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Why does God punish the innocent and innocuous?


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Perhaps God just likes to see you cringe.

How does free will cause famine, floods, earthquakes, and epidemics?

Nope. I'm making the entirely reasonable assumption that free will probably doesn't exist given what we're seeing in the research. No need to introduce strawmen or misrepresent my actual position.  I

The three main possibilities are:

 

1. There is no god.

2. God is perfectly willing to let you suffer. This is rationalized as testing people for the afterlife, or the result of free will, which god created, so it comes back to him anyway.

3. God is jealous and punitive, which he says he is in the bible.

 

 

I personally go with 1.

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The three main possibilities are:

 

1. There is no god.

2. God is perfectly willing to let you suffer. This is rationalized as testing people for the afterlife, or the result of free will, which god created, so it comes back to him anyway.

3. God is jealous and punitive, which he says he is in the bible.

 

 

I personally go with 1.

You look at the way the Universe develops, we are made from 3rd generation stars. There is no room for pity in the natural scheme of things. Nature is cruel and uncaring.

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It makes me cringe when I see innocent people suffer. >:D

Would a caring God partake of such injustice?

What conclusion does this lead us to?

 

Please advise.

Bad things happen because we have free will. When God gave us the choice to stay in the Garden or accept sin(which we did, of course)we were cast into the world to fend for ourselves. We are all still on a Devine path that has been laid out by our creator, but the relatively small decisions are left to us.

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It makes me cringe when I see innocent people suffer. >:D

Would a caring God partake of such injustice?

What conclusion does this lead us to?

 

Please advise.

We can all say what god means or does not mean to us, but I think along the lines of this very short story by Andy Weir ""The Egg".

http://galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html

 

To me it is all about balance/empathy.

Edited by sunshaker
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Bad things happen because we have free will. When God gave us the choice to stay in the Garden or accept sin(which we did, of course)we were cast into the world to fend for ourselves. We are all still on a Devine path that has been laid out by our creator, but the relatively small decisions are left to us.

 

Or...

 

OR...

 

We could focus on what we actually know about here on the planet, seeing as how there are SO many differing beliefs about gods, all claiming to be Truth. We can't really know about them, can we? Isn't it just a hunch, a guess, depending more about where on Earth you were born? This solves the problem with the innocents; they're victims of chance, not God.

 

We could be one species on a planet with a broad diversity of species that evolved over hundreds of millions of years from a few proto-ancestors, and a species that is spectacularly well evolved to actually leave the planet. We have high intelligence, imagination, curiosity, cooperation, communication, opposable thumbs, tool use, and more recently, the understanding of the physical universe that will let us move outward from where we were born, to learn and continue to grow.

 

We could be the only chance our planet has of producing something that will continue after our sun expands.

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Lets not just make it always about us and our suffering...

 

What kind of a vain God would create a whole universe for the sole, perverse purpose of worshipping Him.

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How does free will cause famine, floods, earthquakes, and epidemics?

According to the Bible, when we chose to leave the Garden all aspects of life would thereafter become difficult. I suppose if we had stayed in paradise the Earth would have remained stable and there would be no natural disasters. I should clarify that my responses are purely academic; although I subscribe to no religion I find the concept fascinating and really enjoy discussing it. I actually wonder why people continue to ask why God allows suffering, because it's explained in the Bible. If you wish I can provide specific passages to elaborate.

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According to the Bible, when we chose to leave the Garden all aspects of life would thereafter become difficult.

 

Because God decided to punish people for using the free will he gave them. That is a little bit like the school bully's claim that it is your fault they are hurting you - if you did what they said, the pain would stop. Terrorists make similar irrational arguments.

 

So it isn't free will that caused the suffering, it is back to God doing it. Perhaps he can get off with a diminished responsibility plea.

 

 

I actually wonder why people continue to ask why God allows suffering, because it's explained in the Bible.

 

I have heard many theologians and senior church figures discussing this as being a major problem. I wonder what they have missed ...

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The three main possibilities are:

 

1. There is no god.

2. God is perfectly willing to let you suffer. This is rationalized as testing people for the afterlife, or the result of free will, which god created, so it comes back to him anyway.

3. God is jealous and punitive, which he says he is in the bible.

 

 

I personally go with 1.

1. I would agree, but most people have the need to rationalize existence. It is perfectly normal. We have been doing it for years, and history is written by the survivors. Ultimately there will be no survivors, so that is rationalized, and we are offered immortality.

 

2&3. God does not seem to express existence nearly so well as humanity. All good, and all evil is of or own doing.

 

When this is pointed out in any scripture history repeats itself, and we rationalize what we are doing.

 

It is all perfectly normal.

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Because God decided to punish people for using the free will he gave them. That is a little bit like the school bully's claim that it is your fault they are hurting you - if you did what they said, the pain would stop. Terrorists make similar irrational arguments.

