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Is god willing to prevent evil but not able to?

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by DwarfJuggler, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. DwarfJuggler

    DwarfJuggler Newbie

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    or is he able but not willing?
    suppose he could be both able and willing... maybe?
    or maybe he's neither willing nor able?

    anyone know?
     
  2. Mr Dave

    Mr Dave God Save The Queen!

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    The way I see it is that God could but sees it as more of an evil to intervene than to allow humans to choose between good and bad. If God prevented us from doing bad then by definition no-one could ever choose good, which (in the eyes of God I guess) is seen as worse than a load of people being forced into goodness.

    I don't read it as a historical story, but Noah and the Flood, God stopped the bad, and felt so bad for having done so.

    Not the best response I know but that's the way I view it (and am able to express what I understand :S).
     
  3. contango

    contango ...and you shall live...

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    God gave us free will, which means we are free to bless God or to curse God, to do as God commands or to ignore God and do as we will.

    Let's say I have a big stick and decide to hit you with it. That's an evil thing, and as a result of my evil you will suffer. So we might ask why God allows evil, why God allows suffering. From your perspective the evil and suffering are very real.

    But the only way God can prevent that suffering is to deny my freedom to use the big stick in the first place. If we expect God to override our free will to make sure we never make the wrong decision, of what value is that free will in the first place? We weren't made as some kind of automated being that simply follow whatever the programming tells us, we were made as sentient beings with the freedom to choose.

    We could also argue that perhaps God should intervene to prevent the greatest evils, and it's easy to make an emotional argument that God should prevent rape, genocide and the like. But that only raises the question of how much evil God should permit - if all of the most heinous crimes were eliminated because God prevented them we'd just be up in arms expecting God to prevent the things that just been moved up to the top of the "evil list". And before long we'd be right back with nobody having free will in case we did anything a little bit nasty to someone else.

    So ultimately it comes back to us. We can choose to do good, or we can choose to do evil, and either decision has consequences.
     
  4. Hentenza

    Hentenza I will fear no evil for You are with me Site Advisor Supporter

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    LOL!!! The Epicurius so called philosophical problem of evil. It's been refuted a few times. :)

    BTW- God merely allows evil. It's part of His plan. Factor that into the syllogism and it falls apart.
     
  5. DwarfJuggler

    DwarfJuggler Newbie

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    :) you noticed the quote hentenza :) nice :).

    But in this case the quote would mean he's able but not willing...
    But to stop someone from doing evil is to violate their free will which he can't do...
    and if he can't do it then he's not omnipotent.

    I like the quote fits well :).

    But if you have references to how it's been refuted I'd be more than happy to read em.

    for those of you that don't know the full quote or don't want to bother to google epicurius's quote...

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able, and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God.
    ~Epicurus.

    Also just a random thought, do you at all support the separation of church and state?
     
  6. Hentenza

    Hentenza I will fear no evil for You are with me Site Advisor Supporter

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  7. DwarfJuggler

    DwarfJuggler Newbie

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    "But you are dismissing the obvious. God uses evil to do His will. Is part of His plan, therefore, He doesn't have the conundrum of free will. He is not either willing nor unwilling to stop evil. When He will stop evil is prophesied in scripture. We, mankind, are perfectly capable of messing it up without any help until then. lol"

    For him to "do" anything though would be a violation of free will.
    Also when did the idea of "free will" come about in the bible specifically. If it was right from the start then the bible is riddled with god intervening on free will numerous times, just in genesis. While this does make god more omnipotent if he's able to violate free will when he chooses, it hardly makes him empathetic if he's willing to allow evil just to be elusive on the idea of free will.

    And ty to the welcome :). I'm sure I'll stir some commotion with some people unintentionally but where better to get information and view points if not through a debate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  8. Hentenza

    Hentenza I will fear no evil for You are with me Site Advisor Supporter

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    Nah, you are taking this where it doesn't need to be. Again, there is nothing that He needs to do since it is all in His plan.


    It's implied. Personally, I don't believe the bible teaches libertarian free will though.


