Re: [asa] (freewill) Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution

From: Bethany Sollereder <>
Date: Mon Aug 17 2009 - 12:24:17 EDT


A couple of comments. "Good" does not necessarily mean "perfect". Many
philosophers and theologians have argued over this ground, and "good" can
also mean "good for the purpose it was intended for", which might mean
having freewill and even possibly abusing that freewill. In Irenaeus' view,
being "good" meant being destined for a hard-won eventual perfection, which
even included the so-called "fall". So, in this line of thinking, evil is
not good, but what is good (freewill and the progress towards perfection)
will lead a person through all kinds of contingent evil.

2nd point, and this is probably more volatile and periphery than it is
worth, but "God is all-knowing" can only mean God knows the future if the
future is something that can logically be known. That is precisely the
issue over which the open theism debate has been raging. They claim that
"omniscience" means "everything that can logically be known", which, they
insist, does not in fact include the future.

Finally, there are (especially in biology) times where the very goodness of
a thing is found *in* its badness (not evilness). Think of pain. Our CNS
protects us as we amble around precisely because pain is unpleasant and we
avoid it. When pain does not hurt (as with congenital insensitivity to
pain, or Hansen's disease), it also fails to protect and those who suffer
from these conditions do so precisely because they cannot suffer in the
normal ways.

All in all, we need to be careful about definitions: good (value), bad,
perfect, good (moral), evil, omniscient, etc. Also, we need to be more
careful about the relations we make been things like "pain", "suffering" (I
would also add "death") and "evil".


On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 9:00 AM, Dehler, Bernie <>wrote:

> David Clounch said:
> “Why does a loving God allow suffering and evil? It has to do with free
> will. He could easily fix it all if only he would override our free will.”
> God created man with freewill and said it was good. Then the fall
> happened. Evil can’t be because of freewill because God said it was good;
> unless evil is good, because evil flows from freewill. We know that evil is
> not good by definition. It is impossible for humans not to sin, because of
> freewill, so the fall was inevitable. Therefore God designed us knowing
> that we will sin, if God is all-knowing. Correct?
> I think the reason none of this makes sense is because it is ‘ancient
> theology.’ It is like trying to make sense of the science or history of the
> Bible, but it is wrong because it is ancient.
> I appreciate any feedback in showing me the error of my logic.
> …Bernie
> ------------------------------
> *From:* David Clounch []
> *Sent:* Friday, August 14, 2009 4:07 PM
> *To:* Dehler, Bernie
> *Cc:*
> *Subject:* Re: [asa]
> Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution
> Consider all the spontaneous abortions (naturally occurring), still
> births, birth defects, etc. God created all those people specifically to
> die? I myself had a daughter that died a few moments after birth, due to
> birth defects. I don’t think that was God’s direct will (you will likely
> say His permissive will). And it is not just about my experience- it is
> multiplied my many times all over the world, even more in undeveloped
> nations (where even healthy babies and mom’s die due to birth complications
> that could be avoided in the USA). So God made you and has plans for your
> life… what about all those others who died way too premature? This is not a
> TE or YEC question, but a question really posed for all Christians to
> consider… one I struggle with too.
> Yes, I agree, the universe sucks. And we all suffer tragedy and wonder
> why. There is one decision we all have to make: Do we believe God is good
> in spite of it? That is the million dollar question.
> Its not an academic subject by any means. Most people totally avoid
> deciding this until they experience suffering in their personal lives. And
> then it is an agonizing thought process.
> Why does a loving God allow suffering and evil? It has to do with free
> will. He could easily fix it all if only he would override our free will.
> Fred Heeren's book does a really good job of dealing with this. (Fred is
> a list member - and he gives me a 25% discount for plugging his book. No he
> doesn't.).

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Received on Mon Aug 17 12:25:19 2009

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