10. Why does God allow evil?

Ah yes, the infamous “Problem of Evil.” To put it simply: Why would an all-good God do bad things? The answer? He wouldn’t.

Problem solved? Not really. If we want an omni-benevolent God, we must somehow find a way to exonerate Him from His own creation.

Having a few thousand years to ponder this problem, mankind has come up with a few explanations, the most popular one being that “Evil is necessary for free will.” Here are a few reasons why I think this explanation sucks:

1) Why create something that will result in evil?

First and foremost, why would a benevolent God want to tarnish His reputation by creating anything evil? If there was a time when evil did not exist, an all-good God should pass on any plans that would require the creation of evil and suffering.

Why would God create us if he knew the majority of us would end up in hell (Matthew 7:13)? As David Bazan poetically put it in his song When We Fell, “When you set the table and when you chose the scale, did you write a riddle that you know they would fail? … If you knew what would happen and made us just the same, then you, my lord, can take the blame.”

2) How did Satan choose to turn evil in the absence of evil?

If evil is the only way to have free will, how did Satan (and his angels) choose to become evil while in heaven? Either there was evil in heaven, or evil is not a prerequisite to free will.

3) Wait… do we even have free will?  

The free will explanation presupposes free will exists. But how can we have the free will to love God while He threatens us with hell? It’s as if God is holding a knife to our throat, saying “I love you soooo much, and you don’t have to love me back, but if you don’t you will suffer!” How is this free will? Free will should be as non-threatening as “Vanilla or chocolate?” not “Your money or your life!” This seems more like coercion than free will.  

And there are several other philosophical objections to free will (e.g. determinism):

    • How can God be truly all-powerful if He doesn’t have power over our actions?
    • Are we free agents, or is our every decision merely the cumulative result of causes, experiences and cultural influences?
    • How can God create the game, the rules, the players, and even the religion we’re born into, and then claim He had nothing to do with the end result?

I suppose the ultimate in free will would be if God granted us the power to destroy Him, and we freely choose not to. Instead, He chose to create us well beneath Him, and asks us to plead for forgiveness and mercy.

4) Then why gratuitous evil?

Wouldn’t a good God use only the minimum amount of evil necessary? Why design things like viruses, or the food chain, or pain? Why cause innocent children to suffer and die? Isn’t this unnecessary cruelty?

Other Excuses

“We can’t know the reason, but maybe evil is for some greater good.” If the majority of people will be tossed into hell anyway, what greater good could there possibly be?

“An eternity in Heaven will make up for it!” This is like arguing that if a man rapes a woman, He is no longer guilty if he gives her enough money. What he did was still wrong, regardless of how he tries to compensate for it after the fact.

What would we expect to see if evil were necessary and God were good?

If that were the case (and many believe it is), I imagine we might observe a world where the only evil that exists is evil perpetrated by men, and not by God.

In other words, the world free from all natural evils such as viruses, harmful bacteria, natural disasters, cancer, famine, genetic defects, aches and pains, disease and even aging (beyond adulthood). There would also be no animal suffering or food chain.

All evil would be purely man-made: war, fighting, rape, murder, theft, slavery, racism, terrorism, pollution, and TV shows like Jersey Shore. This kind of environment would support the conclusion that God cares for us, and that we only suffer as a result of our own evil desires. Whenever and wherever people begin to obey God’s commandments, we would find these areas returning to a peaceful Eden-like paradise. The world might even still be considered “fallen,” because evil can still exist if we choose to cause it, but it always stems from us, not God.

We still might question why a good God would create men who do evil, or why He would create a world where such evil was possible, but this kind of creation would testify to a good God, even if He never made Himself visible to us. So perhaps the question we should be asking is, why don’t we observe a world like this? 


So why does God allow evil? Well, that’s a pretty loaded question, it assumes that God exists and He doesn’t desire evil. But if that were true, we might expect a very different world.

When I look around and observe all the evil that exists in the world, it testifies to me that God is either nonexistent or not benevolent. Romans 1:20 tells us that we can clearly see God’s nature in His creation, but what I see is a creation that isn’t anywhere as near as good as a loving God could’ve created it to be. So if it turns out God is good, then His creation has bore false witness against Him, and as a result, it has led me to draw incorrect conclusions about Him.

But if it turns out God doesn’t exist, then He isn’t to blame for the world’s evils and there is no logical absurdity to be reconciled. The world is just the way it is because of natural forces, and what we label “evil” is just our way of saying “That’s something that didn’t need to happen,” or “I hope that never happens to me.”

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

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42 Responses to 10. Why does God allow evil?

  1. I think it might be truer to say that free will is in and of itself evil.

    Satan didn’t want to be second class to humans in god’s world – so he rebelled.

    Disobedience is the only evil to the Abrahamic god – the majority of the commandments are about blindly worshiping authority – with no assessment of the caliber of said authority.

    there no commandment saying rape is bad – slavery is okay by the bible too.

    so, free will is really your own will – and a god that is so vain and insecure and violent and requires worship – a person not going down on their knees – not obeying – that is the only thing that’s evil to said god.

    and who needs a god like that? be your own god and have free will on your own terms.

