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?

 


THE PROBLEM OF EVIL - WHO HAS THE BIGGER PROBLEM OF EVIL - THE ATHEIST OR THE CHRISTIAN?

Summary: Christians say that if we cannot explain how God the source of all good permits evil, we should remember that without God we have no reason to believe in love and justice at all. So to deny God creates a problem of evil or a worse one if you like. Atheists say that when man judges what goodness is he cannot say that God solves anything for the whole point of faith in God is to get away from man inventing and judging what good and evil are for to follow your perception of good is not the same thing as following good. Also nobody wants to argue that if your faith in God is weak that means your faith in justice and love are weak. Atheists say good is a default and if we imagine there being nothing at all not even God then it is good that there is nobody to suffer.

 

Religion says that suffering and letting it thrive is immoral.  It is moral fact or objectively immoral to put it another way.  It is not just a matter of taste or opinion.  It really is wrong.  They say it is wrong simply because God is against it.  But that denies that suffering can just be wrong and there is nothing else to it.  Something is not really wrong if it needs a God or some authority to say it is bad.  Saying it is bad is one thing and saying it should be condemned by laws is another. Religion is just another form of moral relativism - that nothing is really immoral in itself.  Adding up 2 and 2 to make 5 is unfair and unloving to the truth that 2 and 2 make 4.  You don't need any authority to make that true.  2 and 2 is its own authority.  Thus we have shown that faith in God involves faith not in morality but a clever substitute for it.  The way is open for the atheist to declare what morality really is.  Even if he cannot, at least the door is still open.  It is wise and good and fair to keep the door open for Anna even if you know she will never return as long as there is a slight chance of something. Morality does not and cannot ask for the impossible.  So it is moral to simply open that door.

 

God commands that suffering is bad and immoral.  But why can't he tolerate, allow or command that it will command itself as forbidden?  It can have it then on its own after all.  Suffering is degrading and asking why it is bad and degrading is just blind.  IGod letting suffering forbid itself as immoral is enough means it can do that without God!
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THE ARGUMENT: The problem of evil is less harmful and less of a difficulty for a Christian than it is for the atheist. If it sinks Christianity, hypothetically speaking, it does a better job of sinking atheism. For example, the atheist cannot say that it is terrible when wild animals take babies and dismember them alive for food. The atheist should just say, "It is not right and it is not wrong. It is just the way things are! It is okay then if we do nothing about it. If nature does not care and cannot care then why should you care?"

The argument is a stupid one. The problem could sink both. But it does not follow that it sinks both equally. Perhaps it sinks Christianity best.

 

If it sinks both, the fact remains that we have to choose one or the other. We have to assume there is or is not a God. If you do not feel that God backs morality then belief will do you no good. So it is what you feel that matters not God as such. Assuming there is a God as a prop to inspire yourself is not real respect for God and thus you should assume atheism for you might as well.

 

The Christian claims that each of us is a little bit atheist. There is a part of us that thinks there is no God. When you are not totally certain God exists that means you mostly believe but do not fully believe.

 

If there is a bigger problem of evil with atheism than with faith then Christians are not immune from it. The problem touches them.

 

Anyway, atheism is alleged to have a bigger problem of evil than believers in God have.

 

Believers usually say that an atheist who thinks there is no God has no right to call anything evil. They say the atheist has no standard for judging that it is evil when a little bird is being torn to pieces by a cat. They say that the atheist assumes that creatures ought to be healthy and happy. They ask where the ought comes from and say it can only come from God so the atheist is guilty of having God at the back of his mind and not admitting it or realising it. They even go as far as to say that the atheist is loath to say what evil and suffering are.

 

But the atheist merely judges it as evil without God. The cat is not evil for it is only doing what nature has programmed it to do but the killing is still evil. Evil exists whether we are programmed biological computers or not.

 

The believer judges what is evil without God too. The believer tries to say that his morals and wisdom all come from God but he is lying because he asserts that he trusts in God because God has shown himself to be reliable and trustworthy. The believer is judge over God not the other way around. If faith in God needs a big lie like that then atheism even if it has problems is less bad.

