# Does God accept bribes, ransoms, indulgences and sacrifice of Jesus?

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Does God accept bribes, ransoms, indulgences and sacrifice of Jesus?

Eze 18 20

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Psa 49 7

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

Man has worked hard to try to put in place a system of justice where the guilty pay for their crimes/sin and the innocent go free. This actually seems to follow the scriptures above and if you are doing unto others what you would like done to you, then you will applaud our present legal forms.

God on the other hand, and those theists that want to ride their scapegoat Jesus as a sacrifice for their sins and not step up to their responsibilities, seem to prefer to have the innocent punished and let the guilty walk.

Scripture says that God cannot be bribed and will not accept a ransom of an innocent party to redeem another. Yet that is exactly what God is said to have done when he intentionally had his son murdered. Some call it a sacrifice. God wanting or needing a blood sacrifice also goes completely against scriptures but he and his followers don‘t seem to know that.

The other bribes or ransoms that God seems to accept are indulgences given by the church and were ironically what created the reformation movement and sects that now somehow embrace that immoral notion. Martin Luther must be spinning in his grave. I will grant that that practice is not as widespread as it once was, but to me, the idea that a man can sin against another man, and by just placing a few $$in a church strong box without even having to seek forgiveness from his victim, and expect with church guarantee a shorter stay in purgatory, is just too immoral for me. All these bribes, ransoms and indulgences are for the forgiveness of sins. His murder or sacrifice of his son is for the same reason and also has the innocent being punished while the guilty go free. As the great law maker and executor of justice, do you think it moral for God to accept and demand such instead of making the guilty pay and letting the innocent live? Secular law generally follows the bible’s idea of justice, in many cases, as shown in the verses above. Should secular law reverse itself and follow God’s ideas of justice instead in accepting bribes, ransoms and sacrifices of innocent men? Regards DL ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites If there is a 'God', then of course it's silly to imagine we can 'bribe' Him or sway Him in any way. He would surely be in control of EVERYTHING. As a 'reluctant' Christian, (today I am!) I struggle to understand why Jesus had to die as an atoning sacrifice. It conjures up the points that you have made, which seem to be illogical. If we 'sin', then why doesn't God 'just forgive'? Why does He require the shedding of blood? I don't think I will ever understand, unless God 'zaps' me with the truth of it. The only thing that does make sense of it though, is that 'death' is temporary as is punishment. It serves a purpose (as does evil) and as terrible as Jesus' death was, it's HIs resurrection that is possible only because of His death and thereby everyone's future reurrection to eternal life. So love prevails and remains, whereas evil and death will be 'no more'. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites His murder or sacrifice of his son is for the same reason and also has the innocent being punished while the guilty go free. Who said the guilty go free? ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites The interesting thing about Ezekiel 18 20 is that it sort of nullifies the original sin. If the Son won't take on the fathers sin, then why did God not let Cain and Able back into the garden of Eden? They didn't eat from the tree of knowledge, that was their father and mother that did that and "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father". So, maybe the son shall bear the iniquity of the mother then, that would explain it I guess . ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Nevertheless, even Christians will die and rot. The context of your verse: Psalm 49: 5 Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me— 6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? 7 No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— 8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough— 9 so that they should live on forever and not see decay. On a different note, can a person bribe themselves? ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites If there is a 'God', then of course it's silly to imagine we can 'bribe' Him or sway Him in any way. He would surely be in control of EVERYTHING. As a 'reluctant' Christian, (today I am!) I struggle to understand why Jesus had to die as an atoning sacrifice. It conjures up the points that you have made, which seem to be illogical. If we 'sin', then why doesn't God 'just forgive'? Why does He require the shedding of blood? I don't think I will ever understand, unless God 'zaps' me with the truth of it. The only thing that does make sense of it though, is that 'death' is temporary as is punishment. It serves a purpose (as does evil) and as terrible as Jesus' death was, it's HIs resurrection that is possible only because of His death and thereby everyone's future reurrection to eternal life. So love prevails and remains, whereas evil and death will be 'no more'. As a Gnostic Christian, I do not sympathy’s When you return to the real world and stop trying to profit from the murder of an innocent man, by his father, you might see in your own bible just what God has to say about blood sacrifices. Regards DL Nevertheless, even Christians will die and rot. The context of your verse: Psalm 49: 5 Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me— 6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? 7 No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— 8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough— 9 so that they should live on forever and not see decay. On a different note, can a person bribe themselves? Sure. With anything desirable. God though that the murder of Jesus was desirable.Regards DL The interesting thing about Ezekiel 18 20 is that it sort of nullifies the original sin. If the Son won't take on the fathers sin, then why did God not let Cain and Able back into the garden of Eden? They didn't eat from the tree of knowledge, that was their father and mother that did that and "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father". So, maybe the son shall bear the iniquity of the mother then, that would explain it I guess . Then you might agree with the Jewish version where Eden is our elevation and not our fall. Christians did not usurp the Jewish interpretation when they usurped the Jewish God. They, reversed it for the$$$. Regards DL ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites As a Gnostic Christian, I do not sympathy's When you return to the real world and stop trying to profit from the murder of an innocent man, by his father, you might see in your own bible just what God has to say about blood sacrifices. Regards DL I watched the above video. It makes some interesting points. Do you, as a gnostic Christian, accept the 'New Testament' books? Do you believe Jesus is the Saviour of the world ie the Messiah, and if you do, then in what way does He save us? ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites I watched the above video. It makes some interesting points. Good. Do you, as a gnostic Christian, accept the 'New Testament' books? No. The Bible is a book of myths and should not be read literally. The Bivble is a book of wisdom to me. Not a book that shows or directs one to a God. Do you believe Jesus is the Saviour of the world ie the Messiah, and if you do, then in what way does He save us? Jesus is an archetypal good man that Christianity has literalized to use to create guilt. More $$in guilt than without. Think for just a moment. Would a God create a perfect system that included his having to have his son murdered in? Is any God that stupid? Regards DL ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites No. The Bible is a book of myths and should not be read literally. The Bivble is a book of wisdom to me. Not a book that shows or directs one to a God. Jesus is an archetypal good man that Christianity has literalized to use to create guilt. More$$$ in guilt than without.

Think for just a moment. Would a God create a perfect system that included his having to have his son murdered in?

Is any God that stupid?

