Why did God create the devil, sin, and humans, knowing what will happen. Why cant I understand, the bible just doesnt make sense. He loves us some much, sent his son to die, but yet the hearts of man never changed. If he knew all this would happen, why let us suffer for something that was basicly his fault? The more i search through the bible for answers, the more evil God becomes, it is as though we are all pwns in a sadistic game.

You can’t understand the bible because you don’t want to. It is, after all, a truth more inconvenient whan Gore’s. Where do you get that “the hearts of man never change?” The Bible says the hearts of people can change. God not only “loves us so much” but He loves us in a very specific way. In God’s evaluation of things [which is different from yours], suffering is worth the pain. You know what they say “no pain no gain.” You think God is evil because you are thinking in a way that disturbs you. Have a change of heart and you will see things differently.

Yeah, but not if God doesn’t want them to. True story.

But the Bible says he has evil thoughts.

And there’s that whole mess of god being sorry for killing everyone in the flood. He’s done some bad things according to the bible.

You said, “I mostly don’t have a problem with Christians who don’t take the Bible literally.”

I feel the same way about skeptics. Which means that I have a problem with your apparent inability to interpret the Bible at the level of say an introductory college-level “Bible as literature” course. The reason I have a problem with it is I have observed, based on your comments on other matters, that you are capable of better. Which means that I viewe what you are doing when you take the approach you have above as Christian baiting. I responded to Zero on a level appropriate to the comments he posted.

As for whether God hardened Pharoahs heart or Pharoh did it out of free will, you are faced with the same free will versus determination issue whether you believe in God or not. The whole Exodus story can be viewed as a large scale demonstration project for God’s redemptive power. Life can be viewed that way. Or not.

Again, you are displaying {I think feigning } inability to interpret the Bible anyway but literally. Hebrew scholars like Philo were interpreting the bible allegorically over 2000 years ago. If you are unaware of that you have a lot of catching up to do. Or, if you enjoy the Chrisitan baiting game, play it with Bible literalists who are more likely to take the bait.

it’s so simple… why not?

why not… if you are a bored and allpowerful being why not create everything? for amusement if anything…

Out of curiosity, since God’s first covenant is with the Israelites exclusively, would it be possible that free will is only necessary for them? That doesn’t mean that non-Israelites didn’t have free will (otherwise the second covenant becomes problematic) but in terms of free will and the problem of evil, God can use non-Israelites for whatever purposes he sees fit. That seems consistent with other OT passages, where God orders the Israelites to exterminate other human beings with impunity.

Yeah, Xunzian, that’s an interpretation I’ve heard before. It’s interesting, even traditions that maintain that our free will is essential to salvation will maintain that true virtue can’t happen without the aid of the Holy Spirit. This might be some opposite to that.

Well you are wrong, i do want to understand, and thats why i studied what i did. But i Have come up with a few theories, 1. the end result is than we can imagin. 2. exactly what Wonderer said. 3. The god of the bible isnt the true god. and some more that i wont get into right now. and just so you know, by the my disturbed thinking has nothing to do with why i think the god of the bible is evil, look at the world and see everyone crying and dying, then ask god to save them, then come back to me later, it says in the bible ask and he shall give, i wont people to stop suffering, even if it means i have to carry the burden of man by myself, but yet everyone still suffers, millions before me have asked for the same thing but yet everyone still suffers, innocent people suffer for the sins of others. the bible contradicts its self many many times. in one place it says that god will punish people to their grand children, and in another part is says that noone shall be punished for the sins of other, i believe its some where in exodus.

I don’t. But where do you draw the line?

First, dump the Bible, or any religion that claims to be based on the “revealed” word of God. It isn’t written by God, or inspired by Him. It’s the source of your confusion. And don’t listen to Dawkins or his ilk either. They merely gleefully point out the flaws in Christianity and the rest and then conclude that there must be/(is) no God.

If God exists, His word is there for all to see without translation, corruption etc. As Thomas Paine put it so profoundly:

P.S. There is no Devil, only the evil choices that men make.

Haha I like Dawkins. I have to agree. We must first doubt everything then build on what we know before we can know if there is a devil, if that devil is evil in creation per se, what the heck we are here for.

Though I must say there is such as a creation as the devil.

And we each create him figuratively in our hearts when we say my rights and feelings are of more importance. The Devil is in the double standard.

Makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for your insight!

Thanks for saying so.

Reply To Zero:

[b]Taking the above at face value, your comment seems to sum up the hard problem of the co-existence of an all-good God with the existence of evil. The very notion of the “Golden Rule”, if it applies also to God, seems to validate the “senselessness” within your comment, as it seems that God does not treat humans in the way that he would wish to be treated if the reverse were the case.

Yet, you (and everyone else) are forgetting a very important aspect of God’s abilities and powers…omniscience.

