Monday, May 18, 2009

The Problem of Evil


As indicated in your textbook in its discussion on the Book of Job, "the dilemma of why the good suffer and the wicked prosper in this life is known as the problem of evil" (Newland 249). However, the problem is not so simple as to say that only one side perishes while the other thrives. Ultimately, we all experience suffering in some way, often in what seem unjust or undeserved circumstances. It is this kind of suffering--the stuff that seems unfair--that defines the "problem of evil" and which the author, Jay Sklar, of the article ("Why Does God Permit Evil?") I gave you addresses in his essay.

In a well-developed essay of at least three, full paragraphs, give a summary of the article, including the author's name and the title of the article in quotations in the introduction of your essay.

Then give a well-argued and reasoned response to the article, including any agreements and/or disagreements you have. If you recognize any seeming inconsistencies in the author's argument, please state them.

Your concluding paragraph should be a reflection on your own sense of what purpose suffering gives us in our lives.

This is due, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 on the blog or typed hard copy under the following heading:

Your Name
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009


James May said...

James May
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

In the article "Why Does God Permit Evil?" by Dr. Jay Sklar, one of the inconsistencies people may find with religion is addressed. The fact that, if there is an all powerful, loving God, why is there evil in the world? Why wouldn't this God stop evil from happening? Many people use this as a basis to state a non-belief in a divine power. However, this article makes an attempt to argue the fact that evil does not necessarily imply lack of a God.

First of all, what is evil? In this argument, it is suffering that we endure but cannot control. People will sometimes pose the argument that a God could control this, if there was one, but he doesn't, so there must not be one. However, this is not necessarily true; we are mortal, finite beings as the article says. We would be hard-pressed to fully understand or comprehend the ways of an all powerful omniscient God. But then, is evil a problem for atheists, who have no God off which they can judge right and wrong? It is; everyone has a sense of dignity built into them, whether they attribute it to laws laid down by a God or just a sense of morality.

However, none of this really answers the original question of why a God would allow this. It may help our judgment to see that God suffered evil through Jesus, showing in a way that evil is necessary for life and that he is not oblivious to our sufferings. And since Jesus conquered death, he can conquer all evil. So now it is just a matter of waiting.

There were a few inconsistencies I found in this paper, and a few things I disagreed with. First of all, I don't see why it was necessary to make a point exclusively towards atheists. Even though they may not believe in God, they still have the sense of dignity and conscious telling them what is right or wrong. Just because they attribute it to God does not mean it's not there. There is nothing about an atheist's thought process that is much different than that of a religious person's. Also, this article makes it seem like religious people never cause evil, which is obviously not true. To me, belief is the only difference between atheists and people of faith, there is no differing thought process to the extreme that the article states.

I also do not see how knowing God suffered evil is supposed to 'help' us understand why he does not stop it. We already know of God's love for us; I don't see how the story of Jesus is supposed to help us understand why evil exists.

Overall I think this article did a poor job of proving its point. It did bring up a few good points; for instance, I still do not believe that there is no God because evil exists. However, the way the article tried to explain evil did not do the problem justice. Life has many mysteries; evil is one of them. In my opinion, it is not our place or our ability to understand why evil exists. We just need to accept what is there and overcome the challenges it presents.

Juwan said...

In the Article, Jay Sklar explain that there’s evil in the world, and the saying “the problem evil” describes the situation of problems of suffering with every human being causing a serious problem in society. It’s a serious objection to the existence of God. “The problem Evil” is one of the reasons, why people abandoned their faith. God would have made free of evil of any kind. All the human experience various of evil is great, or on a regular basis. Humans in the world are very skeptical and saying “If God exist, why is there evil in the world?”

The first, question ask, What do we mean by Evil? “We usually use the term loosely and refer things we don’t like“, which the article told us. In the article, “ Evil means suffering that we can’t control. I believe evil is usually reflected by peers and our surroundings. To really know what evil is, you have to experience fully. Being evil is un-admirable, it is absolutely necessary because without it, there is no good. Evil balances out the good in the world. However this question leads the opinion that “ an good and all-powerful God does not exist.”

There is a major argument on this subject and my summary of question two is simple as this. Human Beings have a lack of faith, explaining one of the main reason why we are skeptical. We are limited in ways that an infinite being is not. People don't even care about the arguments of different philosophers responses.

