Before I start this new post I just wanted to thank you all for your comments and support! It means a lot to me.
So currently I am reading a fabulous book called 50 Philosophy Ideas you really need to know, and it's wonderful. It breaks things down and helps explain some really complex philosophical ideas and break them down into examples that are easy to understand. Even if you don't want to be a Philosophy Major, I'd suggest reading it.
So. Obviously, I haven't agreed with everything or even most of the things that I've read, but it's all been extremely enlightening. I was reading a quick blurb about religion and God and Evil, and I rushed to the computer to share my thoughts with you all. Isn't that exciting?
The chapter is called "The Problem of Evil" and it starts like this:
"Famine, murder, earthquake, disease- millions of people's futures blighted, young lives needlessly snuffed out, children left orphaned and helpless, agonizing deaths of young and old alike. If you could click your fingers and stop this catalogue of misery, you would have to be a heartless monster not to do so. Yet there is supposed to be a being that could sweep it all aside in an instant, a being that is unlimited in it's power, knowledge and moral excellence: God. Evil is everywhere, but how can it exist side by side with a god who has, by definition, the capacity to put an end to it? That thorny question is the core of the so-called 'problem of evil.'"
See why I'm excited?
Before I get into what I think on this theory, let me give you another quick little taste of the chapter.
"1. God is omniscient: it knows everything that it is logically possible to know.
2. God is omnipotent: it is able to do anything that it is logically possible to do.
3. God is omnibenevolent: it is of universal goodwill and desires to do every good thing that can possibly be done.
4. If God is omniscient, it is fully aware of all the pain and suffering that occurs.
5. If God is omnipotent, it is able to prevent all pain and suffering.
6. If God is omnibenevolent, it wishes to prevent all pain and suffering."
:) I love this stuff.
Okay. Here I go.
1, 2 and 3 are absolutely true. 4 and 5 are true too. 6 is even true! So what's the problem Rachel? Are you suddenly atheist? Those statements are supposed to disprove the existence of God as we know him.
Well never fear. I have not, nor ever will lose my faith. Opposition only makes us stronger.
Let me begin by saying this: God loves us. Were it not so, well, I'll get into that in a bit.
The world today does not know God anymore. They doubt his existence with what they call logic and reason, but those two potent forces will only ever prove in The Almighty.
God loves us. It is because he loves us that he allows the pain and suffering of the world. It is because he loves us that he does not snap his fingers and rid the world of all evil and pain.
If we take those first three statements, and we examine God in this way, things will quickly become clear. God knows everything there is to know. That is a trait that is logically possible to achieve and be the best at. As human beings we must concede that there is always someone smarter than us. Yes? Than Einstein himself waas not the smartest being in the universe, and there must be someone smarter than him. Following this train of logic it becomes apparent that there must be one being who is the smartest, who is omniscient, who knows everything there is to know.
God is Omnipotent. He has the power to do anything, create anything, at will. This means he also has the power to destroy anything at will. Such as the evil in the world. BUT HE DOES NOT. Why? Because he is also Omnibenevolent.
Think of all our trite little human sayings,
"that which does not kill you makes you stronger"
"no pain no gain"
"we learn from our mistakes"
"it took Edison 1000 times to make a lightbulb"
And so on and so forth. Each of those is a little fragment of truth that we have brought with us in our souls; that pain and suffering shape and improve us. Trails are an opportunity to grow. Adversity can be used as a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block.
We learn and improve through the refiners fire, to become the precious gem that God wants so desperately for us to become. To take away the evil, the sorrows, and the hard times, takes away our opportunity for growth.
Think about it like this. If you had a perfect life, you made plenty of money, you had a successful career and/or a happy family, you loved what you did, you had great friends, you lived in a wonderful neighborhood, you could do whatever you wanted all day long and had no responsibility… wouldn't it be awful? You would become stagnant. When your life is perfect, there is no need to improve or change or grow. It is only when things get tough that we step back and assess ourselves. That is when we recognize our constant need for improvement and change.
The second reason God does not snap his fingers and make the world a perfect place, is because he has given us agency. We are completely free to chose whatever we want. We can become an astronaut, a millionaire, a hobo, a sleaze-ball in prison, or a McDonalds employee. It is up to us. We can get that 4.0 in school, or cut classes every day and drop out. We can go to the gym every morning, or smoke a cigarette instead. The choice is ours, while the consequences are not.
God is not only benevolent, he is just. Which is why he did not strike Hitler with a lightning blot, or stop the many wars. The wicked people in this world must be able to carry out their evil intentions to be fully judged before God.
But back to tonight's theme.
One of my favorite (this is going to sound bad) examples of God's never ending love for us is the story of Noah. Now let me explain myself. The people on earth at the time were so shockingly wicked, that because God loved them so terribly much, he could not stand to let themselves do what they were doing. Because he loved them he flooded the earth so that they could not continue to ruin their eternal souls with the crimes that they were committing. That has only ever happened once in the history of our world, and God has promised that it will never happen again.
So many people read that same story and are struck by God's terrible wrath, anger and vengeance, but they are wrong. God wept that day. I know he did. Because God knew what they were doing, and what their consequences would be. Because he loved them, he took them off the earth so that they could not continue to damn themselves.
I love Philosophy. I love looking at all the different angles from the perspective of what I know to be true, and I testify that God is a loving God. Were it not so, Adam and Eve would still be in the Garden, stagnate forever, never moving forward, never taking one step closer to becoming like God, the way he wants each of us to.
Thanks for reading guys.