    I think, correct me if I'm wrong, that you believe that to be omnipotent means to exert said omnipotence 100% of the time. In other words you believe that one is either omnipotent or not. No in between or possibility any other option. However, If He is omnipotent then He also has the power to intercede in what He pleases. In other words, God has the free will to exert His omnipotence as He pleases. For example, you have a top sports car with the potential of a top speed of 150mph. The potentiality (as an actual attribute) of having a top speed of 150 mph remains whether you drive at a speed of 50 mph or 100 mph or max it out at 150 mph.

    Nah, just be considerate and follow the posting rules. We've heard just about every question you guys can dish out though. ;):wave:
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  9. razeontherock

    razeontherock New Member

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    Different angle from Hentenza:

    1. You're COMPLETELY overlooking the fact that G-d gave man dominion. do you know what that means? Have you considered it?

    2. G-d NEVER violated free will. Not once! Rather, we ALWAYS see G-d respecting man's dominion; although it only takes ONE man.
     
  10. DwarfJuggler

    DwarfJuggler Newbie

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    So when the village of sodom wanted to sleep with those men, god was respecting man's dominion by torching them alive?

    So when (can't remember his name off the top of my head.. orne? ornan?) was choosing to ejaculate onto the floor rather than impregnate his brothers wife, and was put to death. This was god respecting man's dominion and not intervening? He violated the man's choice not to impregnate her.

    This is just within genesis. I've yet to tackle the other passages. Heck he killed that man's brother to. And tried to kill moses. There is lots of death that god did. So why is this idea of free will not being violated around?

    I can understand if perhaps the new testament he's apparently not as spiteful and controlling as old. But if this were the case why aren't we letting out all the prisoners on the chance that they will learn their lesson and be kind? Because we know that it won't happen, there filled with "demons" and need to be retrained on the ways of society... mind you I think our current prison system is a joke but so be it...

    and if i remember correctly it mentions that god is unchanging. So why is it we don't have miracles freeing people, not just 1 or 2, but whole groups much like moses and his flock. Although I'm quick to don the theist hat when it comes to a statement like this and imagine the answers. such as a plane able to land safely on the water and save it's passengers is a miracle... I'd say otherwise. They had the skill and training to prepare them for the situation.

    also hentenza. You're entering the realm of the paradox with the omnipotent idea. If god were to make a rock so heavy he could not lift it that would rule out his ability to be omnipotent. And if he were not able to make said rock so heavy he could not lift it then he would not be able to. Which again rules out omnipotent. So if he is able allegedly but not willing to do, or rather dons the wait and see mindset. He doesn't overly care about intervening and say perform miracles such as... stirring an african revolution creating prosperity in the land and ending famine while considerably increasing their medical abilities to knock out a huge % of aids spreading with in.
    But again for him to do this he would have to violate free will by getting the people to stand up to their government. Or perhaps directing tiny asteroids to pepper their government officials to death. By definition what ever god does is a violation of his free will claim. Which applying rules onto oneself is preventing you from doing something. Much in the same that someone wanting to lose weight may prevent themselves from eating cheese cake. To lose weight in their mind they're not able to eat cheesecake. To allow free will in god's mind he wouldn't be able to intervene. And not being able again rules out omnipotence.

    (thought of more to say on the topic lol...)

    And if he were to suddenly change his mind and perform miracles much like that of the biblical stories. Then we'd have God changing. Which apparently God claimed he does not change, which no disrespect would mean god kind of psychotic as he is quick to punish and kill but seems kind and loving elsewhere. It's almost like there's no consistency with the mentality of this omnipotent being. So to say god is a being of love is invalidated when you consider the past events god has done onto man. Like wise to say he's a spiteful vengeful god is invalid as well for the moments he seems to be loving.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  11. razeontherock

    razeontherock New Member

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    Lot left. That would be .. dominion. And permission to Judge. More importantly, it was already granted by Abraham, who G-d Graciously allowed to dicker with Him over it. You're intentionally looking over a LOT of the story to come up with your half-baked accusation here.

    Sorry, no. I think you're going to consistently miss the mark here. :doh:

    When, praytell, did G-d surrender His right to Judge? He did this to TWO people re: their relations with this same woman. IIRC Abraham wound up taking her for a wife as a very old coot, at her prompting no less, and she had his children. He had a BUNCH. Note that this was at a time when every possible person in the Hebrew clan was valuable; G-d was making a point, in dramatic fashion. He can be like that.

