religon debate

God is too busy trying to find the perfect microwave burrito

Thank god, because I hate hot pockets.

On a more serious note, thinking of god in human terms is why you are so confused and verbally running around in circles.

One hole in your logic is that you make far too many trivial assumptions, such as “Omnipresence and omnipotence spring from omniscience.” You said it was a theory, but theories require evidence on which to base them. It’s more of a hypothetical epistemological situation, which means that if you’re actually trying to prove anything, you’ve failed before you even started.

I don’t know WHAT you were trying to get at with your arbitrary classifications of knowledge and made-up terms like “first person,” but if god is omni-present, which you didn’t even touch upon after the first paragraph, then “he” can easily be the unchanging “thing” that is present within all of us (and everything else) that the early greek philosophers sought to identify.

Sorry to say that your questions have already been explored, over 2500 years ago.

How can God be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, and still allow evil to exist? Can God really have all three traits?

Can you have one without the other, though? Isn’t evil in itself, created by humans?

God doesn’t allow evil to exist. Evil is the complete absence of god. Evil is the nothing that infinity doesn’t encompass. That’s an odd way of putting it, but it’s hard to explain in words.

Another note: His traits are a chicken/egg situation. Neither came first. God didn’t obtain omniscience, omnipotence, or omnipresence. Rather, their union defines God, much like neither the chicken or egg came first, but the essence of chicken is defined as a particular egg-laying bird. It was a random mutation. (The chicken, not God.)

I think we should stop trying to explain/debunk/envision God in human terms, which is what everyone is doing, before someone says something to offend someone else and the shit starts flying.

It’s possible. God could be, for instance, omniscient and omnipotent, without being utterly good. Why not have a God that causes evil sometimes?

Not that I think that answer is correct, but it’s at least logically consistent.

Isn’t evil in itself, created by humans?
God still created humans, and being omniscient, he must have created them knowing that, in the process, he was causing the existence of evil. Moreover, if God had all three traits, would he not immediately remove all the evil from the world?

People usually respond with two words, “free will,” but it’s still necessary to justify how an omnibenevolent God could create free will if it led to evil.

God must allow evil to exist, even if evil is the absence of him, if God has the power to fill that absence and the benevolence to do so. Hence, it becomes necessary to admit something like free will, where people have the power to deny God’s presence. Let’s leave aside the question of free will for now.

There are problems with saying evil is just an absence of good, even if it’s logically consistent. For example, it means that, in all the massacres and crimes in world history, there was no motivation; that’s just how things proceed naturally. The Holocaust had no twisted impulse. It was just a lack of a good impulse.

This theory (which was originally St. Augustine’s) is consistent, but it goes against all intuition. When we do things we feel are evil, we definitely feel that there is something pushing us in that direction. It certainly doesn’t feel like an absence of some presence is forcing us to do so. This wouldn’t be my answer to the question.

I tried. I agree that the “free will” thing is such a conventional explanation, and that the people who use it usually don’t even understand it.

Evil is subjective.

And anyway, if you are under the assumption that a chicken egg is an egg that contains a chicken, the egg came first, but if a chicken egg is the egg a chicken lays, the chicken came first. But that’s really only if you believe in evolution.

I think that there’s two definitions of evil going, now- the general “evil” as we all know, and the evil abscence of God, which is what Hades brought up. I think both are very different and are hard to argue against because they’re two seperate “evils”.

God still created humans, and being omniscient, he must have created them knowing that, in the process, he was causing the existence of evil. Moreover, if God had all three traits, would he not immediately remove all the evil from the world?

Yeah, I guess the key words here are free will. I don’t know how else I can answer. I think that it comes down to the fact that all of us are capable of being “good” people. We don’t have to be “evil”. That’s free choice. That’s something that we can all help and change. If God saw evil, and saw what makes us human, then He would know that we can change our ways and put a stop to said evil, which is true. It’s just not easy.

There is nothing wrong with that in that some believe in God as a powerful human. The one thing that this debate is missing are other religions. This is all based on the Judeo-Christian God. What about Budda or Allah (or however you spell it)?

Debating religion is pointless. Everyone has their beliefs and their beliefs won’t change. The chance for hurt feelings does exist, which makes even debating it for the hell of it pointless. Religion can’t be debated like other issues that are debated.

Let me try to explain free will.

God didn’t deliberately create any definition of evil, nor did he really create free will. What he did create was the idea of positive and negative, which sparked good, evil, bondage, and free will from their normally balanced splices. The thing is, God did this intending to suppress evil, sealing it in a tree called <strike>Exdeath</strike> the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The first humans apparently used free will to eat from that tree, hoping to become like God. God had the potential to stop this, but his love and integrity caused him not to betray his “gift” of free will. Upon coming to know God, humans gained the ability to stray from him, and that’s what evil supposedly is.

