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Think about that. Hi Shane. The problem you may find is that you are trying to meet God on your terms. God is a thrice-Holy God and as broken people we can only commune with him with a contrite spirit, a broken heart and the resolution of repentence. Grace to you. In what way does that address he problems of a god that in the past has condoned immoral behavior and ignores it in the present?

Sin is sin and as we go back to Adam and Eve, they hid from God. They knew they had done wrong. I love this that God did not wait for them to say sorry but came looking for them and when He discovered them he had compassion on them and His Grace and mercy He took part of His wonderful Creation and sacrificed for each individual on their behalf. Was a fig leaf not good enough. It was not enough for them to overcome their sin.

They were already using the fig leaf to hide. God provided a covering for them and a blood sacrifice as payment that them could have relationship restored with Him. They deserved to die but a blood sacrifice was made on their behalf.

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The result of sin is death. They could not undo what they did. God rescued them. The consequences of sin have played out on all humanity. God has provided a way, He has and is, for those who choose to be born again through the second Adam, Jesus Christ. I pray this is enough for you to investiagte the truth of God and His love. Seek Him personally. The truth in love is this jersus camre to love, heal and forgive and we need to also.

Just maybe you can take the first step to forgive your Mum. Failure of the individual or failure of God! It is SIN! How can we have fellowship with Him? Q: What would happen if a murderer kept on murdering? How then do we look at other sin? The Adam and Eve story is interesting. The fact is, until they ate of the fruit, they could have not known what was evil and what was good….. Both choices would have been equal to them. It seems that Sarah turned to Christianity because it more conveniently fit the values that she held dear. Could it not be argued that God reaches out to people in different ways?

And that Sarah is clearly intelligent so He appealed to her intellect? So in the case of a child being raped, the free will of the rapist is more important than the free will of the child being raped? It seems you want a God who would intervene in every illness, every injustice, every bit of suffering including non-man-made ones, Tsunamis etc.

That sounds like you want a perfect world! If that is the case, then what would a God who created a perfected world do with all the imperfect people? Interestingly enough, the Bible does talk about God ending all injustice and suffering in the world which is what Sarah said in her last paragraph. Can punish all injustices which is what makes us rage when we think of children being raped?

The issues you raise about suffering were all raised in the Old Testament book called Job thought to be one of the earliest books in the Bible. So your difficulty with why a God would allow suffering is not new one but one the Bible actually tackles itself.

The God of the Bible is not saying you should hold on to a blind faith in a utopia. He demonstrates that what He will do when He physically raised Jesus from the dead, never to die again. He claims to be in control of the world. And so you expect Him to intervene. But what if His way of intervening is one that marries both love and justice? Because most of them do believe in God.

Either way, the free wills of two individuals—while perhaps of equal value—are exerted in priority of the means and leverage which those respective agents have. The rapist free-will overrides the child because they are stronger and there is no environmental constraint against doing so. Whether from a purely naturalistic perspective or a theistic one, it is an irrelevant point. Why would God be responsible to restrain whatever you arbitrarily conceive as the evil actions of human beings? Christianity is the only religion that gives anything on that question, and the explanation is internally consistent with the full system of the worldview.

Humans rape, murder, rob, and exploit each other in every imaginable way. That is a fact.

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Only a theistic worldview provides any means of validating that such things are objectively wrong: that they ought not to happen. If you are not a theist, but a naturalistic materialist, then this behavior would be expected as part and parcel with survival of the fittest.

If you are a theist, then you are left with exploring the issue of what evil is, why it exists, and what is God doing about it. Christianity answers all of these questions quite directly, consistently, and comprehensively. Why is he obligated to do so? I have yet to hear a decent argument of why God is obliged to do these things that everyone touts he should do.

CD — imagine if you had the power to prevent a rapist from brutally raping a child without any risk to yourself or to anyone else. Would you prevent the rape or would you sit there and do nothing? To be a good person, you would have an obligation to prevent the rape. That is how it is concluded God — if he exists — has an obligation to prevent the rape.

