Sunday, June 7, 2009

“If God is fair, just and love, why . . .

This post is a response to a question from my "Nightmare" post of yesterday. Atheist Missionary was wondering:

“If God is fair, just and love, why does he allow so much suffering to exist in the world and, more to the point, why does he allow so much suffering? Is he a masochist?”

Of course that’s one of the best questions anyone can ask. We could also ask what is the point of evil, or killing your own offspring in Darwinist world of natural selection but that’s not the point of this discussion.

I can’t remember the name of the blog but while visiting I suggested that the suffering we see all around us and sometimes even experience ourselves is by and large the result of who we are. We're quite willing to allow suffering to take place as long as it doesn't enter our front yard. And obviously if you don’t believe in God then it can’t be the fault of anyone but us. Right? Nevertheless, in response to what I said, several atheists said the following:

“Wait a goddamn minute. It is not my fault that some fucknut is living on the street and the litany of other collectivist bullshit you tossed into this debate. I absolutely despise when some whiny Christian tries to gain traction by piggybacking on leftard guiltmongering.”

“Atheists don't believe in a god, so this is a childish response. We obviously think that the problem of evil shows that there is no god, not that a god exists who is the ultimate dickhead. Although, as Charlie pointed out, it is a logical possibility.”

“Humans are limited creatures. We have physical needs -- air, water, food, shelter --and these needs can form the basis for injustices and greed. The world we live in is evidence of the complete lack of a loving and all-powerful god for precisely this reason. There is no logical necessity that a god has to create anything in the first place. If it does, then it certainly doesn't have to create a world where creatures have needs as we do that are finite in nature and so go about fighting for their own survival all of the time against harsh, uncaring laws of nature. The "heaven" you believe in is one example of a world in which physical needs and harsh laws of physics no longer apply, and so injustice and greed are no longer logical. Long story short, this world is evidence against your god because it would be logically possible for your god to create a heaven-like world for us in the first place. The fact that this is not true makes it logically impossible for your god (all-good and all-powerful) to exist.”

“None of what you said matters. If there was a god, then the world this god created reflects its negligence and callousness towards our condition. It's like saying that I should let my toddler run through the house with scissors if he wants to, then blame him if he gets hurt, because I wanted him to be free because I love him so much. It's retarded. Concern for my son's well-being overrides any good that comes from his ability to choose to hurt himself. You're saying that in order for a god to create in the first place, it has to create a world like this one, when it could create a world like heaven to begin with? It's just simply retarded.”
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As you can see, Missionary, you’re not alone. Along with every Christian on the planet, people try to make sense of suffering. Unlike western atheists whose major struggle is coping with people saying, “Merry Christmas” to them, at Christmas time, some people in the world actually have genuine struggles; life and death struggles.

Just to set the stage for my response, can you see that in order for you to criticize God for making the world in a way you disapprove of, at least for the sake of argument, you are allowing God to exist? In order for Him to do something wrong, He would have to exist - Right? Ok. So when I give you my explanation of why things are the way they are, you will also allow God to exist - Right? Ok. I say this because atheists are notorious for jumping back and forth between God exists and No He doesn’t, as their argument requires. To your question, “why does he allow so much suffering?” Before I answer your question I just want to highlight a couple of the above comments.

“Long story short, this world is evidence against your god because it would be logically possible for your god to create a heaven-like world for us in the first place.”

“You're saying that in order for a god to create in the first place, it has to create a world like this one, when it could create a world like heaven to begin with? It's just simply retarded.”

Do you notice anything these comments have in common? Anything? Ok, I’ll point it out. They both allude to the kind of world that God DID provide in the beginning. (Remember, for the sake of argument, you’re allowing God as He is known in the Bible to exist.) We did have a world that was heaven-like. We did have a world without hatred and violence and suffering and evil. Paradise was ours for the taking if we had wanted it. However, in order to have that kind of world we had to allow God to be God. That, as you know from your own life is an intolerable situation. “No Fucking Masters” is the rallying cry of most if not all atheists. Well, again, according to the Bible, God allowed us to choose the kind of world we wanted. If I am hearing you and the other correctly, you're saying, "Well God shouldn't have let us have what we wanted. He should have made me do the right thing just like a robot!" Ya right. You still have the chance to make your world and the world of those who have to live with you better by allowing God to be Lord of your life. Will you do it? No, I didn't think so.

We could have had paradise with God being God. Or we could have death and suffering and hardship with us being god. "We" the human collective chose the latter then and you're still choosing the latter even in the face of how wrong that decision was. Is it because you're an idiot. Mmm, not exactly. The problem is, humans don’t believe that bad things will happen to them. When told of dire consequences:
. We believe that it won’t happen
. We believe that if it does happen it won’t happen to us
. We believe that if it does happen to us it won’t be very bad, and
. We believe that it is does happen to us and it’s really really bad, well, there wasn’t anything we could have done about it anyhow.

Atheists are fond of saying they want love. What they don’t seem to understand is that in order to have real love, we have to have the opportunity to NOT love.

