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In the Name of God بسم الله

Why Is There Poverty, Disease, Miscarriages Etc.

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  • Advanced Member

Salaam Allaykum,

One of the questions I feel unable to answer and a question that very many atheists ask is:

"Why did God create poverty, disease, miscarriage etc."

I'm sure theres a perfectly reasonable answer, especially considering that this is a question all religious people, of all faiths may come across however I was wondering what your answers are.

By the way, I am aware that sometimes atheists tend to ask about issues such as death, mild illnesses and such trivial things that we all undergo at one point or another and when these questions are asked I have no difficulty in providing an answer. It's the really serious and unfortunate problems that only very few people may undergo that I have no answer for.

Thanks for taking your time to read (and respond).

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I'm not sure if you're looking for an Islamic answer or a Philosophical answer, i can't provide you with the former.

What are you referring to is "The Problem of Evil".

In my Opinion it is one of the strongest, if not the strongest arguments against an all loving, all powerful, all knowing God. There are no satisfactory answers, if there were people would stop asking. If you were to solve it you deserve several prizes of some kind.

I'm more interested in what you think though before people tell you what to think, how would you solve it yourself?

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God didnt create them directly, but he created human in a way that if he (human) doesnt look after his health, he will become sick. If there was no disease, many humans wont die and then the earth would be overcrowded.

Your statements seem contradictory.

If you believe in creationism, you believe God created all things. Bacteria and Viruses dont just spontanously pop into existence, they have been around long before we have been around. So, in that view, God created these things, i know we certainly didn't.

There are lots of diseases that can strike the perfectly healthy. In-fact, with certain diseases, it's actually worse to be healthy. '

The great flu epidemic of the early 20th century came to mind. A lot more young, healthy, fit people died more than old people. Why? Their healthy immune system went bananas over this flu and caused all kind of horrible things like cytokine storms.

It's not simply not looking after your health. Cancer can afflict even the perfectly healthy person, in fact, by around age 18, you would of had several cancers present in your body. Your immune system just destroyed them (as they should). It's also hard to put down childhood cancer like leukemia to them not looking after their health.

Thats true, if there was no disease we might be overcrowded but in western countries there are barely any infectious diseases around anymore and the population is actually growing at a much lower rate than disease infested places like Africa or India.

Even if you contend diseases exist for this reason, why do they have to be *so* horrible. Go look at a picture of someone with smallpox or polio, its quite clear God could kill people off with much less suffering to maintain the population and yet, we have such horrible bad diseases like that. So, i dont believe thats a successful defense.

Poverty has different reasons: not earning enough income, bankrupty, being swindled, unemployment, ...

I don't really think you understand how poverty works...

Edited by kingpomba
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Hey you know what I think Allah(SWT) created these things because what if all was well in this world and nothing went wrong in our lives. We would forget to supplicate before ALLAHÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì. We would not pray. We would not thank Allah(SWT) for what we have and what we do not have. Allah(SWT) always tests us in such ways. This world is an examination hall. We have to pass this test in order meet our CREATOR. So always thank ALLAHÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì.

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I'm not sure if you're looking for an Islamic answer or a Philosophical answer, i can't provide you with the former.

What are you referring to is "The Problem of Evil".

In my Opinion it is one of the strongest, if not the strongest arguments against an all loving, all powerful, all knowing God. There are no satisfactory answers, if there were people would stop asking. If you were to solve it you deserve several prizes of some kind.

I'm more interested in what you think though before people tell you what to think, how would you solve it yourself?

As far as poverty is concerned I guess I look at that issue as a man-made problem as opposed to a problem God has created. After all, it isn't God that created money but humans. The truth is that we are responsible but obviously as seems to be human nature we generally don't like accepting the blame (most humans that is) and so we blame whatever else we can and in this case that happens to be God. But even still, that doesn't answer the part of my question about disease as after all disease wasn't a problem created by man.

Hey you know what I think Allah(SWT) created these things because what if all was well in this world and nothing went wrong in our lives. We would forget to supplicate before Allahسبحانه وتعالى. We would not pray. We would not thank Allah(SWT) for what we have and what we do not have. Allah(SWT) always tests us in such ways. This world is an examination hall. We have to pass this test in order meet our CREATOR. So always thank Allahسبحانه وتعالى.

Normally I'd agree with this, in fact I feel the same but I guess that's because so far in my life I've never experienced being critically ill or had family or friends critically ill. But do you think you'd still be telling yourself that if (God forbid) something as terrible as a life threatening disease or even a miscarriage was to occur to someone you love? Don't you think that maybe your faith would waver, especially if you don't believe you (or whoever it is that happens to be ill) deserves to be going through such an experience?

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As I said, God didnt create them directly. I didnt and dont deny that God created bacteria and viruses.

It doesn't matter what method he created them by, either it is created by God OR it is not created by God. There is no other alternative. Even if it is indirectly created by God, God is still responsible for their creation.

I built something using my hands alone, it is created by me. If i suddenly build something using a hammer instead of my hands, is it no longer created by me? Of course not. I still made it. So, even if it is created indirectly, it is still ultimately created by God, so, i reject this.

If you don't deny he created them, why do you believe he created them then? For what purpose? People like me will eventually cure and eradicate the very diseases he made to kill. Essentially, i'm cleaning up his mess.

What is the reason of disease or poverty in your opinion?

You're supposing there is a reason in the way you believe there is some grand divine plan. I don't believe in God, so, such things are impossible. There is no grand overarching reason. They are just things that happen. Obviously, you can't believe that because all things are controled by God but i can do just perfectly well. Nothing has a reason and there is no meaning, you mean nothing and in the grand scheme of time, you might as well never have existed in the first place.

Any disease has a reason, whether we know it or we dont know it. GOD NEVER FORCES BACTERIA TO ENTER HUMAN'S BODY.

Care to elaborate on the 'reason'? It's all very ethereal and non-speicific.

Read this before you continue - http://www.shiachat....ost__p__2378878

Then this - http://www.shiachat....ost__p__2340466

Now that you're done, lets move on.

For one, on an epistemological ground, i reject your statement. You can't possibly be sure God never forces bacteria to enter a humans body without being God yourself, only God would posses that knowledge. He's destroyed entire villages and civilizations in the past according to the Quran, i wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility to say that God could concievably inflict diseases upon people. So, even on this, that statement is dead.

God created bacteria and viruses that are designed (i should make it aware at this point i am a biologist) to enter into our cells. Influenza for example has something on its surface that specifically fits onto a certain part of your cell to place that virus into your cell [if anyone is interested here is a pretty good video on

]. These diseases are specifically created and designed by God to enter our cells, so, to be honest, its almost akin to forcing them to enter our bodies anyway.

So, he specifically designed them to infect us in the first place.

In addition, he created us with a purposely (unless you're willing to contend he makes accidents) weak immune system so we could be infected with these things in the first place. He literally has the blood of tens of billions (if not more) on his hands because of this purposely bad design.

If someone becomes sick, you must try to find its reason in either himself or his environment.

I don't see how this excuses it at all.

What about childhood leukemia? God could prevent it or designed our body to prevent it if he so chooses but he did not. He signs the death sentence for millions of innocent children on a daily basis. It's quite clear these children aren't culpable. It's not like they were out smoking 50 cigars and drinking a litre of Vodka a day. These children do not deserve to get cancer but God allows it anyway (since he has the power to prevent absolutely everything, unless you're willing to agree he isn't all powerful).

Even cancer has a reason but we have not discovered it.

You contend theres a reason that God murders hundreds of millions of children with cancer on a annual basis? That kind of efficiency brings a tear to the eye of stalin.

From a recent academic study:

"Microbial diseases are easily the leading cause of death among children. Malaria has probably killed more youngsters than any other single cause, perhaps 20 billion (Finkel 2007). Other top infectious diseases include smallpox, typhoid, plague, scarlet fever, yellow fever, cholera, influenza, rubella, tetanus, and rabies. The situation is so acute that a microbial war is being waged upon immature humans (Barnes 2005; Demeny and McNicoll 2003). Because their immune systems are immature, infants and children are exceptionally susceptible to being infected and killed; only the elderly are comparably defenseless. In general, diseases kill their victims—who usually remain conscious during much of the symptomatic period and death process—over an extended period of time ranging from days to years, and with extreme levels of discomfort ranging up to the highest levels of agony."

As for poverty, do you know any person who was made poor by God?

God does not prevent natural diasters and those devestate entire economies.

Being all powerful, it is within his power but he chooses not to.

This is but one example but it certainly is enough.

-------------------------------------------------------------

In anticipation of the attempted defense of "There is a good reason, we just don't know it" (and hinted at in your above post) i reply using a excerpt from a paper by Keith Parsons:

"So Plantinga thinks that Christians should admit that they do not know why God permits evil. He thinks that, despite this, Christians can still have confidence that God does have good reason for permitting evil. But how? How do we penetrate the wall of imponderables raised by Craig and other defenders of the UPD? If the capacities and opportunities of omnipotence are unknown, then they are unknown. None of us can say with any confidence whether God probably does, or does not, have good reasons for permitting evils. So be it. In that case, none of us can say with any confidence that God exists."

Edited by kingpomba
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God didnt create them directly, but he created human in a way that if he (human) doesnt look after his health, he will become sick. If there was no disease, many humans wont die and then the earth would be overcrowded.

Poverty has different reasons: not earning enough income, bankrupty, being swindled, unemployment, ...

I am sorry, but...you really should take time to look up information about these things, and think about them.

Disease has nothing to do with overpopulation of humanity nor over population of anything at all, that just doesnt make any sense. For a number of reasons. Diseases have been around far longer than people have. And humanities population is exponentially growing far faster than disease can halt anyway. And lastly, "overpopulation" of the earth, well thats a very subjective claim. People will not populate the earth beyond what we are capable of populating, and "overpopulating" makes it sound as if you understand what is bad and what is good out here.

And Pombas responses were adequate as well.

You should never speak about something unless you are fairly certain its true. When you say things that are blatantly false, all it does is confuse people. Think about it.

Your ideas and mindset seems to either ignore, or lack knowledge of earth history and the evolution of life.

As for the second next response of Pombas, ill agree.

Shadow of light, if you want to know about bacteria and disease, I would recommend reading about the development and history of life on earth. From scientists I mean. Actual scientists, not random religious people who claim to know science.

Edited by Belial
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Bacteria are living organisms, if you approach them, they may harm you. But if you live in an environment which is empty of bacteria, will they harm you???

There is no environment on earth in which people exist and bacteria does not. There is no environment on earth in which people can live, in which bacteria doesnt already.

