Applications of Omnibenevolence

Let us revisit the omnipotence paradox. Simply stated it calls into to question the characteristics most often ascribed to the Christian God; that is, omnipotence (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all present), and omnibenevolent (all loving).

The idea is that if God is all loving, then evil shouldn’t exist. Evil does exist. Therefore, he is either not powerful enough to stop it (not omnipotent) or allows it to happen and therefore not all loving.

Now, a quick rebuttal is that to have free will one would have to have the option to do evil. If you have free will to do anything, but you can’t kill, or hurt people then that is not truly free.

Some would argue that we are determined and do not have free will, but let us suppose that there is a drop of free will in all of us, and therefore evil is a natural byproduct, which does not affect God’s omnibenevolence.

So, if this is the case and evil exists and God remains all loving, then let us apply this concept to the world.

If God is all loving, then that is totally inclusive of everyone. It means God loves Hitler, Ted Bundy and Osama bin Laden. Moreover, he didn’t just love them after their crimes, he loved them during as well because he is all loving and there is no room in that definition for exceptions.

Now, it is possible that a being which is truly that powerful and loving is so beyond human understanding that it can transcend anything. Also, God being all knowing would obviously know and understand so much of this illusionary life that we live and what the true reality really is.

Regardless, it is a hard concept to wrap your mind and around. My main point of writing this is to not try and harm people’s faith or challenge the existence of God. I solely want to call into question the characteristics we ascribe to God and what they actually mean. Moreover, how these concepts such as all powerful and all loving and being infinite are truly concepts that our human minds really cannot understand and we are speaking about them while viewing them through a pinhole.

The Perception Illusion

What if life was truly an illusion? And when you die, you simply wake up from it? It would still be true that you experienced pain, or love, or whatever feeling; but can you not also experience those in dreams? Yet, when you wake up, you do not lament the fear that you felt in the dream, or have PTSD from the pain that you felt from being stabbed. No, it simply is forgotten because it wasn’t real.

Could this be a solution to the problem of evil? If life is truly just one grand illusion that we are very committed too, then is the evil we experience, the same evil that would be perceived from the consciousness of God?

I mean isn’t evil truly a human invention in a way? We say hurting and killing another person is evil, but a lion eating a gazelle is not. Of course, we may justify one and not the other; the lion was trying to survive and the human wasn’t. But what if they felt they needed to kill for their very survival. What if they were a paranoid schizophrenic and believed them killing this other person was the only way for the world not to end.

The point is, it depends on which perspective you look at it from and the values of the interpreter to determine what is evil and what isn’t.

Maybe it is evil to shock rats for insights in psychology. We justify it because it is bettering our understanding of the main and will, hopefully, help people.

It may appear like torture someone amputating another person’s leg during the civil war; but, of course, the act is somehow different because of the intention of the doer — trying to save them from infection.

But back the idea of the world being an illusion and the implications of such a notion on the problem of evil. If this is an illusion, what about the role of memory? Bad dreams would be much worse if the effects produced could be felt and remembered as vividly has having that experience actually happen to you. But somehow there is something different from the experience. If I get stabbed in my dream and it hurts me, but then I wake up and I am perfectly healthy, then no harm no foul — right? I am not too upset about the dream.

But what if you lived in a futuristic society where they could heal any injury. Someone stabs you. It hurts you. Then you are healed. Is  that person who stabbed you evil? If so, are they more or less evil than the person who stabs you in the absence of the futuristic technology?

I guess my ultimate point, and one I am still pondering while writing this post, is if this world we live is some hologram, some fake existence that we perceive and feel to be real, would that change how we viewed evil?

Better yet, would it get God off the hook? Say we have a soul and this part of ourself cannot die and cannot be hurt by the material world but will pass beyond. Then would it be justified if this would was a training simulation where our perception of evil was necessary for our appropriate spiritual growth?

I truly do not, but these are thoughts to ponder.