Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen to Good People?

The video may be disturbing for the first 0:35, but the conversation after that is well worth listening to:

The responses you get from Christian apologists regarding why God lets bad things happen to good people are never very good, are they?

The caption for the video summarizes it well:

If the Abrahamic God is real, then He cares more about the rapist’s freedom to rape, and the murderer’s freedom to murder, than He cares about the lives of their victims.

(via DarkMatter2525)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=728100712 Clint Ballard

    Just watched this a few minutes ago myself.  Excellent video!

  • Moggyusa

    Very often, Christians in particular like to describe Yahweh as a loving Father.  What father would stand by and allow his children to hurt each other or themselves, do nothing to help them when they are injured or sick, or be silent when they are frightened or sad?  It’s madness!

    • The Other Weirdo

       There are fathers exactly like this, and mothers also. We have special words for people like that. For some reason, it’s offensive to apply those same words to god who does pretty much the exact same thing.

    • kagekiri

      I’m similarly disgusted by God’s claims of being the Heavenly Father. He’s a megalomaniacal jerk of a Father, worse than most human ones. Most parents don’t think their children ought to exist just to glorify them (well, except for those who apply the Bible verses which pretty much say that children are the glory of their parents).

      Or, think of a human creator who created living beings with free will who were capable of suffering. Then that man made a world with trials and tribulations, knowing full well that many of his creations would fail his test. Instead of just snuffing out failures, he decided he would torture them forever, while the others who succeeded would lose their free will and worship their creator forever. You’d think that person was a psychopath.

      You don’t need to make some people burn in Hell; skip the horrible life-on-Earth-with-some-going-to-hell step and just make more mindless worshipping drones!

      I guess God’s also a sadist. If everything was created to glorify Him, hell and the suffering of millions for eternity is also for God’s glory.

      It’s horrifying if you think it through at all.

    • Jsmith

      My father did it to me, does that mean he doesn’t exist?

      • ThinkingAtheist

        That’s a silly question, Jsmith. Your father exists. How do we know? Evidence. You have no evidence for any gods. If you did, this conversation would not be happening. Father = real, gods = fake.

        • Jsmith

          I have never seen my father, the only evidence I have of him is myown existence.  You’re telling me that there is absolutely no evidence of the existence of God.

          • ThinkingAtheist

            Correct. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of ANY gods. (If you have some, you’d be the first, and I’m sure we’d all like to hear it.)

            • Jsmith

              Evidence is something we look at to make a judgement.  The order and complexity of the universe is “evidence” of a god. Just like the complexity of a computer can be evidence of humans. Computers exist because someone built them. Thier complexity and order could not happen by chance.  I’m not making the judgement that humans exist, but I am providing evidence. Just like I am providing evidence for the possiblity of God. You’re looking at the evidence and making a judgement that there is no God. I look at the same evidence and say there is a possibility there is a God.

              • Ran

                If you had read “The Blind Watchmaker” by Richard Dawkins, you would not say such things.

                • Jsmith

                  That’s your response!!!  I’m sure I could give you a half dozen books you haven’t read. By the way:  How did the watch get in the field in the first place.? A watch does not reproduce, and therefore cannot evolve. Thus cannot be used as an argument for or against evolution.

                • Niali

                  Ok, so you say that the complexity of human life points to a creator…why just one? Why not many? You gave computers as an evidence of human ingenuity, but we have Macs, we have PCs, we have many programmers that add  onto this every day… I see many creators, if I go by your example. Second, EVEN if there was ONE or MANY creators, WHICH one from the popular  explanatory stories will it be??? From my background, I am more familiar with the Christian and Muslim explanatory stories…and there is very little plausibility  that those Gods would have created this world. For one, they are wrong on the age of the universe…as they are wrong on how to cure diseases, as they are wrong on relationships… as they are wrong on many, many other things. We now have a better understanding of how these things work. For the unknown, we are still searching. If anything, those stories point to very primitive humans inventing incredible fables to try to create systems of cooperation and make sense of their surroundings…. That is ALL any of the explanatory stories that I have came across tells me. 

                • Jsmith

                  You said ” There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of ANY gods”  Now you say “there is very little plausibility that those Gods would have created this world”.  We are not debate wheather or not God created the universe or the age of the universe, or even if God is good at reltionships.  I did’nt say I belive in God, But to say there is no evidene of the existence of God is pretty narrow-minded.

                • Niali

                  …too hard to debate in these formats anyway. Ideas come across twisted. Have a great day though.