He already has intervened, except it was at great harm and cost to Himself. This is the work of the cross. Evil has been dealt with from the eternal vantage, and in the future will be removed altogether. The little suffering we endure in this life is minuscule to the joys of eternity in Christ. Moreover, pain, evil, and suffering all play an important role to bring the state of humanity to our attention. If everything were perfect which they would be if God directly intervened in every act of evil this world endures , then we would perceive no need of a savior for humanity and the world itself.

Pain is necessary for survival in this broken world, and is the consequence of evil for which we ourselves are responsible. Can you see all ends? Can you perceive the past, present, and future and understand the eternal ramifications of this or that? How do you know that helping one will not result in the harm of another?

Or that to help one may hurt the whole? The Father turned His back on His only begotten Son, Jesus, who was blameless and perfect, and permitted Him to endure the worst imaginable suffering—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—for the sake of the eternal salvation of humanity at large.

Why then is this of any significance in light of that reality? Because Christians list omnipotent and omnibenevolent as attributes of their god. If those attributes are correct, then he has both the power and the will. The fact that societies have established moral standards is not evidence of a deity by a long stretch. Go read the epistle of Romans if you genuinely want to try to understand this issue.

At the end of the day, all humans are absolutely evil and God-hating by default from birth, and with no way to personally rectify this state.


Thankfully, evil people can still do good things. If everyone is indeed evil, then God is—no matter how benevolent—obligated to do anything for them. God owes us nothing. We deserve much more than the evil that is permitted to happen to us. The Gospel is the answer to this problem: He graciously and at inconceivable cost provided the means to give us rebirth into the goodness of Christ, and thus mend the chasm between God and man. The problem with these discussions about God and evil are that they seldom consider attempting to evaluate it from a theocentric perspective, but rather an exclusively anthrocentric perspective.

Common grace—that evil, while present, remains restrained and good things happen to bad people i. Everyone feels entitled. All this drivel and personal incredulity is nothing more than petulant whining. An internally consistent explanation of these issues is laid out very clearly in the Bible, as conveyed by Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament. Notably Romans deals with this issue extensively. You are welcome to do your due diligence and read it for yourself. The notable point is that God loves both, in spite of their evil. That is the message that Christianity preaches: that God is love, and even the rapist can find redemption, forgiveness, and love in His mercy just as much as a child can.

Thanks Milton. I see the Christian view of God as all knowing, all powerful and all present. The crime or the action is never what was intended in a perfect world. But the Christian story does not end there, it ends with good news, victory over evil. The son did not remain dead but was alive and out of the tomb three days later, according to Christian belief.

At this point I am a temporal being, but I look forward to an eternity. My choice is to be with God for an eternity as he intended, with no suffering or pain, or an eternity separated from God. If he was all knowing, as you say, then he had foreknowledge of the results of the system he designed.

This means he is responsible for any and all evil arising from the system. There is no way around that. If the Jesus stories are true, then Jesus lost absolutely nothing. His death was in no way a substitution. Look at the facts……. He rose again in three days, became immortal, sat at the right hand of a god, and was destined to rule the world. Please explain how that in any way equates to the human experience of death.

That would mean that god sacrificed himself to himself to circumvent rules he himself put into place. I appreciate your feedback, Phil. I try to be pointed with my answers without being offensive. It is a hard line to toe. Thanks for more questions, and I apologise for my tardiness in replying. There is more to the Jesus story, it is not only about death and resurrection. Prior to his death he lived for 30 years, thereabouts. He had a following due to his alleged authority and power for a period of roughly three years, recorded by eye witnesses and a man who decided to record a careful history.

A man who was able to heal, raise people from the dead, teach religious leaders, calm storms, send pigs to drown, turn water into wine is quite impressive. These stories, over years later, require faith to believe. As I ponder the death of Jesus I am struck by the torture and death. The friends that carefully laid his body in a borrowed tomb and the women that came to care for his body on the third day. With regards to omnibenevolent, I am not convinced. He loved the world Jn , he desires not the death of a sinner Ezek , he generously loved and forgave but allows people to reject him free will.

Actually, the term omnibenevolent was new to me on this thread and I am still contemplating it. Personally, I think that it is quite possible that a person named Jesus existed. There is certainly no definitive proof, but there is anecdotal evidence. For me the question is demonstrating that he was also a deity, or son of a deity depending on which type Christian you may be. The very earliest one was written some thirty years after the supposed crucifiction.

