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

Religion makes itself feel better about innocent suffering by condoning it - the tendency to condone suffering is universal

Religion fools people by making out that though it is hard to fit God and evil together the fact remains that God opposes evil totally and has nothing at all to do with it.  God makes all things but they say this does not mean that God creates evil.


Christians say that evil is not a thing or power but a lack.  It is good not being good enough.  But if good can be bad that is far worse than evil being a power.  Poison that looks good is worse than poison that looks like excrement.  Good being bad is worse than evil being a power.  Thus belief in God is inherently immoral because it denies that God being good can create evil.  Eradicating evil matters more than what you think evil is and it is the truth that seeing evil as a power is the best to drive people to battle evil.


It is bad in itself to condone the evil of God or religion or whatever.  The bigger the evil the worse your condoning is.  As God is the maker of all, it follows that it is better to risk condoning what Hitler did than what God did.  You need a good long complex explanation as to why you should not condone.  The risk of condoning is bad in itself too.  If you take a chance that is wrong as well.

Why are we drawn emotionally and other ways to helping a baby that falls down a well while if we had the power of magic to go to starving children in Africa and feed them for a week we would not use it?  This shows that even acts that are labelled as altruistic and other-interested in fact are more selfish than one lets on.  It shows how rare real other-interest is.  The inconsistency of human nature is a bigger trait than anything else.  We can ask about that and then ask if human nature is generally other-regarding or selfish.


Freud showed that if human nature wants to do something that is considered unacceptable and suppresses it will lead to them doing worse perhaps before they realise it.  If people want to see others suffer and repress that it will come out as wanting a God to hurt others.  The more they say it is justified the more they are showing their repression.


Many defenders of the existence of a loving God in the face of evil have been caught lying.  Christian apologist Timothy Keller for example altered and misquoted a philosophy paper (Alston) to make it look like any argument against God from evil was bankrupt.  Even believers would have to admit that somebody using such tactics is very callous for suffering is very real and he will condone it even if it is definitive proof that a loving God does not exist. 


Keller wrote, "Just because you canít see or imagine a good reason why God might allow something to happen doesnít mean there canít be oneĒ (page 23, The Reason for God).  So he admits that if he became God or got God's powers that he would send rabid dogs to devour human babies just like God would.  The "can't be one" is not the issue - the question is does the evidence favour the possibility?  That shows Keller is just regurgitating a chimera!!


Believers in God deny that God is to blame for the evil and suffering in the world and lay the blame with human beings misusing the free will that God gave them. To say anything different would be to say that God is evil or at least has no concept of morality for evil by definition is that which should not exist or be tolerated. If God uses evil for a purpose he uses it because we force him to need it. To imagine that we create evil and force God to have a plan to deal with it that can be a very painful plan is pure misanthropism. It is a very very serious accusation and needs to be seen as such. People who would accuse you would just as easily pretend to care when they think God is letting evil befall you.




Religion says when evil and suffering happen they are permitted by God.  What does permitted mean?  It means that God does not miraculously intervene to stop the evil and suffering.  They happen not because the fault is in him so the fault is in us.  Religion does not reason what a God would or wouldn't allow.  No it looks at evil and suffering and it cannot deny they exist.  So it ends up thinking, "Evil and suffering exist and are brute facts so we must make them fit our God theory."  The cart is before the horse and that would be laughable only it is real people who suffer and die and who are degraded by religion's nonsense.  The cart before the horse is simply condoning.


Belief is not the same as trust.  To condone evil so you can believe in God is dreadful and worse than doing it because you want to trust.  It is turning people's real pain into ammunition for a theory.




Is to say God has a plan when people suffer, no matter how much,  to say:


+ I am so good as a person that I choose to see the good in all that happens. (Arrogance and refusing to look at the picture realistically - you cannot just push the evil into the background)


+ I am so good I am in a position to judge what is good. (Arrogance)


+ I am better than the person who does not see the good. (Arrogant and judgmental)


+ The person who sees no good in their suffering is making it worse by not seeing and looking for the hand of God. (Arrogant and judgmental)


+ They are at risk of misleading or not guiding others. (Arrogant and judgmental)


+ If they cannot see the good then I can. (Arrogant and judgmental)




It is saying one or any number of these things.  Human nature can say one thing but you need to see into their minds to know exactly what they mean!!




