Theists often times have trouble defending God against gratuitous evil, such as a person burning to death slowly with no clear reason the suffering has to be so severe.
In any event, there is another problem that theists must account for, and that is the origin of evil. Theists assert that God created everything that exists, which includes the world, space, and time itself (how God acted temporally without time is another mystery, but I'll leave that for another time). Did God not create evil also?
The Bible claims as much. According to Isaiah 45:7, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." If one is a Christian, the case is now closed. However, I am not naive enough to believe some Christians will not try to escape this by citing contradictory verses. This doesn't help the case one iota, and just shows that the Bible is not clear on the origin of evil, and in order to settle conflicts on contradictory verses, HUMAN judgment must come into play. Calvinists are okay with this conclusion (that God created evil), but most will not be.
If the Bible is correct, and God did create evil, then it is inexplicable why human beings would ever be judged for our actions. God created the problem to begin with. Human beings had no part in it whatsoever. Therefore, it is immoral to judge them. It would be similiar to a mad scientist creating a human being that was prone to violence, and would not be able to not be violent at certain times, and then becoming upset when the human actually committed violence! There is also a question of how evil could be created be a morally perfect being.
On the other hand, if one claims that human beings created evil because God is incapable, then we have a power God does not. Human beings can actually will evil into existence, when it would otherwise not exist at all. There is also a problem of free will. Most theists claim that in order for human beings to actually make a meaningful choice, we must possess the capacity to do evil. However, this definition of free will is not applied to God! God is seen as so moral that he cannot do evil. Why would God not want us to be as moral as himself? Is God not free because he lacks this capacity?
To Biblical, non-calvinic inerrants, how do you square the circle with the verse from Isiah?
To other theists, why do you believe that human beings must be able to choose evil in order to truly be free? Is God's free will compromised by his inability to choose to do evil?
Some translations of the verse in Isaiah have 'calamity' in place of 'evil'. This verse was in response to the beliefs of other nations that evil came from evil gods, evil spirits or demons. God however states that besides him there is no other, no evil god, no arch fiend in opposition to him, aka Satan.
According to Jewish theology that I have read, this evil or calamity that comes from God in the end serves a good purpose. In the case of Israel, God brought te Asyrians and Babylonians against them (evil, calamity), but in the end he was purging Israel from idolatry, which was good. Paul goes on to state that all things work to the good of those that love God, even if those things include what we perceive as evil or calamity.
True evil comes from the hearts of men, who decide to act in contradiction to their conscience to do good, or hat they know is right.
Good answer, but I think it goes further than simply how we act in contradiction to our conscience, and perceiving calamity visited upon ourselves. We create evil by perceiving it in our attempts to do good.
Look at some current threads of radical Christians. Everything they see is evil, no matter how innocous the rest of us consider those things to be. So, 'good' creates 'evil'. Sometimes I wonder, if we all looked to ourselves and stopped looking about in rabid judgement; would 'evil' still exist?
Why did God have to do it in that fashion? Given his power, wouldn't some sort of terrible vision, painful vision done just as well and not have hurt innocent women and children and unborn babies?
It is questions like these which make me believe somebody is simply using an historical event and making if fit their vision of God.
no one is innocent. GOD knows the hearts of man better than man knows his own heart.
We see that earlier in hebrew history, there were the 10 plagues against egypt and marvelous exodus across a divided sea, pillar of fire by night, shekinah glory in the temple... prophets to speak of future events. Gods signs and wonders do not do the trick of making people sinless, people have to voluntarily desire to be that way. There are intrinsic and instrumental worth applied to people. Intrinsic if they desire to abide in Gods ways and instrumental if God just pushes/blesses/takes away the ability to make choices. Instrumental has not the same worth as intrinsic. Instrumental can get the job done but not out of love but duty. A giant vision in the heavens would convince peoples attitude but not their desires and they would become resentful after a while because they are not active in their change. God wants love - he doesnt want to just zap it there he wants his people to grow and mature in an environment that produces love and love comes through relationship not signs and wonders.
As to the hurt of humans, well, affliction, destitution, persecution are, um, designed - if you will - to bring people to God and not to take people away from God. The rich man parable speaks of comfy people not needing God and the blessed are the poor speaks of neediness bringing people to God.
Unborn babies in the quantities today did not parallel the numbers of old time and due to abortions this is a puzzling situation but we are looking at the baby who is unborn and not the adult that has to deal with this type of affliction. The adult is also important to God.
Indeed, and according to the bible it wouldn't exist if god hadn't put it there.
What men consider as evil came from God indeed....except to God it is not evil.
All things to God is good, but a man being a man, did not quite understand thus he creates evil from that which is good.
When he begins to understand he begin to see nothing as evil...thus he finds himself to be Just as God is and he calls him Father.
Is God then responsible for evil....ultimately yes.
Is man responsible for the evil in and amongs themselves ? Again the answer is Yes.
Why? Because all knowledge is given and also the freedom to use it for whatsoever you will.
Those dont understand the goodness of all things, will be consumed by the evil they have seen and create......Thus they die.
Without light no man can see the darkmess to revel in it...
But Darkness existed before Light, in the beginning, it was a Void.
At the point of light entering darkness the concept of beginning came to be....
And light must first have the perception of darkness, before He can initiate this beginning with His command.
By itself darkness is worthless unto its ownself.
so now you have light perceiving darkness before HE can... often people can interpret things so far into the extremes that they are of no earthly good and i think your mumbo jumbo pretty much shows this to be true.
even jesus parables were understandable. There is no edification where understanding is not possible.
