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    Posts: 11187
  • Darwins +1865/-9

There does seem to be that trap for Christian religious people who say that god is both powerful and good-- the pesky problem of evil.

If people are free to do good or bad things, where does god come in? Does he just sit back and watch, or does he intervene? If he does intervene, what criteria does he use to decide when and how? And why is it so hard to tell if god has intervened or not, since nothing obviously supernatural (like a child's missing arm reappearing after the parents pray, or a tornado skipping around all the Christian homes in a neighborhood) ever happens?

And what about things that people don't do, but are just good or bad situations, presumably created or at least approved of by god? Like one kid being born to rich European parents and never lacking for anything vs a kid being born in a war-torn country in the middle of a famine?

Either the world is exactly the way god wants it to be, good along with the bad, or it is not the way god wants it to be. If the world is not the way god wants it, what kind of wimpy half-baked god is that? If it is the way god wants it, you have to explain why god wants so many bad things to happen to some people and not to others.

Enter Christian excuses: mysterious ways, free will, vague platitudes, sketchy anecdotes and circular reasoning. I keep returning to the explanation given by the Hindu belief in reincarnation and karma-- you are being punished or rewarded in this life for whatever you did in a previous life. There is no evidence supporting it either, but at least it makes internal sense. And has the added benefit of not requiring anyone to take any action. &)

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