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?

Patrick H

Reasons why God may let evil happen refuted one by one

We can prove that the notion of a God of perfect love who is able to be our protection against moral pollution and suffering but won’t be for a good purpose is incoherent, hypocritical and brutal for it is contradicted by the existence of evil and pollution.

Many of the proofs of this are implied by the dogmas proclaimed by the theologians themselves who won’t admit that these sinister offshoots exist. The theologian is to test and examine all the revelations supposedly from the Most High for purity in order to state his dogmas more precisely. That requires the inference of dogmas and truths to be identified and scrutinised. Consequently, she or he must know the truth, the dark truth and nothing but the astonishing truth.

But let us go on and strip the great Yahweh of his disguise. Bare him and his nature as the world’s favourite pipe dream will be manifested. Expose him to the world and then sacrifice him for truth so that his dying blood may poison the Church and true humanity rise from its ashes.

The attempts to reconcile evil with the existence of an omnipotent God are called theodicies.

They mostly take a means and end approach to the problem of evil. That is, they assume God allows evil and suffering to happen for a reason that justifies him letting them happen.  He permits or allows as in tolerates.
Some modern philosophers though believing in God reject theodicy. The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil is a book that explicates this approach. This book says that God is not a moral agent. That is, though God is good he is not obligated to make everybody’s life perfect and to save people from suffering. This thought comes from the notion that evil is just a lack of good and not a thing. Evil is like good that is in the wrong place. For example, a knife is good but not good in your chest. God is not obligated to create anything. He is not bound to. Therefore God is not bound to make anything perfect. As far as something is not perfect that is not God’s doing or imperfection is not a thing. God didn’t make imperfection he only made the thing good as far as it is good. This is not a theodicy for it simply denies that God allows evil for the sake of some good. It says that theodicy is nonsense for evil is totally useless. At least in that sense, it is a noble theory.
But it still does not save us the bother of trying to work out a theodicy.
Say you take it as correct. Notice how it assumes that because God is so much better than us and bigger than us that he has the right to let us suffer because suffering is merely a lack.
But then what would you say about a person who believed that he didn’t need to get his little dog cured of a disease that it could pass on to its pups? He can’t say he is creating the good but not the evil. Saying that would make him more vile not less.

In the Book of Job, Job was said to be sinless by God and yet God allowed Satan to torment him to the extreme. Job did not sin in all this but then he discovered it was a sin to wonder why God allowed evil and suffering and God approved of his conclusion that it was better just to ask no questions and trust in God and his almighty power. It is not said that this sin existed when he was first tormented but was committed later. In fact it is denied that Job was tormented for it. The Book of Job forbids Christianity to have a theodicy, or a hypothesis that shows how a good God could let evil happen. It is like somebody trying to con you and not allowing you to ask any questions and it infers approbation for such behaviour.

Now let us consider the theodicies.

There are theodicies and then there is THE theodicy. It follows.

THE FIRST THEODICY: “Free will is the reason for evil and suffering not God”.

This is the basic theodicy. It is the foundation of the rest. It implies that we are to blame for pain and suffering and evil. If you do evil freely then logically you deserve to be punished. If you are to blame for your suffering it is punishment - period. Religion shies away from saying that the sick are being punished for their sins. Nobody will take that insult from religionists. But this theodicy says that they are. Even those who say that God can send suffering as punishment are saying that it is at least a little possible that suffering people are being punished. Sin supposedly brings bad things down on the innocent as well. We are said to be hurt indirectly by the sins of others. It is insulting to say my sins can lead to some innocent suffering down the line as it is to say that if I suffer I am being punished for my sins.

Surprisingly some Christians admit the free will defence cannot get God off the hook for allowing evil to happen (An Intelligent Persons Guide to Catholicism). They have to for it is now clearer than ever to more people that the defence is wrong. Getting that wrong is evil in itself. There is no room for mistakes when it comes to a God permitting people to suffer for suffering is no trivial matter.

