Saturday, April 4, 2009

Problem of Suffering

A student asks about Epicurus' argument: If God is all loving and all powerful, why is there evil in the world?

Craig: These two ideas are not in direct contradiction. There is no logical contradiction in them. Usually the atheist is making a probabilistic argument and not an explicit argument. But if we add one statement - God has sufficient reasons to allow the evil in the world that we see now - we can see the argument doesn't hold logically. Emotionally, I understand the problem and we don't like to see suffering, but there is no way that we can say ourselves what is or isn't in God's mind that makes such suffering sufficient.

23 comments:

  1. I don't like that Craig doesn't offer up such a sufficient reason.

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  2. Troy,

    Some would say that natural evil, as in natural disasters that claim many lives is not explained by moral sin.

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  3. Again, selective criticism of Biblical Christianity...Criticizing one doctrine in a conceptual vacuum from the others...

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  4. There is no such thing as evil if atheism is true.

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  5. Kerry,

    It's not really necessary. While nice, it is sufficient to note that the logical argument is not sound as Craig did. We don't have the whole story, nor do we have God's transcendent perspective and we can't even read another person's mind. It would be suprising if we could discern God's entire reasons at this point.

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  6. Troy, compared to Paul the apostle, I'd think Hitchens has a chance...Paul, the chief of all sinners, the least of the apostles, persecuted the Church, sending many to jail and to their deaths...was transformed into the man whose works we love, the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentile world, and the man who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament. Hitchens doesn't hold up a candle Paul's pre-Christian atrocities...

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  7. Troy,

    My fiance suffers from fibromyalgia. What sin is that for? Her grandfather slipped on ice, hit his head and hasn't been the same. What sin was that for?

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  8. Sometimes good people get caught in the flood. This is unavoidable in a natural world.

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  9. Troy,

    And you say this statement on the cause of natural disasters on what basis?

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  10. In Noah's flood some might have been saved who were flooded upon.

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  11. And Edmonton gets the Oilers...

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  12. But God will never flood upon the earth like He made desolate and waste in Gen. 1.2. Noah's flood was a local flood.

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  13. Troy,

    You sound like an atheist putting on a parody of a fundie Christian. If I were Lenny I would ban you from this blog.

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  14. Oiler's will not make the playoffs because the owner's are careless in keeping Craig McTavish who hasn't down squat in 20 years.

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  15. Don't ban me because I am right.

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  16. I'd be willing to grant that, but it helps considerably to demonstrate the possibility. As you say, it would be nice.

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  17. We will all be Canuck fans come June...

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  18. To quote my favorite philosopher Clint Eastwood,
    "We all got it comin."

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  19. I actually don't like Craig's argument here. He gets into molinism and so on in his theories of perfect worlds, etc..., and it's interesting but It's too insensitive existentially.

    I don't believe there can be sufficient reason for the allowance of evil and suffering. And I don't think it factors into the equation of God's creation and control of the universe. God created a free world that went astray. If He knew it would go astray and x amount of suffering would occur, that still doesn't implicate him in creating it with it's own freedom intact. Otherwise God's arms are bound up by His own foreknowledge of x suffering and He can't act. Morality doesn't work in this way. We are responsible for our own actions, not our creator.

    For example, I just delivered my newborn son. I know for certain that he will sin in his lifetime and that bad things will happen to him. But each of us make the choice that creation of life is worth it, despite it's capacity to go astray and to suffer. We've made that choice some 7 billion times on this planet thus far. I believe God made the same choice we make. There's no condemnation which can be justified here to either parents or God.

    Besides, from what moral foundation can anyone condemn God in the first place?

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  20. But wouldn't allowing us to exercise our own free will be in itself a sufficient reason for the suffering that originates directly from human action?

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  21. and the Bible does indicate that innocents who suffer will be restored. The book of Job shows that. Furthermore, that temporal suffering will be outweighed by the eternal experience not only of the restoration but of the joy of being in God's presence. It may also be that the suffering helped bring more good into the world.

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