Edited by Belial
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Everything I said was the result of my own thinking. My mother is a pathologist, Ok, I will ask her.

Without disease, how can humans die? Which option do you recommend? Killing eachother or dying of starvation (the latter one is a form of disease or in other words, it causes disease. But if there were no disease, humans would starve and starve but not die! A kind of suffering which is worse than death).

Without disease how can humans die? People die every day without it being due to disease. Your chromosomes unravel as you age, natural disasters kill millions, people fight wars, people just have accidents in general.

Starvation doesnt cause disease. What in the world are you talking about?

All bacteria dont cause disease. I was talking about those which make people sick. Even if you live in an unhealthy environment, harmful bacteria wont enter your body necessarily.

It depends on the bacteria, you cant say that. It also depends on how that bacteria evolves. There are bacterial infections, and there are diseases caused by viruses. Both are present in many places, if not all places people exist. They both evolve, some are very destructive when they infect people, and many thrive on infection, so you cant simple avoid them.

You cant just say, ok, everyone just stay away from that microscopic bug and it will be ok. Well, most people cant even see them, so im not sure how you would expect people to stay away from them. Sometimes they float in the air, maybe if people could see microscopic organisms, when they came in our window we could duck and run?

Sorry to hijack the convo btw, I will take my leave now and leave it to you pomba.

Shadow, just stop, take a moment and think about different ideas. Determine what you know, and separate it from what you think you know. Criticize your ideas.

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You said that you dont belive in God, then, how do you belive that " he specifically designed them(bacteria) to infect us in the first place"?! If you done belive in God, you can not talk about his intentions!

If i am arguing against your God in a philosophical manner i have to of course temporarily entertain the idea he exists in an academic fashion, otherwise, it just simply doesn't work.

I dont think being a non-believer suddenly excludes me from a philosophical discussion on God.

I dont know why he created bacteria, but I can not say that he created them in order to make humans sick! Maybe there were another reasons. Maybe the existence of bacteria is necessary. Maybe they have some benefits. At least one of their benefits is that they decompose the dead bodies and without them the earth will be filled with dead bodies.

I am not a microbiologist by training, so, i'll put that out there first of all, i'm no expert. I only have a general knowledge of these things.

Perhaps you can argue this for bacteria, they are ALIVE. They are living organisms. They do many things. There are at least 10 million different and distinct species of bacteria. I can assure you, not all of these would be good in your compost heap. Most bacteria wouldn't work on decaying bodies in the way you present anyway, so, as a justification, i don't think its a reasonable one.

There are VIRUSES. In my opinion (there is debate over this), they are NOT ALIVE. Bacteria have to "eat", Brewers Yeast for example eats sugars (and excretes alcohol), it metabolises (that is to say it has a metabolism and a set of metabolic reactions), it generally does "stuff". If we have a vial of brewers yeast and sugar on my desk, it would be actively carrying out processes. Viruses do not do this. They just sit there, doing absolutely nothing. They do not have a metabolism and they do not need to "eat". If we had a vial of influenza virus on my desk, it would be doing next to nothing. It can not replicate, "live" or indeed do much of anything without hijacking your bodies cells and taking them over, it is then and only then, that it can actually do things.

So, you might be able to argue this for bacteria but you most definitely can not argue this for a virus since infection and subsequent disease is pretty much the only thing it can "do".

You said: " Nothing has a reason and there is no meaning".

You misunderstand, things have meaning but they do not have "meaning".

I wake up and eat toast because i am hungry, that is the meaning of eating, that is the purpose.

I was talking about an ULTIMATE meaning, in the sense of a meaning of life. In the sense that we're actually here for some reason, built into the universe. That we're here to serve God or we're actually here to be good to each other AND that this meaning is "embedded" in the universe. That is the meaning i do not believe in and you would of noticed this if you read my linked article.

Of course i believe me eating, me exercising ect all have meaning but there is no instrinsic "big" meaning in the universe.

Bacteria are living organisms, if you approach them, they may harm you. But if you live in an environment which is empty of bacteria, will they harm you???

Where does such a place exist? Bacteria are extremely hardy and resistant organisms. I took a course on astrobiology and there are species of bacteria that can resist extremely high temperatures, nuclear radiation and extreme dehydration. Those things would kill US long before the bacteria.

You will struggle to find such a place where bacteria does not exist but we do. Even in hospitals and laboratory clean rooms, you will still find some bacteria (especially in hospitals See MRSA).

Thus, such a place is a complete fabrication and pipe dream. Indeed, even on your skin and in your intestines . You have at least 500 different kinds of bacteria just in your gut alone. You have at least 100 trillion (not a misprint, literally, trillion with a T) individual bacterial cells living inside your gut, lets see that in numbers:

100 000 000 000 000 <---- 100 trillion

7 000 000 000 <---- 7 Billion, number of humans alive today

To get 100 trillion, you would have to multiply 7 billion 14 285 times over, so, 7 000 000 000 * 7 000 000 000 * 7 000 000 000 * 7 000 000 000 * 7 000 000 000 ... do that 14 280 more times and get back to me.

My point is this,what you contend is impossible. You can not both find a place with humans and a place devoid of any kind of bacteria.

So, when I say "God doesnt force bacteria to enter your body", I am right because if He forced them to do so, he must have done it in any conditions, but it just happen when people dont look after their health or live in unhealthy environment or contact sick people.

You are wrong, perfectly healthy people can become sick all the time. My example of the influenza epedemic for example, young, healthy people died off at massive rates.

If you seriously believe healthy people can not get sick, i invite you to go spray yourself liberally with Bacillus anthracis (the bacteria that causes anthrax) and get back to me.

Again, you can not know in which situations he did and did not force them. It does not matter if God is actively sitting there actually infecting people, this does not matter to my argument. All that matters is he created bacteria that are deadly, that are infectious and have the potential to cause harm, why would the most, all loving and all perfect God do such a thing?

You also have to realise, living in an unhealthy enviroment IS NOT A CHOICE. I don't know if you've ever left your own country but go visit a third world country some time. Go to vietnam...cambodia...parts of India...Africa...wherever you like. These people have no other choice but to live in an unhealthy enviroment. In-fact, they're already doing bad because they're poor but its made even worse by the fact that they are much much more susceptible to diseases than us well off people. So, God is just compounding their misery. Thank you for helping me prove that i guess... i now have a new argument.

Therefore, God established this rule: if bacteria enter your body, you will become sick.But they dont have to enter your body (there is no compulsion).

It doesn't matter if they do or do not have to, its the fact they are DESIGNED to. As a biologist, i look at these things and i see certain attatchments on their surface or pieces of genetic material and proteins that have one function and one function alone, that is to infect living things. They are designed to make us sick, they are designed to enter our body. It doesn't matter if they do or do not, its the fact that God created them like this, he designed them to produce suffering (again, some of the attatchemnts and proteins serve no other purpose other than to aid in the infection and subsequent disease in living things).

As to children suffering from cancer, yes, they are innocent but God didnt choose them for making them sick. If they lived in healthy environments, they would not suffer from cancer.

This...this isn't how cancer works. My jaw is almost hitting the floor that this is how you believe cancer works. Cancer can result from random genetic mutations, even if you lived in the healthiest enviroment this can still happen. You can get cancer in NEW BORN babies. Even if they've been in the absolute best enviroment, they can still get cancer.

To illustrate below is an excerpt from a review i wrote about colorectal cancer:

Genetics are one of the other main factors that associated strongly with colorectal cancer. It is estimated that between 10-30% of patients with colorectal cancer have also had a relative up to the second degree who has developed the disease(Cunningham et al. 2010; Mitry 2008). Specific genetic conditions that cause colorectal cancer have been implicated in between 5-10% of cases (Cunningham et al. 2010; Mitry 2008). The main genetic conditions are Lynch syndrome (also named Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer/HNPCC) implicated in one out of 300 cases, Familial adenomatous polyposis(FAP) in 1 out of 7000 and MYH –associated polyposis in one out of 18 000 cases(Cunningham et al. 2010). Lynch syndrome is by far the most prevalent accounting for 3% of colorectal cancer cases(Cunningham et al. 2010).

Your genes are with you from the MOMENT OF CONCEPTION. From the instant the sperm meets the egg and the genetic material fuses together (long before you can see anything that looks like a fetus or baby), you have your genes. These are present LONG BEFORE you can be in any kind of enviroment. So, to say that cancer is a result of enviroment alone and in all cases is complete and utter nonsense.

Yes, God doesnt prevent these things (there are some exceptions) because he behaves according to the rules.

To suggest God is bound by rules is to suggest there rules are higher than God, that is to suggest there is either a power higher than God OR God isn't free to make his choices or God isn't all powerful.

So, therefore, God can not be beholden to any rules and your above statement is logically invalid.

In order to avoid discrimination, He must either:

1/ cure all sick people (then nobody will die and the earth will be overcrowded)

or

2/ as I said, behave according to the rules and cures the sick through drugs and medicine.

If he created bacteria but he didnt create their cures, then He would be unjust.

Again, you can not know for a fact that this is how God operates. This is just a set of rules you made up, concievably, there could be more rules. Only God would know and you are not God, so, there is a problem with this. This is dead from the start.

However, i will pretend its right for the sake of the argument.

Lets begin:

1/ cure all sick people (then nobody will die and the earth will be overcrowded)

If God is all powerful, we could have no disease and he could still make the earth not overcrowded by some kind of mechanism. Since he is all powerful, such a thing is within his power. Unless you are willing to admit God is not all powerful but then you are not a muslim.

Furthermore, you misunderstand my argument. It isn't necessarily why disease exists but why is it so horrible, why does it afflict the innocent and poor way more than relatively well off people like us, why does it afflict children who haven't even lived their lives? Go look up pictures of smallpox, i can assure you, God could of reduced the population with much, much less painless diseases. If this was the only method of population control (and it isn't because he is all powerful), he would of created a much much less painless disease, something where you pass away in your sleep or pass away in euphoria rather than the agonising pain of tuberculosis.

Do you expect him to interfere in our economy? If God interferes in our life (disregarding exceptions), then why did he give us the right to choose and decide our fate?

He gave Hagar a well when she was dying from dehydration. The very same well where zamzam water allegedly comes from.

He gave us the Quran.

He's wiped out entire villages and CIVILIZATIONS.

This is way, way past the point of non-interference. It's quite clear he CAN and DOES interfere in our world according to Islamic belief.

If he intervened to save Hagar where was he when millions of innocent jewish children were choking on gas in Auschwitz?

Do you know any poor person whose poverty has any reason except "not having a good income, bankrupty, unemployment or losing money"?

Born into a poor family, into a poor country, with poor resources.

