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The Concept of Evil

Updated on December 10, 2018
PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails' goal is to write articles that pique discussion and look at things from a different perspective.

The term evil is riddled with many conceptions. Often evil is referred to as a type of entity or a particular substance. On the other hand, it is also subjective, meaning a non-physical immorality.

The question remains,

Is evil a thing or a non-thing?

If everything that God created was good as written in Genesis, then is He responsible for creating evil?

There is a common deliberation over evil. Either God created it or He didn't. This leaves the question to the origin of evil if God is all-good.

If God did not create evil, then who did?

Can evil be a physical thing?

Can a gun be evil in itself?

The trigger discipline of a sniper will hit the intended target. If the target is not hit, the gunman will not be considered a 'good' sharpshooter.

Where does evil enter into the picture?

The evil is determined by how the physical world is negatively affected. Either the sniper or target could be innocent or guilty. The consequence is good or evil.

God said that what He had made was good, but good things can turn evil through the mindful choice of free will to become morally corrupt.

Is evil a subjective illusion of reality?

The fear of evil is a reality or the fear itself is evil.

Choice

What if evil was the non-conforming choice or a decision that is opposed to the nature (order) of good?

It is created by God according to the choices of man. Evil is man's denatured consequence turning away from God's intent.

There is a distinction between moral evil and physical evil. There is the evil that has a collateral affect and also the direct responsibility of the action. The origin of evil comes from the free will of man that determines the relationship between us and God. Our bodies are formed of matter, but our personality forms the essence of how much we allow God into our lives.

The absence of good results in evil that equates to suffering. As we alienate ourselves from good, the consequences and collateral damage of evil cannot be avoided.

Definitions

The definition can be interpreted through a fundamental, traditional or modernist lens.

Did the fall of man literally happen?

Is the fall of man merely symbolic?

Is the fall of man a fable?

There is significant evidence that nearly every culture has a myth or story of a time when there was no suffering, death or evil. From the human condition, there is a desire for a perfect utopia where everyone is happy with complete certainty. The fact is mankind has not achieved this, but there is an unconscious desire to reclaim it or wanting a better state.

When there is a rebellion against good, the result is evil and suffering.

The question of why bad things happen to good people assumes that there are those who are innocent of any evil. There are none.

God create evil as a consequential result of his own free will in opposition to the nature of good. All of God's creation is good, but the free will to choose one or the other has resulted in the disjointed effects of evil on all creation.

Evil is not the opposite of good, but the lack of good.

We all have the free will to choose one or the other.

In order that they know from the shining of the sun and from the west that there is no one besides Me; I am the Lord and there is no other. Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and creates evil; I am the Lord, Who makes all these. - Isaiah 45:6-7

Has your view of evil changed?

See results

© 2011 PlanksandNails

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    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      6 years ago

      God has allowed evil to give us a choice whether to worship Him or not. If He didn't we would be worshiping Him out of obligation instead of by our own choice. You seem to have made yours, but you seem dissatisfied and hopeless with your decision.

      Evil on its own does not exist; it requires the absence of good. Rejecting good results in evil just like the absence of heat is cold.

      We are not robots that are programmed to worship God because He wants us to. He wants us to want to worship Him out of choice.

      God's perspective is eternal and holy. Man's perspective is earthly and temporal. You questions cannot be fully answered on this side of things.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      6 years ago

      Anandkg22,

      The laws of thermodynamics reveal that the physical universe (temporary) is running down and won't run down forever. Even the electromagnetic field around the earth has been depleting over time. The sin of man has resulted in a cursed creation.

      The proposition of one physical universe giving birth to another (cyclic) would reveal a problem in that an infinite series with each cycle would have less energy available than the last. This would mean that the death of everything would have already happened. This would be evidence that we live in a temporal physical universe.

      The physical creation that we live in gives an illusion of linear time because of the objective changes that happen in the physical. Our spiritual nature is destined for the eternal, which is outside of space and time. The physical realm (temporary) has always been the effect of the spiritual realm (eternal), which is God.

