Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why does God allow pain ...

A conversation between a man and a priest:

Man: I don't understand the omnipotent-benevolent thing.

Priest: You are confused because the bible describes God as an ominipotent and benevolent diety.

Man: Exactly.

Priest: Omnipotent-benevolent simply means God is all-powerful and well-meaning.

Man: I understnd the concept. It's just ... there seems to be a contradiction.

Priest: Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man's starvation, war, sickness ...

Man: Exactly! Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn't He?

Priest: Would He?

Man: Well if God loves us and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring or benevolent and powerless to help.

Priest: Do you have children?

Man: No ...

Priest: Imagine you had an eight-year-old son. Would you love him?

Man: Of course.

Priest: Would you do everything in your power to prevent pain in his life?

Man: Of course.

Priest: Would you let him skateboard?

Man: Yeah, I guess... Sure I'd let him skateboard but I will tell him to be careful.

Priest: So as this child's father, you would give him some advice, good advice, and then you let him go off and make his own mistakes?

Man: I wouldn't run behind him and mollycoddle him if that's what you mean.

Priest: But what if he fell and skinned his knee.

Man: He would learn to be more careful.

Priest: So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child's pain, you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?

Man: Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It's how we learn.

Priest: Exactly.

Extract from Angels & Demons - By Dan Brown - Page 400

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