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Originally posted by OldCorp
OK, I'm gonna take a swipe at this.
I see two questions raised by the OP:
1. Why does God allow suffering.
2. Why is free will so important.
If I'm missing something, please let me know.
There is a lot of suffering in the world. Why would a supposedly loving God allow this to happen?
I believe God is the creator of the human race (and possibly other races as well,) making Him for all intents and purposes our Father, just as I am the father of my children. What does any parent want for their child? To grow. To grow intellectually, to grow emotionally, and eventually to grow a family of their own. In order to grow, we must experience; love, loss, joy, pain... all of these things teach us something.
God is not as concerned as some people would like to think with our day to day lives. I mean let's face it, what are 60-70 years spent as a mortal being here on Earth when you compare it to an afterlife that will last for eternity? Nothing, nada, zip, and zilch. He's concerned with our immortal souls.
So what does God want? I believe He, like any father, wants his children to be happy, to be successful, and to expand His family by having children of their own; children who will pass on His ideals to the next generation. God wants to be a grampa. He wants to look into the faces of His offspring and see Himself reflected in them. This is where free will comes in.
Think for a second about love. Would you be satisfied with the most beautiful woman, or most handsome man, in the world if you had to force that person to be with you? Which would be preferable when it comes to love, someone who wants to be with you or someone you have chained up in the basement? I think for most normal people the answer is obvious.
God doesn't want a bunch of mindless automatons bowing down to worship Him all of the time. Where is the satisfaction in that? You can train monkeys, or dogs, to do that. God wants us to WANT to be with Him. He wants us to WANT to do what is right. He wants us to WANT to be part of His eternal family. That my friends is where free will comes in.
So yeah, in my opinion God has emotions just like any other intelligent being. Actually, it's not just my opinion as you can find examples of God's emotions throughout the Bible. He gets angry, He feels remorse, He is compassionate, He feels love, and like everyone else He wants to be loved for who He is, and not what He can do for us. By allowing our temporary bodies to endure suffering, God is allowing us to grow. Think about how often you tell your own children things like, "Don't touch the stove, it's hot and you'll get burned," or "That kid is no good, if you hang out with him you're just going to get into trouble."
Now think about how often they listen to you.
The only way people learn anything is through first hand experience. You can warn your children about possible dangers until you're blue in the face, but until they experience the consequences of their actions themselves they will never understand what it has taken you a lifetime to learn. God knows this. He has given us plenty of warnings. He even gave us 10 rules to live by, forming a basis for the way he wants His children to grow. God wants the members of His eternal family to reflect His values, just like any other parent.
And then He wants us to pass these values down to the next generation; but that's a whole other discussion for a whole other thread.
I hope that made sense.
edit on 6/1/2011 by OldCorp because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by CaDreamer
reply to post by 547000
every biblical prophesy is an attempt to "mold the future" molding the future negates free willedit on 1-6-2011 by CaDreamer because: (no reason given)