    • Anandkg22 profile image

      Anand Kumar 

      6 years ago

      Everything God created is cyclic like day- night - day, all the solar system, seed fall into mud grows into tree and again seed falls into mud etc. As long as we keep speaking in terms straight line there are lot of things that cannot be understood and justified.

      God is spirit and he has created us in his image that is spirit. The death Adam had was of spiritual consciousnesses and lived in physical consciousness (sin or bondage of satan - physical desires) and the ultimate message of Christ on cross is to crucify your body and bodily desires(physical consciousnesses) and live in spiritual conciseness.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      7 years ago

      Philanthropy,

      The shortest distance from one point to another in the physical realm is a straight line. With God, who is outside of space-time, the points are one and the same. In a spiritual or supernatural sense, when two points are folded over each other, there is no distance between them.

      Although both unproven, determinism within physical laws can make sense, but in the spiritual realm, God has allowed free-will, which is a spiritual decision.

      If one denies the spiritual, they are closed to that awareness of the mind. Free will is spiritual matter, which is a choice of idleness or progress.

      There is a distinction from a product like a toaster where the goal is to toast bread, and a physically created person by God. Free-will is the desire to be spiritually complete in God.

      In science, an event is caused from a prior cause, but there is unpredictability at the subatomic level. The speed and position of a wave cannot be known at the same time, only the speed or position at separate times. At this level, there can be contradiction to determinism.

      In a deterministic world-view, there is no absolute moral standard, just what one thinks is rational.

      For morality to work, in the cause and effect, is the spiritual. It is the distinction between what we perceive and what truly is. True spirituality is not proven by man, but God Himself.

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      7 years ago

      Phil:

      I sincerely appreciate your patience.

      I think this is where we draw the line in the sand. You said, "God is omniscient, he knew what we would do if he created us in the way that he did."

      -----------

      I categorically deny that creating us in the manner that He did (in His own image), which included the ability to make up our own minds, follow our own paths thus exercising our own free-will, in any way, shape, or form, caused Him to choose our destiny for us.

      Creating us for a purpose, but giving us the means to ignore and or deviate heavily from said purpose, is not directing our path or making choices for us, nor is having complete foreknowledge a form of predestination.

      You and I will have to agree to disagree, because I feel you are taking an assumptive leap that isn't justifiable or accurate.

      Out of time for now, but will check back later. :0)

      Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      I am struggling to see how you yourself, especially with a degree, are not seeing this.

      Allow me therefore to use your own words against you:

      "To predestine something is to foreordain, that is, to force it into compliance or to determine its course beforehand."

      "to determine its course beforehand."

      God is omniscient, he knew what we would do if he created us in the way that he did.

      Therefore, when he did create us, he knew already what we would do, because he programmed us in our ways, giving us no choice in our actions "to force it into compliance"

      Tell me then, how being programmed to act in a particular way, with the result of our actions already in the mind of our God, gives us any room for free will :) ? x

      Your child analogy fails to be relevant, because I did not know precisely what my children would do before they came into my life. I am not omniscient.

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      7 years ago

      Forgive me, Phil, you have a dizzying intellect, one which I am having a hard time holding onto.

      I know you think you are onto something here, but I'm just not seeing it. I want to see what you are seeing, but I just cannot.

      You said, "Foreknowledge and creation is the same as predestination."

      I guess all those years at the university didn't prepare me for this kind of thing. :0(

      Phil, I cannot, for the life of me, see how you can connect the dots from foreknowledge to predestination, because they are not the same thing. To predestine something is to foreordain, that is, to force it into compliance or to determine its course beforehand.

      Did you ever know what one of your children were going to do, before they actually did it? (If your family is anything like mine, it must happen all the time). Now, did you make your child do what they did? No, but you knew what was going to happen beforehand.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      "Can you explain to me how God's omniscience determines one's actions? I fail to see the connection.

      Foreknowledge is not the same as predestination."

      Foreknowledge and creation is the same as predestination.

      Knowing something will happen doesn't make you responsible for it, doing something to make something happen does.

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      7 years ago

      Phil:

      You said, "You also fail to neglect the fact that God already knows what we would do before we did it, resulting in a situation where we have literally no choice of whether we do it or not."

      -----------

      Now, I've already stated that my I.Q. hovers around room temperature, so forgive me when I say that I do not follow your logic.

