Thanks for the warm welcome, and I’ll try to be more considerate next time. I edited out the abortion statements that were irrelevant to my point. Hope that’s ok!
I suspect one can boil down the OPs question to the category of “If God is good, why is there is such pain, suffering and death in the world?”
Which does bring with it the indictment of the evolutionary creation story as you’ve put it:
" There has been a lot of discussion…but the other defects from natural free env…"
There is just no satisfactory explanation for the existence of pain, suffering and death from the evolutionary viewpoint for the charge made against God as the author thereof. God is just not good in this atheistic paradigm.
This is one of the most important reasons one should simply stay with and interpret the bible as read in a straight-forward plain English way instead of foisting the atheistic evolutionary story over the word of God.
Well what is your satisfactory explanation for the existence of pain, suffering and death from your viewpoint?
And I think that’s why this is such a tough question, because ultimately every evil being has their advent in God in some way. Why did God make Lucifer, knowing what he would do? Why did God allow him in the garden if he knew what humans would choose? As far as I’m concerned, a literalistic reading doesn’t make the problem of evil any easier to understand.
Sometimes, @Prode, we mistake our acclimation to something for understanding. Growing up with a repeated phrase and repeating it to others may help establish a “well-worn groove” in our brain, but it has no necessary correlation to actual understanding, as we often discover when somebody who has rehearsed different answers comes by to challenge ours.
And I say this with all due respect (really!) to the habits of liturgy and their positive role in our spiritual growth. Sometimes recitations may prepare the way for actual understanding. But other times they may enshrine our misunderstandings too.
It will be pointed out by many more than me that if God designed everthing then God designed the faults and problems and death in creation too. And if the explantion is given by belief in Genesis 3, that God later imposed these things on creation after the disobedience of Adam and Eve it means God imposed suffering on all creation because of them, which seems a bit capricious to say the least. The waste and suffering within all the natural world looks a bit mean of God if God designed it that way. That’s why I think that a freely evolving natural world is a better explanation of the suffering in creation.
Of course ultimately God will redeem and save all creation with the New Heavens and Earth. God does take responsibility for it in becoming Incarnate and the Spirit groans with all groaning creation.
I appreciate what you and @beaglelady have to say about the unlikehood/abhorance of micromanaging in light of the horrors which don’t elicit divine intercession.
Most everyone would agree that nature is extravagant and messy. Wild dogs and hyenas will disembowel and eat an animal while it is still alive. Animals living in the water often produce enormous number of sperm or eggs just so enough can come together to permit another round. But many seem to think that since we bear God’s image and have been assigned dominion responsibilities that now we are above all that. But of course we’re not. No divine calculus determines who will inherit a debilitating disease that makes life short and painful. Neither was the kidnapper/rapist of Elizabeth Smart on any mission to mete out divine justice. We are still in the web of life. And even as we glory in the attributes which set us apart we see every day evidence of the harm people are knowingly willing to do.
Any one who thinks thoughts and prayers are enough when others are suffering hasn’t suffered or else they’ve hardened themselves to seeing it. Realistically, God or no God, what we do or fail to do to protect the vulnerable and ensure justice is what really matters. We have a responsibility to each other that can not be handed off to God.
Actually you sound very biblical here, Mark.
Well we both know how ignorant I am of it. Hope I didn’t violate any trademarks.
Yeah, too often “thoughts and prayers” becomes a cop-out – I know I’ve been guilty of that. While I don’t believe the Bible presents a God who just wound up the world and walked away – I believe in the power of prayer, and that he is active and cares about us – but human beings are often his means of accomplishing what he wants to do. That’s a much scarier prayer to pray – to ask what he wants us to do rather than to expect him to magically take care of it all!
Yep, prayer actually has a place in my strange take on God belief. I think the scary kind of prayer is all any one has a realistic chance to have answered. Maybe with our suite of God’s-image attributes, we should expect to act with more independence? With all we have going on, it somehow doesn’t seem fitting to chirp like a baby bird in our nest to be fed.
There are many passages I could name, but I’m thinking especially of this one from the Epistle of James:
If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
To some degree, yes, though I don’t think there’s any shame in acknowledging dependence – I guess there’s a balance somewhere. But I think prayer can also be an act of remembering and proclaiming that God is bigger than we are – it is especially fitting when we are faced with things that seem too big for us, to remember that we cannot always provide the solution to everything.
Very true. We all have this; and the more we realize our own prejudices, the more it seems apparent that we really don’t know what we’re talking about! Your observation should give us more patience for those who don’t seem to get it (when we realize we don’t, either)–and also realize God is patient with us. Thanks.
Me neither. I agree, but of course I think the dependence is mutual.
Oh I think this is one of your better selling points. Being able to open to what is greater when stumped is a good thing. We just disagree on how much greater that which is greater must be. I’m willing to make do with something that like me has its existence in consciousness with no hand in creation apart from creating and sustaining us. But having given us the keys, He’s dependent on us as well now. At least when we disappoint God, like the genome, His investments are diversified and the wisdom of the species might find expression in better hands than our own.
Well I will take you to another way of looking at this. If someone asked me where did you come from, My answer will be from my mother’s womb.This is a well established statement. How did this happen? One sperm out of more than a million sperms fertilized 1 egg. if this was a different sperm, it would not be me. For me to be formed, it had to be that specific sperm. The chance of this occuring is less probable than winning a lottery.Applying the theory of probability, the process of fertilization can never occur because the probability of one sperm fertilizing one egg is highly improbable. Yet it happened. Is it because of chance? No waay. The only way it could have happened is when the sperm designed for me was chosen. Then same is triue for all the 7.2 billion people on earth. Why? We were all specially chosen for specific purposes in life.
Highly improbable doesn’t mean impossible. I don’t buy lottery tickets, but if I did, I probably wouldn’t win it, but there is a slight chance that I would. And somebody always does wins it.
And I’ll probably draw fire for this, but it’s problematic for me to say that every successful sperm was chosen.
I wonder also about that, and it seems your take on it is related to the role of free will and whether God has everything spelled out or whether he allows things to develop and works with what and who develops. I think you can support both views with scripture. I lean toward God being permissive in what happens in creation, as to say God directs all things, makes it hard to separate him from being the cause of evil.
Problem with this is how do you address the sperm that was chosen but caused a genetic abnormality that caused the fetus to abort. Did God chose this result?
Also, can we be sure no one whose sperm was designed for them lost out due to my lucky sperm? Can I be sure I couldn’t have been one of the also ran sperm who didn’t get in? And should I think that my sperm having been singled out is owing to something I am destined for that the others couldn’t have done as well or better? Some how I feel I must resist any accolades which may accrue to my victorious sperm.