This objection is typically raised against the Christian faith. The Bible describes God as a god of love (1 John 4:16) and an all powerful god (Jeremiah 32:17). The rationale behind this objection is, quite simply, if God is a loving god then he wouldn’t want mankind to suffer and if he is an all powerful god then he would have the means to stop suffering. Therefore, the rationale follows, God cannot be both loving and all powerful and so the Christian premise must be wrong.
However, this is, in fact, an oversimplification of Christian theology. The Bible itself acknowledges the existence of suffering and even suggests that suffering brings benefits:
“We are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Is there a greater good at stake?
So, can the existence of suffering be reconciled with a belief in an all powerful and loving God or is Christian theology fundamentally flawed?
I personally believe that it is perfectly reasonable to believe that God could permit suffering to happen for the purpose of a greater good. To describe this with an analogy, imagine a parent with a young child that is about to start school. That parent will willingly send their child even though they are fully aware that the child will no doubt endure some suffering. They do this because they anticipate that the benefits of an education will out way the short term consequences of the suffering that their child will endure.
The Bible describes the human lifetime and its sufferings as momentary (2 Corinthians 4:18) and compares the suffering that humans may endure in this lifetime to the labour pains of childbirth (Romans 8:22). Although suffering may be intense it is described as being outweighed by its future benefits.
Suffering permits human kindness
In my topic, Human kindness would never exist if our world was perfect, I argue that living in a world where there is suffering permits humans kindness in two ways. Firstly, limited resources give us a reason to compromise our own desires for the sake of others and, secondly, other people’s suffering can lead us to act compassionately. Of course, suffering doesn’t always lead to acts of human kindness. Sometimes, for example, the fear of suffering can lead us to become selfishly self-protective. However, in a world where there is no suffering there would probably be no kindness and, possibly even, no evil. Maybe the suffering in our world is the foundation upon which our moral character is tested: do we show kindness to those in need or do we become self-protective? The choice reflects our inner most characteristics.
Whose to blame for the suffering: God or mankind?
This doesn’t necessarily mean that God is therefore inflicting suffering on mankind, rather than merely permitting it. I believe that the majority of suffering is the result of two very obvious facts. We are living in a world of limited resources and we have free will to share or hoard those resources as we choose. Everything from the nutrition that sustains life to life itself is limited. Even the suffering caused by natural disasters or, so called, ‘acts of God,’ is aggravated when populations are forced to live, through their poverty or otherwise, in countries or buildings that are vulnerable to flooding or earthquakes.
It seems to me that if God existed he would not be the one to blame for the suffering in our world, but the blame would instead lie with the daily choices that we make as individuals and, if God were to relieve suffering he would have to first remove our ability to make choices, that is, our free will; something that we would all object to.
Your summary of my comment: “It is not fair that people should go to Hell who were born at the wrong place or time.”
Your reply “I am optimistic, however, that anyone who makes the choice to live in grace, love and forgiveness, particularly when it is difficult to do so, will have at some point in their life, or maybe at death, the opportunity to choose to receive the grace and forgiveness that they showed others. Any person of any religion and any era can make that choice, even if the path to forgiveness is through the death and resurrection of Jesus.”
Possibly you have missed the point of Randy The Atheist’s comments. How could anyone make such a choice, if they have never been exposed to such an option, because of the time and place of their existence.
An excerpt of Randy’s comments ( above): “You would be an Apache Indian of the North American continent and you would be practicing the only beliefs known to you – Shamanism.
Would you somehow feel betrayed or forsaken by the Judaistic gods?
No. The Apache peoples did not yet know of such deities or religions because they were not yet introduced and taught. You cannot come to the same beliefs of the above religions by simply looking at the rocks and the trees. It must be taught to you by others who were taught in much the same way.
Would you live in despair and destitution because you worshiped other deities?
No. You would live in one of the most historic cultures of the North American continent. Life would go on as usual as with any other civilization throughout the world. Contact with peoples from the other continent would not occur until some six hundred years into your future. Oddly, you would have a rather beautiful and peaceful lifestyle until the Judaistic beliefs became imposed on your descendants by the hostile Spaniards.
