Eschatological Solution to the Problem of Pain and Suffering

Pain Pauls blog

The problem of pain and suffering is without doubt the most troubling paradox for Christians. How could a loving, maximally powerful and caring God allow his children to go through extreme and seemly meaningless pain and suffering? In times of suffering many Christians do, and correctly so I may add, find it difficult to imagine that God cares about their struggles. God appears to be as cold as ice itself and far from them as east is to the west. At those moments they rightly identify with Ivan Karamazov’s cry: “It’s not that I don’t accept God, you must understand, it’s the world created by Him I don’t and cannot accept”, in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s fictional novel, The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoevsky 2007, 257)

Early Christians underwent various trials and persecutions. Many paid their faithfulness with their own blood. What was it that made them stand tall and proud through such hard times? What was it that made them triumphantly walk into the valley of death without doubting the sovereignty of their loving God? As I explored their writings, I discovered one of their reasons. Their eschatological hope was what keep them going. It was their hope for the future glory at the second advent of their Lord and God. Their understanding of this future glory brought them hope. They considered all their present suffering not worthy compared to the joy and glory prepared for them (Rom. 8:18).

Christians can answer what Philo, David Hume’s character in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, supposed to be unanswered Epicurus’ questions (Hume 1947:198 D 10.25) with the doctrine of the last things. God is willing and able to prevent evil.  Why God permits at the moment pain and suffering, we do not know. What we know is that the time is coming and now it is at hand when God will not only eliminate all instances of pain and suffering but also bring justice and restoration to the victims, and righteous punishment to all the evil-doers. It is the time when God’s kingdom in heaven will completely come on earth and God himself will be with His people.

Christians can guarantee those who are in pain and suffering, those who also trust in the Lordship and reignship of Christ Jesus, that “[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”(Rev. 21:4 NIV). They can rest assured in Christ Jesus their hope. They can rest knowing that though we suffer now, all will be made new. All will be made much more glorious than we can now fathom.

As Christians await for that day, they can themselves join in with the author(s) of the Didache’s prayer: “Remember, Lord, Thy Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou hast prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever” (Did 10.5).

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60 thoughts on “Eschatological Solution to the Problem of Pain and Suffering

  1. This is indeed a tough topic, and I am always interested in people’s engagement with it. When I was a believer, I think the idea that God knew better than me was the best reassurance I could find. And there is some satisfaction to that, I think, but it’s still so painful to see the state of the world sometimes. Despite the pain of seeing suffering (or experiencing it), I do wholeheartedly believe that it is the natural course of life. If one believes that God created this life, then it follows that it was created to include suffering. Like Richard Rice said already, there could be a very good reason for that system. And if He created it that way, then why would we expect Him to then override His own creation, except by conceding that He created it in error to begin with?

    • For a benevolent omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient creative causal agent, predicating life on suffering is a very…. strange… way to demonstrate these capabilities. Why, the biosphere looks exactly as is would if there were no such critter at all exercising any of these attributes! Funny, that.

      Yes, there could be hidden reasons why such a critter would design a system to hide all traces of benevolence, and there could be good reasons to insert all kinds of compelling evidence that effectively hides any indication of such a creative agency, that allows the operation of the biosphere to continue to churn our pain and suffering and wanton death apparently by design.

      But then on what basis of ‘good reasons’ should we pay homage to such a secretive and malevolent critter?

      • 😉 Yes, I’m afraid I have to defer to logic in these cases. I am deeply supportive of Prayson’s constant efforts to unpack Christianity, and I have learned a lot from him. But no matter how much I read, I remain steadfastly atheist. (It doesn’t prevent me from trying to understand and contribute to the conversation, however!)

    • It is I to blame for not fully exploring the larger picture. Christianity viewed the world as created good, ordered for a purpose. God then chose a pair to expand order from the place they were placed to the rest of the world. This pair where archetype. What was true about them is true about all humans past, present and future. They chose disorder and thus suffering entered the world. Christians believe that Jesus is the last Adam who chose order. What is true of Jesus is true of all who trust Him. There is then the eschatological hope.

  2. Succinct and well said. This ultimately is the hope of the believer and means nothing to the unbeliever. However, God “works all things for good” (Romans 8:28) and “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11). That includes evil in the present. We don’t know exactly how, because we can’t see into the future, but the most evil event in all of history was the murder to the most righteous Man to have even walked the earth. To make it worse, He died for the people who murdered Him.

    Yet God was pleased to crush Him for our iniquities.

    Do away with suffering and you do away with the Gospel.

    • Suffering is real and ongoing. Excusing it for the sake of the Gospels turns your form of Christianity into a death cult. I’ve always been far more critical of ideas that urge us to chase a pious death than how to live life wisely. Belief in a divine agent that sets death as a goal after the right amount of suffering seems to me to be indicative of a serious cognitive dysfunction that addresses life’s problems by rejecting it.

      • Well, the main cognitive dysfunction is even worrying about suffering as it is immaterial and only problematic if we live in an anthropocentric universe. No one is concerned when we clean our hands it is bacterial genocide. Why? Because the universe does not revolve around bacteria.

        So, if you accept the Scripture as the word of God, there is no contradiction in what I said, If you don’t, you don’t even have anything to complain about without committing serious logical fallacies.

        • Well, from the universe’s point of view suffering is of no concern. We agree.

          But suffering is not immaterial. It is a physical concern of real people, and we have the means to mitigate suffering. So it becomes my concern as a real person when some people suggest it is a necessary component for their religious beliefs. Mind you, if this belief were held and exercised and affected only those who had convinced themselves that suffering was desirable, I would have no horse in this race (S&M comes to mind) even though I could understand how the cognitive dysfunction comes to be (mis-attribution of arousal).

          But it becomes my concern when such beliefs are imposed on others as religious belief often is and even privileged in law (in most states you can facilitate the unnecessary suffering and even death of children in the name of the parents’ religious preferences that directly ‘justify’ this privilege). Imposing such exaltation of suffering on others is an infringement of equality rights and incompatible with respect for religious freedom as is quite accurately described as promoting a death cult.

          • Religion and how it relates to the law, or morbid aspects of it (like being cleansed by Christ’s blood) don’t make it any more or less true.

