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!

 

GOD CAN'T HAVE PURPOSE FOR SUFFERING

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?

 

We are to be treated holistically which means our reason is what matters first and foremost in regard to the matter of suffering and death.  Reason is about connecting to truth.  We need to do that for the truth is the truth and knowing it protects you and if it is horrible at least you can start to try and accept what you cannot change.

 

The claim that evil and suffering is a mystery we will never solve is just a cop out.  It is an evil claim for we need evidence and reason to help get or guess an answer.  If no rational answer works then there is no answer.  It is an evil claim for if you take evil and suffering seriously you cannot afford to risk justifying them when they are unjustifiable. 

 

Hence the theodicy.  It is an attempt to show that the idea of God letting evil happen and making bad viruses agrees with his perfect and all powerful love.  There are several theodicies.  Let us look at them all.


There are theodicies and then there is THE theodicy.

The theodicy is the one without which the others are gibberish and insanity. It is the doctrine that we have free will and that that freedom cannot be interfered with. We have already blown it apart.

Freedom of will is not freedom of action. Some say that we should have this freedom of action so that we can either hurt or heal. They cannot give any evidence for this so their sentiment is just an assumption. The freedom of action defence is mingled with the free will defence to the extent that the free will defence is really a freedom of action defence.

Quadriplegics may have no power to move from the neck down but yet they are supposed to have free will. They can will things they cannot do like the rest of us. A person can choose to kill even though she or he cannot get the chance to do it or is forcibly stopped. The gift of free will makes sin possible but it does not need to lead to suffering. The notion of free will alone making it right for God to leave us to suffer is not right at all. Freedom of will and freedom of action are two separate things. If we should suffer then the reason for it is another one altogether.

If we suffer we cannot say that it is because we have to be able to hurt. All suffering must be punishment if the defence is true and nobody likes that lethal idea.
 
Though we have shattered the illusion of rationality that hangs over the free will defence and done a thorough job of it we will go on. We will see that even if the defence is true there are other reasons why suffering and much human badness should not be permitted by God for the defence is not enough on its own. But the most important thing is that apart from the Fourth Theodicy the defences all depend on the validity of the Free Will Defence. If it is wrong they are all wrong.

THE FIRST THEODICY: “Free will is the reason for evil and suffering not God”.

This idea which is the basic theodicy implies that we are to blame for pain and suffering and evil. If you do evil freely then logically you deserve to be punished. Religion shies away from saying that the sick are being punished for their sins because nobody will take that abuse from them but this theodicy says it is possible that they are and it is as insulting to say my sins can lead to somebody else suffering in innocence down the line as to say that if I suffer I am being punished for my sins.

Surprisingly some Christians admit the free will defence cannot get God off the hook (An Intelligent Person's Guide to Catholicism). They have to for it is now clearer than ever to more people that the defence is wrong.

THE SECOND THEODICY: “God cannot protect us against all suffering for that would mean turning bullets into paper and sending angels to catch anybody that falls off a cliff. It is better for things to be as they are instead of having endless miracles that turn life and the universe into chaos.”

A protective force field around the body is the only miracle God needs to do. How anybody who watches science fiction movies could equate protection from harm with chaos is mind-boggling or is it just plain untruthfulness? The theory shows a lack of compassion for others when it says they should be allowed to suffer for chaos must be avoided when it is obvious that they should not.

God should have made earthquakes and volcanoes and plagues impossible in the first place. If God does not have the power to correct his creation now without doing constant miracles but by just doing one big renovating miracle then he is not a God.  He shouldn’t have wasted his power making the stars and the planets but devoted all his energy to helping us.

THE THIRD THEODICY: “Suffering and evil are for disciplining us or to make us grow in holiness.”

This theodicy is so important that it deserves a chapter on its own. It implies that God is only concerned with our moral qualities and not with the harm we do or endure. The harm is good in the long-term for it disciplines in the best way the greatest number.
 