It's not at all their fault they were born in bangladesh, why do they deserve to be poor? Why are they poor and me, in comparison, rich?

Edited by kingpomba
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Well, you ignored large parts of my argument, the parts i'd consider to be the most successful as well but lets move on.

I think you misunderstood some of my words. I dont say ALL poor or sick people are responsible for their poverty or sickness, I am saying that we should find the cause of their poverty/sickness either in themselves, or in their societies, their familiies, etc. I never say that Africal children suffering from various diseases are responsible for their problems.

I do not at all see how this is relevant or serves as a solution to the problem of evil.

I'd argue on a Global Scale, especially amongst the poorest countries, comparitively few people are actually responsible for the diseases they suffer. I find it a sick, depressing irony that the weakest, most vunerable, are also the least reasponsible for their diseases, it only compounds their punishment and suffering. The 3 year old child with dysentery is not at all responsible. The western smoker with lung cancer arguably is.

So, the poorest, worst off are least responsible for their illness. If they are not responsible for it, then who is?

we should find the cause of their poverty/sickness either in themselves, or in their societies, their familiies, etc.

Viruses and Bacteria have existed long, long (i'm talking MILLIONS of years) before humans and definitely long before any kind of societial structure or family unit. So, i don't think this at all solves the problem. Bacteria and viruses were created before humans, they were ever present and they are explicitly designed and act to cause disease, misery and suffering. The cause of their sickness ultimately IS THE PATHOGEN (the virus or the bacterial). I don't care if you think its because they're poor and they cant get good medicine or their unhygenic, in the end, this isn't a disease. It's the actual bacteria or virus that causes the sickness, that causes the disease, that causes the suffering. These are the ultimate cause of it all and where did they come from? God created them.

I grieve for them as I grieve for every suffering being in the world but when I think, I see that I can not blame God for their problems because He didnt choose them for making them poor or sick.

Let me lay it out for you a little:

(1) If creationism is true, God created literally everything

(2) This means literally everything was designed by God and non-conscious agents work the way he intends them to work

(3) Viruses and Bacteria are something that ultimately needs an origin or a creation

(4) It follows from (1) that God created viruses and bacteria

(5) God created viruses and bacteria

(6) Viruses and Bacteria exhibit certain characteristics with no other function except to infect other organisms, causing disease, suffering and misery. Indeed, in the case of Viruses, this is their *only* function. They can not do anything unless they have infected a host.

(7) Therefore, God being the creator of these pathogens and more importantly designed them in such a way to cause harm and disease is DIRECTLY responsible for their creation and since he designed them with the function of infection and disease, is directly responsible for the infection, disease and subsequent suffering we see around the world.

(1)-(6) are called "premises of an argument", they are the building blocks. (7) Is the conclusion, it follows from the premises. I believe my argument is *logically valid* in the sense that one thing follows another. So, i dont think you can attack it on this basis. The only way you can attack it is if you attack one of my premises. As a believer, i know you already MUST accept (1) & (2), it logically follows from (1) & (2) that (3), (4) and (5) are also true. As a biologist im certain of the fact that (6) is true, especially in the case of viruses (see the influenza video for more info).

Since the conclusion is derived from the premises, if you accept all the premises[1-6] (and i have shown that you must) but you reject the conclusion[7], there is something wrong with your beliefs. They are logically inconsistent. The conclusion is derived from and proved by the premises, unless you disagree with a premise, you have to accept the conclusion as true.

I try to be kind and charitable when i make philosophical arguments but its quite clear you're knowledge about cancer and diseases in general is extremely poor. There are a fair few things significanly wrong with your knowledge on how cancer arises.... I'm really not going to deal with any more of your arguments in terms of cancer untill you learn even just a little about how it *actually* works, even just on a general knowledge basis. I'd also advise you it really isn't worth your time making arguments on the basis of cancer when i can show massive scientific holes in your knowledge about cancer...

You said that God compounded their misery, but can you prove that God forced their ancestors to choose these parts of the worlds for living?

I'm not sure if its just that you're very young or english is fairly hard for you (i can't blame you) and things are getting lost in translation.

Do you remember the famines in ethiopia? They were caused, in part, by severe natural diasters like drought. If God wanted to he could choose to intervene and provide rain. Rain allows crops to grow, it creates food. Many, many children starved needlessly in such a terrible fashion because of a severe, long term, persistant drought.

Natural disaster is a significant cause of human misery, its certainly within Gods power to prevent it or to have the world function just fine without it, being an all powerful being.

As I said, if God created bacteria/ viruses but he didnt create cures, then we could say he was cruel.

Name 10 cures God has gave us?

I can certainly name 10 cures science has created.

But he created the cures

No, that would be countless pharmacologists, biochemists, researchers and doctors around the world...

If we didn't do our work, there would be no cures available. So, its totally false to say God gave us the cures.

Honestly, its not like God sent down packets of anti-malarial drugs with 20 tablets in each, in a nice blister pack, floating on a heavenly cloud. We created them. We produced them.

Why bring such terrible diseases on humanity if we were going to cure them anyway? Why give us smallpox, when we'd eradicate it eventually? For what purpose? Eventually we might eradicate all infectious diseases.

Why make millions of children die from smallpox when we'd totally wipe it out anyway? Why not just dont create it at all in the first place? IT seems almost a silly thing for a God to do.

Plus, the cures you talk about, are usually available to the rich, well off people. The people who are really suffering hardly get any of the cures that you say an all loving God apparently provided. If he was really intent on curing them, as an all powerful God, he simply could of done it with a snap of his fingers rather than watching millions of children die whilst we scrambled to discover a new drug. He could of saved millions of lives with one simple action. By wasting time, by waiting for us to create cures, he has BLOOD on his hands.

As to rules, they are not higher than God beacuse they were established by Him.

Again, i dont think you understand why an all powerful being, God, cannot be subject to rules. It's totally illogical. To subject himself to rules woud limit his power, it would limit his God-like qualities...this is if its even POSSIBLE for God to lock himself into a rule set. If he does, he loses a little bit of his freedom and becomes partially unfree to act. Do we want a God who isn't all powerful and who isn't totally free to act? Thats not the God that most muslims believe in...

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Well, you ignored large parts of my argument, the parts i'd consider to be the most successful as well but lets move on.

I do not at all see how this is relevant or serves as a solution to the problem of evil.

I'd argue on a Global Scale, especially amongst the poorest countries, comparitively few people are actually responsible for the diseases they suffer. I find it a sick, depressing irony that the weakest, most vunerable, are also the least reasponsible for their diseases, it only compounds their punishment and suffering. The 3 year old child with dysentery is not at all responsible. The western smoker with lung cancer arguably is.

So, the poorest, worst off are least responsible for their illness. If they are not responsible for it, then who is?

Viruses and Bacteria have existed long, long (i'm talking MILLIONS of years) before humans and definitely long before any kind of societial structure or family unit. So, i don't think this at all solves the problem. Bacteria and viruses were created before humans, they were ever present and they are explicitly designed and act to cause disease, misery and suffering. The cause of their sickness ultimately IS THE PATHOGEN (the virus or the bacterial). I don't care if you think its because they're poor and they cant get good medicine or their unhygenic, in the end, this isn't a disease. It's the actual bacteria or virus that causes the sickness, that causes the disease, that causes the suffering. These are the ultimate cause of it all and where did they come from? God created them.

Let me lay it out for you a little:

(1) If creationism is true, God created literally everything

(2) This means literally everything was designed by God and non-conscious agents work the way he intends them to work

(3) Viruses and Bacteria are something that ultimately needs an origin or a creation

(4) It follows from (1) that God created viruses and bacteria

(5) God created viruses and bacteria

(6) Viruses and Bacteria exhibit certain characteristics with no other function except to infect other organisms, causing disease, suffering and misery. Indeed, in the case of Viruses, this is their *only* function. They can not do anything unless they have infected a host.

(7) Therefore, God being the creator of these pathogens and more importantly designed them in such a way to cause harm and disease is DIRECTLY responsible for their creation and since he designed them with the function of infection and disease, is directly responsible for the infection, disease and subsequent suffering we see around the world.

I don't quite agree with you that bacteria are specifically designed to cause suffering and misery for human being. I understand the point you are making about some viruses and bacterias that brings a lot of human suffering through diseases but what about millions and trillions of bacterias that co-exits inside the healthy human body. Doesn't it invalidate your basic assumption that God planted bacteria to sabotage the human body?

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I don't quite agree with you that bacteria are specifically designed to cause suffering and misery for human being.

Thus your disagreement lies with (6)?

I also agree with this, in regards to BACTERIA. We have bacteria like yeast that makes us beer, bread and all manner of great things (yum). We have bacteria that let us produce ethanol. However, there are a lot of bacteria out there with bad effects and they certainly dont need to exist for any reason. They are living organism (if you get the chance go look at bacteria under a microscope). By virtue of being alive they do many different things at once. Still, its hard to believe the tuberculosis bacteria has much practical use. I agree that bacteria aren't wholly bad however.......

VIRUSES on the other hand are aimed to one purpose and one purpose only, to create infection and disease. We can't make use out of influenza to do anything helpful for human society but it has killed millions. HIV has never done anything useful for us and also kills millions. They are not alive. They just sit around static, doing nothing, untill they reach their host and start infecting, replicating and causing disease. Almost every part of a Virus is aimed towards this sole purpose.

http://en.wikipedia....luenza#Virology All the little things in the picture might not seem particularly significant or interesting for you but the only real purpsoe of almost everything you see there is to infect. The ONLY function of a lot of those objects and structures is infection and infection alone.

I think it would be near impossible for you to disagree with (6) in regards to viruses.

but what about millions and trillions of bacterias that co-exits inside the healthy human body.

Actually, they're not as harmless as you think. You control their replication. If they get outside a certain, well defined area of your stomach, they can be VERY bad for you. This is why its a bad idea to eat faeces or faeces infected foods, this is why you get sick. You're ingesting bacteria from someone elses stomach and it's going to the wrong place.

In a lot of immunocompromised patients (AIDS, Immune Disorders, People on Immunosuppresants because of an organ transplant) the bacteria in your stomach can actually turn against you and become something harmful. Even bacteria on our skin can turn against us and cause things like school sores if something goes wrong.

My point was much much more tailored to viruses, since it applies to almost every virus in existence. It also does apply to bacteria for example, we certainly dont need the worst of the worst bacteria to help us, they dont do anything that useful for us.

Doesn't it invalidated your basic assumption that God planted bacterias to sabotage the human body?

My line of argument was more along the fact that he designed bacteria which produce toxins which cause sickness and he created them with mechanism that make it possible to enter our body and designed them to avoid our immune system, which he also designed to be weak(unless you think God makes accidents or doesnt think properly) to these things.

