The problem of evil and suffering

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Jon 316

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am currently teaching Philosophy of Religion to secondary school pupils in Religious, Moral and Philosophical studies.

I find the materials at times quite limited and biased.

How would you respond to the classicical philosphical argument of the problem of evil

If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
Evil exists.
If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Therefore, God doesn't exist.

thanks...
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
.
.
.
Therefore, God doesn't exist.

This is the premise which carries a presupposition that should be challenged. How do we know this premise is true? Why do we assume that God's moral perfection equals His desire that everything we think is evil should be eliminated?
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
The standard usage of 'moral perfection' in this argument is a red herring. It assumes that God's perfection is according to our understanding of the term.
 

charliejunfan

Puritan Board Senior
[ame=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4215906363906499625]Joyous Grief[/ame]
This video deals with God and suffering but in a devotional way more than theological

But here are some verses to meditate on.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Hebrews 12:6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

God wants us to suffer for His own glory, Gordan Clark would say that God is the cause but we are the authors of sin, just as God can cause us to write a book but we are still the authors of the book.
 

Theogenes

Puritan Board Junior
John,
The statement that "God desires to eliminate all evil" needs to consider God's time table. One day He will deal with all that is evil but until that time it serves His purpose which is based on His infinite wisdom.
Jim :2cents:
 

Jon 316

Puritan Board Sophomore
John,
The statement that "God desires to eliminate all evil" needs to consider God's time table. One day He will deal with all that is evil but until that time it serves His purpose which is based on His infinite wisdom.
Jim :2cents:

Yeah, that would be one of my takes on it.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
1 - If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
2 - If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
3 - If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4 - If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5 - Evil exists.
6 - If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.
7 - Therefore, God doesn't exist.

#4 & #6 - God will eliminate all evil. But He will only do so within His time-frame so as to bring all of the elect into His fold.

There is a underlying presupposition in all of these types of "proofs" - the purpose of life/creation.

The above can only be argued if the purpose of life is to be good, happy, comfortable, or something similar.

Since the purpose of life is to glorify God we must look at it in a radically different way.

God is most glorified by Himself. The more facets of God that are displayed, the more glory He displays. If we were forever in the state prior to the fall we would never see some of the facets of God:
His mercy on sinners
His love for the elect in dying for them
His hatred of sin
The seriousness of sin by what it cost to redeem us from it
The power that God has over recreation and not only over creation
etc, etc.

If it were not for sin we would be missing out on many facets of God...and these facets bring more glory to Him, therefore sin serves God's purpose of bringing glory to Himself until the day that He does finally judge it.
 

Jon 316

Puritan Board Sophomore
1 - If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
2 - If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
3 - If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4 - If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5 - Evil exists.
6 - If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.
7 - Therefore, God doesn't exist.

#4 & #6 - God will eliminate all evil. But He will only do so within His time-frame so as to bring all of the elect into His fold.

There is a underlying presupposition in all of these types of "proofs" - the purpose of life/creation.

The above can only be argued if the purpose of life is to be good, happy, comfortable, or something similar.

Since the purpose of life is to glorify God we must look at it in a radically different way.

God is most glorified by Himself. The more facets of God that are displayed, the more glory He displays. If we were forever in the state prior to the fall we would never see some of the facets of God:
His mercy on sinners
His love for the elect in dying for them
His hatred of sin
The seriousness of sin by what it cost to redeem us from it
The power that God has over recreation and not only over creation
etc, etc.

If it were not for sin we would be missing out on many facets of God...and these facets bring more glory to Him, therefore sin serves God's purpose of bringing glory to Himself until the day that He does finally judge it.

Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
If evil exists then there must be good,

For good and bad to exist there must be a law by which they can be defined,

For a law to judge good and evil then there must be a transcendent law giver,

The transcendent law give is God.

Evil proves that God exists.
 

Jon 316

Puritan Board Sophomore
If evil exists then there must be good,

For good and bad to exist there must be a law by which they can be defined,

For a law to judge good and evil then there must be a transcendent law giver,

The transcendent law give is God.

Evil proves that God exists.

Mate! Thanks! This is one of the missing pieces I have been looking for. bless ya
 

cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
Evil exists.
If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Therefore, God doesn't exist.

This argument falsely assumes that God does not have a good reason for ordaining evil to come into existence. God does have good reasons for allowing evil to exist. John MacArthur has addressed this issue and you can hear his lecture about this by going to this link: The Problem of Evil with John MacArthur | Ligonier Ministries
 

steven-nemes

Puritan Board Sophomore
The traditional answer to the logical problem of evil (or at least what I understand is commonly called the "logical problem of evil") is that God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil to exist.

The probabilistic argument, which is more along the lines of given all the amounts of evil we find in the world, it is highly probable that God does not exist is easily turned around by the request to justify calling these things "evil" apart from positing the existence of a moral God who commands that certain things not be done/be done. I find it hard to explain the existence of universal unchanging moral imperatives apart from the existence of God.
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
If evil exists then there must be good,

For good and bad to exist there must be a law by which they can be defined,

For a law to judge good and evil then there must be a transcendent law giver,

The transcendent law give is God.

Evil proves that God exists.



got it from Ravi huh?

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7yNwEDtqjA"]YouTube - Ravi on Why is there Evil in the World?[/ame]
 
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