Sunday, March 1, 2009

Causality and Satan

I've seen it over and over again, where those arguing against the Judeo-Christian God bring up things like pain and suffering in the world and how a benevolent God wouldn't allow such atrocities to occur. Such people often bring up Judeo-Christian ideas of God such as His benevolence, mercy, goodness, and love in an attempt to discredit such qualities in God. Yet, more often than not, those people fail to recognize two key factors: Causality and Satan.

All people should recognize the ever-present nature of Causality within our world. Regardless of the controversial nature of Causality at the grand scale of the universe itself, most, if not all, scientists regard Causality as a means of accurately relating one event to another in our day-to-day life. That said, most of the events, or atrocities, blamed on God can be easily explained by Causality, that is, that these horrendous events take place because of the actions of others (and even ourselves) throughout time.

The "butterfly effect" is a perfect example of this. Anything at any time could produce an outcome that could be potentially catastrophic enough to cause these seemingly natural occurrences that people so eagerly try to place on God. True, Causality does not explain all of the irrational pain and suffering we see within the world, yet there is something else that does adequately explain them.

If anyone is going to argue against the Judeo-Christian God's benevolence, goodness, mercy, and love then they must also take into account other aspects given us by Scripture, namely, the presence of Satan at work in our world. Why should they take seriously that possibility? Because in arguing against the Judeo-Christian God, they must effectively take on the entirety of belief and doctrine surrounding Him. In other words, if they are going to presuppose God for the sake of argument, they cannot preclude such an adversary as Satan.

Not only is Satan mentioned in Scripture as living in our world, but as actively working in it as well. (Job, 2 Cr 4, Eph 2) Scripture tells us in both the Old and New Testaments that this is true: the story of Job, in Jesus casting Satan out of the possessed, in Jesus being tempted by Satan, and many more. These Scriptures show Satan as being active within the world and working toward his own end, that is, the destruction of God's people. This comes to us in the guise of pain and suffering to others by things we may deem irrational or natural (e.g. "Bad things happening to Good people", starvation, tsunamis and the like).

Am I saying that Satan is the direct cause of all of these things? Not necessarily. I am saying, though, that if someone is going to question the character of God, then they need to appeal to the Judeo-Christian belief in order to convince the Christian. To simply say that God wouldn't do such and such is fallacious at best. How do you know what God would or would not do or allow, or the reasoning for doing or not doing a certain thing?

The fact is that the Christian will always use Scriptures to reinforce their beliefs. And in the case where the Judeo-Christian God's character is under question, that is quite sufficient.

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