The Mystery of Christianity: 1. The Problem of Evil

Recently, we have been able to establish, reluctantly by some and without an official admission, that God could not have spared Adam and Eve from the consequences of their disobedience that led to sin, which resulted in aging, diseases, suffering, natural disasters outside of paradise and then eventually death…

The main premise of this issue is that if God had shielded Adam and Eve from the consequences of their sin, it would have made him a liar, as He had stated clearly, that if they were to eat the forbidden fruit, they would definitely die…

Genesis 2:16-17

16 God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

So, if God had forgiven Adam and Eve, as some have suggested He should have, and let them stay in the paradise to have access to the tree of life, Adam and Eve would not have died, but God would have been clearly proven a liar…

Not only that, by forgiving Adam and Eve, God would have proven Satan’s slander true, when he (Satan) said in:

Genesis 3:1-5

“1 Now, the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the God had made. And he (Satan) said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden? 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die. 4 The serpent said to the woman, You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Satan is identified by many Christian and other religions as the one “hiding” behind the serpent or snake…or using it as a deception…

Some claim that ever since Adam and Eve were ousted from the paradise, God causes all the bad things that happen in the world today, including tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, diseases etc.

Is it true?

It doesn’t seem to be true at least in case of Job and his family, as the verses from Job 2: 16-19 show that Satan was the one who caused all the natural disasters and diseases that directly affected Job and his family…

Job 2:16, 18, 19

“16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” …

“…18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

So from these Biblical accounts, we can clearly see that Satan, and NOT God, was causing all the natural disasters and diseases that affected Job and his family…

There are several issues needing consideration:

1. Why Satan had the power to cause all the bad things to Job and his family?

2. If Satan had the power in times of Job to cause natural disasters and diseases,  is he responsible for them today? If God is, what proof is there?

3. Any suggestions?

Regarding Christian views of God’s omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence please see the OP by vjtorley. 

Please try to focus on the main theme of the OP. If there is something that is not directly related to this OP but it is important to you, create your own OP, so that we can try to stay on the same theme as much as possible…

 

 

244 thoughts on “The Mystery of Christianity: 1. The Problem of Evil

  1. Sal,

    If all the germs in the world were intelligently designed, if the cruel eating habits of carnivores were intelligently designed, then this a truly sad world to live in. And indeed, that is what the Bible essentially teaches.

    Hence my question:

    Do you believe the Bible when it says that God is love, or is that just bullshit in your opinion?

  2. stcordova: God wanted to give Adam and Eve the chance to demonstrate love for God. They of course failed miserably!

    They just ate some fruit off a tree,it is not like they drowned babies because their parents were bad.

  3. This is your refutation? It’s worst than I thought…

    …says J-Mac, while offering no counterargument whatsoever.

  4. stcordova: Well, if you’re the creator, yeah, it’s yours do with as you please. It’s not like human to human relationship since one human didn’t create another. That would be really bad in human to human relationships, but not in God to human relationships. In God to human relationships, he sets the rules.

    Might makes right, divine command theory.

  5. Mung: It doesn’t matter. What’s the difference between God causing a flood and God standing by and watches while it happens and does nothing?

    I disagree.

    Keiths needs to substantiate his claims or continue somewhere else…

  6. Mung,

    The problem is that keiths has a Sky Daddy Straw God that he’s made up and no amount of evidence to the contrary will change his mind. His made up god has nothing to do with the God of Scripture.

    Then what are you waiting for? Get on over to the other thread and use your sophisticated, non-sky-daddy God concept to respond to my comment.

  7. keiths: …says J-Mac,whileoffering no counterargument whatsoever.

    I’m waiting for your proof first…which I’m sure you have otherwise you wouldn’t be wasting my time, would you?

    Don’t worry…I have it…You can trust me 😉

  8. stcordova,

    Sal,

    So are you saying that God isn’t evil because we deserve all the tortures he inflicts on us? Yes, I’m morally superior to God, because I don’t torture even bad people, or rats, or cockroaches. What’s your argument that I’m not morally superior?

