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Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

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Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby Winston » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:43 am

Hi all,
Here is part of an essay debunking and exposing Christianity that I'm working on. Let me know what you think.

---------------------------------------------

Here is something inescapable. It is a valid and logical argument that Atheists and Anti-Christian writers (e.g. Thomas Pain, Robert Ingersoll, Bertrand Russell) have used throughout history that Christians and theists have never been able to debunk or explain away logically.

Now, we all know that there are billions of people suffering in the world, most of whom are innocent, both now and throughout history. And we all know that evil sociopaths often go unpunished and attain positions of power more often than good people do (since power attracts evil rather than good). Therefore, it is logically impossible for there to be a God who is both all-powerful and all-good, as the Christians claim, and yet allows all this to be so. Logically, such a deity would not allow the suffering of billions of innocent people throughout history, nor allow evil sociopaths to constantly attain the majority of positions of power and go unpunished (while the good die young). There is no escape from this dilemma.

To put this in perspective:

1) Billions of innocent people are suffering in the world, both now and throughout history.
2) Evil is allowed to exist, run rampant, and attain positions of power in the majority of cases, more often than good virtuous people do.
3) God is all-powerful and all-good, yet allows #1 and #2 to exist, both now and throughout history.

All three of the above CANNOT logically co-exist at the same time. The only logical possibilities are:

1) God is not that powerful and is unable to eliminate evil. (if so, then how did he create the whole universe?)
2) God is evil, or a mixture of both good and evil.
3) God doesn't exist.
4) God doesn't care or he doesn't have the time or energy or will to do anything about it.
5) God is nothing like what you think he is, or is something beyond your comprehension.
6) God lets suffering and evil exist for reasons beyond your comprehension, and/or does not have the same morals that you do. Thus he does not do what you would do if you were him.
7) God needs to allow both good and evil to exist for the universe to exist, because all things are defined by their opposite and cannot exist without it, as depicted in the Chinese ying yang symbol.

The standard Christian explanation for the above makes no sense at all and is a ridiculous cop-out:

"God allows evil and suffering to exist in the world because Man chose to Sin in the Garden of Eden. God gave Man freewill, and Mankind chose Sin. Hence death, pain, decay and evil entered into the world. God is 100 percent just and righteous, so all this is Mankind's fault, not God's. It says so in the Bible."

I'm sorry but these are mere words and just do not cut it. They make ZERO SENSE and the implications of it are 100 percent ridiculous too. Anyone who takes such an explanation seriously must either be completely insane and lost his marbles, or is completely brainwashed and mind-controlled, in order to accept something that makes zero sense as Gospel Truth.

What the standard Christian explanation implies is that:

"A good and all-knowing God allowed billions of people throughout history to suffer, die, and go to hell (if they died unsaved) simply because two naive people named Adam and Eve took a bite of the fruit of a forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. In other words, one little mistake (or bite) caused a lifetime and eternity of pain for billions of people, and deservedly so, which all-wise and all-good God allowed."

Um excuse me, but even if I were on crack, I wouldn't buy such an insane explanation. I'd sooner believe that Santa Claus visits every home in the world in one night on Christmas Eve than that! Come on now. Gimme a break. Get real! I mean, I know you don't have to be intelligent to be a Christian, but really... Anyhow, that's their version of reality, which they take seriously, believe it or not.

Not only is this explanation 1000 percent insane, but it is 1000 percent UNJUST as well. I mean, what kind of a parent would allow their children to suffer pain and death (not to mention damnation) as a consequence of taking a bite out of a fruit that you told them not to touch? It doesn't make any sense! Wouldn't such a parent be the most evil and sociopathic parent in the world? (Yet a God who is 100 percent perfect and righteous would do that?!) There is no escaping that. There is no way in hell (pardon the pun) that one little mistake could be worth a lifetime or eternity of pain. No way. No Christian in the world could justify that. It is completely unjustifiable, insane, nonsensical, and there is no logical reason to believe it either.

Yet Christians take this explanation seriously?! And they believe in a 100 percent righteous and just God too?! WTF?! This is nothing short of pure and total mind control. No question about it.

Besides, how do they know that God is 100 percent righteous and just? Because the Bible says so? And that alone makes it true?! Gee, what low standards. I mean, how do they know that Satan isn't the good guy and God the bad guy? They don't! All they can do is believe whatever someone TELLS them, and labels the rest as "lies of Satan". But life teaches us that things are not always what they seem, life teaches us. They simply take it on faith, that the Bible is all true because it is, and that's that. It's the weakest logic of all.