Would you feel that you would be going to hell for not being baptised?
No. Baptism would be a very alien ritual to your descendants. Hell would also be a very alien concept since death was believed to mark the end of your existence. To the Apache, the idea of an afterlife would be as silly as the idea of salvation as these were concepts invented by men on an entirely different continent with an entirely different history.”
End of Randy’s Excerpt.
My point is (as Randy illustrated), one’s religious belief is, indeed, “accidental.” Just because the Bible, or the story of (I believe the story circulated long before the book, yes?), has gripped our nation for a few thousand years, doesn’t guarantee its validity of divine origin, despite its own claims to that effect. There is another book even less believable, by our standards, that has gripped a much larger portion of the world population. The so-called “Noble Qur’an.” The Muslims number in the billions; 1.5 to 2 billion, depending on the demographic source. We number in the millions. Currently 317,000,000. So why would it be so far-fetched to think that they may “have it right” and we don’t? Disbelief in the 72 virgins? So what – we’ve got Heaven and Hell. Why would Heaven & Hell be any more believable?
Just because our society is, and has been, so captivated and involved with Christianity, doesn’t necessarily mean that we have it right. Muslims believe only in the Qur’an, just like our society believes only in the Bible… because it’s in a book! The story of Islam’s inception is in Robert Spencer’s “The Truth About Muhammad.” Muhammad was just an average citizen who proclaimed his “Messenger” status and everyone else followed… because it’s in a book! This is how all religions are started. By mere mortals… and everyone else follows. The Bible is a great book with many virtuous teachings, but that doesn’t necessarily validate its divine origin. The Qur’an is a also a great book. Does that validate its divine origin? Yes it does; well, at least according to its author…
“I interpret the Christian Hell as a terrible place, but I don’t view it as a place of literal fire and brimstone and I don’t see it as a place where punishment is administered merely to frighten people into becoming Christians. Instead, my suspicion, and indeed fear, is that if Hell exists then it is a place of judgement and punishment for every wrong deed that is committed by its inhabitants.”
Interpretation is, indeed, the key to many arguments in support of Christianity, but is not the Christian Hell presented as a fiery place of eternal torment and suffering? If so, then I stand by my comments: “Me thinks if I were an omnibenevolent superpower capable of engineering such a complex world as ours, I could surely devise a plan guaranteeing myself plenty of worship, without simultaneously condemning any of my children to eternity in Hell. On the other hand, if I were a mere mortal of the biblical era trying to explain the unexplainable, and recognized the need for spiritual law & order in a spiritually lawless and chaotic society, a Heaven & Hell concept would be a convenient and powerful incentive, indeed.”
“Rather than being in a state of evolution Christianity adapts in the short-term, but ultimately stays constant in the long-term.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you speak of only a few thousand years of Christianity ‘staying constant in the long term.’ However, even within that relatively short period of time, has polytheism (in Greece, Rome and Egypt) not evolved into something more sensible, such as the prevailing monotheistic faith of Christianity?
All suffering can be described as physical pain or emotional pain, A world without any suffering is a world without meaning. Without suffering life would be no challenges and life is colorless. Everyone suffering is God challenge our Courage, our strenght
and our Love and our Faith.
Without suffering, there would be no reward in the Kingdom of heaven.
Not What I Thought God Was All About
Please remember that I’m not against Christianity or relgion in general, although I must admit sometimes I am, because religious conflicts are the root cause of much evil in our world. Nor am I arguing against the virtuous teachings of Christianity, but against its false premise: the Bible’s divine origin, as well as the absurdities, atrocities, and injustices contained therein. Religion involving any chosen deity on the right side of morality, will have positive emotional impact on our lives. Any positive belief system that parallels our intrinsic sense of right and wrong will, indeed, result in positive emotional and physical impact.
