Apologetics

Answering Jainism

Jains reject the idea of an eternal God, but accept the idea of an eternal universe. Objections to a Creator God were written by 8th century Acharya Jinasena. I will respond to the key points of his argument, which will help us get to a better understanding of the philosophy behind an eternal God and why the universe demands a Creator.

Jinasena’s first argument:

If God created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now?

Response:

Jinasena was correct in stating that the answer to “where was he before creation” is simply that God is transcendent, meaning that He is outside the realm of time itself. He created time for humans, in the way that we are held by the laws of time, but God is not.

The definition of eternal means always existing. What does it mean to always exist? Existence is quantified by time, therefore that which is outside of time is eternal.  In this way, there was never a time that God did not exist.

This may be quite difficult for the Jain to understand as he or she believes that time always existed. But science supports the complete opposite, that time, space, and matter had a beginning.

The Standard Cosmological model, as it’s called, explains the beginning of time and space, but fails to explain the cause of such a beginning. This first cause can not exist within the universe, but must instead exist outside of the universe. In addition, the first cause must be powerful enough to set the universe into motion.

That first cause is God.

Just as Jain philosophers sought to come up with a cosmological model to explain the existence of the universe without a Creator God, scientists, recognizing that the Standard Cosmological model demands a creator, have done the same.

One of which, the Oscillating Universe Model, mirrors the Jain idea of cyclical time. The model describes the universe eternally expanding and contracting. This is a self-sustaining cycle which apparently does not require a first cause.

The Oscillating model is based on the idea that if the internal gravitational pull of the mass of the universe were able to overcome the force of its expansion, the result would be a contraction or a reversal causing a “Big Crunch.”

Such a model has three key problems:

#1 – A collapsing universe is postulated, but how would that collapsing universe bounce back and expand?

#2 – Observational evidence shows us that the mean mass density of the universe is insufficient to generate enough gravitational attraction to cause a contraction.

#3 – The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system always increases over time. The universe being such an isolated system, the conclusion is that the total amount of energy will diminish over time. In short, the energy used to create an initial Big Bang can not be reused for a second, or a third, or fourth Big Bang.

Consider a bouncy ball. When you drop it on the floor, it is attracted to the ground by the earth’s gravitational force. Despite the lightweight of the ball, the ball never bounces back to it’s original height. As the ball continues to bounce, the height steadily decreases.

So even an oscillating model signals a point of obsolete destruction.

As usual, theologians beat scientists to the punch when coming up with this cyclical model. Around the 15th to 12th century B.C. the Rig Veda records a Cosmic Egg theory to the universe. This theory simply states that the entire universe expands out from the single point, called a Bindu, before collapsing back.

Nearly all religions based off of Hinduism base their cosmology off of Cosmic Egg. Jainism is no different.

We see there is enough observational evidence against the idea of a cyclical universe. The first verse of Psalm 19 states, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” The evidence for God is clearly observational.

Even if you took issue with this observational evidence, an argument against such a cycle can be found in Jainism itself. According to Karma  Theory, there are certain universal natural laws which govern our world. We are not judged by a Creator, but instead by Karmic particles which are attracted to the soul by the actions of that soul.

Where did these Karmic particles come from? Jainism’s answer is that they exist along with time and matter. Karma particles are eternal.

To that I ask this: how are these Karmic particles so smart? How do they know that one has done good, and one has done bad? It seems as though these microscopic particles have a mind of there own, or are at least equipped by some mechanism where they are attracted to good or bad deeds.

Jain philosophers may have believed that they have sidestepped the need for  a Creator God, but in reality all they have done is built more complexity. It is much more logical to believe that there is a mind behind creation, then to believe that there is some brainless matter which behaves based on your deeds.

Either this matter must be able to judge good from bad, or it must pre-programmed by a judge to differentiate between good from bad. Either way you need a judge, a Creator.

In addition, if Karma acts as a scorecard, then who is there to keep the score? If we posit a simple linear process where when you are born, you start with 0, with the number accumulating up until your death, perhaps keeping score would be somewhat of an easy task. You may be able to keep some sort of diary of your own rights and wrongs, seeking towards more rights then wrongs.

