Why do good people suffer?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

reasonvemotion
Posts: 1643
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by reasonvemotion »

At Creation, our first parents were given immortality, though their possession of it was conditioned upon obedience. Having access to the tree of life, they were destined to live forever. The only way they could jeopardize their state of immortality was through transgressing the command that forbade them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Disobedience would lead to death (Gen. 2:17).

If God created a perfect world, how could sin develop? Is God the Creator also the author of sin?

Far from being the author of sin, He is "the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Heb. 5:9).

Scripture points out that by nature God is holy (Isa. 6:3) and there is no unrighteousness in Him. "His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He" (Deut. 32:4) "God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13).

God could have prevented sin by creating a universe of robots that would do only what they were programmed to do.

God's love demanded that He create beings who could respond freely to His love—and such a response is possible only from beings who have the power of choice.

Providing His creation with this kind of freedom, however, meant that God must take the risk that some created beings would turn from Him.
Last edited by reasonvemotion on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
reasonvemotion
Posts: 1643
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by reasonvemotion »

Novatacka wrote
There is no need to quote Scripture
It is the only way to show you know the truth.
reasonvemotion
Posts: 1643
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by reasonvemotion »

AS wrote:
Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being

Either God knows all or he doesn't. If he knows all then he knew full well what would happen when he breathed life into us.


This is a display of God's love. When Christ knelt over Adam, shaping this first man's hand, He knew that men's hands would someday nail Him to the cross, yet His foreknowledge did not stop Him. He breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life, knowing that this creative act would deprive Him of His breath of life.

Incomprehensible love is the basis of Creation.
User avatar
Tesla
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by Tesla »

skakos wrote:This is one of the greatest problems that troubles philosophers around the world.
(and one of the greatest arguments of atheists around the world...)

Why do good people suffer?

I think the problem can be solved if we understand that it is not really a problem.

Who are we to know that suffering is "bad" ?
Who are we to know that being "happy" in this short material life is our purpose on this planet?

As C.S. Lewis said: The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not. The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts...
It's a problem in societies ruled by 'blind' justice, guilty until proven innocent etc.

The innocent are not trying to show their alibi, the innocent are not gathering 'proof' of innocence. The 'honest' are most likely to trust, and the dishonest look for the honest to steal from, because they are naïve (Honesty gives the benefit of honesty until proof, as Shirley Temple once said: “It is impolite to call someone a liar when you have only just met them”)

It's really that simple. The good hearted consider compassion, and do not like to give pain: not even to the deserving. You can see how it is 'weak' by some standards, as it opens the door to abusers, and often, abusers look for such people, and trap them into a constant cycle of guilt. So the soft hearted become victims of their own good will, and are considered weak. So is it 'good' to be 'good'? Not in all cases. And that is where there is a need for the discussion, and wisdom.

On the one hand, good people being foolish with their soft hearts is the issue, on the other, it is poor systems of managing laws.
artisticsolution
Posts: 1938
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:38 am
Contact:

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by artisticsolution »

reasonvemotion wrote:AS wrote:
Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being

Either God knows all or he doesn't. If he knows all then he knew full well what would happen when he breathed life into us.


This is a display of God's love. When Christ knelt over Adam, shaping this first man's hand, He knew that men's hands would someday nail Him to the cross, yet His foreknowledge did not stop Him. He breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life, knowing that this creative act would deprive Him of His breath of life.

Incomprehensible love is the basis of Creation.
Okay Good...now you too agree that God was responsible for man's downfall ...simply by creating him.

Now onto "incomprehensible love.."

God is more loving than me...correct? So then tell me...why do you think he would send someone to hell, when I would forgive them of their sins?

Could it be that you are projecting your own desire to punish others onto him? Could it be that you are misinterpreting God's word as you yourself said "incomprehensible love'? How is it that you would understand something so incomprehensible as God as to tell me that he will punish a little baby?

Come on...admit it...hell you already have....it is absurd to think that God would allow a baby to suffer for sins he has not yet committed or for sins that another person born prior to him had committed. As if this is the case then God is into trickery and we are all doomed.

Personally, I think it's not as hard as all that....if there is such a God as you say...one of "incomprehensible love'...then he wrote the bible specifically to see how we would interpret it. Surely if we interpreted it with a kind heart and in keeping with the 10 commandments, we would come to loving conclusions. It is only when we interpret it with a jaded heart that we come to the conclusions that God would punish a baby for sins not yet created.