The theodicy is outrageous because it is men and theologians who expect us to take their word for it that it is true. You would need to hear it from God and get outstanding evidence that he really said it. It is not the kind of thing that should be based on weak evidence or human testimony or philosophy. It is vulgar when the pampered and the well-off religious leader tells you that sickness and depression and infirmity are gifts from God for our betterment. Religion refuses to look at belief in God through the humanitarian lens but likes to present it as being about thinking and philosophy and theology. This hides the inherent vulgarity in the concept of God.
 
So anyway religion would have you believe that if there is a God the harm we suffer is good for us. Cruelty is a sin only when it is intended to be malicious but if it is intended to make the person a better person then it is good and is doing the person a favour. Obviously, the theodicy is a charter for total anarchy and worldwide misery. Love becomes treating a person as badly as possible. If you get the chance to hurt somebody terribly then the chance is given for a greater reason. If God is all-powerful he can make sure the chaos leads to good so the results are his concern and not ours. We understand then how the Church was able to forbid the quarantine of the first AIDS victims. It was so that it would spread and kill off gays and they make themselves feel good about this psychopathic outlook by pretending that it is for their spiritual welfare.
 
God was evil for making us in such a way that we get and supposedly need much vicious discipline.

We must remember that only a small proportion of suffering is caused by illness and the vast majority of it is caused by other people. God could have put us in a world of fewer bad people but he didn’t so he wants to use the abuse others heap on us. It makes no sense to say then that it is wrong to hurt others. It’s only wrong to do it with the wrong motive.

If it is wrong for us to discipline others to make them holier though they do not want it then how could it be seriously wrong when they need discipline? We might be treading on God’s toes but it is nothing serious if we are.

Why don’t all people have the same amount of sickness in their lives? The answer would have to be that all people are not equal in development and so cannot respond in the same degree of holiness to suffering. This makes the theodicy more malevolent and not less for the bad are supposed to need the suffering.

Nobody teaches that God sends suffering to make us good in every way. He wills something bad to make us work on say our patience with a child or something. If the theodicy is true, then a really good God would tell us what we need to change about ourselves and what he wants changed so that it might not be necessary for him to try and change us by force by sending suffering. Religion says he has told us but we need to be told directly by God to waken us up.

If you change because God hurts you then you are changing partly or fully to avoid further pain. If you never suffered that pain and changed, it would be better because you changed more because it was right to change than you would if you had suffered. I mean the goodness of the change is reduced by the fact that the wish to avoid pain took the place of the wish to for performing improved moral goodness. Suffering always increases unholiness. Thus the theodicy is destroyed and showed to be callous.

Believers in God these days believe that the free will he gave us consists of this scheme: environment and heredity and free will result in free actions. In other words, the will is not controlled by anybody or anything and is totally free but the options on the menu that it has to choose from are forced on it. It’s like forcing a free agent into a room leaving him with the choice of whether to break out the door or the window. When a person who needs correction receives a sickness from the Lord for a purpose, the purpose is to give him the choice between change or sickness. If he changes he will not need the discipline of illness. If he changes and not just to avoid sickness then he did not need the discipline in the first place for he is very brave and virtuous and it was not discipline for him but punishment. If he changes to avoid sickness then the sickness will stay and he is asking for it and so he deserves it because God wants him to repent because he loves God and puts God first and not because of self-interest.  Though God would want us to help him it is a sin for him to look for help from others when he has brought the sickness upon himself. The defence is an apologetic for the view that sickness is always punishment.

What sense does it make to say that God allows suffering to discipline us when much of that suffering hits one person and another so obviously in a random fashion? Often the person who never gets the discipline is the one who needs it the most. Religion says that God going after the worst would be like God blackmailing them to be good or better which is why he can’t centre on the worst people for then it would be too obvious that if you become like them you will be disciplined severely too and you will be afraid to sin and he wants you to feel free to sin to see if you will love instead of sin. But he can do this because only he knows who really is the worst. And we don’t. And religion itself believes in moral blackmail (page 45, Christ and Violence) as does the state. The doctrine of Hell would not have been permitted by God to be so popular if he was that worried about our freedom. When the theodicy leads them to say such hypocritical things how could it be good? The theodicy would mean that God would make religion better through discipline than anything else because it is his representative. So if you are religious you are in danger of a direct hit of God’s disciplinary actions.
 
