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!

 

Why it is heartless to say that God has a justified purpose for letting people suffer
 
"When people work towards reducing human misery, their actions make the implicit assumption that such suffering serves no worthwhile purpose."
 
 http://infidels.org/library/modern/nicholas_tattersall/evil.html
 
Why man cannot say it even if it is true
 
There is a difference between evil being compatible with the existence of God and man saying it is. Only God has the right to say it and believe it. It is too serious of a matter for man to speak on God's behalf and condone God's role in evil or for man to invent reasons why God might allow evil to happen. It is evil for man then to condone God's role or alleged role in evil even if God exists and is right to let evil happen. And man needs solid evidence for God's existence for nobody has the right to lightly say any entity is ultimately responsible for evil even if its role is justified. Would you like it if somebody said you stole a loaf to feed your child in abject poverty if you never took the loaf? They are still saying you did evil even if it was justified. That is what will upset you. You are still being slandered. If you say God lets evil happen you have to know why this would be justified. Resorting to saying evil is a mystery is a cop-out and is disgusting.
 
Nobody has the right to use an excuse for God when a baby suffers and dies. What is needed is the reason. No good God would let or worse COMMAND religion to justify his actions for it is not its place!

 

Command implies obey or suffer. It tries to pressure you.  Thus for a God to command you to condone his evil proves he should not be condoned at all but told to go to Hell.

Even if God is not the problem where evil is concerned man speaking about God is the problem. The problem of evil needs to focus more on what it indicates about believers.
 
People telling others all about you does not really mean the others know you. If what is said is right then that is for luck. But the only way to know you is to be in your company.
 
A baby suffers. What takes priority in principle? Helping the baby. If God comes first it follows that it is more important to tell yourself that he has a plan for the suffering. You help the baby not to help the baby but to help the plan. Suppose God comes first. If you had to either help the baby for the baby or for God it follows that you should do it for God. That shows that belief in God is not as natural or sweet as people imagine. It is not true that faith in God is somehow demanded by our nature.
 
Projection
 
God by definition is your supreme and ultimate and only authority. If God is creator, you may accept his existence but you do not accept him. In so far as you do not accept, to that degree you are an atheist. So to be a proper believer, you need to accept God as authority. God is not just a theory - God is about relationship.
 
What moral values you see represented by God are your moral values. What aspirations and desires you have you see God as interested in them. So God is really just man. Man is talking about himself when he talks about God, it just sounds as if he is talking about God. You cannot personify goodness and wisdom as God unless you think you know what goodness and wisdom are. You judge what good and wisdom should personify God. It is all back to you. Your supreme authority is you.
 
That means man wants to condone the terrible things that happen by saying they are the will of God. It is man's will we are talking about and nothing else - despite appearances. In the scheme of things, a person can only experience a little of all the suffering that was and is and will be. It is easy to condone the suffering of creatures other than yourself when you are not those creatures and when you are a drop in the ocean.
 
Excuses for God's evil are only for enablers of evil
 
How can an all-good God stand by while people suffer?
 
Is the idea of this God allowing suffering and evil contradictory? If it is then you are saying God is all-good but also evil. You are saying both. You are condoning his evil. You are incoherently praising it as good. So it is important to show that whatever your version of a totally good God is, it is not a contradictory one. Also, you are defying logic and if you can do that others can do it too in their own way. The world would soon be insane.
 
For the sake of argument, pretend that God and horrible disgusting and inexcusable evil are compatible. We don't know that for sure. And we are full of contradictions. That means the person who argues that God and evil are compatible may not believe they are because of the arguments. He or she may simply be expressing his or her contradictory side!! No God can ask human nature to speak of how God fits evil and evil fits God.
 