It is this type of jaded thinking that makes men think that God wants us to punish each other. Irrationality is a form of mental illness.
User avatar
Notvacka
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:37 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by Notvacka »

reasonvemotion wrote:If God created a perfect world, how could sin develop?
The world is not perfect. And there is something to be learned from the world not being perfect.
reasonvemotion wrote:Is God the Creator also the author of sin?
God is the only source. Where else could anything come from?
reasonvemotion wrote:Far from being the author of sin, He is "the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Heb. 5:9).
Without sin there would be no need for salvation, would there? God is the beginning and the end of everything; nothing is lost and everything is saved. You couldn't stray from God's will even if you wanted to.
reasonvemotion wrote:Scripture points out that by nature God is holy (Isa. 6:3) and there is no unrighteousness in Him. "His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He" (Deut. 32:4) "God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13).
Scripture does not always do God justice. If evil exists, and it obviously does, it must be for a good reason. Not even God could paint without colours. For "justice" to mean something, injustice, or at least the possibility of injustice, must exist. That is God's sin against us; that evil and suffering is possible in the reality of creation.
reasonvemotion wrote:God could have prevented sin by creating a universe of robots that would do only what they were programmed to do.
But we are like robots in that we do only what we are "programmed" to do. We have nothing to offer that was not given to us. And "sin" is obviously part of the program.
reasonvemotion wrote:God's love demanded that He create beings who could respond freely to His love—and such a response is possible only from beings who have the power of choice.
It's a mistake to think that we are free or separate from God. We make the choices we can, according to who we are. None but God is free from circumstance, and thus the only free will possible is the will of God.
reasonvemotion wrote:Providing His creation with this kind of freedom, however, meant that God must take the risk that some created beings would turn from Him.
It's an illusory kind of freedom, and the risk was never real either. There is nowhere to turn, but to God, because God is to be found in every direction. We live within the illusion of choice, but God knows the truth of responsibility.

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.Colossians 1:16-17
reasonvemotion
Posts: 1643
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by reasonvemotion »

reasonvemotion wrote:

Is God the Creator also the author of sin?

Novatacka wrote:

God is the only source. Where else could anything come from?

Satan spread his rebellion to our earth.

Disguised as a speaking serpent he effectively undermined Adam and Eve's trust in their Creator (Gen. 3:5).

Satan aroused in Eve discontent. Infatuated by the prospect of equality with God, she believed the serpent's word and doubted God's. Disobeying God's command, she ate the fruit and influenced her husband to do the same. They betrayed their trust in and loyalty to God.

The seeds of the controversy that had begun in heaven took root in Planet Earth (Genesis 3).
User avatar
SpheresOfBalance
Posts: 5457
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:27 pm
Location: On a Star Dust Metamorphosis

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by SpheresOfBalance »

It's really hard for me to believe that adults actually believe in all this silly mysticism, that is obviously contradictory at every turn, that they get so obviously riled up and frantic, about a simple fairy tale. Sure there are great stories with valuable lessons, contained within the pages, but that's about it. I just find it hard to believe that those that visit a philosophy forum, would seriously entertain such belief that certainly can't be seen as "justified true."
reasonvemotion
Posts: 1643
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by reasonvemotion »

AS wrote:
Okay Good...now you too agree that God was responsible for man's downfall ...simply by creating him.

Now onto "incomprehensible love.."
RE wrote:
I agree God created man.

I disagree God is responsible for man's downfall.

Eve fell from her high position and into sin. The fall of the human race, therefore, was characterized by a breakdown in faith, in God and His word. This unbelief resulted in a broken relationship and finally a separation between God and man.
God is more loving than me...correct? So then tell me...why do you think he would send someone to hell, when I would forgive them of their sins?
'for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved'" (Acts 4:12). Jesus said, "'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'" (John 14:6).

Christ's sacrifice at Calvary marked the turning point in the relationship between God and humanity. As a result of the reconciliation God does not count their sins against them (2 Cor. 5:19), but

This does not mean that God dismisses punishment, or that sin no longer arouses His anger. Rather, it means that God has found a way to grant pardon to repentant sinners while still upholding the justice of His law.
Could it be that you are projecting your own desire to punish others onto him? Could it be that you are misinterpreting God's word as you yourself said "incomprehensible love'? How is it that you would understand something so incomprehensible as God as to tell me that he will punish a little baby?
Do you read my answers?
Come on...admit it...hell you already have....it is absurd to think that God would allow a baby to suffer for sins he has not yet committed or for sins that another person born prior to him had committed. As if this is the case then God is into trickery and we are all doomed.