  • Still in hiding, sorry

    Years ago, on a religion board, a poster commented that everything happened according to god’s will; in response, I posted this prayer:

    “Then we thank you, oh Lord, for the children born allergic to their own skin; though it rends our hearts to hear their horrible screams, it gladdens us to know that their terrible agony is by your august will. “

    • Anonymous

       I talked to someone yesterday who said that he prays but he doesn’t believe in faith-healing because god gave us doctors. I pointed out to him that god didn’t give us doctors. Doctors are people who went to school and spent years studying anatomy, physiology and biology so that christians like him could not thank their doctors. I also pointed out that god seemed content to let billions of people die in agony from illnesses and injuries that could have easily been healed if god had revealed modern medicine to them instead of telling them in the Bible to cure illness by anointing with oil and prayer.

  • Piet Puk

    The mental bends and hoops that apologists go through to try and answer this are amazing, and totaly unconvincing of course.
    Great video.

  • http://msmith13.wordpress.com/ Mark

    This illustrates why it’s okay to be an atheist who is only mostly, but not entirely, certain that god isn’t real. In the unlikely event that he was real, he’d be a useless jerk, unworthy of worship or veneration.

    • chicago dyke, venomous lesbian

       i rarely do this, but..

      +1000000

      srsly. this is my instant, always response to believers. “if there’s a god, i don’t want to spend eternity with him/it/whatever. anything that could’ve stopped {horror x} and didn’t is not worth my worship, let alone eternal company.” fuck that noise. shuts em up every time.

    • Anonymous-Sam

       I said the same thing recently: that IF the God proclaimed by Christianity is real, he could only be the Old Testament deity. You know, the one for whom the phrase “Lord, lead me not to temptation” originated (God Tempts Abraham, later redacted to God Tests Abraham to expunge a contradiction), when the Yahwists and Elohists didn’t even try to deny the idea that God was fully responsible for all the evil that happens in the world. Their vision of God wasn’t as a loving father, but as a terrifying destroyer, whose favor could be curried to incite destruction upon your enemies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/simonbridgeksc Simon Bridge

    Playing God’s advocate for a bit:
    1. people dying from their tribulations does not mean that God gave them more than they could handle – they get an afterlife.
    2. the woman being beaten has the free will as Job did during his trials — her choice will determine her afterlife.
    3. intervening affects the will of the attacker, and anyone who hears of the attack later. It could lead to people abandoning faith in the presence of proof for example, and put their afterlife in jeopardy.
    4. superman is (a) fictional, and (b) not all powerful and all good – he makes mistakes and, if real, would be judged in his turn too.

    … and so on and so forth.
    … most of these are like this. Suffering in this world, though terrible in some cases, is transient. However, as you suffer in this world and keep faith, so you will be rewarded in the next – which sort of makes up for it. The woman would not be un-raped but getting to heaven means she is no longer traumatized and the experiences of this life become meaningless.

    God could engineer things, as suggested, so it looks like some natural forces prevented the atrocity and allowed the perps a chance to change their ways … however, consistently applied, this would impact on the choices people make again. Nobody would do anything really bad since there is zero chance to get away with it and it is likely to destroy faith. It’s not just those guys in the mix. What He’d have to do is allow some people to get away with it and others to get caught and so on … which is what happens.

    This messes a bit with the inconsistency argument – God has to be inconsistent.

    But you know, Marvin was right: it gives me a headache thinking down to this level.

    • The Captain

      My beef with the whole “free will” argument is that as long as the god in question is Omniscience, or all knowing and that includes the knowledge of future events, then “free will” does not exist anyway.

      • SphericalBunny

        Moreover, biblically speaking, ‘free will’ has it’s own problems as an argument – see the example of the Pharaoh in Exodus…if their God can be explicitly shown to negate free will in one circumstance, it can also be claimed that such a being could do it in any other and not even allow the ‘free will’ to know their ‘free will’ had been overridden!

    • Anonymous

       My beef with the freewill argument is that apologists seem to forget about the existence of natural disasters and illnesses, suffering from those things has nothing to do with a person’s freewill as no specific person caused those things.

      • ThinkingAtheist

        A naked teenager ate a forbidden, magic apple in an ancient garden, hence the occurrence of hurricanes. It makes perfect sense, you silly sinner.

        • Bkundrat

           I shouldn’t bother but any worldview can be made to look silly.  Like if I said, once there was nothing and out of this nothing suddenly sprang forth something and from this nothing that became something after billions of years from goo to the zoo to you were are able to type messages on a computer.  Makes perfect sense you silly nihilist. :)

          • ThinkingAtheist

            Actually, that’s what the theist believes, not the atheist. Supposedly there once was nothing but a lonely god, who one day spoke a magic incantation of POOF! there was a world and a sky and plants and animals and Starbucks everywhere, etc. I love it when theists try to claim WE are the ones who think something came from nothing, when it is actually THEIR claim.

            • Jsmith

              We know what the Christian believes, we no what the thesit believes.  What does the thinking athiest believe about how we got here?

