Then why call him God?

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? 
Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

Comments

Acts 17:31

When they all call him God

31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.

That passage simply states that people will be pursuaded to call someone God and the reasoning behind it. Ie because it will be claimed that the entity appointed a time when a judgemnt will be cast and will do the judging.  The underlying assumption is that many people will do or say anything in order to aquire a positive outcome, even worship a false God if personal benefit will result from it.  It also implies the role of the religious institution is to pursuade those people that there is a God who will cast ultimate judgement. How well they are able to pursuade people of this is how well they will be doing thier job.  A sort of pyramid scheme you see.       

 

31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.

Acts17:31

defaithed's picture

Well that certainly didn't answer Epicurus' quiz. Then again, to be honest, he did ask a whole bunch of questions at once, which isn't good interviewer technique.

So, if you're interested in answering, we could reduce Epicurus' words into a single, simple question:

Assuming some God creature exists, is he/she/it: (a) willing to prevent evil, but not able; (b) able to prevent evil, but not willing; or (c) both able and willing to prevent evil?

Or if a (d) choice is needed, speak up – though I think (a) to (c) really cover the possibilities. What do you say?

Oh, but only AFTER the suffering and torture has been done to the innocence. I see, makes perfect sense...not. But that's right, its all part of a plan of which we no nothing about. And all of that information is relayed to man in a BOOK...a BOOK of ALL things. A book written by mankind who has only proven to be untrustworthy and evil. So GOD expects me to believe that this book is the truth? Seriously? How ridiculous does that sound?

haha i actually thought they might mke an honest attempt a answering. instead you just get biblical threats. how stereotypical.

defaithed's picture

And what's more, it's some nonsense about "God will set a judge". Big deal; humans have been appointing judges for millennia. God is slow!

God gave us an ability to govern our own destiny. People chose evil instead of good. Evil is the absence of God. We have chosen to try and live without God, work without God and go to school without God. He isn't allowed in any public cooperation. So, He allows us to have our way. He is a gentleman. He is not going to force good choices on anyone. As far as suffering and death, that came because of the curse Adam brought on himself when he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

defaithed's picture

Hello!

He is a gentleman. 

A slavery-loving, woman-hating, baby-slaughtering psychopath is "a gentleman"? Please read the link below, and then kindly explain what "gentleman" means to you.

http://www.defaithed.com/listen-to-him

(I would have thought that not sentencing rape victims to execution is "gentlemanly". I guess I have that backward?)

He is not going to force good choices on anyone.

He won't control us like puppets? How very considerate of Him!

As far as suffering and death, that came because of the curse Adam brought on himself when he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Earthquakes kill babies because Adam ate fruit? And how did you come by this gem of wisdom?

Absolute brainwashed! God does not 'allow' us to choose our 'destiny'. Life circumstances, our strengths/weakness, determination, support or lack of it,... God does not 'allow', he just isn't invovled/don't care/ waiting for the end of this game to see how many players/tokens are left. Religion is THE BEST mind control ever! It doesn't explain, contradicts its self, causes countless harm/death, yet servives through the centuries.Lies+violence+enslavement (at least briefly)= RELIGION

 

show me one person with terminal cancer that "chose" that evil.  i've seen a 2 month old baby die from some horrible birth defect..you going to justify that by saying adam ate an apple and so therefore a baby had to die in horrible excruciating pain?  if so you are both a sociopath and a fool.