      Can you explain to me how God's omniscience determines one's actions? I fail to see the connection.

      Foreknowledge is not the same as predestination.

      For instance, am I to believe that if I visit a fortune teller (please don't try this at home) and this individual actually sees what will happen to me sometime in the near future, that the fortune teller made me do that which was foreseen? Of course not.

      Just because the Almighty can see everything, does not mean that He chose one's path for them...it just means He foreknew the path one would take. He is, in this case, a passive witness to these events, not a participant.

      Having said that, He will, from time to time, participate or intervene according to His plan, thus achieving a desired purpose or as a result of answered prayer.

      Be well - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      Sledgehammer, you can extend my analogy to more than one purpose, even the toaster has the "choice" of cooking our toast to one of perhaps 3 degrees.

      "Even a computer or robot installed with artificial intelligence may have been created for a general purpose, but that doesn't stop the robot from coming to its own conclusions and doing as it sees fit."

      That may be true, but since we know precisely what the robot is capable of, since we programmed its limitations, it is said not to have free will. Just as we, mankind do not have free will.

      You also fail to neglect the fact that God already knows what we would do before we did it, resulting in a situation where we have literally no choice of whether we do it or not.

      Therefore there is no choice for us to "violate the terms of service".

      He already knows what we will do. He intended for it to happen. Ere go, no choice.

      Push the button (our creation), wait (live our lives), get the toast (what he wanted us to do).

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      7 years ago

      Your philosophical viewpoint will only hold water, Phil, if mankind, like the toaster, had but one purpose and no other options. But, with very few exceptions, is mankind like a toaster.

      Even a computer or robot installed with artificial intelligence may have been created for a general purpose, but that doesn't stop the robot from coming to its own conclusions and doing as it sees fit.

      And, is it not true, that humans are even more intelligent than robots? Is it not true that humans are even more complexed than the most sophisticated robots and show even more spontaneity in decision making and can thus call upon a greater diversity of options and possibilties than super computers or even robots equipped with artificial intelligence?

      Phil, I think if we used real world illustrations, we would see that humans are capable of the most brilliant and loving deeds, yet can also commit the most depraved and sinister deeds. Truly, humans can soar into the heavens or sink to the deepest pits of Hell.

      Regardless of their original purpose, it is their choice whether they want to follow the Owner's manual or violate the terms of service. Is this not proof enough that free will has no limitations in the world of man?

      Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      We wanted our toasters to do something before we created them, toast bread. We made the toaster in such a way that it would toast our bread. Therefore the toaster has no free will in toasting the bread.

      God wanted us to do something before he created us. He wanted us to X. He made us in such a way that we would do X. Therefore, we have no free will in doing X.

      Since God's will is unchangeable, "X" is every action that we do in our lives.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      7 years ago

      Philanthropy,

      What is your definition of free will?

      Can mankind choose something that is contrary or consistent with their nature, or can they choose anything?

      God cannot act contrary to His nature, but can do whatever He desires within His nature.

      My choice is known by God. Although God knows the choice I have made, does not mean that I did not freely make that choice. A future event will result in the choice I have made, one way or another. God’s absolute knowledge knows the free-will choice that I have made, and the outcome of that choice.

      Although God knows what a particular person’s choice is does not mean that person has not freely made it.

      ("If we were created to do something, we have no more free will than a toaster.")

      I believe we were created with a spirit and have a purpose; a toaster has a purpose, but no destiny, assurance, or certainty.

      There are categories of time which are the past, present and future, but only the past and future can be measured. With God there are no tenses, but an eternal constant. He is not dependent on time and beyond foreknowledge, but has absolute knowledge outside space-time.

      His thoughts are causation, just as are minds cause us to move. God thoughts move through us as both immanent and transcendent, but with God, it is one and the same.

      • If I went back in time, I would not be able to change it even though I had the foreknowledge of the future because the future is already set by God.

      • If I went back in time with the free-will to change the future, there would be two futures in contradiction with each other.

      The law of contradiction stipulates time, but with God, time does not apply; therefore, the law is not necessary for Him. God is certainty, which means He has seen it before and has still yet to see it.

