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Author Topic: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox  (Read 7959 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« on: September 14, 2010, 10:24:10 PM »
Okay, I am agnostic. Lets get that clear. I have a devout Christian friend (and by devout, I mean she believes in Creationism >.<) and strangely enough, we have never had an argument. We have some of the deepest conversations, and yet it never gets ugly, despite our idealogical differences.

This one came up the other day, and frankly, it annoys me to no end... people treat this like it's some amazingly complex paradox that either proves God doesn't exist, or that he's a dick and doesn't care.

Quote from: Several billion retards
If Gods so good, why does he allow bad things to happen?

...I don't even NEED to be religious or even read the freakin' Bible to get this one :/ What do you think would happen if God started reading Superman comics and got it in his head to duplicate into endless copies of himself so that he could swoop down and save every single puppy that falls in a storm drain, cure every instance of brain cancer, stop every bus full of kids from careening off a bridge? He'd be making a big mistake. Coddled children always end up screwed later in life, because they never faced hardship and never had to rely on themselves. So what happens when God babies us and then we go ahead to split the first atom, hmm? Without the tragedies of the past to learn from, what do you think we'd do with a nuke? We're spoilt, immature children with an overprotective father figure and a world ending weapon we are not ready to use.

And even so, if there is a Heaven, wouldn't making the mortal world free of pain and sadness completely defeat the purpose? Heaven would be rendered redundant!

Seriously, this just gets to me so badly because it feels like such an infantile question that anyone with half a brain should be able to comprehend. It was the focus of an episode of the Powerpuff Girls. The Powerpuff Girls for fucks sake!



Offline Nyarly

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 12:00:13 AM »
Actually it's not so simple and raises many questions. Although trying to comprehend it is an exercise in futility. The best one can do is admitting that religion makes no sense, which isn't it's purpose anyway, and that it works as it is.

EDIT: However, I have to say that it's a rather bad idea to insult the people you are talking to. Keep in mind that there a re probably people her who ask exactly this question and I doubt that they are happy, that you call them retards. It's a valid question, whether you like it or not.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 12:02:55 AM by Nyarly »

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 12:13:16 AM »
Actually it's not so simple and raises many questions. Although trying to comprehend it is an exercise in futility.

So... it raises questions, but they're not ones we can actually ask? o.O What kind of benefit could we possibly receive from God personally seeing to life's disasters. If we had never seen just how awful Hiroshima was, do you think we'd be as reluctant to use that sort of weaponry again? Or if he stopped certain deadly diseases, would we have any incentive to pursue medical research? If he exists and truly loves us, he steps back and lets us burn ourselves, so we learn that fire = bad.

Sorry if my understanding of religion and philosophy seems very shallow, but it could not appear more simply to me :/

Offline Brandon

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 04:35:50 AM »
Ive spoken about it a few times so here we go again. One of the major themes in mythology and religion is that god, or the gods if your taking about a pantheon, can not effect free will (or at least Ive yet to see a story where they could completely control free will). God would influence people through his agents or his divine powers though. Now with that theme in place let me ask, how could god stop the evil side of humanity? How could he forever stop the greed and malice in our hearts without unmaking us?

It is my thought that because he loves us so much he does not want to change us, his creations, to something else. So he rewards those that live good lives.

Why then do things still happen that cause harm and suffering, like volcano's, hurricanes, and any number of other natural disasters or just accidents? Im reminded of the non-answer that states: God works in mysterous ways. Which I suppose is true if you look at it objectivly. I mean were talking about an immortal being with unlimited power and infinite perspective. How could man possibly understand a being like that? but to answer the question, I dont really know. However one thought I have is perhaps its a kind of test, to give the rest of humanity the chance to do good things. To aid humanity and prove we deserve to be in heaven

Offline Nyarly

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2010, 04:47:23 AM »
God works in mysterous ways.
Just what I meant with "Religion makes noe sense".

But it's true that a creature with such an incredible power is most likely incomprehensible to us. However, I still have to wonder why he, who is supposed to be so immensely powerful, should even care about us. After all, we are, at least, to him what ants are to us.

