Evolution, the origin of death and its conflict with God's morality, the problem of imperfection

(Jose D) #21

Well, yeah, we can to a certain degree. We exist right now, so we can say it was God’s will for us to exist, it’s the same with your example, it doesn’t take an outlandish amount of thought to come to conclusions like this.

I’m not to sure about that, I don’t even know if it would be possible to verify or to disprove it. But if evidence really goes against this theory in a way that makes it 100% impossible, then oh well, I’ll have to discard the theory. But I would really like to read about this evidence. I’m not interested in defending this theory because I believe it, I just want to see if it can hold up to reality, that’s the only reason why I’m defending it.

I get what you’re saying, not everything needs to be exactly perfect, but I still don’t see how it would be moral for God to create a world with this particular imperfection. That’s the only reason I think the lack of death in the original creation is a necessary perfection. The reason why I think this is because of the 3 premises that I stated before. If you can somehow respond to these premises and show me that the conclusion isn’t valid or that God’s action doesn’t fit into the argument… then I’d be very glad.

(Christy Hemphill) #22

So, here’s a thought experiment for you. Is a bacteria dying bad? Most people would say no. How about an amoeba? A flatworm? A jelly fish? At what point on the complexity/sensory development/sentience scale does death become bad? Is it when it involves pain? Is it when it involves blood? If evolution happened, is it possible that the first loss of life was not bad, because the first living things to die neither suffered nor preyed on other life, it was just part of a natural cycle? Is even the presence of that kind of death an imperfection, and if so, why would it be? If bacteria did not die quickly they would soon overrun the earth. (They don’t mate like you mentioned above, they just divide and divide and divide as part of their life and growth cycle.) If we can imagine a life/death cycle that has no “bad” in it, then maybe it’s not the death part that is bad, maybe it’s something else.

(Jose D) #23

Well, I wish I could go back to being a YEC, but there are beliefs that are beyond human control. There are two possibilities that I can think of (which I don’t even know if they’re possible), one is that animals, humans, and plants were much like today, but when sin entered the world , Earth became unstable for life, but the decomposed organisms mixed with the components of the Earth’s atmosphere and conditions gave origin to one cell organisms that could survive tough conditions, then these evolved to form the picture we have today.
The other one is basically the same, except that the original conditions of the earth and the organisms were different from what they are today, making the change to a inhabitable world (to our current organisms) a bit less dramatic. Again, I’m not even sure if this could even be possible.

(Jose D) #24

As I mentioned in the argument that consists of 3 premises, pain is the fundamental part of an evil action. So if the animals didn’t feel any sort of pain as they were being eaten, no, it wouldn’t be evil. Maybe that is a possibility. I guess it seems logical, do you find it to be a logical possibility? I think it might be a million times better than my theory honestly lol.

(Christy Hemphill) #25

Honestly, the Problem of Evil is still the Problem of Evil no matter how you slice the origins pie. I don’t have good answers for how an all good, all powerful God created via a process that brings about pain and disease along with beauty and flourishing. It’s a conundrum. I just became convinced along the way that the YEC scenario hadn’t solved it either and denied a lot of reality in the process of trying to solve it, and I’d rather live in reality with unanswered questions than live in a delusion with fewer unanswered questions. But yeah, I don’t think all death is evil. I think animal and human suffering is definitely hard to reconcile with a “good” creation. I tend to think of the death the Bible associates with the curse/fall/victory of Christ over as spiritual death, not physical death. Christ conquered death, but everything still physically dies. So maybe that wasn’t what he came to redeem. I don’t know what it means that “death will be done away with” in the new creation. Is that all physical death? Just human physical death? Just spiritual death. Things I ponder on long car rides.

(Jose D) #26

Yeah, I agree, the problem of evil is a hard one. But at least there are some possible scenarios that might be able to solve it, so it’s not like it completely disproves Christianity. If there were no possible solutions though, I would definitely start considering not calling myself a Christian. I don’t need concrete answers that tell me that Christianity is the truth (I don’t think such answers exist), I just need possible answers that show that the Christian world view is at least possible, and that it is possible that YHWY really is who He claims to be.