Also, why does Lucifer/Satan wanting a little freedom when he was an angel of God make him 100 percent evil? Teenagers naturally want some freedom from their parents too, but does that make them 100 percent evil and demonic? You see how nonsensical all of this is? Nothing in the Christian fundamentalist version of reality makes the slightest bit of sense...

Plus, if I were an all-knowing God and knew BEFORE I created the world that the majority of the people on Earth would suffer through life and end up in the eternal torment of hell afterward (since most people do not become Christians in their lifetime), I would certainly not create such a world. No sane person would create something knowing in advance that the bad that would come out of it would far exceed the good. No sane person would go through with that, let alone an all-wise God. Think about it: If you knew before setting up a business that you'd incur a loss of $75,000 and reap only $25,000 in profit (based on 1/4 of the world's population claiming to be Christians), would you go through with it? Get real.

So you see, nothing about the Christian version of reality makes any sense at all, in any way at all, once you look at it with a clear mind free of fear and mind control. There are way too many irresolvable problems with it.

In fact, many ex-Christians report in their deconversion testimonials that while they were believers, such logical impossibilities and unresolvable questions as the above, kept entering their minds from time to time. But since they could not be satisfactorily explained away, they had to be mentally filed away on a mental shelf labeled "Unresolvable". However, eventually, such unresolvable questions accumulated until they became too heavy to ignore and deny any longer. At some point, their "mental shelf" simply broke and they could no longer live in denial anymore. It was only then, that the mind control imposed on them by Christianity broke down, and they were finally set free from it.

(One great example of this is my friend Darryl Sloan, an aware skeptic, freethinker and author who described many such logical impossibilities in Christianity in his YouTube videos, which you can see at http://www.youtube.com/darrylsloan. And my own Christian deconversion story is at http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Christian_Story.htm)

So why do Christians believe such extreme things then? If you ask them about it, their mind-controlled condition will become very apparent, as they say things like "Because God says so in his word, the Bible, which is his revelation to us" and "Because it's true, and truth is self-apparent once you've woken up to it" etc. However, the same could be said about any religion or belief system. So what makes theirs any truer than others? In short, they believe it because they were TOLD TO BELIEVE IT, but they don't really realize that. They simply think "The truth is the truth, and that's that" so they do not question it (nor are they taught to) and do not think freely for themselves either. Their reasoning is 100 percent circular, and besides that, their beliefs do not even have a valid INITIAL FOUNDATIONAL BASIS either (which doesn't cross their mind).
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Postby momopi » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:49 am

Good vs. Evil is based on religious moral values created by man, and varies from religion to religion. Think outside of christian-centric view on god and morality. i.e. If you belonged to a head-hunting tribe in the past, you might think that hunting heads is a good thing.

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Postby keius » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:05 am

Why can't we accept that the concept of God is a human fabrication?

As such, God is just a reflection of us. We were not made in his image. He was made in ours. That makes God, an imperfect human with all the same shortcomings...which is why he seems like such a dick in the Bible. It's just so friggin obvious. There's simply nothing to debunk. BS is BS.
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Postby ErikHeaven » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:03 pm

The bible god is non sense. Pure rubbish. You feel so free once you cast the whole bible away.
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Postby odbo » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:40 pm

momopi wrote:Good vs. Evil is based on religious moral values created by man, and varies from religion to religion. Think outside of christian-centric view on god and morality. i.e. If you belonged to a head-hunting tribe in the past, you might think that hunting heads is a good thing.

Good and evil is not a man-made construct, it's in our DNA. Just like sexual roles or gravity, it wasn't chosen by us. Versus man-made concepts like race or equality. Although we're the only animal smart enough to possess evil, so it's an intrinsically human paradigm, but definitely not something simply culturally created to enslave our minds. Satanists will tell you otherwise. Now, creating a name for it is a man-made construct. Disillusioned people are ready to completely throw out the acknowledgement of evil all because it was (purposely) misinterpreted in religious text. 'The bible mentions good and evil, so good and evil must not exist!' Cognitive dissonance. Throwing away our last traces of wisdom and becoming ignorant won't set us free. It is our lack of understanding of this world, and our psychology that enslaves us. Everyone except the ~6% of the population who are born with psychopathic traits, know what is good and what is bad. Which is why the idea of political parties is ridiculous. Free will for the most part is an illusion anyway.
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Re: Can an all-good/all-powerful God allow evil/suffering?

