The Problem of Evil Part 3

Atheists and all others who embrace naturalism for all their answers also have a problem with evil. Their problem is that the natural world has no good or evil. When a lion kills a zebra the lion is not evil only acting as a lion should. When a hurricane strikes land it is neither good nor evil it is just a natural event. Nature just is. It has no evil or good. So, if nature is morally neutral where does that leave one? In a quandary if you subscribe to the naturalist theory of everything.

If everything is natural and there is no creator then the very question of why there is evil is meaningless. Matter is neutral, it is neither good or evil it just is. Now no one I know believes that there is no such thing as evil. Everyone no matter how wedded to naturalism will admit at some point that evil exists. Just the fact that the question of evil is used to try and disprove God shows that they recognize the existence of evil.

There is a commonality among various societies throughout history as to what is morally acceptable and what is not. While each society may define and action slightly differently they all see murder, lying and theft as wrong. Some might say any taking of human life is wrong while most make exception to killing in war or protecting another. I am unaware of any society that condones murder.

So where does this moral commonality come from? Nature? We can already see that nature is morally neutral. Atoms, chemicals and molecules have no intrinsic morality, so how can they gain some moral code by stacking them together or arranging them in a particular order? The fact is they don’t. We see this all over nature moral neutrality, neither good nor evil. Good and evil in nature only comes from out attempt to anthropomorphize nature.

Try as they may the atheist and naturalist have yet to come up with a compelling theory as to how we know good from evil. The theist shows that morality comes from a higher authority, God the moral law giver; the non believer can point to no common moral arbiter. They can show no common source for morality. These things that are outside the natural world are particularly hard to explain by solely natural causes. Another example is the mind.

Morality, altruism and the mind, all things every person knows to exist and each, I think, impossible to explain in a naturalistic manner. Christianity has an explanation for evil. Christianity has a moral law giver. The natural world has no answers for these things.

Have a blessed day,

David

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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13 Responses to The Problem of Evil Part 3

  1. Jason Alan says:

    We can tell good and evil because we have brains. We can think, and judging by the reaction of others and ourselves is how we know right from wrong. People who have never even heard of the concept of God and have never seen a bible know right from wrong. It’s that simple.

    • dwwork says:

      Actually it is not that simple. Science has no idea how the mind works or why we even experience conscientiousness. As to why people who have never heard of God have similar moral values, God has imprinted them on us.

      • Jason Alan says:

        I don’t need science to tell me why we all know right from wrong, and I don’t need a fictitious man in the clouds to tell me, either.

      • dwwork says:

        I agree, I too do not need scientists or a fictitious man in the sky telling me right from wrong. Fact is I think there is plenty of evidence for God’s existence. I am curious, where do you think our moral code comes from or where does you moral code come from. I would be interested in having a discussion on this.

  2. Jason Alan says:

    First of all, I must applaud you for being open to discussion with someone who doesn’t agree with you. Over the past few days I have commented on twenty or so blogs pertaining to religion, and you’re the only one who has even approved my comments. There actually was one other that did, today, but it was mostly about politics. I even made it a point to not be mean or rude. I simply stated my opinions as I have here.

    As for where my moral code came from, it came from many sources. My mother, my sisters, friends, teachers, society, et cetera. But is there some attributes we are born with? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t doubt it. Animals don’t have to be told what to do, and for the most part they do what their parents did, and their parents before them, and so on. They usually don’t kill unless it’s for their protection or to eat, and they didn’t go to school to learn (except fish), ok stupid joke.

    The point is, it’s ok not to know sometimes. In fact, it’s quite marvelous and freeing to accept the fact that you don’t know everything. One of the problems I have with some religious people is they throw words around like ‘evidence’, ‘fact’ and ‘truth’ so casually. When I ask where is their proof, they quote the bible. But no matter what you or I believe, just because some people wrote something down in a book doesn’t make it true.

    Now, if you want to provide me with something that you think is evidence for God, I’m all ears, but if your ‘evidence’ has anything to do with the bible then I will come through this computer and slap you with a fish. Maybe even a school of them.

    The ball is now in your court, sir.

    • Joe Quatrone, Jr. says:

      Jason, I think your fish jokes are funny!

      I am a Christian and have come to realize something about many people who grow up in Christian homes and environments. Although we claim God exists and the Bible is true, some of us do not know why. Have you ever asked a Christian, “Why do you believe in God or the Bible?” What is their answer? Is it, “I can’t really prove the Bible; I just accept it by faith.” The problem with this answer is there is no logic in it. It is as if we are staring at a green wall, but insisting it is red. It makes us look like intellectual morons or idiots of sorts. Is this your perspective?

      Most people want evidence why something is true. I think you are asking for evidence of God’s existence outside of the Bible, so here we go: I believe God has not left Himself without testimony. He has given us objective evidence to prove what is true and what is not true. This evidence leaves people without excuse for unbelief. Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. In other words, there is undisputable evidence that God exists and the Bible is true.

      I would like to point out some factual information outside of Bible that even an atheist would admit is true. We have empirical data in science to give us confidence God exists and the Bible is the very Word of God. What is fascinating to me is the Bible reveals much scientific truth (second law of thermodynamics, hydrology, astronomy, geology, meteorology, physiology, psychology) thousands of years before it was ever discovered by science. The bible is not in conflict with science; rather it is in conflict with a worldview that starts without a Creator.

