Friday, August 3, 2007

Omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent…really?

If god is all powerful (omnipotent) he able to do away with evil.

If god is all knowing (omniscient) he knows there is evil in the world.

If god is love (benevolent) he would see the evil and defeat it.

Therefore if god is omnipotent and does not defeat evil he is not omniscient or not benevolent. If he is omniscient and does not defeat evil he is not omnipotent or not benevolent. If he is benevolent and does not defeat evil he is not omnipotent or not omniscient.

I stumbled across this site here . Although this is an old argument it is worth revisiting.
As I study and move along on my journey I find more questions than answers.

24 comments:

rick b said...

Hello Interested, Let me try and answer your questions here. You said, If god is all powerful (omnipotent) he able to do away with evil.

If you read your Bible it teaches some day He will.

You said If god is all knowing (omniscient) he knows there is evil in the world.

He does know already.

You said If god is love (benevolent) he would see the evil and defeat it.

Again, He will someday.

Then you said
Therefore if god is omnipotent and does not defeat evil he is not omniscient or not benevolent. If he is omniscient and does not defeat evil he is not omnipotent or not benevolent. If he is benevolent and does not defeat evil he is not omnipotent or not omniscient.


On these points you are wrong, The Bible teaches he will remove Evil.

Let me ask you a question, I gather you do not believe the Bible to be true and do not believe it or trust it, am I correct?

Have you ever read the entire Bible from Cover to Cover? If not how can you be sure it is wrong if you never read it? That would be really no different than me knowing your name and posting info about you on-line or in a book, but all most every thing I said about you outside of your name is wrong.

How can I talk about how I know certain facts about you but have never meet you and asked about you?

People can say, If God is so loving why would he do this or that, because He does this or that and I dont like it or agree with it, then He must not be real.

That really is a dumb line of thinking, I could say, President Clinton did bad things, I dont agree with what he did because I would not do that, so he must not be real. Rick b

Interested said...

To answer your question about the bible, yes I have read it cover to cover. I have also studied theology most of my long life.

You said "That really is a dumb line of thinking, I could say, President Clinton did bad things, I dont agree with what he did because I would not do that, so he must not be real."


Rick please understand that I respect your right to believe whatever you wish however don't compare a belief in god to a belief in a person. I can see with my eyes that Clinton exists. If I knew him better I could sit down to dinner with him. We could have a conversation about the state of the world or just sip wine together.
I'm open to correction. New things are discovered every day, some change our way of thinking completely. However, they are visible, provable discoveries.

rick b said...

Interested said New things are discovered every day, some change our way of thinking completely. However, they are visible, provable discoveries.

Ok, you dont buy the Cliton verses God idea, How about this, Gravity. You cannot See, hear, feel, taste, touch, or see gravity, Yet we see it's effects and can tell that if we jump off a building we will crash to the ground.

Still God is the same way and better, We have solid evidence that Jesus Lived and Died, You might not believe the Bible, but even non-religious, secular, historions have shown Jesus existed. Then, Why is it people who say they dont believe Jesus is real, take his name in vain and use it as a curse word, But yet these people never use, Budda, Joseph Smith, Mary baker Eddie or the others as curse words.

I bet if I used any of those names around non believers they would take offence.

Then their are two books written by former Athiests, Josh Mcdowell and Lee strobel.

Josh Mcdowell set out to prove Jesus was not real and nothing more than myth, he was converted by all the solid evidence he discovered. You can google their names and find their books. Rick b

rick b said...

Interested said However, they are visible, provable discoveries.

Along with the gravity issue, we have the wind, You cannot see it, touch it, taste it, you can feel it, but like God, we can prove He is real and see his effects, look to creation alone. If you think we evolved from (evil)loution, that it something we can talk about also. Rick b

Interested said...

Yes we see the evidence of gravity and wind and we can duplicate it. If I stand on my roof and drop an apple it will hit the ground as many times as I drop it.

Solid evidence that Jesus lived...I'm not sure but even if I conceed that it does not prove that god is a real supreme or otherwise being. What it proves is that a man named Jesus was born and lived and some believed him to be god. Again, it cannot be shown to as truth without faith.

As far as taking the name of anyone in vain, be it god or other, is nothing more than a lack of useful vocabulary. Not something I would do nor would I tolerate it in my presence. To be it shows stupidity.

I am familiar with Josh's book and his journey. If he is happier believing in the supernatural I am happy for him. But I believe that there are more people coming to realize the futility of all religion than there are those going to religion.

I think religion is dangerous because it divides people and plots them against each other.

Have you read "god is not great" by Christopher Hitchens? Try it. What an eye opener.

rick b said...

