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Theory that may help explain the Problem Of Evil

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posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:22 AM
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For those unaware, the Problem of Evil can be broadly defined as follows: since bad things such as pain, misery and suffering take place in our world, how can people believe in an all-powerful, all-knowledgeable and all-loving God? To elaborate: if God is all knowing, could he not foresee all bad things from taking place? If God is all powerful, could he not stop these bad things from happening? Finally, if he is neither willing nor powerful enough to prevent pain, misery and suffering, why do we call him God? These arguments are not easily refuted and while I identify more as an agnostic than as an atheist or theist, I do still believe I have a theory that might explain the Problem of Evil whilst allowing for the existence of God.

Imagine for a moment that God does exist and that he is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. These attributes would render any action pointless as everything that can be predicted and created would be before they even come into existence. Basically, God would just exist and that would be everything. Rather boring hey? But what if there was a way where not everything could be predicted, and the act of creation could be productive and inspiring?

In order to achieve such a result, God would have to create a reality where his capabilities were somewhat suppressed. In other words, he would have to sacrifice a portion of his power so that he would be unable to predict things. Maybe that is what has happened on our planet. Quite simply, in this physical existence, God cannot interfere with anything he has created. When it comes to explaining evil in our current existence, it seems God really did create a rock that was so big he was unable to lift it!

To use an analogy: a programmer that has released software without including a "back-door" for that software.

Yes, it was seemingly irresponsible, but it means little in the grand scheme of things if there is an afterlife where pain, suffering and misery do not exist.

Would you entertain such a theory?




posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:23 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

I'm pretty sure that moral relativism is true and there is no such thing as good and evil.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:26 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

The purpose of this thread is not to debate whether Good or Evil actually exist. It is more to explore the notion that the existence of a deity is possible even though bad things happen.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:30 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

You are right, and he doesn't understand but wants to verify his theory.. Right from wrong, evil from good is relative to whom you are asking



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:31 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

But that's the thing. Nothing I said disproves a god could exist. A deity could well exist; it just doesn't have much concern for things like good and evil since it knows the actions a human performs while on earth regardless of their scope are rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:34 AM
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a reply to: kumiho

Can you explain, specifically, what you feel it is that I don't understand?

I have reread the opening post and cannot see anywhere where I insinuate that moral relativism is wrong and moral absolutism is correct. Maybe I missed something?


edit on 8/2/2016 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:34 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost
If we're talking about a God of the Biblical type, I'm not convinced that "unable to interfere" is appropriate.
Better would be "willing to tolerate in the short-term".
That makes a better fit for what the Bible describes, which is indirect interference in the short-term, combined with promises of more decisive interference in the long-term.

Of course this would produce reactions of "That doesn't match with our definition of a loving God".
To which I could only reply that such a God might be operating on his own definition of what he ought to be like, and not on ours.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:39 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
But that's the thing. Nothing I said disproves a god could exist. A deity could well exist; it just doesn't have much concern for things like good and evil since it knows the actions a human performs while on earth regardless of their scope are rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.


That is a fair enough point. I think I better understand now from where you are arguing.

Though, it does beg the question: why then were we created if not for some purpose?
edit on 8/2/2016 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:45 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Yes, part of the problem with human theology is that humans tend to think we are more important in the universe than we really are. Over 99% of the universe will kill us and we've existed within far less than 1% of the total timespan of the universe. Even among geocentric timespans here on earth, we are still pretty insignificant. The dinosaurs have us beat by a LONG shot, for one. Heck, we aren't even the most populous species on the planet. Ants got us beat there.

Thus, it is unlikely that human actions can be largely viewed as evil or good since we don't really amount to much. A deity would probably blink and several millennia will have passed here.
edit on 8-2-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Thank you for elaborating.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 08:14 AM
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I too am agnostic, and am skeptical of the existence or a deity of divine consciousness while still entertaining the possibility.

Moral relativism may indeed be true - and judging purely by our conceptualization of good and evil, it would seem to be. But this topic is sort of a thought experiment so, putting that aside, and assuming there were such a thing as objective good or evil in some sense that we simply lack insight into for whatever reason, the idea of a divine creator knowing and intentionally limiting itself while knowing what the consequence of that would be, still carries an ethical quandary for me. If it consciously and voluntarily gave up its omniscience and foreknowledge for the sake of allowing emergent, unpredictable behavior, that means prior to that sacrificing of its power and perfect knowledge, it would have to have known what the consequence would be, in exacting detail, even if after said sacrifice that knowledge is somehow limited or even erased. You mention it being irresponsible. I'd say so! "Horrible suffering and untold catastrophe could be wrought, but I'm bored knowing everything, so I'll do it anyway," does not sit well with me when conceiving of an ostensibly perfect, all knowing, all loving being.

So one thought I sometimes entertain is that such an entity, should it exist, simply doesn't need to be omnipotent and omniscient in the sense we typically imagine. Perhaps it is simply the very nature of whatever divine force may exist that it intrinsically has limits, always has, and always will, with respect to the ways in which it can interact with and act upon this plane of existence or dimension if you will. Perhaps it is simply so vastly and incomprehensibly different from our own nature and existence, that anytime it even attempts to act on this reality, it manifests in ways we cannot begin to comprehend, much less see in real time playing out. Or perhaps its perception of time is so different from our own, it conceptualizes of events and scenarios on such a grander, longer time scale than we do, the discreet events of a single lifetime - except as they relate to the larger whole of whatever span of time it seeks to affect - are literally almost unnoticed by it.

