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 the problem of pain/suffering Theodicy

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God is
Evil
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
Good
50%
 50% [ 3 ]
Good but allows evil
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
Evil but allows good
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
the question is more complicated
33%
 33% [ 2 ]
i like donuts
17%
 17% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 6
 

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rogermugs
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PostSubject: the problem of pain/suffering Theodicy   Sat May 31, 2008 1:30 pm

wikipedia wrote:
Theodicy (IPA: /θiːˈɒdɪsi/) (adjectival form theodicean) is a specific branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to reconcile the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the belief in an omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent God, i.e., the problem of evil.

there has been a meme posing some questions about this (see the original here), and you can follow it through people's answers...

But what are your views. why is there pain?
can we trust a God that allows pain?
does pain/suffering keep people from believing in a God?
Our God? scratch Arrow Evil or Very Mad

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design219
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PostSubject: Re: the problem of pain/suffering Theodicy   Sat May 31, 2008 2:12 pm

rogermugs wrote:
But what are your views. why is there pain?
can we trust a God that allows pain?
does pain/suffering keep people from believing in a God?

I personally think God is indifferent to the details of our lives. (that was not a pole option, so I voted "more complicated")

And yes, pain is a major roadblock to the universal belief in God. This is especially a problem when so many are set up to believe God answers prayer, and when the worst imaginable pains are the answer to fervent prayer, what is a person supposed to think?
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PostSubject: Re: the problem of pain/suffering Theodicy   Sat May 31, 2008 4:45 pm

It's definitely an issue that's difficult to fathom. The book of Job delves into this issue as do some of the psalms.

I don't have an answer that can explain it satisfactory or for all cases and I suspect no valid answer exists today. I hope we'll get a better explanation once in heaven.

I take the stance that most of the suffering is by man and a result of his sinful nature. To that end, God has done something, to address the suffering. He sent his son to pay the penalty. Its not his fault the majority of his creation still rejects his advances to reconciliation.

Still there's a lot of suffering in this world, we look to God for answers and wonder why he does not intervene, but that same accusation could be brought upon mankind in general. We see our fellow humans suffering and we do very little and yet we have the audacity to accuse God of not acting, when do even less.
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PostSubject: Re: the problem of pain/suffering Theodicy   Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:31 am

maflynn wrote:
It's definitely an issue that's difficult to fathom. The book of Job delves into this issue as do some of the psalms.

I don't have an answer that can explain it satisfactory or for all cases and I suspect no valid answer exists today. I hope we'll get a better explanation once in heaven.

I take the stance that most of the suffering is by man and a result of his sinful nature. To that end, God has done something, to address the suffering. He sent his son to pay the penalty. Its not his fault the majority of his creation still rejects his advances to reconciliation.

Still there's a lot of suffering in this world, we look to God for answers and wonder why he does not intervene, but that same accusation could be brought upon mankind in general. We see our fellow humans suffering and we do very little and yet we have the audacity to accuse God of not acting, when do even less.
Excellent points maflynn. Interestingly, suffering can and does exist everywhere regardless of our faith. I think of the circumstances Steven Curtis Chapman is going through right now. Wasn't one of his children/grandchildren ran over with a vehicle between one kid's graduation and another's marriage? I think it is somewhat risky to assume that sin invokes bad rather, without bad what is good?

You nailed it with the fact that often we are quick to indict God, but slow in thanking Him. When was the last time we thanked him for having that nest of birds right outside for us to watch in amazement? Or the last time you saw the sun beam through the clouds in its majestic glory. For every breath we take and every new day we're given? Friends, family, the most basic provisions, etc... and what are we doing for others? (Personally, I'm quick to thank God, slow to serve Him by serving the least of His.)

I've been asked this question by others ranging from long-time believers in pain to non-believers and the one thing that usually occurs to me is that we regard suffering much more differently than other cultures. There are many who look forward to the opportunity to show faith. (you bring up Job, another excellent example) I'm not sure God is as concerned about our temporal shell here on earth as He is our eternal being. Sometimes, it is not difficult to see the incredible good that has come from something incredibly bad. In almost every case, people have come together through strife. I guess it depends on perspectives of what good and bad are and how we view suffering/pain, and what we believe God should be. I chose the "more complicated" option.
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PostSubject: Re: the problem of pain/suffering Theodicy   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:15 pm

maflynn wrote:


I take the stance that most of the suffering is by man and a result of his sinful nature. To that end, God has done something, to address the suffering. He sent his son to pay the penalty. Its not his fault the majority of his creation still rejects his advances to reconciliation.


i concur.

I think what is difficult to comprehend is just how awful some of the evil in this world is. I absolutely cannot fathom rape. not even a little bit. It is one of the worst imaginable offenses I can think of. but it happens. and i understand why it's hard for people to grasp.

my grandfather had a two year old (my dad) and a 3 month old when he was driving his car and was hit by a drunk driver killing his wife, mom, dad, and sister, all in one afternoon. He felt called to be a minister until that day, and as the only survivor he looks back and says he cant believe in the God that would allow that.

I cannot relate.

Job could... and he said "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" - job 2:10

but easier said than done.

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PostSubject: Re: the problem of pain/suffering Theodicy   Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:55 pm

ebuddy wrote:
I think of the circumstances Steven Curtis Chapman is going through right now. Wasn't one of his children/grandchildren ran over with a vehicle between one kid's graduation and another's marriage? I think it is somewhat risky to assume that sin invokes bad rather, without bad what is good?
I heard about Chapman and my heart and prayers go out to him, what an awful tragedy. God can and certainly does use these tragedies to glorify himself and bring others who would not normally be open to his leading. Though its difficult to see how that could be so in Chapman's case, but just because we don't see it now, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
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