Greater Good Theodicy

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by neal4christ, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    This thread is a result of a discussion that began in another thread.

    First off, what I am I talking about when I say greater good theodicy? I am referring to a theodicy that says God allows only those evils from which He can bring about a greater good or by which He prevents a greater evil. I believe that Augustine held to this view.

    Sounds good, but I do not think that all evil necessarily results in a good. Example: A six year old child runs out in front of a car and is killed. Where is the good?

    I am NOT saying that God cannot use an evil for good. I AM saying that I do not think ALL evil results in a greater good. I do believe that there is gratuitous evil as a result of living in a fallen world where sin runs rampant.

    Let the games begin! :D

    May We ALL Strive to Edify One Another,
    Neal

    [ June 19, 2003, 05:37 PM: Message edited by: neal4christ ]
     
  2. GraceSaves

    GraceSaves
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    0
    Neal,

    I think we are on the same page. ;) Perhaps we just misunderstood one another. God allows all evil to happen because he allows us free will, and thus, evil often follows. I was saying that OFTEN God can use evil that we do to bring about good things, especially in hindsight.

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  3. GraceSaves

    GraceSaves
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wait, isn't "Theodicy" the epic poem by Homer?

    Ohhhh, I kill myself. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Please, no rotten tomatoes!! [​IMG]

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  4. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gotcha! [​IMG]

    May God Richly Bless,
    Neal
     
  5. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    If only I had some........... :D

    God Forgive Me For Wanting To Throw Rotten Fruit At Grant,
    Neal
     
  6. GraceSaves

    GraceSaves
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm just glad that you realize that tomatoes are fruits and not vegitables! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm here all week, folks. [​IMG]

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  7. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.boerne.com/temp/bb_pic2.jpg">

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Neal,

    Everything that happens is a part of God's providence, and that includes our free will. As a result of our free will, evil has entered the world (the mystery of iniquity), and so evil has become a part of God's providence. Since God is infinitely good and loving, all of his providence is infinitely good and loving; therefore, good is always brought out of evil because nothing escapes the providence of God.

    About your example, the good resulting from the six year-old child's death in the realm of God's providence will not be readily seen by our finite intellects, but it exists. To further the example and show the good brought out of it: suppose that this death brings about another individual's conversion to the Lord because it heightens a sense in an individual with regard to the short timespan of life on earth.
     
  8. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, I did that unknowingly. :rolleyes: I guess some things stick with you deep down somewhere in the recesses of your mind. [​IMG]

    Praise Be to God For Using Simple People,
    Neal
     
  9. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was waiting for someone to bring this up. First off, how do you know it exists? Second, who defines what is good and who assigns value to say that it outweighed the evil? And third, let's suppose that no one came to the Lord, the father committed suicide, and the mother becomes an alcoholic eventually checked into a psychiatric ward. Do you still want to keep going down that road?

    Yes, our will is under God's providence. But that does not mean that He forces our decisions or even has to use them.

    God Bless You,
    Neal
     
  10. JFS

    JFS
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    We do not have the forsite that God has. If God forsaw that in the future this child would be a mass murder and in his Mercy he took that child to heaven early... The child getting killed at six, although evil on the surface, is good in the end wouldn't you think?

    God Bless

    John Secker
     
  11. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    IF that was to happen, yes I would agree with you. Yet what IF that child was to have gone on to cure cancer? See, it becomes difficult when we start playing if....then games, because there is no way we can know. And I don't call it faith when there are blind leaps. God gave us a mind and reason and He himself is reasonable. Faith is built upon evidence and substance, not mere speculations. Will we ever understand the mind of God? No. But to claim that eventually it will be made a greater good seems more of a claim of ignorance (not an insult, merely lack of knowledge) than anything else.

    God Bless You,
    Neal
     
  12. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    For those who are not satisfied with my example because it is made up (who knows, I guess it could happen) I would put forward the sex abuse by some priests in the Catholic Church. (This is NOT a game of painting Catholics evil, so please DO NOT take it there. If you want to, start another thread, please. It is just a relevant, real situation.) What is the greater good in the situation of a priest (or Baptist pastor because I am sure it has happened there as well :eek: ) who sexually abused young children?