Interested, You said :
I think religion is dangerous because it divides people and plots them against each other.


This might really surprise you but I hate religion.

Religion and Christiany are not even close. The best way I think I can explain is like this.

I love my wife and kids, I want to spend time with them hang out with them and talk, I want them to have a place to hang out and live, A house, well that is God with us.

But through our bad choices My wife and kids are seperated from me and cannot live with me, they were taken hostage by an evil person, by the choices they made, not me.

This is us again, we choose to follow satan by our choices, The first case of religion in the Bible is Adam and Eve covering them selves with fig leaves. God said, your works are not good enough, let me cover you, so he killed a lamb.

We try and save ourselves by what we think is good works, only God can cover us, if we refuse for Him to cover us, then we refuse to live with him, eternal seperation is the only other choice, their really is only two choices. live with him or live apart from him. Rick b

Interested said...

"But through our bad choices My wife and kids are seperated from me and cannot live with me, they were taken hostage by an evil person, by the choices they made, not me."

Oh Rick, I am so sorry. What a horrible thing to have happen. Is there hope for them to return?

Guitanguran said...

Ms. Interested,

I have found this analogy helpful.

Lets say you're 3 years old. Mom just took you to Wal-mart to buy a big bouncy ball to play with. Mom sees the neighbor next door and goes over to visit with her whilst you play in the front yard with your new ball. As she's talking and watching you play, she sees the punk neighbor kid with his tuner car rounding the corner to your street. Your mom has yelled at punk kid more than once about driving fast down the street, and on more than one occasion he's nearly run over other children with his reckless driving. Just at that moment, you lose control of your new ball, and off it goes toward the street. As its your ball, and its brand new, you hold no thought to anything other than retrieving it, even though mommy said never to go into the street by yourself. Seeing what's about to happen, your mom springs into action toward you and the ball. Just as your feet hit the street, you feel yourself being lifted up and pulled back into the yard. About that same time, punk boy comes up and runs over your ball, where you would have been had you been allowed to go further. On the way back into the house, your mom is really talking bad and gives your behind a pretty good swat to boot.

So, there you are...new ball destroyed, mom yelling at you, your backside is smarting something awful, and you're sittig in 'time out'. All in all, its been a pretty bad day in your estimation. Hey, all you wanted was to play with your new ball.

From your mom's perspective, because she knows more and can see what's coming, and because she cares about you, did all the right things, even to the point of letting your ball get run over, punishing you, and ruining your day in general. A three year-old just ain't gonna understand all that.

I realize this is in no way a perfect analogy, but it does serve to explain, to a degree, how our perspective as mere humans skews the reality surrounding the Omniscience, Omnipotency, Omnipresence, and Benevolency of God.

Interested said...

"I realize this is in no way a perfect analogy, but it does serve to explain, to a degree, how our perspective as mere humans skews the reality surrounding the Omniscience, Omnipotency, Omnipresence, and Benevolency of God."

I still don't see it. My mom saw what was coming and saved my life. God stands by and allows people to make their own decisions. If god was truly benevolent he would never allow the badness (evil) to exist.

Guitanguran said...

Well, I did say it was imperfect.

Lets think in terms of allowing bad things to happen.

The ball, destroyed.

Pain, on your backside.

Punishment in time out.

Those can be perceived as evil in the mind of a three year old. Why allow or make those things happen?

Interested said...

:"Why allow or make those things happen?"

My point exactly. If god is good and all knowing why would he allow bad thing to happen to good people?

Guitanguran said...

Well first things first:

Have you asked Him yet?

Lets try again to get into the mind of a 3 year old and that ball, for example.

You lost your ball, and your mom allowed it to happen. As a three year old, you don't have a sufficient perspective to understand that losing the ball was actually a better thing than being hurt or killed.

Lets expand that back out (as best one can, as "God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways his ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher than our ways and his thoughts than our thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9)to our world here.

Now one concept that seems to escape even well meaning Christians is life after death. On the face of it, it seems kinda silly to mourn the loss of a loved one that's gone on to Heaven, except to the degree one is not going with them, but oftentimes we do.

Along with that, the life after death is supposed to be way better than what we have here. Well, if that's the case, people temporarily suffering or even dying shouldn't be the 'worst possible thing' we make it.

Unfortunately, that's how we as mere humans think. We're three year olds, trying to figure out why God let our ball get run over.

In our here and now world,we lost our ball, we got spanked, and now we're in time-out.

Darn.

But, we understand it later when we grow up, as it is when we try to understand God better.

rick b said...

Interested said...
:"Why allow or make those things happen?"

My point exactly. If god is good and all knowing why would he allow bad thing to happen to good people?