Offline Brandon

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2010, 04:53:23 AM »
God works in mysterious ways is the church saying I dont know. Or at least thats what the answer has become to me.

Perhaps he is a crafter of sorts, where blacksmiths once crafted horseshoes he crafts universes. Havnt you ever had a lego set or something like that? I can remember many times I would make something that wasnt exactly perfect but I didnt want to take it apart because for some reason even with its imperfections I was proud of it or liked it. I figure everyones been there

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 07:32:59 AM »
Okay, before you all start killing each other over idealogical differences (seriously, I don't want to have to lock this thread, but I totally will) let me restate my position so you don't go flying off on a tangent... I am NOT discussing God, or how he should/may be running the world, the one and only point I raise is the 'If God if so good' paradox, and why it even exists at all.

So unless your discussing societies use of this paradox in the face of great or small tragedy, PLEASE do not post here. It's hard enough keeping a thread civil here without everyone coming in and rambling slightly off topic. Thanks.

Offline Brandon

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 08:30:08 AM »
I misunderstood you then. The paradox itself exists purely to start conflict against a religion. I see no philosophical intent, no desire for discussion (as its mostly a shock question to get people to shut up or at least thats how I have always seen it used), and no intent to learn more about the topic.

IMO because of the behavoir often involved when its asked there really is no reason for it to exist except as a conflict starting tool

Offline Trieste

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Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2010, 08:40:01 AM »
Wow.

It's supremely arrogant to try to dictate a valid philosophical question for other people. It is complete hubris to try to force that opinion on someone else. If you don't like the discussion, don't read it. If you don't like the question, I suggest you ignore it.

I will be very put out if I have to lock this thread not even 12 hours after it started. Say nice things, or don't say anything at all.

Offline Nyarly

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2010, 08:41:42 AM »
As I said: It is a valid question and "I don't like it" is not a proper reason to dismiss it, even if it is said with more sophisticated words. You may see no sense in it, but that doesn't mean that it holds true for everyone or that every person who asks this question is a troll.

That being said, I tend to get rather annoyed myself when people use it.

Offline Hemingway

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2010, 01:47:32 PM »
I think the problem is that people, depending on whether they believe it or not, tend to treat concepts of good and evil differently when it comes to this question.

For someone who believes in paradise after death, suffering in life may seem like a good thing to have inflicted upon yourself, if it allows you to enter paradise in the end. I don't buy it personally. Evil is evil, even if it's for the "greater" good. I guess lack of an absolute, objective, black-and-white morality will do that to you.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2010, 02:52:37 PM »
There was actually a book written about this topic - by a Rabbi, no less - called 'Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People'.  (link to summary).  In the end, the question really should be set on its ear:  Bad things happen.  What should we, as good people, do about it?

Offline Host of Seraphim

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2010, 03:31:58 PM »
When my English class studied Paradise Lost one of the topics brought up in the poem (that we were tested over) was the very same question you brought up (Why does God allow evil?). This article does a good job of explaining it in more or less the same way I remember my teacher explaining it to us:

Quote
If Satan were in fact pure evil, would the blame then rest on God for creating evil itself?  Milton addresses this question in two ways—first by pointing out that Satan was not a fallen being in the beginning but in fact a powerful, beautiful archangel, and secondly by asserting that, even though God did allow evil to enter the world, he did so to give man, and indeed angels as well, free will through a choice.

...

One problem which Milton addresses, the existence of evil itself, Danielson believes is the most critical argument that is brought up. ... This goes back to the basic question which asks, “Why do bad things happen?”  Bad things happen because the world is fallen and they are consequences for evil.  How then can God be justified by having allowed evil into the world in the first place, and thus allowing all of our suffering?...

Milton goes back to the beginning to search for the answers to the existence of evil, back to its very introduction into our world.  The scene is set up: Man living in paradise, in perfect harmony with the world and nature, and a choice is laid before him—to obey God or to disobey.  It was truly that simple.  “A vital component of Milton’s theodicy is the ‘Free Will Defense’, the model or argument according to which God, for reasons consistent with his wisdom and goodness, created angels and human beings with freedom either to obey or disobey his commands” (117).  The availability to choose God is what made man’s relationship with God real, what made it worthwhile in the first place.  “I formed them free, and free they must remain” (Milton III.124).  The only way for God to create man truly free was to give him a choice, which by definition forced man to choose between God and his own selfish nature.  Evil is a direct product of God’s allowing us free will.

