Does God really exist

Continuing the discussion from :robot: Greetings!:

I am a practicing Catholic and I believe in God. But sometimes I cannot help myself wondering that God really exists. Yesterday, two of my colleagues got motor cycle accident. One passed away and one is in critical condition. The one who passed away was with 5 month pregnancy.
Well… It is God’s will and He must have a reason to that. I try to think in traditional Catholic way. But at the same time, I cannot help myself… why? why? why? Why she was pregnant if she was to to die like this. Why God did not protect? Is there some other forces that made it happened? Then God is not working all the time watching over us? The world is just leading its own path and people are facing good and bad randomly and we name them God’s will?
I am not going to loose my faith in God but I want to get stronger feeling.

I suppose one of the main Catholic (and generally Christian) answers is that we do not and cannot fully know or understand Gd’s plan for us, BUT if we are faithful to Him, we will find out the answers to all our questions surrounding the mystery of faith in the midst of earthly pain and sorrow when we get to heaven. This is due to the redeeming salvation provided by Gd through His Son, Jesus Christ.

So, in practical terms, you must be patient, trust in Gd and behave according to His teachings, and you will reap the reward of your perseverance and devotion.

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Thank you dear… I just feel so sad for them and cannot understand why it happened.

Of course. It is a tragic event for them and all their loved ones. It is right and proper to mourn their loss. Your human grief and compassion are gifts from Gd.

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This seems to assume everything that happens is God’s will. But this is a fallacy! Nobody has ever said God is micromanaging the affairs of the world. This is an utterly false concept of God! He is not like that at all. God’s will was expressed once and for all in the creation and in the Ten Commandments. He is the Creator God, He has created and is not managing the affairs of the universe! This makes a huge distinction.

We often fall into the fallacy to create a false image of God and then we become angry with Him, because He is different from our false image. We fashion a false image of God for our own convenience, so that we escape the responsibilities of managing our world. This is wrong! God made us the managers of the world’s affairs. When bad things happen we conveniently blame God, accusing Him of not even existing. We tell Him that He cannot exist because He is not like the false image we want Him to match. How utterly arrogant is this from men?

The thing that does not exists is not God, but in the contrary, it is our own false image of God! Our own idol we want to worship that is non-existent! God is our loving Father who lets us know that we cannot reach Him by idolatry. He makes it clear that the idol we created as a false image of God does not exist! It is Him who exists, God who created the universe. He also created a myriad of living creatures and men to manage the world. Therefore we cannot escape our responsibility of facing God’s creation honestly and with an active conscience outside in the world and inside of ourselves.

First of all, I am so, so sorry for your loss.
I hope you have RL people to turn to for consolation, and of course you are welcome here.
This is what I can tell you…
Yes, there is suffering on the world, and yes, people do die, and to evil to each other, and there are also other, non-personal forms of suffering, such as earthquakes.
But we also believe that Jesus, Emmanuel, really is “God With Us”. Although God allows suffering, He came down to Earth, took on a body and suffered here right next to us, when He could have just as easily stayed in Heaven where there’s no suffering.
So all I can personally draw from that is suffering is not meaningless, or God wouldn’t have agreed to do it.

I hope this helps. :slightly_frowning_face::heart:

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I am abit confused now. When we were young, we were told by priests and nuns that God watches us all the time and even a hair cannot be loose without his will. And what I understand by your reply is that God just created and then the rest is on our own? It is scary.

I am so sorry for your loss James. It is natural to ask these kinds of questions when we are in grief.

God allows evil things to happen so that greater good can result. You are right that we cannot see all His plan, but there are some things we know for sure:

28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." Rom. 8:28

God works even the most horrible things to our good. It is for us to love him, and to follow the call, and trust that we will understand it later.

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As a non-believer I don’t find the idea of a God who would allow people to suffer pain and die too difficult because of the possibility/probability/certainty (depending on circumstances) of an eternity of bliss.

I do find it hard to accept that God would allow people to suffer and die because of sins committed by the ancestors and not by them.

And I find it harder still to accept that a loving God would allow non-human animals to suffer and die when neither they nor their ancestors have sinned and they have no prospect of eternal life.

This last one was a particular stumbling block for Darwin who although he was not a believer was not at all hostile to Christianity. I am still waiting to see an explanation other than ‘suffering is not bad’ and ‘God works in mysterious ways’.

No. He gave us guidance in the Ten Commandments how to live. He also sent His first born and only Son to die for us so that we may be redeemed.

Yes, everything is recorded. God will decide when to send His Son again so that He may take over the world and rule it forever. So God keeps record of everything so that He may make an informed decision.

Please, don’t forget St. Paul:

11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

(1 Cor 13)

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Yes, we believers accept humbly that we cannot understand fully on the will of God. When we were young, we were told that human-beings can never fully understand God. It is common debates during our childhood with people with other religious background and Atheists. We have to say it is faith. Then some of our friends will say that why we still believe in God and our religion if we cannot understand fully? Then we continued our discussion and at one point or another we would find out in every religion, there are unanswered things, even in the religion where they claim come and practice before you believe.
Plants and animals are different from human. I dont know much about them but of course Christians loves animals and plants as creations of God…

The problem of suffering is difficult to accept. I too have struggled with this question throughout my life. But at the same-time i cannot help but think that if the potential for suffering didn’t exist then human-beings wouldn’t care about anything; that is to say you wouldn’t have a mind about the value of those people whom you clearly have empathy for.

