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The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

problem of suffering, and God - a loving God can still exist

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 809 times Debate No: 60122
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (3)




it is often argued that God doesn't exist or doesnt care, due to the problem of suffering. here i am mostly looking at suffering of people who did nothing to cause it, and not at issues with evil acts. mostly natural suffering like being born in pain or dying in pain due to disease.

i admit this is a tough philosophical problem.

here are some ways i reconcile this with a loving God:

-first, it's important to note that i do not argue that we are being punished for being sinful, as some traditionally argue.
1. we are born in the condition where we belong. we are sinful, by our nature, so we only have so much of his nature to sustain us. without all of it, there are problems, including pain. we are imperfect pictures. we can will ourselves in God's light and move on into a better picture. so this is to say.... can't God fix our situation? no, he can't. just like God can't lie, God can't do something to us that our vibrations don't allow. the science of our situation is set, and God tends not to meddle in science.
2. for the least innocent, it might be seen as maybe permissible to allow pain. but for the most innocent, how could God allow that? id argue that if they were so great, they would want to be put into an existence with the possiblity of pain, so they could spread the news of God's love and help bring the problems to an end. plus even the most innocent are sinners, and are where they belong
this doesn't really address extreme situations, that's in the next point.
3. if you were to ask almost anyone, would they rather never live or live a somewhat pained life, almost everyone would say live anyway. there is an extremely small fraction that would say never live, especially for extreme situtations of suffering. but i could only chaulk that up to demonstrating that we are put here to conincide with the level of God's light in us. without it all, we have problems, and pain.
4. if you look into physics, there are theories that say our life is fleeting, and in reality could be seen to have occurred in the blink of an eye. i've looked into the theories and it makes sense, if the theories are true. this points out that it's almost a dream, that our life may be pained, but it's really of extremely little consequence in the bigger picture. this is my weakest argument, cause it is still of some consequence.

i concede my biggest weakness is that God even allows any of this stuff to begin with. which is why i still struggle with the point. but, God can only allow for what coincides with our inherent nature and free will decisions.


The love of the deity is non-existent. In direct contention to your numbered points I will offer my own.

1. The proposition of "sin" has no verifiable value. The deity in question simply decides what is sinful which in turn puts us at odds with the deity itself. It is no different than your parents wantonly deciding what is sinful and then punishing you for things regardless of their moral or ethical value while also being immune to the same judgments regardless of their moral or ethical value. The statement that we are "sinful by nature" produces the problem that we are essentially not what this deity wanted at all and we fall short of the design and somehow we are punished for this rather than implying that we've any chance at attaining the perfect state we needed to be in to not be discarded.

2. The proposition of "innocence" has no verifiable value for the same reason as the proposition of "sin". The deity in question arbitrarily decides who is and is not functionally innocent; stories of ascension for instance (using Christian Mythos for this) such as Elijah boggle the mind. Elijah was human, faithful, and holy but he was not sinless, so then how did he ascend into heaven?

2 Kings 2:10-12 KJV

[10 So he said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so." 11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!" So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. ] (

This produces a conundrum in the case of the innocent. How those who did not do anything or have been pious still suffered under the guise of a loving deity even though in the time of this writing for Christian Mythos all humans went to hell, none were spared, and it did not matter since you were boring into sin. This renders the concept of "innocence" itself null to the deity. No one can be innocent as all are born under the burden of sin, yet some were spared for their works and service and faith.

3. The insistence on life and living however may not have anything to do with the will to thrive under the notion of spreading a deity's message or serving a deity's purpose. The concept of the human tool does not necessarily coincide with the notion that we strive to live and to feel pleasure amongst the pain of life. There is no reasonable assertion that assumes the two are one-in-the-same.

4. The problem is that it does not deal inherently with the necessity of a deity. It doesn't attempt to prove nor disprove nor addresses the nature of a deity if one is in the model itself.
Debate Round No. 1


1 to be more precise i said we aren't being punished. and it's not per se about sin but then it is. we live whee the level of light corresponds with who we are. it's innate. we have problems because our light is not bright enough.

2. God didn't arbitrarily decide who is clean or not. everyone has a sin problem. that is not arbitrary. as for elijah who cares about bible stories maybe it was a made up story. the bibel doesn't have to be infallible fo this debate i'm having to be true. and whateve made elijah legit fo heaven was sufficient, we may not know, but it doesnt mean it doesn't exist, that standard.

3 all we have to go on is faith. faith that there is a way to get out of the bad that we are in. the gospel of Jesus Christ. if this is true, the most innocent would want to be here to spread the message. but all fall short and we are where we fit in, that's just the way it is. and ou life is not totally disordered. thee is much good ness to life, and we can assume God wants it that way.

4 i don't have to prove a deity here. i'm just stating some alternative physics theories that would minimize our pain and suffering in the bigge picture. that would onl y help support the idea of a deity ause that idea is supposed to eb based on love, and a shortened time frame is a loving time frame.

bottomline "but why does it have to be this way?" "because it correponds with our nature and who we are"


1. If we are not sufficient as we are then we are being condemned for what we are which is far worse than condemnation based on what you do. "Sin" may have no basis and be arbitrary but outright racism against the human species is petty and the capital example of unloving behavior. There is no way to claim to be loving and so harshly judgmental as to reject anything based purely on it's nature and consider it too inferior for your presence.