Postby wallstreeterwww » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:05 am

First of all if you are arguing from the point of atheism, that is the most spiritually immature worldview that I have ever encountered, and it can be debunked in 5 to 10 minutes by me as well as naturalism and materialism. Nde's with remote viewing that there is a paraidm shift taking place in the world allready. Wewont even talk about how many people died from the brutality of atheist regimes. More died in 100 years then from all religious wars in recorded history.

Winston , Doctor Antony Flew the most famous atheist philosopher of the last 50 years of the 20th century also had a problem with human suffering and God, but his conversion from atheism to deism shocked the atheist world, but he could no longer hold atheism as an intellectually tenable worldview. Flew seemed like a genuine nice guy who most of his theist opponents liked. Gary Habermas, the man who defeated him on the debate on the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus back when flew was an atheist, eventually became best friends with flew. Flew was even there for the death of habermas's wife, but if you look at some of flews last video interviews, you could see why he almost became a christian but couldnt go all the way with the conversion and stuck with deism. He prayed and hoped there wasnt an afterlife because he was genuinly frightened of living forever, because he feared of getting bored lol.

As far as the great atheist philosophers of the past, flew was also asked this and genuinly believed that People like russel would have probably abandoned their atheistic world view for another worldview based on the current scientific evidence like the big bang, fine tuning and the encoding and decoding of the dna molecule. I hold the atheism shouldnt even be an intellectually viable worldview because of the evidence of nde's alone (not counting the other good evidence for atheism. The pain and suffering question isnt that hard to answer, and its actually one of the weaker arguments out there for atheists part 1
The pain
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Postby wallstreeterwww » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:29 am

As far as why would God create a world where the bad would outweigh the good, The answer is very easy. LOVE AND CHOICE. The only way you can truely have love is by making a free will choice to love someone. You cant create a being to only love u and not hate you. They would essentially be robots. No free will. We make the free will to kill someone, we make teh free will to steal , decieve and con people. WE make the free will choice not to help others in this world and we make the choice not to love them divinely (agape love).

As far as Satan is concerned, he had alot of freedom before the fall. I dont understand where your getting this information from? He wanted the whole kitten kaboodle. He wanted to be God. God gave all of his creations a choice to love him or reject him. Agape love was talked about as far back as greek. and its the purest of loves. Its a love that doesnt make sense at the materialist, atheist and naturalist level.

Atheism isnt an intellectual worldview, its more of a rebellious, selfish worldview.We view God as the objective divine justice and objective morality. In an atheistic worldview there is no such thing as good and evil so I cant quite understand why you are even mentioning these 2 things here. In an atheists worldview Good and evil are subjective, but in the christian worldview they are purely objective. We dont think of God as a good or evil being, to us God is goodness itself.

As far as our short term finite suffering, this isnt much different then a spoiled child asking why he cant get whatever he wants whenever he wants it. We may have different worldviews winston but we can both agree that this child will grow up to be a rotten apple with very few redeeming qualities. This is basically what you are asking about in your questions. You have got to broaden your horizons to think on a more spiritual long term view then the finite short term view your questions are holding right now.

As far as atheism , like I said, in my view, based on my research on many worldviews and religions, spirituality should be the bare minimum default position worldview that anyone should hold. Within the next 20 to 40 years this paradigm shift will be taking place.

If you are open minded i would suggest an article from a world famous appologist Doctor Gary Habermas on why this paradigm shift is taking place with atheism, naturalism and materialism being the odd man out. Habermas was a big time skeptic, and usually was very rude to christians, He almost settled on becoming a buddhist before doing his phd dissertation on the resurrection of Jesus which led him to become a christian.

http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/Bi ... -shift.htm

This article also describes why 80% of doctors are either spiritual or believe in God, and most atheists shy away from these types of Nde's is because it makes belief in God very reasonable.

"""Now, creating a name for it is a man-made construct. Disillusioned people are ready to completely throw out the acknowledgement of evil all because it was (purposely) misinterpreted in religious text"""

Linuxonly, that was a brilliant post and describes the reasons why alot of skeptics that were former believers became skeptics. Linux, maybe I can pick up some of your wisdom sometime:)
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Postby odbo » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:32 am

Atheism is the result of solely left-brain thinking. Atheism is politically motivated, by the dream of global Socialism. Emotion is logical too. Emotion doesn't come from your heart, or your ass, it comes from another portion of your brain. We need to strive for balance, and use the whole brain. Always ask who benefits. Who benefits from patriotism, who benefits from racism, who benefits from atheism. Spirituality will never lead you in the wrong direction.
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Postby wallstreeterwww » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:34 am

keius wrote:Why can't we accept that the concept of God is a human fabrication?