Yeah, this person who answered you answered well. Plus, defects are usually because of a reason. Whether it's because the human gene pool is losing information, or because of something that happened during pregnancy, it can all be traced back to a reason, not an evil God. Even cancer. Anyone who gets cancer and then blames God or blames anyone for that matter, is a selfish fool. Cancer is caused because you are lacking the vitamin B17 (mostly found in seeds, especially those of the apricot) in your diet, which regulates the creation of new cells in your body to heal internal problems. For example, cells building up in your lungs to heal them from tobacco smoke, but then they don't stop and your body doesn't fight them because they are just cells and your body doesn't think of them as an intruder. Doctors and scientists and charity holders don't tell you the truth because medicine is a billion dollar enterprise. But God does. "And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food." -Genesis 1:29. Any pain and suffering on this planet is because of us. Whether it's natural: Not giving our bodies what they need or giving  them an abundance of what they DON'T need... Or whether it's murderous: Hitler thinking the jews were an inferior race because evolution promotes survival of the fittest. Our rulers RIGHT NOW think the world is overpopulated and want to reduce the population. The world is not overpopulated. If you live in an overpopulated city... THEN MOVE! Have you seen all the empty land across America or anywhere else? Go take a flight and check it out sometime. It's all just part of the government's agenda, to devalue human life. "Global warming", (which has no proof, plants love pollution anyway), etc. All new "scientific discoveries", or any other nonsense they blast in our media is to promote the idea that humans are less important than nature. Even though anything we're doing isn't effecting nature. And no, we're not cutting down all the trees. Go fly across the world and count all the trees. I dare you. They outnumber us 1000 to 1. And of course, as this site proves, on top of devaluing humanity, they will make it seem like religious people are the cause of division and grief and all the war in the world. It's pretty hilarious how the bible's predictions are coming true, yet there are still so many who scoff at it. As conspiracy "theororisty" as it sounds, this new world order thing is shaping up pretty nicely. The world is connected like never before. Technology is to the point where it only makes sense that the next step will be a chip that is injected into your arm or forehead that holds all your information. God is completely gone from society, and anytime he's mentioned for whatever purpose, that person is labeled "intolerant" of change. But anyway, back to the point.... Naturally, it's easy for a selfish person to sit back and whine about how if God existed their life would be better. But that's not how it works. We live in a world of free will. It would have been malevolent if he created us to all be mind-numbed robots. But instead, we have the choice to choose him. A baby dying from a disease, (one which could have been brought on by man-introduced vaccines - no joke, you should see all the stuff they're injecting us with), is not evidence of no God. It's evidence of a defective humanity. Don't blame God for the ignorance of mankind.

defaithed's picture

Anyone who gets cancer and then blames God or blames anyone for that matter, is a selfish fool. 

Putting aside the later oddity about vitamin-related oncological pathology, I cartainly agree with the above. There's no reason to blame cancer (or anything) on gods. 

Or whether it's murderous: Hitler thinking the jews were an inferior race because evolution promotes survival of the fittest. 

I don't know what you mean here. "Evolution promotes survival of the fittest" makes no sense; are you suggesting that Hitler held this non-sensical statement as some sort of conviction, which in turn informed his lunatic actions?

And then there's... Hoo boy. Government conspiracies and "new world order" and (I paraphrase with tongue only partly in cheek) the fear that trees are gonna take over if we don't watch out? It's all nonsense to me, and I'm just going to pass on engaging; these things aren't the topic of this site. I cordially invite you to move those topics to web sites that'll give you a good, healthy debate. : )

But getting back to the topic of the page: 

A baby dying from a disease... is not evidence of no God.

I agree completely. Such a tragedy isn't evidence for or against the existence of gods. There could be, for example, a god who watches that baby dying, and who could do something to help, but chooses not to. Or a god who wants to do something to help, but can't. Or a god who neither wants to, nor can, do anything to help. The baby's tragic death is perfectly consistent with the claimed existence of any of these gods!

...Which is precisely Epicurus' point, of course. The tragedy is perfectly consistent with the existence of a weak god who can't help the baby, or an evil god who won't help the baby, or a weak and evil god who can't and won't help the baby.

What the tragedy is not consistent with is the existence of a strong and good god who can and will help a dying baby. The evidence against that god is powerful indeed!

So because of our ability that was given to us, people and other living beings get to suffer because of other's choices? So what makes those that make the bad choices better than the ones who suffer the consequences from those choices of others? So because of the choice of some man that nobody knows and who GOD "created" (named Adam), suffering is brought upon those who haven't made that mistake? So we have "free will" as indivduals but are treated as a whole when it comes to the consequences basically. That makes perfect sense. So we have the ability to govern our own destiny but yet that same destiny is part of a "plan"? What about other creatures who seem to just follow nature and try to survive within their own destiny? Such as animals that us humans torture? That's right, they have life, they breath, have roles in the ecological system and bleed red blood, feel emotion, communicate and many of the things us humans do, but they are not the same since we are humans and the superior being. I see. What a fantastic, loving being God must be. It seems to me that Evil is not the absence of GOD but the presence of human beings.

We have free will. He was loving enough to not create robots. Any pain that's caused is man-made. Diseases are usually vitamin deficiencies, even cancer (the lack of B17). God told us to eat the seeds in genesis. B17 is found in fruit seeds, especially apricot seeds. Murder, genocide, are all because of man. The latter being man thinking that the evolution theory's idea of "survival of the fittest" is a good basis of action. Anyone who sits back and whines that God doesn't exist because their life isn't peaches and cream, is just.. well immature. Sorry.

defaithed's picture

Any pain that's caused is man-made.