It's especially true for the case of viruses. They are pretty much here to cause infection and disease. They dont do anything else. So, you might attack me on bacteria but its a pretty solid lock for Viruses. So, i believe it is still valid.

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Salaam Allaykum,

One of the questions I feel unable to answer and a question that very many atheists ask is:

"Why did God create poverty, disease, miscarriage etc."

I'm sure theres a perfectly reasonable answer, especially considering that this is a question all religious people, of all faiths may come across however I was wondering what your answers are.

By the way, I am aware that sometimes atheists tend to ask about issues such as death, mild illnesses and such trivial things that we all undergo at one point or another and when these questions are asked I have no difficulty in providing an answer. It's the really serious and unfortunate problems that only very few people may undergo that I have no answer for.

Thanks for taking your time to read (and respond).

The fact is that Allah (SWT) did not "create" illnesses, poverty and diseases. He has only promised that all us humans will taste death one day. The reason for illness is when your body is weak and susceptible to foreign germs (u get weak cause of your own ill habits - 99% of the cases can relate to what i have just written).

Poverty is because lack of initiative taken by one to earn his / her livelihood. It's what you yourself bring unto you.

Diseases is due to various reasons which we are all educated about. Again self inflicted.

So you see, this is not what he has created but this is what WE bring out --- From the time of Adam (as) we have been eroding the mercies of Allah (SWT) and falling into the trick of the shaytaan (knowingly & un knowingly).

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The fact is that Allah (SWT) did not "create" illnesses, poverty and diseases.

Allah created everything, therefore, he created viruses and bacteria which cause disease. There is no real way around this unless you're willing to say theres another creator in the universe besides Allah (2 Gods or more).

He has only promised that all us humans will taste death one day.

Why does it have to be so horrible, so painful and so long though? I don't deny that people have to probably die but why do children have to die after a long drawnout battle with leukemia? This is what God wills but why is he so cruel?

The reason for illness is when your body is weak and susceptible to foreign germs

Who designed our body and created us weak and susceptible in the first place? God.

(u get weak cause of your own ill habits - 99% of the cases can relate to what i have just written).

As a biologist i can confidentially say you are very, very wrong.

Poverty is because lack of initiative taken by one to earn his / her livelihood. It's what you yourself bring unto you.

Again, you do not seem to understand how 3rd world countries work.... Do you really think all the people starving in third world countries are just simply lazy? Lazy to the point of starving them and their family? What hogwash. You have a shocking lack of understanding of economics and poverty...not to mention empathy for these poor people..

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I don't know, there could be thousand answers and reasons for this, but in my view all of these problems we are facing are only due to those, who never let Allah's true representative run the affairs of the world............... If u are really sincere to ur self and well being of others than quit whinnying about these things and let my imam(as) come and support him(as). and play u r part which u r supposed to be playing....................... Don't ask me.....................

ATTENTION :excl: :excl: :excl:

BE AWARE OF SATAN>>>> HE IS EXPERT IN HIS WORK :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: DON""T U DARE TO BE IGNORANT OF HIM OTHERWISE U R HIS NEXT VICTIM :excl: :excl: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan:

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I think everyone here, and by everyone, I mean shadow, I think you are missing the key value in pombas statements.

According to your belief, this God is responsible for everything. And by everything, I mean everything. It doesnt matter if some bacteria are beneficial, because many arent. Many viruses kill, destroy and cause a great deal of suffering. Maybe its not their only purpose for being around, but they are around none the less, and we see what they do to us.

This God, is responsible for everything.

Including suffering, death illnesses etc.

You mentioned that, a person can create a knife, but if a knife is misused, then why would the creator of the knife be responsible?

Well, the answer is, because the creator of everything (the knife + everything) is responsible for everything.

everything includes the knife, the person who uses the knife, the environment and other people who manipulated the opinion of the person who used the knife etc.

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You cant just think about the exact statements that Pomba has made, you need to understand the underlying point of the statements.

you said

"I know it. I didnt deny it and I dont understand why you said the sentences above."

And correct me if I am wrong Pomba, but the point he is making is that, the existance of this destructive nature, predates us. We are not responsible for it, nor the pain that it causes us. The creator of all, is responsible for all because the creator created all.

And there is no way around this.

So, back to the topic, why is there disease and suffering? Well, it is hard to say exactly why, but what we can say is that, if a creator exists, that creator is responsible for it.

And, keep in mind, this entire discussion, it seems like you are ignoring, or you may not know what bacteria and viruses are, and where they have come from. And there are answers that we have to these things, but it would take time to explain. Understanding these concepts, would assist with bringing clarity to the discussion, and would assist with your responses (which, no offense, often do not make sense).

This is why, and its ok if anyone disagrees, but it is discussions like these that make being an agnostic easy. Because instead of sitting around arguing over silly ideas like where disease comes from (which, in my opinion, we already know, scientifically why and where they came from), if you throw out your original assumptions about creation and the creator, you dont need to sit here and debate over it. The discussion becomes very easy without these assumed premises. If you hold onto these ideas that there is this justified creator of all, who isnt responsible for his own creation...well, then you just make a big mess.

And I am perfectly open to the possibility of a creator, but if we contemplate these ideas, we need to be reasonable with them. And we cant bend one described creator, into another for the sake of justifying our beliefs.

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You said: "they are explicitly designed and act to cause disease, misery and suffering".

I disagree. Can you prove it? (that the purpose of their creation was what you said)

Yes i can.

I was nice enough to draw you a picture:

haemaglugutinin.jpg

Haemagglutinin has a very specific shape, like all glycoproteins (and indeed proteins in general). It has two roles:

(1) Recognise a human cell and attatch to it

(2) "Injection" of the virus into a human cell once attatched

Haemagglutinin only fits onto this particular human protein and nothing else. It has absolutely no other function.

Indeed, viruses aren't alive, they don't do anything else, at all. They can't untill they infect something. It's quite clear that their only purpose is to infect something. I do not wish to continue banging on about this, i've mentioned it about 4 times. If you can't or dont want to understand it is no longer my problem, i've tried.

Imagine that you produce a knife and someone kills someone else with that knife, then are you responsible for that murder?

A knife is a tool, it has many purposes and many uses. A virus only can perform one action and that action is infection. If you create a virus, you are responsible for the infection it causes and the death it causes. Same with landmines, they really only have one function, to blow the legs off some poor baastard. If you produce landmines, you are morally culpable for that action.

You asked me to name 10 cures....there are 1000s of curative herbs and other substances in the world. There are 1000s of treatments which were created by God and we can discover.

Yes but that was not my point. The point you were trying to contend is God is so loving and he wouldn't let us suffer without giving us a cure. Whats the point of giving us a cure if we cant use it? It's horribly inefficient and breathtakingly cruel. He would do a much better job of SAVING LIVES and PREVENTING MISERY (which as an all loving being he has to do) by curing people directly or never creating the disease in the first place. It is both horribly inefficient and cruel to make us wait to hopefully discover a cure when millions of people have died before we found it, why make us search at all? By wasting time, he has let people die and there are still is still blood on his hands.

Furthermore, who created the ingredients? humans?

In a lot of cases, yes.

Some of these disease fighting medicines, the molecules have never existed in nature before. The shape and composition of them are a totally new creation not found in nature (Zanamivir for example).

Unless you have some completely new points, i consider my dialogue with you to be finished. In my opinion i've consitently defeated every one of your attemps at a defense (i'll leave the rest up to the audience) and we're getting to the point where you and I both keep repeating the same thing over and over. Time is precious and while i do think debate and knowledge is a decent use of my time (especially considering right now i have some free down time and i've already went out enough this week), repeating myself or going around in circles is not. I've given you my arguments. It's up to you whether you actually read them, whether you actually understand them and whether you accept your beliefs are a logical contradiction (especially look at my numbered argument).

I'd be happy to address someone elses *different* objections though.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BE AWARE OF SATAN>>>> HE IS EXPERT IN HIS WORK :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: DON""T U DARE TO BE IGNORANT OF HIM OTHERWISE U R HIS NEXT VICTIM :excl: :excl: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan: :shaytan:

The only people you'll get to believe out of fear are idiots, the ignorants and uneducated fools. I do think souls are quite tasty though.

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----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The only people you'll get to believe out of fear are idiots, the ignorants and uneducated fools. I do think souls are quite tasty though.

well it depends upon the definition of idiots and ignorants................ it might be possible that person considered to be very educated and wise by people and he might reside in hell forever on the other hand an ignorant or idiot in the eyes of people might please His creator so he might be enjoying promised gardens.........................

In my eyes the one who ignore his only enemy(satan) :shaytan: is the biggest idiot, ignorant and uneducated person himself......... and the funny part is, he don't even know about it..............

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Having read most of whats above (Kingpomba does go on a bit :P ) I have to say I do feel fairly convinced by what kingpomba says but firstly to answer the question you asked me in your first post:

In my opinion poverty (unlike disease) is a man made problem. Humans invented money as God invented disease and so to blame God for poverty (in my opinion anyway) is unfair.

But moving back to the above points on disease, like I said before I have to agree with kingpomba on how God certainly created disease knowing what harm it would cause (thats my opinion anyway and thats down to the convincing arguments kingpomba has put across). Yet I have a question, for all atheists anyway:

Usually when atheist talk of God they do what I did in this post. They speak of him in a bad light, showcasing everything thats wrong with this planet as opposed to everything thats right. At the end of the day you do not believe in God but, for arguments sake, you suppose God exists and then you point out disease, miscarriages, death etc but what if I asked you to suppose God exists and then asked you who you blame for life, birth, miracles, cures, happiness etc. Would you also blame God for everything thats good with Earth?

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Usually when atheist talk of God they do what I did in this post. They speak of him in a bad light, showcasing everything thats wrong with this planet as opposed to everything thats right. At the end of the day you do not believe in God but, for arguments sake, you suppose God exists and then you point out disease, miscarriages, death etc but what if I asked you to suppose God exists and then asked you who you blame for life, birth, miracles, cures, happiness etc. Would you also blame God for everything thats good with Earth?

I like that.

Personally I do. If this God existed, he would be responsible for all of the glorious things, just as he would be responsible for the evil.

Then we move on to, what God exists that has both pros and cons...surely no God of Islam or Christianity has cons. And so we are back at square one as non theists.

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Having read most of whats above (Kingpomba does go on a bit :P )

Haha, i'm not going to apologise, if people can't be bothered reading it, thats up to them. It is a very bad habbit of mine around here it seems. Philosophy is more of an art than a science for me, i just write as i think, stream of thoughts as it were. Unless i absolutely have to stay under a limit (some of the university things on my blog), i don't try to.