    • There no commandment saying rape is bad??

      Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9 all saying do not commit adultery.

      Hmmm… slavery..

      A little Bible history. A slave in those days was far different than what we know today. A slave back then was paid, had their own living quarters, and sometimes held some authority in the household. And in the gospels the writers called themselves slaves to Christ. Slavery back then for the Jews was not a bad thing until being put in slavery by the Egyptians.
      So a slave for the Jews was a paid servant.

      Due to its being practiced by MAN, God set up regulations for the protection of the slave.

      • Howdy jaymezseymour,

        ON RAPE

        Thanks for that, that’s an interesting twist on adultery.

        But what if you’re not married? Like when God ordained the murder of all the adults in a community, but allowed the Jews to take young women as wives (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)?

        I’m pretty sure these poor women were unwilling to marry the men that killed their parents. One might even say that the wedding and consummation were totally against their will. Today, when someone has sex against their will, we call it rape (even if God ordains it).

        ON SLAVERY

        You actually make slavery sound pretty great, like a job you can’t quit. Perhaps we should also redefine Auschwitz as just a fat camp for Jews.

        Are you also saying that slavery in America is okay, as long as we give the blacks some pay and shelter? Or some authority? Because I’m pretty sure some of them had those things.

        Also, according to Exodus 21:21, Jews could BEAT their slaves as much as they wanted, as long as they could still get up after TWO days. After all, says the Bible, they’re YOUR property. Niiiiiiice. But perhaps you’d prefer to believe that beatings back then were more like a “deep tissue massage”.

        Bottom line: Common sense tells me that we shouldn’t enslave others, because we wouldn’t want to be enslaved. The Jews, of all people, should have realized this. And Jesus, of all people, should have clarified this.

        Take care! 🙂

      • essmith says:

        What should we, during this 21st Century, expect from a god invented from the post Stone/Bronze Age? And what should we expect from people, during this 21st Century, who cling to primitive and superstitious abrahamic belief system as practiced by the so called “Three Major Religions”? As for myself, I intend to burn an animal on a stone altar this weekend, it’s called a barbecue!

  2. thegegors says:

    Awesome post, too often do i see people brush off the Problem of Evil as if it doesn’t create a huge whole in their perfect god. A lot of religious people like to counter the Problem of Evil by claiming evil is complementary to good. Basically saying that we would not realize good if we did not have evil to contrast with it and therefore evil most exist. I find this argument all over the place even though it is complete rubbish. Perhaps we would not realize good if it were not for evil, but if we are under the assumption that objective morality exists (which is the case for most religions) it should not matter if we recognize good or not because good would still exist even if we had nothing to contrast it with. In essence, an all powerful being would not need a contrast with evil to allow for good, therefore evil does not by necessity exist, and as such, the Problem of Evil is still applicable.

  3. in christianty, knowing the difference between good and evil was the knowledge that god didn’t want Adam and Eve to know and understand

    thus, we can conclude that god is evil – first for keeping them unaware, then for tempting them by making the one tree’s fruit taboo – essentially guaranteeing that the fruit would be eaten since it’s human nature to want what we can’t have, a nature their god would have designed –

    plus, putting the snake in the garden to draw attention to the forbidden, the end result was easily predictable, especially by an omnipotent god.

    so their god is in fact, evil, and ostensibly didn’t want Adam and Eve to recognize that fact and reject him – and rightfully so – in favour of other gods.

    • Tom says:

      The fruit was a representation of God’s right to be their head. It belonged to him. Similarly if you leave your house for the weekend and tell your kids they can have anything in the house to their pleasure, but do not eat my watermelon in the fridge. That is your right. It is all your stuff. The fruit represented God’s sovereignty or right to rule. Eve was deceived into believing God was holding something good from her. 1Tim 2:14 Adam knew and made the choice to be independent from God and follow his own selfish course. Since no sinless offspring had been produced, we all inherited imperfection. Rom 5:12

    • No U cant conclude that he is evil. U can give your opinion. That is all.

    • in christianty, knowing the difference between good and evil was the knowledge that god didn’t want Adam and Eve to know and understand

      God did not want them to eat from the tree because he told them they could eat from every other tree in the garden except for that one.

    • so their god is in fact, evil, and ostensibly didn’t want Adam and Eve to recognize that fact and reject him – and rightfully so – in favour of other gods.

      No He is not in FACT evil. In your opinion he is. God can’t do evil. It’s what the Bible says.

    • It is this thing called Free-will and the Fall was necessary so God isn’t evil?

  4. http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/tree.html

    Here is a link to a great explanation. Also if you want to know about God, Read the Bible. If you don’t want to read the bible, ENTIRELY, your only going to get watered down answers unless its from the Bible. The tongue is deceitful. You are only going from God as much as you choose. First in foremost, you cannot do anything without Lord Jesus Christ. So attempting to even understand one thing such as the tree, you won’t get it. Do you know what love is, how bout truth, how bout faithfulness, how bout mercy, righteousness, humility, patience, holiness, peace, joy, gentleness, self-control. You won’t understand these things unless you have Jesus. He is the source.