In the short history of our existence, what makes us so sure that we modern-day earthlings finally “have it right” (Christianity)? Past civilizations were also convinced they had it right. The Greeks worshipped multiple deities – we now know better. Humans were sacrificed in the name of religion – we contemporary humans now know better. Someone of their respective period proclaimed it so (multiple deities, sacrifices, etc.), and everyone else followed. Then, at some future point in time, their paradigm morphed into something more sensible; they (or their descendants) eventually learned better. So, how do we know that one day, millenniums into the future, any given civilization won’t look back at ours (like we currently look back at the Greeks and other ancients) and say, “Look, this is what those ancients believed in”. Why would we think, in the short history of our existence, that our followers will not learn better?
Fear of social and divine retribution, as well as the self-imposed retribution of guilt (sometimes to a suicidal degree) can be and is, for many people an overwhelming deterrent to thorough investigation and objective evaluation of the Scriptures. Religion is handed down to us throughout the generations. Predisposition to blind acceptance of Christianity and other religions is in our genes. It is instilled in our psyche from an early age.
This is the same fundamental reason Muslim extremists adhere to an inhumane doctrine of terrorism and torture. It has been handed down to them across the generations since the 7th Century inception of Islam, when Muhammad went to the Mountain, smoked a little loco weed, then decided he was going to be Allah’s right-hand man. It is what has been taught to them, and this is germane to understanding why so many in our society accept Christianity without objective scrutiny – it is what has been handed down to us, and unquestioning acceptance is the right thing to do.
When I was finally compelled to investigate the existence of God, I began with an online resource ; an electronic version of the Bible. I searched for the word *kill*. The search results for the root form of the word numbered over four hundred, but only one instance used in the context of advocacy would have been too much for me (Thou shalt not kill?). Not what I had been led to believe God was all about.
A rather telling observation, in my book, is that killing in biblical times was not exactly atypical as the way of their relatively lawless world, and this is exactly the kind of thing that would be found in chronicle-style writings of that period. This is exactly what the Bible is… chronicles of biblical periods, authored by mere mortals of that era.
God, according to the Bible, is supposed to be perfect in every way, in addition to other concepts presented, like omnipotent, omniscious, omnibenevolent, and not an advocate of war and murder. How could He advocate killing any of his children, whether they are his chosen people or not. Chosen people? A god playing favorites? Not what I thought God was all about.
Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
Exodus 32:27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
This is only one example of contradictions found in the Bible, but one of the more significant and telling, me thinks.
I just always figured this book was the word of an omnibenevolent, supernatural being. Now, after only cursory examination, it’s apparent, to me, that this book was written by someone(s) with all the same personality characteristics (jealousy, rage, revenge, etc.) of earthbound mortals, not an omnibenevolent superpower. Truth is, Jehovah shares personality traits with some of our world’s worst war-mongering, murderous, barbaric dictators, including Muhammad (the evidence is in the Bible… and the Qur’an).
Ever notice how demanding of worship Jehovah is?
Ever notice how demanding of worship third world dictators are, with their pictures on billboards all over town, demanding to be glorified?
As big a worship-demanding, jealous ego as God apparently has, seems pretty clear to me (according to prior examples of his war-mongering against foes), if anyone like Muhammad was attempting trespass into His turf (which Muhammad did in more ways than one), Jehovah would have snuffed out this imposter in a heartbeat.
Aside from the virtuous teachings, what makes Jehovah any different from a terrorist? Both are apparently egomaniacs who go around killing at will; even their methods are essentially not all that different – the evidence is in the Bible, and the supernatural one of that pair demands, ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. This is a respectable god and role model? One set of rules for us, another for Him? What god would direct members of his flock to murder other not-so-favorite members of his flock? Not exactly an equitable and omnibenevolent god, in my book.
Why the “faith game” with reward and penalty of Heaven and Hell, instead of just presenting the rules and consequences, accompanied by a convincing display of His existence? “Hell” – sure seems, to me, a rather cruel punishment for an omnibenevolent god.
Me thinks if I were an omnibenevolent superpower capable of engineering such a complex world as ours, I could surely devise a plan guaranteeing myself plenty of worship, without simultaneously condemning any of my children to eternity in Hell. On the other hand, if I were a mere mortal of the biblical era trying to explain the unexplainable, and recognized the need for spiritual law & order in a spiritually lawless and chaotic society, a Heaven & Hell concept would be a convenient and powerful incentive, indeed.