Regards

DL

It would seem from reading the Bible, but more so from what we are learning about the universe and life, that God did not create a perfect system. It may be a 'good' system, but not perfect, if by perfect you mean there would be no problems e.g death and suffering. Is God stupid to place us on a planet that is made up of plates that move and cause earthquakes? Is He stupid to create the sun that makes life possible on Earth, but will burn out one day so life won't be possible here? Obviously He is not stupid. Is He any more stupid to send the Word, into this finite set up, knowing he would be killed? No. Jesus said it is necessary to die. (unless a seed dies and is buried, it won't produce fruit).

Getting back to 'the perfect system', the whole 'message' of the Bible, is that God is in the process of transforming ALL His creation into a perfect system. At the moment all creation is groaning, because it is not perfect yet. The whole 'point' of Jesus, is that He is the key to perfection and immortality. We can't have 'perfect' to start with. That is a fact. Why can't we? I suspect it's to do with the knowledge of good and evil. You have to 'learn' both. The learning takes a lot of time - trial and error. Did God try to trick Adam and Eve with the trees? Of course not. He knew they would eat and He must have wanted them to eat, otherwise they could not know good, unless they knew evil. God is in full control of EVERYTHING. Nothing has gone 'off course' and is thwarting God's plan. God cannot be thwarted.

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It would seem from reading the Bible, but more so from what we are learning about the universe and life, that God did not create a perfect system. It may be a 'good' system, but not perfect, if by perfect you mean there would be no problems e.g death and suffering. Is God stupid to place us on a planet that is made up of plates that move and cause earthquakes? Is He stupid to create the sun that makes life possible on Earth, but will burn out one day so life won't be possible here? Obviously He is not stupid. Is He any more stupid to send the Word, into this finite set up, knowing he would be killed? No. Jesus said it is necessary to die. (unless a seed dies and is buried, it won't produce fruit).

Getting back to 'the perfect system', the whole 'message' of the Bible, is that God is in the process of transforming ALL His creation into a perfect system. At the moment all creation is groaning, because it is not perfect yet. The whole 'point' of Jesus, is that He is the key to perfection and immortality. We can't have 'perfect' to start with. That is a fact. Why can't we? I suspect it's to do with the knowledge of good and evil. You have to 'learn' both. The learning takes a lot of time - trial and error. Did God try to trick Adam and Eve with the trees? Of course not. He knew they would eat and He must have wanted them to eat, otherwise they could not know good, unless they knew evil. God is in full control of EVERYTHING. Nothing has gone 'off course' and is thwarting God's plan. God cannot be thwarted.

Less preaching please. It is annoying for you to speak as if you fathom the unfathomable. You just end up sounding stupid as you speak for God.

All you have to go by is hear say so act like it and not like a fool who will believe what ancients wrote in a book that begins with a talking snake. And is real.

I agree that any God would maintain control.

FYPOV, God sat there waiting for what he knew would happen and then pounced to punish.

Not much in the way of morals there and you follow that a hole.

Sigh.

And you believe that fool of a God when he tells you blood is required.

Back to your hole cave man.

Regards

DL

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Less preaching please. It is annoying for you to speak as if you fathom the unfathomable. You just end up sounding stupid as you speak for God.

All you have to go by is hear say so act like it and not like a fool who will believe what ancients wrote in a book that begins with a talking snake. And is real.

I agree that any God would maintain control.

FYPOV, God sat there waiting for what he knew would happen and then pounced to punish.

Not much in the way of morals there and you follow that a hole.

Sigh.

And you believe that fool of a God when he tells you blood is required.

Back to your hole cave man.

Regards

DL

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Less preaching please. It is annoying for you to speak as if you fathom the unfathomable. You just end up sounding stupid as you speak for God.

All you have to go by is hear say so act like it and not like a fool who will believe what ancients wrote in a book that begins with a talking snake. And is real.

I agree that any God would maintain control.

FYPOV, God sat there waiting for what he knew would happen and then pounced to punish.

Not much in the way of morals there and you follow that a hole.

Sigh.

And you believe that fool of a God when he tells you blood is required.

Back to your hole cave man.

Regards

DL

I certainly don't mean to 'preach' but rather convey some of my 'understanding' of these issues we are discussing, and I may very well be wrong in what I 'believe' hence why I'm asking you questions. Your irritation at my response suggests you will not have the patience or good will to be of much help to me. If I'm wrong then let's carry on with this discussion.

I don't believe in a literal talking snake, but maybe the Genesis account is figurative. Maybe it's a load of rubbish!

Why do you believe the God of the Bible is a fool to require the shedding of blood? We all die and therefore nature 'requires' the shedding of blood.

I'll go back to my cave for now.........

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It would seem from reading the Bible, but more so from what we are learning about the universe and life, that God did not create a perfect system. It may be a 'good' system, but not perfect, if by perfect you mean there would be no problems e.g death and suffering.

But, if God is perfect, and infinity powerful, then why would He have had to create an imperfect system?

So, if you believe this, then you have to explain why God deliberately and unnecessarily created suffering and evil. And, reconcile this with a God that is absolutely good and wishes us to not have to suffer or be subject to evil.

Is God stupid to place us on a planet that is made up of plates that move and cause earthquakes? Is He stupid to create the sun that makes life possible on Earth, but will burn out one day so life won't be possible here? Obviously He is not stupid. Is He any more stupid to send the Word, into this finite set up, knowing he would be killed? No. Jesus said it is necessary to die. (unless a seed dies and is buried, it won't produce fruit).

Because God is supposed to be all powerful and infinitely good and knowledgeable, then He could have made the universe otherwise. Because God is supposed to be infinitely powerful and merciful He could forgive without the need of sacrifice (and the bible even states that He can and does), then it appears that the sacrifice of Jesus is unnecessary.

So if I cam up to you and said to worship my god, one that created unnecessary suffering, unnecessary evil and required unnecessary sacrifice, would you think of him as a good god, or an evil one.

We can't have 'perfect' to start with. That is a fact. Why can't we? I suspect it's to do with the knowledge of good and evil. You have to 'learn' both. The learning takes a lot of time - trial and error.

No. God has the power to give us knowledge without such learning (there are passages in the bible where God give people knowledge directly). And, as God is all powerful, He has to have the power to do that or He is not all powerful.