I hope that was helpful or interesting in some way. For the record, I am agnostic.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 04:00:42 PM by Host of Seraphim »

Offline Florence

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2010, 03:43:15 PM »
It's a good point really. If god allows bad things to happen, he isn't all loving. If he can't stop them, he's not all powerful. It doesn't necesarily prove that he doesn't exist, but it certainly shows that he's not as perfect as the Bible describes if he does. People who point out free will seem to be ignoring that if god were really all powerful and all loving, he would design us so that our brains never made us WANT to do evil. Thus no free will broken, and no evil. He could make it so that all we would ever want to do is love each other and work together. The fact is that if god exists, he designed out brains so that we are the greedy, selfish, hateful creatures we are today.

The point being, you shouldn't just dismiss this idea, it's a very valid point.

Offline Noelle

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2010, 07:24:57 PM »
I misunderstood you then. The paradox itself exists purely to start conflict against a religion. I see no philosophical intent, no desire for discussion (as its mostly a shock question to get people to shut up or at least thats how I have always seen it used), and no intent to learn more about the topic.

IMO because of the behavoir often involved when its asked there really is no reason for it to exist except as a conflict starting tool

Except that it's a valid question asked by even devoutly religious people every single day. So unless they're looking to start conflict with their own beliefs, it wouldn't make sense to say it's meant only to be mean or spiteful. Not every question that is posed against the nature of God is one posed by evil people out to shake and destroy faith.

People lose loved ones, have tragedy strike, lose their homes, jobs, pets, possessions...Bad things happen to people every single second of every single day. It's not uncommon for the religious to begin to lose faith when it seems that their god isn't looking out for them or doesn't seem to care. It can be difficult to reconcile and they begin to feel like god doesn't care or possibly isn't even there.

People who point out free will seem to be ignoring that if god were really all powerful and all loving, he would design us so that our brains never made us WANT to do evil. Thus no free will broken, and no evil. He could make it so that all we would ever want to do is love each other and work together. The fact is that if god exists, he designed out brains so that we are the greedy, selfish, hateful creatures we are today.

You can't actually say for certain what God would or wouldn't do. Designing a creature that only wants to do good is ruling out the option of doing evil. That's not free will. Free will is the ability to choose any number of things without influence. If even one option is unavailable to you, it's no longer free will because it's been chosen for you that you can't do that one thing.

For all we know, if God was all-loving and all-powerful, he would've made us all adorable, hypoallergenic puppies who poop Little Debbie snack cakes and piss chocolate milk. It's not as black or white as you're making it seem -- if God is all-powerful, he can do anything he wants, he's not limited to "this or that". If God is all-loving, how do you even describe love? There are countless kinds of love. A father who disciplines his son for misbehaving can love his son enough to not want to see him fail or make poor choices. These are things we cannot pin down for sure because we cannot ask God (assuming he/she/it exists) and he doesn't seem apt to post on these forums to tell us.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 07:26:34 PM by Noelle »

Offline DudelRok

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2010, 08:13:38 PM »
Isn't the entire thing nothing more than a really big red herring for "The Loaded Question?" You know:

Quote
Loaded Question 'Complex Question' - the most famous of these is "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" - when asked of someone who may not even have a wife, much less beat her, much less have known evidence of it. Similarly, a complex question can involve asking two questions in the same phrase. "Do you support the right of gays and felons to vote?" You can support one without supporting the other. Note that, technically, a loaded question is not necessarily a fallacy - they are usually questions and questions are usually not arguments.

Just because it is not usually a fallacy does not mean you don't deserve a good smacking for pulling stunts like this.

However I've an answer, anyway.

Quote
If Gods so good, why does he allow bad things to happen?

