The Problem of Evil


#1

National Public Radio, an American news and information provider, just ran a segment on the problem of evil on their nightly news program It, all too briefly, looks at the problem of evil from the perspective of four different faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism.

Here is the problem, in a nutshell:

"I saw a bumper sticker once that said, 'God is good. Evil is real. And God is all powerful. Pick two,' " Folberg says.

"The idea was to say, if one accepts those three propositions as true, then they're logically inconsistent. And how do you wiggle your way out of that issue?"

You cannot wiggle your way out, the rabbi continues. You have to admit that we live in a world that is, by turns, beautiful and shattered.

npr.org/2012/12/19/167624703/in-faith-finding-answers-to-the-mystery-of-evil

The segment quotes four different faith leaders on possible explanations, but it ends on this note:

So why does a good God allow evil? These four faith leaders agree on this: Beware of anyone who says he or she has the answer.

Does that sound right? Do the four leaders adequately represent their faith's views on the matter or is there a diversity of views which should also be considered?


#2

Dale_M

I do not believe I have time to recreate my thoughts on this, but the following book I think does an excellent job of addressing this question:
Exploring Mormon Thought: The Problems With Theism And the Love of God

By my read of this the 4 theologians (other than the Sikh - which I have not studied) are correct in that there is no good solution.
Knowing that a LDS solution will go over like a lead balloon here, I think Plantinga’s “Free Will Defense” is a step in the right direction.

Charity, TOm


#3

[quote="Dale_M, post:1, topic:308863"]
National Public Radio, an American news and information provider, just ran a segment on the problem of evil on their nightly news program It, all too briefly, looks at the problem of evil from the perspective of four different faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism.

Here is the problem, in a nutshell:

npr.org/2012/12/19/167624703/in-faith-finding-answers-to-the-mystery-of-evil

The segment quotes four different faith leaders on possible explanations, but it ends on this note:

Does that sound right? Do the four leaders adequately represent their faith's views on the matter or is there a diversity of views which should also be considered?

[/quote]

We need "evil" to purify us and help us grow. The major religions I study is catholicism, hinduism, judaism, and buddhism. I can't say anything about el islam. But it is taught in judaism that "all that has been called evil is called evil to conceal its' holiness". So in that sense there is no real evil but we also know there is.


#4

=Dale_M;]National Public Radio, an American news and information provider, just ran a segment on the problem of evil on their nightly news program It, all too briefly, looks at the problem of evil from the perspective of four different faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism.

Here is the problem, in a nutshell:

npr.org/2012/12/19/167624703/in-faith-finding-answers-to-the-mystery-of-evil

COLOR="Red"]So why does a good God allow evil? These four faith leaders agree on this: Beware of anyone who says he or she has the answer

.

IMO, the one asking the question has an agenda that is 'anti-God." Imagine that:D

**Not being factored in here is this CRITICAL Truth: [IMO]

"Permitting" is by itself, in NO manner; way, shape or form; is consistant or to be alligned with Desiring; wanting or approving of EVIL!** They are necessarly seperate, unaligned choices.

Evil exist by man's and Satans choice and flows directly from a DISORDERED self- love; motivated and completely controled by mans own PRIDE of self: I DO know more and I Do know better than God himself."

Perfect love must flow from Love "FREELY given." Therefore the "giver" must have a mind, intellect and FREEWILL [which only humanity and God Himself possess]. God Perfectly; man imperfectly; but Adequate to be meaningful.

So then both Good and evil flow out of God giving to man alone the ability to freely choose to love or hate God. To do good or to do evil. But abilty alone does not dictate its use. So man alone can be balmed for evil and God alone can be credited for good; which can only result from man's willful cooperation with our Good God.:thumbsup:

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Ecclesiasticus 11:14 Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from [flow from and through] God.

Ecclesiasticus 15:18 Before man is life and death, good and evil, that which he shall choose shall be given him:


#5

I do not have sound. Did anyone mention the real Original Sin as the base for evil? Obviously, the actual Original Sin is one of the major roots of evil.


#6

[quote="grannymh, post:5, topic:308863"]
I do not have sound.

[/quote]

Actually, you don't need sound since the article is a close approximation of what was broadcast. Its not an exact transcript, but its close. :)

[quote="grannymh, post:5, topic:308863"]
Did anyone mention the real Original Sin as the base for evil? Obviously, the actual Original Sin is one of the major roots of evil.