Did God try to trick Adam and Eve with the trees? Of course not. He knew they would eat and He must have wanted them to eat, otherwise they could not know good, unless they knew evil. God is in full control of EVERYTHING. Nothing has gone 'off course' and is thwarting God's plan. God cannot be thwarted.

This is a form of Retrospective Determinism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrospective_determinism . You are saying that whatever happens, happens and then afterwards stating that it was Gods plan all along.

This means that every evil perpetrated by humans and every moment of suffering has been ultimatly caused by God as it was His intention for that to occur, and because He is all powerful and could achieve the same ends without all that, it means that the evil and suffering are completely unnecesary.

In other words, you have just given the ultimate argument for God being evil.

However, if it has gone off the rails, then God can still be good, but just incompetent (or if you want not all powerful - but then is He god then).

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But, if God is perfect, and infinity powerful, then why would He have had to create an imperfect system?

I suspect we don't understand the idea of 'perfect'and God being 'infinitely powerful'. That may sound like a cop out, but if I begin with the premise that there is a Designer, then I can only form a rudimentary understanding of Him from the universe that we live in. We live in a dangerous universe, and our lives are a mixture of pain and happiness. Why is it necessarily 'wrong' that the universe is like this?

So, if you believe this, then you have to explain why God deliberately and unnecessarily created suffering and evil. And, reconcile this with a God that is absolutely good and wishes us to not have to suffer or be subject to evil.

Suffering and therefore 'evil' must be necessary, or certainly in a material universe. If we take an example 'pain'- without pain we wouldn't live very long. Pain is horrible but necessary. If we take the law of cause and effect, then God certainly must have known that a material universe would 'involve' evil so yes, He deliberately (but I would say it was necessary) created suffering and evil.

Because God is supposed to be all powerful and infinitely good and knowledgeable, then He could have made the universe otherwise. Because God is supposed to be infinitely powerful and merciful He could forgive without the need of sacrifice (and the bible even states that He can and does), then it appears that the sacrifice of Jesus is unnecessary.

I don't think He 'could' make the universe otherwise. I have wondered about these very points you make, and if I believe that there is a Creator who has brought everything into being, then I come to a 'dead end' so to speak - I don't understand how the universe works and so I accept that what we have is 'what we have' and we live with it.

From my understanding of the Bible, God does 'forgive' without someone having given a sacrifice, if by sacrifice you mean the killing of an animal and ultimately Jesus allowing himself to be killed. 'Sacrifice' doesn't always involve 'blood'. I think the 'shedding of blood' is symbolic rather than it literally appeasing God. This is a big subject that I don't really understand myself. As I am a parent and had to 'punish' my child when they did something that was wrong, it was because I loved them that I didn't just say 'oh, nevermind, you did wrong, but I forgive you'. Their 'pain' at being punished was a temporary state that in the long run lead to them understanding their actions and helping them to not do that thing again.

So if I cam up to you and said to worship my god, one that created unnecessary suffering, unnecessary evil and required unnecessary sacrifice, would you think of him as a good god, or an evil one.

I would think of Him as evil. I often don't understand or 'accept' why we suffer and so I often shout at God and tell Him I'm not going to bother with Him anymore.

No. God has the power to give us knowledge without such learning (there are passages in the bible where God give people knowledge directly). And, as God is all powerful, He has to have the power to do that or He is not all powerful.

I don't think that can be right. Those that God gave 'direct knowledge' to, already understood enough other things, to make sense of what they were 'given'. We have to learn and grow in our understanding of things and we have to experience things before we can understand them.

This is a form of Retrospective Determinism: http://en.wikipedia....ive_determinism . You are saying that whatever happens, happens and then afterwards stating that it was Gods plan all along.

This means that every evil perpetrated by humans and every moment of suffering has been ultimatly caused by God as it was His intention for that to occur, and because He is all powerful and could achieve the same ends without all that, it means that the evil and suffering are completely unnecesary.

In other words, you have just given the ultimate argument for God being evil.

However, if it has gone off the rails, then God can still be good, but just incompetent (or if you want not all powerful - but then is He god then).

Advances in Science, seem to be showing that things are determined. I watched a programme the other night called 'Are you good or evil?' and it showed how Psychopaths have abnormal brains and an abnormal gene. It discussed how our emotions are 'caused' by chemicals. It would seem that science is discovering that we don't have 'free wills'. So it seems to 'make sense' that everything must be determined. Does God determine everything? I don't know. HE must know how things will pan out, due to 'cause and effect'. That makes Him responsible for evil. Does that make God evil as well as good? It seems to imply that.

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I suspect we don't understand the idea of 'perfect'and God being 'infinitely powerful'.

The concept of infinity is actually quite well studied. There are even quite well established properties that infinity must have. Of course, most people when they say God is all powerful just mean that they haven't actually given much thought as to what God could do, but will just say that if anything occurs, then God could have done that.

An interesting problem of infinity is that God should have the power to make a rock that He could not lift. However, when you actually apply infinity to it, God can make that rock, but then He has the power to lift it. Infinite power must contain the power to do both.

Thus, if God has Infinite power, then He has the power to break the laws of logic. If He has the power to break logic, then it is possible for God to create a universe where it is perfect, without suffering and without evil, even when those are necessary.

If God does not have the power to break logic, then He is not all powerful, nor is he a supernatural being. And, this would mean that logically He is not a God. And, since in this argument, He couldn't break logic, God could not exist, there for if God exists at all, He must be all powerful.

But, if God is all powerful, then Evil, Suffering and Sacrifice are unnecessary (and any God that created them must therefore be evil themselves - as you have agreed).

That may sound like a cop out, but if I begin with the premise that there is a Designer, then I can only form a rudimentary understanding of Him from the universe that we live in. We live in a dangerous universe, and our lives are a mixture of pain and happiness. Why is it necessarily 'wrong' that the universe is like this?

Right and Wrong are not the same as Good and Evil. One can say it is wrong to lie, but is it evil to do so if it prevents a greater suffering? This means that Good and Evil are a separate concept to Right and Wrong.

In the context of this debate, Right and Wrong can be taken as necessary and unnecessary. Is it necessary for suffering and evil to exist in a material universe? Probably. Is suffering and evil, evil? certainly.

Suffering and therefore 'evil' must be necessary, or certainly in a material universe. If we take an example 'pain'- without pain we wouldn't live very long. Pain is horrible but necessary. If we take the law of cause and effect, then God certainly must have known that a material universe would 'involve' evil so yes, He deliberately (but I would say it was necessary) created suffering and evil.