God has to be believed to bring about suffering for a better good. The sick thing about such an idea is that it indicates that suffering should be welcomed! Since suffering is the experience of worthless existence, it is a liar and nothing can justify it. You either get this point or you don't. And naturally you cannot welcome the experience of worthless existence. Suffering is not pain for pain doesn’t stop you being happy but if pain is strong enough it will cause suffering. The suggestion that suffering is good for the soul and God uses it for that purpose says more about the person saying it and believing it than God! If you don't get the point, and no religious person will, then your empathy for suffering is faulty.
 
The discipline theodicy has to be rejected entirely because it is easy for me to praise God and condone the suffering of others when I am okay so it increases the very pride that it pretends to obliterate. You say God starves young people to death in Africa and he is right to allow this to happen. But would you like to starve to death or let him do it to you if you could stop him?

THE FOURTH THEODICY: “There is no love without sacrifice and we have to suffer to love so God is right to allow suffering. If there were no suffering there would be no good works such as giving your life to save others or feeding the poor. In other words, we have to suffer as a sacrifice so that good might be done.”

 

The notion that without evil and suffering there would be nobody giving their lives to save others is interesting. It assumes that evil and suffering is worth those painful choices.  And it assumes that the risk of it going wrong is worth it.  If God is very in control then there is no real risk.  If God is all-mighty then risk does not really exist.  And if there is a risk it makes more sense to be atheist and do good.

 

The argument denies that happiness comes first. So why make people happy then?

 

Are people assuming that it is worth it to suffer terribly for the sake of others because it is worth it or because it happens?  It is the latter.  We see people doing it and we think it is right even it is hard or impossible to say if it was worth it.  That is not a religious view. It does not justify involving God.  Why would you involve the God idea where it is not wanted or needed?


The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil says that we do not love because we suffer but we suffer because we love whenever we sacrifice out of love (page 167). This is true but it has nothing to do with refuting the idea that love is sacrifice. The Church says that the person who goes walking about in crazy weather conditions to get a doctor for a sick stranger is showing more charity than a person who gets in a car to do it in normal weather. Jesus said that if you love your loved ones, you deserve no praise for any sinner can manage that. If you love and then seek to suffer to show that love, that solves the dilemma. Then you are indeed suffering because you love. The love starts the minute you choose to accept the suffering so that it is true that you suffer because you love and that love is sacrifice.
 
It is simply a lie that there is no good work unless sin and evil exist. We can freely do good and never sin. When you do good you often forget about the existence of evil and sin.

This theodicy is simply the free will defence for it says we have to choose between self and God. To not choose self is to sacrifice.

THE FIFTH THEODICY: “Without suffering we cannot know what happiness is.”

This is a truly strange cliché. Religion likes to promote it knowing fine well that it is untrue. While we are happy we forget our suffering so we can be just as happy if it never happened. We even forget that suffering exists. If experience of suffering enhances our joy when we are happy then that does not have to be the way. It is just the way we are and we could have been made another way in which it could have been done without. If the answer were true it would be God’s fault that it is true.

The theodicy is a wilful lie because we know we cannot focus on more than one thing at a time and we are still happy. When you are happy this moment you are unconscious of the unhappiness of the past.

The less you suffer now, the theodicy says, the less happy you will be in the future. This doctrine commands cruelty like the rest do.

You should hurt yourself really badly now to enable yourself to be happier later. You should neglect the sick and try to worsen them for this is really helping them.

Incidentally, people should not be saying that happiness cannot be defined. It is simply an emotion. They only get away with it for religion likes to make people unrealistic in many things so that mystical Gospel truths are seen where they are not present.

The argument fails to justify the suffering of babies and animals and the pain of the insane. Also, only a tiny piece of pain would be necessary for us to get some idea of the importance and meaning of happiness assuming it is necessary at all which it is not.

And if pain is necessary for pleasure then pleasure is necessary for pain and why then are people who have suffered nothing but pain from birth able to be happy and find some enjoyment?

THE SIXTH THEODICY: “God is right to hurt us as long as he makes it up to us later.”