    How can you possibly think that you can understand God? He doesn’t fit in ones head, otherwise if you think that, he isn’t the God of the Bible. You can’t reach God without Jesus, that is why he made it possible and came to our level, to our lowest of lows, and meets us in our own depravity, in our sin, to pull us out of the valley. you have the freedom to obey or not.

    We can’t understand the Bible with our own attempts. If you don’t look to Jesus and look at the Bible as God speaking to you(not God spoke, but is speaking) its just a dead book.
    Stop trying to understand something that is of God, when you make yourself your own god. you have to give yourself up.

    We were created for the mere purpose and pleasure of God. If you don’t want to believe there are consequences for the unrighteous. its not that God is so evil that he just punishes people. Its that he is so good, that his perfect justice is soo good, that if he didn’t punish you for your evil and unrighteousness he wouldn’t be a good God and therefore be evil by not doing anything about the unclean.

    The definition of evil: without God.

    how can God be without himself?

    He rewards those who obey him. That how he knows that you love him back, is when you obey.

    John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.

    Not “I’m not going to love you if you don’t do what I say.” because he loves us. that is how he knows we love him back.

    • Thanks Jaymezseymour,


      I have read the Bible. In fact, I’ve spent over 30 years as an Evangelical Christian and defender of the faith. I NEVER, EVER thought I would not be a Christian, until I started to explore the arguments on both sides. I would love nothing more than for someone to prove me wrong and to believe the way I once did, but so far the arguments coming from the agnostics/atheists are just more reasonable.

      Likewise, John Loftus, a former preacher and Christian apologist, used to debate on the side of the Bible, before he realized he was wrong (and he’s forgotten more about Christianity than I’ll ever know). Point being, there are many Christians who held deep, sincere relationships with God, only to realize they were totally mistaken.

      So let me address your other main points, because I really do appreciate you taking the time to write.


      When we Christians say things like “you cannot do anything without Lord Jesus Christ” or “We can’t understand the Bible with our own attempts” we’re basically saying that we must “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” we must rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s Word to us, through “prayer and supplication”.

      It’s really just a fancy way of saying, “Stop thinking, keep believing.” Don’t stop and ask yourself, “Who wrote this stuff?” or “Does it stand up to some basic tests of logic and reason?” If it does, we should follow it. If it doesn’t, we’ve been seriously duped.

      I really don’t think God would give us a mind and not expect us to use it. In fact, if we are not to believe without good reason, then by this same measure we would fall for any and religions that ask us to believe without reason. We need SOME means of judging truth from fiction. Otherwise, why not just be a Scientologist, or a Mormon, or a Hindu, or a Muslim? If you can give me reasons for not being these things, then you too have some logical basis for accepting Christianity. And I would argue that those reasons don’t hold up to reason.

      ON EVIL

      “The definition of evil: without God.”

      I would say the definition of evil is: Something very painful that happens to myself or others that I would rather did not happen, especially if there was no reason for it to happen.

      ON HELL

      “If you don’t want to believe there are consequences for the unrighteous.”

      This is a fear fallacy. The Muslims too say that if you believe Jesus is God, there will be eternal consequences for your unrighteousness. If you have no fear of the Muslim consequences, you’ll understand why I have no fear of the Biblical consequences.

      If God chooses to send me to hell forever over a simple misunderstanding, well that’s not the kind of God I’d care to worship, anyway. God shouldn’t send people to hell, for the simple reason that He wouldn’t want to be sent to hell.

      Peace, out! 😉

      • If God chooses to send me to hell forever over a simple misunderstanding, well that’s not the kind of God I’d care to worship, anyway. God shouldn’t send people to hell, for the simple reason that He wouldn’t want to be sent to hell.

        In the end God will decide and whatever decision he makes will be the right decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      simple, God the CREATOR is not ruling the earth Satan a rebellious Angel is ruling for a time until the creator says enough is enough. Satan challenge Gods sovergnity and now we have the answer: We need the creator to rule over us and soon before we destroy ourselves.

  5. Bruce says:

    In Regard to: Question 10 – Why did God create evil?

    You seem to be asking multiple questions under the category of the initial post.

    You question god’s creation of evil, you mention Satan and then you also relfect upon free will.

    Break these topics down any you get (of course) contradiction in the bible.

    First answer your first question in the way the majority of the churches toady would answer it – God, they would say, needs evil to provide a basis from which to judge what is the opposite of evil.
    But this is kind of strange in that the acts of the Judeo-Christian god, Yahweh, El, Jehovah, Alohim etc. were in and of themselves contradictory to the way his creation was supposed to act.

    The taking of sexual slaves (young girls who have never known a man) for example, to be used as concubines (read as: sexual slaves) might be considered something we today in civilized culture might frown upon. Therefore if this is a gody thing, we should still do today as god commanded and set the pedophiles and ephophiles free. (Certainly not in my lifetime hopefully but maybe <> would like that.) After all the Hebrew Talmud say heathen girls as young as 3 can be sexually used. (Not in anyway being anti-Semetic here, I’m just making a point about how silly “scriptures” can be twisted to say whatever the writer wants or claims comes from <>.)

