God is silly

Why would god make life? I find no reason why a perfect being would find a reason to do anything. If he’s perfect he doesn’t need anything, he doesn’t want anything. He’s complete.

I could assume that god’s not perfect though. Then how is it fair that god decided to create a potential temporary hell as a test for whether or not a person is worthy to live in heaven. That’s also assuming he’s not omniscience.

Another question that deals with religion. In most cases humans are considered to be the highest living creature. Yet if they’re made to be the best of all the other animals then why are so many so miserable. This kinda goes parralel with the whole ‘is ignorance bliss’ arguement. I find myself constantly wishing I could live the life of a dog. This could be my ignorance of what a dogs thinking but it just seems that humans get the short end of the stick when it came time for creation.

I guess some people are just born with a happy gene, or they have supportive parents but that wasn’t me. I was neither of the two. For a person like me it took many years to discover what happiness was and how to attain it and right now I think I am a reasonably happy person although I am working on goals to increase my happiness, I guess much like everyone else. Therefore I would say god gave people like me happiness if I passed a few tests, jumped a few hurdles, and overcame a few challenges. Plus I think it is a deeper and stronger happiness than the people have that are born naturally happy or who became happy through “proper” nuturing when they were children. I guess in some respects god can be cruel but in the end if you have courage, you can be one of the lucky ones to be happy. In conclusion, happiness is a challenge.

Why do you think God is a ‘Perfect Being?’ When we start to question why God is a certain way, do we really know that he is this way to begin with? How has God revealed himself as a perfect being to you??? Or do you believe he’s perfect because of what other world religions have said?

There are only two ways of knowing God:

  1. Through the things he does and what he has created.
  2. Through forms of revelation.

I know god only through the first. While the second, because god has never revealed himself in the form of a revelation to me I can only choose to believe other peoples ‘so called’ revelations.

Personally I don’t believe that God is perfect, as there’s no evidence to back up that assertion. We create God in the form we want him to take, and then when he fails us, we get pissed off with him. God is unknowable! The fact that we still can’t prove if there is or isn’t a God tells us a lot about him. It’s like playing a guessing game. “I spy with my little eye something beginning with, ‘G’”. As for revelation, we choose to believe them at face value or we can question them. But if you start to question any religion the holes in the theory become apparent. Don’t take this to mean I believe there’s no God. I’m not saying this. I’m only saying that we can’t truly know God, assuming he exists.

Here’s one of my replies to suffering posted under another topic:

I met a woman once that told me suffering was good. I actually fell in love with this woman. If think the real danger with suffering is falling in love. It is one of the scariest things and one where if you are truly in love, you will defintely spend at least some of the time suffering.

Oh, the last message is mine, I forgot to log in, sorry.

I meant to make the point that I was assuming that he was perfect.

We know he created life. If he created life he can’t be perfect. If he isn’t perfect and suffers from the same emotions as we do then I figure it would be just to place my faith in something more stable. If god spastically (assuming its spastic. although even if it’s not and has motive behind it it doesn’t justify it any better.) decides to create and destroy then why would I praise him? He’s not worthy in my opinion to be valued any more than anyone else.

If we create him then how does he create us?

He failed when he created pain. Why not just put us all in heaven? If he’s birthing the seed that stems to all of us then why put them in a place where they have a chance of suffering? He makes adam and eve yet sets a trap for them. Why?

No but we can truly know what we experience which is a product of god. It’s his fault we suffer if he is the creater not mine. I didn’t ask to be created. I didn’t ask to be given the chance of failure for a small chance of success. I never wanted the life god gave to me. I think that is unjust. If god exists he’s an ass.

A very respectable way of looking at pain but that doesn’t really answer the question. Lots of people aren’t going to be fortunate enough to deal with their pain. If it wasn’t for the creator whoever he may be we’d have no pain. We might be dead but it would feel good just like the rest of life.

'ello all,

I think many of the misunderstandings here come from the lack of understanding of the nature the Christian message (I realise we’re talking about “God in general”, but I’ll concentrate on the Christian God). I’ll attempt to speak as an unofficial representative of the faith.

First of all, I recommend reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church and speaking to a Catholic priest (Catholic, because its beliefs are universal within the one Church - an the most sensible, in my opinion -, as opposed that of one of the 20000 protestant denominations). I believe that many of your questions can be answered there.

This is based on a somewhat limited definition of “a perfect being”. Yes, it is true that God is perfectly complete by himself. However, God, being love, made a choice (having freewill) to create us and the universe, out of the desire to share this love. I don’t know about you, but I feel that a being capable of such act is more perfect than one who sits there and does nothing.

Again, this is a misunderstanding of the message. At least in the Catholic teaching, hell is a state rather than place. The decision on our part to separate ourselves from God leads to a state of eternal death (since God is the source of life), which is hell.

Because we live in what the Church would call a “fallen” world, where this separation from God has caused imperfection to dominate.

This comes down to faith in the revelation (for which, I think, there are enough evidence available, should you choose to believe it). Personally I don’t see any evidence to support the claim for the imperfection of God.

It is true that we humans have a tendency toward depicting a God in our own image and according to our wants, and I do believe that this is indeed exactly what happened with countless religions. However, this does not rule out the possibility that God has indeed revealed himself to us. My personal belief is that Christianity is indeed a product of divine revealations.

The fact that we “still can’t prove his existence” tells us, in Christian context, that he wants us to choose and place our trust in him through our own freewill.

Again, this is just a demonstration of the concept of freewill. The story of Adam and Eve in the garden tells us that we had the choice between trusting and being obedient to God, and distrusting and disobeying him. The result of this “original suspicion” (the lack of trust) led to the disobedience and our separation from God (the fall). Of course, the separation from God introduced death and suffering to the world.

According to the Christian belief, it would be more correct to say that what most of us experience is a product of our (personal, as well as collective) own actions, of turning away from God. It is not strictly about success or failure, as much as choosing between good and the not-so-good. I understand the attitude you have, because I used to hold a similar one (although not to that extreme). We’re only accountable for what we know, though, and so if your idea of the Christian message is uncertain, it’s unlikely that you’d be judged on that basis. The “chance of failure” comes from making conscious decisions which are against our moral code which end up separating ourselves from God. Calling God “an ass”, for example, without an understanding of the revelation is pure ignorance. If there is a Christian God, and if he does really “love” us (enough to die in our place, in fact), I would say that we have an obligation to find out more about how this could be. Thankfully, it is never too late to turn back to him, because the price for our “sins” have been paid by a person called Jesus Christ.