In my opinion poverty (unlike disease) is a man made problem.Humans invented money as God invented disease and so to blame God for poverty (in my opinion anyway) is unfair.

It depends what you define as poverty, if its just lack of currency, then maybe. I'm talking more international inequality though. Why are people in Papua New Guinea so much worse off than those in New Zealand? The Quran certainly speaks of taxes so it at least incidentally approves of money or is not disgusted by currency existing (not sharing it is a different matter).

A lot of it is down to the actual country. Australia doesn't suffer many natural disasters, neither does Canada in comparison to the USA or Japan. It's even worse in places like Thailand or China with constant flooding, monsoons, ect. So, i think a lot of that is actually down to the natural enviroment.

Gens, Germs and Steel is a great book on the topic (i haven't read it myself but i have heard good things). If you have a horrible attention span like me/not interested enough to read the whole book they also made it into a 3 part documentary (the first episode is really all you need).

Usually when atheist talk of God they do what I did in this post. They speak of him in a bad light, showcasing everything thats wrong with this planet as opposed to everything thats right. At the end of the day you do not believe in God but, for arguments sake, you suppose God exists and then you point out disease, miscarriages, death etc but what if I asked you to suppose God exists and then asked you who you blame for life, birth, miracles, cures, happiness etc. Would you also blame God for everything thats good with Earth?

That's not my Atheist hat on, that's my Philosopher of Religion hat on.

On a day to day basis i dont think just how horrible God is and go around telling people how evil he is. I know someone who fairly regularly argues with his religious friends (dont know why they stick around haha) with his belief and went to a bar mitzvah just to argue with the rabbi, i'm not of that variety. I'm more of an old school atheist rather than the more abrasive new atheists like Dawkins et al who say religion is poisonous and all that.

As an Atheist though all i really believe is there is no God, it about stops there.

It also depends where you live. Here in the West i argue against the monotheistic God of Christianity, Islam and Judaism but maybe in India people would be arguing against different things.

The problem with that argument is its duality. We only need God to provide happiness if happiness is not constant, that is if sadness is present. It's present literally all the time. We only need cures if diseases are around in the first place. I don't believe in literal miracles for other reasons anyway. I think that response is partially borne out of not reading the formal problem of evil ( can't blame you). There are two versions, one that says evil is logically inconsistent with the idea of God, that an all loving, all powerful, all knowing God simply can't exist in the light of evil in the world, it more about evil in general. The second is about certain kinds of evil. It just says that the presence of evil lowers the probability and consistency of such a God existing. It's not so much that its logically consistent with a good God, it's more along the lines of why is there so much evil? Why is the suffering just so bad? Something like the holocaust or fammines in Africa. We did a bit of blending here but i think reading the second one will address a lot of your problems (It's called the evidential problem of evil).

If you assume God is good, then, everything should be as maximally good as possible. It doesn't excuse him that he simply provides us with some goods like the happiness you allege, as an all powerful, all loving being, it doesn't seem automatically obvious that anything at all should be bad, let alone as bad as things ACTUALLY are.

Just in the case of my own personal philosophy, i don't operate just on one argument. I combine many of them together. So, its the fact that all this evil exists (its one of my strongest arguments no doubt) in addition to my other philosophical reasons as well that show God probably (not definitely) doesn't exist.

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I like that.

Personally I do. If this God existed, he would be responsible for all of the glorious things, just as he would be responsible for the evil.

Then we move on to, what God exists that has both pros and cons...surely no God of Islam or Christianity has cons. And so we are back at square one as non theists.

I guess its similar to Yin and Yang really. Without evil there can not be good. Even in the afterlife most religious people (or Muslims at least) believe in Heaven AND Hell. Two places where one is good and one is bad. Because if there was no hell then there couldn't really be a heaven (that however is my opinion maybe religious scholars would say I'm wrong). Having said that, I think that even more convincingly for me, you could look at evil as the absence of good. Scientist believe there is no such think as cold. Whether the temperature is 0 Kelvin, -273.15 Degrees or whatever, that temperature is measured in heat, cold is simply the lack of heat. So maybe some could say God created good in every one of us but in different amounts. Whether God chose who has more good or whether that's down to our upbringing and the people around us however is another question but the same way that scientists don't approve of the word cold, you could say religious people don't approve of the word evil.

And as for kingpomba, I actually don't know how to quote parts of your message (I'm new to shiachat) so I'll simply just go through what you've said in order, hopefully it won't be too confusing.

First of all about your point on poverty. My knowledge in Islam, or in religious debates in general for that matter, is pretty low. So even though I do have an answer, I don't agree its the most convincing but I'll say it anyway. Some would say that natural disasters sometimes open our eyes and make us appreciate what we have. The fact that their are people of all ages dying yet we happen to be safe from these unstoppable forces of nature is in a sense a blessing for us. But again I don't find that the MOST convincing answer so for this case I guess, for the time being, we can leave it at that.

Secondly however on your point on miracles. Surely you've heard of events where certain people have fallen from incredible heights or crashed vehicles at extremely high speeds etc and survived. Personally I've never looked at such situations from a point of view in which I consider God having NOT been responsible, so it may very well be that you have a convincing reply, but like I say these such events in my eyes are miracles. I'm not too sure if you watch football (or soccer if thats what you call it :P ) or even have any interest in it but recently a player by the name of Fabrice Muamba went into cardiac arrest. A player with such a high fitness level had his heart stop beating for over an hour yet he still survived (or was bought back to life I'm not too sure on how it works lol). Again this is another miraculous story which you may have an answer for but I simply can't see one myself.

And lastly, on your point about God being MAXIMALLY good. Like I said above, we Muslims believe in both a Heaven and a Hell, an afterlife whereby you have two realms, one perfect in every sense and one the complete opposite. Now if earth consisted of everything good, or everything bad, we wouldn't really call it earth, but we'd call it heaven or we'd call it hell. The problem is, and correct me if I'm wrong, but atheist don't believe in an afterlife and so they expect to see all of God's mercy right here, right now, on Earth. But if that was the case then he'd have nothing more to give to his worshippers, to the people who have lived their life how he has asked and if you ask me, I think that that, would really be a cruel thing for God to do.

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I guess its similar to Yin and Yang really. Without evil there can not be good. Even in the afterlife most religious people (or Muslims at least) believe in Heaven AND Hell. Two places where one is good and one is bad. Because if there was no hell then there couldn't really be a heaven (that however is my opinion maybe religious scholars would say I'm wrong). Having said that, I think that even more convincingly for me, you could look at evil as the absence of good. Scientist believe there is no such think as cold. Whether the temperature is 0 Kelvin, -273.15 Degrees or whatever, that temperature is measured in heat, cold is simply the lack of heat. So maybe some could say God created good in every one of us but in different amounts. Whether God chose who has more good or whether that's down to our upbringing and the people around us however is another question but the same way that scientists don't approve of the word cold, you could say religious people don't approve of the word evil.

When you perform an action, you can perform a bad action, a neutral action or a good action. If you dont go out to help people, you wont necisserily be destructive. Evil, is not simply a lack of good, it is in opposition of Good. Just because you dont go out to save a life, doesnt mean you automatically become a murderer. So, i wouldnt compare good and evil to hot and cold. Cold by necessity will exist without heat, but a person doesnt become evil if he is not out doing good. If you sit on your couch and watch tv for an hour, you arent becoming an evil person, just because you arent doing anything good.

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When you perform an action, you can perform a bad action, a neutral action or a good action. If you dont go out to help people, you wont necisserily be destructive. Evil, is not simply a lack of good, it is in opposition of Good. Just because you dont go out to save a life, doesnt mean you automatically become a murderer. So, i wouldnt compare good and evil to hot and cold. Cold by necessity will exist without heat, but a person doesnt become evil if he is not out doing good. If you sit on your couch and watch tv for an hour, you arent becoming an evil person, just because you arent doing anything good.

Once again like I said scientists believe only in heat. The term "cold" is one created unscientifically by man and the word essentially means "the LACK of heat". Now think of it like this. God has created heat, yet some places in the world are hotter than others. If the Sahara desert is hotter than the Arctic then that must mean the Arctic is colder than the Sahara. Now look at it in terms of good and evil. If person 1 is more good than person 2, person 2 must be more evil that person 1. I understand what you say when you say there are also neutral actions, actions with no good nor any bad implications. But neutral actions simply lie in-between good and evil. The more good someone is the less evil they are. And we all have some good in us. Whether we are good to ourselves, our families, our friends or even strangers we always are good towards something or someone. Those of us that aren't I'm sure you'll agree are evil. And as you can see those people LACK good.

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Once again like I said scientists believe only in heat. The term "cold" is one created unscientifically by man and the word essentially means "the LACK of heat". Now think of it like this. God has created heat, yet some places in the world are hotter than others. If the Sahara desert is hotter than the Arctic then that must mean the Arctic is colder than the Sahara. Now look at it in terms of good and evil. If person 1 is more good than person 2, person 2 must be more evil that person 1. I understand what you say when you say there are also neutral actions, actions with no good nor any bad implications. But neutral actions simply lie in-between good and evil. The more good someone is the less evil they are. And we all have some good in us. Whether we are good to ourselves, our families, our friends or even strangers we always are good towards something or someone. Those of us that aren't I'm sure you'll agree are evil. And as you can see those people LACK good.

The problem with your analogy is, you can have beings and objects that are not evil/good at all. However, that doesnt necisserily mean they are optimally good/evil (vise versa). You can have beings with gradations of good, without necisserily having one being, being more or less evil than the other being.

I could compare something like, satan to the four horsemen of the apocolypse. Just because satan is considered to be more of a bad guy who does more bad things, doesnt mandate the idea that the four horsemen of the apocolypse more good than satan (because they arent good at all).

With hot and cold, if an ice cube (A) is less hot than another(B ), it(A) by nature is more cold(than B ). With good and evil, if the four horsemen(A) are less bad than satan(B ), they(A) are not necisserily more good(than B ). Because they are not good at all.

This is why you cant compare something like good and evil to hot and cold.

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Other additional ideas to take into account...if good and evil were taken on a case by case basis.

The actions peope perform, do not mandate lesser actions of the opposing moral. If George decides to bake cookies for grandma, he isnt necisserily defeating evil in the process. However, if I heated up an ice cube, i would be automatically making the cube less cold (so you can see the difference between baking cookies and heating ice). His action would be independent of evil, as a person who heated up an ice cube in one glass, would be independent of ice in another.

If you relate good and evil to actions themselves.