    Kethuboth 11b
    Sanhedrin 54b
    Sanhedrin 55b

    We also know that Paul of Tarsus (Formerly Saul) made it seem as though women were entirely stupid and should not speak in temples. I happen to know a lot of very intelligent women and our culture would not allow women to “remain silent”.

    We could probably determine from the evidence that “Thou shalt not commit murder” only conveys local laws such as don’t kill people among your own race, creed, religious group – because God certainly did let his people loose on occassion. The blood (supposedly) rose to the necks of the horses . . . (that’s a lot of blood).

    etc. . . ad nauseum.

    Satan of course is a fabrication.
    Satan is a transliteration. The original word was copied down as a Proper noun from Satanus or correctly translated “Adversary”. Peter was an adversary in the NT if we believe that Jesus accused him of being a Satan. Certainly it follows that Peter would be an adversary by opposing Jesus’ will and not suddenly trasformed into the enemy of God in the form of some demonic angel.

    In Isaiah 14 Lucifer is not the Satan either . . . Lucifer was as we see in an earlier verse, a prince of Persia. (End of argument, after all, I didn’t write the d a r n e d book.) If the bible is the so-called “god-breathed” inspiration to ‘His’ secretaries it stands to follow that all the words should be put together to form a whole and not cherry-picked to find a meaning not intended.

    As for free will, could a devil have such? Could an angel?
    If we look at the word for angel we find it basically means messenger.
    It we believe that a war in heaven happened before the creation of humankind, who were these messengers taking messages to? Where did they take them if no universe existed yet?

    And if only humans have souls, and angels do not, and given they have no free will, how could there be one evil guy among the followers to lead the disgruntled employees to war with the “gruntled” (a little joke – forgive me, but what is the opposite of disgruntled angles?)

    So we have a war in heaven prosecuted by an angel with no free will.


    We have a human king/prince who suffered from hubris and announced he wanted to be a dominant “emperor” of the world he knew. I know if thaere were a choice and we needed to answer a quiz on what is most likely – I’d choose “disgruntled human”.

    Remember, the bible god supposedly sent evil spirits to people in order to punish them and make them do stupid things. As you might think, that would be like punching oneself in the face.
    Eventually it will feel good once you stop, but not very practical.

    God, if it existed, would have to be a very mentally handicapped individual. And asking to follow such a person would have to be the ultimate stupid act a human could do.

    If a god existed, I could only imagine one that would look down from on high and say about the athiest and agnostic people the world has spawned and think – “Those guys (atheists – agnostics – doubters), yeah, I could spend eternity with them, they aren’t blind or stupid or willing to walk around in the dark just ’cause some guy in a robe said otherwise. That would be just fine. At least I’ll have someone to talk to.”

    • Tom says:

      There are many fallacies in your argument. One of which is humans do not have souls, they are souls. Adam was given the breath of life and became a living soul. “The soul that is sinning will die.” Not fry, not fly, die. No longer exist. The belief of an immortal soul is a man made philosophy, not biblical. That is one reason why Jesus sacrifice is necessary to save us from sin and death (non-existence) Part of Satan’s reasoning to deceive Eve in the garden was, “You will not die, God knows from the very day you eat from this fruit you will become like God, knowing good and bad.” Angels also have the same free will as humans, choosing to be evil and independent from God. Also Hebrew Talmud is not scripture! You are also way off in misinterpreting what Paul wrote.

  6. Apollo says:

    God did not create evil because it’s opposite of who He is but He knew this because He is perfect of wisdom. Obviously, for Him to create real humans in His image He’ll make people not robots. Now the problem of evil is derived to the abuser of the free choice. People are inspired by God to know evil and good yet also ‘responsiblity’ to those who receive it, comes with that “With great powers comes great responsibilty”. Now if to question about love, how loving will He be to give us that? I’ll also ask how loving will be true if free choice is not given. Love could never happen without free choice.

    • Hi Apollo,

      “God did not create evil because it’s opposite of who He is but He knew this because He is perfect of wisdom.”

      I’ll grant that this is a possibility, and there’s actually a lot of debate over how we should even define “good” and “evil.” For example, are these things defined outside of God and He chooses to comply with this definition? Or are good and evil whatever God says they are? But just to have a working definition, I tend to think of evil as excessive and unnecessary pain and suffering (though God may choose to define “good” as worshiping Him, and “evil” as not worshiping Him).

      “Obviously, for Him to create real humans in His image He’ll make people not robots.”

      But relative to God, I think you’d agree humans are EXTREMELY unintelligent. So while God may not be satisfied with stupid robots, He (strangely) has no problem being adored by intellectually retarded creations.

      “Now if to question about love, how loving will He be to give us that [free choice]? I’ll also ask how loving will be true if free choice is not given.”

      This is really the heart of the matter, and creating us with free will is NOT loving at all, not if the wrong choice could land one in an eternal hell. If I were God, and I knew that the majority of my creations would choose evil and end up suffering eternally in hell, I would be loving enough not to create them! Ergo, God is evil because in His “perfect wisdom” He knew what would happen, and He chose to let it happen rather than spare billions of people an eternity of suffering. (But then again, God may see their suffering as good.)