  9. J-Mac: Keiths needs to substantiate his claims or continue somewhere else…

    If you’re waiting for that you’re going to be waiting a long time. Remember, he still hasn’t substantiated his claim that “the Christian God” refused to forgive Adam and Eve. And that’s one of the most bone-headed comments he’s ever made.

  10. Mung: If you’re waiting for that you’re going to be waiting a long time. Remember, he still hasn’t substantiated his claim that “the Christian God” refused to forgive Adam and Eve. And that’s one of the most bone-headed comments he’s ever made.

    I’ve learned to be a patient man… 🙂

  11. J-Mac,

    Any chance of proof God is causing calamities today as you’ve claimed or the day thingy is the best you have?

    Do you actual not get that those things — God’s lying and his responsibility for natural disasters — are two separate issues?

    I addressed both in the original thread, but it apparently went right over your head.

    For the third time, here is my explanation of why God is responsible for natural disasters.

    Do you actually think he’s too weak to prevent them?

  12. Neil Rickert: He is not saying what you are claiming.

    Yes, Carroll is assuming that the cosmos had a beginning.I don’t know whether he really believes that, or is over-simplifying to make it easier to follow.

    He nowhere says that the second law requires that the cosmos had a beginning.He does use the second law as giving a direction to time, but that’s not the same as saying that the second law requires that there was a beginning.

    You are confused…
    Entropy tells us that universe was fully organized at its conception or the beginning…How is this possible if it was tiny?

    The static universe doesn’t require a beginning. Ever since it was proven that the universe is expanding, or rather, space itself is expanding, not the universe, following back logically, like a movie played in reverse, it must ultimately have had some beginning when it was very, very small… This very fact gave rise to the theory of the Big Bang and the beginning of the universe…

    Materialists like Carroll don’t like it because everything that has a beginning has to have a cause…To avoid that issue, like any other “truthful” materialist he uses the maybe technic to create confusion and keep his followers satisfied with what they want to hear…

  13. keiths:
    J-Mac,

    Do you actual not get that those things — God’s lying and his responsibility for natural disasters — are two separate issues?

    I addressed both in the original thread, but it apparently went right over your head.

    For the third time, here is my explanation of why God is responsible for natural disasters.

    Do you actually think he’s too weak to prevent them?

    This is bs keiths and you know it… It’s your brainless nonsense to keep the conversation going to kill your boredom… If you continue to litter this OP with this bs, I will ask Alan to move your comments to guano where they belong…
    Goodbye!

  14. J-Mac,

    You realize that everyone is watching you run away, right? Why not try to come up with a counterargument instead?

  15. J-Mac: Entropy tells us that universe was fully organized at its conception or the beginning…

    No, it doesn’t. Because it does not tell us that there was a beginning.

    …, it must ultimately have had some beginning when it was very, very small…

    Why must it “ultimately have had some beginning”.

  16. keiths:
    J-Mac,

    You realize that everyone is watching you run away, right?Why not try to come up with a counterargument instead?

    “…Back in the day of my forefathers…”

    How long was the day keiths?

    I think this will do it… Pleasure talking to you 😉
    Bye bye!

  17. Neil Rickert,

    Read my previous comment again or look it up! I’m not going to be teaching you fundamental physics just becaue you don’t like what is implies…
    Going to bed…

  18. Mung: What’s the difference between God causing a flood and God standing by and watches while it happens and does nothing?

    Yeah good question.

  19. Rumraket: Yeah good question.

    What about volcanoes? The folks at Pompeii and Herculaneum who got caught in pyroclastic flows must have suffered. But the rich verdure of Hawaii and New Zealand owes its existence to volcanic soils.

    (I’m not going to mention Soufrière Hills)

    Chicxulub was a dinosaurian disaster but…

  20. J-Mac: Read my previous comment again or look it up! I’m not going to be teaching you fundamental physics just becaue you don’t like what is implies…

    And yet you would argue that your deity is except from that requirement.

    J-Mac: Materialists like Carroll don’t like it because everything that has a beginning has to have a cause

    And of course your deity did not have a beginning, you claim, but you never quite explain how you know this to be a fact. It just is.

    Your foundations are built on sand but you’ll never admit it.

  21. Musing further on Pompeii, I wonder why nothing has been found that would indicate the presence of Christians. The eruption created a snapshot of everyday life in 79 AD yet not a sign of any Christian graffiti or other artefacts.

