Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why does a just and good God allow evil to exist?

Why does a just and good God allow evil to exist? Take yourself out of your mental model for this! Remember be respectful, respond more than once, react to one another's’ comments.

49 comments:

samt said...

I believe that there are many reasons to why God allows evil to exist. One, it helps us as humans to see His beauty and begin to long for His love, grace, protection, and peace in our lives. Another, because without evil, how would we know what was right or wrong. God uses the choices we make, which are mostly sinful choices, to show us what truth is. In Romans 3:20 it states that through the practice of sin and becoming aware of the law (Scripture) we become conscious of sin in our lives and then from there seek God so we may be able to grow in our relationship towards Him along with being forgiven for the sins that we have committed. Also, God allows evil to exist so that we can be given free choice. If our lives were perfect, where no evil existed, and there were only good and righteous things, we would have no choice in the way that we would want to live. God wants us to choose Him because we want Him in our lives, not because we are being forced to believe in something we don't accept. In the Christian faith, it's all about your relationship between your Heavenly Father and yourself. Everything you do circles around growing in your love for Him. So, if God were to take away evil than all would be perfect, there would be no sin, and in turn all would follow God, no questions asked. Evil must exist so that we can have reason to choose and so that God can shine brighter into this world. It's also important to remember that God is apart from sin and apart from all evil. Sin, evil, unrighteous things all feed from our sinful nature which has been passed down from the choice Adam and Eve made when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In that choice, Satan appeared to Eve gave her the choice to follow God unto righteousness and follow the commands He had given, or to choose what Satan had to offer. So we see in this situation that all evil things, all sinful desires, all unrighteousness feeds from the very one that abides in evil, and that one is Satan, for he is all that God is not.

courtneyw said...

I don't think God allows evil to happen. I think it's Satan who does the evil making. God uses the evil to make us stronger or uses the evil to make us a stronger. I also agree with Sam... it shows us that of we live in a realtionship with God he will help us get past the evil and see his grace, beauty... . There is no way to stop evil it helps us become stronger in life and in our realtionships whit God.

Remeber the question we have all asked in our lives:
Why do bad things happen to good people?
(Or at least I have asked it a couple of times)

God does this to makes us stronger and more willing to help others in need or people going through the same thing we are going thorugh. It helps us accomplish our goals.

IT JUST HELPS US.
THEIR IS A REASON FOR IT. :)

brooksk said...

What is light without darkness? What is good with evil? Evil and tragedy have brought many of us higher points in our lives than we were before. With God's plan comes events that are necessary to happen, most making us a stronger human being and a more faithful follower of God. Without any presence of evil, what would we have to decipher in life? What would we have to learn and grow from in life? Like Sam exemplified in his circumferential and outstanding comment above, evil is what draws us to God and is what gives us the liberty to choose. It is because of our strength and our ability to decipher with our hearts (not our heads) that open doors in life for us further down the road. As a human being on God's earth it is our duty to live life with our hearts and in my opinion, it is our duty to learn, love, and live. By experiencing the bad, the evil, the tragedy, we have a better taste of the good things and we have a sweeter more rewarding treasure further down the road when we do what our hearts tell us to do in all purity.

Kyle B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyle B. said...

I've always believed that God is a brilliant mind and the grand architect of all that is and ever will be. I believe that evil is a part of this world only because he wanted it as such. He created the world in seven days and all that walk upon it and then he watches it constantly. He placed man and woman in Paradise and let them chose how to live. But here is where I think that he made a blunder that was not a blunder at all; he made the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and then made it a point to tell them where it is and then to not eat of it *wink* *wink*. He created everything as it was and he had a plan for everything. Evil was made a part of this world as much as the fish in the sea. God remains as good and just as he has ever been, but he may have realized that there could not be a relationship between him and mankind if they did not feel oppressed or endangered by an unknown and intangible pull on the world. God wanted free will, but if there is only good, there is not much of a choice. Brooks related this correspondence between good and evil to destiny/fate; everything that is going to happen will come to pass. I disagree. God made man to be self-sufficient and to need him, but I don't think that he would make a playbook for history to written off of. Evil was created by the greatest being that exists; he would not be so good if there was something that was so wrong and bad in the dark places of the world. I have been taught that the definition of sin is simply separation from God. Without sin, we would be of such close proximity to God that we might be smothered in the folds of his robe. In Paradise Lost, God struck down the greatest and most beautiful archangel and this was a conscious decision with impossible-to-ignore repercussions. God created the devil at that time and thus is the father of both good and evil. God remains the ruler of heaven and earth, he essentially bestowed the knowledge of good and evil upon Adam and Eve, and he would not be the good and gracious god if he had not done so.

