01-09-2005, 05:59 PM #1
How can a loving God "cause" so much pain?
This was Peter Kreeft's reply to this question. Dr. Kreeft is a first rate philosophical thinker, with a doctorate from Fordham University, post graduate study at Yale, and 38 year professor at Villanova and Boston College.
"How can a mere finite human be sure that infinite wisdom would not tolerate certain short-range evils in order for more long-range goods that we couldn't foresee? Look at it this way. Would you agree that the difference between us and God is greater than the difference between us and, say, a bear?"
(I would say so)
"Okay, then, imagine a bear in a trap and a hunter who, out of sympathy, wants to liberate him. He tries to win the bear's confidence, but he can't do it, so he has to shoot the bear full of drugs. The bear, however, thinks this is an attack and that the hunter is trying to kill him. He doesn't realize that this is being done out of compassion. Then, in order to get the bear out of the trap, the hunter has to push him futher into the trap to release the tension on the spring. If the bear were semiconscious at that point, he would be even more convinced that the hunter was his enemy who was out to cause him suffering and pain. But the bear would be wrong. He reaches this incorrect conclusion because he's not a human being.
Now how can anyone be certain that's not an analogy between God and man?I believe God does the same to us sometimes, and we can't comprehend why he does it anymore than the bear can understand the motivations of the hunter. As the bear could have trusted the hunter, so we can trust God."
I think this is an excellent analogy. Any comments?
01-09-2005, 09:00 PM #2
I think you're looking for away to justify the apparent contradictions in God's behavior as found in the bible......the slaughter of peoples and the natural disasters caused by God are reprehensible to any normal person and I think you find this confusing and scary......especially in the context of free will.
01-09-2005, 09:52 PM #3
It is hard to comment on this when you do not believe in god. To me it is the environment and the natural order of things. With life, there is death and the continuum of time. If I believed, in some supernatural being who had a conscious thought like the human who could manipulate and control all the universe my conclusion would be that it was a sadistic and perverse entity. Let me ask how could any conscious creature (human / supernatural / alien / whatever/ god) (conscious meaning logical thought with sympathy, compassion, empathy and reason) let some of the atrocities happen (the holocaust, the recent tsunami disaster, aids, poverty, disease, war, famine. ECT. ECT.) that has happened. If god does exist, then human life, pain and suffrage are not of importance to god. How could I worship a creature that does not value my pain and my suffering? The answer to this question is faith and it does not add up in my books. I choose not to put my faith into some mythical creature. I do not judge anyone who does because everyone has their own understanding of the universe and I am not that enlightened to make that decision to say they are wrong. In my hopes, ideals and fantasies I wish there is a god to save my sole and give me eternal life. Ultimately, when I take god out of the equation the universe makes more sense to me and this I can live with more peacefully than having god in the equation of life.
01-09-2005, 11:53 PM #4
That sounds pretty good dude.
I like that, good job!
01-10-2005, 12:00 AM #5Originally Posted by max2extreme
01-10-2005, 12:55 AM #6
. . . and why did Jehovah approve of mass murder in the Bible?
First Chronicles Chapter 20
1 And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Jo'ab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. 2 Sam. 11.1 And Jo'ab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.
2 And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David's head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.
3 And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
Oddly enough, the same story is repeated in 2 Sam. 12.26-31
26 And Jo'ab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.
27 And Jo'ab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters.
28 Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.
29 And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.
30 And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
31 And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.
There are lots of duplicated passages like this that lead scholars of Bible history to conclude (among other things) that the book we have today is actually the compilation of 4 documents fror 4 variations of early Judaism.
But for the folks who think the Bible is full of pleasant stuff and that God is a loving and merciful god, then why did he allow entire cities and towns of women and children -- including infants -- to be "cut with saws and axes, and made to walk through brick kilns (cremated alive)?"
That's pretty cruel to me . . . especially to do that to little kids . . . But it does show how far human civilization has progressed in 3100 years.