The parable which says....he that has ears to hear let him hear... to you is still a mystery.
Are you (christianity) not the product of the understanding the recorded spoken parables of the God man?
He and I drink from the same fountain and from it we have besn given the authority to speak...
From Which fountain do you drink?
oh oh, silly me, just more mumbo jumbo...
Authority to speak is fine and anyone can claim that but they really shouldn't have to claim that as the words they speak should ring true because God is in the heart and the spirit speaks expressly. What you continually say is not within the category of ears to hear because people don't have a clue what you are talking about.
If you want to know what fountain i drink from you could discover my homepage and hubs, you do not need to ask that question.
And again you said nothing audible.
I am just prompting you to explain clearly what you say so all may understand and not as some have said, "hurt our heads".
Your head hurts because you do not have ears to hear...you do not have ears to hear because you do not belong to the fold...
The fold are those who are taught of themselves that they are the fullness of all that is.
I do not speak to the world for the world cannot.hear me....I speak to the few and they do rejoice to hear me.
You cause yourself undue stress because you are carnality straining after spirituality.
Spirituality comes to and are those who is at rest.
LOL the way you view kess is the same way I view you and kess both.
It's funny to watch you both disagreeing with eachother and making your unfounded assertions.
there is an obvious difference;
Kess doesn't use the bible, apparently, or if he does he is one of those that are caught up in this eclectic idealism train of thought that everything is meta-whatever.
Just another falseness that needs to be reproved.
its amazing how you collect and contrive your data and come up with silly phrases like unfounded assertions. Obviously i am the one who interprets the bible closer than kess does.
There is a truth, if you are open to it and after you find it, you will notice much untruth all around. Its part of the package. Just like talking about dead people from 1,000s of years ago... you have to go where the cause takes you.
Really all i want from kess is that he type so people can understand what he is talking about and then we can take it from there, but he chooses to not do that but takes another course of action and calls it the light.
Spirituality comes to and are those who is at rest.
Karmic pleasance be's unto them what know not it.
Clearly there is an evil because there are judgments. What you say may sound good but is not biblical. Evil is not just something man conjured up because they knew no better. God wrote the 10 commandments to keep people from evil, God gave statutes and judgments to help people deal with evil. God clearly kicked adam and eve out for choosing evil.
Evil does exist and is what God is primarily concerned about with his children.
You are the one bound by the bible, I am not.
Therefore you are unable to understand me.
I an bound by Truth alone of which no multitude of writings can ever be an accurate representation.
I do not understand because you have not the truth, plain and simple.
Truth is not eclectic it is for all to plainly and clearly understand. What you talk of is just some metaphysical garbage that only, i am sure, you alone understand.
You are not bound by anything and clearly your ego makes you write these strange sentences. Speak clearly man.
truth is foundational of what God is all about. Since my bible limits me to only one truth I must say that truth is contained within the bible and truth is of God.
To ask what truth is, is to deny one of Gods attributes, for God is truth, resides in truth and reveals truth.
John 3:21 But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
John 4:23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
You are not being misrepresented when I say that to you Truth is encapsulated by the book...
So if Truth is the book, then Truth is dead for the book is dead.
I believe no such thing.
But My Father and I rejoices because you believe such a thing and we do not need to convince you otherwise...for by it death speaks unto his own and gathers and receive all those that belong to it.
And in so doing death dies, so that Life will Live.
So unlike you I am not here to make deciples, for all my deciples are already accounted for...and I must do the works of the Father.
Whatever your particular religious beliefs say it is.
Evil is the things mankind thinks, says, and does to their fellow man. Evil is what we have managed to acheive in the entire time we have been on this planet. Subjugation of others. Sooner...even those with no religion at all are guilty of evil. Don't be so naive.
A very good question. To me, evil is exerting power and control over another human being, or animal. To the point that the human being (or animal) suffers starvation, beatings, humiliation or, heart break. Sometimes we as human beings inflict heartbreak on others, without actually meaning to. I don't think that makes us evil. But starvation, beatings, humiliation, which are inflicted deliberately constitute evil, IMHO.
Very well presented, Sooner. I do have an answer for your paragraph starting with "If the Bible is correct, and God did create evil ..." As far as I can see, there is no contradiction. Try this on for size: God does create evil, just as Isaiah says (I wonder that the original Hebrew word was?). But, just because God created it, Man doesn't have to exercise it, so long as you believe in Free WIll. Therefore, if Man does do evil, then a penalty must be paid.
On the other hand, if, like Fundamentalist Protestants, you believe there is no Free Will, then you are correct, Man cannot be held responsible for His actions becuase Man is simply acting out the plan God had for Him.
Question - did God do Evil in Job?
I appreciate that an actual answer.
Why does God have to create it though? God is seen as the most moral being in the world, and cannot "do" evil. Very few theists claim this takes away God's ability to act in a moral way. His nature ensures he MUST act as such towards angels and towards human beings; however, for humans to act morally, for some seemingly arbitrary reason, we must have a choice to do evil. Why the difference in standards is my question, especially when God is seen as a morally perfect being?
As to the Job question, would you call me evil if I killed your entire family because I wanted to test your love for me?
God did not put job through what Job went through because God wanted to test Jobs love.
Job was self righteous and Job used the 'rules' as his measuring stick of acceptability, in short, Jobs assurance was in the works and not in his relationship.
Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Job 32:1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
So Job just needed to be corrected:
Its not the works of the law that make a person acceptable unto God and I hope deborah ---ton reads this: Paul also stated this to the gentiles. Job was a man of UZ.
Job was restored completely.
Um no. I have no idea where you could possibly get such an idea. You are twisting yourself into an intellectual pretzel in order to preserve your worldview.
"1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 1:3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 1:4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. "
It claims Job was perfect. And also, it was God allowing Satan to cause all these bad things to happen to Job in order to show Satan up and prove him wrong. That's quite a strange God if you ask me. I'd rather not be some kind of pawn in a supernatural chess match.
GOD created satan. HE created satan so that mankind would have a choice. all things have an opposite. satan is GODs opposite. when adam and eve chose to disobey GOD, they chose HIS opposite. they chose to believe the lies of satan. that is when evil entered the hearts of mankind.
So God created evil, assuming I am understanding you correctly. Why did God do this?
why is it people insist on making others repeat themselves? since it is obvious you can read, then you should have no problem reading the answer to your question in the post you quoted me saying. and since i already explained why GOD created evil, i feel no need to repeat it.
Both Good and Evil exist only because intelligent creatures exist that are capable of making independent decisions. Absent this, there cannot be either Good nor Evil because they are abstract concepts attributed to certain behaviors. Even if humans did not exist, Good and Evil would still exist because it has been shown that many animal species can and do act in and "evil" way; this is seen in chimpanzees a lot.
However, if the world were simply made up of ameobas, Good and Evil would not exist, even if God existed as Christians think He does. Why? Because there would be no behaviour to apply those to terms to.
Have you ever wondered why acts of nature are not judged to be good or evil???
Duality is the Greatest Cause of All Suffering, is the Source of all that is Evil.
Only Man has Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Knowledge of Good and Evil being thrust into the lime light when man ate the Fruit, eat of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; the Fruit, the Knowledge born of a Single Source, a Single Origin, which as it comes to fruition, as it issues forth, is as made manifest Absolutely Good Knowledge, has Dual Quality, Absolutely Good Knowledge as it issue forth having a dual quality is actually Absolutely Bad Knowledge mistaken to be Absolutely Good Knowledge; said Knowledge being duplicitous, Guileful, Deceptive, said Duality of Knowledge being the greatest cause of all suffering, being the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Absolutely Bad Knowledge being the Greatest Cause of all Suffering, being the cause of all that is Evil; Absolutely Bad Knowledge being born of Man’s Guilefulness, not being born of God’s Absolutely Good Knowledge; Absolutely Good Knowledge being the Fruit of the Many Trees of the Garden not the Single Tree at the center of the Garden, which God forbid man to eat there of; God’s Absolutely Good Knowledge being the Knowledge of Universal Reality.
The only true evils are committed by men, righteous in their own (deed) mind.
@ts it comes from god....god invented evil to use humans for his own fun....then god nailed his own son ....if one reads OT it is difficult to differentiate between god's brutality and evils brutality....evil comes from god...
good and evil, ying and yang - it's all in the balance and it's up to us to try to make the scale level-out. God created man with the ability to create a balance between good and evil. But when we get so wrapped up in our earthly role that we forget to nurture our spirituality, we lose our balance and Evil shows its face.
There has to be a balance between things, including Science and Belief.
The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom.
We can do nothing but desire to change, and God makes the change.
We cannot by ourselves, without God, balance any spirituality because there is only one spirit and that spirit is of God and unless He gives you of that spirit all people are spiritually dead. We might think we are balancing spirituality, but that is just imagination.
There is nothing to actually balance out. We just have to cast our cares upon Him and he balances things out. Our works are not enough, we can do nothing - veil bottom to top.
I think Klarawieck stated it perfectly, Brothery, it is simply illogical and unacceptable that God gives us the ability to change ourselves and then takes that ability away and only leaves the vestigage of "desiring" with "change" actually happening left to the whims of God.
I can't speak for Klarawieck, but for me, I do agree with the part of your statement which says "We cannot by ourselves, without God, balance any spirituality because there is only one spirit and that spirit is of God" But where you an I differ, of course is that I believe God and Nature are one in the same and not two separate entities.
With my view, what you say will be logical, with your view, it simply isn't and there isn't any way of making it so without stepping outside of reality and into mysticism or, if you will, witches and warlocks and those others who can defy the laws of Nature.
As to your last paragraph, doesn't it actually say that human beings are mere puppets and that there is no meaning or purpose to life? With that worldview it makes me wonder why humanity exists at all.
That is a very good and deep question you have asked - one I have, and continue to, ponder myself. I will try to give you some of the explanations I have come to over the past couple of years. But just so you are aware, I am coming from the whole controversy with a belief that coincides with Psalms 136:1, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever." In other words, my worldview on this issue is that God IS good, and these are the glasses that I look at the entire discussion through.
Many people are posting that God created Satan/evil because the universe needs balance. I disagree with this 100%. Firstly, this suggests that every great thing requires something terrible to compensate for it. If I get a raise, that must mean that my girlfriend is going to break up with me. I don't think God wants us to be miserable, after all Philippians 4:19 declares, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus". Clearly he wants the best for us and the best does not need to be balanced with something as lousy as sin.
So, let me try to briefly explain my views of how evil works (hopefully it will be short, maybe I will need to write a hub about it sometime). My post will consist of a description of evil, what causes evil, what will end evil, and why it matters to you and me.
