HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Doctrine that evil is God's tool for training us in goodness opposes material or scientific or indeed ANY human progress

If God uses evil to train us then it follows that whether we help others or not we get involved in evil and it can train us. So there is no such thing as progress as far as we are concerned.

The Christians defend God's love in the face of great evil and suffering which he allows to happen by saying he uses evil to train us but that destroys or enfeebles the desire to progress. If we overcome suffering for others then it follows that we have made the world a worse place. You will answer that you cannot say that if God empowers you to overcome the suffering. And also if you have caused another evil by taking away suffering surely God can use that evil so the ending of suffering is not progress in the big picture when everything is taken into account.

If we argue that if hypothetically we could end suffering without any faith in God or need for him and against his will then our good result is really evil. The doctrine then that evil is used by a perfectly good God to do good with it is recognised as morally bankrupt. It cares about God's will not us at all.
 
Belief in God implies that suffering plus moral goodness is better than moral goodness alone. This implies that love is sacrifice and that helping others would only be justified if they destroy the results of that help and find new ways to suffer. Or we should ask God to undo the good we have done.

If science makes it possible to be free from all suffering and death then religion has to be opposed to science. We are not supposed to know or try to know how to achieve these aims and they are indeed the aims of science.
 
If you believe in the divine discipline defence then you should believe that instead of finding cures for diseases we should help one another for finding the cures interferes with God’s plan and if he wants to rid the world of the disease let him do it himself. Christians say that implies you could say that giving a cup of water to a thirsty person is against God’s plan. No. The purpose of having the disease is for people to look after one another but not to have people cure it.

Even to suggest that because evil is God training us we MAY not find cures is extremist and dangerous. Believers may work hard for cures and still have that MAY in their minds and hearts. It is still vile.

If people suffer so that we can develop and show them compassion then it is wrong to do anything that drastically reduces suffering. Instead of curing killer diseases we should be throwing away the medicine and help the sick hoping that the disease will infect millions to assist in making the world holier. You will do more good works without people taking medicine and without them taking it. The feeling of compassion means more suffering too. The result is plenty of pain and sacrifice but little happiness. Nothing implies that happiness is a sin more than belief in God. I am not saying compassion is wrong but I am saying that it is wrong to condone a God who makes it necessary and wants it or to believe in compassion if you think that God comes first. When God cannot have compassion as he is an eternal spirit, the fact that belief in God even raises the question, "Is compassion good and a sign of God in us?" is a worry.

If evil is for discipline then it is for healing our weaknesses towards sin. But they say love is sacrifice. If so, the weaker we are the better for the harder and therefore the more loving it is to do good and it would be a sin for God to discipline us. It is effort not success that God is interested in. Afflicting us can put us back where we started so God would be better leaving us alone with our struggle with weakness. If the theodicy is right then God wants and intends us to be good so that evil and unhappiness will be ended. But that is ridiculous for he could have made us unable to suffer from the start. The defence challenges the omnipotence and intelligence of God. It advocates foolishness which shows that it is an affront to suffering people. The idea that suffering is punishment is better for it is fairer in the sense that it is better to get what you deserve than to suffer to be disciplined.

Finally

To say evil and suffering are God's ways of training us imply that he plans them to happen. Even when he lets you sin it is because he has a plan for it. There is no such thing as God randomly letting evil and suffering happen and then working out how to bring good out of them. In fact the only person that can turn suffering into training is the person who is enduring it. There is no need or justification for saying God is doing it. That is a very serious thing to say and is grossly disgraceful. Faith does not give you the right to say or believe in something like that. The believers who do seem trained by their suffering only imagine that their religious faith or God is training them. The religious faith is only a hindrance. It cannot help so it hinders. They are training themselves and attributing the good results to the wrong thing.