01-10-2005, 04:39 AM #7Originally Posted by Badgerman
01-10-2005, 04:45 AM #8Originally Posted by Fat Guy
My response to this would be back to the thread starter. We cant see the reasons why. The problem is that everyone looks for the bad in things. Perhaps people should seek the good in things.
Can you tell me how taking God out of the equation makes more sense? It makes more sense to you that everything came of nothing than a God created it?
Last edited by max2extreme; 01-10-2005 at 05:04 AM.
01-10-2005, 05:03 AM #9Originally Posted by seanw
God is all knowing. (from "the case for faith") God knows not only the present but the future. And he knows not only present good and evil but future good and evil. If his wisdomvastly exceeds ours, it is at least possible analysis that a loving God could deliberately tolerate horrible things like starvation because he foresees that in the long run that more people will be better and happier than if he miraculously intervened. That is at least intellectually possible. To put it to the test. Suppose you're the devil. You're the enemy of God and you want to kill him, but you cant. However, he has this ridiculous weakness of creating and loving human beings, whom you CAN get at. Aha! Now youve got hostages! So you simply come down inoto the world, corrupt humankind, and drag some of them to hell. When God sends prophets to enlighten them, you kill the prophets. Then god does the most foolish thing of all, he sends his own Son and he plays by the rules of the world. You say to yourself, 'I cant believe hes that stupid! Love has addled his brains! All I have to do is inspire some of my agents -herod, pilate, caiaphas, the roman soldiers- and get him crucified.' and thats what you do. So there he hangs on the cross, forsaken by man and seemingly by God, bleeding to death and crying ,' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' What do you feel now as the devil? You feel triumph and vindication! But of course you couldnt be more wrong. This is HIS supreme triumph and your supreme defeat. He suck his heel into your mouth and you bit and the blood destroyed you!
At the time of the crucifixion, the disciples couldnt see how anything good could result; similarly as we face struggles and trials and suffering, we sometimes cant imagine good emerging. But weve seen how it did in the case of Jesus and we can trust it will in our case too. How many times has something horrible happened to you and at the time, you thought "why is this happening"? Now skip ahead a few years, how many times have you looked back on that event and thought "well I didnt see it at the time, but because of that happening, it made me stronger and a better person"?
01-10-2005, 05:07 AM #10Originally Posted by Tock
01-15-2005, 05:11 AM #11
the bear story is touchy but it wont do FAT GUY i agree with u bout making easier when taking him outta ur equation
01-15-2005, 07:33 AM #12
It's God's alarm clock going off. and he is tring to tell mankind it's time to wake up and stop over analyzing every little thing when the answer has been in your face the whole time. When are some of you people going to wake up and and see it is not about you and it never was. HELLO. reading this stuff you people write i swear i've never read so much CRAP in my life you people no nothing. instead of writing what someone else said why don't you try something called research. find the answers for yourself. if some of you people spent as much time researching about Jesus as you do this STUPID ass CRAP you could do yourself and your fellow man a great service.
01-15-2005, 07:47 AM #13Writer
Originally Posted by max2extreme
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
01-15-2005, 09:37 AM #14
Well, remeber when you were a kid and your parents perhaps scolded you or spanked you, maybe even stopped you from going somewhere or seeing someone. Granted it is very mild but it was agony, you could not understand why they would do that to you.
It is because they cared and were looking out for you in the LONG RUN.
There is a means to the end, because we can't wrap our finite brains around it.......it pisses some people off. We are people who want answers NOW! Not tomorrow or next week, big babies really. This cess pool called Earth is a proving ground, why?
God won't tell me so he doesn't exist (sure). God won't tell me because I wouldn't understant the big picture anyway. Who am I or you to think that we can sit around and chit chat with the creator and get all of the answers. There are many math questions that you could give me the answer to..... but even then I could not figure out what the question was.
01-15-2005, 10:03 AM #15
max, what is the trap to us humans in this analogy. like the bear is caught in a bear trap, what are we trapped in?
but good read.
01-15-2005, 10:07 AM #16
01-15-2005, 04:38 PM #17
If we're trapped in anything, it's superstition.
