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In Defense of the God's Benevolence towards Job

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  • In Defense of the God's Benevolence towards Job

    I'm posting here to invite dialogue with any skeptics (I'm open to one-vs-me or two-vs-me) regarding the afflictions that Job experienced. I'd like to defend the claim that God's actions contained a benevolent purpose. I'm not too familiar with the rules here. I'm open for 5-7 rounds (the more rounds the better) and no word limit, as I expect to get to the core problem(s) after the round 1 response.

    If this is in the incorrect place, I apologize mods. By all means, give this a shove in the right section.

  • #2
    Working on it.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi.

      Actually, we're discussing that very thing now in the newest posts of this thread http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...f-Natural-Evil
      O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

      A neat video of dead languages!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Strawman View Post
        I'm posting here to invite dialogue with any skeptics (I'm open to one-vs-me or two-vs-me) regarding the afflictions that Job experienced. I'd like to defend the claim that God's actions contained a benevolent purpose. I'm not too familiar with the rules here. I'm open for 5-7 rounds (the more rounds the better) and no word limit, as I expect to get to the core problem(s) after the round 1 response.

        If this is in the incorrect place, I apologize mods. By all means, give this a shove in the right section.
        What exactly are you claiming here? That there was some good behind every calamity that befell Job? I think most would agree; Job was being tested and he passed the test. The end of the book makes clear God rewarded him in this life for passing the test, and presumably in the next life too.
        My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Strawman View Post
          I'm posting here to invite dialogue with any skeptics (I'm open to one-vs-me or two-vs-me) regarding the afflictions that Job experienced. I'd like to defend the claim that God's actions contained a benevolent purpose. I'm not too familiar with the rules here. I'm open for 5-7 rounds (the more rounds the better) and no word limit, as I expect to get to the core problem(s) after the round 1 response.

          If this is in the incorrect place, I apologize mods. By all means, give this a shove in the right section.
          If you want to have a discussion with one or two people: 1) pick one or two people, 2) spell out that you want no one else in the discussion, 3) go to the Arena at the very bottom of the list of forums and start the discussion. There may be limits to the length of posts but I am not sure. You might have to break down your argument a bit.

          Potential debaters, make an arrangement with Strawman and go to the thread in the Arena and discuss.
          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Strawman View Post
            I'm posting here to invite dialogue with any skeptics (I'm open to one-vs-me or two-vs-me) regarding the afflictions that Job experienced. I'd like to defend the claim that God's actions contained a benevolent purpose. I'm not too familiar with the rules here. I'm open for 5-7 rounds (the more rounds the better) and no word limit, as I expect to get to the core problem(s) after the round 1 response.

            If this is in the incorrect place, I apologize mods. By all means, give this a shove in the right section.
            This is a silly premise for a debate. Since there's good reason to conclude Job isn't recorded history but myth, what's the point?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
              What exactly are you claiming here? That there was some good behind every calamity that befell Job? I think most would agree; Job was being tested and he passed the test. The end of the book makes clear God rewarded him in this life for passing the test, and presumably in the next life too.
              A skeptic wouldn't be a skeptic if he presumed the events actually happened but was simply critical of the cruelty of said events.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by whag View Post
                This is a silly premise for a debate. Since there's good reason to conclude Job isn't recorded history but myth, what's the point?
                Even conservative scholars like Craig Blomberg do take the stance that it wasn't intended to be recorded history, but even if one does, one can still defend such a position under the assumption Job contains spiritually true.
                "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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                • #9
                  Jedidiah, thanks for pointing these things out to me and thanks for the link to the on-going discussion, Kelp. However, this dialogue has to take place in a particular way to accomplish a particular goal. I'm a student at a certain apologetic school and the dialogue will fulfill the course requirement. I picked this forum because I hold the non-Christians here in high regard; that is, they are more respectful than other forums.

                  Whag, nice to meet you. You pointed out,

                  >>>>This is a silly premise for a debate. Since there's good reason to conclude Job isn't recorded history but myth, what's the point?<<<<

                  Whether the account of Job is historical or mythical to any degree is irrelevant to questioning whether or not it posits a benevolent or malevolent God. A more precise question would be: Is the God presented in the Job account, whether it be actually historical or mythical, benevolent? I'm studying the type of God that the account (whether it be historical or not) presents.

                  >>>>A skeptic wouldn't be a skeptic if he presumed the events actually happened but was simply critical of the cruelty of said events.<<<<

                  The word "skeptic" is broad for a reason and I really don't like semantics. I would prefer someone who is skeptical towards God's benevolence due to the afflictions.

                  Pixie

                  Nice to meet you.

                  >>>>What exactly are you claiming here? That there was some good behind every calamity that befell Job? I think most would agree; Job was being tested and he passed the test. The end of the book makes clear God rewarded him in this life for passing the test, and presumably in the next life too.<<<<

                  My claim is that there was a purpose, yes. Most of the skeptics I know of parallel God's actions with their interpretation of his actions regarding Abraham and Isaac; however, any skeptics who believe God is benevolent in the account of Job is definitely something I would not contend with. I'm looking for one or two intelligent, respectful skeptics who claim that God's actions qualify him as being malevolent.



