Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


RELATIONSHIP OF PROBLEM OF EVIL AND PROBLEM OF GOOD

Religion says that we know evil exists for God the creator of all opposes it and works only and totally for good.

That is why it refers to evil as a problem for those who believe in an all good and all loving God. It says that if we say there is no God because evil exists then that makes no sense and we are left with no way of knowing what we mean by good.

So if you deny God over the problem of evil you end up with a new problem - the problem of good.

Then there are two problems. The problem of evil. The problem of good.

Does it matter which one we start with? Are they just two sides of the same coin anyway? Surely to say yes to one is to say yes implicitly to the other?

Human nature does not think like that and good and evil are seen as being in combat so we must ask which one we need to treat as the default and as that which comes first for examination.

The matter is so serious that we cannot just assume things. A assumption in the face of great evil is presumptuous and cold. We need to think - or get evidence if possible.

WHY PUT PROBLEM OF GOOD FIRST?

If God tolerates evil in order that we might overcome it and become virtuous, then it is wrong to simply assume there is a problem of evil. You must see the good first. We are talking about how failing to do so insults God. This is about God not suffering people.

You must approach the issue from: "There is a problem of good if there is no God" kind of angle. That is the main problem. It must lead you to recognise an inferior problem - the problem of evil. To worry primarily about the problem of evil would be evil in the sense that it is focusing on evil not good. It becomes about explaining the evil and not the good. That would violate the principle that respect for good matters more than fighting evil though that matters as well.

Religion in some way equates God with goodness itself. So God alone matters by definition. If God alone matters ultimately or comes first by definition, if we should love only him or love him most, we need the problem of good to be more important than the problem of evil. It matters more that we look for answers to the problem of good than the problem of evil.

God alone matters so the problem of good alone matters not the problem of evil.

A but is coming.

WHY PUT PROBLEM OF EVIL FIRST?

Looking at the good all the time is bad. It leads to a callous disregard for the suffering of the innocent. The problem of evil would not matter at all. That is nothing more than an attempt to condone the evil. If Thomas sees a little girl being beaten by her mother, he does not try to condone the evil unless he has overwhelming proof that the mother is a good person. So the problem becomes how to explain her goodness not her evil. Anything else would be hypocritically going down to her level. We do not want to be like pious do-gooders who love God for doing their vicious dirty work - who see his deeds and neglect as evil but still condone and praise it.

How does it affect people if we look at the good in the evil they endure more than the evil itself? It will tear them apart. No woman whose husband breaks her heart wants to hear about how good the pain is and that at least now she is rid of him and can learn to cope on her own etc etc. Those who look at the advantages of what terrible things happen to others are training themselves in insensitivity and callousness.

People cannot come first instead of God. God by definition is the all that matters. Does the notion that there is a problem and that it is about us not God make sense? No - the problem of good is about God not people. If people matter more even than God then what? Some say our focus will be need to be the problem of good. But if people come first then the problem of evil comes first for it is people that suffer. They are trying to avoid us believing in an all-good God while not taking evil that seriously. If the problem of evil is a bigger problem than the problem of good then we are believing in God's love despite the evidence and have some coldness in our hearts. We have our priorities wrong.

If you believe in God you end up with a problem, the problem of evil. If you focus on the problem of good only and use that to justify belief in God you callously ignore the problem of evil. You do not really respect God if God and the problem of evil are part of the same deal.

If we assume the problem of good is solved by saying there is a God we must admit that there is a problem of evil but hold that this problem does not refute God. It would follow that we should not even look at the problem of evil and rest content in solving the problem of good. That would be vicious for we should try to get some understanding as to why people might suffer. It is too serious to be ignored.

Evil by definition is what should not be. So the idea of a God who makes things fall short of the goodness they could have or who makes evil for a good reason is incoherent and insensitive and blind to the horror of the suffering of others. The Christian will never suffer as much as other creatures in the world do and therefore has no right to say this evil should be allowed to happen by God. Experience it all first - which is impossible - and then decide. There is something vulgar about a person who has a healthy life saying God sent Angie some cancer for a noble reason! Nobody can tell anybody they know how they feel or that they should feel it is agreeable with the existence of a loving God. Yet religion teaches people to pretend that they know that all the evil in the world can be ultimately justified and or condoned.

Belief in God is evil for it requires us to get the scales to tip in favour of the doctrine that if we think God does not exist then there is a problem of good which can only be solved by believing in God. They do not. The problem of good fails to convince us God must exist. If the scales tip the other way, which they do, then believers are believing in God because of the problem of evil which is not only irrational but is refusing to properly acknowledge that evil is vile. You don't consider a man with whom there is a serious problem of evil to be a good man because of the evil. If you do, then what you are doing is condoning the evil and blessing it.

If you believe in God because of the problem of good and you acknowledge the problem of evil you are still being bad. You are in effect believing in God not because of goodness but because of evil.

With those problems God is not likely to be really good. A good God probably does not exist.


GO AND LEARN WHAT GOOD IS FIRST!

Before religionists start thinking there is a problem of good they should go and learn what is good, what is not and what is neither. This they cannot do for they disagree among themselves about what is good and what is morally good. And you have different religions all arguing with each other.

Believers regard God's rules as part of him, as being of his nature and essence. For example, it is true to say the Catholic God is the wrongness of contraception. The Protestant God is the rightness of contraception. The Antinomian Christian God doesn't care if you use contraception or not. The Christian God in general is the moral perfection of Jesus Christ as judged by his followers. The Hindu God Krishna is amoral and about fun so these form the character of this God. God's goodness or whatever is his character and his character makes him God which is why in essentials the Hindu and Christian and Islamist God is really three different Gods. God is a core matter so one God differing with another means different cores. A Buddhist refusing to steal on religious grounds and a Christian refusing to steal on religious grounds does not entitle one to say, "They agree on the core values such as refraining from stealing." Two things happening together do not make them in any way the same thing. The actions being the same does not mean that the principles behind the action have anything in common.

Believers should be more interested in discerning good than God because God can't be discerned until good is discerned first. The emphasis put on God even to the point of ordering people to love God with all their being as Jesus did is simply fanatical and evil.

FINALLY

Good exists even if God does not. It is good if nothing exists for then there is nobody to suffer. Trying to make a problem of good which is what faith in God tries to do is wrong and worthy of condemnation.