Atheists are fond of saying they want kindness and peace. What they don’t seem to understand is that in order to have real kindness and real peace, we have to have the opportunity to NOT be kind or peaceful.

These things come to us only by freewill choice. Now, I hate it when other people do this, but unless I refer you to one of my other posts, this is going to get way to long. If you go to my March post, “Where Is God When A Little Girl Gets Raped?" you'll see my take on the why of the state of our world in the face of Creator God’s reality. But listen to this next comment. Listen to how convoluted the atheist's argument becomes. According to atheists, the state of the world isn’t God’s fault. It can't be because He doesn’t exist. But, according to atheists, neither is it our fault.

“If there was a god, then the world this god created reflects its negligence and callousness towards our condition.”

Ya, well, there isn’t a God, remember, so the negligence and callousness is our’s to own. There’s nobody else to blame, but that doesn’t stop atheists from blaming anyway. Why? Because atheists force themselves to live with,

“I don’t need God in order to be good. And since I believe that I don’t need God in order to be good then I MUST also believe that I am good.”

That is how atheists arrive, consistently arrive at the conclusion, "All the problems in the world are somebody else’s fault. They can't be my fault because I'm a good person - Hey I know, let’s blame it all on religion!”
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“and these needs can form the basis for injustices and greed.”

I’ve worked with thousands of people struggling with alcoholism or other drug addictions. Something that I used to hear was, I got drunk because:
I lost my job
My wife left me
I hurt my back
My boss is a jerk and on and on.

Can you see the problem with that? Right, if people got drunk because of these things then everyone would get drunk when they lost their job or spouse or physical health. But most people don’t get drunk when something goes wrong. Who does? Right, alcoholics. You got drunk when you lost your job because you have alcoholism.

Well, it's the same thing with this comment. If that was true that having “needs” caused injustices and greed, then everyone whose needs were met would not be unjust and greedy. But most people are like that. We don't want enough. We want more than enough. It's our human nature, corrupt to the core human nature that causes injustice, shortages, greed, war etc. etc. Again, atheists stand no chance of changing for the better when they have to believe that they’re already good people.

“Wait a goddamn minute. It is not my fault that some fucknut is living on the street and the litany of other collectivist bullshit you tossed into this debate. I absolutely despise when some whiny Christian tries to gain traction by piggybacking on leftard guiltmongering.”

“I am not an evil bastard. I don't sell or buy children. So you can't blame me.”

“I actually don't think it's any particular person's fault at all. Famine is pretty widespread in many parts of the world due to weather patterns, poverty and war. When people refer to the "problem" of evil/suffering it is a problem only for theists like yourself.”

Right, poverty and war aren’t anyone’s fault.
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You also wrote: Every movement of every atom happens according to the purpose of God. Please explain what you mean by that sentence. Are you suggesting that everything that happens (i.e. both human actions and natural events) is divinely predestined?

. No, that’s not at all what I mean.
. Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.

I don’t think I’m articulate enough to explain what I mean. It might be easier to explain what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that God caused an earthquake. Did He know it would happen? Yes. Did He do anything to stop it? Obviously not. Does that mean that God is evil? To say that you would have to know what is good as well as knowing that the good that came out of the earthquake did not out weight the bad that came out of it. Now atheists would have you believe that any difficulty, pain, suffering or what have you is necessarily a bad thing. This is of course ridiculous. I know many people, and I would consider myself to be part of that group, who would not trade that tragedy in our lives for anything. The learning and character growth and acquisition of wisdom and insight that could ONLY come about as a result of our suffering was well worth the cost.

Of course human actions aren’t predestined. God knows what choices we will make but He doesn’t make the choices for us. This is the opposite of the atheist world-view where we are simply driven by our chemical exchanges. In the comments above it seems that atheists would rather be robots than anyone should suffer the discomfort of a hangnail, but in reality they wouldn’t. In fact, even the freedom that atheists have isn’t enough for them.

You know what? Today is not a day that I can explain anything. I feel kind of in a fog or something. If I get on this subject on a good day, I’ll look you up and we can carry on.
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“There is no logical necessity that a god has to create anything in the first place.”

And there’s about a million, billion, trillion times less reason to expect that something, everything would come into being without the existence of Creator God.
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4 comments:

The Atheist Missionary said...

You wrote: We did have a world that was heaven-like. We did have a world without hatred and violence and suffering and evil. Paradise was ours for the taking if we had wanted it. I want whatever you are smoking. When exactly did this point in time exist and on what planet?

You wrote [quoting an atheist]: Ya, well, there isn’t a God, remember, so the negligence and callousness is our’s to own. There’s nobody else to blame ... Stopped you there because I couldn't agree more.

You wrote [quoting an atheist]: I don’t need God in order to be good. And since I believe that I don’t need God in order to be good then I MUST also believe that I am good. I don't agree with your conclusion. The capacity to be good (which is an evolved capacity) means that we are capable of being good but certainly doesn't mean that we will be good. Consider all the supposedly good Christians and atheists who participated in carrying out the Holocaust.

