The mystery of G-D the Benevolent and the Garden of Eden

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Evangelism
  3. » The mystery of G-D the Benevolent and the Garden of Eden

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 10:33 pm
Enigma of the existence of evil and the Garden of Eden and G-D the Benevolent

I know the story of the Garden and Eden and the fall of man is most likely a mythical account of a people long past in the mists of time

I will try in my own humble way to answer this most difficult question.

How can we ever reconcile the fact of evil, suffering and pain, existing side by side with a benevolent holy G-D of light?

Let us go back to the story of the Garden of Eden G-D says to Adam in Gen,Chap 2 Verse 17 that he may eat of any tree except the "TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL"

Note; The tree of knowledge of Good and evil, so Evil existed before Adam. "Adam" representing an entire people and how they related to G-D


However, G-D being all-knowing knows before hand that Adam is going to fail the test so why did he give it in the first place? I hear a loud reply from the forum, "because he wanted us to have a free will and not be robots".

I don't buy this, completely, as G-D could easily given Adam absolute free rain and said to him "Adam your can do anything you want without any reservations"

Surely, the above would still have been free will without the "necessity of any test".

Nevertheless, G-D in his infinite wisdom goes ahead and gives Adam (and Eve) a test he "knows they are going to fail, Why? Was this fair seeing the awful consequences for humanity down through the age?

Yes absolutely as I will describe later in this essay

Let us go back to the origin of evil, where did it come from.


Isaiah Capt. 45 Verse 7 G-D says "I form the light and create darkness: I make peace and create "evil" I G-D do all these things. G-D made everything so he must have made evil but why?

Let us go back to Adam and the pampered environment of the Garden of Eden. If Adam and Eve had remained and by obeying God ( as God knew the would not) they would have existed in forever a paradise setting of beauty warmth, comfort, never ever have to toil work just reach out and eat do any thing they want .

This would be wonderful for say a hundred years or a thousand years, but having never ever experienced cold they could not appreciate warmth, never being hungry never appreciate food never being thirsty they would not appreciate the taste and satisfaction of sparking water , never knowing hate the would not know what love was.

They would have existed in a one-sided reality never knowing the opposite. But G-D knew that they must know evil, pain and sorrow to become fully functional free thinking beings similar to him in consciousness and indeed co- creators of their own domain and reality

Therefore, after countless years what is paradise to us would become a boring hell to them. Therefore, G-D simply had to banish them into the world or toil sorrow and hardship.

So G-D being fair and just gave them the test, which they failed and drove them out into the present reality world of thorns, cold, dark, pain, evil etc, etc. This reality is based on a duality we know evil so we know the beauty of goodness; we know truth so we can hate the lie, and we experience the light so that we know dark.

Humanity can look back on a "paradise lost with a longing to for the eternal wonder and beauty of the original Eden, which they would love and rejoice as paradise regained


I do not for one moment believe the nonsense that there is an eternal battle between G-D and the Satan and that this being is almost Almighty G-Ds equal. Satan can only do what God permits him to do as we read in the book of Job.

Good and evil
Light and dark
Truth and lie
Deception and honesty
Love and hate
War and Peace
Positive and negative
Faith and despair
Holiness and depravity
Warm and hot
Life and death



G-D bless

Any comments are welcome

Alan
McDougall
 
Axis Austin
 
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 12:58 am
@Alan McDougall,
I like your thinking and approach, but I do have my disagreements. As a general notion, I think the idea that one needs the bad to better appreciate the good makes sense. However, as a philosophical argument against the problem of evil, it is insufficient. Why must we experience the negative to appreciate the positive? I don't need to lose nearly lose my brother to appreciate having him around.

Before mentioning a few somewhat off-topic comments, I must say that I never bought into the idea of God creating evil, or evil existing apart from humanity, yet if the tree of the knowledge of good and evil existed as you pointed out, then there was evil (or at least a conception of it) without humanity.

I think many people are far too quick to blame God for the evil in the world, which is a product of humanity. I understand the thinking that if God knew there would be evil, then he could have stopped it. However, this way of thinking tries to shift the culpability away from humans, where it rightly should be.