God allegedly permits you to sin.  We are told this in no way implies approval or that God will leave our sin unchallenged.  Permit means “did not prevent though could have”. So under the circumstances God approves of the sins you commit. To say that God cannot stop you for he gave you free will or is allowing the sin for a purpose is to deny that under the circumstances he could act. And to make out sin is for a purpose turns it almost into a blessing. Whose purpose are we talking about? God’s purpose for your sin. But what then do you say to a person who says “I want to do this dastardly thing for God will make use of it anyway”? Sin by definition is to be punished except maybe when it is forgiven. What if you say permit where God is concerned means, “To permit sin means to refuse to punish it”?  God allegedly delays punishing but delaying itself is just another way of enabling sin.

To preach free will is only justified if you are sure God does retaliate against sinners.  Otherwise you end up being irresponsible when the doctrine allegedly tells you to take responsibility.  This shows another contradiction in the free will defence.

The worship of this God of free will is worse than Satan worship. Satan is cursed for asking people to sin when God has more to do with us sinning than he does!  The free will defence is unintelligible - its not a defence.   Its nothing.  It is self-refuting nonsense.  It is evil to dish such nonsense while people bleed and suffer at the hands of human beings.

THE SECOND THEODICY: “God cannot protect us against all suffering for that would mean turning bullets into paper and sending angels to catch anybody that falls off a cliff. It is better for things to be as they are instead of having endless miracles that turn life and the universe into chaos.”

A protective force field around the body is the only miracle God needs to do.

THE THIRD THEODICY: “Suffering and evil are for disciplining us or to make us grow in holiness.”

This theodicy is so important that it deserves a chapter on its own. It implies that God is only concerned with our moral qualities and not with the harm we do for harm is good for other people and he thinks the harm we suffer is good for us. Cruelty is a sin only when it is intended to be malicious but if it is intended to make the person a better person then it is good and is doing the person a favour. Obviously, it is a charter for total anarchy and worldwide misery. Love becomes treating a person as badly as possible. God was evil for making us for it. If God is all-powerful he can make sure the chaos leads to good so the results are his concern and not ours. We understand then how the Church was able to forbid the quarantine of the first AIDS victims. It was so that it would spread and kill off gays and they make themselves feel good about this psychopathic outlook by pretending that it is for their spiritual welfare.

If it is wrong for us to discipline others to make them holier though they do not want it then how could it be seriously wrong when they need discipline? We might be treading on God’s toes but it is nothing serious.

The discipline theodicy has to be rejected entirely because it is easy for me to praise God and condone the suffering of others when I am okay so it increases the very pride that it pretends to obliterate. You say God starves young people to death in Africa and he is right to allow this to happen. But would you like to starve to death or let him do it to you if you could stop him?

THE FOURTH THEODICY: “There is no love without sacrifice and we have to suffer to love so God is right to allow suffering. If there were no suffering there would be no good works. In other words, we have to suffer as a sacrifice so that good might be done.”
This theodicy is simply the free will defence for it says we have to choose between self and God. To not choose self is to sacrifice.

The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil says that we do not love because we suffer but we suffer because we love whenever we sacrifice out of love (page 167). This is true.
The person who endures hail and fire to get a doctor for a sick stranger is said to show more charity than a person who merely lifts the telephone to help. But nobody thinks that she loves the stranger more because she had to suffer in order to help the stranger. She loves the same whether she suffers for the stranger or not. She only helped the stranger and suffered to do so because she loved in the first place.
Jesus said that if you love your loved ones you deserve no praise for any sinner can manage that. For him there is no love until the minute you choose to accept the suffering. He originated the disturbing masochism of Christianity.  

It is simply a lie that there is no good work unless sin and evil exist. We can freely do good and never sin. When you do good you often forget about the existence of evil and sin.

To say without evil we would have no challenges and no football matches and other things is saying, “On the human level I am glad evil exists as long as I get something out of it.”  It is warped to say that evil with its consequences is worth it when there are football matches to go to.