This is ascribing acts of gratuitous savagery to God. The only way one can make up for having done evil or let it happen is to undo the past. One can do all the good in the world but the crime is not undone or really made up for. The victim feeling that it is does not mean that it is.

If God is allowed to harm people as long as he makes “atonement” then it is bigotry and hypocrisy to declare this behaviour out of bounds for human beings. It is no answer to say that it is wrong for God forbids it for we have rights too and that is arbitrary. If God is all-powerful he will see that it does work for the best.
 
The thought that God can see to it that if somebody hurts you badly that you will get compensation in Heaven has to be the reason believers in God find comfort in their faith. But they are clearly delusional for there should be no comfort in thinking somebody is doing you a favour by knocking your teeth out as long as they offer you a million dollars in a month's time. There is no self-respect.

THE SEVENTH THEODICY: “God allows suffering for a greater material good. Plagues, for example, urge science to cure diseases. Famine leads to people taking better care in the future.”

This implies that evils are useless and are to be fought when God wants them all fixed. Then why didn’t he make everything right in the first place?

The theory implies that disaster is our fault for not being determined enough to make others happy and take precautions. If so, God agrees that everything should be right and everybody should be happy. The suffering caused by famine and earthquakes is not intended by him. So who made famines and earthquakes – us, the Devil? It is all so wrong for God could have kept the power we or the Devil have used to destroy the creation.

The theodicy is callous – it is telling a sick person that an all-good God wants them to get well and won’t make them well though he should and is still a nice God!

Why would God want us to make mistakes and struggle to correct them? Clearly because it disciplines us. This theodicy harbours the notorious discipline defence in the background.

The theodicy is accepted by the Catholic Church as I found in the booklet, God and the Problem of Suffering.

If this theodicy had any force then the absurd idea that God makes the good happiest and the bad unhappiest would be true. But the idea is so outrageous that nobody needs even to start a statistical check.
 
SUFFERING IS PURPOSELESS, PART 3
 
Now, to the concluding part of our attack on the notion that it makes sense to talk about a loving God in the face of evil.

THE EIGHTH THEODICY: “Suffering and our weakness in the face of temptation are God’s way of getting back at us for sinning.”

Believers have no choice but to accept this. They cannot blame all suffering and weakness directly on how we use our free will. But they can blame it all indirectly on our free will IF our free will is so badly used that it draws retribution on us. No theodicy works so if you want to believe in God and in free will you have to say that all evil is punishment from God. Believers in God may not realise it always, but they are siding with a notion that implies that sufferers deserve all they get. It may imply it by a process of elimination but it is still implying it.

God must be punishing babies for some sin they are not conscious of like original sin or something. This was the apostle Paul’s logic. He said that when all die all must be sentenced to death for God is fair. Logic says the same thing is true if all suffer even babies.

It is brutal if God really does this. It is never right to avenge yourself on a person who cannot remember doing whatever it is you want revenge for or who cannot know or repent what they have done.

The Bible clearly teaches that sincerity will not get you into Heaven if you do not believe in God and salvation by the blood of Jesus. But it should. God can let you into Heaven when you have meant well all your life and it is vile if he excludes you. If he does this and he is good then it follows that error is punishment for sin and those in the wrong faith are rejected by God. This would imply that their virtues are deceptive and that they are full of stubborn opposition to God inside which renders them deserving of their treatment.

Some might say that God will hurt the innocent to get at the guilty. Is it really just to settle the score this way? If it is then we must do the same if we want to.

If the theodicy were true then sick people who repent their crimes and get God’s forgiveness would be instantly cured.

It cannot be right to help a person when God wants them to pay for their sins. This is a lethal theodicy.

A God who increases our propensity to sin to punish us has no right to condemn sin. He is encouraging it and is as bad as we are if not worse.

God has no right to punish suffering people when he makes little effort to stop them sinning. For example, he won’t warn a woman to stay away from a certain man for she will end up having illicit sex with him. Christians say she has no need to be warned for she knows herself. But what if she is being stupid? The warning will waken her up. And she does not have to listen to the warning.