I would suggest that, if you really do want to “experience” this Christian “love” (which is a reflection of God and his nature), you seek out and befriend some Catholic Charismatics. The Charismatic Renewal is a “born-again” revival within the Catholic Church. The Charismatics I know are the most loving, understanding and (surprisingly) sensible people I have ever met anywhere, and really made me understand this Christian concept of “love” (because they live it), as well as the Christian theology in general. Before this experiential understanding of the Christian faith, I had concluded that Christianity is the perfect philosophy to live by (for promotion of true happiness in me and in the world), but had understanding beyond reasoning. Now, it has enriched my life in thoroughly unexpected ways. It has brought back that child-like enthusiasm into my life (which I thought I would never experience again), and I’m filled with true joy and peace (not illusionary temporary happiness). I also have a lot more self control, and not enslaved to destructive impulses (and biases). So, I would recommend Charismatic Catholicism to anyone (as a philosophically and phychologically sound “religion”), especially in this day and age.


But even if he has free will, he couldn’t make a wrong choice and still be perfect. Why was creating life right?

The other night one of my friends told me there were marshmellows at the end of the universe. I don’t see any evidence against it so it must be right.

Who caused the events leading to the lack of trust? If god is all-knowing and created everything then surely he’d have known that his creation was flawed and so would have created us differently?

This shows a rather limited understanding of the Christian theology. All creation was created in harmony with each other, and everything was perfect, being in perfect union with God, who is the giver of life. The only possible source of imperfection was the gift of freewill man possessed. Through freewill, man had the choice either to trust and obey God (who is also Truth itself), or to distrust and disobey him. You must understand that God does not make us “love” him. He wants each and every one of us to choose, out of our free will.

If you say so. Note that I was trying to point out the silliness in trying to argue for the lack of proof for the perfection of God. In my view, Christian God is indeed perfect - but not “digital”. A theological understanding of the nature of God would help to understand this more.

Who caused the events leading to the lack of trust? If god is all-knowing and created everything then surely he’d have known that his creation was flawed and so would have created us differently?
You assume that the fall was a result of a “flaw”. The Christian view is that freewill is actually a gift from God. Our ability to choose between good and evil is necessary for our full freedom. What being can be free, and yet not choose good or evil? Such a creature is a puppet, not a free being.

It would be a good idea to study the Catholic (IMHO) theology. You’ll see that it has a sound and plausible

This shows a rather limited understanding of the Christian theology. All creation was created in harmony with each other, and everything was perfect, being in perfect union with God, who is the giver of life. The only possible source of imperfection was the gift of freewill man possessed. Through freewill, man had the choice either to trust and obey God (who is also Truth itself), or to distrust and disobey him. You must understand that God does not make us “love” him. He wants each and every one of us to choose, out of our free will.

If you say so. Note that I was trying to point out the silliness in trying to argue for the lack of proof for the perfection of God. In my view, Christian God is indeed perfect - but not “digital”. A theological understanding of the nature of God would help to understand this more.

Who caused the events leading to the lack of trust? If god is all-knowing and created everything then surely he’d have known that his creation was flawed and so would have created us differently?

You assume that the fall was a result of a “flaw”. The Christian view is that freewill is actually a gift from God. Our ability to choose between good and evil is necessary for our full freedom. What being can be free, and yet not choose good or evil? Such a creature is a puppet, not a free being.

It would be a good idea to study the Catholic (IMHO) theology. You’ll see that it has a sound and plausiable philosophy - the choice is up to you.



No, that doesn’t hold water no matter how many times you repeat it. An action is deemed necessary when a value judgement is made between the effect of action and the effect of nonaction. Obviously, before there was man, there was (according to you) no imperfection, and so what motive was there for action if nothing could be improved by it? Either god wasn’t perfect originally or he performed an act causing unnecessary suffering, making him imperfect.

Also, your point about free will still doesn’t convince me. If god knows everything then with or without the appearance of free will he was aware what would become of his creations from the start. We may be able to do what we want, but by your argument, what we want is determined by god. Unless of course he is not all-knowing.

Ironic. We were allegedly created by a god who knew even as he created us that we would choose free will, and knew what we would do after as well. Hence we’re still puppets, if god is indeed omniscient and omnipotent we are exactly as he intends us.

If there’s anything we’ve learned in the past 150 years, it’s that the biological world is anything but harmonious. If what evolution has given us amounts to perfect union with a deity, it’s definitely not a God of love.

Freewill is the source of imperfection. God is the source of freewill. God is the source of imperfection. It’s that simple.

Now I’m no longer religious myself, but I’m not trying to convince you to relinquish your faith altogether. However, the notion of an omnipontent and omnibenevolent God just ain’t gonna fly. You talk of catholicism as a universal church. Well it’s universal in name only. Plenty of catholics no longer believe in a God who is both loving and all-powerful; in fact, I’ve heard that Jesuits are some of the most skeptical people you’ll ever meet. But there are plenty of faith options beyond the exclusive dogmatism you’re giving us here. Reason and faith don’t have to conflict when they operate in different domains of our experience.

Is there a man among you who would offer his 5-year-old son a loaded shotgun for Christmas? Now if you, bad as you are, know how to give your children what is good for them, how much more will your heavenly father give GOOD THINGS (i.e. not things that could send you and all your descendents to HELL) to those who ask him? Just trying to hold God to his own standards here.

Well maybe, but isn’t knowledge a prerequisite for freedom? Note: Eve didn’t eat from the tree of “Evil”; she ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…knowledge God apparently didn’t want her to have. It appears the original sin was actually curiosity; Eve didn’t know that she was choosing between good and evil because she didn’t know what good and evil were. And God wanted to keep it that way. The universal church took it’s cue from God on this one, didn’t they: “no, you can’t look through the telescope; you just have to take our word for it!”