Then there are subjective works behind the acts. If bill and george are both evil people, they perform the evil act of killing one another, they arent necisserily doing a good or bad. And by killing eachother they arent necisserily making themselves more good or more bad. It could be an either/or situation or neither at all. With intentions that could also be good, evil, or neither.

Good and evil isnt a black and white concept and it is far from anything as simple as hot and cold. Lacking one does not automatically imply the existance of the other (as it does with the physical nature of hot and cold). And just attempting to even guage such a thing, is quite often, very challanging to do.

With hot and cold, a molecule can vibrate more or less and it is mandated that it be more or less hot and cold as it changes how much it physically moves, and this is a very simple concept. Its just not the same. Thats not a good analogy.

Edited by Belial
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The answer really ties into our purpose on this earth: were here to be tested, not nurtured. God didn't put us on earth to enjoy life w/out any hardships (that priviledge is for the afterlife). He puts these hardships not to punish you but to test you. Through hardships, our true selves come out. The veils we've created for ourselves are shattered when faced w/ hardship.

Also, what make these things "evil"? Poverty makes us look for Allah (swt) and strength our bond w/ him. Disease makes us review our past and repent our sins. Miscarriages show us the importance of life and gives motivation to better ourselves. Every coin has 2 sides. You can't only look at the negatives.

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Asalamu alaykum,

The Prophet Mohammad said:

'Prophets are tried harder than others.

And next to them in this matter is the like of them, the righteous.

People are tried i proportion to the strength of their faith and the one who has strong faith will be tried harder and visa-versa. They are constantly subjected to tests and trials in order to be purified of their sins'.

(Nahj alFasahah ~ Sayings of the Prophet Mohammad a.s. ~ Dastjerdi pg 177, # 1599)

Imam Sadiq said:

'By Allah, you will be tested. By Allah, you will be flown right and left until not one of you will remain except the one whom Allah has promised, fixed faith into their heart and assisted with a power of His'.

(Al Ghaybah~Occultation ~ Numani pg 24)

Imam Baqir said:

'The more faith a servant attains, the harader their life becomes'.

(The Scale of Wisdom ~ Rayshahri, pg 161 and Jami al Akhbar pg 314, #874)

Salams,

Imam Sadiq said:

'When a lot of people do not pay the alms-tax, quadrupeds will die.

When the judges issue unjust decrees, there will be no rain.

When the safety of the unbelievers who are under the protection of Islam is denied, unbelievers will defeat the Muslims'.

(al Khisal ~ Saduq, pg 394)

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This is typical Atheistic thinking: 'Oh if God is all-loving and so good, why are we suffering?'

This ties in with the age old philosophical question: 'Why are we here'?

We are not here to enjoy our Lord's luxuries, we are here only to be tested. Our test will be fair and will determine if we are worthy of enjoying our Lord's luxuries which is Jannah.

Everyone is put to test, and will be pushed as far as we can take it, that is why there is so much suffering around. Be it a feminine, war or poverty.

We should still be thankful that even in this place we call earth ( as our 'examination' room ) He has blessed us with so many of his fine creations. Which is what Surah al-Rehman explains us.

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Been rather busy with life lately and philosophys not something i do unless i both have the free time and will to do it, been hard to come across. I'll try answer some of the objections (even though i know we'll still get nowhere, i think its still useful to talk about them).

Some would say that natural disasters sometimes open our eyes and make us appreciate what we have.

In the process, killing millions and making them suffer on a yearly basis. I dont think allowing such horrible things like malaria is justified by allowing us to appreciate what we have a little more. Indeed, a lot of us are better off than almost all of the world. We live in good, clean, largely safe countries. Especially true for those of us in Japan/AUS/Western Europe/NZ/North America. I live a very comfortable life (perhaps not by the standard of rich people in my country but by the rest of the world), we all do. I am never exposed to malaria, children suffering, poverty or warlords on a day to day basis. Most of us in the western world don't even witness that much at all. We know its bad, we donate to charity and we move on with our lives. The impact it has on 99% of us isn't huge. I'm not (thankfully) witnessing these horrible things, even here natural disasters are fairly rare. So the kind of appreciation it forces me to have by punshing poor people on the other side of the world is almost nothing compared to the appreciation i otherwise would of had anyway.

And lastly, on your point about God being MAXIMALLY good. Like I said above, we Muslims believe in both a Heaven and a Hell, an afterlife whereby you have two realms, one perfect in every sense and one the complete opposite. Now if earth consisted of everything good, or everything bad, we wouldn't really call it earth, but we'd call it heaven or we'd call it hell. The problem is, and correct me if I'm wrong, but atheist don't believe in an afterlife and so they expect to see all of God's mercy right here, right now, on Earth.

See the kind-of-mathematical argument i made here to show why this probably doesn't make sense.

The answer really ties into our purpose on this earth: were here to be tested, not nurtured. God didn't put us on earth to enjoy life w/out any hardships (that priviledge is for the afterlife).

Wouldn't an all loving God just send us straight to the afterlife? An all loving God can not stand evil, this God would try to wipe out as much evil as possible and reduce suffering as much as possible. God being all powerful, in theory, should be able to reduce this suffering to 0.

Also, what make these things "evil"? Poverty makes us look for Allah (swt)

And it also makes you starve to death...

It's evil because its unnecessary suffering. God could of revealed himself to us in ways other than suffering. Choosing suffering to do it is an incredible cruel and sadistic way.

Disease makes us review our past and repent our sins.

And suffer horribly then die...

I know plenty of catholics who just confess their sins to a priest and say a few hail mary's, no intensely powerful cancer needed. Hows that for efficiency!

There are other methods for us to repent and to make us repent.

Miscarriages show us the importance of life and gives motivation to better ourselves.

Do you really think this justifies God allowing the death of babies? He designed us in such a fashion that these things occur, so, if you think abortion is wrong, why is it right when God does it? He could of saved each one of those babies if he so willed but he did not.

We are not here to enjoy our Lord's luxuries

Why not?

Our test will be fair and will determine

God not only standing by and watching but ALLOWING a rape to take place does sound like a fair test.

Imagine if any nearly powerless, not totally good human would do in that situation. If someome not only stood and watched a rape but also had the power to prevent it (aka a gun or something) but didn't because they didn't feel like it, how would you feel? What kind of vile disgust would rise up from the pit of your stomach?

If you feel that disgusted by that action of a nearly powerless, not all good and not all knowing human being, why is it ok for a supremely powerful and supremely good God to do the very same?

If God exists, im very angry at him for allowing rape and child abuse, rightfully so if he has the power to stop it. I don't know for any reason short of insanity why any good human being would be actually thankful for it like you contend.

We should still be thankful that even in this place we call earth ( as our 'examination' room ) He has blessed us with so many of his fine creations. Which is what Surah al-Rehman explains us.

You're right, he did a pretty fine job on Malaria, Cancer, Smallpox, Tuberculosis, Childhood cancer, Diabetes, SIDs, Miscarriages, AIDs, Parasites and all these other wonderful things. You're right, i should be thankful.

You missed the point of the argument, why would a good God allow any evil, *at all*.

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Belial: You make a good point, I guess it is quite a poor example I provided. But even though the example I provided was not very good the point itself is still quite convincing in my opinion. You see I don't believe ANYONE has NO good in them. Even Satan was initially good. Sometimes it's the fault of our environment, upbringing, or whatever the case but I don't believe any human/ jinn/ living thing is born without at least a fractionally small amount of good inside of them.

Jay: The problem with your point is that it only works for people that are watching others suffer. How must those people that are actually suffering feel. I'm not saying you're wrong but I'm sure there's another more reasonable answer. Some people probably can't even pray because they have no access to water.

kingPomba: You're reference didn't directly answer my point but it did bring up a point that I'd like to have a go at answering. You say that we do not need evil to exist so good can exist. But you see I think we do. You say that we don't need our legs to be broken for us to appreciate them, but if evil didn't exist then there would be no such thing as our leg breaking. So in that case we would take our legs for granted as they can't break. Hence we wouldn't appreciate them. In other words evil has to exist to appreciate good. Hopefully you can see the point I am trying to make.

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The topic of God's mercy/love is always an interesting debate point between creationists and agnostics. That said, i have a huge respect for agnostics, who have their right to challenge the existence of God, and do so to gain a better understanding, and accept a truth once they are convinced with logical reasoning, and not just debating to prove their viewpoint is correct while others are wrong. I feel, the shortcomings are from the side of us, the Creationists, because we have not found a clear and decisive way to articulate our beliefs. What i will try to do now, is put forward the fundamentals of life on earth, which could be understood on the most basic level of reflection.

1) As for the concept of suffering/disease/death due to natural phenomena, this world was not meant to be a perfect utopia, where every event causes no harm to the physical environment.this world is governed by a set of physical laws. the sun is meant to be a star that emits heat, that's just what it does. if someone finds themselves in the sahara and dies of heat stroke, you can't blame the sun for doing it's job. tectonic plates are meant to slide over one another and this can result in earthquakes, that is how the earth continues remodelling and that is what's sustaining life on earth. people dying in earthquake struck areas is unfortunate, but the earth doesn't pay attention as to who's on it's surface to decide which is a population free zone in order to conduct tectonic shifting, that doesn't make any sense to the rational mind.

2) As for the concept of people getting hurt by other people's actions: i'm surprised kingpomba when you used the example of why God would let a woman being get raped as a sign of negligence from God, i expected you to have answered this question for yourself a long time ago. For the crimes of rape/murder by ted bundy, will you ever find someone take the american government to court for his crimes? because someone can argue, and say the american government gave ted bundy the freedom to live in society and move around. if they kept him and everyone else locked in their homes, then serial murders would not be committed. that case would be as weak as tony blair's so called scathing dossier on weapons of mass desctruction in iraq. Just like a country's government gives it's citizens set freedoms, they expect those very citizens to act responsibly with aforementioned freedoms, and should a person breach the law, they will be punished accordingly in a court of law. the only difference in God's system, is that punishment is usually reserved for the afterlife.

Furthermore, if God intervened and stopped people from doing certain actions, how can He reward someone or punish someone else in the afterlife? the whole idea of accountability for our actions would be thrown out the window if God interfered.

3) The amount of back and forth debating about the role of bacteria/viruses in the world, i found a little hillarious. to the point that haemogluttinin was discussed in detail! can i humbly say something, as a medical doctor. guys, it's really simple, bacteria are needed in the world to run the way it is, from contributing to the nitrogen presence in the atmosphere, to providing commensal protection in our guts. some bacteria cause disease, yes. All viruses can cause disease and don't seem to have any other tangible benefit, yes again. Back to the original point, this world was not meant to be a perfect utopia. I'll expand on this concept on point 5.