Omnipresence or not, good behavior or not, can't your children get on your nerves sometimes? As Sabby said, "Teach them the hard way." Or, "If you insist on being stupid, put your hand on the stove to see how hot it really is." I'm sure that g/God(s) tried the whole soft approach. Don't eat the apple, Stay away from the tree. Talking snakes are evil etc etc etc but "we" didn't listen so he/she/whatever went "fine" see how well you work with a more hands off approach.

Some people don't always approve of that type of parenting but it is a valid way to teach lessons. Once in awhile you step down and put out a fire or two, give that reassuring nod of your head and a smile to say "Good job."

Not take into account there are a several billion people on the earth. Take into account that even if he is everywhere and has the power to do everything, isn't that a major pain in the but? Isn't it kind of self centered and rude to ask for every little problem to be fixed? Isn't that teaching humility and cutting the apron strings? Handle stuff on your own, try your best and you'll be rewarded with "heaven" if you happen to die along the way.


Then again, maybe all the hardship is "the devil." g/God(s)' opposite and unmovable balance to things. (Now we get into more what I actually believe/think). One side of the coin helps, the other side of the coin hurts. Between them, they try and keep a nice balance. It isn't a fight to see who's better, a contest to see who claims the most soles or anything else of that nature. In fact, both sides of the coin want you to do good and "evil" both in order to become a balanced and well rounded person. A pure "good" person is going to do evil things in the name of their "goodness" and even the other way around so wanting an equal balance seems best.

So:

Quote
If Gods so good, why does he allow bad things to happen?

g/God(s) is/are neutral. Neither good nor bad and allows both good and bad to happen in order to allow a complete growth of every individual and the world as a whole.


The reason it is used, other than to perpetuate an inane argument, is to annoy people. Same with the whole "get rid of the devil" argument. Or linking one man's views to that of an entire sect/religion/whatever. The question/paradox is just people trying to "win" a debate with something that can't be answered without distorting a view people aren't willing to distort or by creating a "logical loop hole" to which people can throw out more half-thought argumentation.

Offline Serephino

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2010, 09:49:11 PM »
This is how I see it.  You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you do a good deed?  If good was all that existed that feeling wouldn't exist.  If good was all there was then it would be the normal everyday.  If everything/everyone was made perfect there would be no such thing as pride in a job well done.  Life would be boring. 



Offline Nyarly

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2010, 11:51:32 PM »
So, we are pretty much a bunch of dumb children who repeatedly make stupid mistakes (although eating the apples was not one) and slaughter each other because it's exciting?

Hey, that would actually make sense.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2010, 12:43:47 AM »
I have a simple point nowhere did God ever say He was Good, can anyone find any Biblical passage where He stated that personally?

Offline Noelle

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2010, 01:18:43 AM »
ULC Ordained Cleric, Doctor of Bible Studies
I am humored that this is under your name, Ruby, and you're asking for Bible passages.  ;) Nevertheless, I shall oblige.

Psalms 107:1
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is GOOD; for His loving kindness is everlasting

Psalms 31:19
How great is Thy GOODness, which Thou hast stored up for those who fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee, before the sons of men!

And the grand finale, words from the Jefe himself:

Exodus 33:19
“I Myself will make all My GOODness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion”
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 01:21:04 AM by Noelle »

Offline Hemingway

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2010, 02:36:39 AM »
This is how I see it.  You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you do a good deed?  If good was all that existed that feeling wouldn't exist.  If good was all there was then it would be the normal everyday.  If everything/everyone was made perfect there would be no such thing as pride in a job well done.  Life would be boring. 

Tens of thousands starve to death every day, so that I can get a warm, fuzzy feeling. I somehow don't see the logic.

I think this goes back to what I said before. At some point, "evil" for the sake of "good", stops being "good". If god's idea of good and evil aren't the same as ours, that's fine, but then let's not call them good and evil. Holding god to different standards from humans makes no sense in this debate.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2010, 02:45:16 AM »
I think Serephino was going for the 'if there was no shadow, how would we recognize light' analogy.  It's like when I talk to friends of mine in Georgia, and they say how cold it is out - at 50F.  Meanwhile, I'm bundling up to go shovel snow, and say 'You don't know what cold is!' Of course, when I'm claiming how hot it is at 85F, and they're in the triple-digits, then I 'don't know what heat is'.