God, it is said, lets evil and suffering take place ultimately because he respects free will. But would we see a person as good who walked on by as hooligans beat up a child and who uses that excuse? Using the excuse would make that person even more bad than he already is. Anyway believers invent other excuses for God's neglect - they often see the inadequacies of depending on the free will excuse alone. An excuse in such a grave matter amounts to an insult. You should experience exactly what sufferers experience before you can declare the right to assert that their suffering is compatible with a loving creator. You need a straightforward reason why God could allow suffering to happen - it needs to be straightforward because you need to avoid the risk of making excuses for God's responsibility for evil when his role might be unjustifiable. You cannot be the kind of person who risks endorsing evil in the name of good. Taking the risk says something about you. It is different if you are forced to take the risk but you are not.
 
Human nature favours the person who lets evil happen over the person who directly does the evil. The wife who lets her husband beat the children will be more favoured in society and by more people than her husband will be. Perhaps the husband loves his wife and feels okay about battering the children merely because she seems fine with it. Then it is more her fault than his.
 
If you plan to do evil, you are still a better person than the one who lets another do evil when he could stop him. Why? Because at least you know what the evil will be but when somebody else does it you don't really know how bad they intend to be. Evil is disorder and it disguises itself as good and attractive. Thus the divine or any kind of being that lets it happen, is consenting to the lack of control it implies. This being is worse than the person who does evil because the doer of the evil imposes some control over it and can stop it. A God who does evil would be hugely superior to the one that merely allows it to happen. An evil you do has more control imposed on it than an evil you allow and it will be a specific kind of evil. The murderer of the woman might not murder a baby. Allowing evil means you are willing literally anything to happen. The intention is far more evil. To say God is right to let evil happen, is an extremely serious thing to say. It means you intend to risk condoning what is in fact wrong. You need proof.
 
Praising and failing to be angry at enablers who help evil to happen by doing and saying nothing to challenge it is an irrational but universal human quirk. Believers take advantage of this quirk to foist belief in God on the unwary and on those who should know better. It is easy for us to love an enabler God. It makes us feel better too about how we enable.
 
Is it a problem when the atheist merely feels that suffering proves there is no loving God? Should the feeling be enough to justify his attitude? Is feeling more important than logic here? We look after each other instinctively. If a child needs help you don't theorise why you should help. You feel you should help and you help. The answer is yes. The atheist's feeling overrides logic. Even if there is a logical answer for God allowing suffering, looking for that answer is evil.
 
Excusing God allowing suffering is not about loving people at all. Believers do good in spite of this belief.
 
Why say evil is a problem and not a refutation of God?
 
It is a problem if you assume a God in the first place or want to believe in God or if you put justifying God first or if it is your sole concern. The problem starts with God not humanity. This alone is religion putting a principle before people. It is itself evil. Doctrine and religious theory do not come before humanity. They should exist out of respect for humanity.
 
To condemn God's morals and how he lets us suffer if he exists is said to be hypocrisy. Believers argue that you are taking God's standards of right and wrong/good and evil and using them to build an argument against his goodness or existence. Translation: "If God's standards contradict how he behaves you are not allowed to see this. You are unfair and biased and twisted."
 
Faith in God then involves an implicit or explicit attack on those who do not believe or who deny that God and morality necessarily fit together. The believers are biased and unfair and that is what they accuse the unbelievers of.
 
And if you say it is about God's standards and not what you think they should be you are lying. You cannot agree with God's standards unless you decide what the standards should be. So it is back to you. Nobody can give you standards. You give yourself your own standards. If they match God's they are still yours and not his.
 
The doctrine that those who accuse God of being evil or uncaring are stealing from God's moral toolbox and maliciously or stupidly using his rules against him is foundational and fundamental in theism or in belief in God. Why?
 
A God letting terrible heinous things happen is a problem. The evil is so serious that unless belief in God is important or necessary and good belief in God cannot be justified. The evil has to be taken utterly seriously.
 
To solve the problem of evil is about serving good and giving people the chance of faith in a good God. Or it should be. But it cannot be... believers in God suffer from a lack of compassion and empathy. Their faith despite its good looks is fundamentally bad.
 
The problem of how it is people who condone evil for God
 
All reasonable people believe that faith in God or religion should help otherwise they should be dropped. If they don't help or hinder they can be dropped if we feel like it. If they hinder they should be dropped. The religious person and the atheist should agree that if we are going to have faith, the content of the faith must be ideas and material that do no harm if they prove to be wrong. There should be no harm done.