Now, question three “How is evil a problem for atheism?” is a little bit difficult to understand. Arguments for atheism is mainly base on the problem of evil. Atheists state that the existence of evil is a problem for theism which holds to a good and powerful God. ." If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something as being evil. As human beings, we all use the evil saying there’s something wrong, and that there is un-justice exists in the world. When human beings, murder, that’s an act of sin unless you are in a war. The war has to be in for a right cause. Animals kills for an act for survival. Evil is a more problem to atheism, because, “right or wrong” deals with the heart, showing our dignity and worth.

Question four asks” How might the fact that God himself experience Evil help us? I believe that Jesus felt the reign of temptation, dolor, and confusion. So the main question is, Does God knows how we feel? If he does know how we suffer, then why won’t He take us out of our misery? If we all really were created by the All-powerful, then why did He choose to send down his Son to experience what He Himself designed and knew? Atheists say that this statement just mainly absurd, However, Catholics say that Jesus needed to be with us to have our eyes opened. So I ask to the Catholics, What are we suppose to see? If Jesus came down to open our eyes, Are we suppose to look for knowledge in ourselves and our surroundings?

Question five asks, “Where does the story ends? This is explaining that, God will wipe every tear from our eyes and suffering will come to an end. God will sent his son” Jesus”, and take on evil and defeat it. If he destroys evil, Everyone will be happy and joyful for eternity.

I think that since God gave us the choice of free will, then it is up to us to choose between good and bad. It is the bad choice that becomes the evil. So if we choice the bad choice then we are creating the evil not God, however, if God knew we would chose evil over good. Why does he gives us the choice of free will? In my case, I’m still not sure about any of this article or the arguments between “the problem of evil”. I believe, I’m not the only one. It just doesn’t making any sense to me or any other people in the world.

Eharkema said...

Erich Harkema
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20(My birthday :P), 2009

In the article "Why Does God Permit Evil?", Dr. Jay Sklar explains "The problem of evil" by stating that it is a simple statement saying that there is evil in the world; yet the world is said to be created by a God of "good", so why does he let us suffer? This is the theme of this article. The main evils are the sins man commit. God wrote ten commandments for us to follow and be his disciples. If we break the commandments intentionally and do not repent, we are in that "evil" stage. If you murder without remorse, for example, you are considered "evil".

My response to this article is quite positive, because I indeed agree with it. If you break the Ten Commandments that God worked so hard to get to us, then you need to repent and suffer the consequences. We are all God's children and must follow in his teachings. I believe this author did the right thing by proving those who believe there is no God if we suffer, wrong. People are allways trying to find ways to grow doubtful. And the reason why is beyond me. I also liked his point about how animals could kill and it'd be allright. We actually do the exact same thing. We slaughter cows for hamburgers, pigs for ham, and so on. Do we show much remorse for that? The majority doesn't. This is because of the survival of the fittest.

In my opinion, God let's suffering go on to find the faithful from the unfaithful. Think about it, by reading this article you found some unfaithful already! The people saying that there is no God because of suffering are unfaithful. God knows that suffering teachs very wise lessons and helps us understand the world better. If there was no sadness, would happiness and laughter be all that grand? Most likely not...and I also think our lives are one big test to see if we are worthy to enter into God's kingdom or not. If we do not try our very best to follow the Commandments and we are not faithful, we are not worthy. Suffering is allowed to make our faith faint, but if we stay strong in our faith, even if we die, we die a martyr.

Wyatt Gasparik said...

Wyatt Gasparik
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 19, 2009

The article, "Why Does God Permit Evil?" by Jay Sklar discuses the topic of evil and why God permits it. In the article it talks about the type of evil that is brought upon us by someone else that we can not control. The question is why does God permit this type of suffering or is there even a God to prevent it? This article tries to explain that God is present and is able to prevent it, but in some instances it needs to be let untouched.

This is a complicated question to answer because neither side has factual proof that one side is right. We can only support our side by providing evidence. In some instances God permits this type of evil to help us as human beings grow. He helps guide us by letting us realize our true meaning in life. By these appearances of evil in our life it helps us appreciate life for what it is. Many people reject God out of there everyday lives. Only when something goes terribly wrong do they turn to God and ask the question,"Why?" God uses evil to help us keep on the correct path in life. Just because evil is present does not mean that God isn't. Jesus has faced evil and ultimately defeated it, showing us by example that evil can be overcome. We may not be able to completely avoid evil in our lives but we can do the best to learn from the experiences with it that we do have.

