Theodicy is the branch of Christian theology concerned with defending the attributes of God (especially his absolute goodness) against objections resulting from physical and moral evil.
A common argument in the tradition of theodicy that I have heard Christians use is that physical and moral evil is the result of Adam and Eve's free will choice to sin by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that this tied God's hands, so to speak, in preventing evil.
These Christians never stop, though, to consider the true implications of the doctrine of God's omniscience. According to the doctrine of Divine omniscience God has absolute knowledge of everything, past, present, and future, that he sees infallibly all of time and space simultaneously. But what does this imply ? It clearly implies that God always knew, even before creating mankind, that he would plant the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden, and he always knew Adam and Eve would choose to sin. Yet God set his plan in motion anyway, knowing all the misery and woe it would result in down through the ages. What this basically means is that God cannot be absolved of the responsibility of evil in the world. God has no needs or desires, he's supposed to be perfect. He didn't need to create anything. He has self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment all within himself. So even the fact of creating shows that God cannot logically be perfect and choose to create something, which no matter how you look at it, implies a need or desire in God.
So, if the Christian God did exist, the responsibility of evil in the world rests squarely on his metaphorical shoulders.

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Comment by Alan Perlman on April 8, 2013 at 9:15pm

But later on in the Torah, God prohibits worship of Molech, which involved child sacrifices.  I guess God grew up a little.

Comment by Robert McDonald on April 7, 2013 at 11:36pm

Theists argue that there is no morality with belief in god(s). Logically, it is just the opposite, since any morality dictated by god(s) is arbitrary. Right is whatever god(s) say(s) it is.

See the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and that made it "right".

Comment by Anthony Jordan on April 6, 2013 at 8:07pm

To me the sin committed in Eden was in simply wanting knowledge, while God wanted the man and woman to remain in servile and ignorant obedience. Though I don't believe in the story of Adam and Eve, I'm glad Eve chose knowledge over subservience and ignorance.

Comment by Alan Perlman on April 6, 2013 at 7:00pm

It's worth noting that the real sin, according to the text, is not sex or shame or anything of the kind.  Genesis 3:4ff. says that it's all about knowing right from wrong and thus becoming a divine being.  Later in the chapter, God is worried that the fruit will make them immortal as well. The Bible's position on morality is thus clear early on: morality comes from God.

Comment by Michael Penn on April 5, 2013 at 7:48am

   This is 100% true and puts the existence of God and original sin squarely into that book of Genesis in the Christian Bible. Humans "sinned" by doing something God said not to do, and God knew what they would do the entire time. (He knew this and yet could not see Adam and Eve because they had hidden behind a tree. "Adam wherefore art thou?") So, the "original sin" was in wanting to have knowledge of good and evil, and the desire of this knowledge dictates that you have to be "saved" or "redeemed" by the killing of a man and the "shedding of blood." If you fall for this line then the "sin" is taken away or covered (as in the Passover) and your "atonement" becomes complete, but what about the rest of creation?

   Eve was said to bare children in pain for her part in this "fall from grace" but we find that giving birth has pain for the animal world as well. Even laying an egg must be similar. Do we conclude that Eve's disobedience passed "sin" onto all creation, or that the animal and reptile world also ate of the fruit of the tree? For the creationists who put deeper meaning of "sex" into the "fall" we find that all of creation seems to enjoy it. Some even claimed that the serpent had sex with Eve and that was what this is all about. (There must be something here about beastiality. LOL) The enlightened fundamentalist teaches that this is how "sin" was passed on to all creation. Are we to assume that God wanted to continue to make "dirt men" and "rib women" like a child playing with clay? That mean old Devil used the serpent and messed up his plan. Now the serpent has lost his legs and must "eat dirt" for the rest of his life. What did he eat before? To this day snakes have no legs. Imagine that.

   In my mind the above (and more) from Genesis destroys the myth of creation and the fall of man. This also means it destroys any need of redemption or salvation. The God of the Bible comes across as a childish buffoon and Jesus sets himself up to become "the savior" because he believed this and other ancient bullshit. Yes, God wants to talk to you. His message is in those unconnected 66 books that Christians call the Bible.

   It's all too bizarre to be true unless you are one of the gullible!




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