If you follow those who claim to channel the word of God to you from God or who simply claim to be the publishers of God's message, then are you following God? If there is no God you are still following something. It is those people. It is the God that man has invented. But surely it is you deciding to follow them that is the problem - you are in a sense following not them but what you think of them. Ultimately you are following you. Whatever - you are still following an idol not God. An idol is a false God and if God does not exist then God is a false God!

 
If there really is a God you can still approach him as an idol.

 
If God does not exist, it follows that man insults us with faith in God. It follows that we praise nature for dealing with evil when it is not. To worship a God who does not exist means you worship nature and a figment of your own imagination. You worship what does not deserve to be worshipped and what does harm.

 
If God does not exist then the free will defence is nonsense. It is man then to blame for the free will defence. And man is blaming free will and man for evil directly (for example, war) and indirectly - including the cruel deaths of little babies by disease - all for the sake of a fictitious God. We are not talking about the fact that man does terrible things. We are talking about the fact that man is enabled by nature or whatever to do them. That is the problem. If man causes evil it does not follow that man is to blame for being able to do it. Evil parents are to blame if they give their children the tools with which to ruin others.

 
If God exists and we agree that people should be angry at him for the things he does and allows, the anger then should be directed at those who invent God if there is no God and those who invent a God in their heads even if there is a God. Belief in God makes you direct the blame at those who sin and thus cause a fallen world where babies are left even by God to suffer and die horribly. That accusation is horrendous.

 
Any answers for the problem of evil fail if there is no God. They are themselves evil for they excuse the inexcusable and see less evil where more should be seen. If there is no God then because of evil, you are unwittingly (and sometimes wittingly!) adoring evil when you adore God. A baby suffering is just evil and purposeless and thus you would be evil yourself for trying to say God has a plan unless there really is a God.

 
Man speaking for God and defending him is disgraceful when man refuses to take responsibility for condoning evil in the universe. If evil cannot be condoned or reconciled with a good God then man is bad for even trying to.

 
It is one thing in theory to say that there could be a God and his infinite love is compatible with the existence of evil.  But it is still man’s word you are taking for it that this theory is plausible and true. Anger against man’s theology is not the same thing as anger against God. Even if there is a God, the God worshipped by people is their perception of God not God as he is. That is why we can rage against Christians condoning evil as God's will and still say it is not about anger against God. It is they we have the problem with for their God is in their heads and we are not talking about any real God even if there is one.

 
The problem of human schizophrenia
 
Human nature is very very inconsistent. A worker who exercises brutality in an abattoir can feel deeply troubled when seeing an unwanted kitten drowned by its owners. The person who campaigns for infanticide to be allowed on demand may be heartbroken when a two month old dies. The nun who cares for children even better than a mother could may turn a cold blind eye when a priest rapes one of the little girls. The serial paedophile could make huge sacrifices for a children's charity. Believers saying God has a plan for evil cannot expect us to simply assume that they are really being good and consistent. They might do a lot of good for others but if they have a flawed view of the suffering of others their actions do not disprove the suspicion that their empathy is flawed too.
 
If you do some forms of evil, it does not matter how much good you do. If you abuse one child, the way you helped millions of children does not matter any more. You have thrown away the right to ask people to respect the good you have done.
 
Religionists, priests and nuns sometimes seem to be good caring people. But there is a side to them that is worthy only of condemnation. It is the side of them that condones and applauds what they see as divine cruelty.
 
Suffering a part of life?
 
How can an all-good God let evil happen and let innocent people suffer horribly? He has the power to stop it.
 
If God is all good and all powerful then it follows that if he exists, then suffering must happen for a reason. He lets it happen for a purpose that makes it right to allow it.
 
Religion claims that the general principle is that suffering must be a part of life. If we did not suffer we would not be alive.
 
It does not believe that at all. It says God does not suffer and he is alive. It says we will be free from suffering in Heaven. And it is not true that even if life requires that you face pain it does not follow that life requires that you may face suffering. Suffering is needless and useless.
 