So, how am I expected to believe in a god who is, apparently, not so perfect as Deuteronomy would have us believe? Anyone’s answer to that question first requires disregard for the contradictions and absurdities found in the Scriptures, but is also dependent upon their own definition of that man-made word “God”, and just as important, how they justify to themselves, that definition. Mitigation is especially needed if you allow Him any imperfection, and if you do, then you are in direct contradiction with the Bible’s own portrayal of God being perfect in every way.
To me, it couldn’t be any more obvious that these books (Bible and the Qu’ran) were written by mere mortals without any external divine influence guiding their hands. In the case of Muhammad, his own wife made the rather telling observation about how convenient his revelations were to his non-religious, personal goals. In the case of the Bible, there was apparently a similar motive at work by at least one of the biblical authors, which resulted in a “chosen people.” In other words, what mere mortal-type biblical author would not have selected his own kind as the chosen people?
The positive value of Christianity in our lives and society is obvious, but the Bible as being the work of God, just doesn’t hold water. There is at least one publication out there, authored by research partners “Freke & Gandy”, that reveals discovery of credible and verifiable information relating the historicity of a spiritual figure whose story parallels and predates the story of Jesus. The story of Jesus plagiarized? This kind of news the press doesn’t dare touch for obvious reasons. Many Christians won’t entertain only the possibility of such blasphemous tales, but will dogmatically deny pure logic and evidence, rather than risk that kind of upset in their lives, especially those so entrenched in the lifestyle.
Why does God permit the destruction of life, limb, and landscape (not to mention the resulting suffering of victims’ loved ones) with weather calamities and natural disasters, when according to the Bible, He has the power to stop them?
Not what I thought God was all about.
More Food For Thought
There is a guy out there somewhere who signed his opinion-type posting on a private blogger’s site as “Randy The Atheist” The following is only part of his posting. I wish I could claim his comments as my own – they directly parallel my observations in the second paragraph of my essay above. In other words, the Christian Faith in our society is predominantly a product of geography and time, but he says it more effectively and more eloquently… with a certain literay style.
For those of you who profess a belief in a “one true god”, your belief is accidental – a function of time, geography and circumstance. Had you been born in the first dynasties of Egypt, you would be worshipping the “true gods” and “true dieties” en vogue during those eras. Likewise, if you were born only a few centuries ago in the Pacific islands, you would be in tune with their systems of “true ritual”. There would be no one to tell you otherwise because you would be born much too early in a land much too far away. Basically, you would have been born in the wrong place at the wrong time.
WHAT WOULD YOU BE f you were born ONE THOUSAND YEARS AGO in the deserts of the American Southwest into the legendary tribes of T H E A P A C H E I N D I A N S
Would you be a Muslim? a Christian? a Terrorist? a Crusader?
Would you be a Jew? a Hebrew? a Canaanite? or a Semite?
No. You would be an Apache Indian of the North American continent and you would be practicing the only beliefs known to you – Shamanism.
Would you somehow feel betrayed or forsaken by the Judaistic gods?
No. The Apache peoples did not yet know of such dieties or religions because they were not yet introduced and taught. You cannot come to the same beliefs of the above religions by simply looking at the rocks and the trees. It must be taught to you by others who were taught in much the same way.
Would you live in despair and destitution because you worshipped other dieties?
No. You would live in one of the most historic cultures of the North American continent. Life would go on as usual as with any other civlization throughout the world. Contact with peoples from the other continent would not occur until some six hundred years into your future. Oddly, you would have a rather beautiful and peaceful lifestyle until the Judaistic beliefs became imposed on your decendants by the hostile Spaniards.
Would you feel that you would be going to hell for not being baptised?
No. Baptism would be a very alien ritual to your decendants. Hell would also be a very alien concept since death was believed to mark the end of your existence. To the Apache, the idea of an afterlife would be as silly as the idea of salvation as these were concepts invented by men on an entirely different continent with an entirely different history.
