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Itinerant Lurker

* Rwanda Genocide

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Quote Originally Posted by Itinerant Lurker View Post
Would anyone who had the power to save hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children from being shot, tortured, beaten, raped, and hacked to death with machetes but chose to do nothing be considered moral? Of course not, but god apparently gets a free pass simply for being god. This strikes me as nothing short of heinous.

When something good happens, then god is good; when evil occurs, god is inexplicably mysterious. Better yet, god charitably declines to intervene to save men, women, and children from these horrors so as to preserve "free will" - as if free will can only exist in a world in which innocent men, women, and children can pack themselves into churches and pray hysterically to be spared, only to have their pleas ignored and their lives end in horror, pain, and unimaginable suffering.

"Is god willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"

- Epicurus (341-270 BCE)


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  1. watchinginawe's Avatar
    Lurker, I wonder how Epicurus would have been moved by news of the Rwandan Genocide.

    I think you wrote a good honest piece there, but didn't bring it down to a personal or empirical conclusion. What is your conclusion or theory to all of that? Is it still forming? Some potentials...

    Of course the potentials Epicurus offers in the contemplation are possibilities:
    God exists but:
    Is impotent.
    Is malevolent.
    Is evil.
    Is not God at all.

    Perhaps you are contemplating the completely transcendent God?
    Or perhaps your "therefore" is that God, as a first cause, does not exist; that there is no cognitive cosmic entity at all.

    "When something good happens, then god is good; when evil occurs, god is inexplicably mysterious."

    The deeper contemplation may be more along the lines of: When something good happens, how is it that it really is "good"? Is good an objective concept? You must believe it to be so, since your contemplation intends to judge God (at least as worshiped in Christianity) against some standard of good. In a sense, your post is a search for "the good God", or at the least the "source of good" that knows or defines that the Rwandan Genocide is "evil".

    Lurker, have you identified that evil and good are objective realities independant of human cognition? Or are evil and good more the province of shared cultural values and that they have no real existence beyond that? If the latter, perhaps God likewise is the province of shared cultural values and has no real existence beyond that? But if so, why rail against such a construct when it brings meaning to your "evil"?

    In any event, what is your theory? Or are you still just gathering the facts as you see them? If the latter, have you drawn any hypotheses that you are currently operating according to?
  2. Lone Arranger's Avatar
    Itinerant Lurker, Hi.

    I understand your question. Watchinginawe made good points, but they may be too theoritcal to satisfy your question. You actually asked an emotional question, and I'm supposing you may want an emotional answer in reply. I'll try.

    There are three points to consider:

    1. As watchinginawe stated, "...have you identified that evil and good are objective realities independant of human cognition?" What he's saying is we judge right or wrong from a human viewpoint. To humans nothing is as bad/evil as human suffering. But then we only have our point of view and our short timeframe from which to consider and decide what is bad/evil.

    ~ So the first point to consider is that we as human have a skewed perspective in which to judge evil or good.

    ~ And this is to be expected since we have a fallen human nature.

    2. Just because we don't see God act immediately, as we wish He would, does not mean He condones the evil that is being or has been done. There is a judgment coming for every living soul.

    ~ So the second point is that, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance," 2 Pet 3:9.

    ~ "For we know him who said, 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,'".... "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," Heb 10:30a, 31.

    3. God is perfectly holy. If God were to immediately interfere to stop an evil like the Rwandan genocide before the culmination of all things, He would also have to stop every other evil - every "less than perfectly holy" - action of every man and woman, even evil thoughts - the world around. In other words, this dispensation of grace would come to a screeching halt and all living would fall into immediate judgment, including you and I. And the plain fact of the matter is that it is not time for that yet.

    ~ So the last point to consider is that the time will come for the culmination of God's plan in this world; and when that time comes, God will judge.

    ~ " is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment...," Heb 9:27.

    Hope this helps; but if it doesn't, just remember that God is God - and only He gets to decide how to run the world.

    "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? 'Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?'" Rom 9:20