If one remembers that God is characterized within the Bible as having foreknowledge of past, present, and future…and if we presupppose that God’s omniscience is infallible (it cannot be altered or disappointed by human will or action), then the existence of evil is not something that is maliciously created by God, but an accidental phenomenon that is an aspect of God’s foreknowledge through what existentialists such as Sartre and Heidegger called: “throwness”:[/b]

(Wikipedia Entry, Existentialism, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism)

[b] In the same way, God’s omniscient foreknowledge is a type of “throwness”, in the sense that one can argue that God had no choice in what would come into his mind.

(If he did, then one could say that God deliberated created evil, as God can control and determine what he will think or imagine each second. Of course, this would entail the mind of God locked within an eternal “loop error”, as God would introspectively observe and judge each thought that will come into his mind. God’s role in the creation and control of the external world would require an external deus ex machina that automatically realizes the items within God’s thoughts independent of his consent or will. Absent such an infinite regress of logic, it is safe to say that God experiences an existential “throwness” of his own—in terms of the unexpected content of his mind. This implies, tentatively, an external rather than internal omniscience)

If the existence of evil is an aspect of this “accidentalness” of God’s foreknowledge, then the external world created by God can be argued to be his reaction to it, in the form of God’s decision to construct a psychological and moral evolution of the accidental “characters” (us) perceived by God within this pre-universe omniscient “dream”.

God could still adhere to the Golden Rule if victims of evil were p-zombies (bodies and brains without consciousness analogous to Non-Player Characters within simulated Role-Playing video games), with the existence of evil an “illusion” created by a Descartean Evil Genius (God), who created a pseudo-evil world as the “before” picture leading to an “after” of psychomoral evolution of the human mind through psychic “transfusion” with the mind of Jesus Christ (Superchristianity).

God’s use of p-zombies rather than feeling human beings would give the illusion of pain and suffering, with real pain and suffering reserved for the wicked (the punishing of the wicked is itself another form of “goodness”). This would yield an “evil world” that serves as a backdrop for God dealing with that which appeared to his mind, satisfying his desire for an all-good world by evolving the evil that he perceived, rather than to maliciously create evil to sadistically “toy” with powerless subjects.

Just one theory out of many (of course, one could “disprove” the p-zombie theory by pointing out that they have real experiences of pain, but an oppponent could claim that such claims are false, or hold that they do not qualify to be p-zombies but are in the ranks of the “wicked”).[/b]

Just one theory out of many seeking to resolve the God/evil paradox:

Jay M. Brewer

Foreknowledge is incompatible with free will, and if we are anything more than puppets on strings having free will, the Bible is wrong. God would have to limit His own omniscience in order to establish and maintain our free will. If God couldn’t limit His omniscience then He would have already made our choices for us when He created us, making this a pointless Catch-22, thus our lives meaningless for Him or ourselves.

Is your power limited if you’re the one that limits it? No, because you could override that limitation at any time.

God (periodic disclaimer–“if He exists”) is not subject to the Golden Rule because He, through His non-interference, is only an observer. All of our (blink of an eye against the backdrop of eternity) pain and suffering is a monument for His commitment to our free will. The only immoral thing God could do, IMNTBHO, is to allow some of us to suffer their whole lives through and then shuffle them off to oblivion. It’s a back door argument/implication for an afterlife (periodic disclaimer–“if He exists”).

Reply To The Paineful Truth:

Really? I mean, ARE YOU SURE? Is it true that the Bible is wrong if we are nothing more than puppets on strings? Well hold on to your hat, because the Bible says exactly THAT:

b Proverbs 20:24-“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord, how then can anyone understand his own way?”[/b]

b Proverbs 21:30-“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord,”[/b]

(I guess the above verse throws out the possibility of a human surprising God or disappointing God’s omniscient foreknowledge of past, present, and future…imagine that! :astonished: )

b Psalm 139:1-4-“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”[/b]

And…(drum roll, please)…the BIG ONE…(The biblical source, mind you, for belief in the very omniscience of God in the first place!)…

b Isaiah 46:9,10-"I am God, and there is none like me,[/b] declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"

If God is omniscient and if theonomous determinism (the view that God is a universal “cartoonist” who controls his “characters” (us)) is true, one can argue that God doesn’t so much as “make our choices for us” as much as God “duplicates imaginary free choice”. If God exists (nice disclaimer, but sometimes it wears thin for theists like myself), and if God is omniscient in the sense of knowing past, present, and future, as the Bible claims he does (see above verses), then we are, actually, copies or replicas of the imaginary characters perceived by God within his pre-universe reveries. Thus we are adaptations of those characters and their “free will”…given that their choices are accidental imaginings arriving unannounced within the mind of God.

And, even as a theist, one is free to accept an underlying absurdism to existence itself, in the form of a basic meaninglessness to existence beyond the “meaning” of existence qua existence. Even within such absurdism, God and man can create a “constructed” meaning within the broader domain of meaninglessness. However, PURPOSE can still exist within such an absurd realm, and it can be argued to be a part of a psychologically constructed “meaning” for the being who possesses this sense of purpose, whether it be God or man.