Without evil in the world good would not exist. We as human beings learn from the encounters we have with evil. Some people reject God but when evil surfaces, they turn immediately turn to God for an answer and when it isn't supplied they begin to doubt if God is real.

Joe Fennimore said...

Joe Fennimore
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

The article on "Why Does God Permit Evil?" by Dr. Jay Sklar addresses an ancient question of faith. It asks how a good and all-powerful God could exist if it does not stop evil from happening. It addresses the issue by asking five questions. The first question is, ‘What do we mean by evil?’. This question recognizes that all people have different perspectives about morality, and it narrows the argument down to cases of extreme injustice without cause or reason. Great atrocities such as the murdering of innocent people in war are included in this category, but pety matters of people’s daily, often self-induced, difficulties are not included. The second question is, ‘Does the problem of evil prove that there is no good and all-powerful God?’. What this question is saying, is that even though there is a contradictory statement presented to the existence of a good and all-powerful God, is does not prove that such a God does not exist. What the question does suggest is that there are reasons that God permits evil that we, as humans, will never understand. Also, we should not be so greatly distressed by the fact that we will never understand those reasons. Evil is a daily reality of life that we can only hope to control in our own lives by living peacefully and spreading love to one another. The third question is ‘How is evil a problem for Atheism?’. This question is talking about how Atheists respond to the problem of evil. Many of them become Atheists because of the very problem of evil. Some of them deny the existence of God because of the presence of evil. The only problem with this denial is that it does not in anyway eliminate evil from their lives. Evil is a reality of humanity and not just religion. By averting away from religion Atheists are left only with a pessimistic view that nothing can influence the moral values and actions of others. The fourth question is, ‘How might the fact that God himself experienced evil help us?’. Since Jesus was both fully man and fully God, he experience the evil that we as humans must face and he suffered death on the cross. This knowledge reassures us that God truly does understand the evil in our world. More importantly however, Jesus conquered that evil through his resurrection. His resurrection gives us hope that God will come again and conquer all evil just as he conquered death many years ago. This is also what is covered in the fifth question, ‘Where does the story end?’.

The article provides an interesting point in the argument about whether or not a good and all-powerful can coexist with the evils in our world. The article argues entirely for one side, trying to prove that the presence of evil does not contradict the existence of a good and all-powerful God. One of their points of argument is particularly inconclusive, though. It says that there may be reasons that God permits evil that we, as humans, can never understand because are not God. This is an interesting argument and it may be true, but it has no supporting evidence other than intangible theological theories and it can’t be argued against because it completely discredits the opposing side. In a debate, just because one side cannot prove the other one wrong, they are not necessarily automatically right. The use of the firs question to narrow down the definition of evil was well done so that the argument was more easily understood. I agree that the only evils that matter are those of great injustice against the innocent. However, by limiting daily evils because they are unimportant, the question opens up the possibility that all evils are only a matter of human perspective. If this were the case, then evil may not actually exist and therefore there would not be anything to contradict God’s existence.

My personal belief about the problem of evil is actually fairly similar to just that. I believe that all evil is a matter of human perspective. The perspective of most people is that murdering innocent people is wrong. I am one of those people. However, looking at that statement from a third party perspective, one could ask why I believe that it is wrong to murder innocent people. I would reply that it was completely immoral, unjust, unfair, and inhuman. That person could say though, ‘Who are you to decide what is right and wrong?’. All people have a conscience that tells them what is right and wrong, but not everyone’s conscience is exactly the same. In reality, our conscience is merely a matter of perspective. The Bible contains a series of moral codes, but I personally believe that the Bible should not be taken at face value. It is a compilation of inspiring writings from realistically fallible people. I think people's consciences are really developed from their own experiences and wisdom. Only God can truly decide good from evil. This should not discourage people from being moral people, but it puts realistic perspective on our own human fallibility. The best that anyone person can do is to try to do what they believe is right.

Rob S. said...

Rob Scholle
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

"Why does God permit evil" by Dr. Jay Sklar is a good summary of issues that each of us face and how we are to deal with them. Dr. Skaler gives one stardard athiest arguement agaist the existence of God, which is this -If God is good then he does not want us to suffer. If he is omnipotent he has the power to keep us from suffering. We do suffer therefore either God is evil, or God is not omnipotent, or He does not exist. Sklar did a good job of disecting this arguement and either disproving or critising the mian points.