(Phil) #27

V[quote=“jdd8910, post:24, topic:38867”]
pain is the fundamental part of an evil action.

The relationship of pain and evil is not so clear. Pain is a gift of sorts. Without it, a diabetic with numb feet from neuropathy will rub blisters and lose limbs, those with sensory deficiencies do not know the stove is hot. Pain tells us not to walk on that sprained ankle. Perhaps even emotional pain guides us away from abusive situations when properly heeded.
Causing pain can certainly be evil, but not always as we see painful experience as a gift from God in teaching us. I must admit, my understanding is incomplete on that one.

(Randy) #28

Woden you like a different day?


OK, going back to your second version of these.

1 would apply to humans but that doesn’t mean it would apply to God. We are told repeatedly that God is not the author of evil.

You also need to define exactly what type of evil you are talking about, physical or natural evil. They are very different.

Try this https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/evil/

(George Brooks) #30


It looks like you and I are in agreement.

The problem of Evil exists whether ye be a Creationist or an Evolutionist. It isn’t an insurmountable problem… but I’ve never really seen Evolutionary Theism as any additional obstacle.

(A.M. Wolfe) #31

Now Looki here — you can’t just go changing these days willy-nilly. Clearly the world was created last Thor’sDay (much as I hate to admit it).

(Sorry, I’m invoking official Dad Punning Privilege to explain why I’m continuing the derailment of the thread…)

(Jose D) #32

I think you mean moral evil and natural evil. I’m talking about natural evil, because that’s the only type of evil that could possibly be prescribed to a divine being.

Why wouldn’t it apply to God? Are you saying that God couldn’t have possibly done something evil because He said that He wouldn’t? That only works if you presuppose that God was telling the truth (we might believe this, but we don’t know this), so it’s circular reasoning. The whole point of this debate is to solve the apparent conflict between what YHWY says and His actions, so we must temporarily disregard any other presuppositions that come from faith in order to determine whether the conflict can be resolved or if it poses an insolvable logical problem. In other words, we must question His ‘perfection’. I’m arguing this from a logical agnostic point of view, not from a christian point of view. If you use the 'Because God said so" card, you will find that it can be used to justify the actions of any god, including Allah’s actions in the Quran. So I’m looking at this problem from the eyes of an outsider.

(Jose D) #33

I agree with you. Although, within the context of the argument it seems that pain would be the key factor of evil, because without it, there would be no suffering of any sorts for the animals, even if they did die due to the lack of pain.


So true. One of the problems with high blood pressure is that there are no symptoms. But it’s a killer. And after even a mild stroke you don’t have a working brain to tell you to get [content removed by moderator] to the doctor’s office.


The existence of God is a presupposition that comes from faith. So if you throw out that one there is no debate. If you allow the existence of God then again there is no debate as we can take Him at His word.

(Jose D) #36

I’m trying to think of it like if I were analyzing the moral actions of Allah, I don’t need to believe in Allah to make a judgement on his actions portrayed in the quran. I can still say that the actions attributed to him were evil.


But to make your judgement you would have to accept what the quran says about Allah. Likewise any judgment on the cause of natural evil caused by God would require you to accept what the Bible says about God. Otherwise it is just an intellectual argument with no actual application.

(Jay Johnson) #38

I don’t understand. I thought that’s what we were here for … :wink:

(Jose D) #39

By that logic you could justify the actions of Muslim extremists and Allah’s violent commands. If the actions of Allah don’t follow his self proclaimed goodness, then he is simply not who he claims he is. The same applies to YHWH. It makes no sense if the same supreme God and creator who gave us an objective moral compass (and claims to perfectly follow it himself) wouldn’t follow the same moral compass, unless that deity isn’t really who it claims to be. I think this discussion poses some importance in the field of apologetic, if someone were to use this argument against Christianity.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #40

That isn’t hypothetical. People have – and do use it against Christianity today. That is why the Christ is so important in Christ-ianity. All vain attempts at agonizing over what God has been seen as allowing, endorsing, or even commanding in the old testament – all those understandings have to be brought and held up to the person of Jesus, and re-thought, or discarded according to how they fare in the Messianic light.