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Author Topic: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil  (Read 2974 times)

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Offline OHWcetaTopic starter

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The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« on: January 17, 2011, 09:34:02 AM »
So God created everything, thus making him all powerful.
But if this is so then does this mean God also created evil?
If God didn't create evil, where did it come from? And does this mean something more powerful than or equal to God created it?

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 10:21:34 AM »
You may want to check out these two threads, which already have some lively debate on this very topic.

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=82390.0

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=93755.0

Offline AtlasEros

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 09:58:02 PM »
I find the idea of an all knowing, all powerful, all good God to be totally ridiculous.

Offline Aethras

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 05:49:29 PM »
Good and evil cannot exist independently of each other. Think of a couple of words you associate with good, for example. Bravery and altruism. How can you possibly call someone brave without them having had the chance to prove themselves a coward, or call someone an altruist, without them having had the chance to prove themselves a selfish narcissist?

Offline Sure

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 06:04:54 PM »
The current 'in favor' theological argument, if I recall correctly, is that God didn't create evil but instead allowed evil to exist by allowing for free will. In this way, people can choose to be evil. So, we create evil. However, we also create good.

So God did not create evil in the same way he did not create this sandwich. I made the sandwich, God merely allowed it to be created. Similarly, God did not create evil, he simply gave man the capacity for evil under the umbrella of 'free will'.

The other arguments (that I can think of off the top of my head) are that: God did not create evil, man did through sin and the Fall. There is no evil. There is no evil in toto since the rewards of heaven outweigh it. There is no evil, only what we think of as evil. Evil is necessary so that we understand good. There is no 'best/perfect' world, therefore any world God created would be flawed and for whatever reason he chose to make this world.

What you're referring to seems, to me, to be a version of the Epicurean paradox (which was actually about the Greek Gods). "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" More generally, it's the Problem of Evil.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 06:38:31 PM »
Of course, with the Epicurean Paradox, there was always the ability to fall back on the gods incessant attempts to one-up the others.  Hera encouraged one action to protect marriage, while Aphrodite encouraged another to promote love, Dionysus got everyone drunk enough that it didn't matter, and then Ares walked in and started a bar-fight.  Collectively, they might have been omnipotent, maybe even omniscient, but they were rarely omnibenevolent.

Offline Sure

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 07:06:33 PM »
Actually, the Epicurean Paradox addresses that: Gods which are able yet do not address evil (even evil in the form of 'one-upping' each other) are malevolent. Why worship something malevolent? Or to extend your analogy, a pantheon of bar-goers? The problem is there for all beings of great power, which is why it was transferred into atheism two millennia later. It still applied almost exactly to an entirely different God.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 07:23:17 PM »
I realize I got a bit carried away with that analogy.  What I was thinking is that with a polytheistic mindset, each individual god wouldn't necessarily be omnipotent outside of their given sphere - Poseidon's got no control over the summoning of lightning, and Aphrodite's not likely to give a flying flip over someone's sea voyage, unless it has something to do with someone getting laid at the end.  Even then, she's likely to go tempt Poseidon into sparing her worshiper in exchange for a little 'consideration'.  Zeus is closer to omnipotent than the others, but a concerted effort by two or more can easily trump any single god's best effort (i.e., the trumped god isn't malevolent, just not omnipotent when compared to a pair of mega-potent opponents).  Then you get situations like the Trojan War, where gods are lining up on both sides, and it ends up as a push.

Offline Sure

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 07:47:44 PM »
In that case, Epicurus claims they're simply not Gods, or at least not Gods worthy of worship. They aren't good, and they aren't omnipotent. And keep in mind he came to this conclusion explicitly dealing with the Greek Gods, not the Abrahamic one.

Offline DudelRok

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 05:11:53 AM »
Ya know, I'm not really a believer in God but I never understood why he COULDN'T have created evil (or let it create itself, or whatever).

I mean, doesn't it all matter on your concept of "good" anyway? My concept of "good" is balance and neutrality... meaning Good and Evil/Bad are needed. So... how is it even a paradox? XD

"God had to have created evil." "Okay, sounds good."

Offline OHWcetaTopic starter

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 06:58:37 AM »
I think in all reality God is more neutral, and Evil was allowed to exist as a way to reference good.

For example: Bad things must happen to make the good things seem good, if al lwas good and no bad happened we'd take the good for granted and see it as mundane instead of the good it really is.

Offline Lady Kalypso

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 03:26:38 PM »
I came across this just today, after having had an interesting conversation with my pastor... about this very topic. >.>

He told me something that truly struck me, causing such conviction in my heart that I was surprised (if not prepared) for when this came up on my screen.

I think that God did create evil, and I know that as a Southern Baptist, this is something I should never say! Haha. I believe that He created evil to exist with good. Evil was not just simply created, but was formed in the absence of good. In order for us to worship Christ and realize that yes, He is truly there (atheists please don't hit me! :(), He needed to create something so terrible that we would need to seek His guidance so that we would not worship Him out of obligation, but by choice. If we have the option of evil, we can go to Him and seek guidance. If everything is going hunky dory, then what would be the need to worship a higher power?

I may have run off the deep end with that, but I was happy to see someone question it, and had to put in my two cents. :) I'll see myself out, now. Toodles!