Why does God punish some sinners with earthquakes and kill saints with them? Why did he do nothing about Hitler? Punishment is really forcing evil on a person against their will because they did the same to somebody else. If you are going to force something on a person and have no regard for their will is it not better to harmlessly meddle in their lives so that they will not commit the murder or whatever than to let them remove somebody’s freedom and then take away theirs? The first has more respect for their free will than punishing them. Is it not better to force them to repent in such a way that they think they do it freely? They will do it freely later when the force is lifted off them. This should be done for the worst sinners if not all. And what difference does it make? When I repent now of my free will how do I know that some supernatural force greater than me has not tricked me into thinking I am free while that power was the one pulling the strings? Why wouldn’t the force do that when it forces me to see pink elephants that are not there but which I think are there when I am very drunk? I have no evidence that I have freely repented or am free at all so I cannot believe that I am free for there is no belief without evidence there is only feeling that something is true which is not belief in any sense.

If the theodicies are right that we force God to hurt us and send pain to us then it follows that when you sin, no matter how small you think that sin is, you are calling on God to hurt the world and if he does not want to do that you are the most cruel person alive and if he punishes sin at all he will not let you off for your attitude is so malignant. He can’t let you off for it would not be fair.

Religion says that God comes first. Love of neighbour has to be the outcome of love for God. You express your love for God by helping your neighbour not for the sake of the neighbour but the sake of God. Imagine somebody dies in a car crash chiefly because he forgot to fasten his seatbelt. If God comes first it is best to blame that person and not God and to feel no or little compassion for the person. It is best also so that you don’t have the difficulty of explaining how God could let such a thing happen. The more you try to explain God’s ways the more you will suspect even a bit that God might be bad. So it is more reverent to blame the dead person.
 
The reasoning will go, “He brought it on himself so he deserved it and God was right to let this happen. We will not insult God by holding that the less believable option, that God did not want this to happen for he was innocent and allowed it for a mysterious purpose to make others better people, for that makes it harder to believe that God was right for we don’t see the results or understand how something so terrible could be justifiably allowed to happen.” Newman said that a thousand difficulties do not add up to one doubt. But difficulties are unanswered questions and have to lead to a weakening of faith and in so far as your faith weakens that is as far as you foster a doubt. This indicates that if God lets a person die or makes a new disease to take lives we should take the simplest explanation which is that he is out to punish people for their sins for God and therefore faith come first. Christians say that if God sends sickness to punish you, you will know it. This is logical. Punishment is about retribution and also hopes to see the punished person change into a better person so you have to know if you are being punished to be punished. Wouldn’t it be better to just to believe all the suffering you experience is punishment just in case? If you cause yourself to experience all suffering as punishment then you are saving God from the need to send punishment to you later on.
 
Christian hostility to the notion that God makes them suffer proves they are guilty of the self-righteousness that the apostles tried to eradicate when they taught that nobody deserves salvation or any help from God to live a better life. Logically then we are all worthless and life should be a punishment. It shows too that Christians don’t want God or Christianity so much as they want the benefits of these beliefs. When they persecute those who insult God they persecute people for upsetting THEM!

When love is sacrifice God wants us to suffer. And we still suffer if we do not suffer in sacrifice. So, we might as well sacrifice. This is tantamount to blackmail. God does not give a toss about our freedom after all. He only gave it to us to make sure we will sin so that he can get at us.

THE NINTH THEODICY: “God allows evil and suffering to warn us about the horrors and ugliness of sin. They tell us what will happen if we will continue to sin and give bad example.”

Then why won’t he let us do evil for the same reason? You may say that the thought of God using our evil to warn others makes no sense for the point is he wants rid of evil. But he is in control - if we can do the evil then it is part of his plan. And the evil need not be malicious. It is enough to do it while feeling that God needs it. You are a criminal with a heart.
 
It is no reply to say that it is up to God to do the warning not us for he could use our evil for that purpose for he pulls all the strings in world affairs.

He could warn without causing any suffering and by force for lessons like that have to be forced on us anyway. A few nightmarish visions would suffice if suffering were required at all. He could warn us by mouth.

If suffering is blackmail then why does God not try harder to stop us doing wrong?