I hold to most of what Shlar said in the arguement if not all of it. One thing that I didn't like about the article is that it uses the word evil where I think that he uses the word evil where the word suffering may fit better. The one thing that I esspecially liked about the article was how Sklar described athiesm. Some athiests claim that they arrived at not believing in God by a train of deduction that led them to disbelief in God. Sklar did a good job at pointing out how even athiest hold themselves to certain standards which could be called religion and you cannot have a religion without a higher moral being that sets those standards. This being could be a "universal spirit", "earth force", or it could be Allah, or Buddha ar Jesus Christ but it had to come from somewhere.

I beleive that we can understand suffering in a very Catholic way by looking at love. True love is self-sacrifice and sacrifice is suffering. Suffering bings us closer to being loving and lovingness bring us to God.

omalkin said...

Osas Malkin
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rell 011.04
May 20, 2009

In this article "Why Does God Permit Evil?" by Dr. Jay Sklar, the author talks about how if God was a good and all-powerful God, how then does evil exist in the world? This article addresses the common question that many people ask most often about evil. There are five exquisite and thorough question in this article intended to expatiate on this 'Problem of Evil'. What Do We Mean By Evil? this question laid stress upon what many people consider to be "evil" and it also gave some examples of different scenario that people loosely refer to as evil.

The second question is “Does the problem of evil proves that there is no good and all-powerful God?” In this question, Dr. Jay talks about how people argue on the existence of the good and all-powerful God it also talks about how many people disagree with what they do not understand, and they have the tendency to not jump into conclusion without an solid evidence . The third question is “How is Evil a Problem For Atheism?” this question addresses how people use the problem of evil as a form of excuse for not believing in God.

The fourth question 'How might the fact that God Himself experienced evil help us?' talks about the incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth, and that Jesus also suffered as human just to show us how much he really loved and cared about us. The fifth question is “Where does the story end?” this question talks the end time, I mean the second coming of the Lord, and how He is going to wipe away all the tears of the innocent people that are suffering from the wickedness of the world.

I agree with every aspect of this article because it gave a clear idea of the true meaning of the word “Evil.” In my opinion, I think that God allows evil to exist just for the purpose of testing the faith of those that claims to believe in Him. Some Christians however, refuse to understand the fact that God only allows certain things to come our way that He knows we can handle, but due to lack of faith some people lose hope and jump to a conclusion that God does not care about them and that he allows “evil” to come upon them.

Thomas O'Connor said...

Thomas O'Connor
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

The article 'why does God permit Evil' by Dr. Jay Sklar attemts to explain why an omnipotent, loving God would allow evil in the world. The article defines evil as suffering that is not one's own fault. Personally, I feel that this article failed at making a point, and really did not say anything meaningful.

One point that I strongly disagree with is Sklar's attempt to say that atheists have a problem with evil, similar to theists. He goes on to say, if we were 'the random products of evolution' that we could not possibly have morals, or decide right from wrong. Well, first off, he is assuming that 'morality' is comprised of some type of divinely given absolute moral law. In response to that and to an earlier comment by Rob Scholle, this is not neccesarily true. Why can't morality be a relative ideal that allows for societal order. Why can't 'morality' be a social instinct that has evolved in humans, possibly allowing us to out-compete homo erectus and homo neanderthalensis. The ability to work with a group of humans severely increases the chances of survival of the group. No, morality is not an absolute. Lying is not always bad. In the case of Lying to save another's life, is it bad? Stealing is not always bad. Somebody has a weapon, and is capable of using to kill others. You have a chance to steal it and you do, is this bad? Obviously, an absolute moral law does not make much sense.

Secondly, he is displaying a blantent lack of understanding in the basic principles of biology. Natural selection is anything but random. It involves the survival of the organisms most suited to their environment. Social ties (not killing people, working with others, etc. ) and the ability to work with others effectively conveys a reproductive advantage. Thus these early societies had a much higher chance to survive and pass on their genes to their offspring. Highly social beings, such as humans, have a great advantage in hunting and surviving. This is why humans outlived many of the much less social members of the homo genus.

JRostek said...