Sooner28, the verse you quoted from Isaiah started by comparing "good and evil" to "light and dark". Let me ask you, have you ever taken a physics class? If you ask a scientist to define "darkness" they will tell you, "It is the absence of light". After all, you cannot add darkness to something to make it darker, you have to take away light. Therefore, "light" is the real entity, and "darkness" is simply when there is no light. Could it be the same with God? Is evil not real in a sense, but simply an absence of God?
This is significant: Psalms 5:4 states, "For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with you." If no evil can dwell with him, how can he create evil? The only way it can be created is if God is not in the area. Does light create darkness? In one sense "yes", by leaving the area, and in another, "no", because it is not a result of the light itself.
Thus, because "No evil dwells with [God]", my definition of evil is essentially, "separation from God".
CAUSES OF EVIL
Well, the definition of evil essential describes the cause of it as well, "separation from God". I'm sure you now how the story goes, Adam and Eve were placed in a garden and told they could eat from every tree but one, and of course, being the slightly unintelligent individuals so many of us end up being, the disobeyed and ate the fruit.
Was the fruit poisoned? No. Eating the fruit was simply a declaration that they were better than God. The devil convinced Adam and Eve that they could be just fine without God - which is the same lie the devil told himself while in Heaven, that he should and could be equal to God.
You might think at this point, is God so cocky that he wasn't about to make others equal to himself? Well, let's think about this for a minute, if humanity and the devil have caused this much pain and suffering while being less then God, what would be happening if we were created equal to God? Essentially everything that runs through Greek mythology.
Once we start talking about free will, this is where I believe your predestination friends are in fault. See, they take several verses by Paul to declare that we are destined to do good or bad. I do not believe this is the case. In Matthew 3:2 we are told that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand". Therefore, God's kingdom is already in motion. And if God is good, and can do no evil, then his kingdom should be everything that is good.
But let me ask you this, what does a kingdom need to be maintained? Clearly people, or citizens. And this is where the predestination comes into play. God desires all of us to be part of his kingdom now (this is separate from the future heaven), because his will can only work through his kingdom. Paul states in Philippians 2:13, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose". God NEEDS US to share his love with others.
Because you and I have free will, we have the freedom to ignore God and be jerks that mess up the world. However, if we freely decide to be part of God's Kingdom, we are able to love others rather than cause more pain (this does NOT mean that we will not suffer pain, a common American misunderstanding). The idea is not ME ME ME, but what can I do to further glorify God by loving others. See, if I focus on me, then the pain keeps coming, but if I start focusing on making other people's lives better, than my lifestyle is bringing in the kingdom of God.
WHAT WILL END EVIL?
I disagree that evil is necessary, and I believe that it will be destroyed. The last half of the book of Daniel, along with the book of Revelation, discuss Christ returning again (in his full glory as God). This is an incredible thing! This means that after this moment there will be no more pain and suffering. Those miserable experiences you are going through right now, you will go through them never again.
However, as we discussed, God is like light. Sin/evil is like darkness. Once light arrives, the darkness is destroyed. The same will go with evil once God comes close with all his glory. It will go the direction of darkness during the day.
Now, if you claim to be an atheist, one of the main reasons may be the idea of a hell where people burn forever. How could a good God allow people to burn but never die?
I believe that he doesn't. Ezekiel 18:20 says, "the soul that sins, it will die". If you are burning in Hell forever, you are NEVER dieing. Besides, if it had to be an eternal burning, and Jesus is the one who pays the price for those who have sinned and repented, then Jesus should be burning in hell forever. Shouldn't he?
Again, my belief can be tied into your idea of light again. When a light is turned on, the darkness is NOT suffering in some terrible torment, it is simply gone. The same will go with evil and those who LOVE evil (selfishness) more than God and other people.
Although the majority of Christians believe in a hell where people keep burning and burning, I disagree because it doesn't make logical sense and it goes against the Bible. There are a good number of Christians that believe the same.
Therefore, if you are a "bad/evil" person, the end is not that terrible, you just cease to exist because the darkness of evil cannot withstand the brightness of God.
WHAT DOES IT MATTER TO YOU AND ME?
Finally, we are coming to the end! So what?
We must decide which kingdom to be a part of. If evil is the absence of God, which results in pain and hurt, I must decide whether I want to be a member of God's kingdom, which focuses on relieving pain and hurt, or whether I want to be a member of the devil's kingdom, which focuses on putting others down to lift yourself up (by the way, both kingdoms are prevalent in the Christian church today, and personal I bounce between the two - striving to be 100% for God however).
Second, we must realize that God DOES love us. You and me. And he will do what's best. If we would hate living in a paradise where we focused on others more than ourselves, then we will disappear as the darkness does - it will be an eternal punishment (dead forever), but not eternal punishing (burning forever). However, if we desire to love first, as 1 Corinthians 13 so beautiful states, then we will live with God in a world of ultimate, unconditional love - which can sound scary sometimes.
Thirdly, if we are truly members of this kingdom, we must act like it and recruit others. And Sooner28, sincerely, I want you to be a part of this kingdom. I will probably never meet you on earth, but I love the idea of you and I talking about this discussion while we are eating from a tree, overlooking the beautiful city where God's magnificence and perfection resides.
Lastly, we can live without fear. See Sooner28, I know that I have a great life to look forward to, so I can put up with the pain and misery that I encounter at the hands of others while I am here on this earth. It's completely fine if someone tries to make a mess out of my few years on this planet because I have an eternal life to look forward to!