  7. Apollo says:

    I think that’s the point “you and I are not God.”

    Say, you haven’t known me personally and exhaustively.
    I am rich and sovereign in a far place you haven’t heard of or visited would it deny my existence?

    Secondly, the term retarded creations would commit fallacy of equivocation- I’m a Psychometrist so the jargon has an objective meaning. Using it for humans universally to satisfy description of some or connotes to some misunderstood behaviors is a fallacy.

    Thirdly, the “If I were God”- makes the idea subjective and pointing for presupposition of a will to do or to have. Making it only someone’s point of view or perspective of things.

    • With all due respect Apollo, it seems you’re mostly arguing over semantics rather than the real issues. I will try to address what I believe are your two primary points.

      Firstly, I don’t believe the problem of evil alone could disprove the existence of God (no more than it could disprove the existence of Zeus). It merely points out that the Bible says “God is good,” and the observable evidence says that “God is bad,” and because an observable contradiction exists, we must conclude that the Bible’s description of the creator is wrong (assuming there is a creator).

      Your second point seems to be that you and I may have a different perspective than God. For example, God might look at the rape and dismemberment of an innocent child and say, “This is bad, but it’s also GOOD! Because it’s ENTIRELY necessary. It’s not gratuitous, or unjustifiable evil, or excessively cruel — it is EXACTLY the right amount amount of rape and torture that this child needs and deserves.”

      You’re welcome to believe that such a possibility exists, but to me what this kind of argument REALLY says is: “Never mind that God’s actions appear nonsensical and cruel, just keep believing, keep having faith, and when you die, you’ll find there REALLY WAS a good explanation for it! There is no Biblical absurdity that God won’t be able to explain in the afterlife!”

      This tactic just kicks the can so far down the road that it can no longer be disproved (convenient!). But if I agree to accept the possibility that religious contradictions and absurdities can all be explained in the afterlife, then I must ALSO accept the possibility that the absurdities of other religions can ALSO be explained in the afterlife, I need only die to receive THEIR explanations.

      Unfortunately, the afterlife may not exist at all, and all the information I have to go on is what I’ve been given. So if God is a decent bloke, He shouldn’t place me in surroundings that would force me to logically conclude otherwise.

  8. Apollo says:

    This is a video of William Lane Craig talking about “Why Would God Allow Suffering -The Problem of Evil”

    • Jonathan says:

      Thanks Apollo I love the video.
      But you need to post a Spoiler warning for Sliding Doors! Just kidding. I love that movie and pretty sure I own it on DVD, just haven’t watched it in many years.

  9. Norms says:

    Hey 500 Q, I love this post. I finally find someone analytical enough to find the errors, mistakes, contradiction and just the mere nonsense that faith has. I would like to add on the ‘free will’ topic that Christians contradict themselves. They boast around about God being soo good giving us free will and being so powerful for having a master plan. As anyone can see, these two premises cannot coexist. If there is a master plan everything we “decide” or do has already been set down by God so free will is a mere illusion for everything happens as He wishes so. Also if the case were that there is no master plan and we do have free will then God is not omnipotent since he can’t control his “creations” and we would be the ones running the show. Also the major hole I found was that if Christians so fervently support the master plan then we shouldn’t ever convict anyone on anything since they were mere instruments of the all powerful, all loving God and their crime whichever it was it was part of the plan and they were just fulfilling their role. Based on this premise I wouldn’t see myself believing in a God that deliberately planned and executed the mass killing 14 million people during the Holocaust. Everything is part of his plan and he decides what we will be and do as adults even before we are born, that’s the comments Christians give so apparently the Holocaust was part of the plan and God knew what Hitler would do and not only did he decide not to intervene but he himself planned it all since he is all powerful and is responsible for anything we do as everything is part of His master plan then so was Hitler just an instrument fulfilling his share of God’s mighty master plan. I would like to see any Christian trying to LOGICALLY refute this premise. Thanks again for the awesome post it has helped me trying to open the eyes of others and I’m just 17 years old and yet I see the irrationality others fail to see. Keep it up! 😀

    • Hi Norms,

      Yep, I’ve often wondered about that first point. If God IS all knowing, then he knows what choice we’re going to make, so he can skip this whole charade and whisk us off to heaven or hell. But if he doesn’t know, then he’s not all-knowing. We could also conclude that we’re not here for God, but for us to experience good and evil… but still… couldn’t God just create us with memories of these experiences? Instead of actually letting them play out?

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey 500Q

        I’ve thought of it to, as to why the whole point of creating humanity if he knew the suffering we would cause, that not everyone would believe in him etc. He also condemns those who don’t believe, to hell but if he knew beforehand what we were going to decide and he planned it that way then he picks who goes to hell and who goes to heaven. It’s all been decided, we we’re condemned since birth for “He” chose everything for us you know for his plan.

        I also don’t understand the “all-loving” part. God is like “I love you so so much, I give you free will to decide if you want to believe in me or not and I will always love buuuuut if you choose not to believe then I’ll have to send you to hell for an eternity of suffering, but remember it’s your decision.” That’s more like coercion. If we really did have free will then regardless what we did we would all go to heaven and we would be proven wrong. This kind of love comes with certain strings attached apparently.