01-15-2005, 07:55 PM #18
Tha analogy works for humans and bears because humans are only so good at making traps, but for the all knowing all powerful god u would think he could come up with a better trap so that we dont at any point see him as 'doing us harm' .
01-15-2005, 08:37 PM #19
It's very simple to see whats going on here. GOD is giving us a wake up call. He has done it in the past and he is doing it now. Next instead of thousands dead it is going to be millions. It's going to happen. You do not have to be one of the millions to die. Let Jesus Christ save you right now while you are reading this post. Just ask Jesus to save you and come into your heart and you will be saved and will miss GOD's judgement on mankind. Please i beg you do it while you still have time you could die today. If you die without Jesus Christ in your life the bible says you will be cast into the lake of fire where you will burn forever and ever.
01-16-2005, 01:07 AM #20Retired Vet
Originally Posted by jerryboy
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
What about non christians?
01-16-2005, 02:17 AM #21Originally Posted by BOUNCER
01-16-2005, 08:12 AM #22Originally Posted by BOUNCER
01-16-2005, 08:19 AM #23Originally Posted by RockSolid
01-16-2005, 08:21 AM #24Originally Posted by KAEW44
01-16-2005, 08:34 AM #25
If you die without Jesus Christ as the lord of your life you will be judged at something called the (great white thrown judgement) that is where God himself will send all who rejected his son Jesus Christ as lord, to the lake of fire where you will burn and be in pain and it will never stop. thats the price you will pay. is it worth it? you can miss all of that by asking Jesus to come into your heart and become lord of your life right now. when your dead it's to late. you can make the choice now or when you die it will be made for you. just say Jesus save me and turn from your sins change the way you are living stop all your foolishness read your bible and tell everyone how Jesus changed your life. it's free. you do not have to pay for it. you do not have to work for it, Christ did it all for you when he died on the cross. if you want to know how much Jesus loves you watch the movie called( The Passion)
01-16-2005, 11:57 AM #26Originally Posted by jerryboy
According to you . . .
Sigh . . . sure are a lot of variations of the "Turn Or Burn" theme . . . and none of 'em come with substantiation of any sort.
May as well talk about the bogie-man . . .
01-16-2005, 12:51 PM #27
Say what you want, but consider yourself warned. Once again DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! Prove me wrong! I tell you the truth. I love you man and i do not want to see anyone burn in hell. Get save while there is still time!
01-16-2005, 01:04 PM #28
If anyone here has half a brain, if you have any doubt. Please go to this website and educate yourself. All i'm asking you to do is to read and educate yourself so no one can decieve you with stupid talk. Find out for yourself. This man is one of the best teachers if not the best in the world today. Trust me when i tell you this. Yes he is a born again christian. The man knows his stuff. Please read and let me know what you get out of it. His website is www.jvim.com/ This guy is good too. www.jhm.org/ The key here is research.
Last edited by jerryboy; 01-16-2005 at 01:13 PM.
01-16-2005, 01:04 PM #29Writer
Originally Posted by jerryboy
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
01-16-2005, 01:15 PM #30
That is WEAK of you to say that i do not have to prove anything. When i die i know where i am going. DO YOU? Let's say i told you a certin ass worked for me really well and i said you need to try it. what would you do? you would do your research and then try it. The proof is on you.
Last edited by jerryboy; 01-16-2005 at 01:24 PM.
01-16-2005, 02:34 PM #31Originally Posted by jerryboy
No, pal, you're mistaken. The only TRUE way is the way of Scientology. http://www.scientology.org/ And it's up to you to prove me wrong. Ya, if you don't get your engrams erased, you're doomed to recycle and recycle until, well, you better find out for yourself, but rest assured it's something you don't want to screw around with . . .
-Tock, who must be right if he can't be proven wrong!