    Where do we have someone like Moses? Is G-d not allowed to do what He pleases? Good luck in your efforts at being His puppet master ...

    You really don't understand much on this topic; you might consider opening your ears.

    "Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

    What purpose does prayer serve? Look at every instance of it being answered, and you'll find a perfectly consistent element, which shouldn't be surprising at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  12. DwarfJuggler

    DwarfJuggler Newbie

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    So god judging people and smiting them where they stand is completely not inflicting with their free will? What are you on to make you think such. Would be like saying god is giving you free will but if you don't do what he wants he'll kill you. Where is the freedom to choose your path? "He can be like that?" He can go against his own statements and smite anyone he pleases violating their free will? So what's the point of free will. Christians should be living in fear by what you say. They could J walk, break the societies law, and be smited where they stand because they did something god didn't want them to do.

    So again where does this notion of free will come from when we're playing Russian roulette and he only has the gun pointing at us? It equates to me releasing you from a prison but holding judgement to lock you up with out reason. Where's the free will. You're constantly on a leash waiting for the master to tug at it with lethal force.
     
  13. contango

    contango ...and you shall live...

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    There are consequences for our decisions. If I choose to take a swan dive off the top of a high cliff I am free to make that choice but it won't be any less damaging when I hit the bottom. Should God conjure up something nice and soft to absorb the impact when I land, so as to ensure my free choice doesn't come with any nasty consequences?
     
  14. DwarfJuggler

    DwarfJuggler Newbie

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    Ah but you're using free will to swan dive off that cliff. They didn't use free will to become a human bbq. Or are you implying that them being gay is the reason god had to intervene and abruptly kill the whole village, which I think would be out of their free will, rather than wait for them to grow old and die? So what about the man who via free will decided not to impregnate a woman? God had to step in and intervene punishing him with death for not doing what he wanted him to? Violating that mans free will? I would continue to pull out names of people god has killed but my knowledge of all the killed thus far hasn't been fully obtained, only now stepping in to the fun world of exodus.

    And if the reason he made sodom a human bbq why didn't god encourage lot and his family to meet these visitors on the road while already leaving the village somewhat more orange and flaming than when they remembered it. Or was is the story not as interesting that way? Would imagine an all knowing all powerful being would want things to be efficient. He already apparently punishes people on a whim when they don't do what he wants rather than giving them cancer and having them die eventually.
     
  15. contango

    contango ...and you shall live...

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    They did use free will to deny God's will. If you read the text you see Abraham asking God to spare the city for the sake of the righteous, and God agreed that if even ten righteous people could be found he would spare the city. But there weren't even ten.

    It's also easy to get obsessive about the whole gay thing. Certainly the city of Sodom has given its name to activities associated with gay people but there was more to it than that.

    In Ezekiel 16 we see God talking about Sodom and how as well as the abominations they had committed they were haughty, they had an abundance but did ignored the poor and needy.

    When I was a child my parents laid down certain rules. If I broke the rules there would be consequences. It was up to me if I broke the rules or not, but if I did there was little point claiming it was somehow unfair that I faced the punishment. Today we know that if you go out and kill someone you go to jail and don't collect $200. The law doesn't prevent you from doing it, but it does put a system in place to discourage it. Why is it difficult to accept God doing the same thing?
     
  16. DwarfJuggler

    DwarfJuggler Newbie

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    So your parents told you of said rules right? There was no bible, there was no 10 commandments when god did this. So it was his ignorance to not even tell the people what they were doing was wrong. Or was burning them alive and sending them to hell a way for him to tell them? Such a loving act...

    To equate it with your analogy it'd be like your parents grounding you, and when you ask why, they can makes some b.s. about you doing something you weren't suppose to when you were 8. It'd make no sense then, why does it make sense to you now?

    And this is just one example, the most common granted, but there are numerous examples of god slaying people for them not doing what he wanted them to. Which again reiterates the idea of God not really giving us free will.