4) The concept of why children (which Islam states are sinless) would get diseases such as leukemia: again you're going back to the point 1, which is the physical world is governed by a set of physical laws. yes that 9 year old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia didn't chain smoke or drink herself to oblivion, but the human body is subject to disease and infection, usually by a dual effect of environmental triggors (eg radiation consumed in food by a pregnant mother living near Chernobyl and passing to her unborn baby) and genetically susceptible individual (the genetics of which we're just starting to understand in science). A virus doesn't look into the back pocket of a teenager to find their age on their driver's license to be 16, and then go 'oops this chappie's too young for me to infect'. No rational scientific mind today would accept such an idea of filtering of disease.

The creationist's argument is if God wanted to create the human with perfect genetics and an impregnable immune system, where everyone lives completely healthy lives to 100 and then die peacefully in their sleep, He could have done so. This is not the human being's purpose in this world. again this is a concept i will expand on point 5

5) if God is merciful why would He create evil at all: first of all, i love this point. because it shows, even an atheist, who has no belief in God, can agree with Creationists that God has to be ALL good! He can't be half good or three quarters good... it's amazing, to see that the fitrah (i.e. in built belief system) is similar in each and every human being. This is where i will have to delve in philosophy a little deeper, but please bear with me, because this is where you will realise i am the yet-to-be-discovered cure for intractable insomnia...

For a moment, let's forget that i am a Muslim, or that i follow any faith. Let's pretend i'm just a human being suspended in space, and i think to myself, why did God not take my permission to create me? i was once nothing, and now He put me in this world of difficulty and i am burdened, and He did not ask my permission to create me. It goes back to the point, i was once nothing, so how can He take permission from me before i existed?? the question being asked here is wrong.

Let's say i accept that He could not have taken my permission when i was nothing, but i'll still ask, why did He create me to begin with? The answer is, existence in itself, is so good for me, there is no need for me to be asked by Him to create me. I think back to my first day in school, with my dad, dressed smartly in his milatary garb, with 5 yr old mohammad (me) holding onto his khaki trousers like my little life depended on it, bawling my eyes out, begging him not to let me go to school. He didn't feel the need to explain in much detail why i needed to go to school, because he knew it was good for me (plus if i left any more wet snot on his pants his mates would have thought he treated waist deep through the amazon river). 21 years later now, and living a comfortable life in the profession i am practising, i see the wisdom behind my dad's decision all those years ago. Right now in this world, we don't see all the wisdom behind God's plans for us, though one day, the Theist's belief dictates, it will make sense.

My brother and sister athiests and agnostics, please let me humbly make a statement i believe, as bold as it may sound, but my understanding is, when you see the negative in the world, and you see your existence as a trivial stellar accident, you still see your lives as important. When you demand good, it is your right to demand good, and when you are disgusted with the evils, it is your right to be disgusted with the evils. You SHOULD be disgusted with the evils, let is anger you. But the anger should be brought into the right direction, not in the wrong direction. the anger shouldn't be brought into the One who brought the good in this world, and this is where the problem lies... you know what i feel animates me? when i look at the news, and hear about children being raped, it disgusts me. women being raped, people buried in mass graves in the dark of the night with no justice sought for them, it's disgusting. It's so difficult to be positive, isn't it? There is so much evil around us... but you see, things start to make more sense, when we use terminology correctly. And the terminology i want to use correctly here is the word: EVIL

All the negativity starts to fall when the evil is termed incorrectly, and this is where the explanations for the first points on my reply fall into place. In my humble opinion, evil is the wilful rejection of good. Meaning, when i have free will, i can choose to do good, and i can choose to reject good, which brings about evil. my wilful rejection of promoting good, leads me to evil, ANY other event is not evil.

For example, a mother carries her newborn in her arms, suddenly gets a tonic-clonic seizure and falls to the ground. the newborn as well falls and due to the impact on it's frail body, dies. Now, no one can blame the mother of committing evil, because there is no WILFUL rejection of good, it is an accident, there is no evil in it. This is different to when someone wilfully rejects good and shoots an innocent person. Thus when you take the notion of free will out, evil doesn't exist. Therefore a natural disaster like a tsunami, or an opportunistic infection or disease in a child, there is no notion of evil for there is no question of choice there, it is an matter of a physical reality taking place.

So all of this discussion begs the question, what is the purpose of our existence? Everyone on this thread, who are either my brothers and sisters in faith, or my equals in humanity, delving into this question is where the beauty of life, and indeed existence, is truly comprehended. It is also a lengthy discussion, but one i wouldn't mind touching upon with my little knowledge, if there is interest expression in me doing so.

May these topics expand our understanding of the world we live in, and most importantly, create harmony between people regardless of creed or culture.

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Just before i start, i find these things rapidly turn circular with people making a good 5-10 posts over little points. I think it would do us much better if we were to actually do these things in the style of a proper debate where replies are limited in scope and number. So, unless i've made some kind of gross misunderstanding, hopefully we don't need to comment again and go around in circles. Let our words speak for themselves. As i've said earlier, i first write philosophy for my own benefit, second for everyone else reading and third for the actual person being responded to (no disrespect to them of course). So, hopefully it doesn't end up in a circle.

The topic of God's mercy/love is always an interesting debate point between creationists and agnostics.

I'm not sure if English is your first language or not (can't blame you, seems like a b*rstard of a language to learn) but you're not really using those terms in the way they're understood by most.

You can be religions and/or believe in a God without being a creationist. Many of my friends are religious but accept evolution as a scientific fact for instance. The catholic church accepts evolution as well.

So, i think its better framed in terms of those who believe in the God of Abraham (Jews, Christians & Muslims) and everyone else.

As for the concept of suffering/disease/death due to natural phenomena, this world was not meant to be a perfect utopia

An all loving being would minimise suffering as much as possible and maximise good, so, it stands to reason th world SHOULD be a perfect utopia.

Indeed, to be maximally good, it would have almost no choice but to maximise good, if it didn't, God would no longer be a maximally good being.

Yes, you might be able to argue that some bad things occur to allow an even greater good to come about but its extremely difficult, if not impossible, to argue that this is the case for every single instance of suffering. If there is even one case of unneeded suffering, then, the whole idea of God just goes up in flames according to the formal argument,

Argument:

(1)There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse.

(2) An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse

(3) (Therefore) There does not exist an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being.

governed by a set of physical laws....

God is an all powerful, all perfect, unconstrained being. God could of designed the "physical laws" to be any way he wanted them unless you're willing to contend the laws exist above and even higher than God.

the sun is meant to be a star that emits heat,

A key part of the debates of this nature is comming up with premises that your opponent accepts, if you use ones that they dont, they could simply say i dont believe in this premise and since your conclucsion is derived from the premise, they shoot down your entire conclusion as well.

I don't believe there is any inherent meaning so, this is just going to go nowhere..

if someone finds themselves in the sahara and dies of heat stroke, you can't blame the sun for doing it's job.

I can blame God for designing our bodies poorly.

I can blame God for not saving them.

God gave Hagar a miraculous well in the desert. It's clear he does intervene to save people. Yet, most of the time, he oesn't and people die.

tectonic plates are meant to slide over one another and this can result in earthquakes,

God being an all powerful being could of designed it in a different way. They are not "meant" to do anything. Tectonic plates dont have some kind of pre-destined meaning. What they do is a result of their properties, just like how xenon behaves is a result of its properties.

As for the concept of people getting hurt by other people's actions: i'm surprised kingpomba when you used the example of why God would let a woman being get raped as a sign of negligence from God

Let my explain.

Think of a rational, sane, person. You or I. Your Father or your wife or your daughter.

There is a rape occurring in the street, right in front of you. You have a loaded pistol. There will be absolutely no legal repercussions for you using it. You will feel no regret afterwards. So, what is the right thing to do? What would a good, moral, human being do? Would you stand by and just watch the rape or would you prevent it?

You would expect any good person to stop it.

This is for a relatively powerless, not totally good or moral human being.

Apply this to an ALL powerful, MAXIMALLY good and PERFECTLY moral God.

It seems a farce that he just watches.

In some countries you can be charged for failing to render assistance when you're able. I think we should put God in trial.

if they kept him and everyone else locked in their homes, then serial murders would not be committed.

Furthermore, if God intervened and stopped people from doing certain actions

the whole idea of accountability for our actions would be thrown out the window if God interfered.

This would be a good defense. I would accept it.

Why don't i? Because God has intervened in human history before.

What you are using is academically referred to as the free will defence. That God can't prevent people committing rape etc. otherwise it would invalidate free will. Here is the problem; God has intervened before and on a fairly large scale. I'm not talking about arranging a few flowers, I’m talking about sending plagues and natural disasters.

For example, in the case of pharoh:

So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.). [7:133 M.K Trans]

So We took retribution from them, and We drowned them in the sea because they denied Our signs and were heedless of them. And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed. And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured. And We destroyed [all] that Pharaoh and his people were producing and what they had been building. And We took the Children of Israel across the sea; then they came upon a people intent in devotion to [some] idols of theirs. They said, "O Moses, make for us a god just as they have gods." He said, "Indeed, you are a people behaving ignorantly. Indeed, those [worshippers] - destroyed is that in which they are [engaged], and worthless is whatever they were doing." He said, "Is it other than Allah I should desire for you as a god while He has preferred you over the worlds?" And [recall, O Children of Israel], when We saved you from the people of Pharaoh, [who were] afflicting you with the worst torment - killing your sons and keeping your women alive. And in that was a great trial from your Lord.And We made an appointment with Moses for thirty nights and perfected them by [the addition of] ten; so the term of his Lord was completed as forty nights. And Moses said to his brother Aaron, "Take my place among my people, do right [by them], and do not follow the way of the corrupters." [7:136 - 142 SI Trans.]

This is not a light touch, this is God intervening on a massive scale to help people, in this case to save people from genocide and oppresion.

So, there is no metaphysical or logical reason that says God cant interfere. It's proved by the Quran its possible, its just that he chooses not to.

If God did this to Pharaoh, where was he in Auschwitz? Why did God do nothing to stop hitler but quite happily drowned Pharaoh?

God can intervene. It's proven by your own holy book. There is no metaphysical barrier. It's just that he chooses not to. Now, tell me, where was God in Auschwitz?

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All viruses can cause disease and don't seem to have any other tangible benefit, yes again.

So, you agree the sole purpose of viruses is to cause what can essentially be reduced to harm and suffering.

An all good God would not design such a thing then plague us with it.

usually by a dual effect of environmental triggors (eg radiation consumed in food by a pregnant mother living near Chernobyl and passing to her unborn baby) and genetically susceptible individual (the genetics of which we're just starting to understand in science).