Things become complex when we are told that these Karma points/particles are inherited from life to life, moving with your soul from birth, death, and rebirth. There is no indication of how many Karma points you are born with, and how many Karma points you will die with.

There is also no quantifiable measure of how many Karma points you will need to move to a more suitable position in your next life.

Regarding Jinasena’s question as to where God is now, He is where He always was, existing outside of time and the universe.

What I find strange about this question is that the purpose of Jainism is for the soul to escape the cycle of birth and rebirth. Once the soul escapes, it resides in a place known as Siddhashila, located at the highest point of the Universe.

If the Universe itself is subject to cyclical birth and rebirth, then shouldn’t the focus of souls be to escape the Universe itself? The eternal resting place should exist outside of time and space.

Siddhashila, even though it exists at the highest point of the Universe, still exists within the Universe, and thus subject to all the laws of that Universe. Therefore the salvation that Jains are seeking through their philosophy is at best a temporary sort of salvation.

Even the “liberated souls” will enter back into the universe once the Cosmic Egg does its work.

If God is an entity which has created the Universe, by default He must exist outside of the universe.

Jinasenna’s 2nd Argument:

How could God have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression.

Response:

Why does God need raw material? When the Christian speaks of God as the Creator of the universe, we are speaking of a mind. This mind is capable of creating the universe without raw material. If God requires raw material, then He is not powerful enough to create the universe.

This interjection by Jinasena proves that he did believe in the simple idea that something can not be created out of nothing. In other words, something must have always existed.

In the previous section we defined what it means for something to be eternal.

The first two chapters of the Bible – Genesis 1&2 – describes how God created the universe and how He rules over His Creation. Scripture clearly state that God brought everything into motion by speaking. (Genesis 1:3-26)

Numerous other passages confirm this point:

  • For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. – Psalm 33:9
  • By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. – Hebrews 11:3

Now imagine the immense power a God would have if He could create all things simply by speaking, simply by thinking. This is true omnipotence. A God which requires source material to create the universe is not omnipotent.

A counter argument to God’s omnipotence is “if God is so powerful, then why is there suffering in the world?”

There are many other similar questions related to why our world is the way it is. We expect the world to be perfect, and in turn our lives to be perfect. If the world is any short of perfect – in that if pain or suffering exists – then that must automatically mean that God does not exist, or if He does exist, He is not omnipotent.

The problem with such arguments is that the idea of perfection is based upon our own definition of what is perfect. Those raising such questions should also ask themselves why God should make all things perfect? Is it proper to simply take away all suffering? What would such a thing require?

The reason why God would create an imperfect Creation, or a Creation capable of evil and subject to suffering is because only He can be perfect. God’s creation can not be God.

With this point, we segway into the next point raised by Jinasena:

Jinasena’s 3rd Argument:

If he is ever perfect and complete, how could the will to create have arisen in him? If, on the other hand, he is not perfect, he could no more create the universe than a potter could.

Response:

Here Jinasena commits the infraction mentioned earlier – he judges God based on a definition of perfection found in Jain philosophy, which is man made. In Jainism, a perfect soul can have no desire, since it is desire and attachment that leads to a soul bound by Karma.

Why would an all-powerful God who is outside of time and space be subjected to the laws of Karma?

Creation is evidence of God’s love for the universe, just as a child is born due to an act of love between a man and a woman.  In this context, desire, love, mercy, and relationships are celebrated. Attachment is celebrated and is a moral act, not an immoral act.

What’s interesting here is that Jinasena brings up the symbolism of a potter. The Bible also uses the same symbolism, although in a completely different manner:

You turn things upside down!
Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,
that the thing made should say of its maker,
“He did not make me”;
or the thing formed say of him who formed it,
“He has no understanding”? (Isaiah 29:16 ESV)

Jinasena has done just this, flipped God’s law upon its head by judging God based upon the man made Jain philosophy.

One must wonder, why is there such a strong resilience to believe in a Creator God?