            Being that the CHristian faith is not built upon mountains of evidence, but instead the faith in the revealed nature of its Scripture (putting it in a realm of truth above the empirical), it doesn’t matter if the CHristian religion was morbid or really nice in your eyes. CHristianity cannot make any claims to truth by appealing to logic, evidence, or morality. No faith can. So, your issue is not really with what the faith teaches, but that whether faith can teach anything to begin with. If revelation and prophecy are hooey, then so is religion. If it’s not, then no one can compell the other that their faith is wrong based upon any solid grounds, because the substantiation of one’s conviction is in the blind acceptance of the religion’s revealed nature. So, if I have faith in God as revealed in the Scripture, for this reason I don’t feel compelled to give a defense for His nature. I already know my basis is purely upon faith, and without buying into the faith, any defense I give you is meaningless anyway.

  3. Prayson,
    Let’s be honest – the content of your post betrays the title. This is not a solution to the problem of pain but rather a remedy for its effects. I absolutely agree that an eschatological hope was paramount to sustaining the earliest Christians through the obstacles and suffering they faced. It’s not difficult to see how this is effective at promoting perseverance and, as you and others have noted, it is still an effective remedy today. So the question we then come to is whether this remedy is real or a placebo.

    The remedy in question evades a definitive answer through a perpetual delay of test results. Even in your post you say that “the time is coming and now it is at hand”. Christians have been saying this for nearly 2000 years and Israel for 800 years before that. At what point do we concede that the eschatological hope is not a portent of the future but is rather a psychological coping mechanism that has evolved through the ages, starting with the early and repeated subjugation of Israel, through the persecution of the early church and into today. Do we wait until 10,000 years have passed? 50,000? 100,000?

    • If it truly is the case then yes, wait that long. Time should not matter into the validity of the argument. Whether the wait is 10,000 years more or 10 seconds more, it doesn’t really matter to the veracity of the argument. Time perceived by God is vastly different than it is perceived by us (2 Peter 3:8). And in reality, waiting is the most loving thing God can do.

      “’Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’ 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

      8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (NASB)

      With these verses in mind, one should expect the Lord to tarry in bring an end time. So really, this isn’t much of a proposition. One cannot prove one way or the other in isolation. So could this just be a nice psychological coping method? Sure. But could this be a valid solution? Sure. So considering the track record the Bible has had in predictions and its divine guidance, there is great reason to trust the Bible’s account.

      • Hi Noah,
        Thank you for sharing your insights.

        Time should not matter into the validity of the argument.

        Time does not matter even when the claims infer imminence? If no amount of time would ever convince you that the eschatalogical hope was in error, then what would? I understand that this is a rhetorical question because the concept is so deeply tied into the whole package that one’s entire worldview will have to crumble before conceding the error. That, of course, is a problem because the “delay of the parousia” is itself a significant data point against that worldview and a belief in the divine inspiration of the bible. This just creates an impenetrable barrier, much like the attributes incrementally assigned to Sagan’s invisible dragon. How might we avoid this problem?

  4. The Problem of Evil for Anyone….but certainly for those embrace the concept of a loving, yet all powerful, creator is either relieved or amplified based on other theological premises. Those who embrace a reformed (Calvinistic) position are especially challenged to answer the question of why does an all loving, all powerful God permit such unspeakable suffering….He must either be all powerful but certainly not loving or Loving but certainly not all powerful. I think those are honest observations. For those of us who have subjectively experienced the redemption, healing and inner life that the Living Christ offers us…..It is easy (well maybe not always easy) to rest on what we have tasted and known to be the utter goodness of God and as Mr. Pratney has said…..”The man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument”.
    Personally I find the concept of Open Theism to most clearly answer the problem of evil theologically and actually to amplify the Loving, yet all powerful, nature and character of the Judeo Christian God. I believe true free will…..which God took a risk in creating us with….is a powerful truth….but true love cannot exist with without it…nor can such a great love exist with out allowing for a reciprocating equal risk of abuse and depravity. We are simply living out, within the redemption of Christ (if we embrace Him), the absolute results of being created with true free will….God will not let it continue to play out forever…..the day will come when the ability or opportunity to repent will evaporate…Mercy will cease, and God will complete this age.

    • This kind of human-centric answer does nothing to address the supposed ‘purpose’ of and for a biosphere predicated on suffering. In fact, such an answer based a sit is on human free will utterly ignores all other suffering. This is a common tactic amongst the pious, who wave away compelling evidence by ignoring it and who then presume one species of apes on a speck of rock in byway of a single galaxy among billions is obviously the penultimate concern of a divine creator. Good grief, but the arrogance is absolutely breath-taking.

      • “tildeb” my comments were not remotely made in response to any of your post….nor were they meant to comprehensively address cohesively the entire realm of earthly suffering….I clearly stated that my comments were directed primarily at those who ALREADY embrace a traditional concept of a Judeo Christian creator and the problems their theological premises can pose to that belief……If I am honest (as opposed to arrogant) in this discussion, I would probably have to admit that I am not educated enough (possibly not intelligent enough) to address all the issues you have concerning the belief in a benevolent creator, much less the concept of a suffering Savior in the person of Christ. I am sorry for that….I think most Christians fail to “think” as thoroughly as they should about many things. I do find it deeply interesting that you are intellectually and mathematically honest enough to embrace intelligent design but from what I read, attribute it to an evil being….that is interesting.

        On a separate note….I really appreciate the questions raised by “Travis R” ….I think those are valid and well stated…..I will sit by and see if someone more articulate than I addresses them.

        • Also…My apologies “Tildeb” …..I confused your post with John’s and replied accordingly…I am at work and it appears not very good at multi-tasking.

  5. Maranatha! Without a concept of an eternity, the suffering of this world is utter nonsense. For those who believe life randomly evolved, who cares anyway? You live 80 years, die, cease to exist … suffering has no purpose. But an eternal and infinite God must have an eternal purpose beyond our finite understanding. Even without a concept of God, there is still suffering, it’s just a random expression of a random existence.

    No parent likes to see his child suffer, but as a parent, I see my son suffer all the time with various trials. My son decides where he lives, who he befriends, what activities he participates in, what choices he makes long and short-term. Could I stop him? Yes. Do I stop him? No. He is his own person and I respect and love him enough to let him live life as he deems best – even when his actions affect others and I know he’s going to suffer personally later.

    The only condolence is that I know my God, the righteous Judge, however stupid my choices, rebellious my actions, and serious my consequences, will one day make all things right. Again, “Maranatha!”

    • But if it is God’s purpose to have and not ours, what difference does it make? I’m not sure what would lead us to expect something like suffering to have a purpose up front. That seems like a retrospective attribution. Aren’t you saying, in effect, “Well, I don’t know what it’s for but I’m sure somebody has a use for it, because Somebody (God) has a use for everything.”? Doesn’t change the situation much in my book, but then again, in my book, that’s OK.