    God: you can do what ever you want and what ever you feel. But abide by these rules less I kill you outright.

    Where is the freedom?

    Would be like your parents saying, sure you can go to the parties but if you talk to anyone, or they talk to you I'm not going to like it and you're grounded.

    How's that make sense.

    But again just one example of the numerous killings accounted to God. And I'm sure theres more in exodus, and following books. Just starting exodus now. Slow tiresome read.
     
  17. Hentenza

    Hentenza I will fear no evil for You are with me Site Advisor Supporter

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    DJ, you didn't answer my post number 8. I'm feeling ignored.;):p
     
  18. razeontherock

    razeontherock New Member

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    You'll not find an instance of anything like you claim.

    You are currently exerting (rather strenuously) your right to choose to stop your ears, rather than hear and exercise good sense.

    And G-d has not interfered. Empirical evidence is proving the falsehood of what you say. Oh, but don't change or anything ...
     
  19. razeontherock

    razeontherock New Member

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    You speak from ignorance. I could tell you the Truth but you have obviously stopped your ears and hardened your heart against it, so it would be a waste of my time.

    Remember, G-d Himself walked and talked with Adam (and Eve) daily, he was still around for 930 years, Seth, Enoch and Methuselah all taught the ways of the Lord, as did Noah and Shem.

    You really don't have a leg to stand on with your false accusations.
     
  20. DwarfJuggler

    DwarfJuggler Newbie

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    So are you claiming god went to sodom and told them to stop? Or his followers. I don't recall it mentioning it when I read the passages. But supposing it's true. Why are all gay men and woman not being burnt alive as back then? Or was that gay especially gay? and needed to be dealt with instantaneous?

    Also an interesting notion Adam and Eve. A lot of priests, bishops, and even some popes are claiming that it's more metaphorical as the evidence of evolution is further showing the implications of an Adam and Eve scenario invalid. (And while I know Christians and Catholics like to butt heads the evidence isn't only directed at their biblical text.)

    Now whether you believe it or not is your choosing I suppose. But seeing as we have actual evidence documenting the process we took via evolution I would question if you have not *finds wording* "stopped your ears and hardened your heart against it." Evolution is directly challenging the creation story of the bible. Where as yours is based on blind faith that science is wrong (science that your god apparently made mind you.) Ours is based on factual evidence. People, mainly theists... get caught up in the word "Theory" and apply the incorrect definition as when it's used.


    Helenza I'm sorry I don't know what you want me to respond there :p I did read it though. I suppose I'm just trying to point out the gaps in the logic of the bible. God is loving, but kills mercilessly. Stuff like that. If it's regarding the rules of the forum, I would admit I didn't actually read them. And If what I'm doing, questioning faith, is against said rules please by all means ban/get me banned. I'm aware questioning someones world views and trying to assert the logic of science and our "form" of reasoning is a douche of an act. I merely view it more as trying to persuade friends/neighbors not to dump their trust and money into the idea that some psychic can talk with their dead dog from *epic sounding voice* Beyond. If you knew and could see they're being manipulated and led on by the psychic you'd probably want to stop them from going there. And they will fight you tooth and nail against stopping as well.

    As for manipulation... Why do you believe... or rather why do you not believe? Because it will mean you are going to hell otherwise. Some people question the bible and whether it was modified or not like myself, but still seem to believe in it in fear that otherwise they'd go to hell if it were true. The fear of hell locks people into their convictions. Just like on various other forums when people ask god to smite them down and a theists says "I dare you to say that to Satan and worship him." As if this would some how make the supernatural entity do anything more than not show his existence. I'm actually 3 days in to my apparent smiting from both god and Satan, someone on you tube said that we'd be killed if we asked Satan to do it for us.. Giving him a week. If I'm not dead then someone clearly wasn't annoyed enough at me calling him a chicken.

    All and all if you were to look at this in the realm of human. And not look at any of these supernatural beliefs. And see how they're being manipulated you would probably want to help them break out of it. I'm not sure if you're the kind of people who follow the whole give your money to the church mindset that I think the bible mentions... But supposing you are then you're wasting money on top of being manipulated. And would be even more reason to want to break out of the self induced hypnotic state.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
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