Is a creator that can transcend logic and therefore all powerful and does not have to do anything (even if it is a necessity) that creates a universe with suffering and evil doing something that to Him is considered unnecessary (even if logically it is a necessity)? Yes.

Is it an evil act to create unnecessary evil and suffering? Yes.

Therefore, if God exists, He must not be subject to logic, and therefore nothing is necessary to Him. If that God creates a universe with Suffering and Evil, then that suffering and evil must be unnecessary. And, as you agreed, any God that creates unnecessary suffering and Evil must be considered evil.

I don't think He 'could' make the universe otherwise. I have wondered about these very points you make, and if I believe that there is a Creator who has brought everything into being, then I come to a 'dead end' so to speak - I don't understand how the universe works and so I accept that what we have is 'what we have' and we live with it.

If God could not make the universe otherwise, then He is not all powerful. As one of the attributes of the God of the Bible is that He is all powerful, then the bible can not be describe the actual God and therefore any belief in the God of the bible is a belief in a false God.

So, either God has the power to make the universe otherwise and instead deliberately created evil and chose us to suffer unnecessarily, or God (as of the bible) does not exist.

From my understanding of the Bible, God does 'forgive' without someone having given a sacrifice, if by sacrifice you mean the killing of an animal and ultimately Jesus allowing himself to be killed. 'Sacrifice' doesn't always involve 'blood'. I think the 'shedding of blood' is symbolic rather than it literally appeasing God.

No. I mean sacrifice of any kind (even the "sacrifice" of asking for forgiveness). If God exists, He is all powerful, and therefore does not need us to sacrifice. Therefore any sacrifice must be deliberately caused by God for no reason that He wants us to do it for His own pleasure.

However, if God is not all powerful (and therefore not the God of the Bible), then Sacrifice might be necessary.

This is a big subject that I don't really understand myself. As I am a parent and had to 'punish' my child when they did something that was wrong, it was because I loved them that I didn't just say 'oh, nevermind, you did wrong, but I forgive you'. Their 'pain' at being punished was a temporary state that in the long run lead to them understanding their actions and helping them to not do that thing again.

As you are not all powerful, then sacrifice and suffering is the result. And this is my point. An all powerful being does not require them and makes all suffering, evil and sacrifice unnecessary. However a finitely powered being (such as a human) can not eliminate them.

But as the God of the Bible is supposed to be all powerful, then either He has caused unnecessary suffering and evil, or He does not exist.

I would think of Him as evil. I often don't understand or 'accept' why we suffer and so I often shout at God and tell Him I'm not going to bother with Him anymore.

Thus, if the God of the bible exists, then He is evil. If the God of the bible is not evil, then He not all powerful (and thus can not be the God of the bible) and therefore does not exist.

I don't think that can be right. Those that God gave 'direct knowledge' to, already understood enough other things, to make sense of what they were 'given'. We have to learn and grow in our understanding of things and we have to experience things before we can understand them.

But, if God can give us direct knowledge, then He could give us the knowledge to understand that knowledge too. And, He could do it instantly (or better yet, let us be born with it). However He doesn't, so either He want us to suffer and be subject to evil (and then punish us for it) or He is not really the God of the bible (and therefore we have to reject the bible and all the religions based on it).

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......An interesting problem of infinity is that God should have the power to make a rock that He could not lift. However, when you actually apply infinity to it, God can make that rock, but then He has the power to lift it. Infinite power must contain the power to do both.

Thus, if God has Infinite power, then He has the power to break the laws of logic. If He has the power to break logic, then it is possible for God to create a universe where it is perfect, without suffering and without evil, even when those are necessary.

If God does not have the power to break logic, then He is not all powerful, nor is he a supernatural being. And, this would mean that logically He is not a God. And, since in this argument, He couldn't break logic, God could not exist, there for if God exists at all, He must be all powerful.

But, if God is all powerful, then Evil, Suffering and Sacrifice are unnecessary (and any God that created them must therefore be evil themselves - as you have agreed).

I am wary of using logic like this. You make some good points which I've considered myself, but I don't know what 'infinite power' means, or it you can put the two together. Maybe your logic is similar to someone saying, 'if God can do anything, then let him pull that bald man by the hair'. Of course that is nonense to us, and maybe too, because we don't understand what God is, we measure Him by our limited perspective and understanding.

Right and Wrong are not the same as Good and Evil. One can say it is wrong to lie, but is it evil to do so if it prevents a greater suffering? This means that Good and Evil are a separate concept to Right and Wrong.

In the context of this debate, Right and Wrong can be taken as necessary and unnecessary. Is it necessary for suffering and evil to exist in a material universe? Probably. Is suffering and evil, evil? certainly.

I agree. Right and wrong is different to good and evil, but all these concepts are not black and white, so do we really understand what is good, right, wrong and evil? Again, if we try to be absolute in our 'equations' of logic, then we may end up with the wrong answer e.g all suffering is evil. Is it? God allows suffering and causes suffering so He is evil. Is He?

Is it an evil act to create unnecessary evil and suffering? Yes.

Is the act 'evil' and is it necessary or unnecessary? Maybe we can't know for sure.

Therefore, if God exists, He must not be subject to logic, and therefore nothing is necessary to Him. If that God creates a universe with Suffering and Evil, then that suffering and evil must be unnecessary. And, as you agreed, any God that creates unnecessary suffering and Evil must be considered evil.

If God could not make the universe otherwise, then He is not all powerful. As one of the attributes of the God of the Bible is that He is all powerful, then the bible can not be describe the actual God and therefore any belief in the God of the bible is a belief in a false God.

So, either God has the power to make the universe otherwise and instead deliberately created evil and chose us to suffer unnecessarily, or God (as of the bible) does not exist.

I don't understand logic so I wouldn't begin to presume in what way God is 'subject'? to it. Maybe nothing is necessary in itself. I don't know and will never know in this life.

No. I mean sacrifice of any kind (even the "sacrifice" of asking for forgiveness). If God exists, He is all powerful, and therefore does not need us to sacrifice. Therefore any sacrifice must be deliberately caused by God for no reason that He wants us to do it for His own pleasure.

However, if God is not all powerful (and therefore not the God of the Bible), then Sacrifice might be necessary.

