Problem of evil and original sin

Why can’t God create a butterfly from scratch?

I don’t claim to know the answers, either. “It’s a mystery” is really a good enough answer for now. It just seems like one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Why would we need to know of justice, mercy, and grace if everything was perfect? Will God not love us in heaven, and will we not feel that love?

Per Christian belief, God can clearly put us in a word devoid of natural evil (presumably heaven) and (presumably) we will have some sort of freedom and self-identity theres so this does throw a wrench into the problem of natural evil in the world. But I guess I’d answer your question in the negative if God wanted that maggot to transform into a transcendent butterfly through its own freedom and volition through experience. But I admit this is not a remotely satisfying explanation for natural evil.

Vinnie

Hello, my friend. :slight_smile:

Have you ever heard of the Best Possible World argument?

-Joshua W.

Sounds like an incoherent definition of perfect to me. The only one I believe in referring to Jesus words, “you must be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect” only means without the self-destructive habits of sin which bring the seeds of hell with you wherever you go. And no it does not mean without the mistakes by which we learn or without violence etc… etc… It just means without these anti-life habits where we refuse to learn from our mistakes.

Yes and I think this is incoherent also.

The Earth is perfect for purpose God created it.

Jesus said we must become as a little child which suggests that children have something we lack. I think it is more than just the lack of self-destructive habits which they are too likely to have learned already. It makes me think of James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Perhaps it is just that children as so open to possibilities while we have begun to limit ourselves according to so called realities – that children are so focused upon learning everything which is the essence of embracing life.

I am well aware that in a lot of this T_aquaticus is likely responding to a particular type of Christian rhetoric which doesn’t make any more sense to me than it does to him. But perhaps I should go back to his first question…

But that is exactly what happened according to the Christian narrative with Adam and Eve. Though of course as a scientist I am dismissing all the magical elements in favor of the scientific understanding where results are not independent of the means.

Mixed in T’s challenge is a query about why create the physical universe at all? This is a question I have addressed many times. God is seeking a relationship with others than Himself and not just characters in a novel He has written or npcs in a computer game. That requires an existence that operates apart from His own control. The self-organizing process of life requires a system of fixed rules that work automatically.

And of course, if you are interested in a relationship with others who have a life of their own and make their own choices then of course you are opening yourself up to all kinds of nastiness when things don’t go quite the way you would like. It not only means they can reject the love you offer but they can go contrary to the nature of life itself and become self-destructive.

Hello! :slight_smile:

Why do you think it is incoherent?

-Joshua W.

That makes me wonder what heaven is supposed to be like. If we are in heaven are we going to continue to sin, hurt others, commit murder and genocide, and all of the other evils we experience here on Earth?

Will we destroy heaven the same way A&E destroyed the Garden of Eden?

What will relationships in heaven be like?

No idea. But He obviously can’t. Creation hurts everyone. Why would You do that if You didn’t have to? There are no lessons to learn, there’s no test. The physical is the breeding ground for the transcendent. Or all there is. It’s that simple. Am I missing something?

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Yes.
 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Because the possibilities are such a high degree of infinity. There can be no best possible world. Things can be infinitely better in an infinity of different ways.

Besides I don’t believe in the watchmaker designer god of Deism. The Biblical God is a shepherd. Neither the world nor living things are machines. The world is a product of the laws of nature and self-organizing processes. God was seeking a relationship not an indulgence in self-expression or to show off some clever designer skills. We are now learning from AI that superior design doesn’t require anything divine but only a machine-like adherence to a learning algorithm.

Huh? It is like you didn’t read what I said at all. I said NO SIN. Mistakes sure but a willingness to learn from our mistakes.

No. In heaven people have already made a choice for life.

The relationship with God is one of parent and child, where there is no end to what God has to offer and no end to what we can learn from Him – this is the substance of eternal life.

Just the details. You are a big picture kind of guy, aren’t you? LOL

Ridiculous!

How do I fix my computer?

How do we deal with Covid-19?

How do we deal with rising CO2 levels?

I know! Let’s all get a lobotomy and none of us will be worrying about any such questions any more. Is that what the Bible is? A form of lobotomy?

Bonhoeffer wasn’t being superficial like you are.

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Touche!

There is a level on which I agree with you. But this is nevertheless an objection that will make many people dismiss this. The fix is to supply the proper context which is missing for most people reading this comment.

If anyone reads past Bonhoeffer’s first sentence, the context is there.

I don’t believe in a “Divine Watchmaker” either, and I’m not entirely sure that your understanding of it is what Leibniz was getting at, since Leibniz himself claimed to be a Trinitarian Christian his entire life.

That being said and Deism aside, I think that when the argument is couched in Christian theism, it can produce a very strong theodicy, especially in terms of natural evil. You are hitting on points that fit right into what I mean about the Best Possible World argument in the Christian context, namely that the situation in which we find the universe is, indeed, the best possible one for what God desires/intends, which is a relationship with creatures who willingly choose to reject their own selfishness and wickedness to love, serve, and worship Him, and as an extension of this, to love and serve others as well. We know this of God because of Jesus.

Let’s assume for the sake of the argument that Jesus is who He says He is, namely that He and the Father are one and that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father. He is God. Based on what we know as revealed by Jesus, God is good and loving, gracious, just, and humble. Natural evil appears to contradict this character. But we know that God is good and perfect, so we trust that things are the way they are because they must be this way and no other way, since this is the optimal path for God achieving His desires/goals, which we established earlier as being a relationship with us, one that is not compulsory but chosen by creatures with free will.

What can I say? I certainly believe God created what was good and sufficient for his purpose. But I still don’t think this idea of “best of all possible worlds” let alone a “perfect world” is coherent. I gave my reasons above and see no point in repeating them.

If it was obvious then you would have an idea of why it is.

That would be a question for God.

Yes. Why can’t we learn lessons in heaven? What lessons do babies learn before they die and go to heaven?

Of course, and you have no need to, friend. I was simply clarifying my position on the argument. :slight_smile:

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Then it sounds like we can learn and grow in heaven.

That choice can’t be made in heaven?

Then why do we need the Earth if we can learn everything we need in heaven?

Absolutely.
 

Our desire will have been fulfilled and we will not choose what we do not desire!
 

That goes back to why God planned two creations.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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