to get up each morning.
Then he became very ill and his hopes of becoming a doctor vanished. So he married a very handsome woman and put her on a pedestal.
Her love gave his life meaning. His sole life’s purpose was to love this incredible woman; without her, his life would have very little meaning.
Andy then decided to buy a Harley, because he knew that his bike would never leave him for another man.
That bike gave Andy’s life meaning; his purpose was to become one with the wind.
Then he wrecked it…so he turned to chess…he would become the best chess player in the world…
The above scenario doesn’t allow me to equate subjective, self-assigned purpose with objective, inherent designed purpose.
I see the above as latching on to one diversion after another in a desperate attempt to avoid the reality of a meaningless life.
What makes the purpose created by God any less subjective than the purpose created by man?
I would think that the designer of any instrument or creature would be the one to consult in matters of the design and purpose of his design.
If the designer states that the purpose of his instrument is to remove and place screws, then he has declared that purpose as the objective purpose.
The opinion of such a designer, wouldn’t qualify as an opinion, but rather it becomes the objective purpose of the instrument.
There is nothing to stop us from turning the instrument around and using its handle to pound in nails (and I am not one to decry the usefulness of employing a screwdriver in this manner),
God is, by definition, the author or designer of life.
A designer designs with intention.
Only the designer is in a position to know his intention; all others can only speculate concerning his intention.
For example, players, without the set of instructions for a new board game, can only have opinions as to how the game is designed to be played.
They don’t know, with certainty, the objective intent of its designer. But when the designer reveals the objective purpose of the game through written instructions and rules, he objectively states his intention.
The designer is the authority concerning his design; he is the objective authority when it comes to purpose of the design because only he can know, with certainty, its purpose.
He may attempt to make that purpose known to others, but that attempt would make it open to interpretation.
But to agree that the designer’s expressed intentions as to how the game is to be played, are just as subjective as one’s own interpretation of the game, would be like saying to another;
“We know what you think you mean, but we disagree that you really mean it the way you said it.”
But its Just as easy to say that the Atheist has deceived himself into the delusion of NO God, so that they can rebel against the idea of purpose having been laid out FOR THEM in advance!
Of course, whether or not this god of the skeptical exists remains open to debate as it may simply exist to give purpose to the skeptics life!
Skeptics, however, reject the concept of a deity of any kind, and, therefore, reject any concept of an objective purpose to their lives, but emotionally maintain that their lives have a purpose, a purpose that can only be imaginary.
This same argument can be used to make a case for God’s standard of morality.
Just go through and substitute ‘morality’ for ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’.
God’s standards of morality are objective, because He is the designer of Life.
Some may say that they refuse to play the game that God has designed.
The game that He has designed, however, is the Game of Life.
If you are alive, you are already in the game, like it or not, no way out but death.
So it isn’t a question, then, of refusing to play God’s game, but rather if you are going to play to win or play to lose.