    • Suffering is not nonsense but quite real and immediate. Anyone with mirror neurons cares and both of us inherited them. You, of course, want to deny me my use of them unless I agree to go along with your creationist story while waving away the knowledge upon which modern biology model is used to provide both of us with applications, therapies, and technologies that strangely work for everyone everywhere all the time. But that’s inconsequential to your modeled rendition of POOF!ism caused by Oogity Boogity that fails on all counts to be an equivalently useful and productive model and, in fact, produces not one whit or jot of knowledge. Yet you’ve chosen a creationist account of indeterminate purpose to deride those of us who understand why evolution is true i order to presume and then present that you alone can offer some kind of moral superiority because you believe in some kind of ethereal eternity promised to you but not me by the agent of Oogity Boogity. Yes, suffering is real and ubiquitous and, yes, we can mitigate it in many ways… a response made more difficult by those who presume it is perhaps good for us to pay for our sins with suffering because it must be part of some grander design.

      Good grief. How is this even rational?

      Do you provide purpose for your son? Does he live his life in debt to your secret design for him? Is he really his own person if he lives according to you and your rules, your wishes, your designs, you purposes?

      Of course not.

      Yet you use the same analogy for a supposed fatherly divine agent and fail to appreciate that you just described the relationship between master and slave and presume those who call it fiction cannot care about suffering. What an insult. That line of reasoning you use is relativism run amok where if you squint at the theology just so, we can see that white means another kind of black and up another kind of down and theistic slavery as another kind of autonomy to chose purpose over meaninglessness.

      • Let’s see … “POOFism” (as you say) caused by a sovereign Creator or “Big Bang” caused by … nothing. I’ll take a Creator with a purpose and goal.

        • So, the Lord has intentionality? You are prepared to argue for the known qualities of a disembodied mind? Don’t worry, this gets back around to the question of what difference God’s purpose makes to us. The point being, you can’t escape the leap associated with faith via apologetics (though that’s the idea). I don’t care if you believe, and I don’t think it’s inherently unreasonable. Just be honest about it.

        • You presume to know what caused the Big Bang. I don’t. We both share total ignorance on this but you empower your beliefs to fill in the gap with a divine creator and then fill in my “I don’t know” with ‘nothing’ in order to create a false dichotomy of either god or nothing. This is not a very good way to find out about how reality operates and what it contains. This is not a path to knowledge. This a way to fool yourself into believing stuff out of ignorance that reality doesn’t support.

  6. Yeah, this was always what I was taught. Temporal suffering/Eternity with God = 0, much like 0.99999…= 1. Sort of an argument from statistical significance:). And why suffering in the first place? Not for us to know. Reasonable given the premises.

  7. One thing that always comes to my mind is the fact that God never meant for pain and suffering to be in our world . . . WE caused that with the Fall. We always question God and ask why, when He could be asking the same question to us!

  8. Good article, providing an answer to a question of concern to all Christians, the problem of pain and suffering endured by God’s children, that is both Biblical and encouraging.

  9. Surely the question you should be asking yourself is: are you certain you’re not worshiping something malevolent?

    Who else but a perfectly malevolent being would arrange for the enormous suffering present and guaranteed in our perilously thin, blisteringly violent biosphere? Think of the pain and destruction wrought by earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tornadoes, droughts, famines and disease. Would a benevolent designer have made provision for such assured suffering? Who but a hostile and sadistic being would design complex organic life, or conceptualise jaws and teeth and claws, so expertly crafted to puncture and tear at living flesh just so one beast – always the more violent and cunning – may steal another beast’s protein in a daily apocalypse of bloodletting? Indeed, would not a benevolent designer have made all its creatures solar powered? Would a benevolent designer have conceived of the parasitoid wasp, ring worm, the brain burrowing Human Bot Fly larvae, or the Ebola virus? Who else but a degenerate and blighted creator would envision cancer, so beautifully adapted to ravage and kill innocent children, or osteoporosis and arthritis to ensure maximum suffering of the elderly? Who but a thoroughly debased creator would design cot death? Who but an odious being could so effortlessly herd humans and animals alike into fertile river basins and around the rich bases of volcanoes; Kill Zones, where the promise of easy pickings is irresistible, but calamity is assured? Indeed, is not the universe itself the greatest perversion, and therefore greatest proof of this creators existence? Who but the immaculate embodiment of malice would design such a thing; a contaminated prize always seen, yet forever out of reach. Is this not the crowning torment which a wicked creator would dangle in front of the eyes of a curious explorer?

    Undeniably, we observe his hand in every corner of the world – an intelligently designed world – and through advanced ontological reasoning can conclude that the Author of Sin necessarily exists. If one can imagine such a being – a being with whom no worse can be conceived – in one possible universe, then that being’s existence cannot be intelligibly denied in all possible universes. The conclusion follows:

    1. It is possible that a maximally wicked being exists.
    2. If it’s possible that a maximally wicked being exists, then a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world.
    3. If a maximally wicked being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
    4. If a maximally wicked being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
    5. Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists in the actual world.
    6. Therefore, a maximally wicked being exists.
    7. Therefore, the Omnimalevolent creator exists.

    So, the question is, Prayson: are you certain you’re not worshiping something malevolent?

    • Prayson’s answer is honest: he doesn’t know why there is so much suffering. But rather than inquire into how the biosphere does what it does and how this has come to be or stand firm on this lack of knowledge, he chooses to replace “I don’t know” with something else he assumes is deserving of confidence. Rather than turn to the pursuit of knowledge he substitutes a belief, namely a belief in the causal agency of a benevolent creative interactive all powerful god, and then grants that belief a very high degree of confidence!

      Why… if not strictly in servitude to a religious precept unsupported by reality?

      This insertion he makes stands contrary to overwhelming evidence of indifference to the quality of human life provided by reality. A much stronger case for a malevolent insertion can be made that more closely aligns with reality… as you ably demonstrate, John. The challenge before Prayson is to now show why the malevolent insertion deserves less confidence in spite of stronger evidence than the benevolent one with far less… independent, of course, of an assumed-to-be-true religious precept (to break the circular reasoning)?

      • I think you guys twisted this topic a bit. The Bible states God saw what he created and declared it “good”, not perfect. The reason we suffer is not because of God. God isn’t in the spirit realm deciding little Joey is going to get leukemia or little Lisa is going to have Downs Syndrome. Man lives in a universe of cause and effect and the consequences of certain causes are inescapable. Fire burns, water drowns, disease germs destroy and our flesh and blood bodies break.

        The Bible teaches suffering is not evil in itself, but a symptom of a deeper evil. The Scriptures portray suffering as a consequence of sin: not necessarily the sin of the individual who suffers, but sin in the history of man and in human society.