It is also a fact that eye witness testimony is one of the most unreliable forms of testimony. That is why forensics is so important in major criminal trials. Furthermore, the supposed miracles are at the level of modern day parlor tricks and are unimpressive even if it were possible to demonstrate that they actually happened.

Thank you Milton. I am not sure whether you have actually read the gospels or the book of Acts? The gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts clearly include elements of first person account. John likewise makes an autobiographical comment in John I would dispute your assertion about eye-witness testimony insofar as persons involved in an event verses persons that perceived an event. The Watergate Scandal is a case where a number of men were all involved. Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it.

Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. Absolutely impossible. Phil, yes, I have read the old and new Testaments several times through. It admittedly has been quite some time, though. But even if they were written in first person from beginning to end, it would provide questionable evidence at best.

However, even Biblical scholars agree generally that we have no idea who the authors of some of the gospels are and that in some instances, one borrows from the other. If the fact that some people died for what they believed makes the belief true, then it would make Islam true, as well as Hinduism, Bhuddism, and numerous other religions. People die to this day for various religious and political ideologies, that does not establish the truthfulness of their beliefs. You can Google the accuracy of eyewitness accounts and find ample information demonstrating the questionable value of eyewitness accounts.

The guilty go free and the innocent are convicted based on eyewitness accounts. For such a claim as people rising from the grave, far more evidence would be needed to substantiate the claim. All claims are not equal in terms of weight, and therefore the quantity and quality of evidence needed to support the claims also will vary. If the only claim was that there was a man with the name of Jesus who lived in the middle east 2 thousand years ago, perhaps the gospels would suffice, because such a claim could easily be true and would carry little importance.

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But when you throw in the miracles and god claims, the bar is raised substantially. It is the difference between me telling you there was a car in my garage or telling you there was a magical dragon in my garage. Milton, thank you so much for your reply.

A few years ago I realised that caring for a person was far more convincing and compelling than arguing with them. But, I do not feel that you and I are arguing in the negative sense. There is no point in us discussing technical details back and forth as every claim that we each make can be rebutted by a counter claim. Thank for reminding me that, if I truly believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that God exists, it is more powerful for me to live as one who learns from and follows him i.

The narrative of Jesus records a man who loved the outcast and took the religious leaders to task. He was not impressed with knowledge, he was impressed with care and service. Can you have good without evil? Without evil, how do we know what is good? The whole of human civilization and culture fights against natural selection. We can certainly build a moral framework based on human relations using the Golden Rule, for example, which antedates Christianity and is common to many cultures without invoking a deity at all.

For example, if another species were dominant, that reproduced by some other means, the concept of rape might be meaningless. It is only a crime in a human society that values autonomy. Christians are very ready to thank God for finding them a parking palce or saving one person in a plane-crash, but not to blame Him for letting the plane-crash — or a tsunami killing hundreds of thousands — happen. In light of the culture of the time, forcing the man who raped the woman to marry her was culturally appropriate as both a solution and a disincentive to rape.

Having the rapist marry her would be compensatory to the irreparable damage he caused to her. Men knowing that they would be forced into a marriage with a woman that may be below his station or ambitions would disincentivize him from raping her in the first place.

It is also worth noting that if he would not marry her he would be stoned to death. All of what you articulated there goes back to the main point of the author and the beginnings of her pursuit of God: why should we value these things? Why do we have a sense of right and wrong?

Evolutionary sociological and psychological arguments fail miserably to deal with this, and philosophy takes ardent note of that. From the Christian evaluation, the suffering of this life is infinitesimal compared to the glory of eternity to come. And the suffering of this life is necessary to point us toward God and to terms with the fallen state of humanity and the creation at large. Chapter and verse for the stoning, please. My reading was that he would just have to pay the bride price without getting the bride. Why would we fight against what is, according to you, essentially who we are?

