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?

 


Problem of Good

How can an all-loving and all-just and all-powerful God who makes all things from nothing let evil entice us so well to do bad things and why do the innocent suffer terrible diseases and so on?

Clearly even if God is not responsible for causing evil he is responsible for controlling it. He tolerates it and that tolerance is a matter of responsibility. Religion says he is responsible but he is not responsible in the sense that you can judge him immoral for allowing it. He did not make evil for evil is just good going wrong.

So God stomachs evil. Religion then talks about the problem of evil.

The assumption is that evil does not show there is no God but we need to show that God can tolerate evil and remain good.

This is special pleading for it assumes, "No evil is bad enough to refute God because there is a God and we can show there may be a God for no evil is bad enough."

No evil is big enough in damage and no evil is intolerable in itself. That amounts to saying evil is not really evil. If evil is bad enough in itself it does not matter if what follows is terrible or reasonably okay. What is intolerable is intolerable even if good follows. It should not follow but that is not the point.

To use a trick like special pleading when there is so much harm and pain and evil is itself evil.

Some religions claim that this can be avoided. They say that to call evil evil is to assume that there is a God who opposes it totally though he lets it happen. So they say that if there is no God you cannot have a problem of evil for evil is not really evil.

If you cannot understand or make sense of evil then you cannot understand or make sense of good either.

They say that if there is no God then we cannot explain or understand what good is. They call this the problem of good.

Believers say evil is only a problem BECAUSE God is good. So to dismiss belief in God because of evil means you create worse problems. You have a problem of good. They say that you still have a problem of evil but that contradicts how they say that if you reject God over the problem of evil then you end up with no problem of evil.

They say that if you drop God then you cannot really believe in good. We need good to be able to identify evil. They say that the problem of good is strong evidence for the existence of God and rescues the doctrine from those who think believers are only guessing that a loving God can let evil happen.

The accusation is that if you deny that evil in some way is that bad and intolerable or if you deny that God is good then you are shirking the problem. You don't want a solution.

But that is a cruel accusation against the sincere atheist. Believers say that because God is about opposition to evil it follows that to say there is no God because evil exists is to refuse to work with the one thing that can do something about evil. The implication is that the atheist waters down evil by rejecting God paradoxically because of evil. The problem of good is an actual assault on the integrity of the atheist and if the atheist is indeed undermining goodness without realising it then he or she is still bad news.

The question of how a good God puts up with evil that which he opposes then leads to evil. It is evil for it leads to it and infers it.

PROBLEM OF GOOD DENIES THAT IT MATTERS IF THE UNIVERSE IS HELL

If good proves God and evil cannot show he is fiction then the quantity of evil and its nature is irrelevant. Few can stomach such an extreme view. Most of those who are interested in God want one that is in principle going to help us become happier. You cannot really be happy with God if it means that a universe of hell is compatible with his love.

The doctrine that evil is just a falling short of good and is itself good of a lesser kind says evil can never refute God. That is admitting that one will adore God even if the whole universe is an everlasting Hell. No evil is great enough to disprove God. It is saying you don't care how much evil there is. Nothing is going to stop you taking God's side. That approach is inhuman - if you have fellow-feeling you will not go that far. You will not espouse a principle that lets you go that far if you choose.

Believers are manipulated by their leaders for on the whole, believers believe there is a lot of evil but they agree nobody should believe in God if there is too much. They are not told that the religion does not care how much evil there is.

Believers say that God is beauty and if we see beauty in all things we will see God. If we try to see beauty in all evil we will soon be devoid of all compassion and sense! What is beautiful about the death agony of a baby? If the universe were hell, where would the beauty be then?

EVIL AN ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD?

If it is true that evil is just a form of good and God is goodness, then it follows that instead of disproving God or making him unlikely to exist, evil proves God's existence.

Atheists usually argue that an all good and all powerful God does not exist because there is evil and suffering. The Church contends that this argument makes no sense for to recognise that evil exists is to say that there is a divine standard which is based on good and a side-effect of being good is being opposed to evil. So God and the notion that there is good and there is evil go together. Evil then is an argument for God's existence.

PROBLEM OF EVIL TREATED DISMISSIVELY

Religion says that if no answer can be found or seems possible for the problem of evil, what matters is how God solves the problem of good.

So it follows we should not even care why God might let evil happen. That is to say that it is possible for there to be no problem of evil but only a problem of good.

So it follows that the problem of evil and the problem of good could be two sides of the same problem.

But in reality believers are saying evil is not a problem at all!

If atheists are guilty of destroying the power to diagnose evil religion is doing the same thing! What friends then evil has!

ATHEIST HAS NO PROBLEM OF GOOD

The believer in God says the atheist will have a problem of good. That is nonsense. The atheist recognises that if there is no God and no anything then it is good that there is nobody to suffer. Good is a default.

A If there is nothing there is no innocent person to suffer. Take that by itself. That is good.

B If there is nothing there is nobody to lie or steal cookies. Take that by itself. That is good.

Imagine you have to choose one or the other. A is the obvious choice. This means that a good God cannot allow suffering. Atheism is vindicated. God implies that we should choose B for God is about things such as being honest.

There is a callousness in the God doctrine.

It is the believer who creates the problem of good and creates a problem where there is none. Belief in God is intrinsically bigoted because nobody has the right to present good actions, good health and the goodness of life as a problem. The translation of the belief is: Don't appreciate anything unless you believe in God. That is malicious.

The argument from believers is that there must be a God for if there is not then there is no such thing as evil and there is no such thing as anything immoral. The argument even if it worked would still not be an argument for God. Why? Because it forces you and blackmails you to believe. If God has to make do with forced and harassed disciples then he is not a God. The Christian doctrine that God is about us having a relationship with him and him with us is wrecked to pieces. All this God can give is bullying commands. We will not enjoy keeping them because of the spirit in which they are given. Atheists have no choice but to reject this evil morality. The atheist not only has no problem of good but the atheist alone is the one that holds the key to morality. What if there is no key? At least the atheist looks for it.

If we cannot really understand what evil means and then really believe in and fear it if there is no God and we use God as a prop then we still do not know.  You do not know if 1 and 1 is 2 if you cannot understand it and have to trust the maths teacher.  We do not understand what good is if there is no God?  Then is an odd and extreme view!

FINALLY

Good exists whether God exists or not. The problem of good only arises for those who want us to believe in God. They can't be happy for a sick baby getting better unless God is involved. Their problem of good is a way of trying to make you think there is no good without God. Whoever thinks that does not understand good. The believers invent a good of their own. While they invent it, they implicitly insult all the people on earth upon whom God supposedly lets suffering befall. They invent good and then say they will endorse that good and worship it as the heart of God even if the whole universe is packed with people who never knew a second's peace.