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Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Bible / Christian faith / Apolotetics » Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?

Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?

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Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1915-why-does-god-allow-evil-and-suffering-in-the-world

Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world?
http://carm.org/why-does-god-allow-evil-and-suffering-world

Where is God When Bad Things Happen? Why Natural Evil Must Exist
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/natural_evil_theodicity.html

The Bible God: Cruel, Savage, Deranged, Evil, Barbaric, Intolerant, Insanely Jealous, Vengeful and Bloodthirsty?
http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1648-the-bible-god-cruel-savage-deranged-evil-barbaric-intolerant-insanely-jealous-vengeful-and-bloodthirsty


The curious as well as the critics of Christianity ask this question. If God is all-powerful and all loving, then why does He permit evil and suffering in the world? Various answers have been given, but permanently settling the issue is impossible because so many of our answers raise further questions. Nevertheless, our lack of ability to answer the question perfectly does not mean that we cannot offer solutions. Of course, I do not assume to be able to answer these questions definitively, but I can offer some solutions.

First of all, it is possible that God has reasons for allowing evil to exist that we simply cannot understand. In this the Christian can have confidence in God knowing that His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). As the Bible says, the just shall live by faith (Hab. 2:4).


Second, God may be letting evil run its course in order to prove that evil is malignant and that suffering, which is the unfortunate product of evil, is further proof that anything contrary to God’s will is bad, harmful, painful, and leads to death.

God gave Adam dominion over the world (Gen. 1:28). When he rebelled against God, he set in motion an entire series of events and changed the very nature of man and creation. Both were affected by sin. Creation was no longer a paradise but bore thorns and thistles (Gen. 3:17-18; Rom. 8:22). People became sinful (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:3), who were haters of God (Rom. 3:9-12), etc. The only conclusion to such a situation is death. Jesus said, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:22).

Sin is rebellion against God and His created order, but God has not left us alone in this fallen world. He continued to enter this world--pointing us to Himself, to truth, to morality, purity, and love. He used the evil of the world (liars, perjurers, the envious, etc.,) to bring His Son to the cross so that we might have the opportunity to obtain eternal life. In this, God has not stepped away from fallen creation but has stepped into it by becoming Jesus. God works within the fallen world to effect change, and He uses fallen people to accomplish His will. In this, He is proving His sovereignty over evil, suffering, and rebellious people--proving that sin and evil are utterly futile and that He is worthy of honor and glory.

A third possible reason that God is letting evil occur is so that on the day of judgment, the condemned will have no right to say that their sentence is unjust. God is not stopping people from exercising their free will. Think about this: If someone said that God should stop evil and suffering, then should God then stop all evil and suffering? If God only stopped some of it, then we would still be asking the same question of why it exists.

So, if we want God to stop evil and suffering, then He must stop all of it. We have no problem with this when it means stopping a catastrophe or a murder or a rape. But what about when someone thinks of something evil? Evil is destructive whether it is acted out or not. Hatred and bigotry in someone’s heart is wrong. If it is wrong and if God is to stop all evil, then He must stop that person from thinking his own thoughts. To do that, God must remove his freedom of thought. Furthermore, which person on the earth has not thought something evil? God would be required, then, to stop all people from exercising their free will. This is something God has chosen not to do. Therefore, we could say that one of the reasons that God permits evil and suffering is that of man’s free will.

Fourth, it is quite possible that God uses the suffering to do good. In other words, He produces patience through tribulation (Rom. 5:3). Or He may desire to save someone through it. Take for example, the account of Joseph who was sold into slavery by His brothers. What they did was wrong, and Joseph suffered greatly for it. But, later, God raised up Joseph in Egypt to make provisions for the people of that land during the coming drought of seven years. Not only was Egypt saved but also his family and brothers who originally sold him into slavery. Joseph finally says to them, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good" (Gen. 50:15-21). Of course, the greatest example of God using evil for good is the death of Christ. Evil people brought him to the cross, but God used that cross as the means to save the world.

But then we must ask, if this is true, are we working against God by working against evil and suffering? No, we are not. God says he does not want us to sin and suffer. But it is simply true that God can use evil despite its apparent despicable nature.

God is in the world using the world and its failures for His glory and the benefit of those who listen to Him.

But then, what about those who seem to suffer innocently with no benefit resulting? What about the woman who is raped or the innocent bystander who is killed by a stray bullet. In both cases, the victims and families suffer nothing but pain and loss. What good can this possibly be?

