View Poll Results: Could God be the Creator of Evil?

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Thread: Did God create evil?

  1. #1
    Hardback Copy! RG57's Avatar
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    Did God create evil?

    Those of us who are Christians believe that God created everything.
    If that is so did He create evil?
    If so, to what purpose?
    Or was it something that just happened?

    I have to admit I am not sure
    Here were we wretched creatures of men making for each other's throats, and outraging the good earth which God had made so fair a habitation [Prester John - John Buchan].

  2. #2
    Circumcised Welder El Viejo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RG57 View Post
    Those of us who are Christians believe that God created everything.
    If that is so did He create evil?
    If so, to what purpose?
    Or was it something that just happened?

    I have to admit I am not sure
    Ancient question. In some ways it's like 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?' or 'can God make a stone so heavy that he can't lift it?'

    What do you think?

  3. #3
    What is evil? Is it a quantitative thing? Or is it a lack (of holiness or righteousness or goodness)?

    If you want to use anything more certain than your own opinion (El Viejo, I assume, is comfortable with making El Viejo the supreme arbiter of truth, but I recall RG57 acknowledging Scripture as authoritative--that is the position I hold), Scripture clearly says God did all the "creating" that ever happened. It also says that God is holy and the source of all goodness and only goodness and that the universe was unblemished when he completed it.

    It therefore seems clear that evil isn't a substance but rather a lack. The Fall didn't create evil, but destroyed perfection.

    Now, insofar as God remains Almighty, he permitted evil to occur, but not in a causative manner. In a similar way God is "responsible" for a murder, because he sustains the laws of nature that cause gun powder to explode and blood loss and trauma to stop the heart and mind, yet in such a case God is not morally responsible but rather the one who pulled the trigger is. The whole interplay between foreknowledge, omnipotence and free will is not solved by simply blaming God. If you want proof of God being holy and good, look at the cross where he willing suffered to repair what He did not damage and save those whom he created without need for saving.

  4. #4
    Registered User Joreads's Avatar
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    I think God created man and man created evil.

  5. #5
    Circumcised Welder El Viejo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by togre View Post
    ...El Viejo, I assume, is comfortable with making El Viejo the supreme arbiter of truth...
    Hardly. I do question authorities, however, and I do keep my own counsel. I'm a slow learner, but after willingly subjecting myself to twelve years of Catholic schooling, and another decade under various evangelical pastors, both formal and self-styled, I eventually got to that point.

    If I remember right, I asked RG57 an honest question. I don't recall making any sort of pronouncement.
    Last edited by El Viejo; 11-06-2008 at 12:02 AM.

  6. #6
    an ambitious heart romantic novel's Avatar
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    Yeah, I believe that God has created both goodness and evil...

    Im Muslim, and in Isalmic point of view..i think as most other reliogions.

    God has created evil for a purpose..so God can differentiate between a good person and a bad one..

    which one can resist tempetations and follow God's orders
    Love is an un tamed force. When we try to control it, it desrtoys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused

  7. #7
    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by romantic novel View Post
    Yeah, I believe that God has created both goodness and evil...

    Im Muslim, and in Isalmic point of view..i think as most other reliogions.

    God has created evil for a purpose..so God can differentiate between a good person and a bad one..

    which one can resist tempetations and follow God's orders

    The logic here appears very circular. If there was no evil, there would be no bad people, so God wouldn't need a way of being able to identify them. Also, why would God need people to resist temptation and follow orders if there was no evil that could result from failure to do these things?

    One way to understand evil in a religious context is to see it as deviation from the divine mechanism of reality. Imagine God set the world and the universe going like a gigantic, complex clock works. Its complexity is such that we are free to the extent that many actions are in accordance with the overall workings of the mechanism. However, certain actions are not and these are evil.

    Still some problems with that one. Are we expected to know which actions are right and wrong from the get go? The complexities of theological questions such as this are enough in themselves to render the idea absurd.

    Another way to look at it is to say, God has to allow us to be free, to do wrong as well as right, in order that we can come to know him. Love and knowledge of the divine has to be arrived at through the freedom to choose or it means nothing. This idea largely works for me, though I'm not a believer.

