His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to His power. If you choose to say, ‘God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,’ you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words, 'God can.' It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.
It is straightforward—and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion.
In ridiculing a pathetic human fallacy, which seeks explanation where none need be sought and which multiplies unnecessary assumptions, one should not mimic primitive ontology in order to challenge it. Better to dispose of the needless assumption altogether. This holds true for everything from Noah's flood to the Holocaust.
You might think that, by now, people would have become accustomed to the idea of natural catastrophes. We live on a planet that is still cooling and which has fissures and faults in its crust; this much is accepted even by those who think that the globe is only six thousand years old, as well as by those who believe that the earth was designed to be this way. Even in such a case, it is to be expected that earthquakes will occur and that, if they occur under the seabed, tidal waves will occur also. Yet two sorts of error are still absolutely commonplace. The first of these is the idiotic belief that seismic events are somehow timed to express the will of God. Thus, reasoning back from the effect, people will seriously attempt to guess what sin or which profanity led to the verdict of the tectonic plates. The second error, common even among humanists, is to borrow the same fallacy for satirical purposes and to employ it to disprove a benign deity.
Elder Maxwell on Wintry DoctrinesElder Maxwell said that “if we are serious about our discipleship Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are most difficult for us to do.”This was what he came to call the wintry doctrine at the funeral of a young father in 1996 he put it this way “There are in the gospel warm and cuddly doctrines and then there are some that are just outright wintry doctrines… one of them frankly is that we cannot approach real consecration without passing through appropriate clinical experiences because we don’t achieve consecration in the abstract. … sometimes therefore the best people have the worst experiences… because they are the most ready to learn.” (Bruce C. Hafen, The Story of A Disciple’s Life: Preparing the Biography of Neal A. Maxwell, p. 14)
Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child's prayer to 'dear, kind God'! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones!The Brothers KaramazovIvan to Alyosha, on the suffering and torture of children, Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 4 - Rebellion.
I felt sorry for the inhabitants and went into the forest to admonish the wolf in God's name not to eat any more sheep. I called him, he came—and do you know what his answer was? 'Francis, Francis,' he said, 'do not destroy God's prescribed order. The sheep feeds on grass, the wolf on sheep—that's the way God ordained it. Do not ask why; simply obey God's will and leave me free to enter the sheepfolds whenever I feel the pinch of hunger. I say my prayers just like Your Holiness. I say: Our Father who reignest in the forests and hast commanded me to eat meat, Thy will be done. Give me this day my daily sheep so that my stomach may be filled, and I shall glorify Thy name. Great art Thou, Lord, who hast created mutton so delicious. And when the day cometh that I shall die, Grant, Lord, that I may be resurrected, and that with me may be resurrected all the sheep I have eaten—so that I may eat them again!' That, Brother Leo, is what the wolf answered me.
For others, as for ourselves, we must trust him. If we could thoroughly understand anything, that would be enough to prove it undivine; and that which is but one step beyond our understanding must be in some of its relations as mysterious as if it were a hundred.
Most people bestow tremendous power onto those human beings we consider evil, who cause of threaten harm to others, even though we know they are acting from their own pain or fear. Would ignoring evil disarm it? Don’t dismiss the idea. As we have declared War on Terror, a War on Drugs, a War on Poverty, a War on Crime, the problems only seem to have gotten bigger. We cling tthe notion of evil as detrimental, unpredictable force in our world and refuse any suggestion that it is not real. We argue for our fear about terrorism or climate change or economic instability, heatedly trying to prove that things are only getting worse. And in doing so, we reinforce the principle that what we focus on grows. We create our experience by where we place our attention. What we resist, persists.
And so sovereign Providence has often produced a remarkable effect--evil men making other evil men good. For some, when they think they suffer injustice at the hands of the worst of men, burn with hatred for evil men, and being eager to be different from those they hate, have reformed and become virtuous. It is only the power of God to which evils may also be good, when by their proper use He elicits some good result.
If we further consider this divine panoramic view within which all evil is supposedly a secret good is held by a God who, according to Scripture, has a passionate hatred toward all evil, the solution becomes more problematic still. For it is certainly not clear how God could hate what he himself wills and sees as a contributing ingredient in the good of the whole. If all things play themselves out according to a divine plan, how can God genuinely hate anything?
Job is an optimist. He shakes the pillars of the world and strikes insanely at the heavens; he lashes the stars, but it is not to silence them; it is to make them speak.
I do not mean that there is anything intellectually contemptible in being formally godless -- that is, in rejecting all religious dogmas and in refusing to believe in the God those dogmas describe.One might very well conclude, for instance, that the world contains far too much misery for the pious idea of a good, loving, and just God to be taken very seriously, and that any alleged creator of the universe in which children suffer and die hardly deserves our devotion.It is an affective -- not a strictly logical -- position to hold, but it is an intelligible one, with a certain sublime moral purity to it; I myself find it deeply compelling; and it is entirely up to each person to judge whether he or she finds any particular religion's answer to the problem of evil either adequate or credible.
If God made everything, did He make the Devil?' This is the kind of embarrassing question which any child can ask before breakfast, and for which no neat and handy formula is provided in the Parents' Manual…Later in life, however, the problem of time and the problem of evil become desperately urgent, and it is useless to tell us to run away and play and that we shall understand when we are older. The world has grown hoary, and the questions are still unanswered.
I fear that much of the Christianity that surrounds us assumes our task is to save appearances by protecting God from Job-like anguish. But if God is the God of Jesus Christ, then God does not need our protection. What God demands is not protection, but truth.
Christ did not descend from the cross except into the grave. And why not otherwise? Wouldn’t it have put fine comical expressions on the faces of the scribes and chief priests and the soldiers if at that moment He had come down in power and glory? Why didn’t He do it? Why hasn’t He done it at any one of a thousand good times between then and now?I knew the answer. I knew it a long time before I could admit it, for all the suffering of the world is in it. He didn’t, He hasn’t, because from the moment He did, He would be the absolute tyrant of the world and we would be His slaves. Even those who hated Him and hated one another and hated their own souls would have to believe in Him then. From that moment the possibility that we might be bound to Him and He to us and us to one another by love forever would be ended.And so, I thought, He must forebear to reveal His power and glory by presenting Himself as Himself, and must be present only in the ordinary miracle of the existence of His creatures. Those who wish to see Him must see Him in the poor, the hungry, the hurt, the wordless creatures, the groaning and travailing beautiful world.
God decided to create a world where free will was more important than no one ever getting hurt. There must be something stunningly beautiful and remarkable about free will that only God can truly grasp, because God hates, literally abhors, evil, yet He created a world where evil could happen if people chose it.
Thy designs are a bottomless pit. How can I descend into this pit to examine it? Thou lookest thousands of years into the future and then Thou judgest. What today seems an injustice to man's minute brain becomes, thousands of years hence, the mother of man's salvation. If what today we term injustice did not exist, perhaps true justice would never come to mankind.