I think that the answer is two-fold. One, ultimately, no one is innocent. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3). There is none innocent. Though this is biblically accurate, it does not satisfy the question emotionally. Why do little babies suffer for things they have not done? I must acknowledge that I do not know. Ultimately, we must trust God who knows the beginning from the end and sees the grand picture. He will have the final word, and He will be vindicated.
Conclusion

Suffering is the result of human sin. The world is not the way that God created it; and because of that, all are vulnerable to the effects of sin in the world. Why does one person suffer and another does not? Why do catastrophes happen to some and not to others? It is because sin is in the world. But there will come a day when the Lord will return and cleanse this world of all sin and all suffering.

   "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:4).



Last edited by Admin on Thu May 25, 2017 2:35 pm; edited 4 times in total

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2 On the Problem of Evil & Suffering on Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:43 pm

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On the Problem of Evil & Suffering 1

Atheists often argue against the existence of God, and specifically an almighty and good God on the basis of the existence of evil and suffering in the universe.   The argument goes something like this:
God is all-powerful, loving, and perfect.
A perfect, good God would create a universe that was perfect (e.g., no evil and suffering).
The universe is not perfect but contains evil and suffering.
Therefore, God does not exist.
So in short, either God is not good, or not all-powerful or he does not exist, because if he did exist then surely he could stop all the suffering. The atheist then concludes that both the idea of a bad God and idea of a limited God makes no sense, therefore God must not exist. Variations on this ages old theme exist but that is the gist of it.
So how does one answer this type of objection?
Most apologists go into lengthy arguments concerning why a good and almighty God could and does allow evil & suffering in the world.  They will usually get into the biblical fall of Lucifer and of man to explain how such evils and sufferings came to be.
Forget all that for now. There is a much simpler way to demonstrate why this argument is utterly flawed.
First you must see that in a universe with no God, there cannot be any absolute moral values. Most atheists admit this. For example:

“Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3)no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent.” -William B. Provine, atheist professor of biology at Cornell University
“In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”Richard Dawkins, –Out of Eden, page 133
“If there is no God, everything is permitted.” – Jean Paul Sartre on Ivan Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevski’s character
“Morality is no more … than an adaptation, and as such has the same status as such things as teeth and eyes and noses. . . . [M]orality is a creation of the genes”. – Michael Ruse
“Nature has no concern for good or bad, right or wrong. . . . We cannot get behind ethics.” – Naturalist Simon Blackburn

Evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson said that morality is just a survival mechanism. Ethics, he claims,

“is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate,” and “the way our biology enforces its ends is by making us think that there is an objective higher code to which we are all subject.”

Now how does one refute the atheist argument against God based on evil & suffering?
Easy, without God, there is no good or evil. The atheist high priests, quoted above say so.
The atheist thus shoots himself in the head again with such arguing against God based on “there is so much evil”.  For such an argument becomes too obviously wrong given that “no God = no evil”, (as most atheist philosophers themselves state).
Suffering becomes a mere amoral, purposeless event in a cold uncaring cosmos. Or as Dawkins put it, a blind, pitiless, indifferent universe. Suffering but without God suffering is neither evil nor good nor “bad”. Thus we see how the atheist in using the existence of evil and suffering to refute the existence of God is unwittingly assuming the existence of God in the very argument itself!
Therefore, how can one claim God doesn’t exist while admitting the existence of evil? If there is no God how does one define evil?  Indeed, how does one claim that suffering is “wrong” in a universe without God?
One might even state,

“Evil exists.  Therefore God exists.”

The fact that all men everywhere and at all times have recognized the existence of evil, demonstrates the existence of a transcendent moral law, else, evil does not exist. Things simply are what they are – neither right nor wrong; neither evil or good.
Without an absolute law giver, there can be no such thing as evil or good and since atheists, as shown above, really do admit that without God there is no real good or evil, how can they then contradict themselves by claiming God doesn’t exist based on it?!
Thus the atheists show a rather amazing lack of perception, as always.  But in this case it is a lack of perception of their own arguments logical implications and flaws! To argue against God based on the existence of evil is to argue for God based on the existence of moral right and wrong! So when atheists use the old “problem of pain and evil” argument they are unwittingly admitting of a transcendent Law that defines evil by the existence of absolute good – which is the ONLY way evil can be defined!
C.S. Lewis wrote,

“Truth and falsehood are opposed; but truth is the norm not of truth only but of falsehood also.”
–The Allegory of Love

Indeed, without God (ultimate truth) there is no reason to call anything at all “evil”.
Thus the whole “evil and suffering” based argument falls apart under its own underlying assumptions! Thus, this argument actually does more to uphold the existence of God than it can ever do to refute it!
Sadly, atheists do not and will not see this, such is the hardness of their hearts (and heads).


1) https://borne.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/on-the-problem-of-evil-suffering/

http://questions.truth-is-life.org/IsGodEvil.html

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