As you are not all powerful, then sacrifice and suffering is the result. And this is my point. An all powerful being does not require them and makes all suffering, evil and sacrifice unnecessary. However a finitely powered being (such as a human) can not eliminate them.

But as the God of the Bible is supposed to be all powerful, then either He has caused unnecessary suffering and evil, or He does not exist.

Thus, if the God of the bible exists, then He is evil. If the God of the bible is not evil, then He not all powerful (and thus can not be the God of the bible) and therefore does not exist.

Maybe 'sacrifice' is necessary for us, not God. Food is necessary to us but not God. Learning about the consequences of actions is part of the sacrifice/forgiveness process which is for our benefit not God's.

But, if God can give us direct knowledge, then He could give us the knowledge to understand that knowledge too. And, He could do it instantly (or better yet, let us be born with it). However He doesn't, so either He want us to suffer and be subject to evil (and then punish us for it) or He is not really the God of the bible (and therefore we have to reject the bible and all the religions based on it).

Then you might as well say, 'don't bother creating anything. You know how it's going to pan out. It's all determined anyway. You don't need anything, so why bother? I don't know why we have to learn gradually, and why we were even created at all. Not knowing these things, doesn't cause me to not believe in a god.

I can understand someone rejecting the God of the bible and other similar religions. I 'reject' Him myself at least twice a week. The arguments you present may convince someone that the biblical God is not real but I don't think they address problems for someone like me, who does believe there is a Creator, due to the 'evidence' that science is discovering (irreducible complexity, digital code in dna).

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I am wary of using logic like this. You make some good points which I've considered myself, but I don't know what 'infinite power' means, or it you can put the two together. Maybe your logic is similar to someone saying, 'if God can do anything, then let him pull that bald man by the hair'. Of course that is nonense to us, and maybe too, because we don't understand what God is, we measure Him by our limited perspective and understanding.

Yes, God would be able to do that and if I had magic powers, I could do it (I'd use my magic to make the man grow hair and then pull him by it - or there is hair on other places, you could pull him by a beard).

I agree. Right and wrong is different to good and evil, but all these concepts are not black and white, so do we really understand what is good, right, wrong and evil? Again, if we try to be absolute in our 'equations' of logic, then we may end up with the wrong answer e.g all suffering is evil. Is it? God allows suffering and causes suffering so He is evil. Is He?

Notice I use the term "Unnecessary" evil/suffering. If a suffering is necessary, then it is not unnecessary. If God created necessary suffering then that is right (that is it has nothing to do with good or evil).

If God causes unnecesary suffering, then He is evil. As God is all powerful, then He could have created a universe with free will and no suffering or sin. The fact that we live in a universe with suffering means that it is unnecessary and therefore if God exists (and therefore created the universe) He must be evil.

Is the act 'evil' and is it necessary or unnecessary? Maybe we can't know for sure.

A single unnecessary evil act in the universe means that God is not all powerful, or is evil. If you can think of a single act of evil or a single instance of suffering that did not have to be (and with an all powerful God any act of evil and any instance of suffering is unnecessary) then we can conclude that if God exists He must be evil.

I don't understand logic so I wouldn't begin to presume in what way God is 'subject'? to it. Maybe nothing is necessary in itself. I don't know and will never know in this life.

It doesn't matter if God is subject to logic or not, only that we are. If God exists, then He created us subject to logic. This means that either God is subject to logic, and therefore we can apply logic to Him, or He wanted us to live according to logic, which means He wanted us to understand Him through logic and thus we can apply logic to our understanding of God.

Maybe 'sacrifice' is necessary for us, not God. Food is necessary to us but not God. Learning about the consequences of actions is part of the sacrifice/forgiveness process which is for our benefit not God's.

But God would have then made us where that is necessary. Being all powerful, He could have made it otherwise. Therefore the only reason we suffer is that God made us to suffer. And I would consider that evil.

but I don't think they address problems for someone like me, who does believe there is a Creator, due to the 'evidence' that science is discovering (irreducible complexity, digital code in dna).

Irriducable Complexity can be caused without the need of a creator. See here: http://www.youtube.com/user/cdk007#p/c/F626DD5B2C1F0A87/16/LZdCxk0CnN4

Also, I have not heard about any digital code in DNA, and by definition there can't be. Digital code has only 2 states (1 or 0), where as DNA has 4 codes (A, T, G, and C). It is possible to map these codes together (represent a DNA code by 1 digital bits (00, 10, 01 or 11). But his does not mean that DNA has a digital code, only that we can use symbols to represent things symbolically.

Actually, because we can represent things symbolically, then we can translate any set of symbols onto any other set of symbols. This means that if I used the right translation I could make the letters of your DNA spell out the works of Shakespeare.

So when someone shows you some set of "messages" from some source (like with the Bible Code stuff or a sequence of DNA spelling out a message), all they have done is been fooled by a cleaver translation system. the message was not in the original source, but encoded into the translation (either knowingly or unknowingly) by the designer of the translation sequence. Often the people who come up with these translation sequences try many translation sequences at random, or by carefully crafting them until they hit on the one that show the message they wanted.

I have seen a code that when used in one part of the bible it spells out a message3 that seems to prove the existence of God, but then used elsewhere it says that the bible was all a joke (it was designed to give those messages - as a joke).

The result of this is that any messages you get out of these things is very much likely to be complete rubbish and not any actual "evidence" at all.

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Yes, God would be able to do that and if I had magic powers, I could do it (I'd use my magic to make the man grow hair and then pull him by it - or there is hair on other places, you could pull him by a beard).

I maintain that we can't know for sure what terms like 'eternal power' mean. Because I don't know, I can't form arguments about how or why God made the universe the way He did.

Notice I use the term "Unnecessary" evil/suffering. If a suffering is necessary, then it is not unnecessary. If God created necessary suffering then that is right (that is it has nothing to do with good or evil).

If God causes unnecesary suffering, then He is evil. As God is all powerful, then He could have created a universe with free will and no suffering or sin. The fact that we live in a universe with suffering means that it is unnecessary and therefore if God exists (and therefore created the universe) He must be evil.

A single unnecessary evil act in the universe means that God is not all powerful, or is evil. If you can think of a single act of evil or a single instance of suffering that did not have to be (and with an all powerful God any act of evil and any instance of suffering is unnecessary) then we can conclude that if God exists He must be evil.