Lemme use the five-year-old analogy again to make a point about just how loving the traditional Christian god is.

Suppose your five year old child is approached by a stranger who offers her candy if she would just get in his car. Now you’ve told your child not to talk to strangers, so it’s her choice whether or not to get into the car. Right? So even though you are watching this scene unfold from your house window, you figure it would be more loving to let her drive off with this person than to run out and stop her. Your logic is as follows:

  1. You love your child. You would DIE for your child.
  2. Freedom of choice is a loving thing to give someone.
  3. Your child has chosen to get into the stranger’s car.
  4. It would be loving to let her go with her own choice.

You would of course be indicted on the severest charges of neglect.

And that’s what your version of God amounts to: a wasteful, neglectful deity who–let’s face it–is anything but Christ-like. And it’s not so much that I don’t think Christ was God. It’s more that I can’t see a good guy like Jesus associating with the tribal prig-in-the-sky described in parts of the Old Testament.

Oh, and that last one was me.

Revelation is about putting our trust in other people; that they didn’t lie to us. Take Jesus, if we believe in his miracles, we are doing so on the word of other people, as we weren’t there first hand to witness these events. Hence why the Apostles where there to bare witness to those events. But who’s to say that those miracles weren’t just made up to try and lend weight to Jesus’s teachings? As the first of the gospels weren’t written till about 110AD, up till that point they where only a spoken tradition.

I agree it comes down to faith. I believe what Jesus thought in a perfect world would be the best way to live. But because we don’t live in a perfect world, turning the other cheek just gets it slapped. Ultimately Christianity is a religion of obedient subservience, the denial of ‘I’. I was created in God’s own image and I believe most agree that this means freewill. Yet the first thing we’re thought is to only use it, if it agrees with Gods will, “Let gods will be yours”, is a common way its put. It seem we are only free so we can be blamed if we choose something that goes against God’s will. If God gave us freewill so we can choose to freely love him, it’s quite unfair that he then turns around and demands this. Though he says he gives us unconditional love. It really is a case of “Love thy Enemy,” when humanity is asked to love God. You’ve said yourself that hell is a state, I must assume this state is one where we lack a connection to God. If we are forced to suffer because we freely choose to reject God, then it could be argued that this suffering is a form of coercion on are will, forced through pain to love God. Love me because I’ve created you so you’ll suffer without me. It could be said that God suffers just as much as we do, as he bears are sins. But again this comes down to faith, while suffering comes from experience.

God created humanity, humanity is imperfect; God creates imperfection through humanity. Why would God bring imperfection into his perfect world? This could be countered by, ‘Satan caused humanity’s imperfection,’ but the main question would just be restated as, Satan is imperfect or who caused his fall?

The parts in bold are obviously where logical reasoning ends and faith begins. So it just happens that Christianity gets lucky and has God on its side. If I reject one religion, I’m ultimately forced to reject all world religions. There revelations are just as strong in their opinion, as yours are to you.

I believe Adam and Eve were setup from the start to fail. Why? They didn’t know anything about Good or Evil, as the fruit they ate was that of knowledge of Good and Evil. They were innocent of all such concepts needed for the understanding of morality and making a moral decision. It said Satan tricked them, well if they knew nothing of evil how would Eve know that she was being tricked? It takes knowledge of evil to be able to recognise it, and up till that point no one had ever lied to her or Adam. She believed Satan because she trusted him and knew no better, as she was innocent in all things. So for God to then turn around and say, “how dare you disobey me”, is just more then a little unfair. As it was a double edged sword, either way she was going to be introduce to evil: If she didn’t do what Satan said, then she would know that something wasn’t right with what he had told her, so therefore she’d have been introduced to lying, one of the many forms evil. You’ve said yourself “We’re only accountable for what we know”. Adam and Eve know nothing of Good and Evil till tricked, should they be held accountable for their ignorance? (This is similar to the point Logo raised)

If it was Satan that gave us the knowledge of Good and Evil in the apple and if we needed good and evil for freewill, then how did God make us in his likeness? By your own words you say God created us as puppets because by your definition we lacked the requirements of freewill, I must assume that it was Satan that gave us our “freedom” from God. That’s an interesting way of looking at it! Satan set us free; didn’t Jesus also claim he would set us free???

Well said!

Very well said.

If you want to look at this logically, it’s seems a little illogical to assume perfection when in fact you find it so hard to believe that is the case. It would make more sense to assume a very powerful albeit imperfect being. I believe there is the possibility of a creator but not a perfect one. It can be argued that we are unable to understand what perfection is and also the ways of perfection. But still this is not a reason to believe God is perfect. All our assumptions about God come from our own ignorance on the subject, so in reality come from our intuition.

I meant this to mean, we create what we want God to be. Lets say a creator created us. How do we know what attributes to assign him? Once we assign him these values, can we check to see if we are correct? If we strip everything away from what most people would define God as, the only thing we’re left with is life. Personally, the only solid evidence of a creator or God comes from this fact, that we exist, so therefore something brought us into existence. If what brought us into existence also created everything else in the world around us, would it be then fair to judge the creator based off his creations? The first weakness is that I’m assuming that at one point the universe didn’t exist. The big bang theory currently supports the idea of creation. But this doesn’t rule out the small possibility of a scientific discovery in the future that could make the big bang theory obsolete; so therefore disprove our current proof of creation.

This is true. It’s our parents that chose to bring us into the world, and it’s by the chance of birth where we end up. We could be born into a Kingship, a Million dollar family, a middle class family, an abusive family, or worst of all live in poverty in certain parts of India or China, to name just a few. I agree that life is unfair, but I can guarantee you someone has it worse then you. Which in my opinion is little comfort, as it only makes me sadder, why should I be more fortunate then anyone else. Birth is the deadliest of lotteries, and it’s a game we’ve all played. Maybe your right and it is unjust, but you must face the facts that this is the way it is. For me the only comforter in life is knowledge. It’s what gives me hope, if you could call it hope living in a world full of despair.