If there was nothing even as evil as the person that ate the plums in the icebox that I was saving for breakfast, how could we claim to know good or evil?

Offline Jude

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2010, 03:07:52 AM »
A few years back I remember reading about a child whose heart was born on the outside of his body, resulting in a miserable, short existence.  His parents struggled to keep him alive as long as possible, but their benevolent feelings really only worked against them in the end as it was a lost cause.  He didn't even last 10 years, but it left them saddled with massive debt and a hole in their figurative hearts.

You can't place the blame for the bad things that happen to people solely on other people who choose to exercise their free will in a negative way:  a good portion of it is a fundamental result of the way our universe is structured.  Natural disasters, illness, and accidents have nothing to do with negative intentions.  If god created everything, designed human beings, and structured our entire universe, then he is responsible for cancer, developmental disorders, birth defects, the existence of e coli, flesh eating bacteria, and even something as simple as the flu.

I don't know why he would design human beings to be susceptible to micro-organisms of his own creation and fundamental flaws of design fully knowing it would result in such unfairness, suffering, and plight.  With as much as the "game is stacked against us," you have to wonder how an all-powerful, all-knowing benevolent god could devise a world with the potential for such unabashed, aimless cruelty if the same being also holds limitless compassion and love for each and every one of his human creations.

And then there's this (read 616 - 635):  http://books.google.com/books?id=nLEGs3YIbwAC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

I've never read a more eloquent argument concerning the evil in the world, even that done by humans, and why it conflicts with the idea of an all-powerful, benevolent god.

EDIT:  And the problem with the shadow and light argument is that it's true that without unhappiness, happiness makes little sense, but you don't need to know deep and tragic suffering to understand the difference between the two.  The normal life that most of us live is void of any great tragedy but we still understand the difference.  The depths of suffering that some of us experience is entirely unnecessary to make that point.  There are enough problems in life based on scarcity and the fundamental struggles of existence that we don't need the grand horrors experienced by humankind to form a dichotomy.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 03:11:36 AM by Jude »

Offline Nyarly

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2010, 05:06:32 AM »
I think Serephino was going for the 'if there was no shadow, how would we recognize light' analogy.  It's like when I talk to friends of mine in Georgia, and they say how cold it is out - at 50F.  Meanwhile, I'm bundling up to go shovel snow, and say 'You don't know what cold is!' Of course, when I'm claiming how hot it is at 85F, and they're in the triple-digits, then I 'don't know what heat is'.

If there was nothing even as evil as the person that ate the plums in the icebox that I was saving for breakfast, how could we claim to know good or evil?
Why do we even need "good" and "evil"? Why should we suffer just to understand a vague moralic concept, although we would be fine without it?

Offline Florence

Re: The 'If Gods so good' Paradox
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2010, 07:37:05 AM »
Except that it's a valid question asked by even devoutly religious people every single day. So unless they're looking to start conflict with their own beliefs, it wouldn't make sense to say it's meant only to be mean or spiteful. Not every question that is posed against the nature of God is one posed by evil people out to shake and destroy faith.

People lose loved ones, have tragedy strike, lose their homes, jobs, pets, possessions...Bad things happen to people every single second of every single day. It's not uncommon for the religious to begin to lose faith when it seems that their god isn't looking out for them or doesn't seem to care. It can be difficult to reconcile and they begin to feel like god doesn't care or possibly isn't even there.

You can't actually say for certain what God would or wouldn't do. Designing a creature that only wants to do good is ruling out the option of doing evil. That's not free will. Free will is the ability to choose any number of things without influence. If even one option is unavailable to you, it's no longer free will because it's been chosen for you that you can't do that one thing.

For all we know, if God was all-loving and all-powerful, he would've made us all adorable, hypoallergenic puppies who poop Little Debbie snack cakes and piss chocolate milk. It's not as black or white as you're making it seem -- if God is all-powerful, he can do anything he wants, he's not limited to "this or that". If God is all-loving, how do you even describe love? There are countless kinds of love. A father who disciplines his son for misbehaving can love his son enough to not want to see him fail or make poor choices. These are things we cannot pin down for sure because we cannot ask God (assuming he/she/it exists) and he doesn't seem apt to post on these forums to tell us.