Jake Rostek
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

In the article "Why Does God Permit Evil" written by Dr. Jay Sklar, Sklar addresses the question by considering the answer to five other questions. While considering these five other questions he discusses what evil is, how atheism uses evil to try to prove its point, and how God embraced evil to further show His love for us.

Sklar addressed some issues involving evil that I had never considered before, such as God could have stopped his own suffering but chose not to. God chose this route for a reason, therefore it is reasonable to believe that He allows evil and suffering in the world today for that same sort of reason. I agree with Sklar that in the end God will end all suffering, but I can't help but wonder if Sklar's use of suffering and evil are really the same things. I also don't think that Sklar ever answers the question of why does God permits evil. I agree that he proves his point that there is an all loving, all powerful God, but I don't think he ever answers the question as to why God permits this evil to continue to occur.

I think suffering in our lives serves several purposes. One purpose is that suffering allows us to become stronger people. Suffering pushes us to overcome obstacles that we face and reminds us to turn to God for answers. It also allows us to turn to God so that He can lead us in the right direction.

vincenzo merante said...

The Vincenzo Merante
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

In the article, "Why Does God Permit Evil", written by Dr.Jay Sklar, we see many inconsistencies about his perception of evil.For many people, the think the know what evil is but according to Sklar its the suffering we cant control.this article can make you agree or disagree about Sklar's ideas on what evil actually is.

Dr.Jay states that evil is the "suffering we cant control or prevent",to me, this is wrong. I can see where Doc is coming from but i believe in free will, which can be defined as choices we make for ourselves, while following God's path. People are blaming God for their suffering, which is the worst thing we could do. they believe God is somehow punishing them and therefore putting evil only in their loves.

We, as christians, must understand that God is all GOOD. theres nothing evil about HIm and that will never change. So if God isnt evil, where does it come from? that answer is ourselves. People are natural sinners. We are born with sin and commit them until the day we die. But these sins have deeper roots then we think. The choices we choose affect the thought of evil and the goodness of the world. Now, if we made choices for the better of the world, evil would be a less talked about subject.

In this specific article, we read about evil proving that there might Not be a good and righteous God. Evil can exist only when we want it to. We have total control of our lives and each and every one of us can resist evil. God has nothing to do with evil. he is defined as the creator of the world, which does include evil. But evil comes from a certain event that occured a while back. When Adam and Eve chose to eat that tasty fruit they decided to bring evil into our forsaken world. Ever since then, the human population has contributed to the growth of evil. God has done nothing except good...

The biggest misconceptions about this article, "Why Does God Permit Evil", is that theres only one kind of evil in the world. Dr. Sklar states theres more then one kind. i do not believe in this theory because every evil can fall under the category of wrong against God. Also, while i was reading, i came across the defintion of evil, which supposedly cant be prevented. Thise goes back to my pervious thoughts. God gave each one of us the gift of free will. Which every human takes unforgranted. Evil is a choice we can all make to follow. Nothing on this world determines if we follow it or not, until we use our free will. Evil wouldnt grow, exist, or become uncontrolable if we all used our free will better. So, as a devoted christian, we should use our free wills with the thought of good instead of falling into evil's statistics.

Deandre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deandre said...

Deandre White
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

In this article “Why Does God Permit Evil” by Dr. Jay Sklar talks about how a good and all powerful God make us all suffer in the world. So some people dont think God can exist. But the humans caused suffering or evil because in the bible, the book of genesis adam and eve were told not to eat out of the tree of eden by God. But then later they defied God's command because a serpent told them they were allowed to eat out of eden. So God found out and they were punished so after that event evil started to appear in the world. Later God made THE TEN COMMANDMENTS so the people could obey but some people didnt listen the next generations had suffering and evil in it.

In my response of this article isnt true because didnt cause all this suffering or this evil it was us. Jesus Christ even died on the cross for our sins and we all still sin. So God probably sick of fixing our bad things we had done so he probably wants us to suffer to succeed.

My opinion of this article is that some people need to think to themselves to see why they are suffering and there is evil in the world. So God can still exist he is GOOD and all powerful, he just wants us to find the right path on our own then probably the suffering or evil will stop or will be very little in the world.

Graham Sides said...

Graham Sides
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

In the article, "Why does God Permit Evil?" by Dr. Jay Skylar, the topic of why there is evil on the earth in the presence of God is discussed. This age-old question of if God is good why is there evil is answered to the best of knowledge by Dr. Skylar, in which he defends the side of God.