This theodicy is saying that God is vindictive in spite of itself for how could a sin that causes little or no pain be worse than suffering? Sin should be bad for it causes suffering which implies that God hates suffering more than sin. But God denies that. If sin is bad because it causes suffering then private and harmless sin is not bad and suffering would refute God for God regards it as number one candidate for destruction.

Another problem is that suffering and evil turn people off belief in a good God. It diminishes the fervour in many believers. Many believers who are not that religious may find God creepy. Evil is the reason why many become atheists.

THE TENTH THEODICY: “God lets us sin and suffer to teach us the lesson that we cannot do without him and to teach us what love is. God wants us to love him alone and others just for him so that is the only lesson that suffering can be meant to teach us”.

This is an official theodicy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Its wrongness is apparent from the fact that many people go through life without the suffering that is supposedly required to drive them to the realisation that they really need God. What they need is not God but the philosophy in The Gospel According to Atheism.

Declaring that some people should suffer more than others as the theodicy does is inhuman.

It is replied that the more you sin the more you suffer for the more you have to learn. This is untrue for sinners are often better off than anybody else. And if you have to learn how to treat God how can you sin? If you sin you know you have done wrong and have no lesson to learn.
 
And the reply suggests that when suffering befalls you it is your own fault for not being holy enough. Sympathy would be out of order.

One phase of suffering would teach you the lesson so why do we often suffer again later? God would give us a better memory concerning the lessons of suffering if he existed when we all want to remember what important things we learn.

It is better to let people ignorantly do harm than to hurt them to enlighten them. You don’t beat your children to make them learn a lesson they can learn without it. The theory approves of hurting the innocent.

Suffering would not last long if it were for making us realise things for God has the power to influence our thoughts.

The theory forbids compassion. It says the sufferer can learn the lesson so they have not tried hard enough to learn it for they still suffer meaning they are being accused of bringing their suffering on themselves. To help a sick person is letting yourself be used sinfully and must be a sin. The only help you can give them is to try to help them to see the lessons. Apart from that you may neglect them and not even give them a cup of water.

The theory is an insult to the sick. Yet God must allow suffering to teach us or to discipline us or both. This is seen more easily from the religious and biblical doctrine that the need for God and to love him most or totally is in us all in the first place and that to love God really this way is to fulfil all his requirements. We need a sermon to learn, not suffering.

Jesus said we must love God with all our being so we do not do good to end suffering but to please God. So that is the only lesson, we need to do everything for the sake of God. Anybody who knows it and all Christians are taught it would not suffer if there were a God.

The idea that you need to suffer terribly so that you will know if you serve God not for any benefit he offers but for God himself and for the love of him only is very wrong. Who cares if you know it or not as long as you practice it?

Some say the theodicy accounts for God letting us do extreme evil. God has to make us totally free so that we will see the awful results of rebelling against him.

First of all, this tell us that God is more interested in proving himself right than in making us right. If we think that God is not right then that is our problem and not his and so he should not degrade himself to prove a point. God’s inability to accept this shows he thinks it is better for us to be let loose and do all the evil we wish than for God to be thought wrong. To be misunderstood is better than to be maligned and rebelled against. We cannot accept this.

Secondly, we are not all free to do the evil we wish.

Thirdly, most of us die before we can see the awful results in full.

THE ELEVENTH THEODICY: “Evil does not exist – it is an illusion. When an all-powerful God of love exists evil cannot exist”.

Advocated by the Christian Science cult and the Unity School of Christianity the fact that the illusion of evil, if that is what evil is, is a painful or evil one is forgotten. It is real to us. If evil does not exist then there is no illusion so what are they doing talking about an illusion? Whoever can look at a sick baby and deny that baby is suffering is mentally sick and twisted.

THE TWELFTH THEODICY: “Evil is simply the absence of good so it does not exist in the sense that it is not a real thing. God is right to allow it for it is a negation and nothing more. There is no evil- just misused good. God is not to blame for evil for evil isn’t real.”