You sound like your trying to cling to a belief that the world is doing a good job of refuting. Your now in the unenviable position of having to choose what you believe is more truthful. There are no answers to the question of ‘What is the ultimate truth?’ All we can do is either follow Faith or Reason, but the two will never meet. We’ll always be forced to select the one that seems right to us. This is a personal decision that can only be made by you, as it will affect your outlook and thereby influencing the rest of your life. But either way there is good to be found, it just requires godlike patience and perseverance. Perseverance and patience are linked, and both are essential to living a happy life. The more patience we have the longer we can persevere the turmoil and suffering we encounter. When we run out of patience and stop persevering we start getting angry at our problems, which don’t get resolved as quickly as we would like. This will only lead to disillusionment and frustration.

When we were children we learned how to do the basic things in life like walking, talking, eating, etc. These for us were difficult tasks taking many years to learn. At times when we where trying to walk we fell, and talked, we mumbled. But with perseverance we learned how to walk, run, jump, and skip. It was only with perseverance that we succeeded, children instinctively know how to persevere it’s a natural part of their being. This natural patience is lost as we grow older and start listening to our learnt wants and needs, which take over. A life lived to the whims of our passions will lead to an unhappy disjointed life. Passions have their place, but it’s not as our ruler. Emotions can send us messages demanding that we listen to them now. But we must learn to live in harmony with them and not let them rule us, nor allow our intellect to rule them. By finding the centre both merge to become one. Unfortunately we need to learn a little about apathetic love, or as a philosopher might put it: ought, implies can. I ought to love and help everyone, but can I really live this way. If I ask others to do this, will they be able to succeed, can they actually live up to this high standard, which it seems that even God himself fails to.

Suffering is a painful thing, but its there for our growth. While the world is full of injustice, Man killing Man, dog eating dog. If you wish to conquer the world you must learn to bear the suffering, this can only be done by a patient and persevering approach. Like the child learning to walk, we are still learning a new lesson. But this lesson is an obscure one, so is difficult to describe with words. Yet for some the analogies contained within religion somehow speak to this deeply rooted need that goes unarticulated, as the world lacks the words to express it in a clear and obvious way. But to others religion has little to offer them in the way of comfort for reason is there guide. Some people find their strength through religion while others don’t. For me it was Philosophic Knowledge, but what it shall be for you, well that’s for you to decide.

Pax Vitae wrote:

And then on what basis do we select between the two? Maybe it seems to be a circular argument, and approaching things from faith does not in itself require a belief in any particular religion, but it may still be an interesting question. I myself have always maintained that I have a faith in my ability to reason!

It’s like I’ve already said:

All you can do is go with what feels right.

Hey all. Thanks for your replies.


You misunderstand me. I was referring to the initial state of Creation. What we see now is a fallen world, a world separated, to a degree, from God.

This is an oversimplification, stemming from the misunderstanding of the above. God is perfection. We are a separate entity from God. God gave us freewill. Our decision to separate ourselves from perfection lead to the fall of man. Imperfection comes into the world. God is still perfect.

As somebody once said, you seem to think that “God is either not omnipotent, or he is not good”. I can see that is it easy to think this way, but, in the light of eternity, there is no philosophical problem - again, it comes down to faith (in the revelation). God became human, lived a life of poverty and died a death of a criminal. Do you think power, pride, and luxury (and all the worldly things that inflates man) is what makes God great? No, he’s perfect all the more for conquering evil through his humility and dignity. The problem of evil will always be the biggest argument against the Christian God, simply because of its emotional impact (which, of course, creates an “irrational” bias against his existence/nature as revealed in the Christian tradition).

Catholics are not perfect. The Church consists of human beings. As it is, you can not possibly expect everyone to be in total agreement. However, the Catholic doctrines are there for everyone, and prevents heretical beliefs such as Mormonism and White supremacist movements (as well as some Protestant beliefs which ignore the Apostolic Tradition altogether, even though the Bible itself was oral tradition to start with). It does not mean that the Catholics are the most “Christian” and “Godly”. In fact, it’s pretty obvious that we are not. When we do wrong, however, we’re falling short of our own doctrines.

Freewill and shotgun are not the same. Freewill gives meaning to “love”, and all the good things that exist. I saw a StarTrek episode today (yes, I’m a Trekkie :wink: ), where a Q (an omnipotent being) made Commander Riker fall in love with her. Her reaction, after having done this, was that “you were right (referring to Riker’s earlier comments), none of this is real”. Without freewill, we’d just be puppets or robots. None of it would be “real”. God wants us to freely love him. It is unfortunate that some people may end up being eternally separated from God (ie. in “Hell”), but we would have to trust in God’s justice (we do know they they’re only accountable for what they know), and also implore his mercy on their behalf (this is why, I understand, Christians are called to offer our sufferings and prayers for ourselves and others).

The initial state of Adam and Eve represent innocence. They knew no evil, of course. The “original suspicion”, pictured as Satan, that God was not a God of love and truth, created a rift between man and God (this is why “faith” is such a big thing with belief in Jesus. He is the bridge erected by God to cross that rift, and faith enables us to come closer to the Father through him), resulting in the fall. You could also interpret the tree as being a gift which made it possible for us to choose or deny God, even after the fall.

I think it’s important to understand the circumstances of the time. The Church does have a stained history, but most of it, it seems to me, is over exaggeration or warping/misunderstanding (deliberately or otherwise) of history and the truth. It is easy to see how the anti-Catholic stance has become the norm nowadays, if you look at Jack Chick (chick.com) for instance (closely examined, any reasonable person could see the bias and blatant lies and misinformation spread by Chick. Heck, I even thought he was being sarcastic/funny, until I realized he was serious!). It’s a complex and messy business when politics is involved in a religious institution (made particularly obvious during the middle ages). The Church has never claimed that the book of Genesis should be interpreted literally (heck, even the theory of Evolution was an acceptable possibility, at least since St. Augustine’s time). It was just reacting to a possible threat to order, and admittedly not handling it particularly well (probably as an over-reaction to the previous heretical incidents). In the end, it isn’t a solid basis for judgement, and an unfair look at a institution which has done so much good and is so under-acknowledged (I mean, how many people know that the Vatican was organization which save the most amount of Jews during the Nazi persecution? Instead, some people (Again, Chick comes to mind) blatantly accuse the Church of inaction and even cooperation with the persecutor.