Dustin B said...

Evil, simply the greatest test of anyone’s faith. It tempts people to disbelieve so why would a good god allow it? Though in one aspect evil is an outcome of free will. God is the source of life and joy so when one chooses to rebel they theoretically lose their life and joy. A good point to bring up is that evil can’t be described as a thing. To most it seems like a thing but it is more just a wrong choice. It feels so much like a thing to most people so they categorize it as being so. Evil is real, there is no disagreeing about that but argument arises when we talk about where evil comes from. I believe we can’t blame God for evil. Why do bad things happen to Good People? Who is to say we are good. We say things like thank you may I please have another, instead of being thankful for even having one. People do good they send money, food and prayers to people in poverty but the money, food, and prayers can go to only so many people thus teasing others who don’t receive the stuff. We can’t blame God for creating evil we can blame God for creating life and with life we are the ones that instilled evil.

Samantha E said...

I don’t think a just God allows evil to exist. People have a choice to do good or bad. Once that choice is made they will either continue to be good or the devil will make them worse. God will accept them no matter what they have done and there will always be time to go back and make a different decision. Doing good will always be an option, it just depends on if that option will be taken. The devil made his choice when he fell from heaven, now we have the choice. If Adam and Eve had not made the choice they did to welcome temptation we may not be presented by the choice of good or bad, only temptation. God is not the one allowing bad to happen, we are the ones doing that.

brooksk said...

First I just had a question for both Kyle and Samantha...First off Kyle, could you please clarify for us your idea of sin acting as an appropriate for us and the "folds of God's robes"? I am not sure I quite follow why we should see sin as something that is beneficial to us because it keeps us in a content proximity from God. Shouldn't it be our desire to "smother ourselves in God's robe"? Secondly, Samantha, I like your idea of what sin is, but I wanted to ask you if you believed that God plays any part in our ability to make our own decisions and live our own free will. I wanted to ask if anybody has seen the movie "Pay It Forward"? It relates to Dusty's comment above about how we tease others when we reach out a healing hand to others...In Pay It Forward, generosity spreads across the entire Western Region because through acts of generosity, the only thing that is asked in return is that you pass it on to a handful of others. So over time, one act of generosity is responsible for the reaching out of a healing hand to dozens and dozens of others...has anybody heard of or tried to act upon this philosophy?

emilyl said...

I go off the basis that God can't interfere with our free will, which is like what Sam said that He doesn't want to force us to believe in Him because it has to be our choice. Every person has equal potential to be good or evil, and God mourns when they pick evil things to do and don't feel any remorse. God gives people so many chances to redeem themselves and apologize but many people are so spiteful that they aren't forgiven and must go live with Satan. As Brooks said, you can't have light without darkness, otherwise we would never appreciate what we have. Kyle said that God has a master plan for humans, so clearly evil is part of that so humans can try to redeem themselves of original sin. The prayer Hail Holy Queen refers to our lives on earth as exile from the Garden, so it could be that it is a punishment for us and for God, that we have to live in a place where he can not always help us (it's his punishment for creating humans that are misbehaving but He did what He had to do in banishing us). People ask where God is now, and it bothers me because they act as though this should be a perfect world, and also when people stop believing in God because something bad happened to them is very annoying. It is completely arrogant to think that just because you are a good praying person that it can happen to everyone else but not to you... I think some one else mentioned this idea as well.

Soo.K said...

I agree with Emily and Sam about how God does not interfere with the free will of men/women. He gives us the choice of choosing good or evil. When God trusted Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge, He let Adam and Eve choose to be good or evil. God doesn't allow it to exist, but is letting us take the path that we want, whether it is to Him or satan. With the existence of evil, there is balance in the world, like the yin yang. Brooks said, without darkness, would we know what light is? Without good, would we know what evil is? You dont' miss something until it is gone. When you turn your back on God and something bad happens, you tend ask, "why me?" You don't miss how good it was then until you experience how bad it could get. God allows us to make these decisions on our own. But even if we choose to go down the right path, it doesn't mean that bad things wouldn't happen. The world is not a perfect place.

brooksk said...