      God determines the future, but our free-will is the fluidity of mankind within space-time. Free-will is essentially one choice or decision, which either focuses on worldly, or spiritual matters.

      From the extremes of spirituality to the extremes of physicalism, free-will has been rejected for determinism.

      I believe that God has allowed free-will as the sole reason for accepting or rejecting Him.

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      7 years ago

      Phil:

      What is it that you feel we were created to do?

      And, by the way, I do not necessarily agree that, "If we were created to do something, we have no more free will than a toaster."

      ----------------

      Well, weren't dolphins made to swim in the sea, yet there are some who beach themselves for reasons unknown to science.

      Just because mankind was made for a particular purpose, does not mean that they must follow said purpose. The Almighty placed everything in the Garden that was good to eat and even that which was not. The Lord graciously gave Eve the opportunity to sin and she took it.

      Peace out - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      I still find it astounding that this ridiculously simple point is overlooked.

      If we were created to do something, we have no more free will than a toaster.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      7 years ago

      CJ Sledgehammer,

      Thank-you for the addition of your commentary and I agree.

      When I write in the agnostic and atheism section of Hubpages, I intentionally try to avoid too much theological text unless the reader wants to lead the discussion in that direction.

      Of course, since you have brought it into this theme as additional food for thought, it is a great addition and adds to the discussion.

      I appreciate your ability to see through the text and give your well thought out points. Thank-you for reading.

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      7 years ago

      Planks:

      I promise to keep this short, but perhaps what I am about to say may add a little clarity for some of your readers.

      The Almighty created Adam and Eve and gave them a list of instructions...including do's and don'ts. If He had not supplied the list of do's and don'ts, there could not have been "free will".

      If the Almighty did not put into effect the list of do's and don'ts and subsequently neglected to place the Tree of Knowledge in the midst of the Garden, then Eve would not have been able to exercise her free-will to rebel and sin against God, simply because the opportunity had not presented itself, or in this case, it was withheld.

      The Almighty did not create sin, as you know, but He gave mankind and angels alike, the ability to sin and rebel if they wanted to.

      My thinking is thus: the Almighty wants to know, not who is perfect, but who trusts and loves Him inspite of living in a fallen world and inspite of having a fallen nature.

      He desires, I believe, to see who wants to remain living in the Garden (Earth) in a fallen state and delighting in all the things it has to offer. The Almighty also desires, I believe, to see who wants to seek Him, be cleansed, and leave the fallen garden in order to live with Him in Paradise forever.

      So, did God create sin? Absolutely not, but He did make it possible for those who choose to do so. Without "choice", there can be no free-will. Without free-will, there can be no personal accountability.

      Another well-written, inspirational Hub. Voted up!!!

      Best wishes to you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      7 years ago

      Philanthropy,

      (“…thinking ability is still just a matter of programming, because after all, God programmed us with the ability to think and be aware. So still It seems that being aware of something doesn't stop the fact that all of your actions, including the act of being aware of something, were made as a result of your creator.”)

      What then does it mean to make a choice or decision?

      The event results from another preceded decision or action. It is the cause and the effect. If God decided to give us free will, then we are *special* to the deterministic functions of our role in the universe. This leads to the complexity of faith which is a-priori. Since observation does not support this, the results are the ideas of pleasure, morality, choice, goodness, evil, etc…

      Complex programming can predict a set of various outcomes. Within the characteristics of the results come the probabilities of what they will be; therefore, a specific event is not determined, but a set of possibilities.

      For example, a human life will eventually come to an end because of molecular decay, but determining a very accurate time of death would extend the boundaries of human knowledge. Considering all the sub-events would be innumerable.

      The decision or choice results either from one or a million or more random events, or it has already been made.

      A lottery winner can be drawn randomly by a computer, or the winner is already known, but is kept secret until a certain time.

      (“If I was actively created as a result of my ancestors being actively created, then I am nothing but a robot, carrying out what my programming tells me to do.”)

      In a purely determined universe, there is no randomness and thus, no free-will.

      Does free-will have a precise definition?

      Since the concept does exist, it would seem that randomness is one of the characteristics of free-will.

