So this is just another problem of evil question, but it’s been bothering me for awhile

What do you think “…all things being equal” implies?

I’m not sure the point of your statement or responses. Can I control the time of my death or not? I think I can as an advocate for free will. God willing of course. Instead of being cryptic, how about you just state what you mean?

Vinnie

:grin:

“All things being equal.” I did not just make that up. What it means is that I had already allowed for your objections and removed them from consideration with respect to the point I was making.

I still don’t now what that point was. That is what I am requesting clarification on. Not on the definition of the phrase “all things considered.”

Vinnie

Removing the undecipherable encryption :grin:, it means, plainly put, that you don’t know that your are not going to die tomorrow. (All things being equal means presuming that you are not currently suicidal and planning to imminently do yourself in.)

 

The phrase is “all things being equal.”

Quote 2 is a very peculiar way of putting Quote 1 to me :rofl:

 Peculiarity is in the eye of the beholder.  Strike that (oh, I already did :slightly_smiling_face:), what I mean is “The beholder is peculiar.” :grin:

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God is not an earthquake and earthquakes are not God. We know what causes earthquakes and God has nothing to do with it.

Why? What does the sins of Adam and Eve possibly have to do with the cause of earthquakes? I don’t get it.

Can God cause an earthquake if He wanted to? Sure. But that doesn’t mean you should attribute every earthquake to God. It just doesn’t follow.

Nor more than what happened to Job means Job was sinful. Come on! The Bible discusses this notion in the book of Job and rejects it.

Doing something because you are angry is rather pointless unless you let them know it. Doing things behind people’s back is just childish.

If the Bible actually says He did it then why not believe it? Do you really think that God cannot do anything in the world? I am not suggesting that God is breaking any laws of nature. I don’t think God does that. But the laws of nature are not causally closed you know.

Sure. But was it just a lie or was it a revelation letting people know that God had a hand in it?

Ask rather whether God could have created a universe with free-willed beings without any laws of nature? and I will give you an emphatic NO! Talk of “better” is too relative and subjective to make any real sense in such a question. Or how about… Could God have created a universe with free-willed beings where they will never complain that things are not as good as they would like? Well that gives the game away because there is a very big logical contradiction in that question. Do want a universe with free-will beings or not? If so then you cannot take away their free will in such a way, can you? :roll_eyes:

God made the laws of nature and it is our job as living organisms to learn how to living with them – and that is what life is. Take away the laws of nature and life simply doesn’t exist any more.

Why do you think that? I am pretty sure science can give a much better explanation for the tectonic plates just as it gives for the existence of so many biological species.

Its one of the conclusions I’ve coming to.

I think their is a lot of insight into this topic in this pod cast.

Your last statement that “God had nothing to do with it” is questionable. As the creator and designer of the universe he has everything to do with them.

So you believe God could only create a free world with earthquakes? Or this is the best possible one? Are we free in heaven? Will there be earthquakes there? Do you believe God could intervene and save people from an earthquake if he chose? Let me toss you an argument:

P. An all good and all powerful being would not sit idly by and watch a geological feature, like rubbing tectonic plates, kill thousands of people.

P. Natural disasters do occur.

Conclusion: ?

It’s an easy argument to make and we don’t have the luxury of the free will defense because we are dealing with natural systems designed by God.

But I understand the point that hurricanes bring rain to a lot of regions, stir up nutrients in the sea and help play a role in energy distribution on earth. I also understand how tectonic plates seem to have aided life on this planet.

Insee your point but you don’t have to take them away to stop a major tragedy from happening. Unless God is powerless to intervene. Do you actually believe Jesus stilled the storm or walked on water?

Natural laws were designed by God in a universe with beings having free will. Still doesn’t explain why God allows disasters to happen when he can stop them.

I think Christy was on the right track.

I suspect it is both, to some extent… short of some special revelation from God, we are not able to make a claim that this or that particular tragedy is a specific judgment from God.

Yet, at the same time, any and every tragedy is a reminder of God’s judgments at large, and reminds us that each of us must repent to avoid a similar if not worse fate.

Maybe we might say,“ Regarding those who died in the great earthquake in Lisbon… do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Europe? No… but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

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I guess I need to it st it like this because of too many variables.

Pick the natural disaster concerning storms in the Bible that God sent to destroy a nation and we can examine that individual story.

God is not the designer watchmaker of Deism but the shepherd of the Bible.

What God creates depends on the purpose for which He creates it. A place which supports of the development of life is not one which supports the perfect comfort of creatures which already exist (one which will likely cause them to devolve to mindless helpless sheep). The development of life requires life-threatening challenges. That is an established fact.

Incorrect. If a parent sits idly by while his child learns to ride a bike, does that mean he is lacking in power or lacking in goodness? It does not.

More likely that He simply knows that the consequences of interfering are worse than those of standing by and doing nothing.

There are laws of nature by which these events occur.

Oh? You would draw the line differently? If you were the creator you wouldn’t want creatures who take any responsibility for major tragedies?

I talked about this already in another thread. I believe people saw what they reported in the Bible but it doesn’t mean any laws of nature were broken. These were miracles simply because God was involved and not because He contradicted the law of nature (which He created) – not just to impress people too ignorant to know the difference anyway.