Personally, I think it's not as hard as all that....if there is such a God as you say...one of "incomprehensible love'...then he wrote the bible specifically to see how we would interpret it. Surely if we interpreted it with a kind heart and in keeping with the 10 commandments, we would come to loving conclusions. It is only when we interpret it with a jaded heart that we come to the conclusions that God would punish a baby for sins not yet created.

It is this type of jaded thinking that makes men think that God wants us to punish each other. Irrationality is a form of mental illness.
History reveals that Adam's descendants share the sinfulness of his nature. David said, "In Your sight no one living is righteous" (Ps. 143:2).

The New Testament is clear, stating that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23) and that

"if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).
User avatar
Notvacka
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:37 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by Notvacka »

reasonvemotion wrote:Satan spread his rebellion to our earth.
And where did Satan come from, then? Do you believe in Satan as a separate power, comparable to God? Makes me think of a hilarious scene from the movie Time Bandits where Evil rants about the shortcomings of the Supreme Being and is interrupted by a minion:

"Is this not the workings of a complete incompetent?"

"But He created you, Evil One."

"What did you say?"

"Well He created you, so He can't be totally..."

"Never talk to me like that again! No one created me! I am Evil. Evil existed long before good. I made myself. I cannot be unmade. I am all powerful!"
User avatar
Notvacka
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:37 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by Notvacka »

SpheresOfBalance wrote:It's really hard for me to believe that adults actually believe in all this silly mysticism, that is obviously contradictory at every turn, that they get so obviously riled up and frantic, about a simple fairy tale.
It's unfair to treat it as a "simple fairy tale" when there are people who build their lives upon it. And I don't see anybody getting "riled up and frantic" here. To me it seems like a calm and serious discussion.

Atheists reject the notion of God, and I respect that, while I'm a theist myself. However, the question of theodicy is a theological question and makes no sense from an atheist perspective, since atheists have no reason to expect good people not to suffer.

As for the Bible, what you get out of it is mostly a matter of what you put into it. I'm never the first to quote Scripture, but I don't mind when people do. As for contradictions, I think this discussion is about examining those and coming to terms with them. Who is God to you?
reasonvemotion
Posts: 1643
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by reasonvemotion »

Technology's role is meeting increasing skepticism, because technology has thrust the planet to the brink of annihilation. Consequently, all the scientific progress has only made the world more dangerous.

Increasingly, philosophies of nihilism and despair appear valid. To quote Alexander Pope, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast," rings hollow today.

In our search for a knowledge of God we must submit to the authority of His self-revelation, the Bible. Without these Biblical guidelines we cannot know God.

The problem is not one of intellect, it is closed hearts that darken minds.
artisticsolution
Posts: 1938
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:38 am
Contact:

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by artisticsolution »

reasonvemotion wrote:Technology's role is meeting increasing skepticism, because technology has thrust the planet to the brink of annihilation. Consequently, all the scientific progress has only made the world more dangerous.

Increasingly, philosophies of nihilism and despair appear valid. To quote Alexander Pope, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast," rings hollow today.

In our search for a knowledge of God we must submit to the authority of His self-revelation, the Bible. Without these Biblical guidelines we cannot know God.

The problem is not one of intellect, it is closed hearts that darken minds.
It never ceases to amaze me that Christians never seem to trust God. If God has a plan for the world it is going to work out the way he wanted it too...no amount of crying and lamenting over our fate will undo it. If nihilism and despair reigns over the world...is there not a reason? Is not the reason because it's God's will? Why do you question his will?

The problem is soooo intellect it's not even funny. You have been taught to follow man, not God. You spout off the rhetoric of every Christian I know...it's like you all have the same tape recording playing over and over in your mind. What are the chances you could ever read the scriptures on your own?

At least Notvacka has given some thought into what he reads from the bible. He is not taking the easy way out and following the interpretation of men. He is alone....and it is a vulnerable but authentic place to be. I respect that. After all, one of the 10 commandments does say, 'you shall have no other God's before me'. It seems to me Christians are in dangerous territory of putting the church before God simply because they follow the church's interpretation of the bible instead of reading and understanding for themselves.

