In this post which is likely to be long, (but I hope it doesn’t become too long), I am going to respond to a post on the problem of evil which is a response to some questions I asked last year on a blog post.
When in Genesis, the redactor tells us god saw that what he had created was good, the OP takes this to mean to that they were well made and in the case of humans that this cannot include moral goodness. If we grant him this wish, the question of disobedience to which he alludes to in his next paragraph has no place. Call it full court press, but you can’t have it both ways. In fact I have no problem granting the exception but we must then ask if man was not made morally good- whatever that means- how can he be blamed for any failures arising from his make up.
I would agree, for the purposes of this discussion, with his point about god not able to create us differently than he did, if he can concede that i) god is not omnipotent ii) it is logically possible for another being to create human beings without the flaws we see around us. A limitation of god’s omnipotence doesn’t take the problem of evil away for there is a logically possible world where god does not create humans.
This formulation below is beset with problems which I will briefly show
- Self-existence requires perfect love and perfect love guarantees self-existence.
- If 1 is true, the created beings can only have imperfect love.
- Acting in accordance with its own understanding, imperfect love must inevitably result in evil without bound.
First, in our experience, we have no evidence to support self existence. Premise 1 is thus unsupported and should not be accepted unless the author can qualify it or give us a reason to accept it. What stops an omnipotent being from creating beings with perfect love? And what is imperfect love? In my view, either one love or doesn’t love. I have no definition of imperfect love, leave alone love. It doesn’t follow that we don’t have perfect love, whatever that is, then we are going to run amok. It is not necessary that an all good and powerful being create creatures that need to be corrected. If the believers are to be taken at their word, angels are such beings that need no correction. So it doesn’t entail a contradiction to have flawless beings. I do not see the explanatory value of the thought experiment proposed. One would wonder what one is doing in a small house with the parents for billions of years. Do something with your life! eish!
That divine guidance will help reduce the frictions arising from imperfect love. But the evidence we have is that this hasn’t been the case. We continue to kill, rape, abuse each other with abandon. Where is god’s guidance? Is it to happen in a future world?
There is plenty of literature on evolution that I am not going to delve into it here. I honestly don’t know which is more absurd; to believe that we have the vast genetic variance in the human race from two couples or to agree with conclusions we have based on evolutionary biology?
What right has god to judge his creations harshly for his doing? I mean some of the responsibility if not all must rest with the creator.
For the purposes of argument, let us consider Eden a real place and god exists. The good book says the serpent was the sliest of the wild animals. We have no reason to believe A & E were fairing any better than the other animals. It is impossible to see why they wouldn’t fall to the discourse of the serpent. What reason if any, had god to plant this tree in the garden? He could have kept the seeds in his pocket. And there can be no talk of disobedience when the first couple had no knowledge of good and bad. A new term, not disobedience, must be found for their first act.
If we are to take the bible seriously, god had an opportunity at this early time, when the epistemic distance between him and man was to an extent non existent, to correct the anomaly in his creation or to not allow them to procreate. There is no contradiction in A & E not having children for we have evidence of barren parents around us. To allow the first couple to populate the world knowing the result forehand reeks of negligence of the highest order.
It is absurd to suppose that god after creating the world and seeing the harm men were doing to each other that he would for so long a time to come and commit suicide to save men from himself. Who believes a theology such as this? It sound like a parent who keeps having children and sometime in future decides to punish the best among them for the mistakes of the others. All reasonable men would find this reprehensible. It is strange the christian thinks this is the highest virtue!
Two contradictory explanations of the same thing can’t both be true. If one says hell is a place of torment with fire and one says it is a place of separation from god, I don’t see how this can be both true.
Who, indulge me, would stop the will of an all powerful being from being actualized? I am interested in understanding the believer’s meaning of the words omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. I think they must mean something different from what the rest understand this words to mean.