01-16-2005, 03:02 PM #32Originally Posted by Tock
A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology. — L. Ron Hubbard
Scientology can never be true or become reality because of Adam and Eve's sins. Since then, we are born into sin. Which means there will always be criminals and war. Why is this not just according to me? Do you teach your children to steal? Or do you teach them to not steal? Do you teach your children to lie? Or do you teach them not to lie? Children are born with sin and thus taught to NOT sin, not the other way around. There's proving Scientology wrong. Prove Christianity wrong.
01-16-2005, 03:33 PM #33
Sorry, you haven't proven Scientology wrong. Therefore, I must be right . . .
01-16-2005, 03:53 PM #34
01-16-2005, 04:10 PM #35
Show me where Im wrong Tock. (ps 1victor, we all know he likes to taunt. *smile*)
01-16-2005, 04:28 PM #36
The devil made me do it . . .
Just wanted to show how silly the notion of, "If you can't disprove it, it must be right!" is . . .
I could make a statement like, "I have two heads, and if you can't disprove it, it must be so!" (well, I do have two heads--let's make that three heads, then) . . .
In this world, ya get lots of contradictory statements made about religion from lots of folks, and it's impossible to beleive everything you can't disprove, so then the question becomes, "How do I know what is fact?"
The only way is by using the 5 senses we were born with . . . examining the evidence supporting each allegation. In the case of the fellow who says he's going to heaven after he dies, well, I can assure him that he will most likely end up either in a cemetary after he dies, or cremated and sprinkled somewhere. Now, if he wants to assert that he has a "soul" that lives on after physical death, while he's welcome to his delusion, to convince other folks that what he says is factual, he's gotta furnish some sort of supporting evidence.
Do people have souls? Well, if they do, you'd think that they could be observed somehow . . . weighed, photographed, felt, in some manner. I am unaware that such evidence exists. If it is supposed that "souls" are intangible, the sort of things that people cannot see or smell or taste or feel or hear, and that humans are incapable of observing them, then all I can conclude is that the whole notion is baseless, a fantasy, is simply wishful thinking, because how can anyone make a reasonable assumption about things outside the realm of observation?
The same principle applies to those who claim that places of eternal torment exist. If they've never observed it, and no one they know has ever observed it, and none of their acquaintances have observed it, and if no one can figure out how such a place might be observed (although Rev. Pat Robertson did broadcast on his "700 Club" program that an oil company dropped a microphone down a 5 mile deep hole they drilled in Finland and heard people screaming--but he's a loony-toon anyway), then all we can do is surmise that they don't know what they are talking about.
So . . .
Do people have a soul? Or maybe two or three? Do dogs have souls? How do you know? Or trees? Coffee cups? Do souls come in different colors? Sexes? Sizes? How much do they weigh? Do they need to eat or drink "soul" food? Again, how do you know this?
You might say you're twice the size of Arnold, but it's only a mere allegation until you show us the goods. Same applies to claims of Hell or any gods . . .
01-16-2005, 04:35 PM #37Originally Posted by max2extreme
It's obvious that you're wrong.
I've heard Scientologists speak (I really have) and I know they know what they're talking about, and I can "just tell" they are right; I can "feel it deep down inside me," what they say "bears witness" to my Thetan. I've been hooked up to their E-Meter and been cleared of many an engram, and know that I know that I know that I know I am finally on the way to becoming "Fully Cleared."
Now, you "Hostiles" wouldn't be able to understand any of this, because you've been brainwashed to think in other ways. Such a tragedy, but, c'est la vie . . . you'll just have to be "recycled" several more times until you luck out and come to the realization that Scientology is The One True Way.
If you can't prove that I'm wrong, then I MUST be right!
01-16-2005, 04:51 PM #38
Tock ,I bet you think the matrix was real too. and you still think santa comes down your chimney. and the easter bunny brings candy. all that goes with what you say. you must have been talking to Tom cruse. Better be careful Arnold might erase you.
01-16-2005, 05:12 PM #39
Well, I'm just saying that if you can say,
"The proof is on you"
about all this other stuff, then I can say the same about the stuff you say.
That's all . . .
I guess I made my point, eh?
01-16-2005, 07:25 PM #40
I love you man!
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