Similarly, in Petrik's book "Evil Beyond Belief" he points out in the end that rather than focusing on the negative aspects of humanity, we should focus on the positive as well. People are so quick to blame God with the problem of evil, overlooking all the positive aspects of the world. I know these are not immediately related to the Garden of Eden, but they were on my mind and it's late so I wanted to get them out there.
 
Solace
 
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 08:14 am
@Alan McDougall,
I agree with your take on the story, Alan. I don't see it so much as a test, but that doesn't matter. I think, getting right down to the basics of it, that God wanted Adam and Eve to understand him, God. So he wanted them to learn.

The Problem of Evil that Axis refers to doesn't even remotely bother me. Life is a story that we all must learn from. Well, without an antagonist of some sort, any story is boring as heck and will likely teach nothing worth learning. I wonder if those who get hung up on the Problem of Evil and thus despise or deny God have ever learned or gained something good from experiencing something bad... cause I know I have.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 09:11 am
@Solace,
Sorry but these questions would be relevant if we had been asked in the first place..I ask why where we created? was it for gods benefit or ours..Does it mean a million children an more have to suffer terrible pains and death for me to enjoy existance.Much to easy to say its for our benefit but why should we exist atall.I can imagine a soul, an afterlife but never this benevolent god.
 
ciceronianus
 
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 09:28 am
@Alan McDougall,
For my part, I think the existence of evil, and suffering, is the primary objection to a belief in a "personal" God, answering prayers, watching over us, etc., and indeed is inconsistent with such a belief, as Epicurus noted, long ago. I find the traditional explanations of evil by those who so believe--e.g. free will, an unknowable divine plan, everything ultimately for the good--very unsatisfying. I'm afraid I can't accept your explanation either, Alan McDougall.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 11:31 am
@Alan McDougall,
ciceronianus

Quote:
For my part, I think the existence of evil, and suffering, is the primary objection to a belief in a "personal" God, answering prayers, watching over us, etc., and indeed is inconsistent with such a belief, as Epicurus noted, long ago. I find the traditional explanations of evil by those who so believe--e.g. free will, an unknowable divine plan, everything ultimately for the good--very unsatisfying. I'm afraid I can't accept your explanation either, Alan McDougall.




It is OK with me if you disagree with my take on the existence of evil

Evil is a reality no matter what we think about it

I would be interested in what you think about the topic

And I was trying to make some sense about the Garden of Eden story, myth
 
Solace
 
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 04:42 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Sorry but these questions would be relevant if we had been asked in the first place..I ask why where we created? was it for gods benefit or ours..Does it mean a million children an more have to suffer terrible pains and death for me to enjoy existance.Much to easy to say its for our benefit but why should we exist atall.I can imagine a soul, an afterlife but never this benevolent god.


We were created for God's benefit, or amusement even. How could we possibly have been created for our own benefit when before we were created we didn't even exist. Not even God can benefit someone who doesn't exist.
 
William
 
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 06:12 pm
@Solace,
If I might comment a little here. I have learned in all deeper thoughts such as we are exhibiting here, in those thoughts are "divine" threads that are absolutely true. What is so exasperating is those thoughts are intermingled with those thoughts that are the result of our human frailty as we compare our existence to that of God. Common sense, as far as I am concerned at any rate, tells me that just cannot be done.

That is what life has been thus far, IMO, to come to the understanding that "can't" be done. We are divine, just not "that" divine. Yet. We have a way to go, and that is what life is all about; becoming more and more divine. Which is to say becoming the "humans" we were created to be.
As far as the Garden of Eden, one must understand it was written after the fact. How long after the fact will never be known. It was written based on man's very limited understanding to the very best of his ability and in such a way that would allow that understanding "to fit" in the world man was creating. Man has tests, man plays games, man desires to rule, man has wrath, man has jealousy and to assume God is of the like is divine hubris at it's worst as we equate what it is to be human at the same time. Not an easy task, but an essential one. We have an eternity to get it right.

As I have often said wisdom is to understand warmth of a sunny day, we must experience the ferocity of the storm. Some of that storm is to witness the ineptness of "our rule" as Xris indicated pointing out the poverty and hunger. There is no other way. It, IMO, had to be this way. On a side note here, is what we must be asking ourselves is how great a storm can we endure before we finally "see the light".