Basically, I have tried to give you what I have come to understand as the answer to your question. Is it perfect? Definitely not. Is it heading the right direction? I think so. Evil is a tough subject, but I think that's the reason Jesus stated the perfection of the earth to come. Jesus never promised an easy life on this planet, he just promised us something to look forward to after this planet comes to an end (and his resurrection, which is about as close to historically proven as you can get for anything from that time period or before, gives us the assurance that we can have life after death as well).
Hopefully my post here has made sense. If you discover anything else that could add light to my own journey I would greatly appreciate it - this is far from perfect. I am confident, however, that God created you and me, he loves both of us so much that he suffered in our place, and he is coming back to bring light to this dark and painful planet. It's something you and I can get excited about.
What a great reply. I just want you to know that I have seen you posted this, and I will get around to responding ASAP.
Like @Sooner, I think you have written one of the best, unprovocative, logical (from your point of view), responses I have ever seen to questions of this nature. I only have a minute at the moment to respond, I need to say that if it was your view monotheism (Christianity sinse you put Jesus equivalent to God) that was preached and "practiced" by the Christian community in 1957, when I was 10, I would be a practicing Christian today. Unfortunately, it is not for Christitianity, has it has been practiced, has much "light" to its credit, it has much more "darkness". Further, no monotheist will eschew Job and Noah as parts of the Bible and the words and acts of God. So long as a group of people try to defend those Books as being what God is, I will remain a Pantheist.
Just a thought on your "physics" metaphore. Light, real light, is a photon striking a nerve in a creatures eye and its brain perceiing it as something. So, in one sense, if there were no creatures of any sort with photon sensitive receptors, there would be no light ... because it is a perceived thing. But, even that is not quite right because what we call light is a real thing, it is a massless photon package of energy that travels through darkness, even if it is going through some material like glass, it is slipping through voids in the atomic structure. It is this reasoning which leads me to reject the idea that there can be "no evil" or darkness, at least using your metaphore, for it light filled up 100% of all space, meaning photons filled up 100% of all space, there would be nowhere for the photons to travel to and they would be absorbed in each other, creating, you guessed it, darkness. There is an example of this, btw. In the period prior to 300,000 after the Big Bang (when my version of God created the Universe), there was no light because the universe was so dense, photons disappeared as soon as they were created.
Thank you for your compliment regarding my description. I know it is far from perfect, but I try to match together what I see as facts from science, the Bible, and history - there are no other sources that I am interested in.
I am sorry that the 10 year old you was placed in a community where people who claimed to be Christians acted as idiots. I strive to not refer to myself as a Christian. I like how Acts 11:26 declared that "they were first called Christians in Antioch". The title was given to them by others, they didn't not state it themselves. Unfortunately, we are all to quick to take the title of "Christian" without taking the lifestyle. I believe that regardless of someone's religious or political views, a Christian should be someone that people respect and admire for their honesty, commitment to good, hatred of evil, and desire to make the world a better place. Sadly this doesn't usually happen.
As for your declaration about the Big Bang theory. I have much respect for you declaring this as how your God started things. I sincerely dislike when scientists who claim evolution declare their beliefs to be facts - because they require just as much faith as mine, and I find this to be an ignorant statement. However, anyone who can admit that they have faith or belief in something, I can respect. Even if I disagree, I admire your willingness to admit that it is your opinion and you may not have it all figured out, just as I do.
And yes, the light metaphor is probably not perfect. I do, however, still believe that we do not need evil for survival. In fact, I can pull out much from the Bible that states that sin/evil will end when Christ returns a second time - which I believe to be sooner then we think (how long can humanity continue to screw over this world without something going wrong?).
Just a thought on your "physics" metaphore. Light, real light, is a photon striking a nerve in a creatures eye and its brain perceiing it as something. So, in one sense, if there were no creatures of any sort with photon sensitive receptors, there would be no light ... because it is a perceived thing.
Sorry but, the perception of Light has nothing to do with the existence of Light.
Our Knowledge of Light is however dependent upon our perception.
Reality exists independent of our thoughts, our ideas, our conjecture, our speculation, our theory concerning, our imaginings.
Reality exists independent of any measurement there of.
What an interesting reply, Empericism (Locke) vs Rationalism (Descartes), if I am not mistaken, Aristotle vs Plato.
To change your characterization slightly "... but, the perception of light has nothing to with the existance of Light", with the big "L" being Plato's view of a "Form", perhaps.
Anyway, to your thoughts. If you define Light, with a capital L as a photon, then I accept your assertion for photons exist with or without anything around to perceive them. But, my experience with what light, with a little 'l' means, it is just a certain range of frequencies that, when translated by a brain, can by "seen" by the owner of that brain. In our lexicon, I don't think "microwaves" and "light" are considered to be the same thing, yet both are photons.
Photons have always existed since the Big Bang, if only for a minute instant before being reabsorbed by something they ran into, but the idea of "light" didn't come along until there was something to convert it into a perception. But, back to my original statement, if you define photons as Light, then yes, Light exists without perception.
(OK, now I am dizzy!)
Loved your reply about evil being the absence of God.
I have finally gotten around to reading your reply. Due to the interest of brevity, I am not going to be able to respond to everything you said. I'll highlight a few points I found interesting. One is that you have a different conception of hell that many Christian churches today, one that actually most atheists will agree with: death is the cessation of consciousness forever.