THE FIFTH THEODICY: “Without suffering we cannot know what happiness is.”

While we are happy we forget our suffering so we can be just as happy if it never happened. 
Happiness is something you allow to happen to yourself. It eludes you if you work for it because working for it means you are not happy in the first place. Suffering has nothing to do with it.

Is being  happy really less important than knowing what happiness is?

THE SIXTH THEODICY: “God is right to hurt us as long as he makes it up to us later.”

This is ascribing acts of gratuitous savagery to God. The only way one can make up for having done evil or let it happen is to undo the past. One can do all the good in the world but the crime is not undone or really made up for. The victim feeling that it is does not mean that it is.

If God is allowed to harm people as long as he makes “atonement” then it is bigotry and hypocrisy to declare this behaviour out of bounds for human beings. It is no answer to say that it is wrong for God forbids it for we have rights too and that is arbitrary. If God is all-powerful he will see that it does work for the best.

The doctrine that God uses evil suggests that he has to put up with it.  What if this putting up makes him need to let us be hurt as long as he makes it up later?  Nobody has the right to dismiss somebody's torment by saying that God will make amends later.

THE SEVENTH THEODICY: “God allows suffering for a greater material good. Plagues, for example, urge science to cure diseases. Famine leads to people taking better care in the future.”

This implies that evils are useless and are to be fought when God wants them all fixed. Then why didn’t he make everything right in the first place? It is not right to set up evil things to happen on the basis that you want people to overcome them. The theodicy contradicts the fact that if there is a God of love he wants us to look for him not better material benefits.
THE EIGHTH THEODICY: “Suffering and our weakness in the face of temptation are God’s way of getting back at us for sinning. They are punishment.”
If God can punish sin, it follows that if you suffer you may assume that it is not because you are being punished. But how do you know? You have to admit it could be punishment even if there is a small chance. If you are humble you will accept this. But no believer does and they go berserk if any religious person suggests it. No truly good person would ask you to accept such a possibility because it violates the rule, "Faith should be formulated and practiced in such a way that no harm is done should it prove to be wrong". Thus the notion of God and his justice has to be scrapped. We need justice on earth but to hold that evil people are punished after death is just vicious because such an existence would have little in common with our earthly existence with all its problems.

Believers have no choice but to accept the thought that suffering is always punishment when they realise that the doctrine of free will does not explain why suffering and our weakness towards evil happen and no theodicy works.  If you say it is your opinion that there are other answers the fact remains that if punishment is the only answer you imply that it is even though you don't intend to.

God must be punishing babies for some sin they are not conscious of like original sin or something. This was the apostle Paul’s logic. He said that when all die all must be sentenced to death for God is fair. Logic says the same thing is true if all suffer even babies.

It is brutal if God really does this. It is never right to avenge yourself on a person who cannot remember doing whatever it is you want revenge for or who cannot know or repent what they have done.

The Bible clearly teaches that sincerity will not get you into Heaven if you do not believe in God and salvation by the blood of Jesus. But it should. God can let you into Heaven when you have meant well all your life and it is vile if he excludes you. If he does this and he is good then it follows that error is punishment for sin and those in the wrong faith are rejected by God. This would imply that their virtues are deceptive and that they are full of stubborn opposition to God inside which renders them deserving of their treatment.

Some might say that God will hurt the innocent to get at the guilty. Is it really just to settle the score this way? If it is then we must do the same if we want to.

If suffering were all about punishment then sick people who repent their crimes and get God’s forgiveness would be instantly cured.

It cannot be right to help a person when God wants them to pay for their sins. And when you help you must think, "I don't know if this person is being punished but if I did I wouldn't help." This is a lethal theodicy.         