    May God Bless You All,
    Neal
     
  13. Kathryn

    Kathryn
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,252
    Likes Received:
    0
    "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

    The important thing I see here is “according to His purpose”…..not ours. For a Christian, no matter what the tragedy, even the death of a child can work together for the good. A Catholic would have the concept of offering up our pain as a prayer or spiritual sacrifice.

    The death of a child can bring one closer to God, it can bring a couple closer to each other, donating organs could give life to another. There are all sorts of ways it could bring about good to those who love God. Acknowledging to God that He has taken away what belonged to Him is an act of love. It is our faith in action.

    It’s the story of Job in the Old Testament. It is what Mary went through in the New Testament as it was prophesied that a sword would pierce how own soul too. We all have to say, be it done unto me according to your word. This is what God’s grace enables a Christian to do. Jesus Christ makes all things new.

    We may never in this lifetime know what good came from our tragedies, but that is all part of having faith in Jesus Christ. We are to trust Him.


    God Bless
     
  14. JFS

    JFS
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why is it so important that we know? We sing a song in church. The song goes something like this:

    Do not worry over what you eat, what you wear or put upon your feet. Leave it in the hands of the Lord.

    God is the master of the universe. Sure we should apply our gifts he has given us for good no doubt. But if evil occures we should trust in God that he will make use of the evil for the greater good. If we know the mind of God completely what good is Faith?

    God Bless

    John S.
     
  15. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    To quote a well known tv preacher, "God will have the last word, and it will be GOOD".

    God doesn't pick & choose which evils to allow or disallow. It doesn't work like that. What God WILL do, otoh, is, from an evil, He will use that as an opportunity to produce good.

    The WTC 9-11 tragedy was one of the worst evils in recent memory. There were a lot of people asking, "where was God?" God was in every firefighter, every police officer, every medical worker, every innocent passerby who stopped and did what little they could. A lot of those folks weren't even believers, but they were in the middle of performing Godly and selfless acts.
     
  16. Kathryn

    Kathryn
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,252
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said! I think it made us a better country, although we have a long way to go.

    God Bless
     
  17. Kathryn

    Kathryn
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,252
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as the sex scandals.....God is doing some housecleaning. Evil men are being exposed for the crimes against humanity they have committed. The Church will survive it and be stronger because of the exposure and purging.

    God Bless
     
  18. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    This passage is referring to suffering because we are Christian. And I agree that what you go on to propose is possible. But what if the family in question is not Christian? Even if they are, they don't necessarily grow closer to God. It could drive them away.

    The key word is 'could'. It does not necessarily. In fact, the opposite 'could' occur as well.

    Does that really give any comfort or explanation to anyone? Would you say that to a non-Christian family? And do you propose a blind faith?

    Thank-you for your response, Kathryn. [​IMG]

    God Bless You,
    Neal
     
  19. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I find it hard to have faith in something that you know nothing about. Don't get me wrong, I think it is possible for God to use evil to bring about a greater good. However, I do not subscribe that ALL evil is for a greater good because there is much evil which no good comes from.

    I agree wholeheartedly. [​IMG]

    But why? In either of my examples, what evidence is there that there is a greater good?

    I am not claiming to know the mind of God completely. Actually, the greater good position seems to claim to know the mind of God even when the evidence does not warrant the conclusion. If we have no evidence of a greater good, you have no faith. Faith is based on substance and evidence.

    May the Lord Richly Bless You,
    Neal
     
  20. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    But is that necessarily the case? If so, why do you say so? What is your basis for the claim? If you make a claim you should put for evidence to support the claim. That is the big misunderstanding here. People who put for a greater good theodicy cannot just say "I don't know how, but it works." If you make a claim it is only fair to give evidence.

    So did their good outweigh the evil that occurred?

    The Lord Bless You,
    Neal
     

Share This Page

Loading...