The article makes a pretty good argument for the fact the God exists even with evil. In the beginning, he states that the evil that is being talked about is evil that we as humans cannot control. He thens states that drunk driving and child abuse is something we cannot control. On this point I have to disagree because that parent or drunk person can control what they are doing they just choose not too. I think the bigger question is why other evils such as natural disasters that wipe out multitudes of people exist. Dr. Skylar then states at the end of the article that God will eventually take away the evil and everyone will be joyful.

In my own opinion, I agree with him in the fact that evil existing does not mean that there is not a God, but I have a different view of it. Some evils in the world, alcohol for example, are a treat when used correctly, but an evil when used wrongly. God gave us these things for our pleasure to use wisely, not as evil. But as for the rest of it that we cannot control, I believe that God is using this as a problem for us to solve. Is there a way to cure these things? Is there a way to stop natural disasters from occuring? These are questions God wants us to answer and solve.

In conclusion, I believe that the article defended the right side of the argument, but did not really try to completely answer the question of why. It defined, compared, and gave examples of it, but did not fully answer the question.

mikeklim said...

Michael Klim
Bro. Rob Peach
Rel 00.04
20 May 2009

The article basicly asks the question of "How can there be a loving God if evil exists on earth?" The article offers many explanations to this question such as: God is not good, God has no power in deciding our fates, or there is no God at all. All of the major religions in the world today truely believe that there is a single loving God and accept the fact that they will not be able to answer these kind of questions until they are with him in heaven. Also, this article goes on to explain athiesm and expains how unsolvable questions like this have moved many away from Christianity.

I believe that the "Problem of Evil" article was a well thought out and consistant arguement. The author did a very good job of raising of raising tytpical questions that arise from the problem of evil questionand answering them with easy to understand informative statements. One issue that the author addressed is that of "How can there be a loving God if there is evil and suffering in the world today?" The author went on to this question by not only pointing out that God is good and does so much for the world, but also by exposing the flaws in the question itself.

ldietz said...

Logan Dietz
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

Dr. Jay Sklar's article, "Why does God Permit Evil," explores the mystery of why, if God is good, does evil exist? Dr. Sklar also argues the statement of, "A God who is good and all-powerful cannot allow evil to exist, but evil does exist, therefore there is no good and all-powerful God."

To furthermore explore this mystery, Dr. Sklar investigates five questions:
1. What do we mean by evil?
2. Does the problem of evil prove that there is no good and all-powerful God?
3. How is evil a problem for Atheism?
4. How might the fact that God himself experienced evil help us?
5. Where does the story end?
These questions aid Dr. Sklar in investigating the mystery of why God permits evil.

In the conclusion of the article, Dr. Sklar summarizes that Jesus confronts us in our suffering. He adds that one day, Jesus will "come again and defeat suffering in all its forms."

I believe that Dr. Sklar's article was well written and he put in a great deal of effort. He made a great job establishing his oppinions in the article. However, I do believe that some of the points he made were unnecessary. For instance, I don't think he should have even brought up the fact of Atheism since that clearly had nothing to do with his thesis. I also think the second question, "Does the problem of evil prove that there is no good and all-powerful God," was not relevant to moving his main argument forward. It simply restated what was already said in the opening of the article.

Robbie McKinstry said...

Robbie McKinstry
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

This article, "Why Does God Permit Evil?", by Dr. Jay Sklar, attempts to explain that evil is a natural process in the world that God refuses to prevent, not because He is unable to, but because He choises not to.

The article states that evil is deffined as suffering of innocent people that is unable to be prevented by the innocent. An example of such an exception is so: An innocent man may choose to go to the dentist's office, fully aware that he may suffer pain at the hands of my father's drill, and do so willingly. This is not an act of evil, because it prevents a greater suffering, such as a root canal.

However, this deffinition of evil is does not consistantly explain a lack of divinity from suffering. It is understood that God allows us to make mistakes so that we have free will to choose good over evil, philosophically known as 'soul-building'. Suffering from natural disasters would simply be the relocation of natural substances if no humans around. It was their free choice to be in the area of "disaster" in the first place; a simple misuse of free will.

Nextly, the article make a detour to drag athiests into this discussion in order to present some sort of attack upon they're inaccurate uneducated arguments. This was clearly done to publish an explaination against athiesism in order to settle "personal problems" that the author has.

