[FoRK] Re: A bit of religion - Problem of Evil
Fri Jan 6 07:19:06 PST 2006
"Kevin Elliott" <k-elliott at wiu.edu> wrote
> At 07:27 -0600 on 1/5/06, Corinna wrote:
>>The Christian solution to the problem of evil seems self-contradictory.
>>God willingly limited himself (and so is effectively no longer omni*) by
>>having the requirement that people have free will?
> Again, what is god's goal? If your goal is to create beings that choose
> to follow/worship/respect you ENTIRELY of their own choice, then there is
> no other way to do it than make a place for them to grow and let them
"Letting them loose" doesn't seem to be mainstream Christian thinking. (I
realize that there are many strands of Christian theology...) A main point
of Christianity is that God is actively interested in us and is constantly
intervening in our affairs. Look at the Old Testament, for example.
If God were letting us loose, intercessory prayer would be pointless. So
then, if God chooses to save one miner and not the other 12, there you see
the Problem of Evil. If "God was with us" when Houston escaped the
hurricane, then why was God *not* with Beaumont? Christianity, though it
doesn't like to admit it, logically makes God responsible for everything
that happens, since he has the power to do something, and often chooses not
to. Furthermore, He's the one who set the rules -- life didn't *have* to be
If you saw a child drowning and didn't do anything, wouldn't people think
you were morally culpable? Why don't we apply the same standards when we
think about God? After all he's omni*, he isn't incapable of saving all 13
miners... or giving the CEO a heart attack and letting the next guy in line
decide to fix the safety violations in the first place.
Regarding free will...
If Free Will is the Highest Good (that is, human evil is ok because our free
will should be preserved), then there is no moral basis for us to judge
somone else's actions, assuming they were the result of free will. So are we
then horribly arrogant to punish people for acts of free will (in effect
usurping God's authority)? Or perhaps there is something higher (in a moral
sense) than free will? Hence the Problem of Evil.
If G is omni* then there is no reason to make the rules (any rules: the
rules of logic, the rules of physics, the rules of spirituality, etc) work
out like this. Ergo, G is not omni*, and the Christian God cannot exist.
(Some lesser kind of G could exist, but that's not what the current argument
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