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Old 10-04-2012, 07:33 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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If God is perfect and can create nothing evil by his own will, then how come he ended up creating evil?

Btw there's a passage in Isaiah that actually contradicts this belief, where Yahweh says he creates both good and evil...so is good really 'all good?' Or in a sense is he dualistic?

First there was Lucifer, who turned against God, supposedly because he wanted to be God. Why on earth would God even create a being that was capable of feeling these feelings? From WHAT did he create Lucifer and the angels? From part of Himself? If he was all there was, that'd make sense. Or out of thin air. He conceived it in his ultimate mind, yet he conceived something which would displease him? Maybe it was a mistake and God is fallible, like an artist who makes a mistake? If free will, God would still have had to plant this idea into Lucifer's mind. But why, unless God wills it? Is God really all-powerful?

Then why on earth does he place/allow the Serpent/Satan to enter the tree. And why even put a tree of Good and Evil in the Garden and tell Adam and Eve not to eat of it?

There are just too many problems if you want to take it literally. Are we also given intellect only to ignore it? It doesn't make sense.

To me it makes sense as a metaphor, but that God planned it and has an ultimate purpose for all. I can't take it 'at face value'.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Satan: God's plausible deniability. "I didn't do it".

By the way, you realize that "good" has no meaning without "bad" to contrast it with, so Good in an absolute absence of Bad is a null concept. Just as there is no Up without a Down, no Full without an Empty, no Long without a Short, no Here without a There.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
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It really doesn't make sense if God is who God claims to be. He certainly seems to be pretty monstrous by what the various Abrahamic Faith Holy Books say about him.

Have you read up on Gnosticism? It is interesting in that it explains why there is evil in the world, in the context of the Abrahamic God.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
By the way, you realize that "good" has no meaning without "bad" to contrast it with, so Good in an absolute absence of Bad is a null concept. Just as there is no Up without a Down, no Full without an Empty, no Long without a Short, no Here without a There.
That's not inherently true; many adjectives don't have antonyms. Example: we describe a metal that can be pulled into wires as "ductile," but there isn't an opposing concept (we'd just say something that lacks ductility is "not ductile.") It doesn't mean that the concept "ductile" means nothing.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
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When it comes down to it, I find the easiest explanation as to why there is evil in the world in relation to the Biblical God is really simple - the Bible God is evil. That's the reason. He's vain, homicidal and all around a bad dude. It is no surprise, then, that evil in this world exists, if you believe in the Bible God.

(Of course, the real reason "evil" exists is because there is no guiding hand either way, but for the sake of discussion, let's ignore that.)
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:14 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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It seems that human ideas of 'good' and 'evil' don't often match God's ideas, or the definitions are different. The original Hebrew word for sin is 'missing the mark', similar to the word for evil.

God does often go about his business in quite a rough way. I hope there's a higher purpose behind it, but I do think a lot of the OT is just people attributing things to God.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
It seems that human ideas of 'good' and 'evil' don't often match God's ideas, or the definitions are different. The original Hebrew word for sin is 'missing the mark', similar to the word for evil.
It also doesn't help that we have no way of knowing what God's ideas really are, outside of a few "holy books"

What if God is really just a big jerk and has been playing us the whole time? And the holy books are purposeful lies and misdirections? What if the universe really is just God and the world's biggest ant farm that he likes to mess with?

We would have no way of knowing.

That's what I find so fascinating about Gnosticism - it does away with the notion that God must be good simply because he is God (which is a fallacy I'll never understand). Instead, it takes what we supposedly know about God (ie, the Torah/Old Testament) and justifiably says that hey, maybe this isn't a just god at all because, hey, look at all that genocide.

It's a fun framework to look at.

Quote:
God does often go about his business in quite a rough way. I hope there's a higher purpose behind it, but I do think a lot of the OT is just people attributing things to God.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:47 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by Fillmont View Post
It also doesn't help that we have no way of knowing what God's ideas really are, outside of a few "holy books"

What if God is really just a big jerk and has been playing us the whole time? And the holy books are purposeful lies and misdirections? What if the universe really is just God and the world's biggest ant farm that he likes to mess with?