      Human technologies have the capacity to determine the life expectancy of a battery, but the state of the battery life is dependent on the state of the environment it is in.

      The characteristics of determinism are that all the decisions that are made or eventually made are imbedded in our programming. On the other hand, if we are each “unique” in our being because of purpose, then there is a characteristic of free-will in a determined universe.

      (“…in 1000 years we will probably be able to create humans or more complex robots, so we would be less complex robots than the ones we would be creating ourselves.”)

      Chemical compounds, left to themselves, do not become more complex, but finally degrade to simpler compounds.

      The coded information of life has been passed from the original inception of the creator to mankind. Man will not have the capacity or the ability to exceed their own human complexities because the chemical workings of increasingly complex order have not been shown to happen in observation or experimentation.

      (“If we were actively programmed by someone, what makes us different from any other robot other than the person who programmed us being able to do something more complex?”)

      What is different or unique is the paradox that free-will can exist in a determined universe. The free-will of our actions potentially affect the outcome of an event within the cause and effect in our universe.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      @Planks

      "A robot can be programmed with a certain amount of information to function, but its nature is limited to the amount given.

      Human's have DNA which is a complex code system for human life to function. This information far exceeds the complexity and intelligence of man; therefore, the source exceeds that of human technology (i.e. robots)."

      So here you state that the difference between robots and humans is that of complexity, but why would that have any weight on free will? If we built a robot that is more complex than a human, would he be entitled to free will? And to that point where in the level of complexity do we say "right, at this point of complexity, this thing has free will and below that, it doesn't".

      -------------

      "It is simple really. God creates *sentient* beings who are aware of who created them. God knows the consequences of going against His nature because He already communicated the consequences to the first human beings that He created that this would happen."

      "A human technological machine does not know that its life is coming to a permanent end because it is just made to encode and decode a data stream. No matter how loud you yell at it, it will never have the ability of cognizance."

      So here you say that it is also because of awareness. It might be important to first tell you that we have already created robots with "cognizance" as I understand it. Robots with the ability to learn from their mistakes and store that information as knowledge for future use.

      Then I would argue that awareness has nothing to do with free will. If a toaster knew that we created it, it would still have no choice over it's functional capability. To that point, atheists do not believe they were created by a God, so are they robots?

      Unless of course you mean the ability to simply think about your existence, realise that you came from your parents etc. At which point I would argue that this awareness and thinking ability is still just a matter of programming, because after all, God programmed us with the ability to think and be aware. So still It seems that being aware of something doesn't stop the fact that all of your actions, including the act of being aware of something, were made as a result of your creator.

      Also to that point, is that because humans are capable of thinking, and are just a series of mechanical processes, we can conclude that it is possible to replicate in a robot, at which point we would still call it a robot, and still say that it has no free will because all of it's actions were as a result of our decisions.

      As for the awareness of the end of your life, that is easily programable into a robot with our current technology. All you would need to do is have a stimulus "high edge" and an emotional response "sadness/fear" and you would have the same effect as when a human sees a high edge and a negative emotion. We are but stimulus-reaction creatures too, after all.

      ----------------

      "God cannot go against His nature, but we have been given the ability of free-will to decide to choose life beyond this one"

      But where is my free will? If God created my ancestors in a way that they would give birth to me, so that I would never buy into religion or morality, when did I ever have the choice of leading a righteous life? I didn't. If I was actively created as a result of my ancestors being actively created, then I am nothing but a robot, carrying out what my programming tells me to do.

      ---------------

      To sum up:

      My argument to complexity is that it has no relevance to free will: we would then be complex robots relative to the robots we can create now, in 1000 years we will probably be able to create humans or more complex robots, so we would be less complex robots than the ones we would be creating ourselves.

      At no point does the sheer complexity of how we were made at all have any weight on whether or not we were programmed. Because, if we were programmed complexly or not, we would still by definition be robots and have no free will. As you say we now just " made to encode and decode a data stream", whatever stimulus we are given, we react according to our internal programming.

