Author Topic: Does suffering prove God's non-existence?  (Read 1051 times)

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Offline r000

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Does suffering prove God's non-existence?
« on: March 30, 2006, 06:08:31 PM »
I figured I should post this topic because a student I'm studying with said to me something along the lines of "God doesn't exist ... how can He create people that kill each other?!"

Philsopher Bertrand Russel - "one that has been at the bedside of a dying child, cannot believe in a loving God".

Agnostics and atheists alike state that a personal loving God will not allow suffering. I think it's to the contrary actually. Suffering proves the existence of God and the following will show you why.

1) If you say that suffering exists, and you do not believe in God, then it is certain you perceive suffering to be something evil (evil = ultimate injustice of a practice). If as the student says "how can He create people that kill each other", he reasons that a loving God will not allow evil. Therefore, he knows that evil exists.

2) If evil exists, then good exists.

3) If you and I can know good and evil, the knowledge of which is an objective, absolute truth, then we must have a reference point through which you and I attain this knowledge.

4) We call this reference point moral law.

5) So, you and I can rationally say that this law is an intelligent mind law and that an intelligent mind created this law. Just like a legislator creates legislation, the moral law has a moral lawgiver. This moral lawgiver _must_ be God.

So, if there is no moral law, then there is no good; and if there is no good, then there is no evil; if there is no evil, then there is meaninglessness; and if there is meaninglessness, then life is meaningless; and ...

Hitler's actions were meaningless; Stalin's actions were meaningless; Pol Pot's actions were meaningless; Saddam's actions were meaningless; ethnic cleansing is meaningless; genocide is meaningless; murder, torture and rape is meaningless; hunger and poverty is meaningless; courts are meaningless; charity's are meaningless; no one should be supporting anyone, since supporting anyone is meaningless.

I observe a lot on these forums. And just from my observation, I see various posts regarding evil around the world. You obviously know good and evil. You know this because an intelligent mind programmed this in you. This programmer is God.


Offline ASHOOR

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Re: Does suffering prove God's non-existence?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2006, 10:25:12 PM »
Good post, although I admit I skimmed through it, but will be reading it in its entirety later.

But I have to say the following: why do so many people associate 'suffering' with God's non-existence? there is nowhere that God says he never allows suffering.
God has given the earth in our hands, the humans, so we are free to do what we like with it. And since evil is rooted into our world, there is no escape from suffering.

But I go back and ask: why does suffering provoke feelings that God doesn't exist.  Yet it is ironic, because we associate bad things with God's non-existence, and good things with his existence.  In other words, when life is good, God exists, and when life is all suffering, he doesn't exist. I am confused, people should make up their mind.

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Offline Ankido

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Re: Does suffering prove God's non-existence?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2006, 03:12:29 AM »

Excellent question and well laid out as well, as with your other replies under the heading "God".

I've always thought that suffering in this life and indeed just about the whole mess in this world is one of the strongest, if not the strongest facts that proves God's existence.  I would like to use a simple, everyday example that relates to our lives to prove this point.

Suppose you went down the PC shop and bought youself a new PC.  The guy who sold you the PC is a computer engineer, he built the computer himself, he gave you some advise so that it will last you a long time.  One of the things he said to you is, "when you have finished your work, switch it off the proper way, through the start button, don't just turn it off at the wall. 

Now, for some reason, you are not taking that warning seriously.  You like to just quickly switch it off at the wall and run out of the room.  After a month the computer fails to start, its now giving serious fatal errors.  Now, this simple everyday scenario raises some questions. 

What can we conclude about the engineer, his product the PC and the customer.  You can interpret it in different ways but my understanding is this.  The engineer obviously knew what he was talking about, he knew his product well.  The product itself was working ok as long as it was used the right way.  The customer for whatever reason was careless, hence the current problems he's facing now is because of his negligence.

Please take 5 minutes and read Deuteronomy 27 & 28 and tell me if God's laws are not governing 100%.  Of course they are, to the letter.  The majority of people have chosen to disregard God and His laws and therefore are accursed.  God is not unjust or has lost control of the situation or likes to cause people pain.  Infact the current sufferings in the world are a testament that God's word is true and He is in full controll of the situation.

Thankfully, because of His great love for us his creation, He sent His Son to die for us.  Jesus has salvaged just about everything for us who believe in Him.  Unfortunately for things like sickness and death, these we have to endure, they are the result of our disobedience.
To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.  Job 6:14

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Re: Does suffering prove God's non-existence?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2006, 03:12:29 AM »

Offline RadRides

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Re: Does suffering prove God's non-existence?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2006, 03:28:28 AM »
Suffering only proves the existence of God.  That sounds wrong to some.  Why?

1.  If there is good, there must be bad.  Morality, the basic ideas of right and wrong.

2.  Every thing in us is instinctly good, the bad comes from taking those good virtues, impulses, etc and exploiting them for our own benefit.

3.  Good and evil doesn't mean dualism.  There is a war going on, but one must see (from #2) that good things come first and those good things become bad.

4.  No one likes badness because it is bad.  It is more along the lines of cruelty than anything else. 

5.  Satan is the fallen angel.  We know he was once good, but decided to become apart from God and exploited the good to do bad.

6.  Suffering is a direct result of good going to bad. 

7.  We know that the powers of good and evil are governed by a higher power, one we call the True, Real God. 

8.  #6 basically is saying that the good is in Right relation to God and the bad is the wrong relation of Him.

9.  One must be intelligent and have the will to be bad, but willl and intelligence are in themselves good.

10.  All things which enable a  bad man to be effectively bad are in themselves good things-resolution, cleverness, good looks, and existence itself.

All these points have to do with the general idea of what suffering really is.  It is the idea of good gone wrong.  That doesn't mean God created suffering or God isn't real.  It only enhances the belief that some Higher power governing all is behind this and that another power, one who is not above the Higher is causing the suffereing.  I hope this makes sense.

Mere Christanity
, by C.S. Lewis put it into perspective

Offline Cascade

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Re: Does suffering prove God's non-existence?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 03:55:26 AM »
In other words, when life is good, God exists, and when life is all suffering, he doesn't exist. I am confused, people should make up their mind.
Good call. I hope you stand by this even after 11 years.

That's why for me, whether suffering exists or not, god doesn't have to exist either way. All we need is empirical proof for his existence, and that's it.
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin


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