  22. J-Mac: Read my previous comment again or look it up!

    Okay, I get it.

    There must have been a beginning because there just must have been a beginning.

    You are unable to give a reason, because there is no reason. You simply cannot imagine anything otherwise. It is proof by lack of imagination.

    I’m not going to be teaching you fundamental physics just becaue you don’t like what is implies…

    LOL.

    Going to bed…

    At exactly which instant did your going to bed have a beginning?

  23. Neil Rickert: Okay, I get it.

    There must have been a beginning because there just must have been abeginning.

    You are unable to give a reason, because there is no reason.You simply cannot imagine anything otherwise.It is proof by lack of imagination.

    LOL.

    At exactly which instant did your going to bed have a beginning?

    Neil,

    This OP is not about that…I said that the Bible was right about the beginning of the universe and you are dragging it on…
    Do and OP on that issue and I will be more than glad to show you all that it is true with Dr. Maybe claims only… 😉

    I told you I love Sean Carroll…there is a reason for it…he is my favorite speculative/contradicting physicist …He is a gem…lol

  24. OMagain: Perhaps J-Mac can point out where in fundamental physics it notes his god does not begin.

    If the universe had a beginning, as the most cosmologists and physicists agree it did with the exception of those ones who don’t like the implications of it like the beginning has to have a cause, fine-tuned laws of physics and the acceleration of the expansion of the universe/space is beyond anything that dumb luck could do, because if there is fine-tuning, there has to be fine-tuner…etc…Uncaused fine-tuner…

    You believe in the uncaused cause…don’t you? 😉

  25. J-Mac: This OP is not about that…I said that the Bible was right about the beginning of the universe and you are dragging it on…

    You can believe what you like about that. But don’t bring physics into it — especially if you don’t want people to point out that, according to physics, Genesis 1 is bullshit.

  26. OMagain: You and Rob are different sides of the same coin. Your quality of argument is on the same level.

    You mean…you are not Robert Byers…?
    I get confused the two of you all the time…;-)

  27. J-Mac: If the universe had a beginning, as the most cosmologists and physicists agree it did with the exception of those ones who don’t like the implications of it like the beginning has to have a cause, fine-tuned laws of physics and the acceleration of the expansion of the universe/space is beyond anything that dumb luck could do, because if there is fine-tuning, there has to be fine-tuner…etc…

    As far as I know, the standard view from cosmology is that the universe did not have a beginning.

    Think of the positive real numbers. They do not have a beginning. Given any positive real number, you can find a smaller one. So that given positive real number was not the beginning.

    Of course, you can point to 0. But 0 is not a positive real number, so cannot be the beginning of positive real numbers.

  28. Neil Rickert: You can believe what you like about that.But don’t bring physics into it — especially if you don’t want people to point out that, according to physics, Genesis 1 is bullshit.

    You didn’t answer my question, Neil which is pure physics:

    Do you believe in uncaused cause???

    Don’t be afraid… it’s not bs …lol

  29. Neil Rickert: As far as I know, the standard view from cosmology is that the universe did not have a beginning.

    Think of the positive real numbers.They do not have a beginning.Given any positive real number, you can find a smaller one.So that given positive real number was not the beginning.

    Of course, you can point to 0.But 0 is not a positive real number, so cannot be the beginning of positive real numbers.

    This is bs Neil!

    I don’t care about standards in cosmology or what you know or choose to know…I only care what I can prove, others can prove or have proven or what I can logically infer based on available evidence…

    Your mambo-jumbo is not science…just in case you didn’t notice…It’s selective, preferential beliefs…which is fine as long as you or oxymorons like Dr. Maybe don’t drag it into science or call it science…Get it?

    Don’t waste my time!

  30. Alan Fox: Musing further on Pompeii, I wonder why nothing has been found that would indicate the presence of Christians

    vjtorley raises the question, what has been found that would indicate the presence of Jews?

    What would you expect to find if Christians were present in Pompeii?

    Christian pottery? Christian churches? Christian schools? Christian baths? Dead Christians?