        “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).

        The sentence upon the woman after the disobedience in Eden says:

        “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

        To the man God says:

        “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:16,19).

        The teaching is simple. With man’s disobedience there came a dislocation in the relationship between the Creator and the created; the relation between God and man is out of joint. The first sin brought a fundamental change which affects all with the evils which are common to man. Death is universal: God does not modify it for the particular individual. The Bible teaching is that men are left to their own ways and the working of natural law.

        At the same time it is true that in the Bible, for those who seek to serve God, suffering takes on new meaning; they are in a new relationship to the Creator, and will learn to see tragedy in a new light. What is it? The answer may be seen in the example of Job. Here is a devout man who meets with disaster in the loss of his flocks and herds, the source of his wealth, with terrible bereavement in the loss of all his children at one stroke, and then is stricken with a tormenting disease which separates him from men. Yet he says: “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). He never cursed God for his suffering and he recognized the important principle that he cannot claim good as a right: it is not for him to decide what God shall, or shall not, do.

        • WTW, you seem unable to grasp the fact – and I do mean factual – that the story of Adam and Eve is not history. It’s part of a myth. Then characters are metaphorical. Yet you have before you a global biosphere predicated on real suffering… that you then excuse in order to serve as payment for this metaphor?

          Wow. Something’s a little out of alignment with reality here.

          The book of Job presented in the Bible has several authors. Your interpretation of it tries to use another character in a story as an example we should try to emulate. Perhaps you skipped the part where Job asks god why must he suffer so when he’s been such a good little boy (to test his servitude, it turns out). This benevolently divine critter tells him to basically shut up and not to be so impertinent unless he, too, is an equivalently powerful god.

          Nice example of an ethical justification, eh? We have names for people who practice this kind of bullying behaviour like Job’s god and not one is ‘benevolent’. But I glad to see that you continue to use a special privilege for your god’s deplorable behaviour; it’s the only way to excuse it.

          • I don’t know Tildeb, You claim there is no Creator and that the Bible is myth, that you have facts to this claim. I have facts too. I believe my facts and you believe yours. If an impartial observer looks at your facts that the Bible is not a history book, and then looks at my facts that the Bible is a history book, it leaves the impartial observer with no other choice but to choose what he believes, your facts or mine. Neither one of us was there, nor do we know anyone that was.

            Your take on Job’s question to God is my point. In his greatest despair, wishing he were never born, he demands God answer “Why must I suffer”. So what is God’s response? Perhaps it is he should restrain himself like you say, but not that he should shut up. Ever ask your mom or dad why, when they told you something and the answer was, “because I said so”? Ever told your child, when they asked why, to just shut up? I highly doubt it. Embellishing the facts doesn’t flatter you.

            Anyone can read Gods response to the why me question in Chapters 38-41, and the conclusion of Job repenting in 41.

            Job 38:1-5
            “Who are you to question my wisdom with your ignorant, empty words? Now stand up straight and answer the questions I ask you. Were you there when I made the world? If you know so much, tell me about it. Who decided how large it would be? Who stretched the measuring line over it? Do you know all the answers?

            Those who are rational and can see past their own self-inflated ego know they don’t have all the answers. They know each one of must walk our own path and make our own choices. As well, they know this working of God with man must in its nature also be individual and to live through suffering we all pick from the same choices; we can blame it on the hopelessness of an indifferent “biosphere”, we can curse God and demand to know ‘why me’, or we can fall on our knees and pray for comfort.

            “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28

          • WtW, you are very sloppy with your attributions; you summarize my position to be that there is no Creator and that the Bible is myth, that you have facts to this claim. It’s very sloppy because you cannot find anything I’ve said to back this up. I never said there is no creator and I never said the Bible is myth, nor did I say I have facts to back these claims up. What I said was “that the story of Adam and Eve is not history. It’s part of a myth.” And yes, I have compelling facts to support this claim.

            Can you spot the difference between what I said and what you think I said?

            Your genetic code reveals the same thing that mine does: we do not share a single ancestral pair of humans. If we did – if the Adam and Eve claim were an historical occurrence – then our genetic code would demonstrate this. It doesn’t.

            This isn’t a matter of belief.

            This isn’t a matter of selecting facts.

            This is reality we share.

            That we don’t share an ancestral couple is is demonstrable if genetic coding is reliable (and all the evidence suggests it is). Now pay attention, please: the closest we can get to a common ancestor is to a population bottleneck of about ten to twelve thousand. This is what your genetic code reveals about your ancestral history. The same is true for me. The same is true for everyone REGARDLESS of what beliefs they may hold about their ancestry. This is the way it is. The Adam and Eve account cannot be true because our genetic code reveals that it isn’t true.

            Now take careful note here: it could have been true that we came from a single ancestral pair. Our genetic code could have revealed this to be the case. But it didn’t. It doesn’t. This is a fact independent of our beliefs. This is the way reality really is. If you insert a different reality and claim it is equivalently factual without ACCOUNTING for this genetic problem of incompatible evidence, then you’re suffering from what is medically called a delusion where you empower with confidence beliefs contrary to the reality we share.

          • I find it funny how you are so certain what happened twelve thousand years ago. I Googled “genetic code and common ancestry of all life” and found 8 million results, all saying pretty much the same thing…

            “And the evolutionary view of a single (and very ancient) origin of life is supported at the deepest level imaginable: the very nature of the DNA code in which the instructions of genes and chromosomes are written. In all living organisms, the instructions for reproducing and operating the individual is encoded in a chemical language with four letters — A, C, T, and G, the initials of four chemicals. Combinations of three of these letters specify each of the amino acids that the cell uses in building proteins.

            Biologically and chemically, there is no reason why this particular genetic code, rather than any of millions or billions of others, should exist, scientists assert. Yet every species on Earth carries a genetic code that is, for all intents and purposes, identical and universal. The only scientific explanation for this situation is that the genetic code was the result of a single historic accident. That is, this code was the one carried by the single ancestor of life and all of its descendents, including us.”

            This writer stretches the truth a bit here and there and readily admits that somehow, by accident, our DNA code wrote itself. The precise instructions to make each species after its own kind, coded in a chemical language, are a result of what? An accident of something from nothing? Codes and blueprints don’t write themselves. Specific instructional language doesn’t come forth from nothing. Sorry if I don’t blindly follow this, “it’s all an accident”, theory.

            Another site gives more evidence for my belief that one awesome power created the code for life on Earth, thereby setting life into motion.