I think both Emily and Sue have brought up valid points; whose to say that the right path is not an "uphill hike", so to speak. Too many times in life do we take our morally correct actions or paths for granted. When I find myself in times like this where I assume that because I am making the right decision in life I will not stumble over any obstacles I recall a simple question that tends to bring a circumferential amount of perspective to me...Had I not been challenged on this high road, what would I learn and how would I ever be able to better myself as a human?

C said...

I agree with Brooks and Sam. God has created evil because without it no one would know the meaning of what it is to be good. How would anyone know the difference between good or bad? How do you explain black to someone who is blind? How do you explain evil to someone living in a world where everyone is good? Evil brings a sense of duty into each person’s life. It gives us a reason to strive to be better, something to look forward to. Heaven gives us faith that there is something or someone bigger than us and forces us to believe that there is more to this life. With strength and courage we can see our flawed world and still have hope that one day we will get to a place without pain and poverty. Without suffering there would be no compassion. Without evil there would be no good. This is why a just God allows evil to exist.

afoyle said...

I'll be playing devil's advocate a little here: To us, God is good and Lucifer is evil. Simple as that. But as it has been said before, neither good nor evil can exist without the other. So what more is Lucifer than God's anchor to this world? If God didn't allow Lucifer to exist, than God himself would not exist and God, being who he is, would not allow it. Furthermore, exactly how do we know that who we think is good truly is? Think about it: An evil god could lock away the pure renegade in the place most tainted place in existence, therefore making humanity believe that he, in fact, is the evil one. Then this god, whpo now has humanity's prophets under his thumb, can impose whatever scriptures he desires, including glorifying him and making him seem like the pure bring. End advocacy. (Just FYI, this is not what I believe. I'm just trying to throw a curveball into this discussion. I'll be sure to include another post with regards to what I believe).

tuckerk2 said...

Why would a just and good God allow evil to exist? The question itself answer’s the question in that He is just and does not force his will upon people. By allowing such free will among humans, they are left to their own devices to determine what path they choose to take in life. I agree with Dusty in that people are not innately good, but more inclined toward being greedy, such as in his example, selfish and prideful. Even when people do good deeds, such as donating money or time to the needy, they do this because it gives them a good feeling and therefore do good deeds not for others, but for themselves. Furthermore, more people in this world are driven by evil than by good, not because God made evil stronger than good, but rather because of the free will he instilled in all men (and women) and people normally choose these evils, albeit they are generally small evils, because they produce more immediate results. God did not bless us with the ability to always look further into the future to see the repercussions of such actions, but rather wanted us to develop this for ourselves so he and others can better observe those who are truly good, for they have developed this ability. Finally, determining where the line between good and evil has become very difficult and no one person has the authority to choose. Only God has this right, so why does man punish others for actions that they have decided to be wrong?

alliem said...

To start off I am going to say that I think evil is inevitable. I do not, however, hold God responsible for the evil surrounding man kind. God gave humans the ability to make their OWN paths and choices in life and naturally humans are flawed. Like in some of the reading we did, I believe that God allowed to the devil to live so that humans would have something to fight against. God did not want us to live in a paradise where good always prevailed, and humans are left ignorant and unappreciative of struggle and the work it takes to triumph over evil. What would life be without choices? Some people make the right choices and some don't but at least we have the independence to actually make these choices. God choose to let us develop by ourselves, and he knew that humans would make mistakes. God doesn't create evil he allows it. People create evil and it is and always will be a part of life.

emilyl said...

Alex Foyle- Your advocacy brings a valid point. I don't think there is any way we could know if God was actually the evil one and we were diong his will. However, I think humans are not so naiive that they wouldn't recognize that murdering someone by means of a machete (sorry for the graphics) is not a good thing. We are smart enough to be able to tell good from bad most of the time, but then there are times where situationally, something normally bad would be good, such as if you ran into a known terrorist and all you had was a knife, and you were the only one who had the chance to kill him or stop his plot that would kill thousands. These are extreme examples. And if what you said really is what's going on, then it's going to be a bummer when we die and find out. But since we really only have this set up to go off of, I think I'm going to stick with it. :)

michaelm said...