    • Innocent says:

      You’re too inexperienced, if you’re 17, to have known anything. I don’t mean to insult your intelligence but I’m just shooting straight. I understand that mainstream christians don’t have the answers to most of the questions because they’re deceived but that does not mean the answers are not there.

      If you read the old testament and see what the jews did and what God told them would happen if they refuse to change, you wouldn’t be surprised about the holocaust. Just, fyi, that same God foretells of even more disaster to befall the world this time, not just the Jews.

      There’s more that we’ll not understand till the return of Jesus Christ. But if someone will predict an event that will happen hundreds of years beforehand with certainty, that will get my attention. There are many prophecies foretold in the Bible that came to pass. These can be verified through the writings of circular historians who were not christians and thus had no agenda, but were just historians. There is book called, the antiquities of the Jews. Read it. I can refer you to tens of them that validate the Bible. So, in this case, I’m not using the Bible to prove the Bible but circular historical sources to prove it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just a comment on the question you put forth on why God would create us just to send the majority of us to Hell. I don’t believe for one minute that the majority of humans will go to hell. God tells us that all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26) and that he wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4, Though much of mankind is now following the broad road leading to destruction. The time will come when they will have the opportunity to turn from the road and start following God’s way. God is not limited to save people in this life time.

  11. John Hill says:

    Brother, I just want to say that I have been where you are (still there to some degree) and it is a very confusing place. What is so confusing is how much sense it makes to believe that the God I was shown in Sunday School wasn’t really all that nice and good. It made me ache inside that I was truly seeking God and the more questions I asked, the farther away I seemed to get in my mind. Therein is where I found the problem. What we think about God is relevant to what we THINK. When we put God in a box and try to say “THIS is what God is and the way He thinks”, then we do a real injustice to ourselves and to God. I believe that God is good, not because of what people say or because of what I see or comprehend in my mind. I believe that God is good, because of what I feel in my Spirit. My mind is limited, but my spirit sees perfection in God. The problem is really our perceptions and belief in absolutes.

    The thought that an eternal conscious torment was created for the evil people of the world isn’t the attributes that line up with the God that I know in my spirit, but that He loved the world so much that He was willing to sacrifice His Son in cooperation with His Son to show His love for us is absolutely in His character. Jesus came to earth and was willing to suffer and be humiliated by His own creation. He saw the big picture and didn’t force people to drop to their knees and worship Him. He was humble and loving and showed everyone that the Father isn’t an egotistical jerk. He knew that his humiliation and ultimate death at the hands of those He loved would reconcile us all and would be an act that would draw people to the love of OUR Father. Then man had to get involved and created a religion that separated them into the elite. You are right, if the traditional interpretation of the Bible is a picture of the TRUE God and there is an ultimate end of eternal conscious torment, then that isn’t a God I want to be associated with, but we both know deep down inside that it isn’t. If we did we would all stop having children, because the chances are too great that they would end up burning in an everlasting Hell. I don’t think many people really believe it even when they say they do. That should be a flag that what we believe in our minds is not what we really believe in our spirits. we think we believe in our minds isn’t what we believe in our spirit.

    All this stuff we experience on earth is but a poof of dust. Suffering is fleeting, but it is sometimes the thing that draws us to Him. God doesn’t care about suffering in the same way we do, because He sees the ultimate picture. Solomon said it best “All is vanity (meaningless)…”. That isn’t depressing, that is exciting! If Jesus shed His blood on the cross so that ALL would be saved, then wouldn’t that make a difference in how you felt about Jesus, and God? Doesn’t suffering and pain or uncomfortable feelings mean little when you have a surety that the suffering of this age can’t compare to the perfection in the coming age?

    I am convinced that God allows us to experience this utter chaos to find peace in His Spirit. If we refuse to find it here, we will eventually find it with Him. The only hopes I have here on earth for true peace during my short life span is in shedding my own self and thoughts and just believe that God is as GOOD as I know Him to be in my spirit. The Bible isn’t infallible, but if read through the eyes of the Spirit can be powerful. I know that you have experienced that or you wouldn’t have put this much thought into your questions. I can also tell by some of your responses that you are a kind and loving person that WANTS to believe, but the physical evidence is just too convincing. So choose to believe what you believe in your spirit and not your head.
    So, in conclusion, I believe that if we get past our minds and we see that God is GOOD in spite of what we label as “bad”, then we find a peace that surpasses understanding. We can all argue and express our thoughtful opinions, but there isn’t a soul on earth that can know what eternity is going to look like. I choose to believe that it is going to be amazing and that God has a plan that I simply don’t know or understand, but that it is better than I can conceive in my mind.

  12. Tim says:

    John: “The only hopes I have here on earth for true peace during my short life span is in shedding my own self and thoughts and just believe that God is as GOOD as I know Him to be in my spirit.”

    Are these your “only hopes” here on earth?

    AFAIK: If you shed your own SELF and THOUGHTS (or even one of these), you, as you know yourself, will cease to exist. Then there will be no one left to BELIEVE in anything – be it god, spirit, Jesus, or whatever. All our deliberate actions and beliefs are preceded by thoughts and guided by thoughts.