Astonishing, truly astonishing, that anybody could accept this as an excuse for divine evil! It is very hurtful to tell people that their suffering is nothing but the absence of good. And we do treat and think of evil as real when we try to avoid it and we don’t excuse anybody for doing it on the grounds that it isn’t real! This theodicy is vicious for it has people who oppose evil embracing it by lying to themselves that it isn’t real. How can we insult sick people with such an attitude? Evil is what you can condemn a person for committing and if this theodicy works you cannot do that.
 
We want to know how a good God could permit evil. Saying evil isn’t real solves nothing for it is still something to be shunned. If it really isn’t real then it shouldn’t be shunned. The theodicy isn’t relevant. It is a trick used by Catholic philosophers to make us think it answers a question it has nothing to do with. The theodicy is an insult to the most important gift we have, our intelligence.
 
The theodicy fails for it attempts to say that evil is abstract like mathematics and that it isn’t a real power.  But it is. If evil is a power then God made it and God is evil. Hate is an evil power. It makes no sense to say it is just the absence of love. And what makes it worse is that most people who hate don’t want to and want rid of this emotion that has taken over them.
 
You cannot say it is okay to run a bakery and burn the cakes deliberately on the basis that the cakes are good and the terrible taste is good in the sense that it proves the taste buds are working. Some say that God made all things out of nothing so that the universe is independent of him and that is what is to blame for the flaws not him. The problems come from the nothing we came from! This makes no sense and the universe cannot truly be independent of an almighty God. If it can then there is no need for him as an explanation for why there are lots of different things rather than nothing.
 
THE THIRTEENTH THEODICY: “There is no limit to the level of goodness that we can obtain. For example, if we suffer a countless million centuries to save some person from eternal torment we can suffer more and more than that and more than that and so on and on forever. We will always be imperfect for God alone is infinitely or fully perfect. God cannot stop us from sinning or suffering for it is logically impossible for him to make us literally perfect. Better some evil than no evil.”

This theodicy attempts to explain why we are made imperfect for it says that no matter what God does we will not be very great. It is wrong for we don’t suffer enough to make us holy enough. If sacrifice is all God wants from us then if I break my heart to care for my ailing son then why can’t I double the pain and the sacrifice at will without really harming myself? Why can’t we automatically double our pain at will when serving others? God is not doing everything to make us good so he is evil. The theodicy contradicts Christianity, especially Catholicism, which says we can be perfect in Heaven. It proves that since God is perfect we will never have full union with him though the Church says we can. When God needs to torment us to make us perfect he never should have made us at all. What kind of parent makes a child for it to suffer or that is meant to suffer but doesn’t?
 
The holier you are the more malicious your sins become for then the less reason you have for committing them. Nobody is that good that they would suffer forever to do good. The theodicy says you sin all the time in this your attitude. A sinner cannot do real good.

It says we will not get into a heaven – ever – for God can’t be friends with a sinner. God would not have made us if we cannot be with him or if most people go to Hell forever.

The smaller the sins the closer you are to perfection. God has no need and no right to let us sin seriously. But there is another perspective. If the sins are small then you have less need to commit them. In a sense committing evil when you have less need to do it is extremely malicious. They are not so small after all. All sin is releasing a Pandora’s box, so all sin is serious.

The Christians will reject the theodicy on the basis that though we will not be as perfect as God we will be as perfect as we can be and so that is enough perfection and God will not ask for more. But that gives no reason to reject the theodicy. A thing is perfect when it fulfils the purpose for which it was made. For example, the perfect knife is sharp. But a letter opener which looks like a knife is perfect for being blunt because it is not a knife.
 
If my dog is in the peak of his health and safe, how can I say that I am doing something better for him if I injure him in some way?
 
This theodicy will not be inspirational to people who wish to do good but to people who wish to do evil.
 
THE FOURTEENTH THEODICY: “Evil is good when God does it. When God hurts an innocent child for nothing it is good. God’s goodness is infinite so his goodness is different to what correct reason sees as goodness. Praised be the Lord!”

This is what religion has got to believe if it wants to believe in God in spite of the injustice he has thrust upon the world and lets happen. Religion offers us a God who makes doubt a sin though it cannot be, who took out our sins on sinless Jesus and who punishes the unbaptised for a transgression they had nothing to do with. In brief, it presents a being to whom the evil he performs is good and who carps when anybody practices what he practices.