  8. #8
    an ambitious heart romantic novel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blp View Post
    The logic here appears very circular. If there was no evil, there would be no bad people, so God wouldn't need a way of being able to identify them. Also, why would God need people to resist temptation and follow orders if there was no evil that could result from failure to do these things?
    If God has not created Evil..there will be no challenge to win his Love, Careness...though God loves us all whatever we do.

    Still, the existence of evil is the very bottom line that creates a meaning of this life.

    If there was no evil..and we all behave as we like cause we are all good..then what challenge we can do? what goal we are seek??

    As in a family..parents love all their children but the child who obey his parent's order and instructions weather he like it or not will gain their love more.

    I believe this is the same ..God loves us all
    But he creates evil to put a goal to us to seek..to seek his love more..to be near him..so to avoid this evil we can achieve this


    This is what I believe
    Love is an un tamed force. When we try to control it, it desrtoys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused

  9. #9
    Circumcised Welder El Viejo's Avatar
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    Assuming there is a God, and assuming He's the one depicted in the Bible, His creating evil is certainly within the bounds of belief.

    There's a legal concept called the 'attractive nuisance.' If you have, say, a trampoline in your yard, or a swimming pool, and someone finds their way into your yard and is injured or killed using the pool/trampoline, you can be held responsible.

    Using this peculiar logic, God could be said to have invented evil by putting Adam and Eve in a garden with the tree of knowledge, although technically it was Adam and Eve who did so by transgressing.

    On the other hand, since the knowledge the tree held was the knowledge of good and evil, we can suppose that evil was already in existence. Assuming that everything that had been created was created in that eventful week, then God must have made it.

    Answering 'why?' takes us into the uncomfortable area where we may see God as possibly malicious.

  10. #10
    it is what it is. . . billyjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Viejo View Post
    Assuming there is a God, and assuming He's the one depicted in the Bible, His creating evil is certainly within the bounds of belief.

    There's a legal concept called the 'attractive nuisance.' If you have, say, a trampoline in your yard, or a swimming pool, and someone finds their way into your yard and is injured or killed using the pool/trampoline, you can be held responsible.

    Using this peculiar logic, God could be said to have invented evil by putting Adam and Eve in a garden with the tree of knowledge, although technically it was Adam and Eve who did so by transgressing.

    On the other hand, since the knowledge the tree held was the knowledge of good and evil, we can suppose that evil was already in existence. Assuming that everything that had been created was created in that eventful week, then God must have made it.

    Answering 'why?' takes us into the uncomfortable area where we may see God as possibly malicious.
    that's a splendid reference to the "attractive nuisance" when talking of the tree of knowledge. god would have put a fence around the tree if he didnt want to be held liable. thereby, he must have wanted responsibility for good and evil

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Viejo View Post
    There's a legal concept called the 'attractive nuisance.' If you have, say, a trampoline in your yard, or a swimming pool, and someone finds their way into your yard and is injured or killed using the pool/trampoline, you can be held responsible.
    Although that's legally true, I know that if I go jump on that trampoline, it's my own fault... especially if I was told, "Don't jump on that, it's broken." (you may eat of any fruit except that one)

  12. #12
    Why did God create the tree of the knowledge of good and evil/why did he forbid eating from it?

    First, the eating was a transgression, only because it was forbidden. It's not like the fruit contained Vitamin C, fiber and, oh yes--evil! No evil was not a substance of the fruit that passed to Adam and Eve. Therefore the tree is not evil and God cannot said to have created evil solely because he created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Still, the question: Why did God forbid eating from it?

