Sorry for the late response. The thread has clearly blown up, so I’m taking the liberty to move it to my blog for legibility.
If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking. – George Patton. [ed: my quote]
I’ve addressed your topic in my For Atheists page under Junaman thread – Empiricism vs. Rationalism, but I’ll respond to your logic w/in the framework of Christianity:
1. Assume God exists.
Define “God”. You do that in 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8, not 1. The Old Testament, throughout the course of its 39 books, does it in a similar fashion, but comes up with a different conclusion.
2. God is all powerful
3. God is all good
Define “all powerful” and “all good”. In the OT, God is also “all holy”.
4. All good beings are opposed to suffering
5. All good beings who are able stop suffering will do so immediately
#4 lacks context. Also, what’s suffering? In Scripture, God is opposed to sin, which has created suffering (see Adam and Eve).
#5 is an assumption about what is absolutely good. In the Bible, God lays out the plan for man’s redemption, which circumvents his holiness, which in turns works to accept those to the kingdom.
6. God is opposed to suffering (from 3 and 4)
Okay. But your definition of “God” is skewed in terms of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
7. God can stop suffering completely and immediately (from 2)
In Christianity, this fails to take free will into account.
8. God will eliminate suffering completely and immediately (6 and 7)
This is a condition met in heaven.
9. Suffering exists
10. Therefore, God does not exist (8 and 9)
Hope you can see some of the holes. If you’re going to direct this towards Christianity/Judaism, at least explicitly state it.
In response to Albert:
There is a flaw to your arguement.
God has sin in his heart. Bear in mind that if christianity is right, then by that perspective, everything in existence, the world, humanity, concepts, ideals, math, science, these things came from him. There is nothing that could not exist because as a Christian would say, God is responsible for the existence of everything. Therefore, by that statement alone, God is responsible for the existence of sin. In order to have a correct design of what sin is, God must have experienced sin himself. Therefore he cannot be without Sin, thus your arguement, not to mention Christianity as a whole, has some reflection that needs tending.
You assume a few things.
- the Bible is incoherent
- God “has sin” because sin exists
With regards to #1, I hope I don’t have to comment on my position. With regards to #2, the logic is not necessarily true.Taking free will into account, the Christian understanding of God and sin is that God is apart from sin. Reason being is that he freely chooses righteousness, holiness, justice, and mercy as an expression of his character.
So we also freely choose sin as the fundamental expression of our character.
S: Do not attempt to say that Satan or Lucifer or the snake in the garden was responsible, as this is not possible. They were created by God. They cannot grow beyond what God allows them to.
Along this vein of thinking, the story of Adam and Eve describes that choice – that is, to obey or not to obey God’s specific command. In this sense, Satan acts as a catalyst (having been thrown down to earth already due to his choice of desiring honor and praise over God), dispersing information a priori, whereby causing the fall of man.