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Author Topic: Fairness and Justice and God  (Read 835 times)

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Fairness and Justice and God
« on: March 20, 2011, 12:00:46 PM »
A discussion is currently going on in a thread that asks:  “Why do you believe in God?”  It’s not a debate about the existence of God or an argument between those who believe and those who don’t believe.  People are opening themselves up and sharing feelings and emotions that most of us keep – I almost said hidden but that would be wrong – safe within our hearts and souls.  A question has been asked in this thread about justice and the existence of God.

This question is as old as the first sentient thought directed at the possible existence of a deity.  It comes in various forms, such as:  “How can God let this happen?” or “Why does God allow so much pain?”  Many of us seek to challenge the omnipotence of God, His/Her ability to control what happens to us and the decision to let the bad things happen.  We forget that in the beginning when humans were created we were given free will.  We were promised that we could make our own decisions, live our lives as we choose and think for ourselves. 

God’s gift to us was our soul which makes us each unique and privileged.  Sadly, we often forget that along with such a gift come responsibility.  We can choose but we can also weight the options we have and the effect our decision will have on others.  There is nothing we choose to do or choose to not do that does not have an impact of some small or large proportion.  Leaders of a nation elect to go to war and that decision ripples across the world.  An adult makes a hateful remark in the presence of children and those words are carried into the future by a child with whom they resonated.

Along with a free will and soul God has given us a mind of such magnificence and power that there is nothing we cannot aspire to achieve.  When we see something that we think is unfair we have within us the power to make a difference.  Do we see pain and suffering and turn away with the thought that God should do something about it or do we seek out agencies, charities, shelters and way to help?  Do we say I’m poor therefore I can’t help?  I’ve heard others say they’re too busy and don’t have time to help.  I’ve also seen a single mother with six children to raise on only the money from her deceased husband’s Social Security who gave of her time to work at the school her children attended and where her oldest daughter tutored fellow students in exchange for tuition aid to ease a financial burden and give their family the ability to educate the other children in the school of their choice.

The mother and daughter helped their own family but when that need was satisfied they continued their volunteer work to help others even though the mother began fighting a debilitating health condition and the daughter found a full time job to help support the family financially.  You see, when she turned eighteen her portion of the Social Security benefit was cut.

We all have something to give and we all have the power to choose whether to give or not.  I don’t believe life is unfair but that there is unfairness in life.  The degree of that unfairness and even its existence doesn’t lie with God but is determined by us.  Why do I feel this way?  Simply because along with being all-powerful God is also all-knowing, He/She is omniscient.

Now ask yourself what that means and if you come back with the answer that God know everything past, present and future you are only partly right.  Along with having knowledge of everything that has happened with humans from before the first spark of awareness flickered in the minds of humans and knowing everything we are doing at this moment and everything that will happen from this moment on there is another level of God’s knowing we overlook.

God know everything that could have happened or might happen based on the decisions humans make or have made.  God knows what would have happened if you stopped or didn’t stop at that yellow traffic light.  God knows the path you life would have taken if you went to a different school, married a different person or never married at all.  God knows what the world would be like if Jesus hadn’t been born or if countries hadn’t gone to war.  God know what will become of mankind in every permutation of every decision that we make from this moment forward. 

I believe in God and His/Her omnipotence and omniscience and because I do I see a future for mankind.  What that future will be tomorrow and every tomorrow after that depends on the differences we make, the decisions we arrive at and the way we seek to change things for the better.  Keep in mind, though, that the future will also be affected by what we don’t do.

All it takes for evil to exist is for good people to do nothing.

It’s be quoted, paraphrased and attributed to many but is true no matter how it’s stated. 

Thank you for reading.


Offline sava

Re: Fairness and Justice and God
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 02:19:25 AM »
It is not my intention to sound combative; I couldn’t fine the thread you referred to and wanted to toss my two cents into the basket as it relates to fairness, justice and god. I appreciate your thoughts and hope that your portrayal of god is accurate, He/She sounds nice. I truly like discussing such things but am analytical by nature and it tends to come off harsh…again, it is not my intention.

