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Old 07-23-2010, 08:10 AM
 
59 posts, read 114,833 times
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First off, I am an atheist. However, I try to be understanding of the religious and try to understand that I don't have the right to mock a religious person. The reason I bring this up is because this post is a sincere attempt to create discussion, not to mock religion or try to prove there is no God.

I was reading The Portable Atheist last night, and it includes an article by Charles Templeton called, "Questions to Ask Yourself." I want to bring some one of the questions up and see how believers feel about it:

"Why does the omnipotent God, knowing that there are tens of thousands of men, women, and children starving to death in a parched land, simply let them waste away and die when all that is needed is rain?"

This kind of falls into the "If God exists, why does evil exist" category, but I feel that it's more specific and a more interesting question.

How would a believer answer this question? I'm not asking to mock you or to tell you you're wrong. I'm just curious.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:20 AM
 
367 posts, read 994,703 times
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I'd also be interested in hearing believers' answers to this. And hopefully not just "the Lord works in mysterious ways" blanket dismissal. This was one of many questions I had when I was struggling with my own faith.

Maybe the most interesting thing is that there hasn't been any answers yet.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
31,990 posts, read 33,571,869 times
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I'm afraid the problem is not as simple as rainfall, and I certainly do not put the blame on god...
In 1940, the year I was born the world population was about 2.3 billion. Today, so far in 2010 it has climbed to over 6.8 billion, and projected to be over 9.2 billion by 2050....I would say that we are rapidly outstripping our ability to feed ourselves...Rain may help, but it's not the answer I'm afraid.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Valencia, Spain
16,167 posts, read 11,271,824 times
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That's it in a nutshell I think. We are in desperate need of some population management.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:49 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,497,872 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstate View Post
First off, I am an atheist. However, I try to be understanding of the religious and try to understand that I don't have the right to mock a religious person. The reason I bring this up is because this post is a sincere attempt to create discussion, not to mock religion or try to prove there is no God.

I was reading The Portable Atheist last night, and it includes an article by Charles Templeton called, "Questions to Ask Yourself." I want to bring some one of the questions up and see how believers feel about it:


"Why does the omnipotent God, knowing that there are tens of thousands of men, women, and children starving to death in a parched land, simply let them waste away and die when all that is needed is rain?"


This kind of falls into the "If God exists, why does evil exist" category, but I feel that it's more specific and a more interesting question.


How would a believer answer this question? I'm not asking to mock you or to tell you you're wrong. I'm just curious
.
It seems to me that you've asked the question with the expectation that there really is no "good" answer.

If one is going to be fair minded, they must also ask what answer, to such an obviously existential question, is offered by all of the other competing world views - to include atheism/agnosticism. While one may find dissatisfaction with the Judeo-Christian answer, as far as I've been able to determine, it (The Judeo-Christian view) provides the most reasonable answer to the problem of evil and suffering.

Also, you seem to infer that thousands of men, women and children starving to death is objectively wrong. If there is no God, how do you presume any basis upon which to level objective judgments about what is right and what is wrong? Upon what basis do you attempt to "resurrect" God for the express purpose of throwing down and indictment against him?
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:05 PM
 
7,165 posts, read 4,436,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
It seems to me that you've asked the question with the expectation that there really is no "good" answer.

If one is going to be fair minded, they must also ask what answer, to such an obviously existential question, is offered by all of the other competing world views - to include atheism/agnosticism. While one may find dissatisfaction with the Judeo-Christian answer, as far as I've been able to determine, it (The Judeo-Christian view) provides the most reasonable answer to the problem of evil and suffering.

Also, you seem to infer that thousands of men, women and children starving to death is objectively wrong. If there is no God, how do you presume any basis upon which to level objective judgments about what is right and what is wrong? Upon what basis do you attempt to "resurrect" God for the express purpose of throwing down and indictment against him?
Good points tiget. The Atheists want to blame the "Omnipotent God" they claim doesn't even exist...indicative of how far gone they are. If there is no God...then who's fault is it? There is more than enough for everybody...rain or no rain...heck, some nations have an obesity epidemic.