Religion says that God comes first. Love of neighbour has to be the outcome of love for God. You express your love for God by helping your neighbour not for the sake of the neighbour but the sake of God. Imagine somebody dies in a car crash chiefly because he forgot to fasten his seatbelt. If God comes first it is best to blame that person and not God and to feel no or little compassion for the person. It is best also so that you don’t have the difficulty of explaining how God could let such a thing happen. The more you try to explain God’s ways the more you will suspect even a bit that God might be bad. So it is more reverent to blame the dead person. 
THE NINTH THEODICY: “God allows evil and suffering to warn us about the horrors and ugliness of sin. They tell us what will happen if we will continue to sin and give bad example.”

Then why won’t he let us do evil for the same reason? The evil would need to be condoned up to a point. It is no reply to say that it is up to God to do the warning for he could use our evil for that purpose for he pulls all the strings in world affairs.

He could warn without causing any suffering and by force for lessons like that have to be forced on us anyway. A few nightmarish visions would suffice if suffering were required at all. He could warn us by mouth.

If suffering is blackmail then why does God not try harder to stop us doing wrong?

This theodicy is saying that God is vindictive in spite of itself for how could a sin that causes little or no pain be worse than suffering? Sin should be bad for it causes suffering which implies that God hates suffering more than sin. But God denies that. If sin is bad because it causes suffering then private and harmless sin is not bad and suffering would refute God for God regards it as number one candidate for destruction and yet it is rife.

Another problem is that suffering and evil turn people off belief in a good God. Evil is the reason why many become atheists.

THE TENTH THEODICY: “God lets us sin and suffer to teach us the lesson that we cannot do without him and to teach us what love is. God wants us to love him alone and others just for him so that is the only lesson that suffering can be meant to teach us”.

This is an official theodicy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Its wrongness is apparent from the fact that many people go through life without the suffering that is supposedly required to drive them to the realisation that they really need God. What they need is not God but the philosophy in The Gospel According to Atheism.

Declaring that some people should suffer more than others if that is the reason for suffering is inhuman.

It is replied that the more you sin the more you suffer for the more you have to learn. This is untrue for sinners are often better off than anybody else. And if you have to learn how to treat God how can you sin? If you sin you know you have done wrong and have no lesson to learn.

And one phase of suffering would teach you the lesson so why do we often suffer again later? God would give us a better memory concerning the lessons of suffering if he existed when we all want to remember what important things we learn.

It is better to let people ignorantly do harm than to hurt them to enlighten them. You don’t beat your children to make them learn a lesson they can learn without it. The theory approves of hurting the innocent.

Suffering would not last long if it were for making us realise things for God has the power to influence our thoughts.

The theory forbids compassion. It says the sufferer can learn the lesson so they have not tried hard enough to learn it for they still suffer meaning they are being accused of bringing their suffering on themselves. To help a sick person is letting yourself be used sinfully and must be a sin. The only help you can give them is to try to help them to see the lessons. Apart from that you may neglect them and not even give them a cup of water.

The theory is an insult to the sick. Yet God must allow suffering to teach us or to discipline us or both. This is seen more easily from the religious and biblical doctrine that the need for God and to love him most or totally is in us all in the first place and that to love God really this way is to fulfil all his requirements. We need a sermon to learn, not suffering.

Some say the theodicy accounts for God letting us do extreme evil. God has to make us totally free so that we will see the awful results of rebelling against him.

First of all, this tell us that God is more interested in proving himself right than in making us right. If we think that God is not right then that is our problem and not his and so he should not degrade himself to prove a point. God’s inability to accept this shows he thinks it is better for us to be let loose and do all the evil we wish than for God to be thought wrong. To be misunderstood is better than to be maligned and rebelled against. We cannot accept this.

Secondly, we are not all free to do the evil we wish.

Thirdly, most of us die before we can see the awful results in full.

THE ELEVENTH THEODICY: “Evil does not exist – it is an illusion. When an all-powerful God of love exists evil cannot exist”.

Advocated by the Christian Science cult and the Unity School of Christianity the fact that the illusion of evil, if that is what evil is, is a painful or evil one is forgotten. It is real to us. If evil does not exist then there is no illusion so what are they doing talking about an illusion?  The theory forbids compassion for compassion is suffering with others.