Man’s ultimate purpose according to Jain Dharma is to achieve Godhood. Godhood is defined as attaining infinite bliss, infinite knowledge, infinite power, and infinite perception once the soul is free from the cycle of birth and death.

The price you must pay to achieve Godhood is the abandonment of all desire, including love and relationships. Within the Jain philosophical framework, God creating the universe out of love is a direct violation of the definition of god, and therefore contradictory to its core philosophy.

A perfect God creating an imperfect Creation makes absolute logical sense, since not everyone can become God. The Bible warns numerous times of men attempting to become Gods, and the consequence of such a behavior. (Genesis 11:1-9)

Jain Dharma is a reflection of an attempt by men to become gods.

Jinasenna’s 4th Argument:

If he is perfect, he does not strive for the three aims of man, so what advantage would he gain by creating the universe?

Response:

The three aims of man according Jain philosophy are ahimsa (non-violence), anekantavada (non-absolutism), and aparigraha (non-attachment). As mentioned in the previous section, why would a Creator God seek to follow these three aims? Why would He be subject to Jain philosophy?

These three aims form the framework of Jain philosophy and the soul’s quest to be liberated. But why would a Creator God seek liberation in the first place? From what is He seeking to be liberated from?

The real question here is why did God create the universe? To what purpose?

Of course, to adequately answer the question, one must claim to know the mind of God. I place no such claim. However, there are clear clues in our universe as to why a Creator would do such a thing.

In the previous section it was stated that the creation of the Universe is an act of love, much like the love between a man and a woman creates a child. The family unit is our first clue of God’s sovereign purpose, as He has endowed man with the ability to reproduce.

So let’s zero in on this ecosystem which only contains a man, a woman, and the child they have created. The joy the parents feel when the child is born, is the same joy God must have felt for His creation. Man is different from any of other of God’s creations. We have this ability to think and to make decisions which are separate from instincts.

Surely we have instincts but we also have a rational and emotional mind, which is both animalistic and intellectual, capable of true critical thinking. Genesis 1:27 states that God created man in His own image. Both male and female, He created in His image.

Think about that for a moment. Jains desire godhood, and yet the Bible states that God has already endowed use with the honor of His image.

Consider what this means. That we possess certain knowledge and abilities and the opportunity to act and use this knowledge within the created world.

Just as parents birth a child, take care of that child, give rules to that child and yet the child still possesses the ability to rebel against our rules, to engage in curiosity that may be harmful to him or her, and to cry and tell use how much he or she hates us because we as parents have stepped in to discipline the child.

This scenario mirrors our relationship to God, and the reason for our existence. If you were to create a robot who was 100% perfect according to your standards, perhaps you would feel joy in the fact that you created, but the joy you feel when your child begins to understands the world around him, begins to grow on his or her own, and takes their own decisions, is something completely different.

Absolutely this is the realm of attachment, the very thing that karma theory states is sinful. We are part of a Creator-created relationship. God is our parent, and we are His children.

C.S Lewis, Christian apologist and author explains it best: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

The New Testament records a series of sermons given by Jesus Christ, known as the Sermon on the Mount. These sermons describe a moral code similar to Jainism. Matthew 5:21-22 records,“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

Jesus clearly states that we are responsible for our thoughts and our words, as our thoughts and our words lead to action. However, we are given something known as Grace, which is the ability to 1) recognize our mistakes 2) repent for our mistakes, 3) and seek God’s help in correcting course.

According to Karmic Law, however, karma is attached quite immediately to the soul, and it is up to you to reverse and correct course. Yet, there is no guarantee that the attached Karma will be unbound. You may still have to pay for the deed in your next life.

Imagine leaving your child out to fend for themselves. Would you not want to guide them, even if they rebel against you? Would you not want to save them, even if they do not desire your help?

Timothy Keller takes this idea to the next step: “Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.”

Karmic Law does a good job of teaching that attachment leads to pain and suffering. Christianity agrees with this, but it does not agree that this suffering is permanent or absolute. Just as birthing pains produce a child giving the mother joy and happiness, suffering in and of itself is not negative nor purposeless.

