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  1. #1
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Suffering is necessary as a contrast? (Problem of Evil)

    Right. This is looking at the problem of evil from an eastern perspective, but it still holds all the main three traits of your traditional christian God. The only difference seems to be that most eastern religions tend to view life as a learning experience, where some individuals believe that suffering can become a very strong learning tool.

    Three questions:

    1. Given that free will exists. Can God logically make a world without suffering? [Given emotions such as love etc]

    1a. [Suppose this is similar to all those other variations: Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it]

    2. Does having a contrast (suffering) emphasis happiness more so, than if there were no suffering?

    3. If God removed this suffering, and made humans appreciate happiness without the need of a contrast. Would this be considered as infringing on free will?

    (Been debating on another forum. It came down to this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Other Person
    1. God can create a world without suffering.
    2. God would want to eliminate suffering as he is good. [Is suffering really negative?]
    3. Suffering exists.
    4. God is not good or powerful.

  2. #2
    Senor Membrane
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    Yeah, either god doesn't exist, doesn't have the power, is not good, or suffering is good or neutral.

    (EDIT: I don't think that this can be very long discussion... There isn't really space to move the way the question is asked...)

  3. #3
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    The way I view it is...

    God is inherently the most valuable thing that exists.
    That which is most valuable must be given utmost glory and honor.
    Because God is all powerful and all knowing the world he creates is necessarily the world in which he is most glorified.
    Therefore the suffering of both humans and God (Christ) is requisite for God to receive all the glory he is due.
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    Oh, btw, this is not really related but, if god is good, does that mean that he has no free will?

  5. #5
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Oh, btw, this is not really related but, if god is good, does that mean that he has no free will?
    Why would it?
    Take the weakest thing in you
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    And always hold on when you get love
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  6. #6
    Sniffles
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    I guess nolla's trying to argue that if God is good, he has no freedom to be evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post

    Three questions:

    1. Given that free will exists. Can God logically make a world without suffering? [Given emotions such as love etc]
    If we're working under the premise of the existence of free will and the additional premise that God is omnipotent, then yes, I suppose it's not impossible.

    1a. [Suppose this is similar to all those other variations: Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it]
    Not if he's omnipotent.

    2. Does having a contrast (suffering) emphasis happiness more so, than if there were no suffering?
    I think so. Think of it this way:

    You have a flashlight. Are you going to visually experience the light more strongly when there's already sunlight or when its pitch dark?

    3. If God removed this suffering, and made humans appreciate happiness without the need of a contrast. Would this be considered as infringing on free will?
    Not entirely certain on the connection between free will and appreciating happiness without the contrast of suffering. Can you elaborate?

    My perspective is that free will is an illusion. Like Doctor Manhattan once said in the Watchmen, "We're all puppets who can't see the string... except I can see the string." Or at least something to that effect.

  8. #8
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Right. This is looking at the problem of evil from an eastern perspective, but it still holds all the main three traits of your traditional christian God. The only difference seems to be that most eastern religions tend to view life as a learning experience, where some individuals believe that suffering can become a very strong learning tool.

    Three questions:

    1. Given that free will exists. Can God logically make a world without suffering? [Given emotions such as love etc]
    No. One person's free will changes the choices all other people have. If everyone is free, someone's gonna step on someone else's toes. If God made it that no one could step on each other's toes, we wouldn't have free will.

    1a. [Suppose this is similar to all those other variations: Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it]
    Well, if you assume God is omnipotent, you'll have a definition of God that's not logically coherent.

    2. Does having a contrast (suffering) emphasis happiness more so, than if there were no suffering?
    Yes. More as a psychological truth than a philosophical one.

    3. If God removed this suffering, and made humans appreciate happiness without the need of a contrast. Would this be considered as infringing on free will?
    Logically, yes. (As mentioned above)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I guess nolla's trying to argue that if God is good, he has no freedom to be evil.
    Yeah. If there is a spectrum of good and evil, wouldn't that make god do the things that are the best things possible? That would mean that god could not have created any other world than this one we live in, and this world is perfect, since all he did was 100% good.

  10. #10
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    1. Given that free will exists. Can God logically make a world without suffering? [Given emotions such as love etc]
    If God made a world without suffering then it would have to have at least one of the following two conditions:
    1) People did not have free will.
    2) People had free will but were omniscient. Therefore they would know the complete consequences of their actions.

    1a. [Suppose this is similar to all those other variations: Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it]
    When you think about the implications of this rock, then you realize this is a nonsense question.

    Such a rock would have such a strong gravity field that it would create a black hole that sucked all of the universe's matter, time and space into it. Since the rock does not exist in time and space, then the word "lift" has no meaning in this context. That is why this is a nonsense question.

    2. Does having a contrast (suffering) emphasis happiness more so, than if there were no suffering?
    Yes.

    3. If God removed this suffering, and made humans appreciate happiness without the need of a contrast. Would this be considered as infringing on free will?
    Not necessarily. I kind of answered this in the first question.

    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Oh, btw, this is not really related but, if god is good, does that mean that he has no free will?
    One must be careful when trying to draw the same conclusions about man and God. They are two very different beings. In this case what is relevant is that (potentially) God is omniscient, while man is not. An omniscient and good God does not have the freedom to do evil. However such a God still has freedom in other choices. (For example, "Will I make the sky blue or green?")
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