The Apache Indians came from northwest Canada around 850 AD. They settled in the three desert regions of the American southwest and did a lot of trading with the neighboring Pueblo Indians who were already inhabiting the areas for many centuries prior. The Apache were skilled hunters of buffalo but they sometimes practiced a unique method of limited farming.
In pre-colonial Apache culture, polygamy was practiced when economic circumstances permitted and marriage could be terminated easily by either party due to their nomadic lifestyle. Religion was a fundamental part of Apache life – a type of Shamanism that was practiced for many thousands of years. Among the best known supernatural beings in the Apache world were the Gaans, protective mountain spirits that could be called upon to do good or evil. Present-day beliefs is a mixture of traditional Apache beliefs, witchcraft, and contemporary United States religions.
As my second paragraph relates, Randy and I agree… It’s all simply a matter of geography and time. Eons into the future, Christianity will disappear or morph into another animal entirely. One day in the future, two brothers will be having a similar discussion, and one will be telling the other, ” Look, this is what those ancient Christians believed in…” IT WILL HAPPEN
Thank you Justplumducky for taking the time to read my blog and writing a very in-depth comment.
I’ve summarised your comments as the following four objections against traditional Christianity and the Bible:
• The Bible describes instances where God advocates killing whilst at other times commanding others not to kill. This is a contradiction, so the Bible is therefore flawed.
• A loving God would not send people to Hell as a form of deterrent, but instead would convincingly demonstrate the rules and consequences. The inference here is that the threat of Hell is manmade and employed as a means to control others.
• Christianity states that God will send people who have never had the opportunity to follow Christianity to Hell because they were born in a particular location or at a particular time in history. This isn’t fair and so is not something a just God would do, so Christianity is flawed.
• Christianity is a merely a transient belief system that is constantly evolving and will eventually be replaced. The inference here is that it generated by society rather than from a divine being and so evolves as society evolves.
You raised several good points here that deserve consideration. However, after considerable thought I’ve decided that I disagree with your conclusions. Please, let me take each one in turn and explain why.
God advocates killing whilst at other times commanding others not to kill:
You quote two scriptures: Exodus 20:13 and Exodus 32:27. The former describes one of the Ten Commandments instructing the Jewish people not to kill; the latter describes Moses commanding the Levites to walk through the camp killing people as a punishment for worshipping a golden calf. Moses presents the latter as a prophetic message from God, and, by modern day standards, it is a shocking event. Before we dismiss the account as an unreasonable representation of God, however, we need to dig deeper by asking a few questions.
The first question is whether the two scripture are a contradiction. I believe they are not. Most, or possible all, countries have laws that forbid murder, whilst many retain the death penalty for the most serious crimes. The former is a statement as to the behaviour a state expects from its citizens; the latter is the means by which the state retains order when its laws are broken. Ancient Israel would have been no different to any other state. Even if Israel’s laws were ordained by God, it would still have needed to enforce them when broken. Some contemporary states have grown more sophisticated and have developed other means of punishment and control that do not involve the death penalty, for example, long term incarceration. However, long term incarceration is not on option that can be employed by a nomadic tribe in the Bronze Age.
The second question that needs asking is whether God could ever justifiably take life and still be righteous. My view is that he can. This world is place of injustice and suffering. Every human will die at some point. If God existed, would it really be so wrong of him to impose justice by shortening a person’s time on earth for the greater good. Of course unjust punishment is wrong and we wouldn’t expect a just God to bring unjust punishment, but if the punishment was just and the ultimate consequences of God not acting were serious enough then wouldn’t we expect God to act. This gives us two further questions. Was the punishment just? Were the consequences of not bringing punishment serious?