Like many have said before me, I also believe a just and good God allows evil to exist because it is the responsibility for us humans to choose our own path. God loves and accepts each and every one of us no matter how we live on this Earth but it is our choice to follow God or not. I also believe God lets bad or evil things happen to good people to open our eyes and realize the good in our lives and what we take for granted. It is almost like we are an experiment, and God puts us in different settings to see how we react or live. We are placed in difficult situations sometimes where we must choose good or evil. God does not create evil, however, he just allows it to happen. Evil is created by Satan and people who follow an evil path on Earth. Because of Adam and Eve, we all carry sin, and temptation. These are the situations we are faced with on Earth and God gives us the choice of which to follow.

samt said...

I thought I would just post a quote that has meant a lot to me and my growth.

"God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." Anonymous

katherineg said...

I think that a just God allows evil and good to coexist because without the evil, no one would know what good is. Everything would be all the same and nothing could be cherished. Evil allows us to choose our own paths like many people have said before me, and it allows us to choose which way we would like our lives to be, good or evil. Also, I think that if you ask God to help you from evil, than you have defeated Satin, because you have gone to a higher power. Also, other cultures can see this is as a force, because God seems to prevail over evil every time, there are billions of people that look up to the skies for help, not down to the ground for advice. Like Dustin said, it’s the test of faith, and you can make your choice, and its not something that God forces on you, and that is why he allows evil to exist.

MilendaN. said...

I think that good God allow evil to exist because he wants people to have a choice. No matter how much he wants people to do good things he wants people to experience the bad things so that they will go back to doing good since they already know what bad feels like. We can't do good things without knowing what the bad things are.?! It is also so much more meaningful to good God, and to us, because if we choose to do good things and choose the light instead of the dark, we can prove to God that we do want him in our lives and that we can overcome evil and darkness. We face temptations here on earth everyday and we make a choice everyday. It is not good God or the evil's choice where we go after we die, It is our choice.

MilendaN. said...

CourtneyW- It is a very good question that you brought up. It is definately something that happens a lot here on earth. But not all bad things happen to good people, It happens to bad people also, and vice-versa. There is a reason for that.
Are we all good people? Can anyone actually say that they are a good person? I mean we might not all be killers etc. but all of us here on earth have sinned at one point. The bible says so. And it's true. I think it just depends on how were walking with God and our relationship with him.

MilendaN. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MilendaN. said...

I think that good God also allow evil to exist so that we won't feel too comfortable living here on earth. And we shoudn't feel too comfortable here on earth because when we die, were not going to be able to have our house, cars, money etc. with us. It will just be us.

brooksk said...

Sam, I love that quote. Do you think that we are in any way responsible for fighting through our turbulent passages with God at our side or is it solely in God's hands to pull us through?

abok said...

As I read every ones comments it made me wonder, does God care if we choose evil? Emilyl said that, "Every person has equal potential to be good or evil, and God mourns when they pick evil things to do and don't feel any remorse." Does God regret the choice of free will that he gave us to pick between evil and good? If there was no free will then what would the choice be? Everyone and including myself has come to the conclusion that good and evil are and interdependent relationship. If you kick out free will all you would have is nature vs. nurture.

Kyle B. said...

I was talking with a friend on this past Friday night about a topic very similar to this as a matter of fact. There is evil in the world to show what is good. In 6th grade, we had a worksheet that showed a different viewpoint on lightbulbs; Lightbulbs do not provide light, they consume the dark. One looks at space and sees all the darkness and the reason for that is that there aren't enough "dark-suckers" to eliminate it. This is, in fact, false, but nevertheless I view it the same as I do the relationship between good and evil; without evil, there would be only good and life would most likely be pretty bland and unadventurous. If there was no dark, what then is light? If there is no evil, what then is good? I think that God allowed evil into this world to show mankind what is of heaven, to create balance and constrast and to further expand the capacity of free will.

samt said...

Brookes - Yes, I do believe that there is a certain extent of responsibility that we must take in our journeys of life. Through my own life God didn't just grab me out of the dark I first had to see the light and choose to follow it. There is, however, things that as humans we don't have the power to do by ourselves. There is definetely a balance between the responsibilities you have as a believer and what God promises for you in turn for following Him. This quote has just meant a lot to me because I chose to fight off my demons in my life for God's glory and for His kingdom, and in return God had promised me victory and peace. He did not however promise me that the road I was soon to embark on was going to be calm waters, but through the rough passages I have found peace in my life and would not for the world have chosen a different path.

samt said...