I understand why you reason like this. It seems to make sense. I too sometimes conclude that God must be 'evil' as well as 'good', if I reason along those lines. However, it is possible that our limited perspective of the universe, from it's beginning up to it's end, prevents us from knowing why there is evil and why God allows it and 'creates' it. The only clue I can find, that helps me to conclude that God is not evil, is realising that evil acts don't occur 'on their own' so to speak. They're part of many inter-twined actions that are part of this universe from beginning to end. If the processes (of good and evil) are working to form only good eventually, then once that is the reality and we are 'freed' from groaning creation and enter into the freedom of the children of God, ie we become resurrected spirit beings who operate in many more dimensions, (I'm getting into biblical language here, so apologies if you don't know what I'm talking about) then maybe we will understand, why evil had to be tolerated and used, to achieve lasting good.

It doesn't matter if God is subject to logic or not, only that we are. If God exists, then He created us subject to logic. This means that either God is subject to logic, and therefore we can apply logic to Him, or He wanted us to live according to logic, which means He wanted us to understand Him through logic and thus we can apply logic to our understanding of God.

But God would have then made us where that is necessary. Being all powerful, He could have made it otherwise. Therefore the only reason we suffer is that God made us to suffer. And I would consider that evil.

There's a verse in the Bible that has always appealed to me: 'Come, let us reason together.....' Isaiah 1:18 God is asking the Israelites to reason with Him. Surely God, if having given us our reasoning abilities, expects us to use reason. But I am aware that for all my reasoning abilities, I can't fathom questions like 'why is their evil' or 'why does God allow/use evil'?

Anyway, let's suppose you are right, and God is evil. Why should that have any bearing on belief that God exists?

Irriducable Complexity can be caused without the need of a creator. See here: http://www.youtube.c.../16/LZdCxk0CnN4

Also, I have not heard about any digital code in DNA, and by definition there can't be. Digital code has only 2 states (1 or 0), where as DNA has 4 codes (A, T, G, and C). It is possible to map these codes together (represent a DNA code by 1 digital bits (00, 10, 01 or 11). But his does not mean that DNA has a digital code, only that we can use symbols to represent things symbolically.

Actually, because we can represent things symbolically, then we can translate any set of symbols onto any other set of symbols. This means that if I used the right translation I could make the letters of your DNA spell out the works of Shakespeare.

So when someone shows you some set of "messages" from some source (like with the Bible Code stuff or a sequence of DNA spelling out a message), all they have done is been fooled by a cleaver translation system. the message was not in the original source, but encoded into the translation (either knowingly or unknowingly) by the designer of the translation sequence. Often the people who come up with these translation sequences try many translation sequences at random, or by carefully crafting them until they hit on the one that show the message they wanted.

I have seen a code that when used in one part of the bible it spells out a message3 that seems to prove the existence of God, but then used elsewhere it says that the bible was all a joke (it was designed to give those messages - as a joke).

The result of this is that any messages you get out of these things is very much likely to be complete rubbish and not any actual "evidence" at all.

Forge Bible Code rubbish. The coded information in DNA can be described as 'digital'. Digital doesn't have to only consist of 2 'states' as you put it, but rather it's about 'discrete values'. DNA uses 4 discrete values and is therefore 'digital' in that sense. Here's an interesting article : http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v421/n6921/full/nature01410.html

Irreducible Complexity is a hotly debated topic. I've 'studied' it for a few years, and have listened to both sides of the argument. My position is that certain biological structures certainly seem irreducibly complex e.g the flagellar motor. I've listend to Miller's rebutals and I've listened to the likes of Minnoch and Meyers. I think science will reveal these things in the near future.

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I maintain that we can't know for sure what terms like 'eternal power' mean. Because I don't know, I can't form arguments about how or why God made the universe the way He did.

This is the key to your whole argument. Because you say we can't know for certain what eternal power means. But, what if we could know what that means, then your argument falls away completely.

The thing is, we might not know everything about infinity, but we do know enough about it to know what it means. So when one claims that God has infinite power, then we can know what that means. In fact, this is what I have been trying to explain. I have used the knowledge of infinity to describe what can and could not occur.

But, all you keep saying is that we can not know.

There is a saying: There are none so deaf as those that refuse to listen. So listen:

The bible claims that Gods will can not be circumvented. This is true if (and only if) God has an infinite amount of power (and this is consistent with the bible claim that God has an infinite amount of power).

If God only had a finite amount of power, then His will could be circumvented by exploiting where His power was not.

Thus, if Gods will can not be circumvented, then He must have an infinite amount of power.

Using set theory we can define infinity. Infinity is the set that contains everything. Infinite power means that it is the set that contains the power to do anything. If there was something that could be done that did not lie in that set, then the set would not be infinite and thus God would not have infinite power and His will could be circumvented (which can not happen).

What this means is that we can never say "God can not do...". Because, if there is something that God can not do, then that means His power is not infinite, his will can not be circumvented and he is therefore not the God of the bible (meaning the God of the bible does not exist).

This is a property of infinity (specifically "infinite power"). What this means is that because the bible has stated that God's will can not be circumvented, God either has infinite power, or the bible is just a work of fiction. The result being that we can conclude that if we take the existence of the God of the bible as true for the sake of argument, then we can not claim there is something God can not do.

This means that if there is nothing God can not do, then God could create a universe that achieves any goal He wants without the need for any suffering or for evil to exist. To say that God can not do would mean that He does not have infinite power, and thus His will can be circumvented and He is not the God of the bible.

But, if we say that "God can do" that, it is consistent with God having infinite power. Then the question is: Because God could create the universe to achieve the ends He wants without suffering, then any (and all) suffering we do have is completely unnecessary. But a God that creates unnecessary suffering is not consistent with a God that is Good.

However,as the bible also states that God is Good, then the conclusion of God having infinite power means that the God must not be good, and this is inconsistent with the bible.

The result of this is either God doesn't exist at all and religion is just fiction, God is not the God of the bible and is evil or God is not the God of the bible and is not infinitely powerful.

In any case, the God of the bible can not exist in a universe with any suffering of evil. As there is suffering and evil in this universe, then we can conclude that the God of the bible does not exist.

And to link back to the OP: This means that God can not accept bribes, ransoms of the sacrifice of Jesus because if that God existed, there would be no need for any of those things. If any of those things are necessary, then the God of the bible can not exist as God is not all powerful. If those things are unnecessary, then the God of the bible can not exist as they were put in deliberately, not to achieve and end, but because God wanted us to suffer unnecessarily and is therefore evil, and that is inconsistent with the God of the bible.

