Did the Christian god create evil?

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:37 pm

Any god worth the title can withstand a little fist shaking and shouting once in awhile.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:20 am

Yeah, . . . and we know how well that worked out for Job.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:20 pm

OK, I'm stupid.... how does this figure?
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:39 pm

DeavonReye wrote:Yeah, . . . and we know how well that worked out for Job.

I don't think the story of Job entirely relevant, Deavon. After all, Job is tormented because God and Satan have a wager going that Job will remain faithful no matter how extensively Satan abuses him. So, God gives Satan permission to do the dirty work. That's what starts off all the trials of Job. Hell, yes, any human would complain about what was done to Job.

It's another stupid test of Job's faithfulness along the lines of the Abraham story, except Job's story seems more vicious since he ultimately loses all his family and possessions for nothing more than a ridiculous bet between God and Satan. Sure, God eventually gives him another family and more wealth than he had before, but is that any decent compensation for being tortured to prove a stupid point?
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:57 pm

The story also has Job questioning god, . . . demanding an answer for why he is going through what he has had to endure. Screaming, if you will. Job's friends claimed it was because "Job had sinned".. . . . . but god reveals that the friends were wrong. God repromands Job for his questions, . . . . as one person put it, with "withering sarcasm and towering vibrato", . . . for daring to do what he did, since Job doesn't equal god in power, thus he had no reprieve but to just take it.

So, that's why I mention Job. He did his own screaming at his god, . . . . but it proved to be pointless.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:36 pm

Well, not exactly pointless. This is where his gaining more wealth, and another family comes in. Again, like Dot said it's questionable that the compensation for his being a pawn in the biblegod and Satan's game was worth the pain and suffering, but the biblegod did answer his questions.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:08 pm

I'm usually uncertain why I grant any believability at all to bible accounts.

How dumb and just plain mean is it for GOD (who presumably knows all) to bet with Satan about Job's fidelity and then to give Satan free rein to torture Job?

For THAT a person remains faithful?

Only an idiot would think that it's sufficient recompense to get another family and more wealth for enduring such agonies simply because God decided to toy around with you. Anyone in his right mind upon learning that it's GOD who's authorizing all this would say, "The hell with YOU! I'll worship a deity who treats me halfway decently."
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:58 pm

Actually, John, . . . Job's questions weren't answered. God was silent for some 36 chapters. Eventually, god spoke to Job, basically saying, "until you have the power I do, I don't have to answer for my actions". It's all right there. Job is only able to respond with throwing up the white flag and saying, "I have nothing to add." He [Job] realizes the truth, his condition isn't about fairness or justice, . . but that "the person with all the power [bible god] can do whatever he wants, regardless of the consequences to other lesser beings. God doesn't answer to anyone unless they have equal power." But, having said that, . . . . perhaps god, indirectly, DID answer Job. After all, that's what Job ultimately discovered to be the case.

Regardless, the story IS a horrible piece of evidence about their god. Regardless of whether or not Job received more stuff, . . . people still died. . . . . . all for a bet. People are pawns in bible god's game.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by jumbojava on Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:28 pm

DeavonReye wrote: People are pawns in bible god's game.
We're just another brick in the wall...
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by gillyflower on Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:54 pm

Well, y'all can be pawns or another brick in the wall, but I am not. Really, if you don't like a god, move on.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:17 pm

I'm a cog at work. Does that count at all?

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:10 am

Gilly, . . . my statements are only to be taken "as ifs". . . . . . . as if the god, mentioned in the bible, is as christians say he is, and is the ONLY god in existence. I don't believe that to be true, of course.

Sacraficialgoddess, cogs are good!
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:20 am

DotNotInOz wrote:I'm usually uncertain why I grant any believability at all to bible accounts.

How dumb and just plain mean is it for GOD (who presumably knows all) to bet with Satan about Job's fidelity and then to give Satan free rein to torture Job?

For THAT a person remains faithful?

Only an idiot would think that it's sufficient recompense to get another family and more wealth for enduring such agonies simply because God decided to toy around with you. Anyone in his right mind upon learning that it's GOD who's authorizing all this would say, "The hell with YOU! I'll worship a deity who treats me halfway decently."

DeavonReye wrote:Regardless, the story IS a horrible piece of
evidence about their god. Regardless of whether or not Job received
more stuff, . . . people still died. . . . . . all for a bet. People
are pawns in bible god's game.