Then where is our free will to fly? I don't mean using machinery, I mean, what if I want to up and fly? And what does that mean about OCD people? Did god decide they were not worthy of the same level of free will as everyone else? Since apparently not making people WANT to do something is all it takes to be denying them free will.
Isn't the entire thing nothing more than a really big red herring for "The Loaded Question?" You know:

However I've an answer, anyway.

Omnipresence or not, good behavior or not, can't your children get on your nerves sometimes? As Sabby said, "Teach them the hard way." Or, "If you insist on being stupid, put your hand on the stove to see how hot it really is." I'm sure that g/God(s) tried the whole soft approach. Don't eat the apple, Stay away from the tree. Talking snakes are evil etc etc etc but "we" didn't listen so he/she/whatever went "fine" see how well you work with a more hands off approach.

Some people don't always approve of that type of parenting but it is a valid way to teach lessons. Once in awhile you step down and put out a fire or two, give that reassuring nod of your head and a smile to say "Good job."

Not take into account there are a several billion people on the earth. Take into account that even if he is everywhere and has the power to do everything, isn't that a major pain in the but? Isn't it kind of self centered and rude to ask for every little problem to be fixed? Isn't that teaching humility and cutting the apron strings? Handle stuff on your own, try your best and you'll be rewarded with "heaven" if you happen to die along the way.


Then again, maybe all the hardship is "the devil." g/God(s)' opposite and unmovable balance to things. (Now we get into more what I actually believe/think). One side of the coin helps, the other side of the coin hurts. Between them, they try and keep a nice balance. It isn't a fight to see who's better, a contest to see who claims the most soles or anything else of that nature. In fact, both sides of the coin want you to do good and "evil" both in order to become a balanced and well rounded person. A pure "good" person is going to do evil things in the name of their "goodness" and even the other way around so wanting an equal balance seems best.

So:

g/God(s) is/are neutral. Neither good nor bad and allows both good and bad to happen in order to allow a complete growth of every individual and the world as a whole.


The reason it is used, other than to perpetuate an inane argument, is to annoy people. Same with the whole "get rid of the devil" argument. Or linking one man's views to that of an entire sect/religion/whatever. The question/paradox is just people trying to "win" a debate with something that can't be answered without distorting a view people aren't willing to distort or by creating a "logical loop hole" to which people can throw out more half-thought argumentation.

It's not a red herring because it's a counter the very assertion that god IS good. If various religions weren't so  insistent on that very point, then it would be one, but the fact is they make a big point of this whole "all loving, all knowing, all powerful" business. Clearly one of those points must not be true. It's a simple matter of logic. Either god does not love everyone, or he would find a way. If he can't find a way, then he is either not all knowing, or not all powerful; he either does not know how, or knows how, but cannot do it. Regardless of why it can't be done, it means he's not all powerful, he can't do ANYTHING.
This is how I see it.  You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you do a good deed?  If good was all that existed that feeling wouldn't exist.  If good was all there was then it would be the normal everyday.  If everything/everyone was made perfect there would be no such thing as pride in a job well done.  Life would be boring. 




I have to raise the point (though reading down, I see Hemingway already has): Making sure we feel warm and fuzzy is worth allowing the Holocaust, WW2, The Rape of Nanking... hell, all of those events were in a single period of history. There's also the Crusades, the Klu Klux Klan, Slavery, The Burning of Mount Hiei, etc. Rather it's more important that we feel warm and fuzzy and special for buying a homeless man a pizza? I mean, I suppose that's a valid counter-argument to the initial paradox, but if that were to be the case, I'd have a few select words for this God fellow on his poor judgement.

Nyarly raises a good point as well. Why is it important that we know good from evil, when we could simply not have evil? Especially the Biblical ideas of good and evil, which are frankly extremely abstract and bizarre.

Jude also brings up a very valid point. Not all evil is related to free will, how would eliminating cancer, AIDS, ebola, etc. effect free will?