Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Problem Of Evil

Two thousand years ago, God sent down his son. He was a good man who preached compassion and forgiveness, he even died on the cross to teach us the true way of God. But it didn't work. Religions fought with each other over their own interpretations of Christ's teachings. They got in the way of faith. It no longer became an issue of free will but of power and guilt. Where's the free will in a priest saying "Do what I tell you to do or you'll go to Hell?" That isn't free will, that's obeying orders because you fear punishment.

Priests are only men anyway. They don't care about understanding God-they care about building power in this world. But God doesn't want vast churches and adoration. He's not that kind of father. He wants us, His most ambitious creation, to come of age and no longer need Him.

We have always believed in God, our God, who created Mankind in his own image to worship Him. An all-powerful, all-knowing, compassionate God. However, we have always been troubled by what the philosophers call the Problem of Evil. Given all the evil in the world, how can an all-powerful, all-knowing, merciful God exist? Either God knows about evil, cares about it, but can't do anything about it-in which case he is not all-powerful, or he cares about it, can do something about it, but doesn't know what to do about it-in which case he is not all-knowing, or he knows about it, can do something about it, but doesn't care about it-in which case he is neither merciful nor compassionate.

We have always believed this inconsistency by believing that out powerful, omniscient, benign God allowed evil in the world to give us, his greatest creation, the gift of free will. To trust us with the ability and opportunity to choose between good and evil, even in the face of our harshest trials and tribulations. Is the truth so simple that it should have been obvious? After all, what God would create Man simply to worship Him? What Supreme Being could be so vain, so petty?

Perchance there is no Problem of Evil because God did not create us to worship Him. We always assumed God created a perfect ordered world-an Eden-then introduced the serpent of evil to test us. But maybe this isn't true. Maybe our Lord created an evil world then introduced good and the natural state in this world and the next is chaos-entropy. That evil is the normal way of the world, and good was only introduced as a capricious whim; God only created us to enhance his amusement and that is the sole reason for our existence. Where our God allows us to climb higher and higher, believing in virtue and goodness and honor, only to dash us down with random acts of evil. Conceivably, there is no heaven, only arbitrary suffering. Life beyond death could be as cruel and random as life on earth-except that it is eternal. That there is no escape. No karma. No justice. No Elysian fields where the good may find peace after a hard life. That the Soul Truth, is that God-the God we dedicated our lives on earth to-doesn't exist.

Or, perhaps this is all to prove once and for all that God doesn't exist. That only the Devil holds sway. Only then could mankind outgrow the shackles of religion and develop its own sense of right and wrong-true free will. After all, one can only make a truly virtuous choice when there's no promise of reward. So this will be God's gift to us, to erase himself from our consciousness. That's what his son tried to explain. Living a good life is its own is its own reward - at death each individual will experience his own Soul Truth.

But no one listened.

Updated 22.04.06

Religion from South Park

"...you see, it's our tears, Stan, that give God his great power."

3 comments:

Socrates said...

Socrates says:
Hmmm...... I'd rather buy the free will theory than the devil business

Plato says:
awright

Socrates says:
ok. People here are dogmatic about religion rather than seeing how they can help others. Maybe because there is less poverty. But religion in India has better foundation ie service

Socrates says:
at least to many people

Plato says:
i'd disagree with you on that.

Plato says:
how would you classify all of the evalangical aid agencies that operate?

Plato says:
(from the US)

Socrates says:
The strange part is that many do great work overseas, but here they harp on dogmatic issues like abortion

Plato says:
oh. so they have different agendas domestically and abroad.

Plato says:
interesting.

Plato says:
there has to be a good reason for this divergence.

Socrates says:
Honestly I'm not a great fan of evangelizing

Plato says:
i may not be a fan but i support the right to.

Plato says:
dude, leave a comment.

Socrates says:
So do I

Socrates says:
ok

Plato says:
what is the difference between evangalism and proselytism

Socrates says:
not quite sure. But I think there is a difference in providing service and welcoming new members and actively and aggressively recruiting members. I support a right to do both but don't necessarily agree with the latter. I would hesitate to label either with specific terminology

Plato says:
hmmm, spreading the good word vs. bringing people in

Socrates says:
I would support a passive stance when it comes to both - responding to needs and interest rather than creating them. However, pure service (non denominational) need not be passive

Plato says:
i'd agree with you on that.

Plato says:
though what i find interesting, and would like to enquire into, is the reason for domestic dogma vis-a-vis overseas service.

Plato says:
religion is that proverbial enigma within a riddle

Socrates says:
that is the most striking and frustrating aspect of many catholics for instance here. Though Christ's most important message was serve others esp. poor, they totally ignore that subject (and in fact are willing to sacrifice that objective) to persue their dogmatic agenda

Socrates says:
pursue
there are no absolutes. If you have to turn down your rhetoric on abortion to get more support for poverty aleviation then so be it

Socrates says:
the people of India....culture are inherently liberal

Plato says:
and that is a bad thing you say?

Plato says:
true. we exist inspite of our difference. or maybe because of them?

Socrates says:
no....I would support such an approach

Plato says:
(that is a bad thing was in reference to your there are no absolutes)

Socrates says:
Have to respond to social dynamic

Plato says:
well, i think you'd need to take a stand on some core issues. if everything is flexible, what woudl you stand for?

Socrates says:
I agree.... there are core issues.

Anonymous said...

re·li·gion [ ri líjjən ] (plural re·li·gions)
Definition:
the art of inventing fantastic theories to explain phenomena that may not have obvious scientific explanations (yet). experts in this art can often convince others not only to believe their theories, but also spread them to other dimwits.

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