Funnily enough, God did die the most gruesome death for us. It is my sincerest hope that you’ll seriously look into this. The circumstances you present here are basically inapplicable to the Christian concept of freewill, because it neglects the idea of life after death. On top of this, we’re dealing with good and evil, not candy. An average person capable of judging good and evil would, I’m sure you agree, would choose good. If not, the person have become evil out of his own choice. If it’s circumstantial, obviously he’s not accountable for that. I think it’s very fair. More than fair though, is that God is willing to forgive all of us, no matter how evil we are, because the price of our sins have been paid for by the death of Jesus. You see, Jesus is like a vacuum cleaner. If we allow him to, he sucks us all the yucky stuff and dumps the dustbag in the basement.

The revelation, as you probably know, is a progressive one. God chose to deliver the Old Testament through human beings. Thus, it is 100% human, while being 100% divine. The “tribal God”, which was the understanding of God the Israelites had, has to be interpreted in the light of the Gospel (the New Testament). Indeed, you’ll see that the old testament is, in a way, a collection of “macrocodes” within which is hidden the New Testament (see the book, “Cosmic Codes” by Chuck Missler). Like they say, “The Old Testament is the New concealed, and The New Testament is the Old revealed”. Seek, and you shall find :wink:.


Who’s to say it? I believe the Jesus Conference (or something like that) came up with the conclusion that you seem to suggest, which is that the Gospels were written after the death of the Apostles, and therefore historically unreliable. Of course, more recent discoveries have overturned this, but the point is still valid. Yes, it’s theoretically possible that these stories were mostly made up, but it seems highly unlikely and improbable to me, since Matthew’s contemporaries could easily have refuted the claims of miracles (instead, it seems to be reinforced by historians of the time), and the Apostles happily died for their belief (which would make no sense unless they really believe the Gospel). Besides, miracles happen every day. Just go to a healing mass within the Catholic Charismatic movement. But miracles don’t create faith, they only reinforce it. Of course, you could say that they’re acting out all this to try and deceive you, but I see it as highly unlikely, judging from their selfless, loving and sensible lifestyle.

That’s the point. We all have to set our standard on perfection, and not relative to ourselves (eg. I’m not as bad as that guy, so It’s OK). As soon as moral relativity becomes acceptable (as opposed to being “tolerated”), the societies go downhill.

It’s true that we must deny ourselves often. What sort of a parent would let his/her child run wild and do whatever, without setting moral standards? Is it good for the child? Certainly not. In a way, this is what God’s done. Through the Old testament, we see that God puts down rules and regulations, as you would to a child. In the New Testament, you see that he starts to talk to us as a young adult. As a good parent, of course God chastises us. Also as a good parent, he loves us nonetheless. God loves each one of us (yes, you too) as if you were his only child - enough to die on our behalf. Personally, I don’t see what the problem is in accepting the will of God, because the will of God is that of a good parent - no, more than that, a perfect parent. He wants us to be happy, and he wants us to have good relationship with each other, and with him (who is the Truth and love). If you’re rejecting God, knowing his perfection, it seems to me that there’s an ego problem that needs to be worked on. Once we realize our imperfection, weakness and our “sinfulness”, it becomes a lot easier to come to him for forgiveness and comfort.

You seem to have an image of God as the official “policeman” of the human race. It’s not like that at all. He’s a loving parent, not your enemy. Suffering is a natural consequence of sin (not necessarily personal sin - look at Jesus hanging on the cross). Tell me, if somebody displays hatred toward you, do you not suffer? Does not that suffering continue to have effects in this world? In the same way, sin creates suffering, but in a much wider scale than what we can physically perceive. I’ve noticed that many of the phenomenas are an extension of what is apparent in the natural world. For example, Jesus claims that he can set us free from sin. It makes perfect psychological sense that if you become a true Christian, this would be the case. However, it goes beyond some placebo effect (which undoubtedly also takes place). This is especially apparent with miracles (which are manifested beyond the confines of the mind).

Your argument seems to assume that God himself becomes imperfect the moment imperfection is introduced to the world. First of all, God can create a separate entity who is independent of him. The creature can then be given a choice to be with God, or reject him. The absence of perfection is imperfection. Therefore, the creature can be imperfect, while the creator remains perfect. Secondly, God has a plan of Salvation, which we’re going through right this moment. I see it almost as a piece of music. In tonal music, the tension created by the discordant harmonies (which, you could say, are the “imperfections”) reinforce the release created by the concordant ones. In a similar way, good is all the more meaningful because of the existence of evil. Without freewill, perhaps we would never be aware of this nature - love would then be imperfect.

Yes, I do believe that the Christian God is the Truth, the Way and the Life. Of course, it is up to each and every one of us to seek out the Truth. There are parts of the Truth in every religion. In fact, I think the meaning of life is to constantly seek out and try to live the Truth. Reasoning, from the Existentialist point of view, is only ever capable of rendering partial knowledge. Therefore, if you claim to live according to reason alone, it is essentially impossible to believe in anything. Personally, I feel that such a nihilistic world view is destructive to our nature, to the degree that it would also impair judgement (often resulting in living according to our impulses, which in Christian terms is being “enslaved to sin”). I don’t claim to be right - I realise that I’m only too human - but through my experiences and the information I have been exposed to, I do think that Jesus is indeed my Lord and Saviour. I continue to investigate other religions, of course - it’s necessary, both to confirm my choice and to spread the Gospel. As I’ve said before, miracles are (and should not be) the basis of judgement when it comes to spirituality; if the Christian God exists, then Satan is also capable of supernatural actions. If the Christian God does not exist, there may be other forces capable of producing such phenomenon. In the end, it’s up to you to take action. If there is a personal God out there who loves you, wouldn’t you like to know more? Other than meeting Catholic Charismatics (as I’ve suggested earlier) to discuss this further, I would recommend going to a Christian bookshop. It becomes obvious that the world, contrary to popular opinion, has not refuted the Christian arguments at all - there are philosophical, historical/archeological, scientific, and social evidences to back up the Christian claim. Feel free to compare them to the atheistic/agnostic/non-Christian arguments.