            “All known forms of life are based on the same fundamental biochemical organisation: genetic information encoded in DNA, transcribed into RNA, through the effect of protein- and RNA-enzymes, then translated into proteins by (highly similar) ribosomes, with ATP, NADH and others as energy currencies, etc. Furthermore, the genetic code (the “translation table” according to which DNA information is translated into proteins) is nearly identical for all known lifeforms, from bacteria to humans, with minor local differences. The universality of this code is generally regarded by biologists as definitive evidence in favor of the theory of universal common descent. Analysis of the small differences in the genetic code has also provided support for universal common descent.”

            These two examples, and all the other proponents of common descent are all wrong, it’s simply not accurate science. By assuming a single origin one is basically assuming that the origin of life was a rare event and an accident. If all the cellular machinery were identical in all living things, which is far from the truth anyway, it would in no way detract from a huge body of compelling evidence in favor of multiple origins. We are 50% identical with bananas at the DNA level. Is anybody weak minded enough to believe that proves we had a common ancestor? Apparently there are thousands of such poor misguided souls. I’m not one of them and I am very grateful for it.

          • WtW, you don’t understand population genetics and your understanding of science is very shaky. Your criticism here avoids the point I made and substitutes rambling for content. I understand you want to believe that all of us descend from Adam and Eve; reality demonstrates this belief is factually wrong. Blaming science isn’t going to fix the disconnect between your belief and reality. Being thankful that you won’t let reality misguide you from holding fast to your beliefs indicates a rather profound dysfunction. So if you’re not concerned with what’s true arbitrated by reality but are grateful not have to be concerned about it, then you have nothing of any independent truth value to add to any discussions about it.

          • Typical response. Instead of answering my objections to your faith you deflect and go into attack mode.

            1. You claim my understanding is shaky.
            2. My criticism is rambling.
            3. I am dysfunctional because of my belief and understanding.
            4. Because I point out the absurdity of the “current” scientific view on the origins of life I have nothing of any independent truth value to add. When I, or anyone else points out, using know science, that there are problems with the theories of evolution and origins we are labeled delusional.

          • WtW, your comment was so bad it wasn’t even wrong but a demonstration of tremendous and willful ignorance (meaning you can learn but don’t want to). Put more simply, you seem to think you have more knowledge than tens of thousands of working evolutionary biologists who provide us with therapies, applications, and technologies that work for everyone everywhere all the time. You call confidence in the explanation that has brought all this about (that you unthinkingly use when you visit a physician or use pharmaceuticals) as ‘gullibility’. You assume our understanding of genetics is wrong, even when it works to produce knowledge that is applicable, consistent, and reliable enough for our legal system to consider this evidence of the strongest kind. You don;t even try to appreciate why this is so but go with a stupid and simple criticism that has been addressed countless times… to no avail when it comes to you.

            So yes, I criticize your comment as the blather it really is. You are arguing your belief against a world of compelling contrary evidence and you seem to feel that your opinion is deserving of equivalent respect with even a smidgeon of equivalent backing. You cannot produce a single application, therapy, or technology that works based on its explanatory power. In addition, your incompatible explanation utterly fails to address how the evidence from reality comports with it. This the kind of clue only the clueless ignores. And that’s what you’re doing: ignoring what informs anything and everything that stands contrary to your belief and waving it away. That is what those who do not care about what’s true do; that’s what those who only care about maintaining a belief do: stick their metaphorical fingers in their ears, chanting “I can’t HEAR you!” and claim the problem is with those who are trying to be heard. It disingenuous and it’s intentional. You’re not using science; you’re using willful ignorance. It’s not a defense but a diversionary tactic. You have zero evidence that Adam and Eve were a founding couple and nothing but contrary evidence from reality regarding this scientific claim. And, believe it or not, WtW, you can’t just make up your own facts and assume others should be respectful of your opinions based on these. They are delusional.

        • Again with insults. Seems I’m dealing with an eleven year old. A man who can not rise above this type of tirade is not a man, he is one who is very insecure in his faith, very uncertain about if what they believe is really truth. I have seen it before, fear. Fear and uncertainty can make men do what you do. Zande eventually goes down that road and that’s why he doesn’t want to engage me. Bullshit is bullshit and when you step in it you know you stepped in bullshit.

          I see glaring problems with the conclusions evolutionary and common decent scientist make and you extrapolate that to me thinking I have more knowledge than them. Because I don’t swallow their dictates I’m “willfully ignorant”? You then try to correlate what we are discussing with medicine? Very strange. Your a very strange fellow.

          • More blather. Show me the science that supports a single founding couple or stop calling it history. Just that simple.

          • What are you talking about, Leroy? I’ll chat with you any time, provided you stay on topic, and deal with reality. I think, though, Tildeb has the subject of evolution well-covered, and to be honest, you are putting your tremendous scientific ignorance on display. Still, as he says, present the science which supports creationism…. Show the predictions ID makes, and detail the data gathered to support that hypothesis.

            Now, just so we’re clear: I didn’t reply to your comment for the simple reason that you, as usual, didn’t address the question asked: are you certain you’re not worshiping something malevolent?

            If you believe the world is Intelligently Designed, then given what we see around, demonstrate why a malevolent creator is not the more reasonable hypothesis/conclusion than a benevolent one.

          • You ask, “…present the science which supports creationism…. Show the predictions ID makes, and detail the data gathered to support that hypothesis.”

            Intelligent design theory makes a testable prediction from observations from the natural world: that specified complex information will be found. William Dembski says, “No one disputes that there is such a thing as information.” Robert Stalnaker says, “Content requires contingency. To learn something, to acquire information, is to rule out possibilities. To understand the information conveyed in a communication is to know what possibilities would be excluded by its truth”

            “Complexities of information are given by assigning probabilities to the excluded scenarios. When our observed scenario has a low probability and excluded scenarios have a high probability, we have information of high complexity. Through a mathematical transformation involving logarithms, probabilities of scenarios can be converted into units of information, measured in bits. DNA as a genetic molecule contains information because it tells you what to produce–to produce one entity rather than to produce other entities. This means it has information. (Now perhaps a DNA molecule on its own without the machinery to produce the proteins wouldn’t have nearly as much information. So when I speak of DNA, in this context I mean the entire machinery for using the genetic code to create biological structures.)

            Functions are biological features which do things for the organism. The purpose of intelligent design theory is to look at various functions and ask if they bear the marks of something which has been designed by an intelligence.

            So, in other words, when we see in the biological structure-producing DNA machinery the ability to create some structures, and not others, which perform some specific action and not some other specific action, we can legitimately say that we have complex genetic information. When we specify this information as necessary for some function given a pre-existing pattern, then we can say it was designed. This is called “complex specified information” or “CSI”.”