Earthquakes are man-made? Volcanoes? Parasites? Polio? Snakebites? 

No.

God told us to eat the seeds

Seeds, schmeeds. He should have told us to wash our hands; that'd have lessened thousands of years of human misery!

Sadly, this god didn't seem to have any more knowledge of the natural world than did the ancient desert goat-herders he allegedly spoke to... : (

Murder, genocide, are all because of man.

While natural disasters, disease, and parasites are not.

(Any excuse for that, "God"? Any word on how you justify tidal waves killing babies? Hello? Anyone out there? [...dead silence...])

The latter being man thinking that the evolution theory's idea of "survival of the fittest" is a good basis of action.

Who thinks this? What does that even mean?

Anyone who sits back and whines that God doesn't exist because their life isn't peaches and cream, is just.. well immature.

That would indeed be a silly thing to say, but... who says that?

If you poll large numbers of non-believers about why they don't believe in gods, you won't get a majority answer of "I don't believe because my life has troubles." You'll get an overwhelmingly majority answer of "I don't believe because there's no good reason to do so."

wait wait, God doesn't want robots and all that stuff, but, explain, once the whole rapture and the whole new jerusalem in the book of revelations is done with all evil perishing in some hot pot, and all the good ones that are with God will be in the new jerusalem, excuse me, isn't that making the robots that you all are saying God doesn't want? eliminating the evil and making everyone good, that sounds robotic, since all will follow the same rules, without anyone messing something up, THAT'S being a robot. correct me if i'm wrong, but that whole free will crap is just a dead end. why? ok, you get free will, to do as you wish, but if you dont choose me, you'll burn eternally. um, where's the free will? either you join me, or die. i dont see any free will there, you are stuck. aren't you? at least that whole free will should come with the chance of letting you live a life you want, and letting the others live the life they want, without being cheated in the end (eternal burning).

Christians believe that god exists, yet chooses not (rarely) interfere.  He leaves us to our own devices and allows us free will.  For our choices we will be judged.

I'm not a christian but that answers the question.  He's not malevolent.  He just chooses not to interfere because death isn't really the end and he sees the bigger picture.

defaithed's picture

Millions of Christians would disagree with you: the ones who fervently believe that God actively intervenes in lives... that he "answers" prayers... that he works "miracles" for survivors of accidents while "taking" the victims... even that he smites people with hurricanes and earthquakes because somebody was acting all gay or otherwise "immoral".

You'll have to work out the clash between your claim vs the claims of those millions of Christians who say you're wrong. That sounds like an incredibly difficult job, and I sympathize – honest, no sarcasm! – with you on the hugeness of that challenge. For every religious claim you make, there are millions of believers who say you're wrong or lying, or using the wrong scripture or wrong interpretation, or believing in the wrong god, and/or are blaspheming and heading for divine punishment. What methods does religion offer for you all to determine which of you is right? I have no idea, and am genuinely curious as to what means you'll use to resolve your disagreement with each other. 

In any case, even if Christians can't agree on whether or not God interferes today, they should have no disagreement regarding the past. The Bible offers a stunning record of God destroying armies, slaying firstborn babies, sending animals to butcher children, and even drowning nearly every man, woman, child, baby, and fetus on Earth in one incident of divine mass-slaughter. That's interference on a global scale, with God allowing utterly no choice or free will for the children, babies, and fetuses he murdered.

It would seem even the Bible doesn't agree with your claim about non-interference and allowing free will to make choices. I'm curious: On what basis do you make the claim that the Bible is wrong and you're right on this point?

You are wondering by what means will be used to resolve this disagreement? Try reading the book of revelation.

defaithed's picture

Try reading the book of Revelations, you say? Which translation, and through the lens of what interpretation? Or shouldn't I be getting my answer from the Koran instead? The Torah? Buddhist sutras? Hindu texts? L Ron Hubbard?

How to resolve this disagreement? The question stands.

No, he did not say that.  Read more carefully next time.

defaithed's picture

No, he did not say that.

Who did not say what?