Augustine lives! Evil is the privation of goodness, not an actual entity in and of itself. At least this attempt has a rich philosophical history. I see a couple of problems with this though.
One is more conceptual. I don't exactly understand, nor did I when I was first introduced to Augustine, what exactly is meant by a "privation of goodness." It's similar to defining being awake as a "privation of tiredness," or being full as the "privation of hunger." It doesn't seem to escape the fact that evil would be doing the opposite of God's will or be the opposite of his nature.. It seems like a smoke and mirrors ploy to attempt to avoid the problem of the origin of evil and help God escape. If evil is simply the privation of goodness, then it still would not exist until God engaged in the act of creation. But I'm still unclear as to what the actual concept is saying!
The second one regards the fall itself. Were Adam and Eve created with the ability to do evil? It might seem like a strange question, but it has very significant consequences. If they were, where did this ability come from? If Adam and Eve were created perfect, then it's inexplicable as to how the fall could occur at all. If they were not, then again, it's odd to hold them accountable at all, for they had no choice in the matter.
Perhaps a more thorough understanding of what is meant by the "privation of goodness" or 'separation from God" will help clear up these problems.
When you speak of God, we speak of all-knower, All powerful, The most beautiful, the most lovable, The most wonderful. All the MOST quality is all there because HE is God. Obcourse He can do everything for He is the source of everything. But for some people, they question the power of God. They placed themselves the position of being the judgment, superior to God. They don’t realize that their senses are imperfect; very limited. They don’t have the power to see even just what’s happening inside our body. Despite the fact, they claim to be all knower of everything.
Evil symbolized of our demoniac consciousness. Any consciousness other than God-conscious is demoniac. This demoniac person is always making others uncomfortable for the sake of his own pleasure; exploiting others and so on. God-conscious is the one who is always thinking to please God, doing things for His pleasure. Love, compassion to others, blissful, peacefulness, respectful, humble is exhibited by the person who is God-centeredness. Whereas self-centeredness manifests greediness, enviousness, unhappiness, disrespectful, disturb illusion delusion and madness.
When a person desire to enjoy something in separate from God, automatically one’s fall in this world. God give him the facility for sense enjoyment out of His love. Due to our insatiable desire, we become entangled in this and become more and more polluted.
We have this free will, to serve and love God and be happy or stay in this world and love ourselves and serve the senses and become miserable. As long as we have this desire to enjoy in this world, we will remain in this world and suffer. The repeated cycle of birth and death will continue.
No matter what we do, no matter what we achieve in this world, its not gonna make us real happy because we’re not belong here, we are not matter so material things doesn’t bring us actual happiness.
God is unhappy in seeing you in miserable condition, but it’s us who wants to stay here and turns our back to Him. God wont force you to love Him, you have a free will. Love is voluntary and giving.
@Danvantari, aren't you guilty of your own critizism of others? You say to those who don't accept your concept of God that ...
" ... They placed themselves the position of being the judgment, superior to God. They don’t realize that their senses are imperfect; very limited. They don’t have the power to see even just what’s happening inside our body ..."
Well, I am one of those "theys", who see God from a different perspective. I have to ask the question, "what makes your vision of God right and mine wrong? Aren't you limited by the same imperfect, limited senses and that you don't have the "power to see even just what's happening inside your body?
You keep quoting from a book written by men just as fallible and limited as you are as you try to make sense out of contradictory passages throughout the Bible. Further, given the obvious problems with the Bible that you have to twist yourself into illogical knots trying to explain what is pretty clear in black and white (Job and Noah, for example) that to ascribe that document as being the Word of God is to Not think very highly of His writting or editing capabilities. Instead, the Bible looks very much like what it is, the result of compromises made among competing religious bigwigs, each who had his own agenda back in, what was it, 400 or 500 A.D.?
Excellent questions. The truth of the matter is, according to Genesis, albeit rather obscure, and the Sumerian Texts, humanity was tainted by genetic engineering to make them more compliant to the Annunaki, the evil gods. They essentially hi-jacked God's planet. We were created perfect but become tainted with this genetic engineering. Some say this is where we get the R-complex, or Reptilian brain, from. It is because of this genetic engineering that we are capable of both good and evil. We take on the nature of both God and Satan.
The Annunaki is Satan's creation. This can never be fully understood unless one takes into account that without Jesus, Satan would be as powerful as God. They were two opposing forces never being able to exist in the realm of the other.
The question may arise: Why did God allow this to happen? It's because He isn't an omnipotent being. This will be absurd to many Christians but God is not capable of all things. He cannot be in the presence of sin. I believe this tainting of the world isolated God from us. How do we get influenced by the Holy Spirit when we have evil in our hearts?
Only Jesus could remedy that. We can now have our hearts purified by Jesus taking on our sin so that we now can have a relationship with Him and thus His power in people's lives of those who love Him is unstoppable.
How did people have a relationship with God before Jesus? I don't believe they did apart from the prophets. They had revelations but could never appreciate who He was. The Old Testament is full of atrocious deeds attributed to God who wasn't responsible for them. Pagan texts suggest that gods roamed the earth exercising control over the Jews and not God. They actually conversed with one another.
As you say, if God created evil then we don't have to answer to Him. He can't create the problem and then punish us for being part of the problem. God cannot be in the presence of evil let alone create it. Isaiah clearly didn't have the right perception of God.