You wrote: It's our human nature, corrupt to the core human nature that causes injustice, shortages, greed, war etc. etc. Again, atheists stand no chance of changing for the better when they have to believe that they’re already good people. This is bullshit. Human nature allows us to be corrupt or to be good. However, natural selection seems to favour reciprocal altruism. Atheists recognize that they have the choice to do good or bad and don't need the lure of salvation in a next life as motivation to be good. In fairness, we are also certainly not worrying about punishment in a next life if we choose to do bad. It is that fact that theists find threatening - the fact that Hitler got off scott free, so to speak. I find that suggestion much less disconcerting that you ever merciful God would have sent Adolf to heaven if he confessed and accepted the Lord as his prsonal saviour in his last few minutes (perhaps he did).

You wrote: It doesn’t mean that God caused an earthquake. Did He know it would happen? Yes. Did He do anything to stop it? Obviously not. Does that mean that God is evil? To say that you would have to know what is good as well as knowing that the good that came out of the earthquake did not out weight the bad that came out of it. Please don't be offended but did you smoke anything medicinal tonight? By admitting that God knew the earthquake was going to happen and yet did nothing about it, you have admitted that he is not omnipotent. This is the problem with debating with theists - they all have their own specific brand of delusion.

PersonalFailure said...

Here's the thing, my dear, according to your stories, God did not allow us, you and I, to choose the world we wanted, he allowed two completely ignorant humans to choose it for us, thousands of years ago. We just have to live with the results.

Suppose you chose to murder someone. The justice system punishes you for your crime, but God would punish you, your wife, your children, and anyone carrying your dna for the next 6,000 years.

Why is that a preferable option over there being no god at all?

Makarios said...

Failure:
“Here's the thing, my dear, according to your stories, God did not allow us, you and I, to choose the world we wanted, he allowed two completely ignorant humans to choose it for us, thousands of years ago. We just have to live with the results.”

But Failure, in the honest moments of your life, you and I both know that we would have made exactly the same decision. I recognised it twenty some years ago and asked for forgiveness, while you’re STILL doing it. My wish for you is that you have a wonderful life so hopefully it won’t be for much longer.
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“Suppose you chose to murder someone. The justice system punishes you for your crime, but God would punish you, your wife, your children, and anyone carrying your dna for the next 6,000 years.”

No one will be punished for what our parent’s did. If anyone is separated from God for eternity it will be because they have rejected the offer of salvation and for no other reason. I know what you mean. The whole world is cursed and is doomed to death and decay for what two people did. But again, all of us, every single one of us would have made the same decision, so it's completely fair.
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"Why is that a preferable option over there being no god at all?"

Well, whether God exists or not is not determined by what we prefer. God either exists or He doesn’t - Period
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Missionary:
This took place before the fall of humankind. That is when the world was "very good."
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“You wrote [quoting an atheist]: Ya, well, there isn’t a God, remember, so the negligence and callousness is our’s to own. There’s nobody else to blame ... Stopped you there because I couldn't agree more.”

So whose negligence is it that the world is in the state that it’s in? Whose negligence is it that allows children to starve to death while we throw away more food than they’ll ever see in a lifetime?

Whose negligence is it that children are stolen and sold into sexual slavery while we pass laws protecting child porn?

Whose negligence is it when millions and millions of children go through life never sure of being loved because the adults would rather please themselves by divorcing and remarrying and divorcing and remarrying?
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“The capacity to be good (which is an evolved capacity) means that we are capable of being good but certainly doesn't mean that we will be good.”

Are you admitting that you are not good?
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“Atheists recognize that they have the choice to do good or bad and don't need the lure of salvation in a next life as motivation to be good.”

Neither do Christians. That is a huge misconception on the part of atheists and I can only conclude that you make that mistake because it is you, the atheist who can think of no other reason to be good than to gain a favour in return, either from God or from your neighbour.
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“Hitler got off scott free, so to speak. I find that suggestion much less disconcerting that you ever merciful God would have sent Adolf to heaven if he confessed and accepted the Lord as his prsonal saviour in his last few minutes (perhaps he did).”

That’s interesting how atheists are so against forgiveness. The problem is, the same rules that you wish to apply to Hitler will also be applied to you. It is not the degree of wrong that will send you or anyone else to hell. It is the refusal to accept God’s offer of rescue FROM hell. “The measure you use to judge others will be used to judge yourselves also.”
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Please don't be offended but did you smoke anything medicinal tonight? By admitting that God knew the earthquake was going to happen and yet did nothing about it, you have admitted that he is not omnipotent. This is the problem with debating with theists - they all have their own specific brand of delusion."

No, I quit smoking dope about thirty years ago. Omnipotent doesn’t mean that He DOES everything possible.

Còmhradh said...

"Unlike western atheists whose major struggle is coping with people saying, “Merry Christmas” to them, at Christmas time..."

This is akin to saying "Unlike homosexuals whose major struggle is coping with people thinking they all like showtunes..."

Because yeah, the most hated group in America, people who have been fired for their (lack of) religion, people who are shut out of political circles, people who are equated with all manner of horrible things simply because they refuse to buy into the religious status quo, the "major" problem these people have is dealing with people wishing them a Merry Secular Holiday.

Riiiight.