Comfort: "God is [...] good, he's just."
In response, AronRa writes: "God describes himself as being as much evil as he is good; and that he created evil - not as the absence of good, but proud of that creation" and cites Isaiah 45:5-7
I have pulled the relevant passage from The Skeptics Annotated Bible
45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known meThere is a commentary on 45:7 which also references a couple of other places that say much the same, and one that it feels contradicts the statement:
45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
2 Kings 6:33
6:33 And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?Amos 3:6
3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?1 John 4:8
4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.LookingUntoJesus.net suggests that 'evil' here should be better translated from the Hebrew as 'adversity, affliction, bad, calamity' rather than 'evil', and points out that the texts are supposedly directed at peoples whom God was attempting to chide back into the "path of righteousness" (and therefore concludes that there is no contradiction between 1John4:8 and the other two passages).
I'm not sure that this shows God being good or just, even in that light. It sounds then, that he is threatening to cause adversity and calamity if people don't do what he says. To me, that sounds more like a parent who feels unable to control their children...but then since he made them what they are (unlike, or at least in a more direct sense than, human parents), surely he should know how to control them - if that's what he's trying to do. And if he's not trying to control them, why threaten anything?
tektonics.org also argues along similar lines about the misinterpretation of the word, although they do say that '`ra' is used in places to mean moral evil. They point at the literary parallel - light/darkness - shalom/`ra... where shalom is generally translated peace, and is never moral goodness. So we have peace/war? peace/conflict? Again while this avoids the verse implying what it appears to in English, it still does not show a 'just' god, really, does it?
It all reminds me of the first verse of the Tao Te Ching - without dark there cannot be light/without tall there cannot be short/without good there cannot be bad (paraphrased, but I think those three lines are pretty close). In this light, it would seem that perhaps god has caused there to be peace such that humans could enjoy it, but in doing so he had to cause the antithesis of peace and cause humans to kill each other...
OK - this is a lot longer than I had anticipated. I will post the other commentaries by AronRa in another entry at another time...