First off, we get right and wrong from the Bible. If God doesn't exist, and we're all just chemicals that perfectly fell into place somehow, then where do YOU get your right and wrong? From yourself. Hitler, an evolution-believing man, would say the same. So could Stalin and just about any other dictator from our past who believes in survival of the fittest. Secondly, I've written on here before answering the poster's attacks on those scriptures regarding God taking fatal action in the past. All I have to say, is that before Jesus came, He did have to take action. It was the only way. When Jesus came, it covered all sin, so God was not obligated to punish it anymore. Any injustices that take place from Jesus death, to the last day of this age, He is waiting to punish on the day of judgement. He will then let out his fury on those who did not choose his son. Because He died for us, how angry do you think He feels at those who curse his name, or mock him? If your child died for someone else and that person was ungrateful, wouldn't you be a little mad? He will let out his fury on that day. As for interfering in these present times, sure He does. But when a human prays, it's to align themselves with God's will. It's never to bend God's will. That's why we don't always see what we want to see happening. There is a bigger picture. Either you'll see that mainstream science has decieved you since you were a child, to make you think the earth is billions of years old and you evolved from nothing (which has absolutely no proof), or you'll decide to check out this bible thing for yourself and find out that not only does the Bible align up with true science perfectly (there is a ridiculous amount of evidence for a young earth), but also morally and logically makes perfect sense as to why we're here, and why things in the world are happening the way they are. I know you hate God, and christians. It's what society is telling you to do. It's probably what your parents have influenced as well. Any pain in your life has made you think God doesn't exist. It's natural. But honestly, if you ever want to progress in life, stop bashing God on websites, and check out the bible for yourself. Anyone online can take a single scripture and say God is evil. But they took it out of context. You can't ever read one line from a book and know what the chapter was about.

In order for love to be gratifying and true one must love freely. Creating beings with free will to love God, was to risk that there would be those that choose to reject him. Imagine a parent offeringa child a cookie and the child says I love you. The love feels empty, interferred with. They want the reward. But what reward comes to you, when the child freely and unprovoked rushes up and embraces their parent, to tell them how much they are loved cookie or no cookie. Which would be more gratifying as a parent. In much the same way, God the Father wants us to choose to love him. In order to create the opportunity for choice, he had to allow for us the possibility we would choose wrong.  Then again, is it not selfish of God to need to be loved, at the expense of the human experience? Why are we created to serve as an answer to his cosmic social experiment?

defaithed's picture

Your last couple of sentences provide the main answer to the preceding parts. You're right: How is it good and just that people are puppets at the mercy of some cosmic nutcase who craves fearful worship?

But there are many other ways to address the "God loves us and so He lets us all choose good or bad" nonsense. For starters, I might point out to anyone making such claims that human experience and scripture alike make clear that God doesn't let all of us make such choices.

What about the stillborn, the short-lived, those born with mental defects and unable to comprehend such high-flying discussions of morality? How is God letting them make life's choices? Where's their chance to "love freely"?

How about the game God and Satan played with Job? Yes, he was being offered choice in the way addressed by apologetics, but how about his family and slaves, whom God allowed to be murdered as part of the game? Where was their "choice" in all this? They were disposable toys to God.

Sick stuff. Fortunately, there's not a single reason to think any of it's true!

Thanks for the thoughts!

So, he has put together a system where people can apparently choose against his wishes and face damnation as a result, given a choice, and no solid evidence on what to really believe, so we're born here lost and confused... So that he can feel like he's genuinely loved? sounds a bit bipolar to me. and why if he's the alpha omega, does he care about our love anyway?

 

If he wanted us to love him genuinely without incentive, he could have designed human beings that way, he didn't, ergo, he doesn't exist.

 

It's like me inventing a toaster to cook a turkey.

 

Also, Christian kids don't get to play with dinosaurs D:<

defaithed's picture

Hey, I was a JW kid, and I got to play with dinosaurs! I had dinos galore. Heck, more and more Christian kids are now getting the chance to ride dinos, just like Adam and Eve did! (Well, I don't know about Eve. As Adam's inferior, subservient half, she may not have been allowed.)

But I recall that my kiddie questions about where dinosaurs fit into Bible history/genealogy were met with a foggy sort of "don't think about it too hard" and a changing of the topic. (Hmm, it'd be interesting to do a survey of what various religions and sects come up with as explanations for dinosaur fossils and the place of dinos in creation stories. Should be an entertaining hotchpotch of utterly contradictory claims!)

your god sounds incredibly insecure for an all knowing, all powerful overlord

defaithed's picture

Indeed. Keeping in mind that claims of gods and what not are never proven to be false, we have to always admit the possibility that the Abrahamic God does indeed exist – and that he's every bit as insecure, incompetent, and evil as his followers paint him to be.