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what natural selection is. You seem to think it involved constant physical battles between individuals or species, or tribes, or something. Nothing of the sort. Human consciousness changes everything. The concept that Darwin posited, which was flawed in a number of sense was simply a derivation of earlier work by a man who like many men do not want to accept that they are a created being, and thus accountable to their creator whether we wish to be, choose to be, or not — it just is.

As such there is no need for ethics, morality or such, because survival is the only criteria. I mean, really! The argument is valid. I am only arguing that a being that has the power to stop evil and does not is not a wholly moral being. And this is not an argument against the existence of God, but of the Christian God specifically. But, again, Christianity specifically deals with this.

As for the creation, God created it for the purpose of humanity and human free will. Though what we are discussing here is not an issue of free will, but restraint. Free will is a matter of the ability to make fully autonomous decisions. Restraining those decisions being carried out is another thing altogether. I am arguing against the existence of the Christian god, because the author specifically references the Christian god.

If you wish to argue the pros and cons for any one of the thousands of other gods, we can, but not within this thread. Demonstrate your assertion that a god created the universe for humanity and free will. I was just making an observation on that matter. I know you are arguing against the true God. How would you like me to demonstrate it? What criteria would you like fulfilled? It would probably be faster for you to just go and read the accounts. My answer would be that an omniscient god would know what that evidence would be in my case. So i will await his submission of that evidence.

In the meantime, i have no reason to believe. I think that is fair. Fair enough. I would recommend it to you. I will pray that God will reveal Himself to you on the grounds that are necessary for you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?

Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets.

For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. If you will concede the possibility that He is there, and if so you would wish to find Him, then He will most surely find you. CD, I have no problem conceding a god may exist. I just know that there is no convincing evidence for it to be true. Milton, your thinking is still fundamentally anthropocentric, and more specifically Milton-centric. On the justice of suffering: 1 All humankind is in rebellion explicit or otherwise against its creator.

This is not a mistake; it too is a lesson in human evil and call to repent. Why do hundreds die in natural disasters? Why are children mistreated and slain? You and me and people just like us. Why does God not step in and stop it? He will. But in the meantime he wants us to recognise our utter general culpability and turn to him for mercy.

Yet we would rather blame him for giving us exactly what we corporately asked for — to rule ourselves and our world in our own way. Now, there are half a dozen possible objections to this. But if any of them hold, then we are in a worse place — if there is no God who will judge, then there is no justice, no right, no wrong. These are all things we make up to try to make ourselves feel better in a dog-eat-dog world. As for evidence of God, why do you assume the problem is a lack of evidence?

There are none so blind as those who will not see. But he does offer some of us two gifts — the gift of realisation that we need him, and the gift of salvation. For those he gifts with the first, the second follows easily. Perhaps in his mercy and plan he will offer them to you. Finally, let me observe that when the Apostles speak in public in the book of Acts , their ultimate focus in not on the crucifixion of Jesus but on his resurrection.

To their thinking, the resurrection of the Christ is the sign that he is King and the judgement of God is coming upon the world Acts , Acts The apparent reign of ignorance and evil is coming to an end; do not be caught up in its fall. God in his mercy offers you a way back to him. You have actually put thought into your reply. Unfortunately, I disagree with your reasoning. My main point is that if god is omnipotent and omnibenevolent then he has both the ability and the desire to end immorality. He does not. Is he is incapable or unwilling? It is irrelevant that he may step in at some point in the future and stop it.

The point is that he can stop it now and chooses not to. Therefore, if he exists, he is immoral. Let me give my original question to you, because virtually everyone else on this thread has dodged the question and not answered it. Maybe you will be the first to have the courage. If you could stop a child from being raped without any risk to you or others, would it be immoral not to stop it?

If you think it is immoral, then you and I agree…. If I could stop a child from being raped, without any risk to myself or others, would it be immoral for me not to stop it? In accordance with human conceptions of morality, it would be immoral for me to stand idly by. Is God bound by human conceptions of morality? Did evil break me? Yes, but only until I allowed myself to be loved back to wholeness. Why do children starve to death?

There is ample food to provide for every being on Earth. Look into the vast amounts of perfectly good food disposed of every day because of its aesthetics bananas are a great example! Why is all of this perfectly good food thrown away? Because it is a financial drain to transport this food to the starving, when they cannot pay even a cent towards the cost, significantly impacting profits.