On a micro level, which we can observe, and on a macro level, which we may not be able to observe, this process of suffering and regeneration is where God’s hand commands, guides, and lives.

Perhaps God would not gain any advantage by creating the Universe. Christian philosophers agree that Creation is a purely selfish act of God. Just as a parent understands that a child will experience both joy and suffering in his or her life, God understands the challenges His creation will face.

This selfish act really has only one purpose: to Glorify God. If there was no creation, or if Creation was not sentient then the existence of God would not be known.

Just as an artist signs their name on a painting, and a website developer inserts a piece of identifying code which is distinctly their own, God has painted the universe with His image.

That image is us.

Jinasena’s 5th Argument:

If he is form-less, action-less and all-embracing, how could he have created the world? Such a soul, devoid of all modality, would have no desire to create anything.

Response:

The word form-less in Jainism is used to describe a Siddha, or a soul who has achieved permanent liberation from the cycle of birth and death. These form-less souls reside in Siddhashila, a place at the corner of the universe.

Action-less is another term used to describe a Siddha. When a soul becomes a Siddha they live without action. They do nothing. They simply sit there, free, but doing nothing, because to do would mean to be attached.

All-embracing refers to the infinite knowledge which the soul contains. The liberated soul possesses infinite knowledge, but does nothing with that knowledge, because they are action-less.

The Bible makes it clear: “God is not man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) The Jain religion confuses God and Man. God is God. Man is man.

Therefore Jinasena’s initial statement, categorizing the Creator God as form-less, action-less, and all-embracing as he would categorize a liberated soul according to Jain Dharma is a logical fallacy. Specifically, it is known as redefinition – where you take a word and redefine it so that you can better refute the argument.

In this case, Jain philosophers are imposing their view of God upon the idea of a Creator God. The first two sections clearly illustrate the attributes of a Creator God. This God has created Creation purely out of love, which can only be expressed through desire and attachment.

Jinasena’s 6th Argument:

If out of love for living beings and need of them he made the world, why did he not make creation wholly blissful free from misfortune?

Response:

In the previous section, I explained why a perfect Creator must make an imperfect creation. We take this step a bit further to explain why such a loving God would allow such suffering to befall His creation.

Before we answer this question, it’s important to understand how Karma Theory is used to address this question in Jainism. Jain concepts are a response to the problem of suffering. The logic is as follows:

  • Life is suffering
  • The origin of suffering is bad Karma attached to the soul which attracts suffering
  • The way to remove suffering is to limit the suffering you generate upon others, including physical and emotional suffering. You must control your thoughts and your actions.
  • Desire is the root of all actions which causes suffering. Therefore, the key is to end all desire and detach yourself from all worldly things.

The theory of Karma also holds that the fruits of your labors will not be seen in this life, but instead in the next life. This appears to answer the question: why would a good person still experience suffering in this life?  If you experience suffering in this life despite following Jain philosophy, it is because you were most likely bad in your previous life.

Jinasena is right in assuming a connection between suffering and the actions of humanity. However, this doesn’t necessarily refute the existence of a Creator God. In fact, the Jain concept of past lives are a replacement for unexplainable suffering which can not be directly connected with human action.

Let me explain, there are certain events in our lives which you may be able to connect together. For example, suppose you were speeding on the highway. This a reckless action because 1) you are breaking the law and 2) you are placing others at risk. If an accident were to precede your speeding, causing harm to your body and vehicle, then you can not place this blame on God or Karma, you can only place this blame on yourself. The accident was caused because you were speeding.

Jinasena and other Jain philosophers would agree with me up to this point. Suppose that a second person was involved in the accident. A mother of three children suffered bodily injury due to the action your speeding. Now who is to blame?

Jain Dharma would state that although it is the person’s speeding that caused the accident, the mother was there at that time because of her Karma. If a Creator God existed, then He would stop the suffering of the mother. The logic would then follow that since the accident was not stopped, He does not exist. This is only the cause of the mother’s bad Karma.