The way we all feel that bad things happen to others not us is a form of condoning. You are telling the illnesses and miseries to go to other people and thus that you have nothing to fear from them.  You talk as if you believe God gives you protection he will not give to others.  An atheist doing this may not realise she is doing God-talk.




Religion gets people to stop being mad at its God by saying, "Look how there is far more good than bad around!"  The amount does not matter.  We must be compassionate enough to be outraged if a virus torments only one baby even if nobody else knows what suffering is like.  The answer is a placebo and hugely offensive and disgraceful.  It is okay for an atheist to remark that life is more good than bad for she does not claim any God has set it up that way.  But to say a God is doing it and even worse to worship that God is terrible.


Even if there is a God we don't know for sure.  Thus there is something bad about human beings saying there is more good than bad thus the bad should be allowed by a God for what right have we to judge that even if we are right?  It is not our place and we could be right or wrong.




God is infinite meaning everything about him is, not a number too great for us to imagine, but literally numberless.  Infinite is that which is great without end or limit. Christians use this doctrine to argue that as God is good it means he is unlimitedly good thus evil is his complete opposite.  The distance between God and evil is infinite.  This calls us to be like God and to oppose and hate evil as much as we can.

This tells us that we cannot ever understand how far from God and good evil is.  Any view of evil we have will be watered down.  It may not feel that way but it is.  We cannot care the way God cares.  Our caring for another no matter how deep is idolatrous for it is a mere imitation of how God cares.

If you condone evil you cannot admit it. You pretend to be good and to love goodness.
You cannot ask to be considered innocent until proven guilty if the evil is great. Asking is evil.  And what bigger evil is there than what happens in the universe under God's watch? This is about you not God - are you the kind of person that wants your terrible irresponsible view to be respected? Are you the person who if given a choice would decree, "Let this evil happen for it is God's will. Let those babies die terribly" though you could be wrong? How dare you if you are!


The person may condone evil in a testable way. For example, if you say John stole the money to feed his children you can be proven wrong.
The sneakiest hypocrite will condone evil in a NON-TESTABLE way.
The hypocrite tries to avoid being proven to be a fake.

The hypocrite encourages evil with a pious smile - his evil looks good.
There is more condoning and stronger condoning involved when evil is condoned and protected from anything that exposes its true nature.
If something could be an example of condoning, it has to be treated as condoning. Making any exceptions jettisons the principle, "Oppose evil and work against it and be aware of its subtlety".
People naturally find it easier to believe that when others suffer it is part of a plan. They don't find it as easy when it is themselves or their loved ones who suffer. When they suffer or the latter suffer, instead of the plan being about the greater good, the plan suddenly becomes one where God has something amazing planned for the sufferers. He is letting them be hurt because he has some lovely surprise that makes it all worth putting up with.
A baby suffers now. To say God has a plan is saying that God is right to do nothing right now as long as he acts later. That is an appalling outlook. It is the now that matters. The present moment should take priority over everything else. If God is not helping now how can you say he will help later? How can you say he should?  It is no answer to say that it is God looking after the person not you thus you cannot be blamed for agreeing nothing is done now right away.  It is human and right to care about the right now.  Denying that instinct for a belief is self-abuse and degrading to the victim.  God cannot ask you to do it.  And what about the risk that you are telling yourself the future for the person will take care of itself because you don't really truly care?


To say, "God, your will and nobody else's be done" is saying, "I believe the suffering should happen if it happens." But that is too serious for mere belief. It risks being the kind of person who would let that suffering happen if you could and all in the name of faith and faith could be wrong. Faith is no justification for such extremism. Faith is self-destructive and will lead to emotional problems and addictions if it is taken that far.
The more evil and suffering you see around you in the universe you say is God's creation, the more condoning you are doing.