      My argument to awareness is that it also has no relevance to free will because that awareness is itself part of our programming, and could be replicated in more complex robots in the future, because we ourselves function on mechanics that biology is letting us know more and more about every day. Even if a robot knew who it was and who created it, it would still have no choice over what it does because it was our programming that makes it do what it does. We would have programmed the robots with the ability of awareness Just like God did with humans.

      And being aware of the end your life is just a stimulus-reaction process just like humans use and can be programmed into a robot just like it was programmed into us. Even that ability to fear death is part of our programming by God, and so we really have no choice or upper hand over simpler robots, we were just made more complexly.

      To conclude, all of these points are about the complexity of human mechanics, but they are still just about our mechanics. Arguing that we have free will because we are more complex than other robots is like arguing that a computer has free will because it can do functions that a toaster can't.

      If we were actively programmed by someone, what makes us different from any other robot other than the person who programmed us being able to do something more complex?

      The complexity of our robots are drastically increasing all of the time, they are capable of learning, thinking and being aware, but we would never say that they have free will.

      So it is wrong to say that because humans are capable of thinking and learning and being aware that they have free will.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      7 years ago

      Anton,

      ("But saying god is not responsible and did not create it is like a parent saying 'I didn't kill my child. I just didn't feed him. He is dead because of his inability to feed himself. This isn't my fault.")

      You see, if God decides to destroy an entire culture including women and children, then it is His will, whether we like it or not. This has already been communicated in Scripture.

      God has already seen the future and He knows what has happened which is revealed in the foreknowledge of Scripture. God ordained the struggle with evil as an option of His creation by His own free-will.

      The free-will of mankind is the drama that's played out, but only God knows the real ending.

      The force of suggestion in marketing is powerful, God's power and influence in the universe suggests that He is the relevant factor in the structure of life and everything else in the universe.

      The basis of science is in the scientific laws. Can there be a law that governs free-will? If there isn't, we are free to do what we please with no restraints. In the end, no one is fully unrestrained due to the restrictive consequences of applying free-will to ignorantly or wilfully break a certain law. In the end, the one who has the most power creates the standards and consequences of the law. For example, many have freely tried to defy gravity to their own detriment.

      In the name of Darwin we can kill the weak and the sick and selfishly fight tooth and nail to the top, but with that ideology where has it really gotten us?

      Death and suffering in life is inevitable.

      Scripture says that God is good and severe. That is simply the reality that we live in. Regardless of what we define as evil or good, the reality of the standards are set, whether one chooses to believe in them or not.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      7 years ago

      Philanthropy,

      Let's take your definition of a God that knows everything; therefore, our beginning and end are known by Him. The beginning and end of human history is also known.

      ("So it is wrong to say that because humans are capable of thinking and learning and being aware that they have free will.")

      If we have potential or an ability, it is the quality to be able to do something. Although we may have the ability, we may choose not to use it. Many do, and the action or non-action gives a result.

      You may try put a cape on and shout doot do do do! but the restriction may come from how well the elongation and elasticity of your tights hold up as you attempt to make the leap :0

      Is God the puppeteer pulling the strings to our inevitable predestination? Maybe so, but no matter what we may attempt, we will never have the ability to oppose the will of God.

      Although God knows what happens when the curtains ultimately close on this life does not mean that we are literal sock puppets through it. When we oppose good, evil is justified according to the free-will actions we take in opposition to the law of good. With that said, God is not restricted from controlling otherwise, if or when He decides to.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      Aye aye Anton, planks has read "God Is a Sadist"/6 reasons religion is dying" so he would have heard of this before.

      It can be explained even simpler I think. If God created the world how he wanted it (biblical), and evil /the lack of good exists, then that's exactly what he wanted for whatever reason.

      I think some people will find it difficult to wrap their heads around the concept that he had created all of the necessary conditions for evil/a lack of good to occur, not going past the "this man killed another, it's his fault he did that" idea, forgetting that the reason he did that was because of the precedented experiences he had with the outside stimulus that God had created.

      I'm glad you commented actually, because It reminded me that you're active on HubPages and alerted me that I haven't responded to your response on your Loving Creator hub D:

      I thought it was you who went under the radar, apologies, expect a response in a bit.