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.
 
Suffering is the experience of meaningless existence - it is experiencing something that tells you you should not be happy or alive.
 
How can God be called good when people suffer? He is able to stop it but refuses. He makes the brain and nerves that have the power to create suffering. It is nonsense that God does all he can to help us have an ultimate reason for living. One person who believes life has no meaning may still be reasonably happy. Another reacts a different way. The feeling of despair takes its grip. The reaction then totally depends on how the person's brain and nerves are. It is not the belief that life is useless that does it. If God makes all things then God is to blame.
 
Religious experience of God
 
Religion says that the existence and love of God are verified by religious experience. You get to know God by sensing that he is with you and in you. Only a few people report a strong experience. And most doubt the validity of the experience afterwards. An experience suffering, of meaningless existence cannot be equal in value to an experience of God. An experience of God is short and fleeting. An experience of suffering is longer. An experience of God cannot be as deep as the experience of suffering. You cannot experience something that is not you the same way as you can experience something that makes you a sufferer. Suffering will always be a more convincing experience than the experience of God because it is about you. The argument that God must exist as some people experience God is an insult to sufferers for suffering must necessarily be the experience that there is no God and no hope. It trivialises their experience.
 
When you endure great personal suffering in what ways can it ruin your relationship with God? It may make you mad at him. It may make you cease believing. If God comes first then it follows that it is better to be raging at God. Thus the concept of God is no help to somebody who suffers in such a way that his connection to God is severed. It harms.
 
Condoning divine evil
 
Believers have a bad attitude towards human suffering. In human nature, we might go along with somebody doing bad but there will be a line that will prompt us to say no more. In religion there is not. No matter what happens or how terrible the evil that God allows to happen is, the religions glibly say, "I don't know what the reason for such suffering is. I just know God cares. I know the answer to the problem of evil is not the notion that God does not care or does not exist. I don't know why people suffer but I know it is not because God is indifferent to them or hates them. He loves them." Imagine the torment a battered wife would endure by telling herself that her husband cares when he lets terrible things happen to her. It would be a struggle for her on top of all her terrible troubles.
 
There is great vulgarity in religious people who have great lives or at least tolerable lives who condone what they see as their God letting others suffer horrendously. You should suffer as they do and in exactly the way they do before you condone! Their attitude does not deserve respect and we need to break the conditioning that makes us feel, "They mean well".
 
Those who condone typically do it because they feel it is condonable. Or at least it is mostly because of the feeling. Even if they think it is rational to condone it, it will not be the reasons that will make up the prime motivation for condoning. A person condoning the suffering of another - particularly a child - because they feel its condonable is outrageous in its arrogance and selfishness. You cannot be a truly good person and excuse evil for you feel you want to.
 
Finally
 
It is always wrong to condone God letting people suffer when there is no proof that he cares and is right to let this happen. You need proof because it is such a serious matter. You don't want to trivialise suffering to any level.
 
Belief in God cannot help the sufferer. It only helps those who want to degrade the suffering of others by wanting to rationalise it and attempting to rationalise it.
 
We must not forget that it is extremely serious to say that we are to blame for evil not God. The atheist can blame nature. That is much better.
 
If you believe God is right to allow so much evil to happen the problem is that even if he would be it does not mean there really is a God. You are still worshipping something that harms people. To worship a God who does not exist is still to worship something - maybe nature or your imagination. You are still condoning the evil happening when it should not happen. To respect those beliefs is to disrespect those who hold them.
 
It should be very difficult if not impossible to have a loving trusting relationship with God when he can prevent suffering but lets it happen. A person who loves a tyrant who starves babies for fun shows that they are no better inside than the tyrant. Think about how easy it is for that person to appear good and not be good.
 
If you see evil as the useless thing it is, you create rapport properly with the person who suffers. Trying to pretend the evil has a purpose only leads to a failure to listen to the person who tells you how they feel it is useless. If it is useless it needs to be seen as useless. Suffering people have to learn to bring about good in spite of it and not because of it. Talking about a purpose is about you trying to feel better and not about you helping them.