2. If #1 were true the "Sin" problem no longer matters. If #2 is true then we are not condemned based on our nature (the "dimness of this light") and were made sufficiently to emulate the light. The "Sin" standard is set forth by the deity therefore what makes a person clean or unclean is based on their behaviors and measurable actions not their nature which makes it completely arbitrary to the whims of the deity. Unless there is reasoning behind the deity's decisions it is functionally arbitrary and a matter of "like" and "do not like".

3. Faith in a deity is not required to live a full and happy life. Faith in a deity does not denote faith in a specific doctrine either. The fact that we are relinquished to faith to justify our suffering is problematic, the fact that a man (Jesus) had to die for our suffering and that we could not be forgiven or cleansed by the grace and power of the deity we worship is problematic who creates for us the "Sin" and wages of sin which is Death, and then the fact that we long-suffer and are expected to praise our progenitor for no other reason than they are our progenitor whether the "Sin" weighs against us or our "Nature" weighs against us presents the ultimate problem. In essence we are a failed experiment, our servitude is nothing more than slavery, and we seek to through blind faith fulfill the tasks rendered unto us which is to do nothing more than propagate our progenitor. The deity who could not love us enough to allow us inside demands our homage and sacrifices lives, whether they be of animals or humans, in blood in order to grant us peace? On what plane does blood sacrifice make sense? In what realm is violence the only way to salvation?

4. Yet the concept of a loving deity is not inherent. That's the problem, for all we could know the very cosmos is conscious and loving and doesn't compass a deity or deistic role. If that's the case there's no credence granted.

The only problem with the assertion that it corresponds with who we are is that there's no proof that it does. It's a baseless assertion.
Debate Round No. 2


1. it's not about God judging us as unworthy. it's about us being unworthy. we have only a certain amont of light within us cause that is our nature. that is the way of the world, the science of things. God can't intervene much, or doesn't, as he just les the universe do its thing for the most part.

2. it's like like it's God's decision. it's a matter of the way thigns are. if you drop an apple, it falls. if you have lower light within you, you can expeience problems and pain.

3. all your theological points are up for debate. blood sacrifice to atone for ins, everything. all im providing is a minimalist approach. a possible explanation for how a loving God can allow a creation that is in such pain. i don't see you thinking of much anything better? at least, without reject the idea of God. if we retain the idea of God, I'm doing hte best thee is possible.

4 God does not even need to exist for my theoiries to be true. but the bottom line is that we are inadequate by nature so we expereince pain.


1. If we were created with a limited amount of light that is too little for us to be worthy by the same deity then our nature is predetermined and therefore we are unworthy by design. If we are unworthy by design as per the hard limitation then there is no way that a loving creator deity can be considered as that is equivalent in human terms to setting someone up to fail giving them just enough to function but not enough to prosper.

2. If it is not the deities decision how things are then the question is begotten of whether it is the deities decision to love and pursue the alleviation of suffering. Presuming the deity is loving but without power to do anything and is not the creator deity is the only functional way to make sense of the proposition of acceptance with what is equivalent to basic pity. If the deity is the creator deity then the world is flawed and the creation is flawed and no attempt to fix this has been made. If the deity is powerful then the inaction seen in the world is troubling and inaction or indifference is not loving. However if the deity is both then tyranny is present.

3. You brought up Jesus. By doing so insert blood sacrifice as that is the literal role of Jesus in Christianity. Returning to minimalism there is still no valid reasoning for why the deity is, has, or was a loving being relative to the pain present in the world. If we presume nothing but a hand's off presence in the universe, that it is not the creator, it is not powerful, and it is not even connected to humanity directly, we are at a loss for the ability to show for it's nature whether that incorporates being loving or otherwise. Putting that wall between humans and the deity grants us no further insight.

4. Actually the deity must be true for your theories to be even testable if at all true (if a deity isn't proven how can you prove or assess it's nature?). The argument of inadequacy also needs backing (and a tangible scale, how do we know we're inadequate other than your declaration?). At it's simplest all humans will experience in contrasts because that is how our brains our built, whether it is what we see in light and dark, what we touch in hot or cold, sharp or dull, solid or liquid, etc. or whether it is more intangible such as happiness and sadness, suffering and strength, love and hate, etc. The core reality is that at the most basic level everyone will experience these contrasts based on their perceptions alone and it has no need for a deity, loving or otherwise, a soul, a "light", or any form of adequacy.
Debate Round No. 3
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3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Truth_seeker 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro could've won if he/she elaborated on his/her argument 2. At first, no one was really winning until con simply gave one at the end of the round for 2 which pro failed to address beforehand.
Vote Placed by Pfalcon1318 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:43 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, S/G, Sources: Voter "Vexorator" gave no reasons for giving Con the points for any of these, as such, I am giving them to PRO so that CON and PRO are on equal footing. However, in relation to arguments provided, PRO has not held their BoP. PRO's assertions were easily objected to, with several objections being completely dropped. CON also provided reasons to believe that the proposition is, in fact, false, meaning that CON's arguments, despite a few irrelevant arguments towards the coherence of the concept of a deity, were much stronger than PRO's. I am happy to discuss my decision.
Vote Placed by Vexorator 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to prove anything and just preached. Con gave much more logical and sound arguments. Votes go to Con.

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