[b]I’m amazed when someone speaks of this meaninglessness, or God’s meaninglessness in creating human lives, as if it is some sort of “crime” or if it is something that would, if known or believed by God to exist, prohibit God from acting despite his knowledge of the absurdism behind his actions.

My typical response to questions of “why would God…?” is simply: “Why not?”[/b]

[b](Periodic disclaimer respected but ignored): While one could argue that God is objectively not subject to the Golden Rule (one could argue that even humans are not subject to the Golden Rule, save by conscience), God is psychologically subject to it through self-imposition due to conscience and moral responsibility (if God possesses these qualities). And judging from the biblical verses above, it seems biblically false that God is simply nothing more than an “observer”. According to the verses above, he has already predestined each and every human being and controls such predetermination to the very end.

This leaves the question of pain and suffering, and if God deliberately creates it. If God adheres to the Golden Rule, then the only viable option is a pseudo-evil world for psychomoral evolutionary purpose as explained in the post above.[/b]

Just a thought,

Jay M. Brewer

First you list quotes from the Bible to justify the Bible, then:

It isn’t a crime, it’s absurd. If there is no meaning, then there is no purpose to our lives, to Jesus’ so-called resurrection, or to the creation of the universe.

Your model for God is one of an irrational, whimsical, cynical omnipotent being. How could such a being count to ten, much less design the universe?

Once more, justifying the Bible with the Bible.

This is so over the top, I can’t convince myself that you aren’t an atheist trying to make Christians look worse than they already do. Leave that to them, they’re doing a fine job while doing it, understandably, less incredibly than this.

Reply To Paineful Truth:

You know, it is absurd. The existence of something ultimately “means” nothing more than the fact of it’s existence (at a conceptually objective level). However, one can posit that there is a “constructed” meaning to things. For example:

[b]Thus, one can claim that there is a subjective “meaning”, such that there is a constructed purpose to our lives, to Jesus’ resurrection (for those who believe that Jesus was raised from the dead), and the creation of the universe (to God if God exists). Is this construction a “lie”? Perhaps one can argue that it is—yet one can counter that it is not a lie in the sense that meaning can exist, if only as an aspect of the mind of a conscious being. Thus one can argue against Camus that the subjective meaning that is invented and which gives one (including God, if God exists) something to strive for is not a fictitious illusion but a reality, despite the fact that it is a reality in the form of the perceptions of a conscious being. One can argue that a small, subjective “pocket meaning” exists (due to consciousness) within a larger “meaninglessness” (within a world bereft of consciousness).

Then again, my statement of “meaningless” above does not denote the nonexistence of “purpose”, but a meaninglessness to existence qua existence at the bottom level. An absence of purpose beyond this simple observation of existence would only be true if God (or another reality-controlling conscious being)does not exist.[/b]

[b]The implication of a whimsical and cynical God by the “why not” statement is not meant here. My point (I think) was that questioning the motivation of God for certain things (such as God’s control of human will in a world in which free will does not exist)is (at times) a negative double-standard, as one can ask the same questions of certain humans who exercise the same type of control over fictional characters…or even their fellow human beings.

For example, if God exists and theonomous determinism is true, then we are ultimately God’s “characters” and his possessions. This is analogous to the possession, say, of Stephen King of his the characters within The Stand or J.K. Rowling’s possession and control over the characters of the Harry Potter universe.

[/b](VERY IMPORTANT NOTE![b] One can argue against the statement above, noting that the invalidity of the statement comes from the fact that the fictional characters are imaginary beings, and humans are real beings with a “batteries included” existential right to freedom of choice, etc. One can oppose this view by conceptually demonstrating that even if God does not exist, humans are “characters” created and controlled by the “micro-gods” of the fundamental particles within the Standard Model of Physics. If consciousness arises from and depends upon the continuous function of the physical brain, our wills and choices are determined and controlled by physical processes in the form of mechanical checks and balances that “run on in the dark” independent of human control and knowledge.

If one doubts this, then the question can be asked: Does a conscious experience, such as a choice or act of will, exist independent of a neural correlate that creates it? Can consciousness continue to exist in the absence of physical brains?)


I only quoted from the Bible to demonstrate an innocently inadvertent contradiction in your previous statement: (inadvertent, supposedly, due to the fact that perhaps you were unaware of the existence of the relevant verses). You stated this:[/b]

I took the syntax of your statement to mean this:

“Foreknowledge is incompatible with free will, and if we are anything more than puppets on strings having free will [meaning: we have free will… if we are anything more than puppets]…the Bible is wrong.”

[b]I demonstrated the biblical verses to show the error of the statement, using the verses to demonstrate that the Bible explicitly implies the nonexistence of free will.

(If other verses within the bible state that we have free will, then we have a bonafide, card-carrying, biblical contradiction—but that is besides the point for the demonstration above)

One cannot justify the bible to one who believes that it is undeniably false; one can only clarify the semantics of biblical verses and/or demonstrate incongruities between ideas concerning what the bible states and what is actually written within it.[/b]

That enuff fo now, zeeba neighba,

Jay M. Brewer