An infinite line is still a line so infinite goodness is not goodness so great that it becomes evil.

God recognises some things as evil for they do pointless damage. If avoiding the most harm is good then it is always good.

This theodicy is, in reality, a repudiation of the real existence of good and evil. Good is reduced to a meaningless term that includes some of that is good and what is evil and pure black evil could be good in its estimation. Good is made out to be something that exists solely in the demented mind of God.

The theory belittles those good souls who have suffered. And so is the suggestion of some that we should suffer for we could suffer far more and ought to be grateful we can suffer as much as we do. That things could be worse but are not does not mean that they could not or should not be better.
 
The Fourteenth theodicy is sometimes disguised as the doctrine that God is not a human being and does not have to follow our moral rules or values. The booklet God and Evil says that since God is not part of the world but the maker of the world he cannot be judged by our standards. It actually says that if he could have made saints but didn’t he was right to even though it would have been best to make saints (page 9). It quotes Romans 9:20 where God’s word says that the potter has the right to make some items for menial use and others for honourable use in its favour. Believers in the theodicy say that scientists who could make babies in the lab are bad if they make blind babies and should make perfectly healthy and physically well babies. But if they are right that God is right to make blind babies for he owes the babies nothing then an interesting question arises. How do they know that God isn’t inspiring and requiring the scientists to make blind babies? The scientists cannot be condemned. The theodicy then destroys human morality and decency. It endangers belief in right and wrong. Babies are persons not things and not even a God can have the right to make sick babies. To make a baby blind, God has to make forces to cause this blindness. Blindness is not just the absence of sight. God makes evil.
 
So the theodicy argues that parents have different duties from nurses and so God has different duties from people. This is really saying that God has no duties at all because the law is that the best must be done and this is saying he does not have to keep it. And nurses and parents are doing what is best or hoped to be best in different ways and if there were nurses but no parents or parents and no nurses the world would be a worse place.

Karen Armstrong used to agree with the theodicy. She said that God’s morals could be different from ours so that God and his love could be terrifying (page 65, The Case Against God). The Church should teach this more so that people would be turned off religion for life and be seen for what it really is.

When religion says that God is beyond or above good and evil that is what it means so when we call God good we do not know what it means (page 48, Arguing with God; page 25, The Problem of Pain). This reduces prayer to God to prayer to a Devil. It makes faith a curse.

The only excuse left is that evil is a mystery. The only real mystery is why people fall for it. If evil is a mystery that is just a hidden way of saying theodicy fourteen is true for we can know what God should do even if we cannot know how he has to work in particular situations.
  
There is no God and the fact that all his theodicies are harmful prove that we should not want there to be.
 
The believers admit that they do not and cannot base their faith in God on the evil they see in the world (page 32, Asking Them Questions). That is as faulty as believing in the goodness of a sadist because a few people praise him and excuse him to you while paying less heed to the awful things he does. To condone the mercilessness of a God whose ways cannot be justified is no different to condoning that of a tyrant on earth. Correction: it is worse because people have different ideas and opinions which is why if you ask any number of people what the right thing to do in a particular situation is they will give a wide range of different answers. Despite this, the tyrant gets nothing but condemnation. The pope gets praise while he murders women by banning contraception for they are too afraid and too conditioned to disobey him – he may say that conscience is the ultimate guide but adds that no conscience consistent with Catholic dogma would disagree with him for the ban is in tradition. God gets an even more dedicated torrent of praise which is a worry for no excuse for him works. Many will rightly see this praise as offensive even if religion is right that God does right because this cannot be proved meaning it is still unjustifiably offensive. Priests and clergymen don’t worry much about that. You cannot condemn the tyrant when life on earth is fraught with difficult decisions and good deeds that look evil when one does not know all the facts while God gets applauded for setting up worse evils without declaring your hatred for humankind.
 
CONCLUSION
 
Every excuse for God letting people suffer and for his making viruses to hurt us with fails. Every excuse is actually evil itself! Belief in God is evil. And there are plenty of fanatics in the world who see that and who carry out reprehensible acts because of they have been desensitised against cruelty thanks to their belief in God.