I got these beliefs from research regarding the Bible and my understanding of God. It is by no means set in stone. To say I have everything right would be just plain dishonest. This is the most I can fathom with my finite mind.
GOD IS all knowing, all powerful. to say otherwise shows a true lack of understanding of the nature of GOD. GOD exists outside of time because GOD IS time. it is entirely plausible that GOD exists separately, or beyond, evil because HE IS evil. evil the same as time. understand that what GOD knows as evil is not what we know as evil. evil is the absence of goodness. when man perceives the absence of goodness, it becomes evil. GOD spoke to mankind in terms it could understand. evil is something mankind understands. GOD is both light and darkness...opposites. HE is everything. for us, for our understanding, HE created all things, including "evil", then so that we might understand the difference between HIS goodness and HIS opposite, evil, HE drew a line separating HIMSELF from it. we understand that to be HIS children we to must draw a line separating ourselves from it. we cannot do this without HIS help.
What you call a man who stays to himself, harms no one, farms his land to provide for his family, is neither particularly happy or sad. He just milks his cows, plants and reaps his crops which the wife cooks and they eat and end their day sitting on the porch watching the evening and night until it is time to go to sleep and start the same thing the next day. Neither have ever heard of God nor know a thing about Him.
Are they Good or Evil?
what makes you think they know nothing of GOD? have you asked them?
That is part of the situation I am creating in order to elicit an answer. They know nothing of God simply because that is how I made it up, i.e., What IF they knew nothing of God plus all those other things I made up about them were true, would they be Good or Evil?
My guess is, reading the posts that are in support of the fundamentalist view of Christianity that I have read here, they must be Evil, by definition. Do you agree?
Where are these annunki gods now then? Where did they come from? How come they are not mucking about with our DNA anymore?
Now you come to mention it I do have a vague memory of being abducted by an Annunki and being taken up into their spaceship? Never understood why they were asking me about my blood group. I guess that's why Im growing a reptilian tail.
Where are these annunki gods now then? Where did they come from? How come they are not mucking about with our DNA anymore?
You can see my response to Emile. They haven't left. They are just underground and those genetic experiments are still going on. There is a place in Dulce, New Mexico, were horrific human experiments are taking place where they splice human DNA with animals.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7681252/ns/ … sUZOz2NBQA
Scientists have confirmed we have alien genes:
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/cienc … _adn08.htm
I am open to all possibilities. One needs to examine things without biased because we are brought up to believe some things are possible and others not. Sometimes I'll have moments when I think, "Whoa, can that be possible?" because common sense tends to try and take over.
But this world is not logical. I have read startling testimony of these aliens walking the corridors of the Pentagon, for example.
Here is some:
Contactee claims that extraterrestrials were living among us received a significant boost by the whistleblower testimony of Command Sergeant Major Robert Dean. Dean worked at NATO’s Supreme Headquarters from 1963-1967, and during this time was stationed in the Operations Center with a Cosmic Top Secret clearance. He claims to have viewed a secret NATO study that was commissioned to analyze the threat posed by UFOs to NATO operations in Eastern Europe. The classified report was titled: “An Assessment: An Evaluation of a Possible Military threat to Allied Forces in Europe.” It focused on the dangers of UFOs being mistakenly identified as an incoming ballistic missile attack from the Soviet Union. Dean claimed that the NATO study identified four different extraterrestrial civilizations visiting the Earth. He said that what really worried the NATO top brass was that some of the visitors looked so much like us that they were virtually indistinguishable. Dean says that NATO generals were paranoid over the possibility that some of the extraterrestrial visitors could be walking in the corridors of NATO or the Pentagon, or even the White House itself. In an interview he said:
"There was a human group that looked so much like us that that really drove the admirals and the generals crazy because they determined that these people, and they had seen them repeatedly, they had had contact with them…. These people looked so much like us they could sit next to you on a plane or in a restaurant and you'd never know the difference. And being military and being primarily paranoid, that bothered the generals and the admirals a little bit. That the fact that these intelligent entities could be involved with us, walking up and down the corridors of SHAPE, walking down the corridors of the Pentagon. My God, it even dawned on a couple of them that these guys could even be in the White House! Of course, as I said, being paranoid in those years it really shook things up a little bit."
More testimonies here:
The White House? It reminded me of a video of Obama I recently watched. I also watch these types of videos with a degree of skepticism because of camera lighting, etc. However, when I see some weird things happening to the teeth, I start thinking a bit differently. Pause at 0:33m.
The mind boggles.
A similar thing happened with a lady at CNN regarding the teeth.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrHHiie_ … ture=share
Pause at 0:16m
Then again at 0:55m
I think there is merit to the claim aliens have a human appearance.
Forget the Obama video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl … CYB0tclsKQ
So, out of curiosity, is Satan an Annunaki god? Who created these gods? Where did they come from? I'm genuinely interested in this.
Did you come up with this all by yourself?
Since you are genuine with this question, I'll answer you.
First I'll tell you what is truth and not a mere conjecture and that is without Jesus, God and Satan would be just as powerful as one another. If not, what is the victory of the resurrection and the conquering of hell? Why did Jesus think for one moment it would be an impossible task? It is also true that without Jesus we cannot know God. He is our mediator. The one who cleanses sins so that we can be worthy enough even to prayer.
No, there's no indication that Satan is one of these gods. He is their creator. You could call them demons.