[/quote]

No, but the question asked was not why does evil exist but a slightly different question:

Why does an all-powerful God who is good allow evil to take place against innocent persons? It is a question many people ask after a tragedy such as the shooting at Sandy Hooks Elementary School.


#7

[quote="Dale_M, post:6, topic:308863"]
Actually, you don't need sound since the article is a close approximation of what was broadcast. Its not an exact transcript, but its close. :)

No, but the question asked was not why does evil exist but a slightly different question:

Why does an all-powerful God who is good allow evil to take place against innocent persons? It is a question many people ask after a tragedy such as the shooting at Sandy Hooks Elementary School.

[/quote]

It is an important, I would say essential, question for Christians to ponder.

The best answer of course, is found in the Cross. God allowed His Own Son to suffer horribly and die on the cross, because a greater good came through it. It is very difficult for us to see how such tragedies as this can produce a greater good, but we have faith that all things do work together for the good, to them that love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose.


#8

How can a loving God permit evil in the world?

Because this is the place He put man AFTER he sinned!
This is the isolation ward for sin. What do you expect to find here?


#9

=rcjones;10155505]How can a loving God permit evil in the world?

Because this is the place He put man AFTER he sinned!
This is the isolation ward for sin. What do you expect to find here?

:hmmm: let me think about that,

OK! ... I agree with God

Love
Charity
Humility
Obedience to ALL that God Teaches and to THE teachers HE actaully empowered:tiphat:

Isolation ward: :tsktsk:

A Land of Opportunity; Grace; the Seven Sacraments and His One God; One Faith and One Church:thumbsup:


#10

Good insight.

I would add that man chose this place when he preferred himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status, and therefore against his own good.

Fortunately, for God so loved us, that He promised a Messiah Who would be victorious over Satan’s evil. As others often say, we need to rely on our Messiah Who continues to be with us today. Faith, Hope, and Charity are powerful weapons against evil.


#11

[quote="grannymh, post:10, topic:308863"]
Good insight.

I would add that man chose this place when he preferred himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status, and therefore against his own good.

Fortunately, for God so loved us, that He promised a Messiah Who would be victorious over Satan's evil. As others often say, we need to rely on our Messiah Who continues to be with us today. Faith, Hope, and Charity are powerful weapons against evil.

[/quote]

Amen. Rom 1:18 ff says that God gives us what we want and lets us wallow in the consequences. We want a world where we play god and we got it. His kingdom is not of this world, so we look for the city not made with hands.


#12

[quote="billcu1, post:3, topic:308863"]
We need "evil" to purify us and help us grow.

[/quote]

No, we need Jesus Christ to purify us and help us grow.

[quote="billcu1, post:3, topic:308863"]
The major religions I study is catholicism, hinduism, judaism, and buddhism. I can't say anything about el islam. But it is taught in judaism that "all that has been called evil is called evil to conceal its' holiness". So in that sense there is no real evil but we also know there is.

[/quote]

Keep studying, especially Catholicism. In fact you might want to put the others down for awhile and learn the faith which you claim as your own. That is where you will find the truth; all of it.


#13

[quote="Dale_M, post:1, topic:308863"]
Does that sound right? Do the four leaders adequately represent their faith's views on the matter or is there a diversity of views which should also be considered?

[/quote]

Interesting article. I can't speak on the "adequate representation" of the four views. I don't necessarily agree with the idea that no one has the answer, as I think scripture gives a clear answer. The very question itself, regarding evil and God, ultimately boils down to four conditions.

1) God didn't know evil was about to occur; and could do nothing about it
2) God knew evil was about to occur; could have done something about it; and didn't because He couldn't
3) God knew evil was about to occur; could have done something about it; and didn't because He chose not to for no reason
4) God knew evil was about to occur; could have done something about it; and didn't because He had a purpose

I would move scripture teaches the final position, which I hope to demonstrate here shortly. Most people know the story of Joseph in Genesis, especially the part where Joseph tells his brothers:

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." [Gen 50:20]

Joseph's words are plain: his brothers meant evil, but in fact, God meant their actions for good. Many harp on the words "for good" and forget that Joseph includes the words "evil" - in other words, not only was the good in God's plan, but so was the evil. Keep in mind this involved years of a father living in grief over the idea that one of his most beloved sons was dead - and yet, God had a purpose for it. It was not just out of cruelty like the Greek gods, or out of whim like we make so many decisions ourselves.