            Credit: http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/832

            Intelligent Design as a Theory of Information by William Dembski as found at:

            arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_idtheory.htm.

            DNA and Other Designs by Stephen C. Meyer as found at:

            arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_dnaotherdesigns.htm.

            ^^^

            You ask,, “demonstrate why a malevolent creator is not the more reasonable hypothesis/conclusion than a benevolent one.”

            Your characterize God as malevolent because of a bias, as well as a gross misunderstanding of God’s Word, His character, and His creation.

            “Perhaps the real question is not why does God allow for physical evil, but why did God create us in a material world? Some suggest that God created us in an imperfect material world so that we would not rely on ourselves but come to love and rely on the perfect God (2 Cor 1:8-9). We were created with a desire and hunger which can only be satisfied by God. This void of happiness calls us to Him. In the words of St. Augustine: “…for You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” [Confessions I,1,1] St. Irenaeus of Lyons (190 A.D.) has another thought:

            …where there is no exertion, there is no appreciation. Sight would not be so desirable if we did not know what a great evil blindness is. Health, too, is made more precious by the experience of sickness; light by comparison with darkness; life with death. In the same way, the heavenly kingdom is more precious to those who have known the earthly one. But the more precious it is, the more we love it; and the more we love it, the more glorious shall we be in the presence of God. God, therefore, permitted all these things, so that we, instructed by them all, might in future be prudent in all things, and, wisely taught to love God, might abide in that perfect love. [Against Heresies IV,37,7]”

            Credit: users.binary.net/polycarp/evil.html

            Further study:
            carm.org/if-god-all-powerful-and-loving-why-there-suffering-world
            gotquestions.org/is-God-evil.html

          • And there you go, can’t stay on topic. Leroy, I didn’t ask for a cut-n-paste theological excuse as to why suffering exists. I asked: “Given the world around us, demonstrate why a malevolent creator is not the more reasonable hypothesis/conclusion than a benevolent one.”

            Now, if you’d like to try again, consider it this way: If we found a bomb concealed in a children’s kindergarten, primed and set to detonate when it would wreak the greatest possible carnage, we would reasonably assume that someone vicious and vile – someone evil – had designed the device and had purposefully put it there to maximise suffering. How much more reasonable must it be for the impartial observer to then attribute the world as we know it to a vicious and vile, non-contingent, omnipresent, omnipotent, omnimalevolent designer? Is this not, after all, the more likely explanation for the world before us?

          • Allow me, though, to address your cut-n-paste excuse. I posted this bellow, but I will elaborate on it here.

            The person you quote seems to believe ‘contrast’ is there by a benevolent hand. This is clearly in error. Here we are talking about “Habituation,” and it only serves to maximise suffering. Habituation is the methods of normalising our experience, and it is the observable mechanism the omnimalevolent designer has deployed in the natural world to ensure the experience of suffering is forever increasing. We, the instruments and toys of His amusement, need successive goods so as to deepen our experience of suffering. By this process, our current state of affairs is compared to a ‘peak point’ which is always established in times of plenty; a high-water mark of pleasure which the omnimalevolent designer allows so as to put the inevitable ocean of suffering in stark contrast. Tectonic plate activity and its constant recycling of the earth’s crust, for example, ensures life may flourish in certain zones for a certain length of time. These “zones” are, as previously stated, deliberately engineered Kill Zones. Fertile soils rich in mineral wealth attract animals and humans in their tens of millions. The promise of an easier life is simply too great to resist, and these creatures not only willingly enter the Kill Zone, but establish themselves inside it. They build shelters, establish habitats, mate and rear offspring: entire generations flourish for a short period before the inevitable cataclysm destroys them and everything they know. Such is the maximisation of suffering. A little is permitted. Indeed, a little is required so the greatest amount of suffering can be inflicted and enjoyed by the malevolent designer.

            Evolution itself is a natural good, designed as it is to maximise overall suffering. Evolution is, after all, a process of Crisis and Response. Nature never makes anticipatory changes in species, rather adaptation always follows distortions in the environmental conditions. The Prime Mover is always Crisis (suffering, fear, anxiety, unfitness), and the Response is the temporary reprieve experienced before the environmental conditions shift again… and they will shift again. That is assured. Pick any square meter on the earth and it is guaranteed that tiny patch of the planet will eventually fold, collapse, flood and burn. Nowhere is safe. Unpredictability is the hallmark and genius of the malevolent design. No rest is afforded, ever, just temporary reprieves where habitualisation ensures any given population will suffer more greatly (in more complex ways) in the future. The simple Flu virus mutates every year, ensuring suffering and death is kept afresh, and countless infectious pathogens and increasingly virulent blights like H1N1 are forever evolving, forcing (human) medicine into a game of perpetual catch-up.

            The question the impartial observer has to ask is this. What is the prime mover: the cure, or the disease? The solution, or the problem? Answer the question honestly and we must confront the existence of the wicked designer who directs the drama we find ourselves inside.

            In a word: the biosphere is hostile, and if we do not continually push back we will perish en masse. Such prompt wholesale carnage is not, however, in the omnimalevolent designers plan. New diseases and physical environmental conditions are forever presented but cures and adaptation are also permitted so as to force habitualisation and momentary lapses of normalisation. This is clear and unequivocal evidence of intelligent design! The movement is always toward greater and more complex suffering. A frog’s capacity to know pain is but a grain of sand to the mountain of torment and torture a human adult can physically and emotionally experience, and inflict. If nature’s compulsion was toward less suffering we would see clear movements toward greater simplicity, like green skin laced with chlorophyll, not complexity, as complexity only supports the omnimalevolent hand at work.

          • WtW,

            That’s not evidence; that’s assertion. The assertion is that complexity equates with design and design equates with a designer. This assertion is demonstrably false. That’s why ID has yet to come up with a single new piece of knowledge over the last 25 years. That’s why the courts have determined that ID is theology and not science. That’s why the scientific community is not enhanced by ID proponents. Everything in this ‘theory’ is evidence for the assertion, which means it explains nothing, predicts nothing testable (because nothing can falsify it), is a dead end for new enquiry. It doesn’t produce knowledge.

            In stark contrast, evolution is demonstrably true. That’s why evolution continues to propel new knowledge. That’s why the courts have no issue with evolution in the science classroom – because there’s no controversy, no ‘alternative’ explanation, no professional dispute over the New Synthesis. That’s why the scientific community elevates evolution to the status of theory: because it explains the evidence we see and is verified by every avenue of scientific enquiry so much so that it successfully predicted Tiktaalik. On this understanding, genetics fits perfectly. And that’s why the theory of evolution is the most scientificly robust explanation today. It is used to inform applications, therapies, and technologies that work for everyone everywhere all the time. It continues to propel new avenues of enquiry and produces new knowledge. It is predictive, testable, and falsifiable.