    I have heard that Martin Luther (okay, this isn't as certain as the Bible, but bears consideration) suggest that it was an altar upon which Adam and Eve could worship the Lord. Think about it. The earth was perfect. They were perfect and holy. Everything that God desired them to do was good and natural and exactly what they would do if they had no command. [This is based on the biblical concept that what God declares as good is actually good. For example he gives wine/alcohol but instructs us how to use that gift (in moderation). If we ignore that advice/command we find out that too much wine=splitting headache or poor judgments. I can expand this point if it is desired.] With doing everything that God desired so naturally, God gave a semi-arbitrary command--he asked them not to do something (eat fruit from a tree) that wasn't inherently wrong or off limits. Therefore every time Adam and Eve did not eat from the tree they did so from only one reason--their love for God. This would have been a fitting act of worship.



    El Viejo--forgive me. Based on a sketchy recollection of your posts on other topics I recalled that you seemed to pick and chose from various schools of thought or religions but followed none. If this is inaccurate I owe you a double apology. If it is accurate, the gist of my statements stands, and yet the manner of my saying it was neither kind or respectful. Again, please forgive me. The thing we all can agree on is that sin/evil has entered the world. Evil/sin dwells in me. I am forgiven by God through Jesus(though I do not deserve it) yet my struggle to live in a way pleasing to him does not proceed with unmingled results.

  13. #13
    Hardback Copy! RG57's Avatar
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    I believe that God did indeed create all things spritual, physical and and any other form existance, be it thought or action. If God did not create the actions and concepts of evil, somewhere along the line He must have had an indirect hand in it via another of His creations.
    In Genesis we are told that Eve was tempted by the serpant who was supposed to be Satan, and I think that you will agree that God must have least created Satan and therefore indirectly evil/sin and in the long term made a rod for his own back. I believe the story goes that Satan was a fallen angel, which means he gave His angels free will and then come back to the thought that either directly or indrectly God created evil.
    perhaps He thought free choice was a good idea, after all He created man in His own image and may have thought that being man was His creation and in His image they behave exactly as He did?
    My mind is still partially open on the question but I think that after reading the above posts I'm heading for the idea that God had a hand in creating evil.
    Here were we wretched creatures of men making for each other's throats, and outraging the good earth which God had made so fair a habitation [Prester John - John Buchan].

  14. #14
    account closed at request of member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RG57 View Post
    Those of us who are Christians believe that God created everything.
    If that is so did He create evil?
    If so, to what purpose?
    Or was it something that just happened?

    I have to admit I am not sure

    The god I serve did not create evil.

    He created people (including invisible people).

    Some people chose to rise against him.

    This god is believed to be good. So, if someone rises against good, this person becomes ... evil. The first one who did that became so. This is the part of the story I don't know. (Nor is it for me to.)

  15. #15

    Did God Create Evil? NO!

    First, I must state that I am not a religious person: that is I do not follow a set of arbitrary rules set down by some organized church. I am not an atheist; I am an agnostic. That means I am a person who claims that I cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but I do not deny that God might exist).

    If we stand on the biblical interpretation of 'evil' as 'that which goes against God's laws,' we must ask ourselves some very serious questions. The first of these is; Is my belief in God, MY belief or one that was implanted in me by parents, ministers or churches? The next questions are based on the first; If I believe in God, then what do I believe about him? And, finally, are the rules I follow God's laws or man's laws? What is 'Faith' and where can I get it? These questions confound most people who try to define their 'faith'.

    Most religious people use the phrase, "Faith is what the bible says..." (Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true (Phil. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13)). The word 'persuasion' implies that there are empirical proofs to support the statement. (i.e., Inducement by argument or reasoning or entreaty.)

    Well that, I am sorry to say, is not faith. That is relying on an artifact to 'prove' that there is a God. Faith can be defined as 'A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny.' The operative word here is belief. But, how does this relate to the question; Did God Create Evil? Well, let me take you through the logic; God created all things (thing is defined as 'A separate and self-contained entity'). No where in any of the religious writings that I have read does it say that God limited man's ability to think, and only a thinking being can create evil. Hmmm. That seems to allow that God, a thinking being, could have created evil. But here we are faced with a dichotomy of Religion: The bible says 'God is Absolute Good' but, God allows 'Satan' to roam the world and tempt man into sin (from the book of Job), and that man is free to choose sin if he wishes. But therein lays the lie; if God is all Good, then he cannot tolerate Bad/Evil in any form. So either God is part bad or the bible is in error. This is where faith must override religion; faith says 'God is good. Period, end of report.' Religion says "God is good but allows evil/Satan to test man.'