      Furthermore, in the Old Testament, there are 330 specific prophecies about Jesus Christ all of which have come true. There is no debate that at a certain time in history, there was a man born whose name was Jesus Christ. We can debate whether He was a good teacher, but we cannot debate the fact that certain things happened in His life that were prophesied thousands of years before He was born. The Old Testament predicted, for example, that Jesus Christ would die by crucifixion. It is a proven fact in history that Jesus was crucified by the Roman government who did not even exist when the prediction was made. All the prophecies and predictions in the Bible are too exact and precise to be coincidences. Nobody just guessed there would be a guy named Jesus who would die by crucifixion. That was special revelation from God.

      I’m not arguing with you, just pointing out some things I believe are true. I hope this information is helpful. If not, I can provide more objective evidence. Please feel free to respond and interact. Dave’s blog is a good resource! Have a great day, Jason!

      • dwwork says:

        Thanks Joe. great reply. Jason, when I get back to you I will give the argument for God that finally convinced Anthony Flew that there was a God. While Flew did not become a Christian he did become a deist.

      • Jason Alan says:

        The bible condones slavery, stoning people to death and subjugation of women. You can take your bible, roll it up and shove it you know where.

      • dwwork says:

        Jason,

        I too would ask that you respect Joe and my beliefs. You do not have to agree with them but I have always believed that intelligent people can discuss issues that we disagree on without resorting to insults. As to what Joe said on his reply, I agree. I too am troubled by what God had the Israelites do to the Canaanites but sometimes bad things have to be done for the greater good. Joe used an excellent example about the use of atomic bombs to end World War II. I live near the Gulf Coast and every year a number of people get infected with the “flesh eating” bacteria that live to the water. In order to save their lives doctors have to amputate the infected limb. This has to be done quickly and with a lot of discussion or that person will die. It is not something a doctor or the patient wants to do, it is necessary.

        I also agree that the God in the Old Testament and the God/Jesus in the New are one and the same. Anyone who reads the Old testament with an open mind, the entire Old testament not just cherry picked verses, will see a God of multiple chances and a God of redemption and love.

        As to why God instructed the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites, I think it was because of their evil practices. They practices infant sacrifice and temple prostitution and if allowed to continue to live in the land they would have eventually “infected” Israel. In fact that is just what eventually happened when Israel disobeyed God’s command and allowed some to live.

        Finally, I hope to post the first two of five proofs of God none of which needs to use the Bible. All we need agree on is that truth is knowable, that we exist and that the universe exists and is not some Matrix like dream.

        have a blessed day,

        David

      • dwwork says:

        Jason, please check out today’s post for the first in a series of proofs for the existence of God. Have a blessed day, David

      • Joe Quatrone, Jr. says:

        You sound angry, Jason. I’m not sure why. You asked a question and I answered you using objective evidence outisde the Bible – science and history. This is what you asked for, is it not? I am interested in having a discussion, but will not argue.

        If God is love, why did He condone such terrible violence in the Old Testament, including the slaughter of women and children? This is honestly a very difficult issue for many people. The fact God commanded the killing of entire nations in the Old Testament has been the subject of harsh criticism from opponents of Christianity for some time. I have a few atheist friends who refer to God as “a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser and murderer.”

        But are these criticisms valid? Is God a “monster” who arbitrarily commands genocide against innocent men, women, and children? Why would God have the Israelites exterminate entire groups of people, women and children included? Probably the most difficult part of these commands from God is that He ordered the death of children and infants as well. Why would God order the death of innocent children? Was His reaction to the sins of the Canaanites and the Amalekites a vicious form of “ethnic cleansing” no different from atrocities committed by the Nazis? Or is it possible God could have had morally sufficient reasons for ordering the destruction of these nations?

        These questions always come to the surface with atheists. The God of the Old Testament is a murderer, whereas Jesus is gentle and loving. Actually, I would like to point out that Jesus is Yahweh (the same God of the OT). Since Jesus is Yahweh, what does that mean for us? Will we face judgment one day too?

        My older and wiser friend puts it like this: As in a military campaign tactics may change, but the strategic goal has always been the same. Was dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, killing thousands of “innocent” children a good thing? If it prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of others, then it is viewed as good.

        Again, is it possible God could have had morally sufficient reasons for ordering the destruction of these nations?

        I will not be responding anymore unless you are able to control yourself and have a mature discussion.

      • Joe Quatrone, Jr. says:

        Great reply, Dave! I noticed you posted a few new articles. I look forward to reading. Talk to you soon!

    • dwwork says:

      Jason, Thanks, life is too short to be rude. If two intelligent people cannot discuss their differences with resorting to rudeness or name calling then I want no part of it. Tell you what, give me a few days and I will post some evidences for God that I promise will not use the Bible. I think it is counter productive to use the Bible to convince someone who may not believe the Bible. I need some time because we are getting ready to move my son back into the dorm at his college this weekend and I want to do a good job with my answer. So no worries about having to jump through the computer. Have a great and blessed day. David

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