            When we compare and contrast ID to evolution, we find the former is useless and latter productive. The reason for that is the former is theology and the latter science. Note how many Discoveroids you’ve had to quote to come up with more sophisticated blathering but blathering that is still empty of evidence.

          • You copy and paste your distortions on multiple blogs, I’ve seen it. Prime example is the “bomb concealed in a children’s kindergarten” distortion. God says to not kill, yet some people kill, so God is at fault. Deflection is a theme I’m seeing with you guys…It isn’t my fault, God made me this way…Cop-out losers…

            Your next copy and paste distortion is the “kill zone” nonsense. Allow me to let you in on a little fact. There is no safe place on Earth unless your in a bunker underground. Sure, some places are more susceptible to natural disasters like flooding and earthquakes, but then lightening kills 10,000 people every year. Weather systems on a living planet, how could you God.

            I read your reply John and it just seems like a childish temper tantrum. You don’t like that the natural world is not perfect, that we not created as invincible beings on a dead lifeless planet, that we are flesh and blood beings susceptible to death and injury.

            ^^^

            Tildeb,

            “The assertion is that complexity equates with design and design equates with a designer.”

            NOT what I wrote! Let me highlight the word you left out.

            Intelligent design theory makes a testable prediction from observations from the natural world: that specified complex information will be found. You will run around that word unto your death, your reply proves it.

            You then let the cat-out-of-the-bag when you state, “When we compare and contrast ID to evolution, we find the former is useless and latter productive. The reason for that is the former is theology and the latter science.”

            That is the reason, nothing to do with proof or science or reality, really. The reason is you and evolutionary scientist are Atheists. Since there is no God, no Creator, then we are just a magical coincidental accident because just by an astronomically high probability are planet is just the right size, just the right distance from the Sun, has just the right size moon, both of which work together causing the Earth’s axis to rotate thereby creating the seasons. We add this, and a hundred more coincidences necessary for us to exist, and we get life from nothing and directly contradict the Law of Biogenesis.

          • We know for a fact that natural selection produces both an increase and decrease in genetic information. So what? We know for a fact that bacteria mutate an produce new enzymes, that over generations knowable in our life time (in fact, knowable in a mere decade) that these bacteria form completely new strains with identifiable differences in their genetic make-up. This is evolution at work. But you’d know this if you actually cared to understand it. You assume – straight from the distortions of the Discoveroids – that new ‘information’ cannot be produced by natural means that isn’t either genetically neutral or a genetic degradation. Au contraire, mon ami. Every change matters over time.

            You make a typical claim about evolution and atheism – that one means the other. Many people – theologically respectable folk like Keith Miller, Francis Collins, Peter Enns, and so forth (including the original crew over at BioLogos) – would disagree with you, although you’re right to point out that a great majority of biologists (at a rate about opposite to the general public) and about 97% of all scientists at elite universities are atheists… because this is where the evidence has led them.

            That darn reality just keeps getting in the way of your incompatible claims. Bummer.

            Your puddle argument is silly, WtW (the sixth bullet down).

          • Leroy, again, you can’t stay on topic. You see now, I hope, why I didn’t bother answering your first comment. Now, if you mean I’m using certain sections from a post I did on this matter then you’re absolutely correct: I did write about Intelligently Designed Kill Zones in my treatment of Christopher New’s paper, Anthitheism, a Reflection. Or are you perhaps referring to me speaking about carefully engineered Kill Zones in a comment to Noah below? If you re-read my comment to you you’ll see I clearly state “I posted this bellow, but I will elaborate on it here.”

            Now, calling me a “cop-out loser” is not addressing the matter at hand, is it? I asked two connected questions. 1) “Given the world around us, demonstrate why a malevolent creator is not the more reasonable hypothesis/conclusion than a benevolent one,” and 2) Are you certain you’re not worshipping something malevolent?

            You have addressed neither, which naturally leads me to believe you are unable to. There is, of course, a reason for this. If you believe in Intelligent Design, as you do, then the malevolent designed is the far more reasonable explanation for the world we see around us.

            You say: “There is no safe place on Earth unless your [you’re] in a bunker underground.” Precisely! There isn’t, and even the best possible bunker isn’t at all safe in the long run. Clearly this is the work of a wicked designer. No rest is ever afforded, only temporary reprieves which permit habituation: the normalising of our experience; a natural “good” which serves only to maximise suffering over time.

          • 1) “Given the world around us, demonstrate why a malevolent creator is not the more reasonable hypothesis/conclusion than a benevolent one,”

            The world;

            a. has an Atmosphere to protect us from UV radiation, meteors, and the vacuum of space, and gives us life through the hydrologic cycle.
            b. has just the right mass giving us just the right gravity.
            c. has flowers and birds that sing and people full of love, compassion and charitable hearts.

            2) Are you certain you’re not worshipping something malevolent?

            Yes. Only God’s enemies need fear Him.

            Jesus said, “If you are not on my side, you are against me. If you don’t gather in the harvest with me, you scatter it. ” Matthew 12:30 CEV

            In our world John we have many good things and many bad. It is up to us to trust that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. It is up to us to put ourselves out, with our time and money, for those who need us, to create medicines and technologies to help the suffering, to counter evil, indifference, and greed in an attempt to maintain some sort of balance.

            I’m not nieve. I’ve seen a lot of bad things happen but I have also see great perseverance in the human spirit. It doesn’t always have to be doom and gloom, it’s all in your perspective. Perspective influences everything. People don’t see their lives in purely objective terms. We are subjective creatures. We see through a filter and we have biases, experiences, and personality and all those things alter our perceptions. Perhaps some cognitive behavioral therapy would help you heal and correct the distortions and misperceptions you have towards Gods character.

          • 1.

            A) ¾’s of the planet’s surface will drown us. ¾’s of the atmosphere will asphyxiate us. The atmosphere is not stable. The Great Oxygen Catastrophe 2.4 billion years ago killed off almost every species… and the composition of the atmosphere is, once again, changing. Tens of millions of species and billions of humans are already suffering with the beginnings of this change. Droughts and floods and cyclones are increasing in intensity and regularity. Food and water security is decreasing for most humans, and the loss of habitat has put millions of species in extreme peril.