Likewise telling are the words of the Lord to Sennacherib and his army, as spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

"By your messengers you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, ‘With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon; I felled its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses; I entered its farthest lodging place, its most fruitful forest. I dug wells and drank foreign waters, and I dried up with the sole of my foot all the streams of Egypt.’ Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of ruins, while their inhabitants, shorn of strength, are dismayed and confounded, and have become like plants of the field and like tender grass, like grass on the housetops, blighted before it is grown." [2 Ki 19:23-26]

Sennacherib had boasted "Look what I did! Look my army did!" God rebukes him for his pride, stating, "Your conquest and destruction only happened according to my will and my design." This is seen even clearer in the book of Isaiah:

For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones. My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped.” Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood! [Isa 10:13-15]

The Assyrian plunder and subjugation, while considered by the Assyrians to be their doing, were in fact under the direction of God. The Assyrians were an "axe" and "rod" wielded by God and serving His plan and the evil done by their armies served a purpose: 1) the judgment of those nations by God; 2) the building up of judgment against the Assyrian armies; 3) God's display of His love and care for David's seed here at the siege of Jerusalem, where it was preserved.

And finally, from the New Testament:

"...for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." [Acts 4:27-28]

If you go back and read the Gospels, you'll find there was no script that Pilate and Herod followed, and no puppet strings tugging the Sanhedrin as they sent Christ to the Gentiles. They believed they were acting of their own free will, and it can truly be considered the greatest evil ever done by man. Yet what do the apostles themselves, long after the crucifixion and resurrection, attest? That it was all according to God's hand, and what His plan had predestined. God was behind the events of the crucifixion, just as Christ himself prayed "not as I will, but as you will" (Mt 26:39b). As seen before, there was purpose to this evil: the justification of His people from their sins and their glorification before the Father. It was the greatest purpose for the greatest evil.

Now note carefully: God's will and hand were behind all these examples, but He did them through secondary means. God is not the author of sin, but He still has power over it. Likewise note for every act of evil, there was, as illustrated, purpose and reason behind it, even if it was not always seen immediately by those (such as Joseph or the disciples) who endured them. Oftentimes we stumble trying to think of a purpose, and might feel misguided, but what it boils down to is this: God is still in charge, He is still holy, and in His arms His people are protected from true spiritual harm, irregardless of the physical harm that befalls them. However great evil may get, God is still sovereign, and will use that evil according to His purpose.


#14

[quote="TOmNossor, post:2, topic:308863"]
Knowing that a LDS solution will go over like a lead balloon here,

[/quote]

And the ball goes through the gymnasium floor, into the basement. :ballspin: :shamrock2:

Theosis (the emptying of oneself of fleshly desires) is the opposite of exaltation as practiced by Joseph Smith. Suffering can bring about a closer relationship with God, if the individual chooses. See the Book of Job. See the writings of Meister Eckhart. See the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Not to question God, but offer it up to Him.


#15

[quote="TOmNossor, post:2, topic:308863"]
Knowing that a LDS solution will go over like a lead balloon here,

[/quote]

And the ball goes through the gymnasium floor, into the basement. :ballspin: :shamrock2:

Theosis (the emptying of oneself of fleshly desires) is the opposite of exaltation as practiced by Joseph Smith. Suffering can bring about a closer relationship with God, if the individual chooses. See the Book of Job. See the writings of Meister Eckhart. See the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Not to question God, but offer it up to Him. God disciplines those whom He loves.


#16

[quote="Byzantine_Wolf, post:13, topic:308863"]
Interesting article. I can't speak on the "adequate representation" of the four views. I don't necessarily agree with the idea that no one has the answer, as I think scripture gives a clear answer. The very question itself, regarding evil and God, ultimately boils down to four conditions.

1) God didn't know evil was about to occur; and could do nothing about it
2) God knew evil was about to occur; could have done something about it; and didn't because He couldn't
3) God knew evil was about to occur; could have done something about it; and didn't because He chose not to for no reason
4) God knew evil was about to occur; could have done something about it; and didn't because He had a purpose

[/quote]

All these questions are answered. I go for #4.


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