I think what Christy said was fine too – no tracks there leading in any different direction than what I said. Ah yes, I remember. You like when people don’t say as much so you can add and read what you like into it.

@Vinnie, please if you are going to quote the Bible, please quote it right. Jesus is talking God’s Love, not “natural evil.”

Matthew 5:44-48 (NIV2011)
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

By the way in dry climes like Israel rain is needed to grow food, rather than problem, because it hinders outdoor activities.

A better quote would be Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV2011)
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Here we see that trusting in God and following Jesus empowers us to withstand life’s storms, not avoid them.

Nature as we know it is red in tooth and claw.

This well known phrase is quoted as gospel or Darwin, but it is not. It is from the famous poem “In Memoriam” by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1850. It reflects the spirit of Victorian England, as does “survival of the fittest,” rather than an objective understanding of Reality.

Life is not easy. Living for Jesus is not easy. God does not want God’s People to be lazy, depending of God for everything. God calls us to be God’s partners, God’s Viceroys to do God’s work with God and God’s people. This means that like Jesus we must put up with suffering not because we are doing wrong, but because we are doing right.

The correct analogy is the child about to unknowingly drive into the street and be killed by a car. What “good” parent would not stop this?

The simple question you need to answer is why doesn’t God miraculously intervene? Or maybe it is time to drop the parent analogy with God because it is clear it doesn’t really apply in any meaningful sense.

You claim:

For most Christians God can work supernatural miracles. It is an established fact to them that God can prevent life-threatening challenges of the non-moral variety if He so chose to. What I am looking for is an explanation of how omnibenevolence fits in here.

By no stretch of the imagination is allowing your child to die through some natural event you can predict “good” parenting. If you had the opportunity to save your child from falling branch in the woods I can only assume you would do so 100% of the time. God does not.

I could also say: “the development of life as we know of it” which renders the force of your statement much weaker. Though I suppose there are life threatening challenges in heaven? Or are there other versions of “life” where we are still free but these things don’t exist? Or do we only see in part now and you are making all sorts of assumptions about what God could and couldn’t have done? One assumption is as good as another here.

Vinnie

It is hard not to be sarcastic here which leads me to think maybe I am misunderstanding you. God doesn’t want us to be lazy, so that is why there is cancer in the world? And that cancer is ultimately a good thing since it keeps us from being lazy? It is part of God’s plan and design? A theology that flips the world so far upside down that cancer becomes “good” is one I certainly am not willing to espouse at this time in my life. I know I can’t rule it out but it makes the words “good” and “bad” almost unintelligible to me.

Vinnie

No it is not the correct analogy. The well being of the child is the parents responsibility. But the scale of God’s responsibility is far greater than the number of people in a single building or over the length of time of those peoples lives.

Because unlike many churches, God doesn’t want mindless helpless sheep.

On the contrary, that is what analogies are and how they work. There are always ways in which they fit and ways in which they don’t fit. Finding the ways in which they don’t simply establishes that it is an analogy rather than literal. In this case the analogy is only to human parents and not to parenthood in general because in the case of God we are not talking about the sort of parent-child relationship to get people through the first 18 years of life but an eternal relationship for eternal life.

Only when your understanding of parenting is limited to the responsibility of a parent for a few children in the first 18 years of life. When you are dealing with billions over an eternity, the concerns and necessities are quite different.

LOL Change is one of the constants in life. The necessities of life in the womb are not the same as the necessities of life on the Earth, and the necessities of physical life are not the same as the necessities of spiritual life.

There is no reason without assumptions. Logic can only take you from premises to conclusions.

100% incorrect. Correct assumptions will get you to a mathematics that works and incorrect assumptions will get you nothing but meanings nonsense.

The way to say this correctly is that diversity of thought is inherent in the highly subjective realm of religious and philosophical issues.

I think Christians should believe that everything has meaning, even hard things, not that we necessarily need to know what it is.

The question is not about cancer, the question is about death. God made us finite creature because there can only be one infinite self sufficient Being. If we are finite, it means that we must be mortal and die

Cancer is one of the ways we can die, but cancer can be prevented and cured. Curing cancer requires people to work together to help others. That sounds like “good” to me.

Conceivably God could have given us each an expiration date, at which time we would die, and in the meantime we could do whatever we wanted, because would not have to eat, sleep, drink, take care of ourselves, wear clothes, work, or think, because we would be immortal like the angels.

I believe that God might sometimes use natural disatsers to lands that are completely out of touch with generally morality.The bible tells us so.But i dont think this was from God.What i do know is that they are in heaven.Together with him.I dont know this either but i feel it.Maybe God took them away from some reason.Maybe it was “their” time as we say here in Greece.No one knows why really.But i take heed in the Revalation and wait for his scond coming.Where all tears and sorrows wont exist.

I also want to mention that a 6.4 happened a month before here in Greece where i live.When it happened i instantly went under my table and started praying.It was something i rarely do.It was my last resort .I prayed not to actually survive it ,but i had tears in my eyes asking for forgivennes and begging to not be forgoten .I know this might not have some impact but i thought id share this personal experience.

Its strange really that instead of like maybe panic or something i just remained calm and did the two most important things to secure myself.The 1 was to secure my finite life and the second my infinte one

“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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