 

So it isn't free will that caused the suffering, it is back to God doing it. Perhaps he can get off with a diminished responsibility plea.

 

Free will is wierd IMO.

If free will is limited to the soul or brain, then God is only restricted from mind control. He could still intervene when people intend harm, and he can be blamed for his inaction. Alternatively, if free will is the ability to produce effects, then you must get more specific since we clearly don't have full free will.

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According to the Bible, when we chose to leave the Garden all aspects of life would thereafter become difficult. I suppose if we had stayed in paradise the Earth would have remained stable and there would be no natural disasters. I should clarify that my responses are purely academic; although I subscribe to no religion I find the concept fascinating and really enjoy discussing it. I actually wonder why people continue to ask why God allows suffering, because it's explained in the Bible. If you wish I can provide specific passages to elaborate.

What garden? Where is it? Is it metaphorical?

 

Who specifically said; "I choose to leave the garden".

 

I live on a beautiful garden. There are places in it I choose not to go. There are places I would love to go but will never be able to go, but the view of my front yard is beautiful also, and I would choose to see it everyday for the rest of my life, but there are no guarantees.

 

It will not be a God who forces me to leave when that day comes.

Edited by jajrussel
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It makes me cringe when I see innocent people suffer. >:D

Would a caring God partake of such injustice?

What conclusion does this lead us to?

 

Please advise.

To answer the first question; No.

 

To answer the second question; I can't see that it leads us anywhere. The answer (no) is the conclusion.

 

I should put a little smiley face here :)

 

I realize that you are looking for debate, but you should state your opinion before asking for others so that one can be clear as to where it is you want to lead them with your questions.

 

I need another smiley face :) you did state your opinion, my bad. Still I get the feeling that you want too impart wisdom through questions, and the second question suggests that a simple no isn't the wisdom you are alluding to.

 

Please advise? :)

Edited by jajrussel
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Need I be explicit... :confused: The best metaphor I have that involves God is "God helps those that help themselves." Does that insinuate the existence of free will ?

No, you do not need to be explicit, but had you been my answer might have led to the question you have asked here.

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A specific example: pontine tumors in children. http://www.childhoodbraintumor.org/medical-information/brain-tumor-types-and-imaging/item/81-brain-stem-gliomas-in-childhood

 

Catholic Christians (the large majority of Christians, in turn the plurality of believers in a single, judgmental, and punishing Deity) handle the problem by denying the existence of innocent human beings. We are born into Original Sin, so that a normal life with any freedom from the consequences of sin (disease, disaster, etc) is a continual expression of God's mercy, an ongoing miracle.

 

Another way to handle things is to postulate that God's hand is forced, that like a mathematician he can choose his assumptions but is then bound by them: if he wants humans rather than automatons or meaningless puppets he has to accept the necessary environment, which includes all the bad stuff. Whether that denies omnipotence or clarifies it I leave to the theologians. The pontine tumor example is chosen to present a challenge to that hypothesis in particular.

 

Clearly for most believers in a suitable God, in practice, the problem revolves around the need for control yielding hope - if disasters are punishments for voluntary sins, they can be avoided via sufficient virtue. This easily slides into the quite different but circumstantially necessary arena of collective punishment for sin - and then all the situation needs is an intelligent and persuasive sociopath: it's Inquisition time.

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Philosophical religious discussions are always on the terms of the religion being discussed. There is no real reason to believe in any God other than for the fact that people already do. So by entertaining questions about any God's motives we are pretending for argument sake that the said God even has motives or is otherwise real. Why does God punish the innocent? God doesn't. Humans are the ones who murder, rape, enslave, lie, cheat, and steal from one another. That is a provable fact. Why does God allow it? Well, I have never seen any evidence that God has control over the situation one way or the other.

Assuming God had control of the situation would we humans be able to understand its motives? Is my pet Cat a slave. I keep it captive in my home, control what it eats, had surgery performed on it to prevent it from ever reproducing, and etc. Is my Cat a pampered pet or is it living a life of torment? Not all living things view the world the same way. I can not project human feelings on to my Cat any more than I can God. And my Cat is a real observable thing.

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I should have known Ten oz.

You're a cat person.

Have you no shame ?

 

( Sitting in my recliner with my two cats, BB and DD, purring and snoozing next to my legs. )

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  • 1 month later...

It makes me cringe when I see innocent people suffer. >:D

Would a caring God partake of such injustice?

What conclusion does this lead us to?

 

Please advise.

 

It is terrible indeed. I think God has given us our knowledge through truth, rather than coercion. In all actuality, the human race has the ability to self-manage and to take care of itself. It's poorly founded disagreement which is perpetuated by false logic that possesses people to hurt one another that creates that injustice. In order to deliver the truth with no uncertainty, the human society must be able to find it through free-will and without alien coercion (there must be enough room for free-will, always), otherwise we would never truly understand the nature of existence -- it would simply be hearsay.

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