Traditional Christianity typically views the Earth as a spiritual battle ground. It is viewed as a battle of grace vs. condemnation, freedom vs. the law, forgiveness vs. judgement, where in each case God is fighting for the former not the latter. From a Christian point of view the Jewish nation was God’s only vehicle to win this battle with the ultimate victory coming through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resulting opportunity for forgiveness. This plan would have failed had the Jewish people adopted the worship of the gods of the nations around them. Some of those nations even included infant sacrifice in their worship, but, further to that, without going into the details of the dynamics of worship and the nature of the covenant between God and Israel, the worship of other gods by the Jewish people would have been the equivalent of treason in this spiritual warfare. In response to the question of whether this punishment was just, treason is considered to be deserving of the death penalty even by the standards of modern societies. Likewise, when asking if the consequences of not bring punishment were serious enough, God’s entire plan to bring grace, freedom and forgiveness was at stake. From a Christian perspective, although he established law, imposed judgement and punishment, he did it so that grace, freedom and forgiveness could come in the long-term
The event itself led to a carnage that is shocking to us today. It was instigated by a religious leader and in our modern age there should never be any justifiable reason for a religious leader to instruct his followers to kill. Christianity in particular should be a religion that strives to bring grace and forgiveness to all people and all nations, regardless of their sin or belief.
If this event happened as recorded then I suppose the only remaining question is to ask why God would choose to carry out the punishment through human hands, when doing so only introduced unnecessary violence. Maybe, if God had carried out the judgement himself then, as a just omniscient God, he would have had to have carried it out fairly, which would have meant that almost the entire nation would have been executed because almost the entire nation had committed the crime. Maybe, this terrible carnage was possibly the only way to administer judgement without destroying the whole of the Jewish nation.
A loving God would not use the threat of Hell to control:
I interpret the Christian Hell as a terrible place, but I don’t view it as a place of literal fire and brimstone and I don’t see it as a place where punishment is administered merely to frighten people into becoming Christians. Instead, my suspicion, and indeed fear, is that if Hell exists then it is a place of judgement and punishment for every wrong deed that is committed by its inhabitants. On the Earth many, if not most, wrong deeds go unpunished. Some are tolerated by state laws, even if society recognises them to be wrong. Other wrong deeds remain hidden behind closed doors or within people’s minds. If Hell is nothing more than a place where all wrong doings are punished then is indeed a terrible place.
By this definition, Hell is therefore a place of justice and condemnation, but not a place where I would want to be. I personally would prefer a place where grace, freedom and forgiveness are administered to me on the understanding that I administer grace, freedom and forgiveness to others. In my mind it is no coincidence that much of Jesus’ preaching encourages people to live this way.
It is not fair that people should go to Hell who were born at the wrong place or time:
If you view Hell as a place of judgement and punishment for wrong deeds then it is not unfair for God to send people there. It is instead an act of justice, albeit justice established on a very exacting standard.
It is easy for us to judge and condemn those that treat us badly even though we don’t like to be judged ourselves. It is difficult to show grace and love to those that can offer us nothing in return, even though we appreciate receiving benefits we have not merited. If we ourselves behave like this then how then can we expect God to treat us differently?
I am optimistic, however, that anyone who makes the choice to live in grace, love and forgiveness, particularly when it is difficult to do so, will have at some point in their life, or maybe at death, the opportunity to choose to receive the grace and forgiveness that they showed others. Any person of any religion and any era can make that choice, even if the path to forgiveness is through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Christianity is a transient belief system:
In your essay you implied that the Biblical monotheistic faith is a modern replacement of polytheistic religions such as ancient Greek mythology. The inference being that it is a product of an evolving civilisation rather than an unchanging God.
In reality the Biblical scriptures that you quoted date back to ancient Egypt and actually predate ancient Greece by some 6-8 centuries. A Judaic-Christian interpretation of Genesis traces the monotheistic faith back a further four hundred years to the time of Abraham.
In fact it seems that from the time of ancient Egypt to the modern day, monotheism and polytheism beliefs have always existed.
It is true that Judaism and Christianity have changed and adapted with society. In Europe the Christian church went through dark corrupt times during the medieval ages which lasted until the Reformation. Much of this was due to state corruption and a poverty of Biblical knowledge caused by the inaccessibility of scriptures in any language other than Latin. A cursory reading of Church history, however, shows that Christianity has always ultimately shed corruption and returned to its routes. Rather than being in a state of evolution Christianity adapts in the short-term, but ultimately stays constant in the long-term.