I, however, agree that the athiestic concepts on suffering are not given enough attention, and was pleased by the paragraph explaining how evil is a 'problem' for athiests too. In summary, athiests have moral beliefs as do theists, and certainly would not commit causeless murder remorse, unless they were metally unstable in some way. This too is true for theists.

Finally, the article argues that through Jesus Christ's suffering and death on the cross, we know that God is not above suffering himself, and is willing to accept evil done to him, all the while remaining omnipotent. This, in my opinion, is a weak explaination that doesn't answer any questions. Yes, God bore a yoke of evil because He loved us and cares for us. However, the argument is about how consistantly He cares for us. If He could save us from suffering, why doesn't He? The author appears to respond with "uhhh....His son died for us. He suffered too..." No duh His son died for us. That's an irrevelent statement, and is contridicted by the last beautitude, in that God sort of expects us to suffer in his name, and for others, and do as much as we can to "bear other's crosses", but He Himself won't save us? I know that God is not a hypocrit, because Jesus mocks hypocrits very often in the Book of Matthew. (Matthew chapters 5-6)
This explaination, if you ask me, is moot.
(As a side note, this is proven through Baruch Spinoza's "The Ethics", Part I."Conserning God")

My personal opinion about "The Problem of Evil" is that when we die, we will be accountable for the wrongs we commited and did not repent on. This belief stems from the Book Matthew, Matthew 5:26;18:30. In these passages Jesus explains that you should settle your debts (i.e. wrong doings) before The Time, for if you don't you will suffer in prison (Hell) until you have payed back ever cent that you owe.

Robbie McKinstry said...

Robbie McKinstry (continued)

For example, I believe that it is very possible for Hitler to go to Heaven. I think he will spend time in hell equal to his 'debt', or the amount of time he stole from the victims by cutting their lives short. So, for ever 20 year old Jew he killed who would have lived until the age of 80 if he hadn't killed her, Hitler will spend 60 years in agonizing Hell. I feel this is an appropriate punishment for his crimes, because he killed six million Jews, and will be in Hell for relative eternity. That's plenty of time to actually see the error in his ways and repent, and then suffer more.

I call this concept "Ultimate Judgment", and think it is echoed quite often in the Gospels, and is often overlooked when the problem of evil is discussed, because it encouraged the thought that the innocent will continue to suffer in this lifetime. My beliefs are sketchy and inaccurately specific, however this should not detract from this concept.

Personally, I feel we suffer because of misuse of free will, and we suffer because it can make us better people. This goes under the category of "soul-building" and "free will" on my previous essay on this topic. This way God graciously gives us the option of choosing good over choosing evil, and this is to me the ultimate act of loyalty to the Lord. It is absolutely the greatest way in which we can worship him, by suffering willingly in adoration, mirroring how He suffered willingly in love for us.

I apologize for posting twice; my responce was too long to be accepted in one post.

dan said...

Dan Smith
Bro. Rob Peach FSC
Rel. 011
May 20, 2009

In his article Dr. Skylar adresses many of the problems people find in arguments of evil. he argues of new points such as the problem evil causes many inconsitencies with aitheism.
His first argument is "what is evil". He does this so we can find a common ground in the thoughts on evil. He argues that humans have a limited amount of understanding for wahat God does.
Skylar belives taht the evil that you cannot permit is the evil that he is arguing upon.

In conclusion Dr. Skylar propeses that because of our limited capacity of our understanding does not allow us to understad why God permits evil.

On my opinion I believe that God gives us free will to create the evil that is brought on us. I also believe taht through suffering like Jesus we can come to know how important his gift to us was and how hard it was to him to sacrafice himself. Our pain from evil is no where near the pain he felt so it is not like God is giving us something we cannot handle.

Patrick Drake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fish said...

Rick Fish
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 20, 2009

In this story it talks about why if God doesn't agree with violence or any bad things then why is there evil in the world? As you read on in the passage you hear different points of view and the main reason that there is evil in the world is because life wouldn't be the same. There can't be all good in life because there would be no point to life or not as big of a meaning. I think it is a good thing that there is evil in the world and it always doesn't have to be as bad as it is because it just depends on how you handle the problem or situation. In the passage they say if, "Evil exists; therefore there is no good and all-powerful God." I do not agree with this statement because there is alot of good and God does exist but he can't make all of your decisions or do everything for you, so you can not blame God for yur mistakes. God also faced evil when he was around so he also experienced it and we need to think about how it's not only us who faces it or that God is trying to punish us. My opinion is that God wants to stop all evil but can't because it will make life not as meaningful.

