Monday, August 21, 2006

The Epicurean Riddle

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?


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What if he is super lazy? Able, willing, but no action... He is enjoying himself...taking a break...seeing some heavenly porn perhaps...

jyothi

Anonymous said...

God hates sin and the hurt it causes. It would be contrary to who He is to do such a thing.
He is the definition of "good" and holy. He is more than able and willing. It is because of mans own sinfulness that there is pain and suffering in the world. The world was perfect before adam and eve...

Peter said...

If god hates sin AND is omnipotent, then he/she could and should put an end to it. If he/she
hates sin but DOES NOT act to solve it he must be either lazy incompetent or non-existant.

It can not be all the fault of mankind if there is meant to be a god

Anonymous said...

Maybe, he/she/it that might be God, leaves the world and humanity to figure out it's own problems. Maybe evil is there like is so often said to test humanity; we're meant to grow and mature from it. Perhaps there is such a thing as reincarnation and in order for young souls to grow into old souls and wise, they go through trials in each life that leads to their maturity and universal understanding. Who knows...but why blame "God" for the evil when that doesn't solve any of the problems evil causes. Why instead of looking for a place to rest blame for why evil exists, do we not spend our energies counteracting evil.

Anonymous said...

we can not grow from the 'test' of evil, it only diminishes our belief in good

Michael said...

If the world was perfect before man, then why put man on Earth? And if man is the imperfection on Earth, and man was created in God's image, is God imperfect?

Anonymous said...

The very important principle that is being forgotten is the concept that God is a God of CHOICE. If you believe the Biblical record of Creation, then you know that the world was created perfectly and unpolluted by the curse of sin. Sin is the transgression of God's law which brings natural consequences including suffering and death. When Adam and Eve decided to eat the forbidden fruit sin entered the world and with it came it's terrible consequences. Since God's law is immutable, it cannot be changed to save the transgressors. The only way that God could rescue our wayward and rebellious planet was to allow His one and only Son to come into this world and die on behalf of man, thus satisfying the demands of justice and extending grace and mercy to all sinners. If God wanted to, He could have completely destroyed this planet and thus answered the Epicurean Riddle by eradicating the universe of evil. However the entire plan of salvation is intended to provide a way of escape from evil while still allowing freedom of choice. Thus by honoring freedom of choice, God has in effect limited the way in which He can deal with evil. It is not that He is unable or unwilling but rather that His dealings with sin are being conducted with the eternal happiness of all created beings in view. By allowing sin to temporarily exist in the world we live in, God is giving the entire universe a lesson in the terrible results of transgressing His law. With all created intelligences beholding the pain and suffering that sin has caused on out planet, we are assured that in the earth made new none will choose the suicidal path of sin ever again thus ensuring the eternal security and happiness of the universe.

Anonymous said...

You've essentially used more sophisticated language to agree with the basic concept of the riddle, that being the fact that God cannot be both omnipotent and willing to prevent evil. Why would you call such a thing God that cannot prevent the most basic problem in the world, that being sin. If He could prevent it, then why wouldn't He if he were not malevolent? BTW God doesn't exist and humans evolved from little unicellular organisms over the course of billions of years, rendering any pro-God argument worthless.

Anonymous said...

If we look at this from the textual evidence and interpretation of the Bible, we can answer the questions. I will use an analogy. Parents create a child, and they love that child. They choose to love that child in the hopes that that child will love them as well. However, that child has the choice of whether to love the parent or not. If there was no choice given and the child is forced to love the parent, then the love is shallow and meaningless. The conscious choice of the child to love the parent is what gives the love meaning. So the child has a choice between loving the parent or hating the parent. God created us because he wanted to love us and to be loved in return. Look at him as the father and mankind as the child. He initially gave the child (mankind) the best of creation. He did provide, however, an alternate choice. This choice being the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God specifically told them would bring into the world death and separation from God. Since God is just and to go back on his word would be unjust, this happened when the child chose the later. Now, we have a child who has chosen to go against the parent (God), and a loving parent who must punish the child, yet loves the child enough to provide forgiveness if the child chooses to accept it. God is able to eliminate sin, but to do so he must erradicate all that sin has produced, and since man chose sin, and perverted the means by which children are made, all man are now part of sin and have the nature of sin ingrained in thier being. To eliminate sin, God would have to remove man, kill us all. That would be malevolent. Since he has not done this and has offered forgiveness and redemption to those who accept it, therefor he is benevolent.

And lets not make this a debate of evolution versus creation, then we leave the academic discussion and make this an I believe this and your wrong war.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, God's a fucking prick. If I had all the power I would be too. So would you.