            B) So? It is not surprising that life emerged to fit the conditions present on this planet. We are, however, only truly useful at one atmospheric pressure. A little over there and we overheat and die. A little over here and we freeze and die. Being a waterworld the malevolent designer has clearly set in place mechanisms to herd humans and animals alike into engineered, momentarily fertile, almost pleasant Kill Zones where cataclysm is guaranteed.

            C) Finite resources, geological upheavals and forever shifting climate patterns have meant a constant and stable condition of struggle, wars, forced biological and behavioural adaption, extinction. No rest is afforded… Ever. If an organism can sleep peacefully it will do so only temporarily, and only be permitted to do so to enable habituation which ensures the maximization of suffering. Protein, so necessary for complex life, must be stolen in a daily and planetary-wide bloodbath of violence and horror. As previously stated, surely a benevolent designer would make all its creatures solar powered so they didn’t have to murder another sentient creature just to stay alive.

            2.

            A wish is not a coherent answer.

        • Roy, there are several creation stories and there is one beautiful one narrated by Robert Ingersoll, I think from the Vedas where Brahman creates man and woman and when they disobey him, he promises to protect them. Maybe you should read, and since it predates the Adam/Eve story, it must be the true one.

    • I think you are playing a little hopscotch with your conclusion. If it is possible for a maximally wicked being to exist, why must it? Using this argumentation, unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, and Batman exist in the actual world.

      And with all of this evil, why do we find it evil? Is it not because of some sort of notion of good? Where does that flow from?

      Even better of a question, why would we as humans constantly choose to do evil towards others and ourselves? We know the harm we cause, yet insist on perpetuating the flow of evil. This knowledge of evil, including ours, testifies against us, we “know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32 NASB).

      It is not a malevolent god, but one who endows his creation with free will and is good who allows these things. Evil makes a person ponder metaphysical ideas, and forces them to come to truth with the evil within. From there, he may call out to a god who atoned for him, and find forgiveness in the blood of Jesus Christ. Without this evil, man could never experience the thrill of goodness, they would merely be puppets on god’s string, replying “yes God, we love you,” right on cue.

      • Hi Noah

        You say I’m playing “hopscotch with my conclusion,” yet this is the greatest ontological argument ever devised by the greatest minds in Christian philosophy; the most sophisticated word game designed to prove the Christian god. All I’ve done is replace the words “maximally great” being with “maximally wicked.”

        It’s immeasurably interesting, therefore, that you now don’t think it convincing.

        Now, while true there do exist sceptics and unbelievers, the only coherent objection ever presented by non-believers to deny the self-evident existence of an omnimalevolent creator is the so-named, Problem of Good. It is asked: if the owner of all Infernal Names is omniscient, omnipotent and omnimalevolent, why then does He allow the existence of good in the world? Either He can’t prevent it, in which case He is not omnipotent, or else He chooses to allow it, in which case He is not omnimalevolent. To answer we must distinguish between natural good and moral good. Natural good encompasses anomalous occurrences like health, good harvests, fine weather, and the temporary absence of earthquakes and pestilence; natural events which give limited reprieve to more assured passages of suffering. Moral good on the other hand arises from human actions that briefly promote wellbeing, harmony and peace rather than disorder and suffering which is the staple of all human civilisation.

        First, the existence of natural good may be explained as an inevitable consequence of the laws of nature; parameters that are necessary for the wholesale production of evil. If we are to cause harm, we must first know how to do so, and this requires the predictability found in the laws of nature as laid out by the Author of Sin. If, for example, we wish to drown unwanted girl-children, we must first know that unwanted girl-children (and human beings in general) cannot breathe under water. If we could not rely on this fact, and millions like it, our efforts to do wrong would be chaotic and ineffective, and suffering would be seriously reduced. Easy respiration on land is, therefore, a necessary residue, and superfluous good – natural good – is the minimum necessary for the overall production of the maximum of evil.

        Here the maximisation of evil may even be plotted. “Habituation,” the methods of normalising our experience, is the observable mechanism the omnimalevolent designer has deployed in the natural world to ensure the experience of suffering is forever increasing. We, the instruments and toys of His amusement, need successive goods so as to deepen our experience of suffering. By this process, our current state of affairs is compared to a ‘peak point’ which is always established in times of plenty; a high-water mark of pleasure which the omnimalevolent designer allows so as to put the inevitable ocean of suffering in stark contrast. Tectonic plate activity and its constant recycling of the earth’s crust, for example, ensures life may flourish in certain zones for a certain length of time. These “zones” are, as previously stated, deliberately engineered Kill Zones. Fertile soils rich in mineral wealth attract animals and humans in their tens of millions. The promise of an easier life is simply too great to resist, and these creatures not only willingly enter the Kill Zone, but establish themselves inside it. They build shelters, establish habitats, mate and rear offspring: entire generations flourish for a short period before the inevitable cataclysm destroys them and everything they know. Such is the maximisation of suffering. A little is permitted. Indeed, a little is required so the greatest amount of suffering can be inflicted and enjoyed by the malevolent designer.

        Second, the unsightly existence moral good – the good resulting from misguided human action – is little more than the anomalous consequence of free will; summarised generally as the free will defence. Simply put, we sometimes choose to do good, and the omnimalevolent creator has made the world such that we have the opportunity to do massive good if we choose. Why, the sceptic asks, would a perfectly evil creator permit such an abomination? The answer is as eloquent as it is villainous: free will is an evil in and by itself, for it makes sin possible and allows us all to approach a little nearer to the highest status of our wicked creator. Consider this: is it not worse to do evil by our own free will than being causally determined to sow mayhem? Granted, in creating men with free will the Architect of Suffering has to accept that sometimes man may act for good rather than wickedness, but the greater evil that is realised through the possession of free will far outweighs the occasional good that also occurs through its existence. The world, in other words, is a worse place for the existence of free will.

        Moral good is to be credited, therefore, as a means to greater evil. Take medicine; a reactionary science which superficially appears to work in man’s favour. This is a clever deception. Through its varied works of treating and curing diseases and addressing broken and decaying bodies medicine, invariably over time, increases life span. This gives the impression of being wholly good. Life expectancy increases, and man suspects he is controlling his own destiny; a false sense of security which ultimately encourages greater investment in future enterprises. Consider then the truth: A general population dying at 47 does not produce as much suffering as a general population dying at 80+. Here we have added 30 years – an entire generation – to the duration of suffering, which to a malevolent creator would be desirable and fit perfectly within His wicked plan to maximise pain. More bodies, living longer, doing more things is a stroke of design genius. The small moral good of disease prevention and body repair is permissible as it only enlarges the stock and scope of those available to suffer. Again, the evidence for malicious design is both overwhelming and incontrovertible.

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