THE TWELFTH THEODICY: “Evil is simply the absence of good so it does not exist in the sense that it is not a real thing. God is right to allow it for it is a negation and nothing more. There is no evil- just misused good. God is not to blame for evil for evil isn’t real.”
Evil is that which should not be. This is true whether it be a power or just the absence of good. So this theodicy is just a distraction from the fact that whether evil is a power or not, it should not be and saying it is one or the other makes no difference. The theodicy is a conjuring trick. St Augustine stated that if evil were a power, then the existence of God would be decisively refuted for it would mean God has made evil. But then he says that evil is allowed by God to happen and he can justify himself. If that is true, then surely an all-good God can make evil power for a good reason! Implicit in Augustine's logic is that evil is useless and God can't have a purpose for it! This means that evil refutes God. But Augustine won't admit that! He prefers to look at babies dying in agony and condone God's part in it.
THE THIRTEENTH THEODICY: “There is no limit to the level of goodness that we can obtain. For example, if we suffer a countless million centuries to save some person from eternal torment we can suffer more and more than that and more than that and so on and on forever. We will always be imperfect for God alone is infinitely or fully perfect. God cannot stop us from sinning or suffering for it is logically impossible for him to make us literally perfect. Better some evil than no evil.”
If my dog is in the peak of his health and safe, how can I say that I am doing something better for him if I injure him in some way?
This theodicy will not be inspirational to people who wish to do good but to people who wish to do evil.
THE FOURTEENTH THEODICY: “Evil is good when God does it. When God hurts an innocent child for nothing it is good. God’s goodness is infinite so his goodness is different to what correct reason sees as goodness. Praised be the Lord!”

This is what religion has got to believe if it wants to believe in God in spite of the injustice he has thrust upon the world and lets happen. Religion offers us a God who makes doubt a sin though it cannot be, who took out our sins on sinless Jesus and who punishes the unbaptised for a transgression they had nothing to do with. In brief, it presents a being to whom the evil he performs is good and who carps when anybody practices what he practices.

All religionists argue that since God’s goodness is infinite we cannot understand it. That is why it often seems daft to us. All religionists who see that evil cannot be explained take refuge in this theory. But this really means that God’s goodness is different to what our reason says is goodness. Our reason is said to be wrong because it is not intelligent enough. But how could goodness be infinite if there is so much of it that it becomes evil? An infinite line is still a line so infinite goodness is not goodness so great that it becomes evil. Infinite space is still space. Infinite good must still be goodness. Infinite good means unlimitedly perfect goodness so if we understand what goodness is at all we should be able to understand what is good and what is evil.

God recognises some things as evil for they do pointless damage. If avoiding the most harm is good then it is always good.

This theodicy is, in reality, a repudiation of the real existence of good and evil. Good is reduced to a meaningless term that includes some of that is good and what is evil and pure black evil could be good in its estimation. Good is made out to be something that exists solely in the demented mind of God.

The theory belittles those good souls who have suffered.

The only excuse left is that evil is a mystery. The only real mystery is why people fall for it. If evil is a mystery that is just a hidden way of saying theodicy fourteen is true for we can know what God should do even if we cannot know how he has to work in particular situations.
There is no God and the fact that all his theodicies are harmful prove that we should not want there to be.

Religionists commonly preach that the solution to the problem of evil exists but is undiscovered. They are right that having no answer is not proof that none exists but this does not apply in this case. We know what good and evil are and if there is an answer we would have found it ages ago. Some of our responses to the theodicies are improvements on old anti-god arguments so it is obvious that our evidence against the existence of God is conclusive.

Good is simply doing what is best for others. If God is wise and good then he always does good. His general purposes would not be that puzzling but his individual ones would be for we don’t know the whole picture. For example, if it made sense to believe that God sends suffering to prevent worse suffering we would be able to trust him say when your baby dies tragically in sickness. So we would have the general reason but we would not know exactly why the baby was taken.