In this view, God is compared to a type of superhero whose job is to stop all evil in the world. The idea that no bad things could ever happen to you because God existence is based on this false idea.

Imagine if God actually did intervene in this point – that somehow your car automatically slowed down. Suppose also that the mother of three was set on a different path. In both situations the car would now be in complete control of God, and He would be the one driving.

Considering all the possible situations which could cause accidents, God would most likely have to be in control of multiple cars at once, perhaps even all the cars and vehicles in the entire world.

If this was truly how the world ran, then perhaps instead of doubting God’s existence, you would instead be cursing at God, much like an unruly teenager rebelling against their parent. The charge would be that God does not allow you to exercise your free will.

So we must choose: free will or a God which does everything for us so that nothing bad ever happens to us.

Karmic philosophy was erected as a crux to explain why bad things happen to good people, and whether or not we can ever achieve a point where no bad things would ever happen to us.

Let’s quickly address a common question related to this very point:

There is an immense amount of extreme poverty in the world. God can do something about it, why doesn’t He?

Charitable and government organizations agree that there is enough food to feed everyone in the world. For the past two decades, the rate of production has far exceeded the rate of population growth. There is enough food to feed 10 billion people, and the world’s population has not even reached to that point yet.

It is not that God has not provided for all, but instead that His provisions are not reaching those in need, primarily due to the corruption of man. Political and cultural differences and conflicts in particular are a major cause of this.

So then why doesn’t God do something about this?

Once again, to do that, God would have to violate your free will. Therefore, He works through organizations and peoples who have a true desire to aid those need. There are numerous Christian organizations who have taken up the cause of fighting hunger including Compassion International, World Vision, World Help, Feed the Hungry, and Samaritan’s Purse.

Jinasena’s 7th Argument:

And God commits great sin in slaying the children whom he himself created. If you say that he slays only to destroy evil beings, why did he create such beings in the first place?

Response:

Here, Jinasena argues why God would create mankind with the potential to commit evil acts?

St. Augustine defined evil as being a parasite of good. It is a lack of something, just as being sick is a lack of good health. Therefore, without good, evil can not exist, and vice versa. There must be an established standard of good for evil to have a definition.

Consequently, suffering is in itself misinterpreted by jain philosophers. The belief is that all suffering is equally wrong. This is not true. Take, for example, a small child who wants to eat chocolate but the parent is not allowing the child to eat chocolate because doing so would ruin the child’s teeth and cause stomach pain. The child begins to cry and undergoes emotional suffering because he or she is not getting what they desire.

Here, the theory of Karma states that the child is suffering because of desire. In reality, the child suffers simply because they are not understanding why the chocolate is being withheld from them. If the child were to understand the reasoning behind why the parent is not giving them chocolate, they would instead trust the parent’s good judgement and understand that there needs to be a limit to chocolate consumption.

Therefore, it is not desire which is the problem here but a lack of understanding and trust on the side of the child.

By categorizing all suffering as absolutely equal, Jain Dharma confuses the follower in not recognizing that some suffering may be good and required for the sake of the individual. In the case of the child, the short term suffering of refraining from consuming the chocolate would lead to long-term good health. What’s more, the child does not have to completely destroy the desire of eating chocolate, but instead practice discipline and limit consumption.

When we categorize all suffering as equal, we lose the differentiation between an emotional, subjective experience, to what is evil compared to intellectual standards. If we were to rely 100% on our own subjective opinions on what is evil, then we can effectively categorize even the smallest bit of pain upon our minds and bodies as an evil act and therefore condemn the arbitrator of that said evil act.

Jinasena’s charge is that God must create humans incapable of performing evil acts. Well, suppose that God created humans to be incapable of committing evil acts. What would that look like? They would most likely be humans devoid of free will, much like an animal.

There are three points of response to this charge: 1) that God desires mankind to genuinely love Him, 2) both good and evil must exist for mankind to know what is good, and 3) God’s moral standards will always seem unfair to you.