Patrick Drake said...

In the article "Why Does God Permit Evil" by Jay Skylar, discusses the issues that each of us face. He talks about how if God is willing to prevent evil but not willing then heis impotent, but if he is able and not willing, then heis malevolent. In the articlehe talks about how God is omnipotent and good then why does he allow us to suffer, and when goes through a misfortunate event in a person's life, the first person theyusually blame is God because he could have prevented it.

In this article Jay Skylar investigates 5 questions that talk about evil. The first is "What do we mean by Evil?" Which discusses the use of the word evil in at least 3 ways. This basically talks about evils such as, something we don't like or some sort of misfortune we have brought upon ourselves. The second question is "Does the problem of evil prove that there is no good and all-powerful God?" This question discusses if God is all-powerful then why does he permit evil. It says that God is good an all-powerful and has reasons for allowing evil, and we as finite human beings are limited in the way that infinite human beings are not, and God may have reasons for evil that we cannot comprehend. The third question is "How is evil a problem or atheism?" It is a problem for atheism because when some people suffer from some sort of misfortunate event, the first person they blame is God because they believe he could have prevented it. Rather than turning toward God they turn away from him. The fourth question is "How might the fact that God himself experienced evil help us?" This could help us because Christ paid the ultimate sacrafice as an act of love for us and we can learn something from this. The fifth and final queston is "where does the story end?" This dicusses how Jesus will one day come again and defeat all forms of suffering and evil.

I agree with most of the aspects in the article except that there is no God because evil exists. I believe that God gave us free will and we have a choice between right and wrong, so if we choose to do evil throught are lives then ultimately we end up in hell, but if we choos to do good we end up in heaven.

Eric Gemmell said...

Eric Gemmell
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
May 21, 2009

In "Why Does God Permit Evil?" written by Dr. Jay Sklar, a very big issue on religion is explored. If God is all powerful and so loving, why does he permit evil in the world? As a result of this question and it's unknown answer, many people use it as a scapegoat and make their way to the non-believer side of the fence if you will. This article though, does not reject God, rather it makes the arguement that even though there is inevitably evil in the world, that doesn't mean that there is no God.

"Suffering that we endure but cannot control"(Sklar, Page 2) That is what evil is. But you hear the atheists and other non- believers say that if the in fact was a God or divine being, that he, she, it would be able to control and contin these terrible forces. But we should not ask that question. It is very hard for us as mere mortal beings to understand the nature's of God. But, as we discussed in class, do atheists, along with other human beings, worry about the effects of evil? Seeing that I'm not an atheist, that is a hard question to answer. As a response, I would say yes and no. They worry about some impending evil like a murderer who could come around the corner and massacre them. I believe that they can tell the difference between what is right and what is wrong just like the next person. The only difference is that they don't worry about the evil of the supernatural form, or the evil of say Satan and his minions. We as Chrisitan believers, worry about all of those things and are very concious of them on a daily basis.

To answer the original question, why does God allow evil, you could make the arguement that he suffered it through Jesus. Or you could say that evil is necessary for us to lead a Chrisitian life, and remain faithful to God, know what is right, and what is wrong, and to just have something to fear, as is human nature.

Guthrie is hood said...

Guthrie Renwick
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel. 011.04
May 20, 2009

I believe that the evil prosper while the good suffer because the evil do whatever they have to do to prosper. They don’t follow any rules or create rules set to make the good fail. The good don’t fight back because they want peace and don’t want a violent conflict. They want a peaceful resolution, which the evil will never have. The evil are only concerned with themselves, they take everything from the people who have nothing and feel no remorse. They have no concern for other people’s problems.

The evil have no one that stands up to them that they respect telling them that what they do is wrong. There may be people that are completely evil but I believe that most of the “evil” are just misguided and they just need a reality check. They need to be shown how they negatively impact so many lives and if they were “good” they could do so much for humanity.

The good suffer so much because they have become victims to “evil”. They are peaceful but they need to learn to fight back for justice and reason. They cant just feel sorry for them selves they need to do something about it. There no clear line between what is considered good and evil but most people know what they should and shouldn’t do. The evil need to learn this one day so we can all work together.