Devils advocate question - I heard a lot of people talk about how we know that evil is evil and good is good because Scripture tells us so, but the question is how do we know that Scripture is true? What are your convictions on why you believe what you believe? Is it because your parents said so, or is it because you truly have taken these things to heart? I think it's important that you find your motivations for what you believe and that we get down to the gory details of this conversation because I feel that there is more to be said.

afoyle said...

The answer is simple Sam: we don't know if the Scriptures are true. We are merely told by the other followers of a religion that what is right and what is wrong, who know what they know from ealier than themselves, and so on and so forth. There is always something lost in translation when a scripture is translated and someone is always throwing in what they believe to attune a religion more towards themselves. I think its better to determine what you value and if there is a
religion(s) that meshes, more power to you (I myself am following a mix of Christianity and Neo-Druidism). If not, you still have your beliefs.

rebeccar said...

Sam, the truth is that it is not a question of whether the scriptures are true or not, it's a matter of the strength of one's personal faith. This is because there is simply not enough evidence neither proving nor disproving the stories of the Bible. I certainly think that parents have a huge impact on one's faith and beliefs, but like you said, it is vital that we take our own experiences and theories into consideration before we decide how we feel about this intense topic. Religion (let alone God) is something that cannot be seen, touched, or heard. It is their followers and believers that we can trust and interact with in the physical form. Many people have found the power of prayer to be more than enough to have faith in God. It is just a matter of what has happened to us on a personal level.

The other day in bio, Mr. Wallace told us a story about this girl he had in class once. One day dinosaurs were brought up, and she just kind of laughed like it was a joke or something. When he asked her what was up, she said to him like he was completely ignorant, “Ha, dinosaurs did not exist!” The class just looked at her in shock. Her parents had actually convinced her that dinosaurs were fictional and all of the evidence that prove their existence was made up. This story really got me thinking about how important it truly is that we figure out things for ourselves. Your parents will not be by your side your whole life, and therefore one must experience things on their own to determine their position on topics such as these.

C said...

Allie, and i'm sure others have this view also, but do humans create evil or are we naturally evil? When do the good become evil and why, is this predestined or determined by choices that we, not God make? Or does God make these choices for us? I don't have answers to all these questions, I was just curious what others thought. I believe that people are inherently good but sometime in our life society corrupts us to a point where we are capable of evil. Temptation is too much for many humans and some are tempted to the point of becoming truely evil. For me, its important to believe that each of are rooted in good faith, even if we make evil mistakes we all are capable of being good.

iains said...

No one ever said God was "good". He simply represents the side of good. He can make decisions that He knows will be benefitial to our growth as humans without our understanding of His motives. He is great, not "good". We don't need to know why God does things; we only need to trust that He admires His creations enough to do what is best for us.

EmmaL said...

C, I think that humans are not naturally evil, but that evil is created through choices. I think that every person that is born is given the chance to make good choices, not evil ones and some take the good choice. But when a person chooses the wrong choice they start to go down the wrong path and can become evil. I do not think that God makes us good or evil or that he chooses for us to make a certain choice, but it is just part of human nature to have the temptation or choice to be good or bad and also to see the light and the dark. Why do we have both a good choice and a bad choice? I do not know the answer to this but without them life would be bland. At different times since the world began there were different ideas and rules that seem stupid to us today, but if no person did the “wrong thing” and went against the common beliefs or ways then we might still be cavemen. There would be no personal thought. I do not think humans would survive without both the light and the dark, there would be nothing to drive us forward and nothing to make us know that good really is good.

ryanb said...

I believe that a just and fair God would allow evil to exist because without it, we would not be able to appreciate all that is good. If everything was perfect, then there would be nothing to compare to the things that are good, thus rendering what we believe now to be good, the norm in a perfect society. Also, evil gives humans choice and hence freedom. In a way, evil liberates humans and allows them to not only appreciate what they have, but forge their own path through life.

mattw said...

God allows evil to happen because he doesn't want us to seek him just because we have no other choice. He wants us to love him because we choose to, because we want to. Not just because we have no other choice. So he allows for us to make mistakes and find our own way to him. People just don't like to follow that route because it takes alot of "fun" out of life and forces you to be disciplined and say no to some things that you want to say yes to. You don't ever want people to be around you cause they have no other choice, then they don't truly love you, they just don't know any different. Intellectually, there is no such thing as evil. It's all a matter of perspective. A genocide in africa may seem horrendous to us, but to the people committing it, they see it as nessesary and our interference is considered evil to them. Just like in the middle east, we see our work as just and rightous, they see us as meddlers who are forcing their will on others. There is no such thing as good or evil, just perspective.