 

Case closed: the one thing that the believers need to say to try and solve the problem of evil fails and is evil and ignorant and daft itself. The problem of evil is fatal to faith in God.

 

MISPLACED GOOD AS THE DEFINITION OF EVIL

 

Religion says that evil is just an absence of good and is not real which means that evil does not exist. Instead of evil we have good that is not good enough. What would you think of a believer in God who told a woman whose baby just died that it was not terrible but simply not good enough? The fact that it would be more logical for a believer to say that than for an atheist shows that there is something inherently wrong with belief in God. The believer in God takes on pressure to see evil that way - a pressure which the atheist avoids and is happy to avoid and do without.

 

We need to remember that to say that evil is merely good in the wrong place borders on trivialising it that the doctrine if true is a necessary evil.

 

But surely an atheist can believe that good is a default and evil is a distortion of good? Yes. We have seen how even if there is nothing at all there is good in that.  The good is all about the fact that at least there is nobody around to suffer.  It is about suffering not sin.  The atheist does not care about the fact that you stole but that you hurt somebody.  The atheist then is working from a truly humanistic and compassionate angle.  The believer cannot do that.

 

But evil as in deep depression cannot be called a distortion of good - there is nothing good about the experience.  So for the atheist some forms of suffering are simply evil and not a lack of good.

 

Believers say that we adopt imperfect moral standards which supposedly show we are presupposing a perfectly good moral standard as exemplified by God.  But aiming for the perfect goal does not imply there is a divine goalkeeper who does it perfectly!

 

SAME PROBLEM?

 

Christians do say, "You atheists have the same problem with evil as we do." If they are wrong then what?  It depends on who has the worst one.  That is the one that needs to be looked at first and foremost.  Then look at the other one for you have to.  You have to consider dropping your problem for the best one.

 

The alleged problem of evil for atheists and the problem of evil for believers in God are different problems. Christians have to look at their own problem not the atheist one for it is an appalling problem they have. It is unfair to try and present two separate problems as being the same one.

 

What then is the difference?

 

For Christians, evil puts God's love on trial. For atheists, it also puts God's love on trial. For Christians, God's love means we can really believe in love and in doing good. They say that atheists discard God and thus have no right to value love and good deeds.  So the Christian problem disparages atheists and thus is riddled with hate.  The atheist rejects God on the basis that he wants to be compassionate instead of trying to imagine that God and evil fit as if evil does not matter much ultimately.

 

The Christian problem is worse for they make out that a person who endures such horrors that they end up on the brink of suicide are part of God's wise and loving plan! Do they imply that God will stop the suicide? If he does not then they reason it is part of the plan too.
 
HOW STRICT MUST WE BE?
 

Would one proof that God does not love matter if everything else was indicatory of God’s love? What if you have one proof of God’s evil and billions of his love?

 

Don't forget that evil starts off crafty and subtle and rolls in good things like a pig in mud.

 

YOU ARE JUDGE OF GOD HIMSELF

 

The Christian argument that you need to believe in a God to believe in morality is interesting. But it is a refusal to admit the truth. If my belief in God gives me belief in morality, it follows that it is not God who is giving it but my belief about him. Yet Christians say they want to base morality on God and not on human belief or opinion! And if it is bad for us to decide what is moral, then it does not follow that God will help or belief in him will help. Saying your ideas about right and wrong are the same as God's is the height of arrogance and no wonder it leads to intolerance.

 

EVEN IF THERE IS A GOD AND YOU HAVE FAITH YOU ARE STILL AN IDOLATOR
 
Even if there is a God and many of our ideas about him are spot-on they are still our ideas. If Mr Specific was Jack the Ripper and some book points the finger at him what use is that when there is too much of a chance that it is the person's own ideas? It is luck not knowledge or evidence that has got the right answer. If there is no God, then man is better than God for man invents this perfect all-loving being. Man cannot do that for man is not all-good but man will make it look like he has. If there is a God, there is still no way that man has his ideas about God because of God. The person who asks you to trust in God is asking too much. You cannot assume he has the real God or cares. No you can assume he is talking about the God who exists in his head.

