The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is it possible for God to do evil?

Absolutely. Now we need to define evil…

I like that.

But let’s go further…

qaz what has to happen in your day to day life for you to consider that God may be the cause of what you call evil?

If you go for three years in relative peace and all the sudden you hit a
deer with your car and don’t have full coverage insurance or maybe you overextend your credit card and the bank bomb drops on you, and you can’t figure out how to pay the bills, is this evil?

Is having your house torn away by a tornado evil… Or maybe it is evil only if you did not think to buy insurance.

To the OP, it is a question that life lessons should be telling you about.

Now you did mention not taking into account natural disasters, but to be honest, are not all disasters natural?

@paidion Do you think having the ability to choose between good and evil is a necessary condition for a being to be good?

Well, I would like to know what Don thinks…

I think that is the case with human beings. For no human being has a nature that would necessitate his always being good.

But the only One who is consistently good (Jesus said that only God is good) is unable to make an evil choice because to do so would be inconsistent with His nature.

Why is it only the case with human beings?

I think I explained why it is the case with human beings. I wrote, “For no human being has a nature that would necessitate his always being good.” I didn’t say it was the case only with human beings. It might apply to your good dog as will. He is not always good, is he?

But God’s nature is to be totally good all the time. That is why is it not possible for Him to do evil. For to do so would be contrary to His nature. That cannot be said of any human being.

I don’t think you did. You seem to think humans could only be good if we were capable of choosing between good and evil. Why doesn’t that condition for goodness apply to God, who can only do good? If God is good while having a nature that renders it impossible for him to do evil, why would God create us with a nature that allows us to do evil? If he had created us with a nature like his so that we can’t choose between good and evil but can only do good, would we not be good?

You have a point, God should probably spell out all the facts relating to our relationship with him. But I figure he has a reason for withholding info… Same as why I know you as qaz and not a real person? Seems you and the Father have something in common. Just a thought, mind you.

In terms of a basic biblical working definition relative to a question about potential biblical realities, WHY? Why go chasing the shifting winds of speculative esoteric rationales, when the answer is already there as per the definition? Does the definition need grammatically teasing out further?

Thanks David, but yes it does. Not many folks understand…

I’ve been thinking of a possible solution to the Morriston dilemma that Christianity (Trinitarian anyway) is uniquely able to provide. Assuming that Jesus is God, and when Jesus became human it was possible for him to sin, then he exemplified goodness through his sinless life on Earth. When he emptied himself he could have sinned, but chose not to.

@JasonPratt what do you think?

The issue i can’t grasp is that presumably God can stop evil yet “allows” it. Yet James said that if one knows to do good yet does not, he is committing sin. So is not stopping evil a form of doing good? So how could God not stop evil? Paidion and i disagree about this but it must be for a greater good that we can’t see. Paidion would say that God won’t interfere with our free will? But God did exactly that many times in the bible to implement His purposes.

The Calvinist answer is no because anything God does is good even if the same act done by someone else would be called evil.

@steve7150 you raise an interesting question, but I think that’s a separate issue from the one in the OP.

Doesn’t it really depend on what you mean by the word ‘god’? The word is not a proper name - it is a concept. Who are we naming when we use the word?
And the meaning we give to the word ‘god’ will by its very nature answer the question of whether that entity can do evil.

The question is the implications of the fact/premise that he can’t do evil. Contra Calvinists, I think the power to choose between good and evil is essential for a human to potentially be good. If human goodness is conditional on moral choice, why not divine goodness?

God Almighty

Bullsh… Jesus was the son of God but had no relative relation to us here and now. If you want to believe that then go ahead, but for my money, I’ll think that Jesus was what he was, in other words a prophet to the folks He was talking to.

Well… I gave you an answer for consideration in my first two posts relative to the OP but you summarily shut that option down for discussion in favour of your own understanding, so I’m left wondering… why bother asking in the first place when you’ve already decided the parameters for how such should be dealt with?? :thinking:

This makes makes no sense. Normally when people ask a question, they want an answer to the question they’re asking, not someone’s thoughts on another question.