Emily H. said...

Although it is a sensitive subject to some I myself am a person of faith and I do believe in God and the things he brings us. I know that there are many days of darkness in everyone's life but with the darkness also comes many days of light. There cannot be good without bad. In my opinion everything happens for a reason and serves as a learning experience in our lives. We can learn from our mistakes and move forward or we can repeat our mistakes and fall backward. God does allow for mistakes and for things to go wrong so that you can control your own destiny and life and all aspects of it.

Kyle B. said...

I would like to address Sam and Rebecca on this one. In the same conversation I had on Friday night, I was trying to prove that I was right, a feat that is easier said than done. I said that the Scriptures are a collaboration of human efforts that may or may not have been inspired by God and therefore may hold within them an inherent flaw. With that, I went on to say that I follow a certain moral code, but if I'm wrong, who is there to say so? If what is right is determined and driven by a belief in archaic, yet relevant, writings that may be of human imperfection and if that flaw has led us astray, then what now is right? If I know that I am right, then what would say that I am wrong? God is the same. You simply have to accept that he is "right" and the devil is "wrong". There is no outstanding amount of proof, so therefore, if you are right, then so be it. This may seem muddled to some and extremely clear to others, but I have accepted that as a fact of the universe. God is good and he struggles in a battle against all that is evil. Who now stands on Earth to say that what we are doing is wrong? A potentially fallible Pope? A Methodist President from a state that still permits hanging as a form of punishment? If what is right and wrong are not what they in fact are, then who will tell us so? I hope that muddies everything enough.

DanielC said...

I think that God allows evil to exist because if there was no evil, than what would make God so great and powerful? Our lives would be uneventful and we would not be able to learn from evil mistakes that we might make. I think that humans are naturally good and have innocent motives. But i think that society corrupts humans into being evil rather than good. people are pulled by the wealth, beautiful women, and power that they forget about there original motives and establish corrupt motives.

rebeccar said...

Alex – In answer to your question about free will, no, I don't think God regrets giving us this freedom. Without it, his existence would be meaningless because there would be no opposing force that shows that he is good. Free will is vital to life because without it, there would be no point in choosing one path over another. If all was good and every choice we made was right, God would have no purpose. There would be no point in striving to please him and live for him in order to have a place in Heaven one day. Free will, and therefore evil, is incredibly vital to human life.

abok said...

Wondering then if god does care if we choose good or evil because that is the result of free will then what makes people choose evil? Do people depend on god to much for a quick fix and then when the almighty doesn't come through other ways come into practice? Is it the pressure that socity has put upon us to fit a certain mold? Does socity led us to sin? So the orginal question: What makes humans becomes evil?

brooksk said...

Abok, I don't know if I would say humans are evil or necessarily become evil by any means. Although all of our definitions most likely vary, it is probably concurrable that it is not the human but the human's actions which constitute the form of "evil". As many of us have said above, it is because of our liberty to choose that we have an appreciation and acknowledgement of both "good" and "evil". I liked the statement above that called attention to the idea that without both sides we wouldn't have a true appreciation of the "good".

Sam, I think you have done a great job explaining yourself and I must say that I have seen eye to eye with you in regards to many of your statements above...

Now I want this to get a little more personal between everybody and I am going to try and take this to a further, more personal depth and see what kind of emotional openings we can hold with one another. With respect, integrity, and support towards one another I would like to hear a lot of open, deep, and thought-provoking responses to the question I am about to pose: In your lifetime, what personal events have led to your moral, religious, and personal stance that you hold this very instant? In what ways did this experience morph you and how has it had an impact on all aspects of life?

And my second question for you is...Where do you see society in twenty years in reference to religion and religion's impact on the culture? How will religious actions and religious theology differ from that of today?

samt said...

Would everyone in this class consider yourself a Christian? If so, what do you think qualifies you as being a Christian, or what does being a Christian mean? If you don't, then what are your beliefs? What do you see as to be true in your life?

(I'm just trying to provoke some thought)

JoeR said...

This issue I often think about and have never been able to come to a clear conclusion. Is it God causing humans to act badly or is it human nature with no influence from God? Is what happens in my life a coincidence or actions done by God? I sometimes question the meaning of God in my life, is He there for personal comfort or to truly guide me through my life? To me these are some essential questions that need to be answered before one can truly understand why humans act good or bad and if God has purposefully allowed people to act badly. Is evil apart of human nature or is it depending on our choices? Can there be different evils that arise from the same actions?
Brooks- I don't think there has been an instance where an experience has had an impact on all aspects of my life.