CHANCE AND THE VALUE OF LIFE

 

Christians say that God is infinite in all perfections. He is perfect without putting it to any use. He doesn't even have to create unless he chooses to. He would still be perfect. That is rubbish. God might be perfect in his own way. But what about other kinds of goodness? Religion likes to claim that God is the ultimate source of all goodness. Imagine a mother and child could exist by chance and without being made by God. Surely her love for her child would deserve more praise than God's for it exists by chance and she continues it? She creates it. She creates it against the grain - there is no God to help her. Love produced without the assistance of God is the best love of all. Love against the grain is the most authentic love. Atheism no matter what flaws it has or how much it is abused or misused by atheists, does open the door to real goodness.

 

GOD IS NOT GOODNESS ITSELF

 

Believers seem to say God is a real being, a person and also that he is goodness itself. They say goodness is a person or persons if you believe in the Trinity - one God being three persons. This is as insane as saying the number 1 is a real person. Or that the idea of electricity (not electricity but the idea!) is a person. Believers treat God as a good person one minute and as goodness the next. The two treatments are actually mutually exclusive. When you adore goodness as an ideal and even if you call it God, you are adoring it not the person of God. To adore the person of God is to treat him as a person not as mere goodness. The atheist merely does all the time (or should) what the believer does some of the time - adore the ideal of goodness. But the atheist does not pretend it is God for it is not.

 

It is not good to say that God brings good out of evil. And if evil is good in the wrong place, it follows that God does not need to take any action. The good will happen. Evil is necessarily the opponent of good so if good comes, it comes in spite of it. There has to be a default. Whether there is a God or not has nothing to do with it. Thus the default is good.

 

COMFORT

 

The person suffering beyond our imagination need not be helped by the thought that there is a God. Indeed trying to feel that there is and failing will only make the suffering worse. If you think of happy days when you are depressed you only make yourself far more depressed. And you are telling yourself how lucky you are though you know you are not. The believer who tells you to pray and turn to God is not helping you.

 

People urging you to pray in order that you may have a relationship with God can be a torment if you suspect God is doing terrible things to you. You may feel that they care about honouring God and not you.

 

Trusting God when you are crippled with depression and emotional torment is painful for the same reason that a wife trusting her husband despite seeing the evidence that he is totally unscrupulous would be.

 

HATE AGAINST ATHEISTS IS IMPLIED BY FAITH IN GOD

 

Religion says that, “Atheists can’t call anything evil.” But that argument is saying the atheists can call it evil to say there is evil. So, "Evil is real", is evil.  So the argument does not make any sense. And the atheist is accused of saying, “Its evil to say there is evil” which is saying the atheist is so evil that he does not want to admit that evil exists. The believers argue that atheists are presuming there is a God when they condemn evil for evil and a God who condemns it necessarily go together. To say one is to mean the other. But we have shown the atheist is not presuming God by condemning evil. The atheist is recognising that evil is about us not God. The atheist is recognising evil for what it is.

 

When God implies hate and injustice against atheists that is absolute proof that believers are wrong to worship God for that worship is based on not on evil being seen as a problem but on evil being excused and condoned and implicitly praised.

 

TAKE WHAT YOU GIVE 


Judging means really suggesting that the person is good or bad or in-between. With God, people just say he is good and leave the judging out. That is bias. A God who judges us should be judged himself. That means being prepared to call him evil and to condemn those who worship him. It is evil and unfair to take any other approach.  This is more than a problem of evil - its a contradiction.  Religion calls evil a problem when it may be more than that and that is evil and is intended to invite and induce bias.


CONCLUSION

 

We conclude that the argument that atheists only make the problem of evil worse than believers do is nonsense.  The argument that evil assumes there is a God to be against it is an odd one. It is clear that to say that evil exists is not the same as virtually saying God exists.  Atheism recognises evil correctly.  Faith in God recognises it inadequately.