28 Mar 2009

Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?, Part 6

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If the following describes the actual sequence, then it would be understandable why God lets really awful things happen occasionally.

* The first decision God made was that His creatures would have free will. Only then could He shower them with love, and hence only then would God be complete. (It’s hard to imagine a God who had no one to love.)

* From that point on, the struggle of the universe was necessary. In a sense, God decided He would allow Lucifer to rebel and become Satan. Further, God would allow Satan a large degree of privileges, to make the choice real. (In other words, if God had stacked the deck so that crime literally didn’t pay, or that no one was ever biologically tempted by adultery, etc., then it wouldn’t mean much when people obeyed Him.)

* Even so, God really did design this world such that even on earth, the long-run benefits of acting morally outweigh the (earthly) costs.

* Now if Satan had had his way, he would have subjected every person to the maximum amount of suffering imaginable. First, that would drive them more easily to him, because he offers the promise of immediate relief. Second, he just enjoys watching people suffer.

* But God of course doesn’t let anything remotely like that happen. However, in order to make sure people appreciate how much “aggregate suffering” is being avoided, He occasionally permits something really awful to happen, even to a totally “innocent” person. That way the other 99.9999% of the world’s population can keep a better perspective in their own lives, which in turn will help them fend off Satan’s lies.

===> So, if the above sketch is basically correct, then it makes a lot more sense why an omnipotent Being would allow awful things to happen once in a while.

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