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!

 

Evil versus God or God versus Evil?  Or both?

 

CHRISTIANS:
God is all-good and all-powerful. Yet evil exists. He takes final responsibility for all that happens and he will remove all evil. He is fighting it now without taking it away completely for he has a purpose for allowing it to happen. He is justified in doing so.
 
SANITY SAYS:
It is only an assumption that allowing evil is justified. If the believer proves that it is possible, he still does not prove that its justified. It is simply evil and cold to assume that evil is justified. You don't assume that someone lets a child molester hurt her child for some understandable reason. Some believers do outstandingly good things. Is it because it boosts their egos to be part of God's evil-busting activity? The OH I'M GREAT FOR GOD HAS CHOSEN ME kind of thing? Or is it because they have to compensate for the callous assumption they make? With motives such as that, their goodness is only apparent. It might seem to do no harm but what about what it does to their inner decency? They will be dangerous if they drop their religious crutch.

 

People suffer horrendously. We can learn better what they go through if we refuse to try and harden our hearts enough to pretend God is taking care of it. That is about helping us cope not them.

If there is no God, their situation is horrific. By assuming there is a God we fail to see how horrific it is. By forgetting about the God idea, we can engage with them and see the evil fully as it is. The atheist can be more heroically self-sacrificing than the believer.
 
If evil is needed in God's plan then we should praise God for letting it happen. Why don't we party when somebody gets cancer? Why not tell the sufferer that he or she is so lucky to be asked to suffer in God's plan?

 

It would show more faith to rejoice when you get cancer then it would when you get the love of your life. And faith is a great virtue according to Christendom.

The Christians are repelled by all that but by implication, when they praise God they are praising him for allowing evil to happen. Their revulsion is hypocritical. They do not really believe that God allowing evil is justified for they say that any prophet speaking in the name of God who advocates abortion and war is not really authorised by God at all.

 

Believers are manipulated to think of only God versus evil.  But what it is evil versus God? 

 

Can it be both?

 

If not then what if it is either?  Which one then?

 

God is said to detest our evil and how we suffer for he loves us. Yet he lets these things happen.

Is this a contradiction?
 
If it is, then God is not very powerful, or he is not all-good or he does not exist.
 
If there is no God we still worship. What do we worship? We worship blind indifferent nature and hail its activities as those of God.

 

One day God will make the evil consequences of evil good. That is what attracts people about faith in God and draws them to various religions. So to say God has a purpose that forces him to put up with our evil and suffering is therefore very very serious matter. If there is no all-good God then evil and suffering are inexcusable. You don't want to risk excusing the excusable. You don't want to be saying there is a purpose for evil when it is useless. You need proof that God and evil do not contradict each other. You need solid and strong evidence.


The risk is inherently degrading.

 

Evil is a waste and produces only waste. If God turns evil good then he does so by force and in spite of it. Would you not want to believe that evil can be turned into good gently and without force? Yes you would but that involves playing down what evil is.

 

Now that we have shown the inherent degradation in telling people they are part of God's plan in the face of great suffering, we need not bother examining the reasons God is supposed to allow suffering to happen. They all assume that God is in control and letting suffering happen is part of his plan. But let us bother anyway!
 
WHAT IS SUFFERING?
 
Suffering is the experience of meaningless existence - it is experiencing something that tells you that you should not be happy or alive.
 
Anyway, pain and suffering are not exactly the same thing. You can feel your existence is worthwhile to whatever degree if you have pain. Suffering is a form of pain that makes you feel your existence is not worth it. If God can allow pain, it does not follow that he can allow suffering. Suffering would mean he has given us the faculty to feel that our lives are useless and that if he has a purpose for us it means nothing for us.

GOOD COMES IN SPITE OF EVIL
 
Good cannot come out of evil. It can only come in spite of it. Evil by definition means good is worked against and can only happen in spite of it. If evil presents itself as enabling some good purpose then that is a smokescreen. Evil always does that. Human nature fears evil and likes to believe it is part of a higher power's plan to eradicate evil or reduce it. But to fail to recognise evil for what it is and to see it as less bad than how you can see it is to enable evil. Evil is honoured when it is given a bit of shine.
 
THE POINTLESS SUFFERING ARGUMENT

 

Pointless suffering exists.

 

A good God would not let it exist.

 

Therefore there is no good God.

 

Some modify the argument as follows.

 

Pointless suffering PROBABLY exists.

 

A good God would not let it exist.

 

Therefore there is no good God.

 

Christians change the argument to the following:

 

If there are useless evils, then there is no all-good God.

 

God exists.

 

Therefore we only think suffering is ever pointless - it is not.

 

To take evil seriously as something you don't want to unknowingly condone, or knowingly condone, means that you need evidence for God that is least as good as the evidence for suffering and evil.

 

Religion argues that if you say there is no God then you cannot call suffering evil. You have no standard. So that is why they argue that evil proves the existence of God.

 

That is nonsense. Suffering would still be evil if there were no God or anything at all. If there was nothing that would be good in the sense that there is nothing there to suffer.
 
FREE WILL DEFENCE BRIEFLY REFUTED
 
A good God will only let evil happen if he needs it for a greater good. The Bible agrees where God taught through Paul the apostle that he turns everything to the good of those who he has called to be his servants (Romans 8:28). The idea that the evil God allows may not result in a greater good but just stops things getting worse so that with a specific evil such as smallpox or whatever or without it there will be no improvement has to be rejected because it is very unlikely that evil and goodness will break even. At the same time, this idea doesn’t affect anything we say. It is saying that God allows evil for a purpose as much as the idea that God uses evil for a better or greater good is.
 