If we look at human nature we worry more. The human being is selective in her or his compassion just like everybody else is! She or he can be glad that others are suffering and not loved ones. She or he can think that those who suffer deserve it. Human nature often condones terrible treatment of oneself and others for it relieves and keeps anger and hatred at bay and they are horrible emotions. Human nature does not love good - it loves good when it fits what it wants it to fit.
Is that the kind of creature that should be respected for saying God lets evil happen for a purpose and even writes violent commandments for a purpose? And people are attracted by imperfection to one degree or another. Some like everything to have another side, an evil side. Are they in a religion that praises the God of the evil Bible because his commands were evil?
Do you want to be the kind of person who deliberately condones? You may do it because you see many others doing it.  You may fear their condemnation and backstabbing if you stand up to them.  So you just play along.
Do you want to be the kind of person who sees inexcusable evil, useless evil, the suffering of little babies, and who imagines there is a divine purpose? That is very serious if there is no God. If there is no God then man is disgracefully condoning terrible things in its name and pretending it is in God's name.  It means you fail to understand fully what happened to the babies. You are not trying to. You are excusing something that cannot be excused. You are hailing vicious ruthless blind nature as God. To worship a non-existent God means you imagine that God has done what God has not done. If you are decent, you will expect to be told if you are making such a hideous mistake - the greatest one of all. Remember if you believe, "God is right to let that plague torment babies to death though I don't know why" you are saying you would do the same thing or try to if you were God or if God asked you to run things for a while. Surely God should not be told he has such a huge responsibility if he has not?
What does the teaching of free will say about believers?
Christians condone God letting us suffer by saying that he is right to allow it to happen so that he can respect free will that is let us do things without him controlling us. They say God is perfection itself. They are saying then that they would send us that suffering if they had the power to. If the freedom defence is wrong then there is no God so you have to assume free will exists before you can assume God does.
The Church says that not all believers approach evil with the attitude: "I don't care if the evil is intolerable and if there can be no divine plan for it. I will condone it. I will assume there is a plan for I want to feel good while others suffer." But how does the Church know this? At least it admits that for many, the problem of God letting evil happen is about blessing evil and not about trying to be part of his plan to eradicate it. Human nature is dark and hides its true nature so would it be surprising if all believers were wilfully condoning God's role when a baby suffers under his care?
People care not about good but about what they want it to be. Human nature likes inventing its own good. It may be close to the real thing but it is not the real thing. Even if it is a perfect match for real good, it is not mean we are really attuned to what good is. It could be that we don't care about good as good but only care about good for it happens to match what we want good to be.
Thus people have no place speaking up for God when terrible evil befalls. It could be their hypocrisy talking.

God would not send man on a mission to condone the divine role in human suffering.  It is like sending Jack the Ripper into a mission field of prostitutes.
Man tells you what to think of God. You take man's word for it that he really got revelations from God. Man always judges morals and doctrines to see if they came from God. Religion is human opinion pretending or imagining it is not. It pretends to be God's work.
God and religion are simply masks. Man cannot claim to be God so man does the next best thing - claim to be inspired to speak for God. Though we are not to condemn something just because it can be abused, we can condemn religion for the harm it has done because religion is an abuse.


Let me explain.
In the light of man's involvement in alleged communications from God - they are only ever alleged and some allegations are convincing but still false - it is man who tries to come up with explanations for God allowing evil. It is man's word we take for it. That is so repulsive and is repulsive because of the nature and magnitude of human suffering.  It is unspeakably repulsive when it is not God that is condoned even if there is one but man's version of God or religion's version.  It is like people imagining they know Madonna through the media when in fact that does not amount to knowing her at all but only knowing what perception there is of her.




Many are who say that something terrible or potentially terrible happened in their lives.  They say that now it does not bother them and they see them as being among the best things that happened to them or at least good and fine are betraying those who now suffer abominably.  It can only water down how terrible their experience is and how it should not be happening.  They are giving them a reason to feel ashamed of how angry and hurt and distressed they feel in response to their troubles.  They deny they do this and that is rubbing salt into the wounds.  And their buzz now is about them trying to compensate themselves with warm nice appreciative feelings so they deny their memories of the horrors or dilute them to make it seem worth what they have now.