Offline MasterMischief

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 05:19:36 PM »
Not so fast, Kalypso.  I think you bring up some valid points.

However (I am an atheist, so you know a 'however' was coming)...our concept of needing bad so we can recognize good is only because the universe as we understand it works that way.  God created it that way.  Being omnipotent, he could have just as easily created the universe where good can be recognized without its reverse.  God is not limited, at least that is what I was always told, but how our universe works.

Secondly, why does god need us to worship him?  To me, this reminds me of Kirk's question in Star Trek V.

”What does god need with a starship?”

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 05:33:48 PM »
Secondly, why does god need us to worship him?  To me, this reminds me of Kirk's question in Star Trek V.

”What does god need with a starship?”

'But would it have done any harm to gather - a few laurel leaves?'

Offline MasterMischief

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 05:37:44 PM »
'But would it have done any harm to gather - a few laurel leaves?'

Did worshiping the Roman pantheon do any harm?

Offline Sure

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2011, 06:22:35 PM »
Did worshiping the Roman pantheon do any harm?

As much as any other ideology, the Roman Pantheon has its victims.

Anyway, the most pertinent counter to what you said, Llama, is the 'No Best World' argument. Basically, it argues, that though God could make any world none of them are objectively 'best'. He chose a world with evil for some unknown reason. The other argument that really jumps out at me is that a lot of what is Evil comes from people, and God gave everyone total free will. To limit our capacity for evil would be to limit our free will, so that could be why he did it.

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2011, 06:24:26 PM »
Evil is the absence of God, not that God created evil.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2011, 06:48:14 PM »
Did worshiping the Roman pantheon do any harm?

* Oniya thinks MM missed the reference.   :'(

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708488/quotes?qt0194373
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 06:52:21 PM by Oniya »

Offline Lady Kalypso

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2011, 07:01:25 PM »
Evil is the absence of God, not that God created evil.

Amen, Inkidu! :) Although, I think Einstein would tip his hat to you as well.

I might just mention that to Preacher tomorrow at choir practice.

Secondly, why does god need us to worship him?

God needs us to worship Him for a very simple reason: we become what we worship. Have you ever seen the Justin Bieber freaks out there, wearing everything they can possibly wear because the idolize and adore him? Or even the Harry Potter freaks (sorry to those who are here!) who read everything about him, even dress up like him? They want to be just like Harry Potter and his friends. The more we worship God, the more you will become God just as He intended. We can never be perfect in his eyes, for we create sin every day, but the more we strive to be the best Christians we can be for Him, the more we will become Him and live a more satisfied life.

At least, that's my take on it. Others, of course, will have different opinions. :)

Offline Shjade

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2011, 08:03:34 PM »
Evil is the absence of God, not that God created evil.
Conflicts with omnipresence.

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2011, 08:49:35 PM »
Conflicts with omnipresence.
God is all powerful, and the point to being all powerful is having control not to use one of his powers.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2011, 12:26:59 AM »
Evil is the absence of God, not that God created evil.

 How does that explain the Devil then? He's undoubbtably one evil bastard. Once one of God's angels.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2011, 09:20:10 AM »
Amen, Inkidu! :) Although, I think Einstein would tip his hat to you as well.

I might just mention that to Preacher tomorrow at choir practice.

God needs us to worship Him for a very simple reason: we become what we worship. Have you ever seen the Justin Bieber freaks out there, wearing everything they can possibly wear because the idolize and adore him? Or even the Harry Potter freaks (sorry to those who are here!) who read everything about him, even dress up like him? They want to be just like Harry Potter and his friends. The more we worship God, the more you will become God just as He intended. We can never be perfect in his eyes, for we create sin every day, but the more we strive to be the best Christians we can be for Him, the more we will become Him and live a more satisfied life.

At least, that's my take on it. Others, of course, will have different opinions. :)

Okay, I think you are generalizing a great deal here.  Harry Potter fans have a plethora of reasons for dressing up as the characters and enjoying the fiction.  The same goes for Justin Bieber fans and any fandom for that matter.  It isn't just about "becoming what you worship" and wanting to be that which they emulate or just simply enjoy interacting with.  You can believe what you want but I think oversimplify people's reasoning for loving their hobbies and what have you as nothing but hero worship is a little too much.

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Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2011, 08:48:47 PM »
How does that explain the Devil then? He's undoubbtably one evil bastard. Once one of God's angels.
God is perfect because He is incapable of evil. The angels are not perfect and Lucifer's pride caused him to fall to Hell. So wherever man does sin, and by that be absent from the grace of God the Devil can worm his way in. Yes, God could simply destroy Satan, but that would defeat the purpose of His all-forgiving nature. Because if Satan begged God's forgiveness He would let him back into Heaven as if he'd never left.

Satan never will though.

Offline Sandman02

Re: The Creation Paradox. Of Good and Evil
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2011, 09:01:09 PM »
  This argument reminds me of a conversation I had with a priest regarding Hell. He was a Dominican friar. He said that Hell is not an actual "place" established in the spiritual world, but rather, Hell is a state of being. Hell is the end result of turning away from God and refusing to acknowledge Him and his love. In other words, Hell is your own making - again, a state of being, rather than some giant fire pit beneath the ground...

  I am not religious, but I found the argument/conversation quite compelling.