I'm a scientist, treating me like a 5 year old really isn't necessary in this case ;)

but the human body is subject to disease and infection,

Here's the thing, As a creationist, you accept God created everything. God, an all perfect being, can not make something imperfect. Yet, we are. As a doctor, i'm sure you realise all the flaws of our body. God designed us in such a way to make us subject to disease and infection that ultimately cause suffering. If he wanted to, as an all powerful being, he could have chosen otherwise but he didn't. He has to answer for this.

Let's say i accept that He could not have taken my permission when i was nothing

I see no reason why he need permission, so, this whole point is null. It doesn't seem an automatic logically necessity that he needed to ask us. It barely even makes sense to me.

The answer is, existence in itself, is so good for me, there is no need for me to be asked by Him to create me.

Maybe for you as a wealthy doctor but it's hard to argue that existence is better for a parasite ridden 3 year old in Mali. They die a few days later. They suffered for their entire life with our hypothetical parasite. I'd argue its better for them to not exist in the first place. It would be the kinder thing to do. God is all knowing (omniscient), so, he knew this would happen and the circumstances under which the child would die, yet, he created him anyway. His existence most definitely wasn't good.

Right now in this world, we don't see all the wisdom behind God's plans for us, though one day, the Theist's belief dictates, it will make sense.

I dont accept this logic.

Unless you can tell me the reason, you can't justify it by hoping there is a good one.

Thus when you take the notion of free will out, evil doesn't exist. Therefore a natural disaster like a tsunami, or an opportunistic infection or disease in a child, there is no notion of evil for there is no question of choice there, it is an matter of a physical reality taking place.

I do not accept this. IF I designed a horrible disease, whose sole biological function was to infect and cause death, then did not release it into the world killing billions, that would not be a good act nor would it be a neutral act. It would be an evil act. God designed the world the way it is, prone to natural disasters and God created viruses the way they are, with the sole function to cause infection and suffering. It is an obviously evil act unless otherwise justified (this is intuitive but as per the formal argument as well).

Edited by kingpomba
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The topic of God's mercy/love is always an interesting debate point between creationists and agnostics. That said, i have a huge respect for agnostics, who have their right to challenge the existence of God, and do so to gain a better understanding, and accept a truth once they are convinced with logical reasoning, and not just debating to prove their viewpoint is correct while others are wrong. I feel, the shortcomings are from the side of us, the Creationists, because we have not found a clear and decisive way to articulate our beliefs. What i will try to do now, is put forward the fundamentals of life on earth, which could be understood on the most basic level of reflection.

1) As for the concept of suffering/disease/death due to natural phenomena, this world was not meant to be a perfect utopia, where every event causes no harm to the physical environment.this world is governed by a set of physical laws. the sun is meant to be a star that emits heat, that's just what it does. if someone finds themselves in the sahara and dies of heat stroke, you can't blame the sun for doing it's job. tectonic plates are meant to slide over one another and this can result in earthquakes, that is how the earth continues remodelling and that is what's sustaining life on earth. people dying in earthquake struck areas is unfortunate, but the earth doesn't pay attention as to who's on it's surface to decide which is a population free zone in order to conduct tectonic shifting, that doesn't make any sense to the rational mind.

2) As for the concept of people getting hurt by other people's actions: i'm surprised kingpomba when you used the example of why God would let a woman being get raped as a sign of negligence from God, i expected you to have answered this question for yourself a long time ago. For the crimes of rape/murder by ted bundy, will you ever find someone take the american government to court for his crimes? because someone can argue, and say the american government gave ted bundy the freedom to live in society and move around. if they kept him and everyone else locked in their homes, then serial murders would not be committed. that case would be as weak as tony blair's so called scathing dossier on weapons of mass desctruction in iraq. Just like a country's government gives it's citizens set freedoms, they expect those very citizens to act responsibly with aforementioned freedoms, and should a person breach the law, they will be punished accordingly in a court of law. the only difference in God's system, is that punishment is usually reserved for the afterlife.

Furthermore, if God intervened and stopped people from doing certain actions, how can He reward someone or punish someone else in the afterlife? the whole idea of accountability for our actions would be thrown out the window if God interfered.

3) The amount of back and forth debating about the role of bacteria/viruses in the world, i found a little hillarious. to the point that haemogluttinin was discussed in detail! can i humbly say something, as a medical doctor. guys, it's really simple, bacteria are needed in the world to run the way it is, from contributing to the nitrogen presence in the atmosphere, to providing commensal protection in our guts. some bacteria cause disease, yes. All viruses can cause disease and don't seem to have any other tangible benefit, yes again. Back to the original point, this world was not meant to be a perfect utopia. I'll expand on this concept on point 5.

4) The concept of why children (which Islam states are sinless) would get diseases such as leukemia: again you're going back to the point 1, which is the physical world is governed by a set of physical laws. yes that 9 year old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia didn't chain smoke or drink herself to oblivion, but the human body is subject to disease and infection, usually by a dual effect of environmental triggors (eg radiation consumed in food by a pregnant mother living near Chernobyl and passing to her unborn baby) and genetically susceptible individual (the genetics of which we're just starting to understand in science). A virus doesn't look into the back pocket of a teenager to find their age on their driver's license to be 16, and then go 'oops this chappie's too young for me to infect'. No rational scientific mind today would accept such an idea of filtering of disease.

The creationist's argument is if God wanted to create the human with perfect genetics and an impregnable immune system, where everyone lives completely healthy lives to 100 and then die peacefully in their sleep, He could have done so. This is not the human being's purpose in this world. again this is a concept i will expand on point 5

5) if God is merciful why would He create evil at all: first of all, i love this point. because it shows, even an atheist, who has no belief in God, can agree with Creationists that God has to be ALL good! He can't be half good or three quarters good... it's amazing, to see that the fitrah (i.e. in built belief system) is similar in each and every human being. This is where i will have to delve in philosophy a little deeper, but please bear with me, because this is where you will realise i am the yet-to-be-discovered cure for intractable insomnia...

For a moment, let's forget that i am a Muslim, or that i follow any faith. Let's pretend i'm just a human being suspended in space, and i think to myself, why did God not take my permission to create me? i was once nothing, and now He put me in this world of difficulty and i am burdened, and He did not ask my permission to create me. It goes back to the point, i was once nothing, so how can He take permission from me before i existed?? the question being asked here is wrong.

Let's say i accept that He could not have taken my permission when i was nothing, but i'll still ask, why did He create me to begin with? The answer is, existence in itself, is so good for me, there is no need for me to be asked by Him to create me. I think back to my first day in school, with my dad, dressed smartly in his milatary garb, with 5 yr old mohammad (me) holding onto his khaki trousers like my little life depended on it, bawling my eyes out, begging him not to let me go to school. He didn't feel the need to explain in much detail why i needed to go to school, because he knew it was good for me (plus if i left any more wet snot on his pants his mates would have thought he treated waist deep through the amazon river). 21 years later now, and living a comfortable life in the profession i am practising, i see the wisdom behind my dad's decision all those years ago. Right now in this world, we don't see all the wisdom behind God's plans for us, though one day, the Theist's belief dictates, it will make sense.

My brother and sister athiests and agnostics, please let me humbly make a statement i believe, as bold as it may sound, but my understanding is, when you see the negative in the world, and you see your existence as a trivial stellar accident, you still see your lives as important. When you demand good, it is your right to demand good, and when you are disgusted with the evils, it is your right to be disgusted with the evils. You SHOULD be disgusted with the evils, let is anger you. But the anger should be brought into the right direction, not in the wrong direction. the anger shouldn't be brought into the One who brought the good in this world, and this is where the problem lies... you know what i feel animates me? when i look at the news, and hear about children being raped, it disgusts me. women being raped, people buried in mass graves in the dark of the night with no justice sought for them, it's disgusting. It's so difficult to be positive, isn't it? There is so much evil around us... but you see, things start to make more sense, when we use terminology correctly. And the terminology i want to use correctly here is the word: EVIL

All the negativity starts to fall when the evil is termed incorrectly, and this is where the explanations for the first points on my reply fall into place. In my humble opinion, evil is the wilful rejection of good. Meaning, when i have free will, i can choose to do good, and i can choose to reject good, which brings about evil. my wilful rejection of promoting good, leads me to evil, ANY other event is not evil.

For example, a mother carries her newborn in her arms, suddenly gets a tonic-clonic seizure and falls to the ground. the newborn as well falls and due to the impact on it's frail body, dies. Now, no one can blame the mother of committing evil, because there is no WILFUL rejection of good, it is an accident, there is no evil in it. This is different to when someone wilfully rejects good and shoots an innocent person. Thus when you take the notion of free will out, evil doesn't exist. Therefore a natural disaster like a tsunami, or an opportunistic infection or disease in a child, there is no notion of evil for there is no question of choice there, it is an matter of a physical reality taking place.

So all of this discussion begs the question, what is the purpose of our existence? Everyone on this thread, who are either my brothers and sisters in faith, or my equals in humanity, delving into this question is where the beauty of life, and indeed existence, is truly comprehended. It is also a lengthy discussion, but one i wouldn't mind touching upon with my little knowledge, if there is interest expression in me doing so.

May these topics expand our understanding of the world we live in, and most importantly, create harmony between people regardless of creed or culture.

Salam Brother ,

Most disease are created in labs .

refer to the iron mountain report

it's all part of the depopulation programme

most natural disasters are also man made

Have you heard of HAARP

there's one close to you at pine gap .

It created the earthquakes and Tsunamis that killed many people .

They also created hurricanes and other strange destructive weather .

And GOD stands for governance ordinance department .

All praise be to :Allah (swt) .

WS

Edited by :Sami
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Well we can, but that is not our sole purpose. The main task being here is to pass the test, in that process if we are enjoying our Lord's luxuries the halal way, then there is no harm in doing so.

Evil happens because that was his/her test.

An incident occurred during the time of Moses (as) where his loyal companion came to meet him. Moses (as) left telling his companion to wait for his return. The companion waited in complete obedience for the Prophet. When Moses (as) came back, he saw a pack of wolves, drinking the companions blood and eating pieces of him. Moses (as) was disappointed and questioned Allah's mercy as all the loyal companion did was to wait for his Prophet in obedience and yet his blood and pieces were splat-erred just about everywhere. Imagine the pain that guy went through.

To this Allah showed his place in Jannah as promised. It was so amazing that Moses (as) was content for his companion even after what he went through.

This means even if so much suffering is going through, it is still His test and our rewards for it will be beyond our humanly imagination.

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