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God and the universal court





Indi
So i got the December 2010 issue of Awake!, one of the Jehovah's Witness magazines. (i don't actually subscribe, but something about my face must scream for salvation, because i almost never miss getting handed one - or stopped to be asked if i know Jesus.) Anyone who's ever read an Awake! magazine knows the kind of content in it, but this time there was a really interesting article that presented a rather novel way to look at the problem of evil.

If you have the December 2010 Awake!, go to page 10, and the article titled: "Why doesn't God get rid of the Devil?" (it's in The Bible's viewpoint column). i can't reprint the whole article, for copyright reasons, but of course i can quote selections from it:
Quote:
To help answer that question [why God doesn't get rid of the Devil], you might visualize a prominent court case. The murderer, desperate to halt the proceedings, claims that the judge is dishonest in the way he presides over his own courtroom, and he even asserts that the jurors are being bribed by the judge. So countless witnesses are allowed to provide testimony.

The judge knows that the extensive proceedings will cause much inconvenience, and he would like to have the case concluded without undue delay. Yet, he realizes that to arrive at a judgement that will set a precedent for possible future cases, both parties must be allowed sufficient time to present their side of the dispute.

As evidence, the magazine cites the case of Job, saying that Satan claimed that, "under personal hardship, all people would 'curse' their Creator". (Job 1:8-11; 2:4,5 is cited as scriptural evidence.)
Quote:
Such accusations from Satan required responses that could not be answered simply by a show of force. In fact, executing the Devil in the garden of Eden would perhaps have suggested to some that the Devil was right.

Therefore, God apparently started a "universal court case", to consider the Devil's claims.
Quote:
So God, possessing absolute authority, began legal proceedings to settle such issues in the minds of all observers.

In harmony with his principles and perfect justice, Jehovah God indicated that each party would produce witnesses who would give supporting testimony to its side of the controversy. The time allowed has given Adam's descendents a chance to live and to add their testimony in God's behalf by choosing to keep integrity to him out of love despite any hardships.

How much longer?

Jehovah God is keenly aware that while those legal proceedings take place, humans continue to suffer. Yet, he is determined to close the case at the earliest time possible. ... Clearly [God] will not allow the Devil to live any longer than necessary, nor will He allow the effects of his influence to remain. On the other hand, God will not eliminate the Devil prematurely, without the universal court case being completely finished.

When the issues are finally settled, Jehovah's right to rule will have been thoroughly vindicated. The legal case against Satan will stand as a touchstone for all eternity. Should a similar challenge ever arise again, Satan's example could be pointed to as a precedent that will not need to be repeated.

There are dozens of ways to consider this argument philosophically. Go nuts. ^_^
Bikerman
Well, one rather obvious and probably simplistic question to start things rolling...Leave aside issues of morality and fairness for the moment and consider a point of fact concerning the 'explanation'.

The question is, if the idea is to prove that God's judgement is fair then who is the jury?
If this is a Judge-only court then who is God trying to convince that its judgement is fair/just? How long will it take to convince the unspecified audience/jury of this fairness? Presumably it will run until judgement day, but then what happens if it is decided (by whoever) that it wasn't just/fair? It is a bit late to change protocols when the last trumpet sounds, and what would be the point in any case? Would everything have to be reset in order for people to live their lives again, using the new, fairer system of rules? But then we get into an infinite regression. If God DID wind the clock back to 'Adam and Eve' then it would simply have the same problem - demonstrating fairness again - which would require another entire 'cycle' until the next judgement day.....and repeat ad infinitum...
spinout
Go nuts Smile :

As a polytheist I claim also to "be" Satan!

We all curse the creator! - every day! What is strange about that??

Judgement... well let say you are Satan, your only judgement would be if you did something not satanic... So watch out - it is hard to be strikt bad all the time, suddenly you go lame and just be neutral... Crying or Very sad
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