You believe in a “Kingdom of heaven” because a book tells you so?
“A world without any suffering is a world without meaning. Without suffering life would be no challenges and life is colorless.” Does this apply to Heaven as well?
Through the law of thermodynamic, God created the earth so wonderful that it is just at the right distance of the Sun and the Moon which give us life, Water, Oxygen.
What more one of the greatest Gift that God give each one of us is our brain, each one of us have an unique gene sequence and not anyone alike.
God is give us our brain so that we can choose to live at our free will
and all product and invention that human created directly benefiting us.
in this way God indirectly gave us all the neccesity without making us spoil if all these physically were to nanded down from heaven. In this way, God want to give us the feeling of pride and self achievement.
“God want to give us the feeling of pride and self achievement.”
Is it written somewhere that this is what God wanted?
If God is so perfect, why he does not created all human to be perfect?
Answer: If everyone was perfect,life would be meaningless, everyone would be robot, it just like there is only one white color
How does Adam and Eve got here? How does a baby grow up without anybody tending and milk? Human just cannot be
just exist as an adult.Life has a beginning and a growing cycle, Lucky are Adam and Eve because they were initially grow up by the hand of the Loving God.
Could you explain to the mother of a child murdered in Iraq or Afghanistan by western Chrstian armies why god allows suffering? It seems your Christian god fits in wherever and however you want him to.
James, I too, like you, am grieved over the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has caused a tragic loss of life on both sides. On the surface religious ideologies have caused the war. Al-Qaeda is a militant Muslim organisation and the rhetoric of George Bush, who professes to be a Christian, was coloured by religious language. However, I see it as a battle of ideologies not of religions. One ideology is labelled Christian whilst the other is labelled Muslim. Underneath the labels I see two groups of people who are fighting to promote or protect a lifestyle rather than a faith. These lifestyles could be labelled ‘liberty’, ‘conservatism’ or ‘traditionalism’. Both religions encourage peace, but both sides seem to be using religion to justify their actions rather than to keep a check on their actions.
I don’t believe that mankind’s ideological battles are sufficient reason to discount God’s existence. To me they only demonstrate that people can interpret faith for their own purposes.
Rparussel, the following is excerpted from evilbible.com. Grateful if you would address the “killing of innocent people” issue,
“This web site is designed to spread the vicious truth about the Bible. For far too long priests and preachers have completely ignored the vicious criminal acts that the Bible promotes. The so called “God” of the Bible makes Osama Bin Laden look like a Boy Scout. This God, according to the Bible, is directly responsible for many mass-murders, rapes, pillage, plunder, slavery, child abuse and killing, not to mention the killing of unborn children. I have included references to the Biblical passages, so grab your Bible and follow along. You can also follow along with on-line Bibles such as BibleStudyTools.net or SkepticsAnnotatedBible.com.
It always amazes me how many times this God orders the killing of innocent people even after the Ten Commandments said “Thou shall not kill”. For example, God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21). God also orders the destruction of 60 cities so that the Israelites can live there. He orders the killing of all the men, women, and children of each city, and the looting of all of value (Deuteronomy 3). He orders another attack and the killing of “all the living creatures of the city: men and women, young, and old, as well as oxen sheep, and asses” (Joshua 6). In Judges 21, He orders the murder of all the people of Jabesh-gilead, except for the virgin girls who were taken to be forcibly raped and married. When they wanted more virgins, God told them to hide alongside the road and when they saw a girl they liked, kidnap her and forcibly rape her and make her your wife! Just about every other page in the Old Testament has God killing somebody! In 2 Kings 10:18-27, God orders the murder of all the worshipers of a different god in their very own church! In total God kills 371,186 people directly and orders another 1,862,265 people murdered.”
I was raised to trust this God all my life I am 54 yrs old and agree he fits in when and where he wants. I no longer trust what the bible says after all it was written by 40 men.
Hi God exists because He has created gorgeous women. Beautiful women cant have appeared by chance. But I dont know why God allows suffering.
Thanks, Usman. It’s good to see that you have love for your fellow human!