Of course, all of that is figurative. There probably was no actual tree as we know it, or even a garden of <strike>evil</strike> Eden. I certainly haven’t seen any flaming swords twirling around a jungle lately.

Edit: Alla is the Judeo-Christian god, and Buddha was merely a man who came to know some aspects of the pantheistic god through an intense spiritual life. It’s all the same wizard.

Edit2: Lol, Garden of EVIL. That was a bad typo.

This is what I think, about the question of God’s three traits.

What does it mean, that God is perfect? Orthodox theology holds that we’ll join God someday, and then all will be in a perfect stasis forever. The problem is that, if being perfect really meant being static, then how could a perfect God have “changed” by creating us? Supposedly, God lies outside time; but if so, how could there be a “time” when God had not yet created the universe? For there to be time, it must be that God changes.

What if we define “perfect” a little differently? Is there any state that seems more “perfect” than the “perfect” described above? Perhaps. What about a perfection that grew greater for all eternity? The idea requires a radical reinterpretation of what perfection means, but the fact that God changes makes it necessary.

If God is a perfection that is continually growing, he must add more to himself somehow. Therefore, he creates the universe, and specifically humanity. Humanity is meant to unite with God someday. But how can something created by God, and thus subject to God’s control, become God’s equal? How can humanity become worthy to rejoin God?

The only answer is that humanity must become utterly separate from God, so that God no longer has any control over it. God must teach humanity how to be evil, if they are ever to be worthy of being called good. He gave “Adam” the “Tree of Knowledge,” did he not? Why would he give humanity the power to acquire knowledge, if he did not want them to?

So, humanity is now completely free, able to do both good and evil. Ideally, humanity will choose good, and thus become worthy of rejoining with God. The question becomes, what is good? If we do not know what good is, how can we <i>be</i> good? We have to find out, somehow, what this good is. Then, the entire <i>purpose of life</i> becomes that of acquiring knowledge of good and evil. We can’t be like Adam and Eve, and eat of the “Tree of Life.” That state where God gives us only knowledge of the good is past. Now, we have to learn <i>by experience and insight</i> to distinguish between good and evil, and then choose the good.

This is a summary of how good comes out of evil, and thus how God can retain all three traits.

I only skimmed it, but I likes.

If God is omniscient, then God knows everything.
If God knows everything, then He knows what will happen in the future.
If God already knows the future, then the future must already exist.
If the future already exists, then the actions leading towards future events must occur regardless of ‘free will’.
Therefore we don’t have free will.


Ha, yes I know that what I wrote is pretty much a tautology. But relating omniscience to free will is a good exercise in exploring your beliefs.

Ideally, humanity will willingly choose good, and thus become worthy of rejoining with God.

That sounds awfully Gnostic to me.

And anyway, if you are under the assumption that a chicken egg is an egg that contains a chicken, the egg came first, but if a chicken egg is the egg a chicken lays, the chicken came first. But that’s really only if you believe in evolution.

Evolution is a sound scientific theory and the basic mechanism - ‘old’ animals becoming new ones - is pretty much taken as ‘fact’. The debate is focussed now on how it happened, not if. Like all other ‘facts’, it’s not a matter of belief - it’s a matter of acceptance.

Very much so, although temper that with the fact that such knowledge of good and evil only comes from freely chosen self-examination. Free will is still the ultimate, underlying factor in what will occur.

There should be an addendum before the first point that “If God created the universe, then God initiated the first action within our concept of reality.” The first action triggers subsequent actions, etc., etc… all fully intentional and their consequences known. Other than that, I agree, and can’t see any way for free will and an omniscient God to co-exist.

Chicken came before the egg, lol.

But seriously, God has the power to do anything, if there wasnt sin in the world and bad things didnt happen, and everyone was perfect, we would basically be robots. God doesnt want Robots, He wants people to worship him out of their own free will. I wouldnt like a person to like me because i commanded him to. Would you? Robots dont have their won free will. But we do. And depending how we live our lives, for God, or for the world, will effect our lives forever.

The problem is the assumption that God can know the future. If there’s really free will, the future is something that cannot exist <i>anywhere</i>, including the mind, until it occurs. Omniscience means knowing everything, but if some knowledge doesn’t exist yet, it’s not a thing.

None of this would work under the idea that God is unchanging, because his knowledge, according to this model, changes over time. However, my proposition was that God does change.