Individuals condone.  Even more people condone being part of communities and religions and societies that enable evil to happen or make it possible. For example, if Muslims all became Quakers that would be the end of Islamic terrorism. But they wouldn't do that. People feel disconnected to evil that is not directly done by them. But they are indirectly connected and making it possible and they worry not about it. A high and mighty person can run an abattoir where animals are cruelly slaughtered and feel okay about it as long as he is not doing the slaughtering. Yet making evil possible is worse than doing it directly. You have less control over evil you make possible at a distance than the evil you do directly.




God would give clear evidence that he is at work through evil. You need evidence and there is none. You just need a few clear examples and God would need to open his mouth and talk us through it. God should be explaining instead of letting man explain for him for it is not man's place. John's explanation of what I do means nothing for only I can explain. It is insulting and arrogant of him to try to explain. If I am hurting people and he is trying to explain that I mean well but am mistaken or something he insults the victims. The arrogance and stupidity of those who say they know what God is doing is staggering. For example, some say the crucifixion of Christ made his glorious resurrection to eternal life possible and shows God's plan. But it is absurd to say that Christ needed to be crucified.
It is about evidence not assuming. It is too serious of a matter to guess about. Condoning always involves assumptions and a lack of regard for evidence. 


Religion says we should worship God though he has made terrible viruses and diseases. But there is no should about it. We have the right to refuse.  The terribleness of these things overrides any right God has to expect us to believe he is doing right. The should lies behind all attempts to reconcile God with evil and it is bad in itself thus no reconciliation can work.  Religion wants to influence people and it cannot do that if it starts to say, "You MAY worship God."  It is too weak and turns religion into something as unimportant as what you may have for breakfast. All God's defenders do is show themselves to be spiritually bankrupt.




The view that we should not be too annoyed when things go wrong for there are people being tortured and slaughtered in the world is common. That something worse exists does not make a bad thing less bad. It may make you feel less bad about it.  You are using the suffering of others to benefit yourself.  And the godly do it as much as the ungodly.




The Stoics argued that unavoidable suffering and disaster will come to you so you must be resigned to it for it only makes it worse to try and resist and to complain. This advice is all me me me. Why?  Because to accept your own suffering means judging the suffering of others as unavoidable as well.  You may be wrong but you have to assume it is inevitable for it is better for them to accept it, in case it really is inevitable and because you have to assume it for you cannot really comprehend the complexities of another's life.  Our natural instinct is to do what the Stoics did and that instinct is stronger than any other.  Thus we should assume that those who say God lets others suffer are condoning that suffering.  They may be saying God is cruel or just does not care but they are still condoning what happens.

Human nature tends to condone evil. Some condone evil even to the point where they will spill their blood in the service of evil. That is why no reasonable person would let you get away with it if you do anything that looks like condoning. 
Condoning is too serious of a matter to ignore. If religious people deny they condone the evil that happens, what if what they do and say is indistinguishable from condoning? Anybody can and will condone and deny it. Assume they are condoning. Assuming they mean well is not fair on the victims of evil.
If you talk and act like you are condoning you are condoning - period. No loving God would create a religion that creates such a terrible risk. The risk has to be looked at as extremely serious and important. It is people who suffer we are talking about.
Many condone what is obviously harmful. They might be okay with vigilantes attacking a drug dealer.
Many condone the evil they do themselves and often deny wrongdoing.
Many condone evil when they feel that nobody will challenge them.
Many who condone cover it up. For example, they could say, "God has to let great evil happen for we have to have free will to do good or evil." Even if that could be correct, is it the reason they say God should let evil happen?
For the purpose of argument, if many are not they are still at fault. They make it easy for others to condone divine evil. And they are at risk of condoning it themselves.
It is extremely easy to condone divine evil for it is impossible to be caught out. Condoning human evil means some people will see what you are doing. But God's evil cannot be checked out the same way. Thus it makes sense to assume that a person who is okay with what God allows to happen no matter how terrible is condoning for they will get away with it better.
God cannot ask you to just assume that the evil he makes and the evil he allows is necessary for a good that is greater than the evil and makes it worthwhile. It is evil in itself to assume something like that. It is like you are permitting him to hurt babies and you don't know if you should. No matter how much good you do, your empathy for the sufferer is lacking at least as far as God is concerned. It is possible to care about a suffering person one way but not another. Love does not stop you degrading those you love in some way.