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There is a saying: There are none so deaf as those that refuse to listen. So listen:

I am listening. I don't refuse to listen, so if I am 'deaf' then it's because I don't understand your reasoning.

You are defining 'infinite power' by using 'set theory'? So something that has no beginning and no end (the word used with God's power is 'eternal') can be 'contained' within a mathematical structure ie 'set'? My brain is not computing this idea at all. I'm going to check what words have been translated in the Hebrew and Greek for 'infinite'. I didn't find a verse reference to God's power using the word 'infinite' when I quickly checked just now. Let me re-read your post. It contains some very interesting points, but they require a good amount of brain power and it's a bit noisy here at the minute, so I'll come back to you.

Edtharan, a cornerstone to your arguments is your assertion that: 'if God has Infinite power, then He has the power to break the laws of logic'. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you arrive at this conclusion because if it can be said 'God cannot do.......' then He can't be infinitely powerful. So for example, if I say 'God cannot make 2+2=5, then God, not being able to alter the laws of mathematics etc, cannot be infinitely powerful. You mention infinity as the reason why God can break the laws of logic, although I don't quite follow how that would make it possible?? Are you saying there are infinite scenarios therefore the 'breaking logic' one must be possible? Can you expand on this?

I share C.S Lewis' view on this:

His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power. If you choose to say 'God can give a creature
and at the same time withhold free will from it,' you have not succeeded in saying
anything
about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.

—The Problem of pain.

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I certainly don't mean to 'preach' but rather convey some of my 'understanding' of these issues we are discussing, and I may very well be wrong in what I 'believe' hence why I'm asking you questions. Your irritation at my response suggests you will not have the patience or good will to be of much help to me. If I'm wrong then let's carry on with this discussion.

I don't believe in a literal talking snake, but maybe the Genesis account is figurative. Maybe it's a load of rubbish!

Why do you believe the God of the Bible is a fool to require the shedding of blood? We all die and therefore nature 'requires' the shedding of blood.

I'll go back to my cave for now.........

Firstly, the bible says so.

Secondly, it is not logical. If you think it is, then show a logic trail that ties blood to forgiveness for any reason other than whim.

Thirdly, what kind of an S O B God would set the condition that his own son be murdered before he ever so kindly forgives men that he thinks are less than ants to him.

That God would clearly be insane.

Fourthly, right justice.

Regards

DL

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You are defining 'infinite power' by using 'set theory'? So something that has no beginning and no end (the word used with God's power is 'eternal') can be 'contained' within a mathematical structure ie 'set'? My brain is not computing this idea at all.

Sets can have infinite elements, so this isn't an issue, I don't think.

Edtharan, a cornerstone to your arguments is your assertion that: 'if God has Infinite power, then He has the power to break the laws of logic'. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you arrive at this conclusion because if it can be said 'God cannot do.......' then He can't be infinitely powerful. So for example, if I say 'God cannot make 2+2=5, then God, not being able to alter the laws of mathematics etc, cannot be infinitely powerful. You mention infinity as the reason why God can break the laws of logic, although I don't quite follow how that would make it possible?? Are you saying there are infinite scenarios therefore the 'breaking logic' one must be possible? Can you expand on this?

Another point would be to state God's infinite power this way: if you name any action, God has the power to do it. Hence God has the power to create matter, run the universe, and so on. However, you might say "make 2+2=5" or "make a burrito so spicy even He cannot eat it," and point to the fact that God cannot do those things -- but those are not descriptions of actions. They are statements which intrinsically describe nothing, because no action can satisfy their description. Hence they are not weaknesses of God.

Anselm would retort differently: to commit illogic is a weakness, not a strength. If God could break the laws of logic, it would detract from His power.

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Charm

Good grief.

Do you believe all you hear without giving it thought?

“It would seem that science is discovering that we don't have 'free wills'.”

I have a little test that lets you prove to yourself that you have a free will. Within the bounds of nature and physics of course. No you cannot defy gravity.

Let me know if you want to prove free will to yourself. It is short and easy. No tricks.

---------------------------------------

“HE must know how things will pan out, due to 'cause and effect'“

He must eh. He must be bored out of his mind then. No wonder he is insane enough have his own son murdered needlessly.

Are you aware of the uncertainty principle and do you give it veracity?

-----------------------------------

“irreducible complexity, digital code in dna.”

I’m not used to thinking of this term but, as DNA replicates, I understand that errors occur. Is that not reducing the complexity of the digital code of DNA.

----------------------------------

“His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, “

Yet he could not maintain heaven pristine. Satan and sin were born there.

Yet he could not get A & E out of Eden or have them remain, whatever he wanted, without throwing a sissy fit against the earth and the yet unborn mankind. Original sin.

How an omnipotent God could not know that it was better to reboot Eden and not wait till later to use genocide in Noah’s day, should tell anyone with half a brain that God is not omnipotent.

Regards

DL

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You are defining 'infinite power' by using 'set theory'? So something that has no beginning and no end (the word used with God's power is 'eternal') can be 'contained' within a mathematical structure ie 'set'? My brain is not computing this idea at all. I'm going to check what words have been translated in the Hebrew and Greek for 'infinite'. I didn't find a verse reference to God's power using the word 'infinite' when I quickly checked just now. Let me re-read your post. It contains some very interesting points, but they require a good amount of brain power and it's a bit noisy here at the minute, so I'll come back to you.

Basically, what I am saying is that because the bible states that Gods will can not be circumvented.

See:

Luke 18:27

King James Bible Revelation 19:6

The only way for this to be, is if God has infinite power.

Edtharan, a cornerstone to your arguments is your assertion that: 'if God has Infinite power, then He has the power to break the laws of logic'. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you arrive at this conclusion because if it can be said 'God cannot do.......' then He can't be infinitely powerful. So for example, if I say 'God cannot make 2+2=5, then God, not being able to alter the laws of mathematics etc, cannot be infinitely powerful. You mention infinity as the reason why God can break the laws of logic, although I don't quite follow how that would make it possible?? Are you saying there are infinite scenarios therefore the 'breaking logic' one must be possible? Can you expand on this?

Think of it like this: If God is subject to logic, then God must have existed after logic. But if God was created, then He is not all powerful, nor is He eternal. Both of which are necessary for God to be the God of the bible.