Problem is, no one is good. The Bible tells us that no one is good. So We view ourselves as good by looking to others. You might say, I dont agree with Hitler or would never do that, so that makes me good. But what about Mother Tersa, are you that "Good", I doubt it.

In reality we need to base our actions upon God, can we do and live as he said, No, that was why the law was given. The real question you need to ask is, why do good things happen to bad people. Rick b

christ davis said...

rick b said:"Unfortunately, that's how we as mere humans think. We're three year olds, trying to figure out why God let our ball get run over.
"
and:"Problem is, no one is good. The Bible tells us that no one is good. "

This is the crux of my problem with gods and their worshippers. You must 'be as a child', not delve too deeply into the glaring contradictions, lest you spoil the illusion. And don't forget that you are inherently evil, unable, without debasing yourself before a sky daddy, of true compassion, kindness or joy. Destined to burn.
No thanks.

Anonymous said...

There have been many arguments in the past about the existence of God (not on this forum, just in general). One of the arguments that atheists tend to use against the existence of God is this:
(1) If God exists then he is omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent.
(2) If God were omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent then the world would not contain moral evil.
(3) The world contains moral evil.
Therefore:
(4) It is not the case that God exists.

Ok, I can accept that. But what if God didn't "do" anything about the evil because he was just slow. And I'm not saying "retarded" or the more politically correct "mentally handicapped" kind of slow. I mean the opposite of a "haste" spell kind of slow. But on a truly epic level, a "god-like" level of slowness if you will.

"Where is this theory coming from?" you ask yourself. "Well self, it goes something like this..." The other day I saw that the Little Mermaid was on the television at my brother-in-law's. It was at the end, when Ursula turned into this huge version of herself. She got this really deep voice and seemed to move like a snail. I mean, it was so easy to see her attacks on the ships coming down. This is in stark contrast to how quickly she could swim around her little sea cave earlier in the movie. It was at this time that I had this epiphany. All big things are slow. Look at any of your Street Fighter or other fighting game characters. The bigger they are, the slower they are (and if there is ever an exception to this, it strikes us as "wrong" and "broken" as it should since it doesn't jive with the way the world works, not to mention it screws with my theory). It's all the little characters that are fast. Also, you ever notice that when you are sitting at a traffic light, and it turns green, that the big trucks can't take off as fast as the little cars? That's right, they are SLOWER because they are BIGGER.

Well, what does this have to do with God? God is everywhere (that is the omnipresent part of theology not mentioned above, but it part and parcel to the "all-powerful" and "all-knowing". So if "God is the infinite" as some have said, then God is REALLY REALLY REALLY... ad infinitum... REALLLLLLY BIG! Well, if it stands to reason that the bigger they are the slower they are, then God has to be the slowest thing ever. What implication does that have against the argument stated by atheists? Well, what if God knows everything, and can do anything about it, but it is just taking so damn long that nobody's noticed it yet? Or he hasn't started to do something about it, because he's just so damn slow? So he can be omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent. It's just taking him a long ass time to do anything about anything.

Interested said...

Sorry anon, I just don't see your logic.. an ALL POWERFUL, ALL KNOWING, LOVING being who is slow? Huh?

BEAST FCD said...

I think George Carlin was right when he said God was just an incompetent clerk......

Beast

The Adversary said...

Why would God be slow? Were Adam and Eve "epically" slow? When Eve ate the apple, did he wait a few hundred years to reprimand her? No. He was quick to banish them and have them feel shame. To Rick B.: Imperfect? Is God not "perfect"? If he is, than why would anything he created be imperfect? Did God not say that He would no longer interfere with the life and will of man? Everyone forget that? Explains a lot to me. Doesn't make me feel any more affection towards him, but it explains a lot. And, Who was Jesus? I could have sworn that God said that his son, born unto man, would be named Ishmael. Explains why the Jews didn't care for him. That and the whole healing a blind man and a leaper on the sabot. Turns out, God had originally meant healing on that particular day was an abomination... Analogy: You witness someone in a strife. About to be robbed and murdered, or something, and you have the ability to save them. But you don't. Are you not then evil? Next Question: After Lucifer tempted Eve (Though, some believe it was Lilith who was the snake) in snake form, what did God decree about snakes from then on? First, they would have to crawl on their bellies. What did they do originally? Hop? Second, they would, from then on, only eat dust. Dust. Does dust come in mouse form nowadays?

God decreed that any act of divination was an abomination. What about the dreams Moses had of the future? Pretty sure that was divination. I digress.

Interested said...

Well, well. A new comment on this post. Thanks Adversary, you make some good points.

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