  13. consultgtf says:

    1)Evil definition:-
    morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked…
    If this is the basic definition, where is question of creating it, It is the way you and I are living. but we are talking about choices, we can be a morally perfect human or imperfect human, but the decision is yours in any given situation
    2) Free will:-
    Any creation if it does not have free will it is called slavery! but you have also mentioned that we are threatened. I disagree as He is only letting you know that you could also go to heaven if you live a morally perfect life Or…You will go to hell. Can we not see the first half and change our choice?
    3)“Evil is necessary for free will.”
    We would have just acted and tried to prove that we are perfect.
    4)Why would God create us if he knew the majority of us would end up in hell?
    He have given you two roads reach our destination one is very hard to pass but it is the short cut to reach our destination, we need to have perseverance, while other is enjoyable but you will be going away from our destination, but He is giving you the option of passing the hard path very quickly, though you will disagree and always say it is very lengthy as you don’t like it, while other is very long you will never know,as you are enjoying it
    5)Why cause innocent children to suffer and die? Isn’t this unnecessary cruelty?
    If you see from a human fathers perspective you may be right, now also see from GTF’s angle, He has created you with a purpose, if choose the right path, but…If you are the target, how will know the effect if you are hit directly? The pain will be less compared to the pain and agony you will undergo when you see your loved ones undergoing the same pain. but that is only illusion compared to what you are undergoing!

  14. Eric Siegel says:

    Damage and suffering as a result of natural causes can’t really be described as evil. Evil requires intent, and nature has no intent.

    • Jeff says:

      Lets substitute “damage and suffering” for “evil” in the saying by Epicurus at the end of 500Q’s article. Does it really change the meaning of what he said?

  15. jmcmeyer1 says:

    Jim Meyer
    Will God Answer Your Prayers?
    “The death of a child is a tragic loss. Yet, every year, almost 11 million children die — that is, 30,000 children a day — before their fifth birthday. Most of these children live in developing countries and die from a disease or a combination of diseases that can be prevented or treated by existing inexpensive means. [The number only increases when the Western developed countries are added.] Sometimes, the cause is as simple as a lack of antibiotics for treating pneumonia or of oral rehydration salts for diarrhea. Malnutrition contributes to over half these deaths.
    These kids didn’t die in school shootings. For whatever reason, if any of them had died that way, you would have heard about that on the front page of your newspaper. But these 30,000 kids that I’m writing about who died today (as well as a different 30,000 kids who died yesterday, and yet another 30,000 who will die tomorrow) their deaths could EASILY be prevented. As the United Nations link below at page 18 also notes: “Most of these children…die from a disease or a combination of diseases that can be prevented or treated by existing INEXPENSIVE means. Sometimes, the cause is as simple as a lack of antibiotics for treating pneumonia or of oral rehydration salts for diarrhea. Malnutrition contributes to over half these deaths.” [http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mi/pdf/MDG%20Book.pdf]” [The Millennium Development Goals Report 2005]
    No one, except someone with neurotic or pathological issues, would ever say, “It was a good thing those 11 million children died last year or 30,000 children die each day.” That is unconsciousable. The literal torment and suffering that some children must endure, along with their siblings and parents, is unquestionably horrifying and immoral. ‘Why me’ is an often asked question or ‘why my son or daughter’? Where were my prayers?
    I have listed some reasons why God-fearing people believe God permits this disturbing and immoral suffering. 1. “These children may rebel against God, so he took them early to save them.” If God gives children a choice or free will, what good is it to allow them to die before they make their choice or exercise their free will? Why not simply kill every child or person before they revolt against this God? Why should they be punished for exercising their so-called ‘God given free will?’ This is totalitarian. 2. “God is able to bring a greater good out of tragedy.” Where is the greater good while watching the child die a slow painful death? Why is good more valuable only if accompanied with evil? Why can’t good be good enough by itself? If you have no choice but to do good what’s wrong with that? If you wanted to do things that you somehow could not do, yes, it may be frustrating. However, if you didn’t even want those things to begin with it would be no problem.
    Augustine says suffering isn’t a real thing. It is simply ‘a falling away from God.’ Augustine said; … “for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil…For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good? It is similar to darkness being the absence of light.” [Augustine. “What is Called Evil in the Universe is but the Absence of Good.”] To tell a mother that her child is not really suffering, rather, experiencing the absence of God’s mercy or goodness with a purpose in mind resonates as hollow, cruel and malicious to a grieving parent. Where is the greater good for the child?
    If I were to ask simple questions that only require ‘yes, you may/can’ or ‘no you may not’ I think my chance of getting an answer would be the same as flipping a coin; heads I can and tails I cannot or 50%. Plus, the advantage of the coin flip is I don’t have to wait till ‘God knows when’ for an answer. Any question more complex, just use your own reason and judgment. Where was God during WWI, WWII, Spanish influenza, the Plague of the 14th century in Europe, tsunamis, Crusades, Inquisition, Genocide in Burma, Rwanda, Congo, Dar Fur, Sudan, Tiananmen Square in 1989, The American Civil War, Spanish Civil War, Australian Aborigines, Native Americans in the 16th-21st centuries, East Timor, Vietnam War, ISIS, 2003 invasion of Iraq, Armenian Genocide 1915-18, Wars going back to 5000 C.E. in Europe, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, etc. Oh yea, what about cancer, heart attacks, deformed babies, murders, child sexual abuse (Jehovah’s Witnesses), diabetes, HIV/AIDS, malaria, unclean drinking water, suicides, epilepsy? Yes, please visit a children’s cancer hospital and tell them/ parents that God has a loving plan for the intense suffering their children are going through. Really, try telling them God cares as they watch their little babies die a slow agonizing death. I’ll stop here, it’s getting depressing.
    Where was God; nowhere. He is nothing more than a man-made construct. Religions have made trillions of dollars over their sales pitch while the commoners wonder the streets aimlessly. Maybe we need to rephrase the question: Is there a God to answer prayers? I don’t claim any special knowledge, but I just cannot make myself believe He is. In addition, I cannot make myself believe in a square circle or that 2+2=5 or that the totality of the Universe is just for us.
    Again, with no God, there is no difficulty reconciling nature and suffering. Nature is indifferent and uncaring about our existence. This is not necessarily appealing, but it is the truth. What I see in all the above and more is exactly what I would expect having arrived on this planet and developed through evolution to become homo-sapiens some 200,000 years ago. I would certainly expect to see things enormously different [better] if there was a God, however, there isn’t. It’s simply wishful thinking. I am certainly not trying to advocate for a Darwinian lifestyle. We have made enormous progress as a species but our time is running out. I don’t like the fact that I will die but I cannot deny it either. Part of life involves dying. It’s all around us.