Here is where we get to the core of man's problem as it relates to God. As Alan mentioned in another post, "God is!", is pretty much on the mark. Where we get into trouble is adhering to the assumption that "God" created the heavens and the Earth. Now please, think about that statement. How could we possibly make such a claim? That one statement is the root of all our problems. It insinuates God to be "separate" from us. Yes, it could very well be, but we just don't know that, do we? If that were indeed true, no wonder why we would question God's motives as we experience evil.

To create something one must know the "alpha and omega" of it for it is a creation and all of it's scope is plainly visible. In that scenario, one would "blame" God for the misery in the world because He created it. IF, that were "a part" of God's plan, it would be understandable for any one to question God's motives. Myself included.

Now back to Eden for a second. Now to expound on what we "do" know, we are creations of the universe. No doubt about that. We are a part of that, whatever "that" is. In my opinion God is the heart or the core that drives that universe as it evolves, grows and expands of which has no end that we can possibly imagine. God, the universe, and us just "IS". It is all connected and we are a part of that connection. In Eden we were indeed "perfect" in our creation. Physical being was the "new thing". And what a new thing it was, too. Wow! IMO, it was not known what that entail. It was yet to be seen. We are that "core" in the "physical realm", just a very young, ignorant part "learning as we go". Wisdom, would guide our path as God, learned what it is to "be human" through us, "then" guiding our path in accordance with the laws of the universe.

Our problem is our refusal to apply any wisdom to our existence for our interpretations of God are wrong. We created God to fit our interpretations allowing us to maintain our autonomy over our fellow man instilling in God the same frailties we suffer. Not good. Not good at all.

That's what our divine being is capable of. We think we have all the answers, being divine and all. Yeah, right. Remember what I said in the beginning of this post, separating "divine thought from man's frailties". All of what we have experienced, we had no choice but to experience it. We weren't "kicked out"of the Garden of Eden, we walk of our own "free will". Life itself would be our "teacher", not only to us, but to God as well as we evolve TOGETHER acquiring "knowledge" that would guide our path as we had to learn for ourselves, being perfect and all, what was good for us and what was bad for us that would give us the wisdom to continue on, evil lessening as we go until we once again reunite with that core of which we are a part and begin to divinely work together. I promise you chaos, turmoil pain and suffering are not a part of that paradigm. We created evil, we can eliminate it.

Once we understand all are a part of the universe and begin to become "humane" as it relates to "all" other human beings will we be able to reunite with that universal "guide" that we call God, that from which we were created. Considering the arguably age of the universe as 14 billion years and we have only been around, as best we can determine about 5 thousand years, we have got a lot to learn as to what "being human" really means. Smile

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thought. Value it as you will.
William
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 06:01 am
@Alan McDougall,
William

Very profound post and I agree with most of it.

My post when I started the thread about the Garden of Eden scenario was based on a myth from the remote past of how I think a long gone people tried to relate to their divinity

I think this story evolved over countless years and is now raped up in the Garden and Eden story. Most of these myths I believe contain hidden truths
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 09:23 am
@Alan McDougall,
Once again the faithful never see the question i ask but reply to the question i never posed because its easier to do so..This thoughtful god why did he create us ? was it for his benefit or ours ? do billions of children have to suffer for me to attain gods image ? Is god so insufficient to not endow us with understanding that he requires us to learn through thousands of years of suffering ? is he that crap at creation??
 
William
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 11:48 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Once again the faithful never see the question i ask but reply to the question i never posed because its easier to do so..This thoughtful god why did he create us ? was it for his benefit or ours ? do billions of children have to suffer for me to attain gods image ? Is god so insufficient to not endow us with understanding that he requires us to learn through thousands of years of suffering ? is he that crap at creation??