Believers say that the crimes of Stalin and Hitler were only allowed to happen by God because, among other reasons, God sought to respect their free will, the greater good of free will.
 
Believers in God state that since God is good, evil and suffering are not his fault but arise from the abuse of free will. God gave us free will so that we could sacrifice ourselves and love him and others. Without it there would be no love and so God is right to take the risk of giving us free will for it is worth the possibility that we will love. In short, people are to blame for suffering and not God.

The existence of free will can be undeniably refuted. To be responsible for an action, I have to know what I am doing the very moment I am doing it. But I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. The moment I will something it is one thought in my mind that makes me do it. I am not conscious of my motives then at that very moment so I do not know what I am doing. I cannot be responsible for what I do therefore determinism (the notion that the will is programmed and is not free) is true. It is only when I look back that I think I knew what I was doing. If God made me a mili-second ago, what I “decide” now won’t feel any different. For all I know God could have done that. Even if I have free will, God could determine it so that I will make the right choices. He could use that method to do it. It makes no difference for all I know the universe could have been created a mili-second ago.
 
Everyone who has examined their conscience is aware of this truth that there is no free will because that job requires examination of whether or not you were conscious of what you were doing the moment you acted badly. Those who oppose the determinist are being unkind.
 
If God exists then as our all-loving maker, he is said to be entitled to all our love, not some but all. I must make him my only God by making him my only love. Believers will say that though it may be the case that there could be inner forces making me do something that they only play a partial role and I still have enough free will to be considered responsible for what I do. But it would follow that I am not fully myself, am not fully free, when I make a choice. God cannot be my God fully unless I can choose fully and make a fully informed choice. Thus God has no right to permit suffering in order that we might love him fully for that is not possible. We don't have enough free will to justify all the evil that has happened especially to babies.

Free will is one hundred percent disproved. And it does not salvage God's reputation if it does exist. Free will is no excuse for a God letting a man hurt a baby because free will by definition is not about anybody letting us do what we want but about me letting myself do what I want. Using it as an excuse betrays an empathy problem. There is no question about these things.

SUFFERING IS PURPOSELESS, PART 1
 
In the Book of Job, Job was declared to be sinless by God. Yet God allowed Satan to torment him to the extreme. Job did not sin in all this but then he discovered it was a sin to wonder why God allowed evil and suffering and God approved of his conclusion that it was better just to ask no questions and trust in God and his almighty power. It is not said that this sin existed when he was first tormented but was committed later. In fact it is denied that Job was tormented for it. The Book of Job forbids Christianity to have a theodicy, or a hypothesis that shows how a good God could let evil happen. It is like somebody trying to con you and not allowing you to ask any questions and it infers approbation for such behaviour. That in itself proves belief in God has nasty implications.

We can prove that the notion of a God of perfect love who is able to be our protection against moral pollution and suffering but won’t be for a good purpose is incoherent, hypocritical and brutal for it is contradicted by the existence of evil and moral pollution. Many of the proofs of this are implied by the dogmas proclaimed by the theologians themselves who won’t admit that these sinister offshoots exist. The theologian is to test and examine all the revelations supposedly from the Most High for purity in order to state his dogmas more precisely. That requires the inference of dogmas and truths to be identified and scrutinised. Consequently, she or he must know the truth, the dark truth and nothing but this astonishing truth.

But let us go on and strip the great Yahweh of his disguise. Bare him and his nature as the world’s favourite pipe dream will be manifested. Expose him to the world and then sacrifice him for truth so that his dying blood may poison the Church and true humanity rise from its ashes.

The attempts to reconcile evil with the existence of an omnipotent God are called theodicies.

They take a means and end approach to the problem of evil. That is, they assume God allows evil and suffering to happen for a reason that justifies him letting them happen.
 
Some modern philosophers, though believing in God, reject theodicy. The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil is a book that explicates that approach. This book says that God is not a moral agent. That is, though God is good he is not obligated to make everybody’s life perfect and to save people from suffering. This thought comes from the notion that evil is just a lack of good and not a thing. Evil is like good that is in the wrong place. For example, a knife is good but not good in your chest. God is not obligated to create anything. He is not bound to. Therefore God is not bound to make anything perfect. As far as something is not perfect that is not God’s doing or imperfection is not a thing. God didn’t make imperfection he only made the thing good as far as it is good. This is not a theodicy for it simply denies that God allows evil for the sake of some good. It says that theodicy is nonsense for evil is totally useless. At least in that sense, it is a noble theory.
 
But it still does not save us the bother of trying to work out a theodicy.
 
Say you take it as correct. But then what would you say about a person who believed that he didn’t need to get cured of a disease that he could pass on to his child as he attempts to become a father? He can’t say he is creating the good but not the evil. Even if he was, would he be right to father the child? It would be heartless to look at a sick child and tell him to be happy that he is sick for evil is really just a form of good that is not as good as it could be.

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THE WEB
 
www.colorado.edu/philosophy/wes/Tooley2.html
 
THE ARGUMENT FROM EVIL AND THE EXISTENCE OF GOD by Michael Tooley.
 
http://www.nd.edu/~rpotter/courses/finitism.htm
 
FINITISM AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, R Dennis Potter,
 
www.ffrf.org/fttoday/august97/barker.html
 
THE FREE WILL ARGUMENT FOR THE NON-EXISTENCE OF GOD by Dan Barker