God desires mankind to genuinely love Him

Due to the black and white philosophy of Karma, in that you are absolutely responsible for all your bad deeds – even those committed in your past life of which you have no memory of, it is difficult to picture an all-powerful God who would desire His creation to love Him.

Since we have established that the universe demands a Creator, and that this act of creation was an act of love, we must now understand the next step: that the side effect of love is evil, if that love is to be true.

Consider this: would you as a parent desire your child to love you? If so, would you desire that child to love you simply because you are his or her parent, or because you provide them with food, shelter, clothing, and the comforts of life?

Unconditional love is love without any conditions, that the child loves the parent even if the parent is unable to provide the comforts of life. For true unconditional love to exist, there must be absolute free will. Evil serves a purpose in establishing the standard of love, which we will discuss in the next point:

Good and evil must exist for mankind to know what is good

When you accidentally touch a hot stove, you recoil quickly in pain. The pain continues and a mark appears on your hand as proof of the event which occurred. Now you have established a rule: do not touch a hot stove.

This is the relationship between good and evil on a very miniscule level. We can scale this concept to the most extreme forms of suffering.

Where did the comprehensive moral standards of Jain Dharma come from?

If an individual was trapped in a room without experiencing the outside world, without any teacher, and without any literature, would that person be able to write any moral laws?

Without exposure to the outside world, he or she is only subject to their own minds and to whatever experiences occur in that room.

Unless the individual has read about, heard of, been taught by, experienced, or seen suffering and evil, he or she can not understand what is good. Therefore, good and evil must co-exist, so that a human with free will can decide between good and evil.

God’s moral standards will always seem unfair to you

It is not that we should follow a set moral code so that we receive some reward – heaven, moksha, etc. It is that such a moral code should exist outside of ourselves to be the ultimate arbitrator of good and evil.

Jains believe in Karmic particles which somehow choose right and wrong based on a predetermined moral code. Atheists have some moral code in which they judge others. Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, and Hindus all adhere to some moral code.

The importance of a moral code is clear amongst all people of various belief systems, but the confusion relies on the origin of that moral code.

If one were to say that this moral code was developed from their own minds, or even a committee, then that code would be fundamentally unfair as it discludes the moral proclivities of everyone else who was not included in the formation of the code.

In addition, the likelihood that all members of a committee are fully, 100% satisfied with a ratified moral code is highly unlikely.

How much more then, that the moral code of a benevolent God who knows your future and the future of mankind, understands fully the psychology of His creation, and is eternally infallible build a set of moral codes which you would consider unfair.

That a fallible creature would subject an infallible Creator to the laws of mankind is absurd. What is more absurd is to think that God is the violator His own moral code.

He is not the violator, but instead the enforcer. He is both just and loving.

This is logically accurate. Any government with a moral code can not simply create a code and do nothing to enforce that code. There is a reason why such a code exists.

So where the law states that you can not kill, when that law is violated by a citizen, a police force is used to enforce that law. The individual is then brought before a judge, who determines his or her punishment.

We hark at God and His eternal criminal justice system despite possessing such a criminal justice system in our own communities. Once again, this is not to say a Christian is above the law or has any right to point fingers at his neighbor to exact judgement.

No.

That is not the purpose of this argument, and certainly not the charge which Jinasenna has presented. He has charged God with allowing the death of innocent children, through perhaps a natural disaster.

But even according to Jinasena’s world view, a child born with a set of Karmas is subject to all sorts of suffering, even death by a natural disaster.

Under God’s law, He is the ultimate arbitrator of justice. Justice is served both on earth and in Heaven. Any child who is unlawfully killed would be judged by God in Heaven. What we know is that He is gracious. Unlike a Karmic particle, God understands the difference between a small child and a full grown adult. He understands the difference between an individual who is able to comprehend a moral code and chooses to live against that moral code, and one who is not able to comprehend morality (examples include a small child or someone with a condition/disease preventing the understanding good and evil).

Because God is omnipotent, He has created the universe and mankind in that universe. Because He is benevolent, He has given His creation moral laws. Because He is omniscient, He allows for us to exercise our free will.

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