Reply Posts: Your THREE reply posts should be at least 300 words (all posts together)
SaturdayOct 24 at 5:24pm
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In the Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, God is mostly viewed as this all loving, all powerful, omniscient Father that isnt always true. When one decides to delve in and seek more radical/truthful answers I think one will find that God is a being to be feared and respected because he represents an entity too knowledgeable and/or holy for us to even question why he gets to and decides who lives and dies. Some examples of how he is a wrathful being could be that he chose his only son to be the ultimate sacrifice, allowed the angel of death to kill every first born, and even sent plagues to cover in Egypt. With this examples one could see that he is not always an all loving father, but he is a jealous God that we must choose to follow in order to whole heartedly believe in him. Who is also to say that these children with genetic diseases dont make the choice to follow god before their time is up that they wont be able to join him in “a better place.” Another way I look at this argument is that ever since man was deceived by a greater evil in the garden of Eden, then he chose his pleasure over his “Father” and God became a choice of free and this may be why he “allows” these things, not for some profound greater meaning, but simply put, for it to be a 100% our choice to follow him because of their also being an evil for us to follow as well. This question was a good discussion post that i dont have an exact answer too.
SaturdayOct 24 at 9:59pm
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As someone who was raised in the Catholic faith, I grew up thinking of God as this omnipresent and all powerful entity who’s will is not to be questioned. And as a child it was easy for me to believe that there was just a benevolent super being like the Abrahamic God watching over everyone and running the universe. However as I got older I started to doubt this more and more because of things I would ask myself, including but not limited to the question that is being posed in this discussion. It took me awhile to sort out these thoughts, but in recent months I have pretty much formed my opinion into two possibilities.
When thinking about things like children, or anyone who suffers and dies for seemingly no reason, I started to think that the traditional notion of God that I had been taught just could not be true. Even if God was inherently good, it seemed obvious to me that he was not there all the time to save everyone in need, or everyone calling out to him. Maybe he is not all powerful, or chooses in many instances just not to interfere. Maybe he designed life to be unfair, and that is why we have this supposed afterlife that so many religions teach of?
The second possibility that I have come up with (though it is not a new or unique one at all) is that there simply is no God. This makes the most sense to me because I have just never seen anything to prove that there is a God. The sick and suffering children supports atheism as well. Not to mention, how many people pray for good health or salvation from their problems but that help never comes? Thats because, in my opinion, the only divine ruler is the laws of science and evolution.
MondayOct 26 at 12:03am
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Well this certainly is an interesting topic. Without getting my personal opinions and beliefs intertwined to allow bias and thinking only on the views from this current section, considering there is a perfect creator of the world who is all powerful, all knowing and all good, I feel that this is a loaded question, but it is the discussion of the problem of evil after all so that makes sense. With the topic at hand, I do feel conflicted, but agree that there is a problem with evil in the argument of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god. If indeed god is all powerful, why does evil exist? On one hand from the reading of Mackie, I understand the argument of suffering is the way to grow morally and spiritually, however at who’s expense does the suffering occur and who benefits from the growth? If all parties involved grew, that may make more sense and the faith from this experience, even though it may seem bad you will benefit. But that is not always the case is it? In the argument of children suffering from hunger and from disease, and to some this is all that they will ever know, how is that going to help them grow? If God is all powerful and all knowing, I agree that the most sense in the situation is to not allow suffering, for everyone to only know good and to grow from good and positive experiences. In Mackie’s reading, there was the discussion and orthodox argument which talked about evil is not the counterpart of good but rather the two were contrary. The counterpart to good is not-good. If something is good it cannot be evil and if something is evil it cannot be good. So then why does evil exist? Why can’t it all just be good or not good? After all, not good does not mean evil. If God is all powerful, why does God allow tsunamis to happen? Why does God allow wild fires to happen? On this side of the spectrum of natural evil’s even though the tragedies that come out of them are certainly not good, an argument on this is the Earth is also a living thing and it can be argued that human’s on earth cause evil to the earth. Natural disasters or natural evils may happen from of the earth taking care of itself. As an example, the seeds of redwood trees only sprout with fire. From this we can see a good that comes from the natural evil, so with this topic, it is hard to not look for other goods that come from evil. I agree that children suffering from disease and hunger or a person’s free will of evil such as robbing a home and stealing all of a person’s possessions or murdering someone is not good and hard to see the good in this at all. But from some suffering, I can see the possibility of growth. An example, a first partner is a wonderful thing, you are in a intimate relationship and experience emotions and exciting adventures. On the flip side of it, your first breakup is extremely heartbreaking, you don’t know how you will go on. But from this suffering of heartbreak, you grow, you now have these experiences and emotions and you begin to know more about yourself and mature personally. The same can be said for your first job, your first fight, the first time you get pulled over by the cops. It is hard to see the growth sometimes from great suffering, but depending on the belief, the growth may be seen by others differently morally or spiritually.