As such, God is just a reflection of us. We were not made in his image. He was made in ours. That makes God, an imperfect human with all the same shortcomings...which is why he seems like such a dick in the Bible. It's just so friggin obvious. There's simply nothing to debunk. BS is BS.


We cant accept it because God isnt a human fabrication. If he seems like such a D in the bible it is because your looking at the bible from a purely naturalistic contruct. In your worldview view you cant possibly tell me that murdering someone isnt any different than marrying a woman that u love. No wonder why most atheist debaters are getting destroyed by their theistic counterparts. The arguments are much more shallow then the arguments put forth by respectable atheist philosophers like antony flew and aj ayers etc etc. Even Ayers had a nde experience where he privately said he had come face to face with the creator. It wasnt leaked out until after he died until his doctor told all. He was even spending alot of time after the nde with a jesuit priest friend of his.

Keius you can get a person that was born into his religion with such a garbage post but you cant get a person who has researched all of this stuff along with many worldviews with the same stuff:)
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Postby fschmidt » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:57 am

Winston, here is a Karaite Jew answering your question:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGGN0HFUSNk[/youtube]
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Postby Winston » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:58 am

wallstreet,
I never said anything about Atheism. I merely pointed out a logical impossibility and presented 5 alternatives, one of which was that God doesn't exist.

I've heard the choice argument. But why is choice so important that God would allow 75 percent of the world to spend an eternity in hell, just cause two people ate a fruit off the wrong tree? That is completely nonsensical. Why should one believe it just cause it's in some book?

What makes you think the Bible is true and infallible? Can you give even one rock solid reason?
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Postby BellaRuth » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:04 pm

I'm not going to get into this one, but I will say you have a narrow view of Christianity, probably based on Bible Belt Americans.

Not sure why you are putting so much effort into debunking Christianity, either.

If you're bothered about the notion of Hell, Universalism is pretty well-argued.

http://www.tentmaker.org/
http://www.savior-of-all.com/
http://tgulcm.tripod.com/cu/save-all.html

Basically, God allows suffering because people have free will. In Christianity, after Jesus died, the Holy Spirit was sent to live in all those who would accept it. Basically God is on earth in us, working through us. People are meant to be the new body of Jesus. If they'd rather rape and murder then we will end up in a mess. But that's choice. If you want to be a bastard you can be a bastard. If you were forbidden to be a bastard you'd be an automaton. You need to choose your way.

Also, why does Lucifer/Satan wanting a little freedom when he was an angel of God make him 100 percent evil?


He wanted a little freedom? Not heard that before. He wanted to be worshipped instead of God. A little pride can go a long way.

If God is 100% good, as in the Christian view, then being 'other' from God means you have to not be good- i.e. 'evil'. Otherwise there'd be no rebellion.
Toute connaissance est une réponse à une question. - Gaston Bachelard
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Postby Think Different » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:44 pm

Here, the Pope is talking about just that subject. I'm not Catholic, so I'd have my own perspective on things, but in a nutshell it is a fallen and sick world and we have to suffer through it, while we're here. How you react to it and deal with others in it, says a lot about you as a person, and in many religions it defines what happens to your eternal soul. If you're an atheist, I guess it doesn't matter one way or another, but "the golden rule" still wouldn't hurt to be followed.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110422/ap_ ... ood_friday
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Postby onezero4u » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:21 pm

Karma - reincarnation - and free will explain it all brother.
marriage is a 3 ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring and then suffering.
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Postby The_Hero_of_Men » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:13 pm

Winston wrote:wallstreet,
I never said anything about Atheism. I merely pointed out a logical impossibility and presented 5 alternatives, one of which was that God doesn't exist.

I've heard the choice argument. But why is choice so important that God would allow 75 percent of the world to spend an eternity in hell, just cause two people ate a fruit off the wrong tree? That is completely nonsensical. Why should one believe it just cause it's in some book?

What makes you think the Bible is true and infallible? Can you give even one rock solid reason?


"The only way that you can free yourself from sin is to submit to God."

I thought freedom was freedom? Not a case of "jumping out the frying pan and right into the fire"? This has got to be the most flagrant example of doublespeak ever!!
Wielding the blade of evil's bane, he sealed the dark one away and gave the land light. This man, who traveled through time to save the land, was known as the Hero of Men. The man's tale was passed down through generations until it became legend...
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