You make a very good point, as did Logo (actually, this is a good argument against Fundamentalism - I’ll keep it in mind!). As I mentioned before, it was the “original suspicion” (depicted as Satan), which is opposite to the trust or faith in God, that led to the fall of man - this lack of trust (which is not “evil” as such) lead to an act of disobedience. This story is also a reflection of everyday battle within ourselves.

I think the above makes it clear that the knowledge of good and evil is a necessity after the fall - to freely choose God or to reject him. In this way, it is a gift which enables us to come to him even in this fallen world. Yes, you could say that Satan plays a part in testing our freewill (because God allows it). However, Jesus claims to be able to set us free from our enslavement to sin, which gives us true freedom. This is important, as the world’s idea of freedom is the removal of all restrictions, including morality, when in fact we are enslaved to bad habits and evil attitudes which prevent us from being what we really want to be. Love really is the only Truth. Not accumulation of money, not the empty inflation of pride, not the uncontrolled and perverse sexual activities. Love leads to the union and harmony of humanity, and enables all of us to get on with what we really want to do.


But what I’m saying is that all the evidence we have points to the fact that the world always was the way we see it today–screwed up, driven by aggression and natural selection. There’s about as much evidence for Eden as there is for Mount Olympus.

But God gave us freewill knowing full-well what we would do with it. Since he knew the course that his creation would take and did nothing to stop it, he is responsible for the result.

My friend, philosophical problems are not solved through faith. They are solved through rational analysis, which you seem quite unwilling to apply to the problem of evil.

Actually, it’s the problem’s logical impact that has caused me to abandon the traditional concept of God (and I used to believe it with just as much zeal as you do). Simply dismissing the argument as emotional and biased will not further your case in this forum.

And apparently it caused all the bad things, too. You’re right: the analogy is not perfect because if I were to give my 5-year-old a shotgun, I wouldn’t know for sure what he would do with it. But God knew exactly how humans would use the freewill he gave them, and he let things go ahead and take their destructive course. That bears no resemblence to any conception of love I can think of, and certainly not to the Christian concept.

Exactly. They didn’t know that what they were doing was wrong because they didn’t know what “wrong” was. So how can you hold them responsible? And how can you say they made a free decision when they didn’t even know what they were choosing?

You’ll have to explain this further.

And the child in this analogy is also dealing with far more than candy–although she does not know it. You the parent, however, do know what’s happening and do nothing. Adam and Eve didn’t know what they were doing, but God did. And he just sat there being his loving self, while humanity plunged itself into eternal catastrophe. And even if Adam and Eve had a true choice, the billions of their descendents had no say in the matter; and yet we all share in the fall. Thankfully, however, we do not rely on Genesis for a reasonable definition of justice.

Yes, I would agree. Which is why the Adam and Eve story would be different if they had just known what they were choosing.

Except, of course, those of us who have rejected your religion because they see no difference between your act of faith and that of Muslims and Mormons. What would be fair would be for God to make some effort to convince us unbelieving infidels that he’s somehow different from Krishna and Allah and the rest–and to give us a more trustworthy source of revelation than a bunch of old perverts who get together every few centuries to vote on what the masses should believe.

Hi again,

As I’ve pointed out before, the book of Genesis need not be interpreted literally. Eden need not have even existed, except as a state of “paradise”. In spite of your accusation of my irrationality (which I don’t wholly deny, as I do acknowledge the involvement of intuition and faith), you seem to have the irrational mentality that “well, this is the situation I see now, so it must’ve always been like this”. If the existence of background microwave radiation is enough support for the big bang theory, I would say that the existence of love (which increases almost exponentially as faith in God increases - especially in a spirit filled community, such as the Catholic Charismatics) is enough evidence for the “fall”. Is it not strange though, that people from all over the world could love and care for each other so much (as I have seen within a Catholic Charismatic community), if our sole purpose on this Earth is to spread our DNA and defeat the weaklings? How is it that pride and greed (which, you would think, would be the driving force between this “purpose”) give us such empty and temporary satisfaction, compared to that of freely given and received love?

Perhaps you’ve read the parable of the prodigal son. You’ll see that he doesn’t want to force us into loving him, precisely because that would be against his nature: The prodigal son asks for his inheritance, and leaves his home and his father. When the prodigal son had wasted away his life and all of his money in a lavish lifestyle, and eventually end up in a pig shed as a natural consequence, the son comes to his senses and realizes the folly in his behavior. The son decides to return to his father, even as a servant. When he goes home, his father runs to him and welcomes him back with open arms, then accepts him back and restores his full status as his son… This applies to each one of us, and to the humanity as a whole (Genesis to Revelation). God wants what is best for us, but he doesn’t want to force it upon us. To love God is to love Good, Holiness, Love, Life, and the Truth, and to reject the illusionary temptations which separate us from them (think the opposites of each). It is not possible that God can create a completely separate entity who can choose for itself what course to take? Is it not possible that the responsibility can lies on that entity? Is it not reasonable that God takes a course of action to enable salvation for it and its descendants, while still respecting freewill? The thing is, it isn’t technically irrational, as much as super-rational. It isn’t something that could be refuted or proved, simply because we can’t know how the process works. Yes, you could say that God knew the result before the choice was made, but does this mean that there was no freewill involved? No.

My friend, no problem can ever be solved through reason. Can you prove your own existence? In the end, it does come down to faith, but of course it shouldn’t be blind. You seem to have enough faith that reason alone can solve all philosophical problems, but I’ll remain skeptical :wink:.

You seem to dismiss my argument, which was directed at people in general, with the point that you personally do not fit into this case, which I was in no way suggesting. Simply dismissing the argument as irrelevant, which in fact it is not, will not further your case in this forum. I was simply pointing out that the problem of evil makes the greatest impact, in my opinion, because of its emotional content. I suggest reading the sentences preceding this, which you conveniently left out.