Human-beings learn to be good, they learn to have empathy for others, and they learn the value of human life because it can be lost. A good heart is something that develops and grows, and i don’t imagine there would be such a thing as a “saint” if the potential for suffering didn’t exist.

Christian tradition suggests to me that suffering has it’s place in the grand scheme of things however horrible it may seem. Thus we are called to carry our cross for the sake of a greater good. For every evil that occurs there is an opportunity for good, and what would we really know of it otherwise, let alone care.

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It’s normal to ask “Why? Why do these terrible things have to happen? Why, God, couldn’t there be another way?” when there is a death or a terrible tragedy. I said this myself a couple weeks ago when I found that a friend had died at a young age, leaving a husband of over 20 years and two teenage children who I’m sure miss their mom terribly. Jesus Christ himself said much the same to His Father in the Garden.

It’s normal to grieve and just feel terrible. The loss is worst for those who are left behind here on earth and won’t have their loved one in their daily earthly life any more.
It’s normal to have all the feelings and ask all the questions you are asking.

However, for the person who is gone from the earth, our belief is that with the mercy of God they are actually in a better place. Or if we have concern about this, we can pray to God for their soul, that they will reach the “better place”. Life continues after death. It’s just like somebody moved to a distant foreign land with no telephone or skype or web or mail, so you can’t communicate with them in the physical way, but they haven’t vanished into the ether, nor are they feeling any more earthly pain and suffering .

There is a tendency on earth to think of death as a horrible thing, and it is horrible for those who have been left behind and grieve, and also for any deceased souls who reject God. But for many who are saved, death actually isn’t horrible. It’s just a switch to a different type of life. I hope that doesn’t sound too awful to say.

I don’t find pondering whether a death is “God’s will” to be too helpful. I don’t believe we here on earth are really capable of understanding the big picture of God’s Will until we ourselves die and perhaps only then, if God wishes, certain things will be explained. The fact is, if you’re alive on earth you are going to die sometime. Even Jesus died. Death is a fact of life. When it is your time to die, you will die. It’s probably not even so bad for the person who dies, assuming they accept God. It’s actually worse for those of us left on earth trying to cope without the dead person. The person themself may very well be just fine.

I will pray for your colleague who died to go to Heaven and for the one who survived to fully recover.
God bless.

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The answer to asking for proof that God exists is as difficult as proving he does not. Faith and Hope are what determines whether we believe there is proof or not. Charity (Love) is the byproduct of Faith and Hope.

And as Saint Paul professes, in the end, Faith and Hope will be complete, and only Charity remains.

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Catholic Encyclopedia

With regard to the nature of evil, it should be observed that evil is of three kinds — physical, moral, and metaphysical. Physical evil includes all that causes harm to man, whether by bodily injury, by thwarting his natural desires, or by preventing the full development of his powers, either in the order of nature directly, or through the various social conditions under which mankind naturally exists. Physical evils directly due to nature are sickness, accident, death, etc. Poverty, oppression, and some forms of disease are instances of evil arising from imperfect social organization. Mental suffering, such as anxiety, disappointment, and remorse, and the limitation of intelligence which prevents human beings from attaining to the full comprehension of their environment, are congenital forms of evil; each vary in character and degree according to natural disposition and social circumstances.

By moral evil are understood the deviation of human volition from the prescriptions of the moral order and the action which results from that deviation.

Metaphysical evil is the limitation by one another of various component parts of the natural world. Through this mutual limitation natural objects are for the most part prevented from attaining to their full or ideal perfection, whether by the constant pressure of physical condition, or by sudden catastrophes.

Christian philosophy has, like the Hebrew, uniformly attributed moral and physical evil to the action of created free will. Man has himself brought about the evil from which he suffers by transgressing the law of God, on obedience to which his happiness depended.

Thus, “God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist” …

Sharpe, A. (1909). Evil. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05649a.htm

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I don’t want to take this topic down the well of philosophy, but theologically there are problems with curious_cath’s response. It suggests deism (a demiurge who creates but then sits back) instead of theism (God who creates and conserves all creation from moment to moment). Catholics believe in theism.

God isn’t a tinkering clock maker, true. He doesn’t create, sit back, then reach back in to tweak things, etc… Neither is he a puppet master, pulling the strings of everything. But he is always present, conserving things as they are, enabling our existence so that we may exercise free will, which he permits. He permits us to do evil things and for physical evils to befall us, and no such things could happen if he did not conserve us and physical events and things in existence. God doesn’t pull our strings to make us do evil things. He doesn’t want that we do evil, but he wills a world in which we have the freedom to do so (and in which we have the freedom to choose to cooperate in his good works), and he would not do so if such agency did not bring about a greater good.

If you want a full theodicy, perhaps that’s another topic. I understand the grief of loss you have here, and it makes sense to feel that way. These people are gone from your life now. Pray for God’s mercy for them, and entrust their souls to him, and for God’s mercy and comfort for those now left without them in their lives.

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I like this part very much. This seems to be a balanced view and explains very well the world that we experience. Not micromanaged and not abandoned but constantly connected.

Thank you wesrock.

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Yes…reminds me of the confusion of “and on the seventh day He rested”, when of course, all he rested from was acts of Creation, because if he had “rested” by disconnecting, Creation would have fallen apart.

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That’s a good one, ha ha.

Oh, yes, indeed.

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