True, re: wars, etc. As far as communism is concerned, it works very well in theory, but every failed example throughout history failed because of human greed in those at the centre the greed which also causes capitalism to fail! He designed the entire system knowing beforehand what the consequences of his choices would be and he was okay with those choices. How is he not culpable? As much as we might like to be, or believe that we are, we are not gods, so cannot perceive nor judge His actions or lack thereof, depending on perception by our own standards.

The Bible however, says that God knows our every thought before we have them, not that He chose them for us. Though, as I said, many people have different perspectives on this topic — many of which make not a shred of sense to me! To follow the logic that God is culpable for sending people into a world in which He knew the cost of our poor actions would be like saying a knife maker is culpable for designing a kitchen knife that someone used to kill somebody, or a teacher is culpable for setting a test that students would fail, if they chose not to study in preparation. We all have the opportunity to make good choices, or terrible choices.

Something is moral or it is,not. Why would you imply it is somwhow moral for your god to allow a child to be raped, but immoral for humans to do so? The act of rape is to me immoral, and so is allowing it to happen when you could easily stop it. Whether god stopped a rape in another instance is irrelevant. I am concerned with the ones he does not stop. If Christians say human morals are derived from god and are objective in nature, then how can our moral standards be different?

In what context is child rape moral? To say your god would allow someone to rape a child just so the child could hit rock bottom and maybe recover sometime in the future to learn some lesson is obscene. Allowing children to be raped to teach then a lesson about life is a horrendous idea. How can you even think that could somehow be moral? Is that the best an all-loving god can do??? What about those who do not recover?

Finally, I find it odd that you are telling me you believe it is impossible for an all-knowing, all powerful being to overcome the drawbacks of a human economic system and feed starving children. If that is so, then he is surely no god. I am surprised you are proposing to limit the power of your god in such a manner. On the other hand, if he could have prevented the course of history that brought us to this point, then there would perhaps be no starving children.

If that is so, then he remains responsible for those results. Obviously, I write as a human being, and my opinions and perspectives are my own, which I have formed based on my own limited understanding and life experiences. I may be dead-wrong, and as I am absolutely no theologian, I stress that my perspectives represent only myself, not my family, my church, my denomination, and certainly not Christianity as a whole.

I do have a friend however, who is a very learned woman of God, and a priest. I will send her this link and see if she wishes to answer some of your questions more accurately and concisely than I will ever be able to without years of studying theology! On saying that though, here is my completely worthless! People with faith in God understand that we are nowhere near being on a level playing field with Him, so will not ever assume to judge His actions, based on our limited understanding.

Not only do we have no right, but we are somewhat concerned for the state of our immortal souls! We are each tempted, we each question and doubt, and we each place higher value on human concerns and endeavours, and the pursuit of immediate gratification, rather than the things that really matter. As I said above, I certainly did not mean to imply that a child would go through such an ordeal for any kind of lesson.

Their suffering is as a result of the evil afflicting another individual. I do however, believe that we can learn from all suffering that we experience. I know I sure have. I also posit that anyone who truly finds God can find healing of any and all things that they suffer, experience, or — the most unpopular stance — commit. What it boils down to, in my humble opinion, is that any situation, no matter how base, how vile, how debilitating, can be injected with hope and eventual healing through faith; that all hurts can be healed through God.

I do not believe it is impossible for God to cure the wrongs of the world. The Earth was created with more than enough for everyone, yet the gift to humanity of free will, along with temptation, caused all of this to crumble. To somebody who does not have faith, death is the endgame, so to think of people dying from starvation, after a life albeit extraordinarily short in far too many cases of suffering is unconscionable and disgusting — hence your mistrust and hostility towards faith, as God is then to blame for this.

When one does not have any faith in anything outside of physical human experience, the ills of life are all that matter; they are the most important and debilitating questions in existence. When one does have faith, the ills of life are infinitely easier to bear. If you imagine the primary purpose of life as an opportunity to experience existence both with and without God, so that when you are faced with an opportunity to choose how to spend your eternity, your choice will be informed by your life experiences, the suffering of a godless world is easier to understand, endure and see through.