They don't want to admit that it is man's inhumanity to man that causes the problem...the antithesis of Christian concept, I might add. If we followed the example of Jesus, there wouldn't be anyone starving in this world. Funny, they claim that God not helping when He supposedly could, is equivalent to hurting...then, what does that say for MAN if one is to assume there isn't a God, and nothing BUT man?

The problem IS the "Evolutionary" (natural selection, survival of the fittest) mindset...instead of the "Christian" (love your neighbor as yourself) mindset.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:45 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
48,617 posts, read 14,583,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
Good points tiget. The Atheists want to blame the "Omnipotent God" they claim doesn't even exist...indicative of how far gone they are. If there is no God...then who's fault is it? There is more than enough for everybody...rain or no rain...heck, some nations have an obesity epidemic.
It's true that it may seem as though atheists are blaming a god in which they don't believe, but that's not really it. They are saying that it indicates that we are on our own as a god could be expected to do something rather than insist on remaining invisible.

Quote:
They don't want to admit that it is man's inhumanity to man that causes the problem...the antithesis of Christian concept, I might add. If we followed the example of Jesus, there wouldn't be anyone starving in this world. Funny, they claim that God not helping when He supposedly could, is equivalent to hurting...then, what does that say for MAN if one is to assume there isn't a God, and nothing BUT man?
I'd say on the contrary, they know very well that it's man's inhumanity to man that is causing the problem. For one we can see that over - population is one factor. But you suggest limiting birth and where does the objection come from?

Yep. Right first time.

Quote:
The problem IS the "Evolutionary" (natural selection, survival of the fittest) mindset...instead of the "Christian" (love your neighbor as yourself) mindset.
Absolutely. But we are not under orders from the God of evolution to submit to its rules. We can see that we need to do better and we must do better.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
9,301 posts, read 10,381,942 times
Reputation: 15822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstate View Post
First off, I am an atheist. However, I try to be understanding of the religious and try to understand that I don't have the right to mock a religious person. The reason I bring this up is because this post is a sincere attempt to create discussion, not to mock religion or try to prove there is no God.

I was reading The Portable Atheist last night, and it includes an article by Charles Templeton called, "Questions to Ask Yourself." I want to bring some one of the questions up and see how believers feel about it:

"Why does the omnipotent God, knowing that there are tens of thousands of men, women, and children starving to death in a parched land, simply let them waste away and die when all that is needed is rain?"

This kind of falls into the "If God exists, why does evil exist" category, but I feel that it's more specific and a more interesting question.

How would a believer answer this question? I'm not asking to mock you or to tell you you're wrong. I'm just curious.
I appreciate the question and the attitude. Too many atheists use the idea that if bad things happen and God is all powerful then He must not exist.

Personally, as a believer, I can honestly say that I don't know why. I can speculate as to why, but that's as far as it goes. My best guess is that God created the world to operate in a natural law-freewill sort of way.

People have freewill to do as they please and sometimes bad things happen either thru bad choices or evil actions. People chose to live in areas subject to drought. Sometimes starvation occurs.

Same goes for nature. Natural law does its thing. Perhaps a better question is how come groups of people are allowed to starve when other groups can help them?
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 15,041,673 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
People have freewill to do as they please and sometimes bad things happen either thru bad choices or evil actions. People chose to live in areas subject to drought. Sometimes starvation occurs.
I seriously doubt most people living in famine-ravaged countries chose to live there. I didn't even choose to live in my town or this country, it's just where I happened to be born.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
Perhaps a better question is how come groups of people are allowed to starve when other groups can help them?
I'd like to know the answer to that myself. Perhaps some of the churches in the U.S. could explain why they need multi-million dollar buildings when they could be feeding people with that money. Sure, they help out some, but obviously not as much as they could be. I guess that $25,000 sound system is more important than feeding people who are starving to death.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
11,585 posts, read 8,294,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post

Personally, as a believer, I can honestly say that I don't know why. I can speculate as to why, but that's as far as it goes. My best guess is that God created the world to operate in a natural law-freewill sort of way.
Well if he is not going to intervene because of all this natural law-free will stuff then what the heck is the point in praying.
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