On a personal note here....and I am just putting this out here because it seems very interesting to me...and your mention of 'dark hearts' reminded me of this phenomenon I have witnessed in my lifetime.

When I was young...I was raised in a christian home and I remember there was always a supernatural/spiritual/spook cloud hanging over every 'born again' Christian household. In general, my family believed in 'signs' from God....prayed "evil" out of everything....spoke in tongues...and in general had a fear of everyone they met. As a result, I believe it caused my sis and I to have alot of nightmares and fears as a kid. When I grew up and met my husband, who was not raised in a Christian home, and did not fear everything in a superstitious/supernatural way, I noticed that he did not have as many nightmares and I especially saw a huge difference when I had children with him. We did not raised our children to be one particular religion...and guess what...they never came running into my room in the middle of the night saying they had a bad dream. They did not have night terrors. What's more, when my sis had kids, she raised them in the christian church....and guess what? They have nightmares/night terrors all the time. I think a study on this would be interesting.

All in all, it seems to me that most (born again) Christians have huge amounts of irrational fears and distrust God to an extraordinary degree.

Oh, and another thing I have noticed is in the 80's...it was popular for Christians to call themselves (born again) but it seems they have replaced that with just Christian. Which I thought was odd...as every religion that believes in Christ is a Christian religion. I thought it odd because the Christians that I know...dislike every other Christian church. Catholics, baptists, Mormons, etc...they say are cults and should be avoided like the plague. It's almost as if they want the term 'Christianity' to be redefined to give credence to their belief system so that they can tout they are the 1st Christians that ever were or something. I am only saying this because I remember having this argument with my oldest son when he was about 18. He was using the term 'Christian' in a broader sense as if they were the only Christian Church...and I began to laugh because I knew where he learned that from..my relatives.....and I told him...this must just be a recent thing they decided to do...because when I was a kid...they called themselves 'born again Christians' and I thought to drop the 'born again' was to take the history books and twist the meaning of Christianity to suit themselves at the expense of every other Christian. I told my son that in the past , as well as now, Christianity is a catch all phrase that means a religion that believes that Christ is the savoir and that 1 religion does not lay claim to that particular title.
bobevenson
Posts: 7349
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:02 am
Contact:

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by bobevenson »

artisticsolution wrote:If God has a plan for the world, why do you question his will?
"For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled." --Revelation 17:17
User avatar
Tesla
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Why do good people suffer?

Post by Tesla »

SpheresOfBalance wrote:It's really hard for me to believe that adults actually believe in all this silly mysticism, that is obviously contradictory at every turn, that they get so obviously riled up and frantic, about a simple fairy tale. Sure there are great stories with valuable lessons, contained within the pages, but that's about it. I just find it hard to believe that those that visit a philosophy forum, would seriously entertain such belief that certainly can't be seen as "justified true."
Truth is relative. to those arguing it appears true to them. But I understand how you feel. that is why my response was:
It's a problem in societies ruled by 'blind' justice, guilty until proven innocent etc.

The innocent are not trying to show their alibi, the innocent are not gathering 'proof' of innocence. The 'honest' are most likely to trust, and the dishonest look for the honest to steal from, because they are naïve (Honesty gives the benefit of honesty until proof, as Shirley Temple once said: “It is impolite to call someone a liar when you have only just met them”)

It's really that simple. The good hearted consider compassion, and do not like to give pain: not even to the deserving. You can see how it is 'weak' by some standards, as it opens the door to abusers, and often, abusers look for such people, and trap them into a constant cycle of guilt. So the soft hearted become victims of their own good will, and are considered weak. So is it 'good' to be 'good'? Not in all cases. And that is where there is a need for the discussion, and wisdom.

On the one hand, good people being foolish with their soft hearts is the issue, on the other, it is poor systems of managing laws.
in a religious context only, they are arguing that the good should have an entitlement to good, and not have evil in their lives. of course, this has simply never been the case, and a good reason to avoid participation in this conversation unless you meet the requirement of actually believing a religious doctrine and ignoring all rational evidence from a standpoint that the bible is just another book written by many different people to support their government and belief system--which protects them in their minds--from evil.
Post Reply