It's a scary thought; I'm sure glad it seems so unlikely!

The Bible says God can do anything (omnipotence).  The Bible also says God is good.

However, the Bible also talks about people suffering in Hell for eternity. Christians have told us that the choice to turn from the road to heaven must be available so that people can have free will.

 

Why doesn't God make it so everyone has free will AND everyone chooses, of their own free will, the path which will lead them to heaven?

If he can’t do this, then he’s not omnipotent. If he can and doesn’t, then he must want some people to suffer in hell for eternity, meaning he’s evil.

defaithed's picture

Indeed. Christianity (and Islam) claim that their god has properties of omnipotence and love and this, that, and the other, but then go on to describe a god that's entirely different (in very bad ways).

The curtains don't match the drapes. (Or something like that.)

"In order to create the oppurtunity for choice, he had to allow for us the possibility we would choose wrong."

You assume here that it is only right to choose to love God. Your Christian God.

Are you saying, then, that all Buddhists, Confucianists, Hindus, and every other believer in a God other than your own is inherentely wrong?

If God is conducting a cosmic social experiment, then there must be other omnipresent beings with whom to share the experiment, right? If there is experimenting to me done, then God doesn't know everything about the universe. Even if He (She?) is conducting an experiment, experiments are based off of the scientific method. God adheres, then, to the human created scientific method?

Also, how do you know what God wants? Isn't the whole idea that He (She?) is greater than you?

defaithed's picture

He? She? Or maybe It? Or They? 

I know They hasn't been in favor for some millennia (well, at least in the mono-god parts of the world), but let's not forget the possibility of Gods! Big, holy bunches of Them! 

God IS offering his creation a cookie. How many religious people would still claim to love their God(s), if not for the fear of punishment or hope of reward?

I pass two Baptist churches on my way to school each day. These churches routinely change the arrangeable signs on their grounds. They rarely stress religion as a foundation for philosophy or instructive principles. Instead, they focus on religion as a means by which to escape damnation and receive paradise. If a parent tells their child to love them, and threatens to submit them to the most heinous torture if they refuse, so the child obeys the parent out of feaf, is the love gratifying? Is it empty and interferred with?

Do you call your father GOD? ,yet he created your body, if it wasn't for earth, you wouldn't exist, yet people pray to God. If someone gave you food would you thank him, or would you thank god. If god is a good father, he would let you be, he would ask for no reward, yet he would communicate with you, because there is no way to separate from him. Is this a God over you, or is he just a part of you. Isn't God an outdated term? Whether there is one or not, many people believed that God was violent and needed to punish the heathens, and thence went and killed everyone, but we are the ones with the power. We are the ones that can choose to act or not, it is not just because of God, nor do I owe God anything.  Nor do I need his power to create what I wish in life, because I am a spark of life too, and I have the power to believe in anything that I wish for myself and others. If god is my father, why do I have to go and kiss his ass all the time? He would be much more satisfied if I learned to express myself and be a good man on my own. Isn't that what fathers want, for their child to be INDEPENDENT?

defaithed's picture

And the other big oddity about this Father: A real father is tangible and demonstrable. The theist father is intangible and undemonstrated as Santa Claus.  

oh ang sad quotes!\

 

God is not great. Think about the fact that since god is all-knowing and created the universe, he had an infinite amount of options to chose from. He chose the one were we all suffer. Think about the fact that since he is all knowing and created the universe, he is responsible for everything anyone has ever done. And yet he punishes us. For something he made us do.

defaithed's picture

To paraphrase the iPhone ads: "There's an apologetic for that."

I don't know the list of specific apologetics to "rebut" your point, but I'm sure there's something in there about it all being our fault anyway, because, uh... free will, and a Devil, and Eve was bad, and then there's some other stuff. Whatever the details, the outcome is a given: God gets cleared of charges and remains Mr Love and Mercy.

Nonsense. You've got it right. Christopher Hitchens frames the issue most eloquently (though my clumsy paraphrasing won't do him any favors): "God creates us sick, and then, on pain of death or torment, commands us to get well." 

this is crazy. have you no faith? your terrible. I hope god has mercy on your soul.

Why is this terrible? If you believe god is omnipotent, then you MUST conclude god controls everything that has and ever will happen.