    From the time that man first started codifying his religious beliefs, he instilled his own outlook on those tenets. And, of course, had to find a way to blame someone else for his failings. The minute that man began to put his own interpretation on these tenets they no longer reflected faith. They were now a religion. It must be noted that the very word 'religion' has its roots in the Latin word 'regulus' which means 'rules.' No religion relies on faith; they all rely on rules. These rules are written and edited by men. I can hear many people saying, 'The bible was written by the finger of God!' My answer? 'Show me his fingerprints.' That would be empirical proof that would stand the test of trial.

    No, God did not create evil, man did. Man decided that he was the sole interpreter of God's words and then he set about creating specific laws that must be obeyed under punishment of hellfire and damnation. Poppycock! If the really faithful would look into the one place that the religions demand that they do not look, their own hearts, they would find that they knew the difference between good and evil from the time they first began to talk and reason.

    We have all heard that man is 'born in sin and lives in sin' and we also hear that the only way for him to get into a state of grace is to attend this church or that church. Again, Poppycock. If you think about it, you will find that even when you do something wrong (sinful)... you know that it is wrong. You make a concious decision to do it. The only thing that the organized religions give you is a way to disclaim responsibility for your actions by saying, "The devil made me do it." Or better yet, "The Devil made me do it, but I have been washed inthe blood of the lamb of God, and now I am not responsible for that action." God did not make evil, the devil did not force evil onto man. And the Devil DID NOT make them do it. Man decided to do evil things and then spent the remainder of his time blaming everyone one else for his own weakness.

    I will state here and now, I have done things in my life that I wish that I had not done, but I blame no one but myself for my behavior -- NO ONE MADE ME DO THEM, I DID THEM MYSELF.


    Even the question 'Did God Create Evil?' is a form of looking for someone to blame for our own behavior. WE, mankind, brought evil into the world. Not some superntural being like a God or a Devil. Mankind did it. And now we seek to blame others for our behavior. If you really believe in the collected works that people call the bible, try reading Genesis very carefully. You will find a categoric list of all the things that 'God created' and there is no mention of Man's thoughts. Good or Evil. Nor is there a suggestion that God controls all of our actions; according to the bible he gave mankind freewill. (The relating of the tale of the Tree of Knowledge drives home the point that man chose to 'eat of the forbidden fruit.' Of course Adam immediately blamed Eve for that.) That freewill means that WE and we alone are responsible for our actions; good or evil. So, in the last analysis we find that, like boy who shot cockrobin, we are responsible for where our arrows go. It might be a good idea for all of us to look into our hearts and see if maybe, just maybe, the devil didn't make us do it.

    I expect that there are many readers of this that will feel that I have cast aspersions on their religious beliefs; that was the farthest thing from my mind. I stated very clearly that I am not a religious person. But, I was raised in a very religious household. For generations my primogenitors followed the rules of the Roman Catholic Church. I was baptised, made my first communion, and my confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church. I even studied for the priesthood. Then I began to read, and really study what I was being fed and I found that there were thousands of Rules, but little faith involved in organized religions. So, I began to question even the existance of God. I found that while I could discover no way to empirically prove that there is a God, neither could I find anyway to empirically prove that there was not one. So, I sat down and really looked deep into myself and found that with out empirical proof; I believed there was a God. I had nothing to base this decision on -- no facts or artifacts -- just my faith. So, if you wish to accuse me of being anti-religious, first you must prove to me that your religion is the ONLY religion that could possibly be faithful. No theologian has EVER been able to do that. They all revert in the end to the simple statement, "It's a matter of Faith."

    One last comment: I will not force my faith on you, and I hope that you will not force your religion on me. Believe as you wish, and so will I. Freewill.
    Last edited by The Author; 11-06-2008 at 09:08 PM. Reason: To correct Syntax and Grammar

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