JoeR said...

Brooks- there have been instances where my actions have changed my view points and have affected different aspects of my life, but so far in my life there hasn't been one action that has affected everything. Do you think that the action that affects all aspects of life will be only good or only bad?

samt said...

Well Brookes, let's just put it this way, over the last seven years in my life me and my family have been through some extremely intense difficulties that have been circuled around me and my dad. In respects to me and my dad, I won't say the nature of the problems, but through the fire that we as a family have had to walk through along with my own personal struggle with my life, I have found God to be the only one to give me peace and comfort through this. I have looked elsewhere to fill the space and find these things and have failed to find the true peace, happiness, joy, love, and completeness that, I believe, only God can give. I know for certain that I wouldn't be the same if I had never experienced the things I did to allow Christ to become so alive in my life. I'd probably say that I would definetely still be a Christian, but it just wouldn't be the same. Along with this, I thank God for my struggles because it has defined me and He has defined me, and continues to define me, into a very strong individual, and I am thankful for that. In James 1:2-6 it states, "2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." This verse has been a huge definition to my life and my growth. This is another reason why I think God allows evil to exist because we find His happiness, His peace, His love through our hardships and sins. Through all the bad things, through all the darkness of this world, the light is still shining.

emilyl said...

A bit earlier, "C" asked "do humans create evil or are we naturally evil?". Emma said that evil is created through choices, but I think it also stems from the curiosity of humans. God created us in his own image, and as being to rule over everything else on earth, and I think he gave us curiosity so that we could learn and then eventually discover Him and want to learn more about Him. Not only has our inquisitiveness lead to all of our great discoveries, it has also allowed us to wonder what the "other choice" could be in a situation. People wonder what would happen if they killed a person and took their money instead of working in a job (extreme ex.). Overall, it is curiosity that leads to choices, and so leads to evil.

ryan f said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryan f said...

This age old question is one that can be debated over for hours, and probably has been. And to be perfectly honest, I have no idea. I have no idea why God, who loves the world and his own people who he created to love and glorify Him, would allow evil to exist. It doesn't make sense. But when you really think about it, why should he? God gave us the gift of life and if we choose, eternal life through him, what more can we ask of Him? I believe the true question is, "Why does God allow good things to happen to anyone?" No one on this earth deserves the blessings we have been given, and we take what we have for granted. I know people above have said it, but you can't have light without darkness. And you can't know what a blessing is without seeing the hardships on the other side. God is a fair god, and He knows what he's doing. The only way I could truly think to answer this question, is to turn to God Himself. I have asked him this question many times, and continually I am led back to a bible verse that constantly reminds me of His answer:

James 1:2-4 "Consider it all joy, my brethern, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing"

abok said...

Brooks: I started off not beliving in organized religion but thinking that it was a great way to make a lot of money. For me the church has always had to much sway over people and I never understood why. Can’t God hear you just as good from home? Resent events didn’t change my thinking but it made me want to look at other religions and see what they have to offer. Since sophomore year my mother has looked at death, and smirked back, wanting to grin but accepting the reward of escaping with her life. every time she looks and sees and her reflection a thought drifts thought her mind and for a moment no matter how much she would wish to hide it, whether it be by hat or makeup, you see a thought come flying into her head at a million miles per hour screaming, "Why me? what did I do that was so wrong?" Any time that someone is faced with a personal tragedy that the mind feels is unfairly placed upon them, they look for someone to blame. it could be asking why god is testing them, or why he is punishing them. it almost seems they choose what justification they want depending on how their personal reflection went. So answering what is my stance. I saw my mother’s personal life struggle and her life struggle and I wondered how can some people be so committed to god when growing up we have been taught to have a back -up plan, back -up school, plan B. To believe in God you are told that you have to put all your eggs in one basket, this is one belief stating that you believe in god. This one basket and if you are wrong then nothing could happing, but if god does exist and you didn't invest all your eggs in this belief basket then what happens to you? Is everything bad in your life an opportunity to invest every egg? I am not ready to claim that I am definite in the corners of my mind that god is here, but I am not ready to abandoned the idea either, sometimes it is not as simple as checking yes god or no god on the ballad.