You've both made good points. Personally, I don't believe this is a literal story, but rather a primitive account of a people attempting to make sense of the physical world around them and meld it into something spiritual. When people can't come up with a better alternative, something horrific becomes an act of god. And it can be twisted by some rather unscrupulous people too. The tsunami in Indonesia, or Hurricane Katrina were natural acts of nature, yet have been labeled by one Christian leader in particular as god's wrath for one reason or another, and it generally has to do with some incredible sin, or disbelief in the biblegod.

The gods I believe in don't destroy all of humanity for the misdeeds of one person. Now, they may destroy the person committing the act, but not all generations that follow. There's the difference between my belief and those of Christianity. Even my Jewish friends are quick to assert that the story is not literal.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:39 am

Even if the story of Job isn't to be taken literally, I have to wonder what its usefulness is for any individual but a masochist.

Now, from the standpoint of organized religion it's obviously quite useful since it urges fidelity no matter how many horrible things happen to you.

"Keep putting too much of your money in the collection plate, lab rats."

Yes, I know that sounds horrendously cynical, but really, what's the point beyond a bunch of frightened people being reassured that all will be well (in the afterlife usually) if they simply follow orders and the rules?
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by gillyflower on Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:30 am

But that's what some people want. They have been taught to fear death. They think fidelity to their gods and following (some) rules is the only way to circumvent death. They think they only have two choices, hell or heaven. They are unaware or don't believe that there are any other options and are afraid that the more moderate and liberal Christians might be wrong and therefore going to hell along with all us Pagans.

People have also been taught to view the stories with a knee jerk reaction. This is the story, this is the lesson, this is how you are supposed to feel. End of story. Mentioning the name job is symbolic of a set of feelings and beliefs. To most Christians it is proof that all the bad things that happen to them are just tests and if they remain true, they will be rewarded by their god. That's a comfort to them.

We interpret the myth differently, but that is fine because we are of a different religion. Non-Greeks interpret the Greek myths differently than those who follow the Greek religion, no doubt. I think a lot of us who aren't now Christians, we questioned this myth and the Jesus myth and other beliefs and interpretations, because we just weren't cut out to be Christians. That doesn't mean that Christians who cherish the story need to stop doing that or that there is anything wrong with cherishing it. They really don't have to defend what they believe, just their actions towards other people.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:05 am

gillyflower wrote:But that's what some people want. They have been taught to fear death. They think fidelity to their gods and following (some) rules is the only way to circumvent death. They think they only have two choices, hell or heaven. They are unaware or don't believe that there are any other options and are afraid that the more moderate and liberal Christians might be wrong and therefore going to hell along with all us Pagans.

People have also been taught to view the stories with a knee jerk reaction. This is the story, this is the lesson, this is how you are supposed to feel. End of story. Mentioning the name job is symbolic of a set of feelings and beliefs. To most Christians it is proof that all the bad things that happen to them are just tests and if they remain true, they will be rewarded by their god. That's a comfort to them.

We interpret the myth differently, but that is fine because we are of a different religion. Non-Greeks interpret the Greek myths differently than those who follow the Greek religion, no doubt. I think a lot of us who aren't now Christians, we questioned this myth and the Jesus myth and other beliefs and interpretations, because we just weren't cut out to be Christians. That doesn't mean that Christians who cherish the story need to stop doing that or that there is anything wrong with cherishing it. They really don't have to defend what they believe, just their actions towards other people.

Gilly's right, Dot. Christians are taught from the earliest possible moment that we are useless in the eyes of their god, and don't deserve his love, nor his salvation. Christians are taught that their god is a jealous god, (all the while putting the ever so proper spin on it to make jealousy seem like a virtue) and not showing enough love to this god will give the direst of consequences. Children who are misbehaving are told that if they don't behave, the devil will creep into their bedrooms at night while they are sleeping and take them; (and I've heard this come out of the mouths of educated people too). How many times have you made the comment (or been told) after a particularly funny practical joke, or witty remark hit it's mark, "You know you're going to hell for that.....", and laughed your head off because it was just too funny for words to describe? Even jokingly, Christians have been given a subconscious fear of death, and the consequences for not being worthy. To make matters worse, they are taught from the cradle that no one is worthy; not one.