      Philanthropy,

    • profile image

      AntonOfTheNorth 

      7 years ago

      Hey Folks

      If god created free will (humour me. Assume it is really free will) and free will is considered the source of evil, and god is omnipotent. . .

      God created evil. God created the conditions under which it would occur, the mechanism by which it would occur, and the consequences (pain suffering sorrow) of evil occurring.

      If we ascribe god with the feature of omniscience/omnipotence, then he knew the resulting action of allowing free will would be potentially evil.

      If you believe the literal bible, he then spent a great deal of time warning of the consequences.

      Why? This is the logical next question.

      Did god create evil? No one else did.

      Is a person responsible for their own actions? Most courts hold this to be true. We should do the same for god, no?

      If I know the likely result of not securing a firearm in my home is that a child of mine will injure or kill someone out of ignorance, and still neglect to secure the weapon, I would be charged with negligence in just about any 'just' society we can imagine.

      The god of this interpretation knowingly created the conditions for evil to occur. Either there was a reason or it was beyond the creator to stop it.

      But saying god is not responsible and did not create it is like a parent saying 'I didn't kill my child. I just didn't feed him. He is dead because of his inability to feed himself. This isn't my fault.'

      Oh, yes it is.

      cheers

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      @Planks

      "Does the omniscient God that you speak of know everything that can be known, or have the ability to know everything one chooses to know? Totally, or inherently?"

      The definition of omniscient I use is "the state of knowing everything" which is the one I believe the holy texts use too.

      "A robot can be programmed with a certain amount of information to function, but its nature is limited to the amount given.

      Human's have DNA which is a complex code system for human life to function. This information far exceeds the complexity and intelligence of man; therefore, the source exceeds that of human technology (i.e. robots)."

      So here you state that the difference between robots and humans is that of complexity, but why would that have any weight on free will? If we built a robot that is more complex than a human, would he be entitled to free will? And to that point where in the level of complexity do we say "right, at this point of complexity, this thing has free will and below that, this doesn't".

      "It is simple really. God creates *sentient* beings who are aware of who created them. God knows the consequences of going against His nature because He already communicated the consequences to the first human beings that He created that this would happen."

      "A human technological machine does not know that its life is coming to a permanent end because it is just made to encode and decode a data stream. No matter how loud you yell at it, it will never have the ability of cognizance."

      So here you say that it is also because of awareness. It might be important to first tell you that we have already created robots with "cognizance" as I understand it. Robots with the ability to learn from their mistakes and store that information as knowledge for future use.

      Then I would argue that awareness has nothing to do with free will. If a toaster knew that we created it, it would still have no choice over it's functional capability. To that point, atheists do not believe they were created by a God, so are they robots?

      Unless of course you mean the ability to simply think about your existence, realise that you came from your parents etc. At which point I would argue that this awareness and thinking ability is still just a matter of programming, because after all, God programmed us with the ability to think and be aware. So still It seems that being aware of something doesn't stop the fact that all of your actions, including the act of being aware of something, were made as a result of your creator.

      Also to that point, is that because humans are capable of thinking, and are just a series of mechanical processes, we can conclude that it is possible to replicate in a robot, at which point we would still call it a robot, and still say that it has no free will because all of it's actions were as a result of our decisions.

      As for the awareness of the end of your life, that is easily programable into a robot with our current technology. All you would need to do is have a stimulus "high edge" and an emotional response "sadness/fear" and you would have the same effect as when a human sees a high edge and a negative emotion. We are but stimulus-reaction creatures too, after all.

      "God cannot go against His nature, but we have been given the ability of free-will to decide to choose life beyond this one"

      But where is my free will? If God created my ancestors in a way that they would give birth to me, so that I would never buy into religion or morality, when did I ever have the choice of leading a righteous life? I didn't. If I was actively created as a result of my ancestors being actively created, then I am nothing but a robot, carrying out what my programming tells me to do.

      To sum up:

      My argument to complexity is that it has no relevance to free will: we would then be complex robots relative to the robots we can create now, in 1000 years we will probably be able to create humans or more complex robots, so we would be less complex robots than the ones we would be creating ourselves.

