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!

 

The suffering of others being part of a divine plan is not something to theorise about

THE BACKGROUND
 

Believers hold that God is that infinite love source that is actively concerned about the welfare and happiness of his creatures.

 

Is that theoretical - just a theory? 

 

Is it empirical - that is to say that you see so much good and you see evil turning into good and reason that the evidence is that there could be a loving God.

 

It could be both theoretical or empirical.  Empirical can lead to theoretical.  You see the good and form a theory that God explains it.  Theoretical can lead to empirical.  You have your theory and look around you to see if it correct.

 

Which one matters most?  What if it could only be one? 

 

If God alone should matter then theoretical is the one.

 

Worrying about the empirical denies that God should just be good and just matters.  So in reality there is no choice.  The theoretical really does alone matter

 

 

 

 

If you say there is a God who can take away all evil and suffering but justifiably does not then you are turning the suffering of others into a theory. Your theory is the suffering will bring about a good that will not happen without it. That is how you can call God good while people scream in agony.

It is easier to condone evil done by another than yourself for you know what your motives are. You don’t see their motives. And if you read motives you are never that sure if they have been read correctly.
 
You are far from humble if you think there is a God whose motives you can read! You cannot even read man's or your own half the time!

Are you dealing with your painful realisation that others suffer by telling yourself its part of a plan? Is your motive to relieve your own pain?
 
Yes if you are not doing much or enough.

You cannot think there is a plan because of the evidence. Nobody says it looks like there is a plan.

What is wrong with thinking that something is so bad that good has to come?

Are you claiming that you feel inspired to assume that there is a plan? But it is too serious to merely assume. If God battered his wife would you assume? If you feel inspired to say there is a plan, why don’t you say you feel inspired to say the child molester has a plan? Why do you choose to say you are inspired in relation to God simply because God is not testable? Who are you to say you are really inspired? Who are you to say that its okay because you feel inspired when it might not be okay? Your feeling inspired does not matter more than the suffering of others.
 
You are saying there is a plan but it is not testable. How does anybody know then if you are saying this because it is not testable or because you think there probably is a plan? You are asking people to trust you that you are not being dismissive of the suffering of others in any way. But trust requires that you earn trust. “I don’t know if there is a plan therefore there is” is hardly inspiring others to trust you! No just the opposite!
 
If you use God to feel better about what others have to endure then you will soon start doing this if people hurt each other too. You will deal with the pain by condoning what they or by saying that for some mysterious reason they do right.
 
SUFFERING IS NOT SOMETHING TO THEORISE ABOUT!
 
The need of suffering is not something you theorise about. It is something you experience. It is insensitive and presumptuous for religion to theorise about you or anybody's suffering. As only experience can say if suffering has a value that makes it worthwhile you have to be everybody that suffers before you can say God permits it for a reason. Theorising implies a lack of understanding and empathy. You only really understand suffering if you endure it and as long as you endure it and if you are every person who suffers. Memory makes sure of that! Remembering it is not the same as enduring it all over again. And memory is reconstructive and not very trustworthy when it comes to suffering for you want to forget enough of it to move on. In that light, nobody has any right to say your suffering matches the idea of a loving God. It is not a theory problem but an experience problem.
 
Though experience would be the only hope you have if you want to justify God's responsibility for human suffering, it does not mean it will succeed.
 
This fact makes it even crueller to theorise. The less evidence you have for justifying God the worse you are. Thus if you see suffering that is gratuitous you have no right to risk taking the wrong attitude to it by saying that somehow it is not. You have to see such suffering as evidence against God. If evidence matters, you can't risk getting blind to it by trying to explain it away.

Religion trying to excuse suffering is scandalous for instead of devising theories about why God might let the innocent suffer, the religious person should have a supernaturally induced drive to go out and fight the evil heroically. It is action that should solve the problem of evil (if it can be solved) not doctrine. That religion mostly has people who adore God and do not really care about the problem especially when it is people in faraway places who suffer and not themselves and people who preach the theory instead of being the theory, this is to be understood as evidence that belief in God produces a lack of empathy and is riddled with hypocrisy. We should not believe in God when the belief is so tied in with bad fruits. Even if a theory about how God can be forced to put up with evil had any validity, the fact remains that it insults sufferers if to you it is a theory and you don't become the theory and a soldier against suffering.
 
One problem is that even if the religion does not go into the doctrine of God letting suffering happen it is still there in the background. The believer may not articulate it or think of it but is living the theory that evil happens and God lets it happen and wants you to destroy it. The risk of condoning evil is still being taken for what if you are simply honouring a God who does not care or who is spiteful?
 
When religion says suffering is just part of life, part of what it means is that we have free will to help or to harm and we often do harm with it so the fault is ours. It says that God lets us do horrendous things for he will bring good out of it in his own time. So the evil we do cannot be described as intolerable as far as God is concerned. It is tolerable for it will lead to a greater good. Religion adds that God will influence us to carry out this good in accordance with our free will which he will not override. In reality God has no purpose at all, he leaves it to us to make good out of evil. Thus he is guilty of tolerating the intolerable though he has the power to do something about it. He gives us an influence and insults us by calling that doing something!
 
A supreme God who exists only in the mind of man will produce evil for man thinks much evil. Such a contrived God even if it does not encourage evil does nothing to thwart it. It has no intrinsic power to help with evil. And the supreme God notion gives man a way to say, "It is God making these rules not me". How clever and how empowering for man! The human origin of faith in God and how dangerous that faith is in the hands of religious fraudsters and liars and politicians and monarchs and prophets shout one thing out: DROP GOD!

 

Religious people sometimes come out with it and say there is nothing wrong or bad about suffering.  They say it is not evil in itself.  So the consequences can be bad too.  They cannot be evil either.  If suffering is not evil in itself any thing "bad" that happens after it has even less chance of being evil.  After all there is a difference between x being bad and the results of x being bad.  The results are indirect and like side-effects.  But how can they condemn suffering then?  They maintain then that it is a symptom of a deeper evil.  But that turns sin into a mere rule.  Sin is just a rule that makes no sense or has no logic for how can you have morality if suffering is just a morally neutral thing or even a good thing?

We see that the suffering of others is being played down in the heads of the believers and all because of faith in God. They may feel shocked at it but they should be more shocked. The good is often the enemy of the best. They need to think about that.