We would have no way of knowing.

That's what I find so fascinating about Gnosticism - it does away with the notion that God must be good simply because he is God (which is a fallacy I'll never understand). Instead, it takes what we supposedly know about God (ie, the Torah/Old Testament) and justifiably says that hey, maybe this isn't a just god at all because, hey, look at all that genocide.

It's a fun framework to look at.

It's a scary thought. We've been constantly told that God is 'all God', maybe he isn't, at least in the HUMAN SENSE. Traditional Christian theology might make more sense.

I don't believe it to be the case though. Maybe it's idealism. I think the Bible is easy to mis-interpret but I also think it has the hand of man on it. It is frustrating that we can't really 'pick and choose' what is authentic or not to know the real picture.

Gnosticism is more philosophical questioning. Biblical literalism is forcing your mind to think a certain way.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
It's a scary thought. We've been constantly told that God is 'all God', maybe he isn't, at least in the HUMAN SENSE. Traditional Christian theology might make more sense.
I'm not quite sure what you mean here, about God not being All God in the human sense. Could you rephrase?

Quote:
I don't believe it to be the case though. Maybe it's idealism. I think the Bible is easy to mis-interpret but I also think it has the hand of man on it. It is frustrating that we can't really 'pick and choose' what is authentic or not to know the real picture.
Frankly, I'm happy that people pick-and-choose from the Bible, given the more...questionable bits of it that most people today seem to ignore or push aside.

But I can understand how it would be frustrating to one trying to get to the "truth" with what seems to be a highly imperfect book. It'd be like trying to finish a jigsaw with a box art from three different jigsaws. Some pieces seem to fit but others seem incongruous.

Quote:
Gnosticism is more philosophical questioning. Biblical literalism is forcing your mind to think a certain way.
I think it is all philosophical questioning as it is all flights of fancy to me. In the end I grant no more or no less validity to the work of the Gnostics than I do the canonical holy works. What I do grant more of to the Gnostics is humanity. Of all the Abrahamic sects, they seemed to be most reasonable.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,076,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillmont View Post
I'm not quite sure what you mean here, about God not being All God in the human sense. Could you rephrase?



Frankly, I'm happy that people pick-and-choose from the Bible, given the more...questionable bits of it that most people today seem to ignore or push aside.

But I can understand how it would be frustrating to one trying to get to the "truth" with what seems to be a highly imperfect book. It'd be like trying to finish a jigsaw with a box art from three different jigsaws. Some pieces seem to fit but others seem incongruous.



I think it is all philosophical questioning as it is all flights of fancy to me. In the end I grant no more or no less validity to the work of the Gnostics than I do the canonical holy works. What I do grant more of to the Gnostics is humanity. Of all the Abrahamic sects, they seemed to be most reasonable.
Sorry I meant about God being all good.

Yeah, even the most hardened literalist doesn't follow the Old Testament to a T. Like the part about wearing certain clothes or eating shellfish. I don't think a lot of it was even MEANT to apply to Gentiles of the 21st century.

The emphasis on Biblical literalism was the solution to the problem. If anything contradicted the Bible, they just re-interpreted it in a way that would make it fit, or else they said it was 'metaphorical' or something. I wish it hinged on more than just a book, though. In a sense the Christian God is a character in a book, like Zeus in the ancient Greek stories, which is in a way a separate God from the God we project as our 'ultimate perfect being.' Some have trouble reconciling these two 'Gods.' Not to mention the God as Jesus in the NT. Ideas about God being all-loving and all-merciful come as much from modern feel good theology as the Bible. Early Christian preachers often portrayed a wrathful God who was more often angry than nice, as in the OT. The most important question, though, is God at heart loving and just? What sources do you rely on to get your answer? Jesus' teachings about God's mercy, Paul's theological philosophies, the always judging God of the OT, what your pastor says, what Christian writers/speakers say, your own ideas?
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