                  Ciao, guys.
                  Last edited by Strawman; 12-04-2014, 10:17 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                    Even conservative scholars like Craig Blomberg do take the stance that it wasn't intended to be recorded history, but even if one does, one can still defend such a position under the assumption Job contains spiritually true.
                    That's as pointless as defending the acts of deities in any pantheon. The point being the believer (in this case Strawman) is thoroughly convinced of the wager's benevolence by virtue of his presupposition that nothing God does is malevolent. The skeptic already has good reason to regard it as myth and has no real stake in trying to convince said believer of the wager's cruelty. The presuppositions are too entrenched for the discussion to yield any fruit. It'll be a yawner.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Strawman
                      Whag, nice to meet you. You pointed out,

                      >>>>This is a silly premise for a debate. Since there's good reason to conclude Job isn't recorded history but myth, what's the point?<<<<

                      Whether the account of Job is historical or mythical to any degree is irrelevant to questioning whether or not it posits a benevolent or malevolent God. A more precise question would be: Is the God presented in the Job account, whether it be actually historical or mythical, benevolent? I'm studying the type of God that the account (whether it be historical or not) presents.

                      >>>>A skeptic wouldn't be a skeptic if he presumed the events actually happened but was simply critical of the cruelty of said events.<<<<

                      The word "skeptic" is broad for a reason and I really don't like semantics. I would prefer someone who is skeptical towards God's benevolence due to the afflictions.
                      Presented thus, you win. Like Pixie pointed out, no matter how seemingly harsh the wagerly interaction between God and Satan is, the story enforces your belief that it's for Job's benefit. That's why the debate is silly--because there's no way to argue otherwise due to the nature of theology and its cast of characters.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        whag,

                        Whether it is parallel to defending the acts of other deities is irrelevant.

                        Job can be entirely non-historical and still have been written to fulfill any particular purpose. I believe the purpose was to showcase the benevolence of God, while the majority of skeptics I've come across interpret and use this account to ground the conclusion that God is malevolent. That is the particular claim I am challenging.
                        Last edited by Strawman; 12-04-2014, 10:41 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Strawman View Post
                          ... I believe the purpose was to showcase the benevolence of God, while the majority of skeptics I've come across interpret and use this account to ground the conclusion that God is malevolent. That is the particular claim I am challenging...
                          Hi Strawman, welcome to the forum!

                          If I was going to try to show the malevolence of YHWH I wouldn't think to go to Job first, but since you bring it up I'm curious as to what you have to say. I don't know that the text shows God to be malevolent, as much as an uncaring bully. He brings the topic of Job up to Satan, almost daring him to attack him. Then he allows all this cruelty. Afterwards he scolds Job for daring to question his justice. Apparently, you have to be God in order to question his goodness, which makes no sense to me. One of the weirdest things about the book is at the end where God is said to bless Job's life more than at the first by giving him more children. If God killed my children and then gave different children to replace them, I wouldn't exactly say that made up for it. I'd be pretty upset about the first ones, but apparently the author of Job thought that made it all better.

                          Those are just a few observations; not exactly an argument. How do you take it?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Strawman View Post
                            whag,

                            Whether it is parallel to defending the acts of other deities is irrelevant.

                            Job can be entirely non-historical and still have been written to fulfill any particular purpose. I believe the purpose was to showcase the benevolence of God, while the majority of skeptics I've come across interpret and use this account to ground the conclusion that God is malevolent. That is the particular claim I am challenging.
                            And, like I said, you "win" based on that premise. The skeptics you've come across are amateurs if they say the purpose of ANY biblical book is to proclaim God "evil."
                            Rather, mature skeptics know that Job is a writing based on an ancient oral tradition to explain why good people suffer. It goes back to Sumer.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Enjolras View Post
                              Hi Strawman, welcome to the forum!

                              If I was going to try to show the malevolence of YHWH I wouldn't think to go to Job first, but since you bring it up I'm curious as to what you have to say. I don't know that the text shows God to be malevolent, as much as an uncaring bully. He brings the topic of Job up to Satan, almost daring him to attack him. Then he allows all this cruelty. Afterwards he scolds Job for daring to question his justice. Apparently, you have to be God in order to question his goodness, which makes no sense to me. One of the weirdest things about the book is at the end where God is said to bless Job's life more than at the first by giving him more children. If God killed my children and then gave different children to replace them, I wouldn't exactly say that made up for it. I'd be pretty upset about the first ones, but apparently the author of Job thought that made it all better.

                              Those are just a few observations; not exactly an argument. How do you take it?
                              Hey to you also, Enjolras! Thanks for the welcome :)

                              Your summation of the account pretty much agreed with my position around 2007 and I carried the logical conclusion that; therefore, God is evil. I note whag's same criticisms elsewhere yet he does not wish to officially step to the logical conclusion. Despite my name (it's a joke since the fallacy runs rampant), tell me if this is a fair description of your statements:

                              1. God is an uncaring bully
                              2. God almost dares Satan to attack Job
                              3. God allows cruelty for no apparent reason
                              4. God gave Job back some things, but this is pitiful in comparison to what he took
                              5. It is foolish that you must be God in order to question His goodness

                              I did a bit of wordplay, but I tried my best to stay true to your post. Read all of those again. What is the logical conclusion? That seems to me to be an evil God. I mean, obviously a good God would commit none of the above (minus 5 and 3). I do not understand why you (and whag) have a good lot of moral negativity regarding the book of Job, but are unwilling to step towards something conclusive.

                              And that is what I am in search for. Despite whag's claims, there are many many sources which attribute particular degrees of evil to God due to Job's afflictions. Since I used to debate the same logic, I am interested in seeing how my current position will weigh against those similar to my old position.
                              Last edited by Strawman; 12-05-2014, 02:37 AM.

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