But the general reasons make no sense.

When a man tortures babies to death we do not say that he does it for a mysterious and perhaps supernatural general purpose that makes him innocent but perhaps misguided. But we are more entitled to say that about the man than about God who is more straightforward and less complex. The teaching that suffering and evil are mysteries in the general sense is evil for this reason. It is depraved to excuse God instead of the man who is more entitled to it. Perhaps God does not want us to judge – accuse or thank – others at all? Then that would mean that God is against the law of the land and against forgiveness which cannot be done without judging first. That would make life a misery. God could enable us to know if a person was guilty or not. He could tell us or help us to make a foolproof lie detector that also restores the bad person’s memory where necessary.

It is evil to excuse the behaviour of a being whose existence you cannot really and rationally be as sure of as the existence of an evil and cruel person. If you believe in God then you have to believe that it is best to excuse the evil and cruel person. The being that is more likely to exist should get the best treatment and that is your neighbour.

If God’s good looks like evil then God or anybody can use this to persuade us that anything evil is really good. It makes slaves of us though religion lies to us and says that God has made us his sons.

If you say evil is a mystery and God exists then you are saying that you do not believe in God because of what you see on earth but because of Jesus or habit or authority or something. This translates thus: “I don’t care what suffering says. I ignore it and don’t care for the sake of belief. I want to believe in what Jesus said or what the pope said and that is all I care about”. With that attitude you could only make yourself feel sorry for others not because you are really concerned for them but because you want to trick yourself into feeling compassion for them so that you can pat yourself on your back.

Some religionists would do anything in desperation to protect their God hypothesis.

The doctrine that evil is a mystery is itself evil. If evil is a mystery then God is fictitious and an abomination.

Note too that you have a right to ask why suffering exists and get enough understanding but the mystery doctrine robs you of that.  It is not an answer at all.
Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) was a Jew who converted to Pantheism. He believed that God was perfectly good.

He said that evil only seems evil to us but is really good when you see the whole picture.

It is like a picture that you look at so closely that you only see the brush strokes and which are evil in the sense that they have no great beauty or artistic merit. But when you retreat a few feet you see a vision of great beauty – a masterpiece landscape which inebriates you with its splendour.

This image says that good is made up of evil which is not true for we could be perfectly happy without evil. When a person forgets all about suffering and is enraptured in unending bliss there is no evil there. The picture can be made up of evil and be good but it is different. Evil is not brush-strokes. Life is not a painting. Spinoza is attacking the obvious fact that we should all be in a universe in which no sorrow is known.


Plato believed that the ultimate reality, that which exists by and of itself or is not caused by anything to exist except by itself is two: God and matter. This was his answer to the problem of evil. Matter is far away from God and it is stuff which is unsuitable for the divine purpose. But he has to use it all the same. The imperfections of matter are blamed for sin and evil. But when matter is able to bring happiness to some it can to all. God could tell us how to scientifically make ourselves happier.

The solution is unsuccessful.

Also, when matter can exist without being created why suppose that this great spirit God exists? There is no need for the spirit theory. We cannot prove that spirit exists which would be necessary before we can say it is a rational or meaningful concept. We have to avoid any outlandish hypothesis of which there is no need.


Is turning to God when evil happens giving into a fantasy that is engineered to bring comfort? Is that the only real motive behind theodicy?  It does not follow from theodicy being an attempt at logic that anybody cares about it for that reason.  If we could see into the hearts of the religious and see that it is just a scam to give cheap comfort instead of doing the hard work to comfort responsibly then that would be an empirical and evidence-based and unassailable argument not to believe in the love of God.  The doctrine would be abused yes but when its abused to that extent and that much it is because in some way there is something evil in the doctrine though we cannot pick it out.

Conclusion: Not one of the reasons why an all good God who is the origin of all things can let innocent people suffer works.  Each of the reasons is itself evil and cruel.