Again, as I pointed out earlier, giving a child a shotgun and giving a fully formed (ie. an adult) human being a choice between good and evil, are not comparable. Yes, bad things did indeed come into the world as a result of our lack of trust in God. However, this does not mean that Based on the revelation by Our Lady of Medjugorje (which, by the way, has not been officially approved yet by the Church, since the apparitions have not yet finished - so more “discernment” should be used than, say, the apparitions at Fatima, Lourdes, and other places with the official Church approval), I believe that the majority of people would go to purgatory, while a small number would go directly to heaven, and many would, unfortunately, go to hell. This, I think, is most probable, taking into account the fact that we are only accountable for what we know (including, I would think, the circumstances/environment in which one is placed), and that we can pray for them on their behalf. The decisions we make on this Earth have eternal consequences (because God is outside time, and so is afterlife).

I’ll quote from calltochrist.com/messages/1983.html :

In terms of the theological validity of Mary’s apparition, you should note that the common arguments used by the Protestants (such as: ankerberg.com/Articles/_PDFA … 4W0300.pdf ) have been refuted. For example, the “brothers” of Jesus are more likely to be his cousins, and the use of “rather” in Hebrew equates to “yes, but further” in English (don’t take my word for it, feel free to look it up). Of course, you can easily dismiss it as a hoax, or made up lies, but I sincerely hope it’ll capture your interest, for the good of us all. There’s nothing wrong with being skeptical about it though.

As I said, the “original suspicion” caused the fall of man, not necessarily the deed itself. The point of the story is that God gave us a choice to trust or distrust him, and that through this distrust came disobedience, and our separation from God (through whom all good things come).

Sorry, I was a bit unclear on this one. What I meant to say is that the fall does not mean the end of man, and the freedom of choice still exists. In fact, the knowledge of good and evil is given to man in order that this may be possible even after the fall caused by the original suspicion. Once man became suspicious of God, he became disobedient to the Truth, thus introducing sin into the world. So, the decision to eat the fruit was obviously not the end of mankind, nor does it imply that Adam went to hell. So, it’s really not comparable to the circumstance you present. All in all, I think this comes from the misunderstanding of the “fall”; it’s the “original suspicion”, not the eating of the fruit as such, that caused the fall.

Like I said, the fall was not an eternal catastrophe. Just as one man caused the fall of mankind, Jesus saves us all (according to our freewill) from the consequences of the fall, which is eternal separation from God. This is why he is often referred to as “the second Adam”. It’s true that the descendents share in the consequences of the fall, perhaps the most notable being our stains of “original sin”. However, this does not affect freewill, and man is able constantly to choose good or evil (as a result of the gift). If man decides to be evil (my understanding is that it has to be out of freewill, and that the circumstantial side of things - the environment one grows up in, for example - are taken into account), then he chooses hell for himself. Of course, only God ever knows who goes to hell, and (as Christians) none of us can be judgmental about it. In fact, we need to pray for their souls.

Again, “original suspicion”.

Curious. Have you ever studied either of those religions? I can’t claim to be too learned about them (or about Christianity), of course, but I could point out a few things. Islam claims to be a post-Christian revelation, yet goes back to the Mosaic Law structure. An example is (in my opinion) an absurd commandment which states that, for a person to remarry a divorced partner, he/she must marry another partner, and divorce that one, before getting back together again. If you were a Christian (with zeal, as you say), I would suggest getting a Koran and start reading. If you can’t see the difference between Catholicism and Mormons, well… you haven’t heard enough about them. Ha ha. God doesn’t want to force it upon you, you know. If you truly seek the Truth (and continue to do so), the Bible says you shall find it. That, in my opinion, is an open invitation for scrutiny and skepticism, and I accept it. The Church is only there to serve you. I hope that you see beyond the scandals within the Church, and look at the 90% of the people who have genuinely dedicated their lives to the Truth, the Way and the Life.

Anyway, the reality is this. We have a freedom of choice. I would like to request something from each and every one of you. I would like to ask you to make a decision to always to choose good over evil, lover over hate, humility over pride, and to always treasure all the people around you. If for a genuine reason (not because of ignorance, pride, judgement attitude, laziness, etc.) you do not think Jesus is the way (and through Catholic, Charismatic Renewal in particular), I’ll pray that you’ll shoot upwards in the end because you did your best.

Cheers, and God bless all of you,

First off, this is probably the longest post I’ve written, purely because of my interest in this subject, and the quality of the debate. I hope you’ll have the patiences to read this post. Thanks.

Last time I checked the news evil was still doing a good job of what it does best! Only today I heard about a men in Turkey who killed a 2-year boy in his buggy. Yes, God’s got evil on the run! From my life experiences evil is still a live and kicking.

Yes crucifixion is not a nice way to go, but there are much more painful ways to live in life. Torture without death is worse; death is a blessing to some people not because they’re going to god, but the hope that they will no longer have to suffer that torment, so death is met with joy. With enough prolonged pain and suffering even the devil starts to look like God, if he’s offering you hope.

It’s this type of ‘pious faith’ that’s caused the Inquisition and many other atrocities. “People you’re incapable of knowing truly what is Good and Evil, as God, is the only just Judge. Therefore we shall do what we deem fit before the very eyes of God and know that we are vindicated in his sight.” Or as De Motford’s battle cry before the slaughtering thousands of Men, Women, and Children was, “Kill them all, God knows his own!”

I personally see a lot of evidence and proof for the existence of Jesus and I think people who try to deny his existence are being a little naive. But that said, we can call into question the nature of the historical Jesus, which is not necessarily the same as the New Testaments spiritual.

In Luke 6:15, ‘Simon called the Zealot’, I would presume that he was at one time part of the Zealot movement, to remove Roman occupation. Jesus as the messiah figure was expected to be a great military leader like King David was in his time. Because of this fact, Jesus’ coming, to some would have been looked on as a time to rebellion against the Romans. The majority of historians believe that Paul, who was the driving force of what we now call the New Testament [NT] (meaning in influence of direction taken by the future Catholic Church). After the death of Jesus, even Peter mostly plays second fiddle to Paul. Anyway, most of the NT is about how Paul set about the birth of the Church. Paul was a Jew, but he was also, a Roman! Paul would have been keen to obscure any teachings that where overtly anti-roman. And it was the ‘Roman’ Catholic Church “under the influence of the spirit” that selected what teachings would make it into the then none existent New Testament. If the original martyrs, of whom most would have been Jews where actually fighting for independence then they would have been more then willing to die for the cause. But this is only speculation. Another interesting about the NT is that so very little is said of the other 10 Apostles, even.