  31. John Harshman:

    Sal,

    So are you saying that God isn’t evil because we deserve all the tortures he inflicts on us? Yes, I’m morally superior to God, because I don’t torture even bad people, or rats, or cockroaches. What’s your argument that I’m not morally superior?

    Thanks for your honesty. Now we are getting at the heart of the matter.

    What’s your argument that I’m not morally superior?

    My answer is that if the Christian God is real, then you feel morally superior because you have the wrong perspective.

    We are maggots compared to the creator. Maggots can claim their mistreatment by humans and being sprayed by pesticide is a moral evil. I suppose from a maggot’s perspective, humans or anything that would inflict harm on them are evil. The problem is the maggot has the wrong perspective about ultimate good and evil. The maggot defines good and evil in his maggot terms not the terms of superior beings like humans or the ultimate being, God.

    The longer I’ve been in the creationist/ID movement the more I’ve actually wished at some level I were wrong because the existence of an intelligent designer of diseases, the wars, the famines and pestilences to come is a fearful thing to ponder.

    And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences;

    –Jesus

    Because if the Creator is the Christian God, there will be a judgement day. That will be an unpleasant day for many:

    Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
    Why would you have the day of the Lord?
    It is darkness, and not light,

    Amos 5:18

    And seriously, with nutjobs and terrorists getting ahold of nuclear and biological weapons, with overpopulation, etc. And if you believe in Global Warming, how long do you give the human race or civilization to survive? 500 years, 1000 years, 200,000 years? If even a few million years, then we’re just a blip in the cosmic scheme of things. What is all this argument at TSZ worth to you in the present except maybe a little distraction?

    As for myself, TSZ has been an extension of my thought process, and I’ve have concluded there is indeed Intelligent Design, but lots of it is malicious, and that the Intelligent Designer is a God who is to be feared and dreaded.

  32. stcordova: The longer I’ve been in the creationist/ID movement the more I’ve actually wished at some level I were wrong because the existence of an intelligent designer of diseases, the wars, the famines and pestilences to come is a fearful thing to ponder.

    I was raised in a home where after dinner we would read the bible. So I got to learn what God is like from an early age. Never had to overcome Sky Daddy Straw God ideas.

    And contrary to what some might think, we weren’t indoctrinated. My parents didn’t tell us what to think about the passages. We just read. We were allowed to make up our own minds. I love my parents.

  33. Mung,

    So I got to learn what God is like from an early age. Never had to overcome Sky Daddy Straw God ideas.

    And yet you’re afraid to answer a few simple questions about your sophisticated non-sky-daddy God.

    Sky Daddy or not, Christians are rightly ashamed of their God’s behavior.

  34. Sal,

    The longer I’ve been in the creationist/ID movement the more I’ve actually wished at some level I were wrong because the existence of an intelligent designer of diseases, the wars, the famines and pestilences to come is a fearful thing to ponder.

    And still my question remains unanswered:

    Sal,

    Do you believe the Bible when it says that God is love, or is that just bullshit in your opinion?

  35. OMagain: Perhaps J-Mac can point out where in fundamental physics it notes his god does not begin.

    I will!
    As soon as you, Neil and Dr. Maybe show the fundamental physics where and how the universe does not begin…

    This is your time to shine…Don’t disappoint me! lol

  36. Mung: I was raised in a home where after dinner we would read the bible. So I got to learn what God is like from an early age. Never had to overcome Sky Daddy Straw God ideas.

    What the Biblical God is like.

  37. stcordova: As for myself, TSZ has been an extension of my thought process, and I’ve have concluded there is indeed Intelligent Design, but lots of it is malicious, and that the Intelligent Designer is a God who is to be feared and dreaded.

    Just a question, why trust such a God to reward you?

  38. Mung: vjtorley raises the question, what has been found that would indicate the presence of Jews?

    There’s no question that Jewish culture existed in the Middle-East at least a millenium before the Christian era. It would be interesting, but not really surprising to have confirmation that there were Jews in Pompeii at this time.

    What would you expect to find if Christians were present in Pompeii? Christian pottery? Christian churches? Christian schools? Christian baths? Dead Christians?

    Graffiti, pottery, maybe a room where early Christians met. It just might be evidence for an early date for the spread of Christianity.

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