      At no point does the sheer complexity of how we were made at all have any weight on whether or not we were programmed. Because, if we were programmed complexly or not, we would still by definition be robots and have no free will. As you say we now just " made to encode and decode a data stream", whatever stimulus we are given, we react according to our internal programming.

      My argument to awareness is that it also has no relevance to free will because that awareness is itself part of our programming, and could be replicated in more complex robots in the future, because we ourselves function on mechanics that biology is letting us know more and more about every day. Even if a robot knew who it was and who created it, it would still have no choice over what it does because it was our programming that makes it do what it does. We would have programmed the robots with the ability of awareness Just like God did with humans.

      And being aware of the end your life is just a stimulus-reaction process just like humans use and can be programmed into a robot just like it was programmed into us. Even that ability to fear death is part of our programming by God, and so we really have no choice or upper hand over simpler robots, we were just made more complexly.

      To conclude, all of these points are about the complexity of human mechanics, but they are still just about our mechanics. Arguing that we have free will because we are more complex than other robots is like arguing that a computer has free will because it can do functions that a toaster can't.

      If we were actively programmed by someone, what makes us different from any other robot other than the person who programmed us being able to do something more complex?

      The complexity of our robots are drastically increasing all of the time, they are capable of learning, thinking and being aware, but we would never say that they have free will.

      So it is wrong to say that because humans are capable of thinking and learning and being aware that they have free will.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      7 years ago

      Philanthropy,

      Does the omniscient God that you speak of know everything that can be known, or have the ability to know everything one chooses to know? Totally, or inherently?

      A robot can be programmed with a certain amount of information to function, but its nature is limited to the amount given.

      Human's have DNA which is a complex code system for human life to function. This information far exceeds the complexity and intelligence of man; therefore, the source exceeds that of human technology (i.e. robots).

      It is simple really. God creates *sentient* beings who are aware of who created them. God knows the consequences of going against His nature because He already communicated the consequences to the first human beings that He created that this would happen.

      ... for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. -- Genesis 2:17

      The lack of good leads to death.

      A human technological machine does not know that its life is coming to a permanent end because it is just made to encode and decode a data stream. No matter how loud you yell at it, it will never have the ability of cognizance.

      God cannot go against His nature, but we have been given the ability of free-will to decide to choose life beyond this one while we suffer the collateral damage of our actions, and those of others in this world because of our lack of good.

      Right standing is obtained by acknowledging our rebellion against our creator (God) when He reveals Himself; we in turn communicate our decision whether to continue in our ways, or make amends.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 

      7 years ago from London

      Just a thought Planks, how would you argue this:

      We do not have free will if were created by an omniscient God.

      This is because if we were willingly created by a God who already knew what we would do, before we did it, it was his choice, not ours, for us to do it.

      This is because when he created us, he would have created how we decide and react to things. So when people commit crimes or sins, it is because of the way they dealt with their experiences, the way they reacted to external stimulus in the past.

      This can be easier understood by an analogy with robots:

      I build a robot, who has 100,000 choices to choose from 100 million + choices to choose from, and I know which he will choose , then I know he will reproduce, and I know that his offspring will have 100,000+ choices to choose from 100 million+ choices to choose from, and I know which ones he will choose, and then that robot will reproduce, and will have 100,000+ choices to choose from, again with 100 million choices to choose from, again I know which one he will choose.

      Did any of the robots have freedom? Or was it MY choice for each of the choices to be chosen by the robots because I programmed them to react in particular ways and do as I say they will, I knew what the robots would do from the start and went ahead and allowed it to happen.

      We say that robots do not have free will, because they were programmed to do what they do.

      So what is the difference between a man when he is programmed to do and react exactly how his creator has done?

      We should also say that man has no free will.

      Just as in the case of:

      God builds a human, who has 100,000+ choices to choose from 100 million + choices to choose from, and God knows which he will choose, then God knows he will reproduce, and God knows that his offspring will have 100,000+ choices to choose from 100 million+ choices to choose from, and God knows which ones he will choose, and then that human will reproduce, and will have 100,000+ choices to choose from, again with 100 million choices to choose from, again God knows which one he will choose.

      It would be interesting to see what you think of this, thanks, (up & interesting).

      Philanthropy,

    working

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