Recently, Brett and Kate posted an article that put bitter and sweet, heartbreak and joy, and success and failure in the context of contrast. Inevitably this viewpoint was applied to good and evil, and subsequently, God.

I responded to the article thusly:

Many people have trouble dealing with extreme evil, pain, and suffering and therefore cannot fathom an omnipotent and yet loving God. However:

1. We have the knowledge of good and evil.
2. We have the ability to love others, and the need to be loved.
3. We have free will.

Imagine a line that goes from black and white, with shades of gray in between. (If you can't, search for "gray scale")
Now let black represent the most horrible evil you can imagine and white represent absolute good.
Let's say black is too evil, so God decides to get rid of it. Since we know the darkest gray is the most evil thing on the planet, we ask "Why does God allow dark gray?" never knowing that there was a black at all. You can eliminate the darker half of the scale, but that only gives us less options, it doesn't change the fact that know this gray(or action) is more evil than this gray. Even if we remove all but the lightest of grays, that gray will still become the darkest and most evil thing we know, thereby unacceptable, which brings us to the problem of whether or not to have one color or two and you cannot have free will without at least two options. I would not be surprised if there were evils blacker than black that God has seen fit to keep from us already...

...I have more to add, but am out of time for the moment, and will have to come back later.

Any comments? Qualms? Ideas?

Views: 146

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hey Evan.  Glad to see you chose to break out and explore some of these important and fascinating details that surfaced as a result of the Can't Have Sweet without the Bitter post.  I had to wait for my membership to get approved before I could comment.

I found the theist vs. atheist contrast that emerged very interesting.  There were many interesting comments.  The atheists seemed to be more 'militant' and contemptuous in their comments.  I don't know if that's a result of feeling outnumbered, or just arrogant. I like your philosophical take on the grey scale.  I agree that we can only judge good and bad in respect to what we're aware of as being the best and worst.  I've contemplated that issue of whether or not you can have the good without the bad before.  As one respondent said:  It sounds like what the Christians say heaven will be like.  And there is some truth to that.  But not in the way the character from the Twilight Zone episode experienced it.

I wrote a blog post entitled The Pain Benefit which is similar and explores the idea of how pain provides an opportunity for growth.  We don't like it, but it has a purpose.

That's at .

I will have to think on this.  My sense now is that we think too small:  people might not complain that God is evil if he allowed occasional stomach upset, say -- or maybe we would! -- but He does seem to think bigger that the rest of us.  "Let me have my small life" -- "No, I want you to do more." Growing up is not easy.

I'd recommend green tea for that upset stomach. It's one of God's miracle drugs.

Here's some more info on it. 

I forgot to mention: drink it without sugar, or even honey. You reap the health benefits by drinking it bitter which is ironic, isn't it, considering the thread topic.


Latest Activity

Michael D. Denny replied to Specs's discussion Movember 2015
"Meh. The whole thing is a bit too hipster for me. I just quietly write checks to the charities that are closest to my heart and roll out. The mustache is purely because I like it."
3 hours ago
Michael D. Denny replied to Mongoose's discussion Thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader who Raped a 15 Year Old?
"Sounds like, well, the implications of having a sexual relationship with purtty much anyone regardless of age. What you just described was not the emotional and psychological issues of a 15 year old boy with a grown woman. What you just described…"
5 hours ago
David R. replied to Pale Horse's discussion "Dear Fat People" in the group The Great Debate
"Part of the problem is the assumption that not-fat people are healthy (and exercise and watch their diet) while fat people are unhealthy (they do not exercise or watch their diet).  These are gross exaggerations.  (For example, i am a fat…"
5 hours ago
Specs posted a discussion

Movember 2015

I was just wondering if any of y'all plan on contributing or doing anything for Movember this year? As you all (should probably) know Movember is a cause/movement where men grow mustaches for the month of November to raise awareness for mens health concerns and problems.  It's a good cause and I am just wondering what you normally do?  Last year I grew a mustache.  I tried to find a picture but I guess I didn't take any.  Feel free to share your mustache pictures from the past or for this year…See More
5 hours ago
David Hernández Nieto updated their profile
5 hours ago
David R. replied to Mongoose's discussion Thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader who Raped a 15 Year Old?
"Thank you,"
5 hours ago replied to Mongoose's discussion Thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader who Raped a 15 Year Old?
"I worked for years at a mental health agency that specialized in the treatment of survivors of sexual abuse.  I'm just going to talk about cases of boys in their mid-teens who were willing sexual participants with much older…"
5 hours ago
David R. replied to Mongoose's discussion Thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader who Raped a 15 Year Old?
"I am over it.  One of the main non-sexual issues it left for me (and for other boys molested by males) is the difficulty in trusting men -- when most of your bosses are men, that can be a big issue.  Usually it takes a guy to reach his 30s…"
5 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service