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?

 


THINKING ABOUT GOD AS PERSONAL - WHO LOVES YOU AND IS YOUR PARENT 

God as a religious definition means the being who loves us and cares for us and though he is not strictly speaking a person we call him a person for that is the best way to describe him.  Its not strictly accurate but is a working definition.  God in this view is two things - the being and God as the being you owe and in pragmatic terms should give commitment to.

The idea that there would be nothing at all unless God causes it and he shows he has designed do not show there is necessarily a personal God.

You can believe all things came from a being without calling that being God.

Atheism however tends to oppose the idea of such a being but that is just a tendency.  A valid atheist can settle for denying the idea of a loving creator not a creator.  It could be a creator to which morality and relationships do not apply.

God can even be distinguished from the God of the Philosophers though there are many overlaps.

Proofs or arguments for God lead to the God of the Philosophers not the interactive relationship concerned God of Christianity and other faiths.  In other words, it is a God who you work out by thinking and is not a God who steps forward to meet you.  He is only there as an explanation or possible explanation and apart from that he does not really matter.  He is a philosophical project.

If you call God intelligent or good or both then you need to solve the problem of why the innocent suffer in a way that looks so random and cruel.  Random means there is no supervision or control being taken.  This is where theodicy, attempting to show how God is justified or possibly justified in letting the evil happens, comes in.  Some say that this is leading only to a God of the Philosophers.  It says the most humble and respectful approach is, "God you know the answers.  That is enough for me.  Take my hand and help me through my suffering."  But that depends on whether God asked you to take that approach.  That is the only way it can be about God instead of you just wanting to think God is by your side so you can feel good regardless of whether it is true or not.  The latter would be in effect a crafty form of evil itself for trying to feel good about evil and strong about what you should not feel that way about is playing into the hands of evil.

Plus theodicy is a coin with two sides.  One is to understand what evil is and see how anti-God it is.  Two is to show that God will triumph.

Christians complain sometimes that theodicy gives you a God of the Philosophers and does not get you to the relationship idea of a friendly personal God.  This accuses the God of the Philosophers of not being enough.  But for many it is.  The understanding it gives of God is accurate, so we are told, but it does not take us far enough.  As we say there are overlaps and if the friendship God exists then it is better to take the step of having the philosophy God.  Its a step to the friendship God then.

Why does religion try to make out that reasoning about God gives you the wrong one?  Why is it not an inadequate understanding of the real one?  Why is it not a step to the light? 

Also you have to face the question of pure evil.  Pure evil is a denial that evil is just a distortion of good or missing the mark.  This evil is a power in its own right.  Atheists who say that innocent suffering is pure evil and therefore there is no God mean what they say. Religion says that belief in pure evil is as near to pure evil as you can get and thus the believer in it is worse than any monster.  It incites to hate against atheists.  They are accused of wanting to portray evil as real and that is bad for it destroys hope in a situation affected by evil.  Atheists are accused of saying either that if there is a God he deliberately made evil for pure evil needs a maker or that pure evil in a sense is like a God for it always existed.  Either way, evil is declared to be something that cannot be defeated and is a godlike power in its own right.  Pure evil people are literally evil so they must be hated.

Their criticism is about ideology.  It does not matter what you think of evil as long as it helps you repel it.  It is not about God. 

If an atheist experiences their own or somebody else's suffering as pure evil then nobody has the right to debate.  What matters is the revulsion for the evil and the suffering and if they are coming from a place of compassion not religion and not God.  It is evil for religion and faith in God to have a problem with that.

Pure evil that pretends to be merely good that is in the wrong place and time would obviously be disguising itself.  Why?  Why are its servants giving that impression?  Why are the religionists who condemn their actions giving that impression too?  They are just helping evil.  The evil helps itself by looking like a mere malfunction when it is much more than that!

Evil as in distorted good can evil as an pure evil can both be true.  Every evil situation is a medley of evils some of which may be pure evils.

If pure evil exists then experience teaches it so you have no right to look at somebody's suffering and say it is not pure evil.  The belief in one true God who is all powerful and all good and who made all things is a coin with two sides.  One side is this God and the other is the attack on those who simply refuse to be told that somebody's suffering should happen in the bigger divine picture.