I also realize that this is an old topic forgive my tardiness, I am new and just poking around

The way we make sense of God is truly amazing and a worthwhile endeavor. What we “believe” about “god” can play a delicate yet powerful roll in who we are, who we become and who we strive to be. Why we do something, anything really, is an intricate knot, much of it, not of our own making. I doubt that we could even begin to answer the question, “Why we believe in God.” Considering how the process seems to have begun in the first place. It seems ironic to even try to answer that question as individuals as it seems that by doing so, we remove tens of thousands of years of context. Don’t get me started on atheists who reject god in the light of modern science.
In the most trivialized sense, it seems that we use the metaphor of “god” to help us make sense of, and explain the world around us, how it should be, how we should treat each other, and what happens after our individual selves cease to exist. I realize there is much more to this but these are some foundations.

Personally, I take issue with beliefs. I take issue with projections from an organism, individual or collective, no matter how intelligent they might think they are that presumes to know the will of a creator being, to know the will of another would require communication on a level that humans have not yet achieved in their deepest personal relationships. Such an exchange with a creator would have to result in a kind of truth that would be absolute. That said, I like what the Nazarene commands. Love God and love your neighbors as yourselves (paraphrased).

Who are we to say that we know a thing? We are organisms that exist on a veritable pebble hurling through space where all things seem to share relativity and relevance. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to ask why, it is even good to imagine and get creative in the process. However, to make what we “believe” synonymous with “truth” results in the kinds of lies that become justification for heresy, war, and the subjugation of others.   

God, if there is such a being, surely has not given us free will. Free will is a philosophical construct. We discovered the possibility of Free Will, we discovered the potential which to dat in a post modern age is still a long way from realizing. “Free Will”, is like Socialism or Capitalism, Human Rights or Democracy. It’s a theoretical construct, that given the right environment, a realized consciousness, and a willing collective spirit…can be achieved for an amount of time that solely depends on its relevance and more importantly, it’s results to achieve the practice. The truth is, that many, I personally would suggest  most (including myself in the group), that most people in this world  do not have wills that are freed.

Will comes at a cost and the cost, so far as I can tell, historically up through the present, comes at the expense of one’s life, integrity, character, and soul (if there is such a thing, I tend to think there is). If we are speaking of free in terms of liberation, I would still reject the notion; we seem to be shaped by our families and friends, societies and surroundings, histories and influences. We have the ability to act within a given circumstance but a “Will” is something altogether different. A Will can stand against that which is wrong and accept death as a price for defeat, in the hopes that, in death, they will succeed where in life they had failed.

Justice and fairness are also philosophical constructs. Mere abilities or capacities found within the human monster that usually fall to the wayside when juxtaposed with such things as desire, want, and need.

All it takes for evil to exist is for good people to do nothing.

I would say, “That all it takes for evil to exist is for good meaning people to exercise their will freely without Truth.”

To suggest that God gives us a gift (a soul) and then places the burden of responsibility upon it is an interesting concept. From my perspective, a gift given with strings attached is no gift at all. I mean, it isn’t as if we asked for a pet and promised to assume the responsibilities. Most of us do not know how this crazy little thing called life works. We didn’t ask for it, it was thrust upon us and we have to deal with it. A free will may actually be the most dangerous thing on the planet, akin to handing nitroglycerin to a baby who likes to play with rattles.

If there is a God, I think it is more honest to say that what this creator has given us is a chance, a chance to live, to make what we would from the opportunity. Those who “believe” in God, who believe they are created by this god, would in fact be …god beings.  A God being should know the truth. Not just the truth of a matter but capital “T” Truth and should be able to articulate said Truth and the result should result in some form of redemption, a form of  redemption that would transcend belief and personal piety. Redemption is something that I do not see very often and I have yet to meet such a person, though I confess some faith in the Nazarene.