However, if God existed before Logic, then God created logic (and if God didn't create logic, then who did?). This means that God can transcend logic.

This means that God can make 2+2=5. But, He chooses not to (just because God can do something does not me He will or has to do it).

I share C.S Lewis' view on this:

His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power. If you choose to say 'God can give a creature
and at the same time withhold free will from it,' you have not succeeded in saying
anything
about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words 'God can.'... It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of his creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because his power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.

—The Problem of pain.

Even if one takes this position, that God can do anything that makes sense. It still does not counter that argument that God can't make a universe without suffering.

If God made us, then He made us with the ability to suffer. There is nothing within the laws of physics that states that suffering is necessary. An electron can not be evil. Although it might be used for evil, it itself is not evil. Suffering is an emergent property of the universe. Thus it is has no necessary existence. If the rules governing the universe were different, then suffering could be eliminated.

As an example: One such could be a multi-world universe. In this, when someone were to cause suffering to another, they would be split off into their own universe and cause suffering to a fake (ie not real, but give the appearance of being real) victim.

Afterwards, the universe are joined back up (if so desired).

This way the person that would be trying to cause suffering does not have their free will broken, they can know that their act doesn't really occur (because the two universes would develop differently because of the act or it not happening) and the actual people would know upon seeing the disappearance and then reappearance of the person trying to cause suffering.

If God created the universe, then we know He has the power to create a universe. Thus this is not beyond the power of God to make 2 universes and have one of them filled with mindless "zombies" (as in the philosophical concept of a zombie) that are manipulated by Him to replicate the first universe as needed.

Not only that, this would show people that it is futile to try and cause suffering or to do evil as it would be utterly pointless.

As you can see, even a mere mortal like me, and only use the powers God has apparently used in the bible, I can conceive of a way to eliminate suffering and evil without removing free will.

Now, imagine a Being with infinite power and knowledge doing this. This is what God could have done. But, if He could have done it and didn't then He chose to not do it and thus chose us to be subject to evil and to suffer, and as has been established, a God that chooses to do unnecessary evil, or to allow unnecessary suffering despite their ability to prevent it, is evil. But as an evil God is not the God of the Bible, we can conclude that if there is a God, it can not be the God of the bible.

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Sets can have infinite elements, so this isn't an issue, I don't think.

I wouldn't know, as maths is my weakest subject.

Another point would be to state God's infinite power this way: if you name any action, God has the power to do it. Hence God has the power to create matter, run the universe, and so on. However, you might say "make 2+2=5" or "make a burrito so spicy even He cannot eat it," and point to the fact that God cannot do those things -- but those are not descriptions of actions. They are statements which intrinsically describe nothing, because no action can satisfy their description. Hence they are not weaknesses of God.

Anselm would retort differently: to commit illogic is a weakness, not a strength. If God could break the laws of logic, it would detract from His power.

I agree that they are not descriptions of actions, hence why I quoted Lewis.

Think of it like this: If God is subject to logic, then God must have existed after logic. But if God was created, then He is not all powerful, nor is He eternal. Both of which are necessary for God to be the God of the bible.

However, if God existed before Logic, then God created logic (and if God didn't create logic, then who did?). This means that God can transcend logic.

This means that God can make 2+2=5. But, He chooses not to (just because God can do something does not me He will or has to do it).

Surely 'logic' only exists via a mind, and so God (if we assume He has a mind) would always have logic, ie logic is eternal, as God is. How could you create logic, without emplying logic in order to create it? I'm not going to go down that road. If there is a God, then I would argue that logic is an eternal part of His being, just as love, evil, power is.

Even if one takes this position, that God can do anything that makes sense. It still does not counter that argument that God can't make a universe without suffering.

If God made us, then He made us with the ability to suffer. There is nothing within the laws of physics that states that suffering is necessary. An electron can not be evil. Although it might be used for evil, it itself is not evil. Suffering is an emergent property of the universe. Thus it is has no necessary existence. If the rules governing the universe were different, then suffering could be eliminated.

The Bible claims, that God can make a universe that does not contain suffering (the new Heavens and Earth in Revelation) so the problem we have is why didn't He 'end up' with this evil free universe/creation in the first place?

As an example: One such could be a multi-world universe. In this, when someone were to cause suffering to another, they would be split off into their own universe and cause suffering to a fake (ie not real, but give the appearance of being real) victim.

Afterwards, the universe are joined back up (if so desired).

This way the person that would be trying to cause suffering does not have their free will broken, they can know that their act doesn't really occur (because the two universes would develop differently because of the act or it not happening) and the actual people would know upon seeing the disappearance and then reappearance of the person trying to cause suffering.

If God created the universe, then we know He has the power to create a universe. Thus this is not beyond the power of God to make 2 universes and have one of them filled with mindless "zombies" (as in the philosophical concept of a zombie) that are manipulated by Him to replicate the first universe as needed.

Not only that, this would show people that it is futile to try and cause suffering or to do evil as it would be utterly pointless.

As you can see, even a mere mortal like me, and only use the powers God has apparently used in the bible, I can conceive of a way to eliminate suffering and evil without removing free will.

This made me chuckle, not because I found it funny but because it's very interesting and 'way out', but then, so are many of the claims of the bible lol.

Now, imagine a Being with infinite power and knowledge doing this. This is what God could have done. But, if He could have done it and didn't then He chose to not do it and thus chose us to be subject to evil and to suffer, and as has been established, a God that chooses to do unnecessary evil, or to allow unnecessary suffering despite their ability to prevent it, is evil. But as an evil God is not the God of the Bible, we can conclude that if there is a God, it can not be the God of the bible.

The bible is clear about God's dealings in evil: 'the man has become like one of us, knowing good and EVIL', gen 3:22 and 'The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity (Hebrew word for calamity is 'ra' evil); I am the LORD who does all these.' Isaiah 45:7 just to quote two examples. So a universe containing evil is not inconsistent with the Bible.

Evil exists and must have always existed and will always exist, if God is eternal and 'knows good and evil' then He has always known about evil. I get the impression from the Bible, that evil will become an idea (again??) not a reality (being acted out) like it is now. That sounds like a long shot though, a fairy tale.

As interesting as these arguments in logic are, I will give God the benefit of the doubt (it doesn't have to be the God of the bible) . We have to learn about evil via experiences, just as we learn about goodness.

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