If the definition of a god as "a being which knows all, can do all, IS all, sees all, accurately predicts all, and also has perfect ethical and moral conduct" is incompatible with our own concepts of morality and the world we see around us, then I would posit that either our concepts of morality are in error, such a being does not exist, or, our definition of that being's nature is inaccurate. So, either morality is something we have contrived and if such a being exists its morality is of such a higher order relative to our own as to be unrecognizable to us, such a being simply doesn't exist, or such a being does exist but while its morality is somewhat analogous to our own, it is in some way intrinsically and by nature limited in its ability to affect direct, immediate change except under very specific, very rare circumstances. And even then perhaps in ways we cannot detect or comprehend.

It's also possible there was no moment of creation, and that this being and "something else" simply always existed - or that "everything else" (our observable universe and, presumably, other universes relative to our own) exists as a part of it, and has also always existed, despite our own perception of time being linear and having a 'beginning' (perhaps this too is an example of how our own nature simply causes us to get it wrong, because we can't think outside that conceptual box and our particular dimensional manifold is four dimensional and has an arrow of time which moves in one direction as far as we can tell) - and so there is no morality implicit in our "creation" because everything always simply already "was," and this divine force has existed aside, or as part of, all that is for eternity, with our universe simply being the latest emergent property of that infinitely complex system... not intentionally 'created,' simply emerging as the nature of that whole is wont to cause to happen.

We like to imagine that if such an entity exists it must meet certain criteria. To which I say: says who? Us? Because our track record when it comes to cosmology has been stellar, right? (No pun intended.) :p

As stated I'm agnostic and skeptical, but I do entertain these sorts of thought experiments.

Peace.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 08:28 AM
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The theory is interesting but I would think God sacrificed His own sovereignty over humanity so we could experience a reality without Him, otherwise we would be nothing but computer programmers that can't operate independently
We must learn pain and suffering to experience the true value of freedom and peace, understand why we need a relationship with God and why we want that relationship.

Effectively God chose to suppress His own capabilities



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 08:42 AM
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God created man and gave him free will. He was instructed on how to behave. Now it is up to him. If man behaves in what we perceive as evil, he will be punished. If he behaves in what we perceive as kind and just, he will be rewarded. God created life, but does not micro-manage every minute detail of every beings existence. We are our own worst enemy sometimes. But hat is not God's fault. All he did was give us a choice.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 09:01 AM
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My thoughts, though I don't know if their is anything we would call a God, and I don't really care if there is one or not.

If power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Wouldn't a God be absolutely corrupt?



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 09:48 AM
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If you wanted to play a game and you are the only player, would it be fun if you made the dice roll the way that you wanted each time?

Yay, I win!
Yay, I win!
Yay... I win.
Yay.....I... win.
Okay, I am bored with this game.

Let's give the dice free will. That might make things interesting.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost


Though, it does beg the question: why then were we created if not for some purpose?


We're here for the self gratification of our CREATOR, as many aspects of our CREATOR. Don't sweat the rest - everything is taken care of for you and it all works perfectly. IMHO.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost




But what if there was a way where not everything could be predicted, and the act of creation could be productive and inspiring?


Then God's attribute of omniscience is false.



To use an analogy: a programmer that has released software without including a "back-door" for that software.


As a programmer you can still interface with the program itself through conventional means and solve issues through that manner. Or are you implying in your analogy that the programmer is incapable of doing so similar to God? Also you can also access the source code using other software.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost




For those unaware, the Problem of Evil can be broadly defined as follows: since bad things such as pain, misery and suffering take place in our world, how can people believe in an all-powerful, all-knowledgeable and all-loving God?


Pain? a bad thing?

I have heard that child birth is one of the most painful experiences for some women but at the same the most joyful thing happens in their life from that pain.

as Kumiho points out




Right from wrong, evil from good is relative to whom you are asking


each has their own view or perception of whats good and evil.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 10:27 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

I have thought this for a long time. But I guess it took someone such as you, to put it so elloquently.

Thank you.



posted on Feb, 8 2016 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost


For those unaware, the Problem of Evil can be broadly defined as follows: since bad things such as pain, misery and suffering take place in our world, how can people believe in an all-powerful, all-knowledgeable and all-loving God? To elaborate: if God is all knowing, could he not foresee all bad things from taking place? If God is all powerful, could he not stop these bad things from happening? Finally, if he is neither willing nor powerful enough to prevent pain, misery and suffering, why do we call him God? These arguments are not easily refuted and while I identify more as an agnostic than as an atheist or theist, I do still believe I have a theory that might explain the Problem of Evil whilst allowing for the existence of God.

Apples and oranges is it not?
Your trying to reason the terrestrial substances with celestial substances and it can't be done. That is if there is celestial substances. But in this theology I assume that we assume there are the two existences. Perhaps even more. If not then the discussion ends here. If so then you realize that this existence that we exist in at this time is not permanent nor has it ever been intended to be without the existence of corruption. In time it will become non existent and all therein will become non existent.

A creator can do as it wants and being the clay of a vessel the creation is but whatever the creator wants or desires. That is the creators privilege. Could the creator create in a different manner than what is shown today? Who can say? Is the creation permitted in criticizing the creator? In this case yes, simply because it was included in the creation. Only permitted but not justified. Regardless of your dislikes of pain, suffering, death and inequality, all four are the result of self infliction. Not by the creator but by the creation.
My opinions of course --




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