Xris, I am with you in your disgust as to the poverty stricken in the world. Now as far as I can see it there are two options open to me. Either I can hate God for allowing it to happen and just stew in my hate. Or I can reason that perhaps all we interpret God to be is just not accurate and we are wrong in our interpretations. I chose the latter route, simply because hate in any regard is not a part of my nature. I needed another answer. We have been here before and any other interpretation will be address by you as "changing the rules" and therefore preventing you from hearing alternative thought. In all due respect you want to think like you do and there is nothing I can say that will rest comfortably with you. In all due respect, the poverty stricken in the world are a creation of man. God had nothing to do with it and I have explained my thoughts on this many times as to what has led me to the conclusions I have come to. The interpretations man has issued as to who and what God is has never rested well with me and I sought "different" understanding. It has taken me my entire life to arrive at the conclusions I have. I am extremely comfortable with the results. Completely. I think the one difference between you and I is I never doubted the "existence" of God. I was just ill at ease with what every body else thought. I hope someone will be able to provide you with the answers you are looking for. It seems I can't. Good luck my friend.
William
 
Solace
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 12:09 pm
@xris,
xris,

Read my previous two posts in this thread and you will see that I addressed directly the questions you are asking. My answers may not satisfy you, you may not like or agree with it, but don't say that I didn't answer your questions.
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 12:20 pm
@William,
William wrote:
Xris, I am with you in your disgust as to the poverty stricken in the world. Now as far as I can see it there are two options open to me. Either I can hate God for allowing it to happen and just stew in my hate. Or I can reason that perhaps all we interpret God to be is just not accurate and we are wrong in our interpretations. I chose the latter route, simply because hate in any regard is not a part of my nature. I needed another answer. We have been here before and any other interpretation will be address by you as "changing the rules" and therefore preventing you from hearing alternative thought. In all due respect you want to think like you do and there is nothing I can say that will rest comfortably with you. In all due respect, the poverty stricken in the world are a creation of man. God had nothing to do with it and I have explained my thoughts on this many times as to what has led me to the conclusions I have come to. The interpretations man has issued as to who and what God is has never rested well with me and I sought "different" understanding. It has taken me my entire life to arrive at the conclusions I have. I am extremely comfortable with the results. Completely. I think the one difference between you and I is I never doubted the "existence" of God. I was just ill at ease with what every body else thought. I hope someone will be able to provide you with the answers you are looking for. It seems I can't. Good luck my friend.
William
I dont hate god, i dont believe in him .These questions i ask you dont answer them ,thats my problem.Do you believe in a benevolent GOD ?
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 12:25 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
xris,

Read my previous two posts in this thread and you will see that I addressed directly the questions you are asking. My answers may not satisfy you, you may not like or agree with it, but don't say that I didn't answer your questions.
Satisfy me? i thought you was an athiest trying to be sarcastic, sorry.So god made us for his amusement ? and that satifies you ? This god needs us for etertainment ,well my friend if this God of yours actually exists who created humanity for his pleasure do you think we should be grateful , admire him ,like him,believe he is benevolent?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 12:46 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Once again the faithful never see the question i ask but reply to the question i never posed because its easier to do so..This thoughtful god why did he create us ? was it for his benefit or ours ? do billions of children have to suffer for me to attain gods image ? Is god so insufficient to not endow us with understanding that he requires us to learn through thousands of years of suffering ? is he that crap at creation??


For one thing, I think one of the great misconceptions is that death is "evil". It's not. In fact, it's essential in nature. We haven't gone through thousands of years of suffering. Sure, there are people starving right now, some getting ready to kill themselves, some being tortured, but this doesn't mean any of this is objectively 'wrong'. Once we apply a morality, we are then the judges. The universe does not judge, it just is.

Many notions of "God" predicate a flaw that philosophers centuries ago, such as Pyrrho, hinted at: Mortals suppose that "God" is born as themselves; they attach human foibles, and attempt to apply logical understanding. Additionally, many notions assume "God" constructs reality as we do, a culmination of sequential events, and then eventually judging (a human trait). To hate "God" is one of the silliest things I've ever heard: It's an application of the nature and then a judgment on the very nature that was constructed! It's delusional thinking, in my opinion (but believe what you will!). Same with thinking that "God" is benevolent or malevolent - these concepts do not exist outside of our morality.