Haha, I am paranoid, but not that paranoid.

Christianity in this world is unpractical, Judaism is at least practical, if you leave out all the extreme laws, it was a way of making a community a better place to live, as it had the punishments needed to enforce the law. Judaism had this clear idea of what is punishable with a defined punishment. Christianity undermines the punishments by introducing the idea of forgiveness of punishable crimes. An example, you kill someone, it’s very obvious that you should go to jail. While Christianity it’s blurred, well you should be punished, but we are also told to forgive you.

Heck, I’m going to die on my own behalf. God created this world perfect and we were once apart of that perfection. Him dieing wasn’t the important part, it was the resurrection! The resurrection of the Body is one of the defining beliefs of Christianity, it’s even apart of the creed said during every mass. Why bring this up? Well when God originally created us, we were created on Earth with a body, not in Heaven! It wasn’t God’s initial intention plan that Man should be in Heaven. If not, why weren’t we made in heaven if God wants us to be there with him? Unless of course the “Fall” was necessary before we could get into heaven. The Garden of Eden is not apart of Heaven, if you read Genesis 2:1-9 its apart of the Earth. Man was made for the earth originally! Was it ever God’s intention to allow us into Heaven?

Here’s the conundrum, if God made Man for the earth then Heaven was never originally meant for us. Unless the “Fall” was foreseen and a requirement for our entry into Heaven. But that would imply God knew we would fail, even before he created us he must have known we’d fail him. But yet he still has created us that way. It would be like me baking a cake, and knowing that whoever ate the cake would die. Then leaving the cake in the kitchen, telling everybody not to eat the cake as it would kill them. But alas, my 4-year old nephew didn’t understand what that meant and ate it. He didn’t understand what trust is, as he had never seen any evil in his life, as he was still so young.

So unless God is a complete chump, there must be something inherent about freewill that makes it a greater good but also inadvertently introduces an aspect of evil. Because if you can have freewill without evil, why have evil at all? Ergo, perfect God gives freewill knowing it creates evil. So some evil is actually good. But this begs the question, if God is all-powerful then surely he could have just created freewill without the need for any evil or suffering. If God can’t create freewill without suffering then he’s not all-powerful, as he’s limited by the requirement of its definition.

God is all-knowing! To create an imperfect being with fore knowledge that the creature would reject you, yet still create and punish it seem illogical. God can’t do anything by chance, as he knows everything’s outcome before it happens. Because God created us he knew what we were going to do before we even existed. Yet, ‘it was good’ for him to make us this way. Our loving Father created in full knowledge some who would suffer through this rejection, yet still brought them into existence. No wonder it’s so very difficult to understand Christian Love.

How does God choose, Who to create?

It can’t be random, God can’t be random; because of his fore knowledge. So to create any world that is less then perfect is a sign that God himself doesn’t choose to make a perfect world. Either God didn’t have the power to create a perfect world or he didn’t want to, either way one of the 3 fundamental beliefs of God is undermined: All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and All-Loving. To deny this, is to say that Reason is evil, which goes against Catholic belief.

But that undermines the belief that God is all-powerful. Why didn’t he create it so none suffered for the most perfect form of Love? Does God define Perfection or does Perfection define (or limit) God? You can’t say both, as logically the meaning is different.

True, they believe they don’t have all the required knowledge to make a true evaluation, but I think you might be missing why the Existentialist say something to that effect. It’s not the Reason that’s the cause of Partial Knowledge, but the fact that the senses, which are our only empirical source of knowledge don’t reveal the whole truth. They believe Reason can comprehend the full truth, but we lack the sensory equipment required to fully fuel the process of Reasoned thought. (i.e. It’s our senses that are limited, not our reason). Even Catholic Fideism believes reason is capable of seeing the truth.

I believe the true meaning of, “We were Made in Gods image,” is not freewill, but the ability to Reason! As reason is purer then freewill! Freewill is about personal ego, Reason is seeing and understanding perfect truth!

The above touches on my point about “If it was Satan that gave us the knowledge of Good and Evil in the apple and if we needed good and evil for freewill, then how did God make us in his likeness?”

Being a Catholic you would say that, like an Atheist would say the opposite.

Again this comes back to: How were we made in Gods image? If it wasn’t till after the fall we received our freewill!!! EGO!!! What we got was EGO!!! That’s what freewill is, it’s ego! Reason is free, but all reason will reason the same results. Therefore reasonable people always live in harmony. This is why Reason is how God made us like him. Remember I’m not atheist, I do believe in a God. But not one defined in any worldly doctrine, my God could be called a God of Reason, but that might belittle and mislead, as what I really mean is a God who wants us to use are Reason to destroy are freewill! But acting in accordance with what is Reasonable. As reason is fair and just! Fully informed Reason is the only just judge!

No, Reason is the only Truth! Love has led many to lie, steal, cheat, and kill!!!

But Original Sin must be!!! And the book of Genesis is it origin.

Yet we suffer in hell, which isn’t a place, but a state like you have said. Torture someone long enough and they’ll do whatever you want! If it’s love then they will love them. I was quite struck by the way George Orwell’s ended his masterpiece ‘1984’:

Actually, Yes! Descartes did it, “I think therefore I am.” While I might never know my true existence, the fact that an observer is able to evaluate an experience implies there is something, therefore I in ‘Cogito’.

A quote I like from this is what the Pope JP II said, “Totus Tuus,” so much for the first commandment. Which was, Love me with all your heart, mind and soul and put no other before me! Or as Catholic Catechism (2084) puts it, “You shall worship the lord your god and him only shall you serve.” Looks like the Pope falls into heresy on the first and most important of commands. And you can’t say Mary is part of God she’s not, the current trend is to make Mary apart of the redemption. Yes, she played her part, but she’s not God nor is she a part of God like Jesus. Because if you claim she is then you no longer have a trinity. That’s when you really know Christianity has gone to the dogs.

I hope your not saying goodbye, as I’m finding this discussion very helpful in searching of my faith and the Catholic Truth.