As terrible as it is to condone the evil done to you, it is heinous to encourage others to condone what happens to them. It is even more heinous for you to condone what happens to them.
Believers in God are using suffering people as a means to an end. They try to turn the suffering of others into a lesson about faith in God. I mean they look at a baby suffering and look at any alleged good in it that results or happens in spite of it as evidence that God is with the child holding her hand. This is about them idolising faith. It is wrong.
The believers in God are condoning divine evil. To put it another way, they are refusing to see what divine pitiless nature is doing to innocent creatures. They are like people who reason, "This baby has a terrible disease. Somehow this disease has intelligence. It lovingly afflicts the baby for if it does not a worse one would happen." That is refusing to admit what evil is and it is whitewashing it. It is a kind of praise.
People who offer to pray for you should be firmly put in their place. Doing that presupposes that God is right to let bad things happen. It is an insult and a mark of evil. It is extremism in principle.
If you want to say God is right to allow suffering, then your responsibility is to abandon a normal life and dedicate yourself to others and give them your food. Put your actions where your faith is for there is something disgraceful about the likes of the Pope praising God when he has comforts that are denied little babies and little animals.
A supreme God who exists only in the mind of man will produce evil for man thinks much evil. Such a contrived God even if it does not encourage evil does nothing to thwart it. It has no intrinsic power to help with evil. And the supreme God notion gives man a way to say, "It is God making these rules not me". How clever and how empowering for man! The human origin of faith in God and how dangerous that faith is in the hands of religious fraudsters and liars and politicians and monarchs and prophets shout one thing out: DROP GOD!


Everybody agrees that nobody's suffering should be used by you to show yourself or anybody else how good you are.  Let us put aside the fact that you have literally NO entitlement to do that.  The more innocent the person is and the more helpless then the less entitlement you have to do it.   You will use their suffering by praying and by saying you have faith. It is vile for you are not the one in their shoes. They are doing the suffering . Risking using or creating the temptation to use is bad enough but doing it is worse. There is no justification for it for their suffering is not about you.


If I did not have to make a substance and make it and it is only good for poisoning people then I would be called evil for making it if it were the case that people would be better off if I just hid the then why is it okay for God to do that? Even more to the point why is it okay for me to judge, or worse assume, that God should be okay with that? That is me inventing and why am I not condemned for that when I would be if I made up a God and excused the evil I think he did?


Religion says God gives suffering so we may use it.  So the "evil and suffering has a purpose" brigade are saying, "When you suffer you are an agent."  That is a diabolical suggestion.  It blames the sufferer.


To argue that God uses your suffering to do great good means you have a high opinion of your suffering and its value. You are soothing the pain and fear with pride and arrogance. That leads to a poor attitude to the suffering of others.

To argue that God uses the suffering of others is worse. You cannot suffer as much as most people do. So you have to be talking only about their suffering or mainly about their suffering. There is something sick in arguing that other people's suffering benefits while practically leaving your own out of it. Unless you are willing to take what they have to take instead of condoning their suffering you have no right.

Faith in God needs to cease being esteemed for it tempts and seduces people into condoning divine cruelty.  And some think God is indifferent but they don't care as long as the indifference does not affect them.  An indifferent God can still give you good things for indifference is simply not giving a damn about you.  Indifference is worse than cruelty for it follows no rules at all.  You should do anything rather than risk condoning or worse worshipping a cruel or uncaring God...



Re Barbara Smoker


Well done Barbara!

"I am ashamed, in retrospect, that I ever found it possible to worship the supposed creator of over-reproduction, sentient food, disease, and natural disasters. If I still believed in an omnipotent creator, I would have to heap curses on him".

I love these lines. They simply express the assumption that instead of trying to make out a baby's terrible suffering is allowed to happen for a good reason by God you help the baby. Do not waste any of your care on God and bestow it all on the baby. If hypothetically we have to help the baby for her own sake or for God's (because he wants us to help others not because they need it but out of devotion for him and he commands it) and it has to be one or the other who should we choose? If we say God then it follows that there is some misanthropy in us. Human nature needs an outlet for its dark side. Some would say that the saints were able to be so good because their outlet for evil was in condoning the sick and twisted ways of God and of those lousy enough to back him up. Not so good underneath it all then...