Notionally, anything can exist. So, if you wish to conjure up a notion of "God" and believe in it, go right ahead. But that's all it is. Xris, why were we created? You have to define that.
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 01:07 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
For one thing, I think one of the great misconceptions is that death is "evil". It's not. In fact, it's essential in nature. We haven't gone through thousands of years of suffering. Sure, there are people starving right now, some getting ready to kill themselves, some being tortured, but this doesn't mean any of this is objectively 'wrong'. Once we apply a morality, we are then the judges. The universe does not judge, it just is.

Many notions of "God" predicate a flaw that philosophers centuries ago, such as Pyrrho, hinted at: Mortals suppose that "God" is born as themselves; they attach human foibles, and attempt to apply logical understanding. Additionally, many notions assume "God" constructs reality as we do, a culmination of sequential events, and then eventually judging (a human trait). To hate "God" is one of the silliest things I've ever heard: It's an application of the nature and then a judgment on the very nature that was constructed! It's delusional thinking. Same with thinking that "God" is benevolent or malevolent - these concepts do not exist outside of our morality.

Notionally, anything can exist. So, if you wish to conjure up a notion of "God" and believe in it, go right ahead. But that's all it is. Xris, why were we created? You have to define that.
Im not arguing against a wider notion of god im talking about Jehova ,Jesus, Allah the testament of the benevolent god...If you believe in a creator who is neither good nor bad..fine i have alternative questions for you..Prove him or show his worth..
 
William
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 01:16 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
I dont hate god, i dont believe in him .These questions i ask you dont answer them ,thats my problem.Do you believe in a benevolent GOD ?

Absolutely. That part of God that is not benovelent is our role in that oneness. As long as we deem our existence "separate" from God, then God is not benovelent. Thanks to us.

William
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 01:21 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Im not arguing against a wider notion of god im talking about Jehova ,Jesus, Allah the testament of the benevolent god...If you believe in a creator who is neither good nor bad..fine i have alternative questions for you..Prove him or show his worth..


Xris,

No one was arguing in the case of Jesus here. Alan's post was concerning the myth of the garden, and regardless what notion of "God" you believe, you can still try to make sense out of it. I don't know what made you bring this up.

I don't exactly see what you're getting at - you're going to go around and ask the worth of everyone's nature of "God"? Of course you're going to come back empty handed - they are not your constructs! If someone's "God" gave them sun everyday, and then 'proved' "God" exists because of that, you still wouldn't like it because it's not the logical proof you desire, but the worth is to them!

Personally, I choose not separate "God" from myself, so there's nothing to prove. To ask if God exists is silly in my opinion, as notionally anything can exist. I can apply any nature I choose to, but I choose not to even mutter the word. I'm content with the understanding that the universe just is.

How about you prove to me the worth of your belief to denounce a "God"? As I've mentioned before, theists and atheists are one of the same, both believe in a nature of "God", the only difference being, one has denounced and one has accepted. Clearly, you have a nature of "God" that you choose to denounce. Therefore, you're denouncing a nature that you've constructed. Otherwise, you wouldn't even be mentioning it in the first place!
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 02:03 pm
@William,
William wrote:
Absolutely. That part of God that is not benovelent is our role in that oneness. As long as we deem our existence "separate" from God, then God is not benovelent. Thanks to us.

William
Cant you see my frustration in your reply? everything is ,if you believe, a product of god.Dont exclude god them exhume for your purpose..
 
Solace
 
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 02:20 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Satisfy me? i thought you was an athiest trying to be sarcastic, sorry.So god made us for his amusement ? and that satifies you ? This god needs us for etertainment ,well my friend if this God of yours actually exists who created humanity for his pleasure do you think we should be grateful , admire him ,like him,believe he is benevolent?


If God exists, whether or not you or I or anyone else is satisfied that he created us for his sake doesn't matter, because like I said, he couldn't have done anything for our sake before we even existed. So the only reasonable conclusion is that God created us for his benefit. Personally, I don't feel the need to question why. I'm content enough with my life to be grateful that he bothered. It's up to you whether you will be grateful, whether you will admire or like him. It doesn't bother me if you don't. And despite what some people say about him, I'm pretty darn sure it doesn't bother him either. Why should it?
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Evangelism
  3. » The mystery of G-D the Benevolent and the Garden of Eden
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 06/19/2019 at 04:14:51