  16. V says:

    free will comes out of your mind, not from indwelling spirit aka ATMAN in Vedas. if your mind is ill or your memories are full of horror experiences stored in from past genomic existence (that is your ancestors genes and genomes), then they get inherited, as long term memories are stored inside genomes of each person. dear God has made man so perfect w everything in the beginning. but as time passed, I mean in several million years (according to 4 Vedas, man and earth had existed over 60,000,000 years. Free Will can be guided as evolution can be directed a modern science. people who do evil things are victims of whatever might have happened to their ancestors. it is like an eternal PTSD in their situations or circumstances. It is very complex that no man has answers. God does. God gave basic outline of laws that man does not remember to follow at times, bc his mind Sanders away from them unconsciously.

  17. Hermano says:

    But I argue that God did NOT create evil. To be convinced, please read,

    “God does not create, commit, or allow evil!”

    at http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7122


    • “And we know that Satan, the accuser, became the author of death, NOT GOD.”

      See “Why did God create Satan.”

      But who was the author of Satan? There is an inherent contradiction in saying that God is all-knowing, and then denying that God created evil. If you KNOW what you are creating is evil, or going to be evil, and you create it anyway, then you are evil for doing so.


  18. Katherine Johnson says:

    While I can’t deny that we lack the intellectual and moral capacity to even remotely understand something that far above our heads, I don’t think that necessarily follows that God doesn’t exist. Personally I just think people are extremely limited both in intelligence and spiritual sensitivity, not to mention endowed with a tremendous amount of self absorption and arrogance. it’s not really surprising that we would be in the dark. We often have a problem seeing beyond the end of our own noses. Ants don’t understand calculus. The problem here is refusing to accept that you’re the ant. We think so incredibly highly of ourselves. I think far too much so. That arrogance has led us to destroy much of the natural world.

    Of course sans God, we are left with a reality in which we are born, we live lives full of pointless suffering, where everything we learn means nothing because it’s all destined for the grave, evil often triumphs over good and good is often left unrewarded. Then we die and return to dust, forgotten as if we never existed at all in at most 3 generations. Less if you don’t have children. Even if you do something notable, it’s not “you” that’s remembered, just the achievement. Not that it would matter to you, since you would just be worm food anyway. We are in essence, temporary walking dust. Any “meaning” we attribute to our lives would be nothing but a mental construct, based no more in reality than faith in God.

    Of course it is possible, that there is a God, that had motive and purpose behind our creation that is above our understanding. That’s what I believe. I am not afraid of mystery. In fact expect it. Wouldn’t be much of a God if we had it all figured out. We’re not that bright. I love the analogy of sheep. It’s so apt.

    All I can say is that I’ve lived the last 18 years in chronic pain, spending long periods of time alone, and God shows up for me every morning with provision to allow me to live another day. I’ve seen him in the scriptures, I’ve seen him prayer, in the hands and feel of his people, in his constant encouragement, and even sometimes in my own reflection. It is because of this I have hope. It’s because of this, I don’t believe my suffering is pointless. If I believed there was nothing, I’d have left long ago. I have many good things in my life and people that love me, but believe me when I say it would not be enough. I certainly can’t explain everything, and I wouldn’t even try. All I can offer is my own testimony. In the end, we all have our own choice to make. I would encourage people not to get too hung up on the “big questions”, and seek first. Look for the light. You might be surprised.

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