Why would god need a starship?

I guess that means God did 9/11

In point of fact...it was done in the name of God, or the Muslim perception of their god and his needs or demands. The God of Islam which is one of 3 "Abrahamic" religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism...all of which claim to have been derived from the same source, When your children grow to adults, you still want to protect them and take care of them but they are adults and they must make their own way...you do not punish them if their way differs from your own. When will "god" allow us to grow up and not punish us for standing on our own and making our own way. Your children are given guidelines while you rais them and are punished for breaking the rules but we do not condemn them eternally when they do.

 

i just stumbled upon this blog and in response to your epicurus' quiz, i offer an example from my life as a parent. There are times that i am indeed wiling to prevent my child from encountering evil/danger/suffering and times when I am able - and given the circumstances, I may choose to intervene or I may choose to let natural consequences to occur.  I may rescue my child from falling off his bike or require that he wear a helmet when riding, but other times his choice is to defy me and I may allow his choice and any subsequent calamity, because I believe the consequence outweighs the pain. The consequence teaches him to trust the wisdom I have at this time, more than his own limited understanding. Does this then move me from a "good parent" to an "evil parent"?

While I want to ultimately raise a responsible, kind and mature child, I do not want my child to grow entirely independent of our relationship but instead mature from complete dependence into interdependence where, as a family unit, we rely on one another. 

And in a very miniscule way, I believe God is similarly characterized. 

Except, of course, there is a limit to the pain you would allow your child to experience, while there seems to be no limit to the tortures god allows.

Also, I have never seen any evidence that god is trying to develop humans into creatures independent of himself; instead, it seems his ultimate wish is for us to spend eternity doing nothing but praising him - or, if we won't do that, suffering unimaginable torture. I don't believe you would set your child on fire - even temporarily, much less for eternity - if he decided to abandon you. Or would you?

defaithed's picture

Well said. What's interesting is that, as Christians are fond of noting, the majority of holy horrors in the Bible are to be found in the Old Testament, and not in the words and actions of Jesus. Yet the eternal torment you mention – as sickening a concept as we can imagine – doesn't come from some bloodthirsty Old Testamant prophet. It was Jesus' own original addition to the growing list of God's evils.

Gee. Thanks a lot, Jesus. : /

defaithed's picture

I fully understand the arguments in favor of a parent allowing a child to suffer some hard educational knocks, as a way to teach the child the consequences of making choices. But... that has nothing to do with the matter of God allowing (or causing) evil.

The problem isn't the adult who (for example) selfishly ignores a holy prohibition against adultery and faces marital breakup (and a burning rash) as a result. The problem is children (real children, not figurative ones per your example) ravaged by cancer. Babies born with hideous deformities. People of every age – including faithful adult believers who've done their best to follow their God's commandments – wiped out in natural disasters. Accidents. Blindness. Parasites. Plagues. A thousand other calamaties we could name, which have nothing to do with the consequences of moral choices. Just horrible things that happen to everyone and anyone, utterly unrelated to matters of responsibility or independence or morality.

All while the Abrahamic God sits and does nothing.

Which is something to be thankful for, actually. According to that God's followers, once in a while he does get up off his holy butt – to slaughter firstborn babies in Egypt, to drown humanity in a flood, or to bombard cities with fire. Or, I guess when he's feeling a little hands-off and lazy, to send out an army of believers with direct commandments to dash infants' heads on rocks, butcher pregnant women with swords, rape captive virgins, and take other survivors as slaves, all in His holy name.

Sounds evil to me. How about you?

You took the words right out of my mouth! A masterpiece of profound observance. Well done!

I look at it like this. What if a parent doesn't show their child love in order to test that child's love for the parent? How about if that parent makes that child suffer and has the power to alleviate the suffering, and while the child cries and begs for help, the parent just watches and does nothing? Is that really a bad parent if the parent claims to love the child but is just testing the child? All we have is that parents claim of love, no real evidence that he truly does love the child. Who would agree that the parent loves that child and not call child services on the parent even though the parent claims that he loves his child with all his heart. This is the situation we have with the people on earth and this idea of god. This god allows you to suffer in order to test your faith, to see if you'll stray from him, yet supposedly he loves you. He allows suffering, starvation, rapes, brutal murders, yet he loves you. Imagine a parent allowing these type of things to happen to their child. Would you be alright with that? So why are you alright with that for god?

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