I have to distance myself enormously and place this conversation on a hypothetical plane in my mind in order to have this discussion at all, as the reality of suffering and starving children throughout the world causes me significant distress. The fact that there are children in agony due to their lack of food and clean water in parts of the world, whilst people in my own small corner of the globe throw elaborate birthday parties for their dogs, sickens me.

I feel the pain of these people especially the mothers, with whom I can most strongly identify , and I try to help in my small ways, through child sponsorship and feeding some of the local poor, when I can. I also thank God every single day for the riches my family can enjoy. I see the good that many Christian and non-Christian organisations do to try to remedy the situations and alleviate the suffering, then I also see the individuals affected by greed who exploit even these organisations most often from within.

In these, I again see lives with and without God. I see that free will and life are gifts given to humanity such that we might experience existence both with and without God, and be able to make our decision at the time of judgement. I also look forward to a world that is free from all of this. He will however, always be there to pick up the pieces and to heal the hurts, as well as to allow good to come from any evil experienced. In my personal experience, my incredible hurts drove me away from the path that I was on to medicine, and instead redirected me to education.

So if you had the power to prevent rapists from brutally raping children without any risk to yourself or to others, would you prevent such heinous acts? Or would you sit there and do nothing? Which of those two courses of action or inaction do you think would present you as a more morally sound person? So you would stop the rape. The most important question here is the implicit one — what obligates me to act? If the oppressor is powerful, I may draw persecution to myself, or even be unjustly blamed for his offence.

Conversely, the more social support I get for intervening, the more likely I am to go out of my way to perform it. Firstly, this is not a new question. Consider Psalm 10, a lament to God that the powerful are getting away with evil. Secondly, while we act from a very limited moral and temporal perspective, God does not.

Broadly speaking, to turn a blind eye to evil that I could prevent is to condone or even participate in it. If I see one of my enemies mistreating another, am I bound to prevent it? This is the first reckoning. But there is an alternative reckoning. God will not and cannot overlook evil, or dismiss it cheaply. Instead, Jesus, Son of God, comes to be human, to suffer as a human, to be rejected by humans, to die as a human, and to be judged by God as the innocent ideal human in place of all other rebellious evil humans.

In that death, he takes the evil done upon himself. Moreover, he takes the evil suffered upon himself also. For me to overlook evil is immoral. Sorry, but if your god does not intervene and stop an immoral act, then he is complicit in the act. His future acts cannot unrape the child.

I think that having another person pay the penalty for your own immorality is a sick concept. If your great grandfather killed someone, would you think it fair that they put you in prison for his transgression? No, that is the response of a man who is truly unaware of his own depravity. I answered your question, and you complain about it because my answer holds you and I as guilty as the hypothetical rapist.

We humans have a wonderful moral system. God has a slightly different system. He starts with his own perfection, compares that to his rebellious, treasonous creation, and withdraws from us because he does not want to destroy us utterly. Well, many cultures have had some variant on that. It does. But I am saying that, in the scheme of things, our day-to-day evil is not unique — rather, it demonstrates and confirms that we really are cosmically evil.

Then he is immoral for doing so. This is precisely what you would expect if there was no god determining outcomes. Your responses to 2,3 and 5 carry no weight whatsoever. If I say that fairies boil water, and you say that giants blowing bubbles boil water, showing that the water boils proves nothing either way, since we already agree on that. If you want to argue for a moral system which will affirm the goodness of man, the floor is yours. Then why does the Christian god interfere with free will in the Bible, and why do Christians pray in a way that would interfere with the free will of the person being prayed for?

Christians argue that their god values free will above the well being if his creation. My argument was pointing out that such a god evidently places the free will of the offender above that of the victim as well. Take it up with Him. Hugh7, Three objections occur to me: First, It is not clear that the need for free will on the part perpetrators should supersede the need to prevent unjust suffering on the part of their victims—always, sometimes, or as often as seems to be the case.

Second, according to the Bible, God DOES occasionally intervene in the lives of his creations and thus implicitly deny their free will. Third, Believers are constantly praying precisely that God will intervene in the lives of His creations, thus implicitly denying the free will of agents in those cases where prayers are supposedly answered in a positive way.