Here's a bit about them:
The Annunaki came from the planet Nibiru and descended from the skies in their air crafts to earth. This is where we get the idea that Lucifer fell from heaven. They actually mined for gold in South Africa, I'll have you know. They wanted workers who would obey them. They took the existing people on earth and genetically modified them to make them more compliant. In the Bible it says, "Let US make man in our image." They also interbred with them.
Something happened and there was a rebellion. I think this may have had to do with the influence of God. They could now have the ability to know the difference between right and wrong instead of just evil like they were designed to do. The Annunaki was terrified of the booming population and sent a great deluge to wipe out the majority of humanity.
During the time of Moses, these gods were physical and roamed the earth. They interacted with humanity. Moses, being an occult initiate, found favour with the Elohim, also part of the Annunaki. Moses would consult with one on a regular basis. Ever wondered why God spoke to Moses? People think it's because of a voice in the clouds but it is even written in the OT that God spoke to Moses with His back to him!
Regarding Moses, this comes from the literal translation of the Old Testament. The Old Testament as we have it is shrouded in mysticism and allegory but the literal translation is rather different.
Learn more here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4MXLB6S … r_embedded
More about the Annunaki:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl … lccvSikr0w
http://www.dimension1111.com/nibiru-the … ology.html
That is all incredibly fascinating. So, if the Annunaki came from another planet, does that mean God did also?
I'm still confused about Jesus. By your telling, sending him was kind of a coup for God. I wonder why the other gods didn't think of this one first. They were here first. Right? Or am I missing something?
Sorry. This is an incredible amount of information to absorb.
The Annunaki are physical beings. God and Satan are not. They are inter-dimensional spirits so, no, God did not come from another planet.
You could kind of see it has a coup but not because He wanted to run the show but because He knew we could never reconcile with Him tainted with these evil genes. Jesus actually had to become human, even though it meant those genetics made Him vulnerable, to take on our sin because without someone taking our responsibility we could never be near God. We would be lost forever.
We only become tempted with evil because of these genetics. That is how Jesus could be tempted. God in heaven cannot be tempted.
We, as God's people, were the original inhabitants. It was hijacked by Satan and these things. God is just reclaiming what is His if His people want that salvation.
Of course, we don't have the foggiest idea what life was like before this alien take-over because we have no records of it. I'm just entertaining these ideas. I only understand as truth that Jesus is the son of God and that taking on sin and the penalty of hell was the only way to reconcile God with man.
Are you saying that you believe the mythological account of the Sumerians to be true, actual fact?
Consider this[please].There is a school of thought that believes personification was the most common method of communicating qualities,forces,morality,etc at the time the word evil was coined,thus we have Satan embodying evil which he imparts to those environments that will nurture it,the spirits of others.The spirit of grief or destruction for example.
Could it be that Evil is a substance like air or water or you name it.
Evil may condense like water or permeate our lives at a dispersed level.
Occasionally evil condenses in the right conditions and we get serial killers,Hitlers, and a whole scale of varying degrees according to the conditions required for evil to grow.
Could be...who really knows the unknowable?
I think that evil has roots in pride, insecurity, jealousy, greed, anger, and poverty.
Theists don't have to defend God of any "evil." God by definition is an ultimately perfect being. People on the wrong side of the law, for instance, always see he "law" as being evil unto them. That is how we are able to have a good, free and safe society.
The problem of evil has been debated by very well thought out philosophers. God, by logic and definition, would be evil in not allowing people to choose. Imagine, if you were only ever forced to choose good. That isn't good, that is just a robot of sorts. God could have done that, and cause no need for you to even ask such questions.
Instead, he allows it, but he doesn't "do" evil. Free will beings do it, and they do it on purpose and they know it. Blaming God and his followers for atrocities they did not do is done all the time, but its not done in reasonableness.
Blaming a whole worldview on the basis of its heretics is another favorite of non theists. It doesn't work, when the worldview teaches the opposite, and people just say one thing and do another. Jesus spoke of those types of people, he said first it would happen. He had sharp words for them as well.
To the person that wants to be fair to the truths of matters, I highly encourage applying logic, reason and fairness to all sides. Othewise, its a big game where people are trying to cheat with words to win an argument they already decided the outcome on without really being fair to the actual facts. Or they just have made a decision and are trying to blame others.
If and when this is done, one ought to ask oneself why this would be? Why isn't it a large red flag that something is amiss, when one can't keep with the facts if indeed they are not? Just some thoughts.
Most of your response isn't to anything I actually claimed.
However, your only defense did not answer why God does not need free will. We need free will in order to make a "real choice." Why does God not need it in order to actually make moral decisions? I'm perplexed....
@Ocean, I absolutel agree that, "by definition, God is Perfect", assuming you define perfection as the the sum of all there is. If you have a different definition, then one can always find a flaw in it. Given that the "true" God is perfect, I argue that the monotheistic God is not, at least as that God is described hy His faithful. Since He is Unknown to any except those who He choses to "reveal" Himself to, nobody can actually descern His Perfection. Instead, one has to take the word of the monotheistic faithful.
And, what does the faithful say about their God? They say, in addition to being all Loving, He is also Angry, Vengeful, Jealous, and prone to error (Noah). All of those characteristics are examples of faults, whether expressed by a human or a god. Consequently, according to monotheistic doctrine, their God cannot be Perfect; don't you agree?
Evil as a word and what it connotes or denotes is the opposite of good. In linguistics, words and their meanings can be emphasized if there is opposite meaning or antonym. Words can have one to one correspondence with experiential phenomenon or just a mere creation of the mind.
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