The modern concept of hell and it's use as a tool to keep ignorant parishioners in tow dates back to the Middle Ages, when looting and plundering from invading non Christian armies was the norm. Pillaging, looting and burning villages was the atom bomb then. And coastal Europeans had that bomb dropped on them frequently. Having no modernday fire departments to put out fires, entire populations could be wiped out by one house catching fire. Monks and priests capitalized on this fear to keep uneducated villagers in line by describing vividly how the fires of hell would burn, yet never consume. Dante's version of hell is far more frightening than the story of Job.

It's stories like this that keep Christians in check. Once they figure out that this is so far away from truth that it's laughable (or brings one to tears), one can't help but begin to move away from that god. But in the long run, the question remains..... was it the god who made these claims, or people who needed to control the masses using fear as their tool the most responsible?
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:38 am

True words, everyone. Yes, from the get go and on, christians are told that they are worthless, deserving of punishment and torture in Hell, and that they just happen to be fortunate enough to be given "grace" . . . IF they live their life a certain way!

But John, you hit on what was probably the case, back then. A group of men, who needed a way to keep people in line, thus using the "god concept" as a way to make a strict god that would be scary enough to KEEP the people in line, . . . . and, of course, the leaders [priests] were the only ones who were "allowed into the holy of holies" in order to hear god speak his orders. How convenient.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by gillyflower on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:27 pm

I think that you ought to qualify it as "some Christians." Other Christians do not believe that they are worthless, deserving of punishment and don't believe in hell or that everyone not of their faith is going there.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by DeavonReye on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:08 pm

That is surely the case, gilly. Not every sect of christianity believes this. However, I would guess that the majority does.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by gillyflower on Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:53 pm

I think that the Evangelical sects are very vocal and this is what they believe, rather than the majority of Christians. I personally think that the mainstream and liberal sects don't think that but they are not very vocal because, face it, they have no reason to go on tv and say things like "I don't think you are going to hell" and "I believe in a loving god." But other Christians on this board have posted that right here.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:00 am

Yes, Gilly, there have been other Christians here who have been outspoken in the opposite direction. And for all of their troubles, they have been labeled as lukewarm Christians, which is the nicer of the epithets tossed in their direction, or portrayed as not being REALtm Christians at all. I don't blame them for not being more vocal. Their silence, however, does nothing to improve the public image of the religion.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by gillyflower on Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:11 am

Well, I agree that I wish the moderates would be more vocal and I understand why the sane don't want to get into screaming matches with the extremists. That is a problem that the people in my religion (and others as well) share with theirs. It is a great pity when people outside our religions tend to judge the whole religion based upon the extremists though.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by john5180 on Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:26 am

All of this is interesting talk, and would love to pursue it even further. More importantly however, I believe it perfectly illustrates how the gods fingerprints on the concept or creation of evil are missing from the chalice. It is so smudged however with the fingerprints of humanity, that it would be impossible to pick only one set to use for identification. What is evident though is that man created evil, and depending upon the culture, one man's evil is not necessarily that of another.
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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by Luvedlessleah on Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:16 pm

Regarding the 10th plague/death of firstborns:
The facts are:
1) God is the source of life. He can give it, take it, then resurrect it.
2) God's wisdom is far greater than any human's wisdom (Romans 11:33)

Obviously, God did not have Moses go to pharoah with the desire to kill anybody's firstborn. One cannot expect the outcome to be rosy, or the consequences to be minimal, a mere slap on the wrist, for continued, deliberate rebellion against his authority. This is the way God handled the situation, in his wisdom as the creator. Some tend to want to place more value and import on their own imperfect sense of wisdom, as if we as humans were wiser than the God who made us. Those who want to be gods to themselves and do not want to have to submit or be held accountable want to find fault with God's actions, not recognizing their own limitations as imperfect humans who are lacking in wisdom. If we had so much wisdom, we could fix our own problems. In fact, if we were so wise and just for ourselves, things would not have deteriorated to the point it has in the world.
If worshipping a God who put perfect humans in a beautiful paradise to produce offspring to inhabit the earth, cultivate it, and enjoy its produce forever provided that they were obedient to him(because disobedience would introduce evil) and because obedience was in their best interest does not appeal to you, then you may choose not to worship such a god. No one will be forced. But the thing is, the one's who make this decision will experience the consequences. They will not benefit from the coming resurrection to have a chance to live in the coming paradise. God is not going to keep rebellious children in the house he built for them.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

Post by Luvedlessleah on Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:18 pm

If you have done your research and find my religion to be wanting, then I respect your choice. Everyone has the right to choose and to believe and worship how they choose. It is a personal choice we all must make.

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Re: Did the Christian god create evil?

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