How can you have it both ways? It is not me who needs to explain those things, but you. That is interesting. I do believe God is quite the interventionist. God intervened in the life of His creation not only when He created us but when He saved us creating the way to be right with Him.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And yet he chooses not to intervene to stop child rapists, or to save starving children, or prevent tsunamis or earthquakes or hurricanes…. Thanks for your reply. As to C. Basically, any being that would allow such things when it vould easily stop them is malevolent. No, your crabbed and hidebound viewpoint is that any being that allows any evil to happen is malevolent. This is entirely your own opinion, based on you limiting yourself to the earthly, human effects of any action.

There are lots of people who claim,that in an odd way, getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to them. There are people who suffered unimaginably yet say it was the best thing that ever happened to them. Your reasoning is shallow. I disagree, Tyler. What was the thing gained by the child that was raped? What was the big lesson formthe millions of children that starve to desth or die from horrible diseases every year? What was the big lesson for a quarter million people swept away by a tsunami? That God is supreme. And has divine authority and he can allow evil to touch us if we refuse to turn to him.

Explain that to a child that is starveng to death or to infants and todlers killed in the catastrophe your god chose to allow. You assume that the only thing that matters is what happens here on earth. This is the atheist self referential loop. If you want to argue with religion then you must take it as it is, not cut out parts of it. Your childish imagining is that the only thing that happens is what happens on earth, as if God should be some sort of Big Mommy in the Sky. Whether there is something to worry about other than here on earth is completely beside the point.

If you can prevent a child from being raped with no risk to yourself at all and you do not, have you acted morally? So they try to defuse the query by employing a red herring. IMO, the best counter attack is to keep repeating the question until they admit their tenuous position. Hi Pierre, I was just wondering why you believe suffering occurs?

Why do you believe people do horrific things to each other? Annie — It could be for one of a number of reasons or a combination of those reasons. Among those that come to mind are anger, hatred, greed, lack of compassion, revenge, mental illness, lack of empathy, sadism, etc. I see no differnce between the rate at which evil falls upon beleivers of any religion and the rate at which it falls upon the general population, somthat does not hold up under scrutiny. Do you believe that all evil is the result of your god choosing to allow evil, or only some of it?

If only some, how do you objectively tell the difference? At the end of the day, if you are capable of preventing evil and look the other way, you are complicit in the evil. If I saw a child being raped, I would do all I could to stop it. That is the difference betwee me and your god. Milton — check this out.

Milton — another one for you. You seem to know a lot about God. You do not know the mind of God. Oh, trust me. Evil falls in much greater rates among people who abandon the idea of God and do whatever the hell they want. In fact, we saw some of the greatest evils fall among people who explicitly drove God out of their societies — the communists, who gloried in their atheism.

As a result, they saw no problem terrorizing millions upon millions. They saw no problem killing people who were troublesome. They saw no problem in gulags and massacres.

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The average attendee at Sunday services commits far less crime, is involved in less of all societies problem makers such as drugs and alcohol. So we have tried that little experiment, it was called Communism and the results are in. By and large, the people out there doing crime, whoring, taking drugs, committing armed robberies etc have little or no religious belief. It is a well established fact that the more secular a society is, the lower the crime rates tend to be. It is also a well established fact that with regard to prison inmates, Christians represent a larger percentage relative to their percentage of the overall population than atheists represent as a percentage relative to their percent of the overall population.

In either case, this of course demonstrates correlation and not causation. But then I am not claiming religion is necessarily the cause. I would add that doing the right thing out of fear of punishment or hopes of some large reward is not morality. It is selfishness. Ephesians For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no-one can boast. Hi Hugh7, I ask you in a spirit of humility and questioning, if there is no absolute truth, then how can we know an absolute reality?

I never said there is no absolute truth. I think there has to be a real universe, otherwise what is it that are we arguing about? Over the last few centuries we have discovered that reality is a lot more complicated than we thought — that everything is made of atoms, which are mostly empty space, for example. Or that space and time are more flexible than we thought. I think we will go on discovering more and more of that kind of thing, including how we are deluded. For example we now know that we begin to move before our conscious minds have formed the intention to move. I think no matter how much we discover, reality will always be more complicated.

Romans 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. You simply shift the problem of evil to the easily observable, still with no way to explain it. So you are claiming that reality itself is evil and life is not worth living for aggregate humanity. The most miserable life that any human ever lived is but a blink of an eye compared to the timespans of heaven. Yes, some people are born into squalor and misery and torment on this planet from which they never escape—until death.

But heaven is available to them, and that is for eternity. Without the capacity to commit evil and hurt others we would not be human beings with moral agency. But through things like disease, violence, and natural disaster we are motivated to learn about the physical world around us. If there was no distress and danger in the world, what kind of science would exist?

Would there be any reason for scientific research if there were no illness and no natural disaster? Do you desire a world with no problems to solve? And yet I would wager, since you have time to engage in this discussion right here, that your life is already pretty close that as it is. And yet you still view the world itself as full of inexplicable evil and torment. Are you angry at God for not making you some sort of kept animal in a video game?

No, reality is a mixture of good and evil, and for most of the world, the good outweighs the evil. First, because of our natural curiosity to find out how the universe works a universe in which science has yet found no trace of nor need for any supernatural agency. Then because there are many issues which are not disasters. The good can be improved. The uninvented can be invented. Cellphones would still be useful even if we did not use them to summon rescue helicopters.

John, I am losing track as to who I did and did not answer. I do not see that i responded to you, so here goes:. Your claims are patently absurd. Christianity dictates that one must believe in the Christian god and in Jesus at a minimum, am i not correct? So demonstrate that those billions of people who die of starvation, and cancer, and natural disasters to the person do not fall into that category. My idea of a world with no evil is simply a world with no evil. We both have time to engage in this discussion, so whatever you wistfully apply to me, do so to yourself as well.

I will take it from your use of seven consecutive question marks that you cannot rationally address any of the points I raised, and I will pray for you. Hope you feel better. So, the quarter million people who lost their lives in the tsunami some time back were all killed because they did not acknowledge your god? Children starve to death in Africa because they did not accept your god even though they may not ever have heard of him? Milton — your argument is that there is no God because he does not operate as sort of a Super Hero Saving Squad. This is a childish notion.

God has a plan and every single human being is part of it. People died in that tsunami because spoiled cretins like me and you would rather spend time arguing with each other on the internet than developing ways to detect and alert people to natural disasters. The technology to warn and evacuate people in tsunami zones already exists.

Have you contributed anything to that field of study? Kids are starving in Africa because their parents are unable or unwilling to feed them, and because me and you are not feeding them either. Because, according to Christianity, he designed the system that produced these results……. His alternative is to deny there is a God who cares about people because some times bad things happen. Therefore he prefers a world in which child rape, etc are simply natural occurrences, which have no intrinsic moral effects. He is acting like a baby, who wants a God who prevents each and every instance of evil, everywhere, or he is not going to believe in him.

You forget that believe in God is to also believe in Satan. There is a spiritual realm and it influences everything that happens in this world, whether for good or for evil. Satan is an awful, awful individual. He is rotten and takes absolute glee in the pain and agony and atrocities that take place in this world. They are his doing. But God allows it because he created us as free, he wants us to have the choice otherwise there is no point. And at the end of set time alloted, our choices will be rewarded eternally.

And we are offered an eternity, a promise, stated over and over again in the Bible where there will be no more suffering, no more pain, no more crying, no more dying, no more war, but everlasting, everlasting peace and safety. An eternity with God. Sin and satan will no longer exist or threaten to touch us. But even now, the promise remains in Romans that God works all things for our good.

I bhave experienced this personally. There is no lose with out gain. Look at the nation of israel. They are prime example of this truth and evidence that God does exist. They have experienced some of the worst hatred and suffering than any group of people on the earth and yet they remain and maintain their faith.

In God. After the holocaust, after great, great loss, because of it they gained back their homeland and then their capital and holy city. After thousands of years of exile, they made a great gain followingtheir great loss. Look at the life of Joseph. He went through tremendous tragedy and set back and in the end he said what you meant for evil, God meant for good. That is the final answer.