              • ThinkingAtheist

                I accept evolution. “We got here” over a very long process of change, beginning as lower organisms and working our way to our current status. I don’t for a moment accept we are decendants of a dirt-man and a rib-woman. How do YOU think we got here?

                • ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm

                  I think the question is, if you believe it all started with a big bang, what caused the big bang?  Or what started the evolution process, or primordial ooze?  And how do some chemical reactions and electrical zaps translate into consciousness. 

                • Friendlyatheist

                  I hate it when religious people cry, “aha, but who created the big bang!” as if they’ve got you.

                  I reply, “ok so who created god then”, shit- for-brains.

                • ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm

                  Geeze, Ran, I think that was uncalled for.  Not going for a “gotcha”.  I was just asking for thoughts on the subject.  I do think it’s pretty incredible to think that life and consciousness is nothing more than chemical reactions and electical impulses.  Pretty amazing that evolution has led to the level of complexity and order we find in our world, huh?

                • ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm

                  I thought this was the “friendly” athiest site?

                • ThinkingAtheist

                  Our best science shows that evolution is undeniably true. We still research the fine points, but evolution is a fact. If we trace back to the origins of our expanding universe then we can tell that everything came from a singular location (Big Bang). Before all that, we don’t yet know. We may never know, and that’s OK. It’s just how some things go. The REAL question is, why do YOU conclude that a magic man just spoke and POOFED everything into existence? There is ZERO evidence to back THAT up. Even if Big Band and Evo were proved wrong tomorrow it would NOT give you a license to make up fairy tales.

      • Anonymous

         You forget though, if enough people in the area where a natural disaster could possibly occur choose faith in Jaye and pray for their salvation, then the disaster will be averted and all of them will be saved, including those few who weren’t faithful.

        Although we’ve only got confirmed information about this for Tornadoes from Pat Robertson, I’m sure other disasters would also apply…

        • Anonymous

          We’re all such funny people here. :-)

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      Re: “1. people dying from their tribulations does not mean that God gave them more than they could handle – they get an afterlife.”

      The problem with this theodicy is that it basically renders our (physical) lives irrelevant. Anything that ever happens to anyone, for any reason, is ultimately “OK” because … well, no matter what horrid thing happened, s/he gets an afterlife! This can be used to justify any kind of atrocity one could imagine.

      Far from promoting morality … which most theists claim their religion does … it promotes absolute amorality.

      • kagekiri

        Yeah, I sank into nihilism as a Christian, because you have to hate (or be apathetic towards)  all humanity and life to say injustice in this world doesn’t matter, and God’s “justice” is somehow better.

        • Anonymous

          and they claim we’re the nihilists.

        • ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm

          If you subscribe to evolution, then does that include survival of the fittest?  If you believe in survival of the fittest, why are you concerned with justice?

          • ThinkingAtheist

            “Survival of the fittest” is a misnomer. What is implied by Evolution is that the beings who are the best suited for their environment are the ones who are most likely to continue living and produce offspring, while those who are not well adapted to their environment die off and leave few children. It’s got less to do with “being stronger than everyone else” and more to do with being better suited for living in your environment.

            • ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm

              Understood.  So doesn’t injecting a system of “justice” interfere with that process and artificially hold up those of our species/society that are not well-suited for our environment?

              • ThinkingAtheist

                I’m not sure I understand your question as it’s worded. Are you asking if our justice system interferes with evolution? If you’d reword your inquiry I’ll be more than happy to reply… Thanks!

                • ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm

                  Yes – that is what I am asking.  Also, if you believe that survival of the “most-well-suited” is how species evolve and adapt to their environment, why would you be concerned with justice – not just our formal justice system, but the concept in general.  To my knowledge, no other species protects and props up the weaker of the species.  Where does the concept of “justice” come from?

                • ThinkingAtheist

                  I don’t see where justice interferes with evolution. Justice is a system of fairness and action based on one’s behavior. Evolution is change over time. How does justice interfere? Can you provide an example in order to shed light on what you mean? “To my knowledge, no other species props up the weaker of the species.” Have you never seen a mother animal of any kind protecting her young? It happens everywhere in nature, so I’m not sure how you can make such a statement.

    • Anonymous

       This reminds me of the William Lane Craig argument that it’s perfectly ok for God to order the genocide of various people who were inconveniently occupying the holy land that God had promised to the Jews. It’s good to kill the adults because they are debased sinners, and it’s good to kill the children because they are innocent and will go to Heaven. In other words, you can kill anyone and it’s all good.

  • ThinkingAtheist

    I’m attempting to leave a comment about how horrible the god of the Bible is, but he’s interfering with my free will to do so.

    • TJones

      He apparently did interfer enough.

  • Anonymous

    They always use the “free will” argument. Apparently he cares more about the free will of violent offenders than of the victims. They don’t have much free will as they are being raped, murdered, beaten or in a fatal car accident that is caused by a drunk driver.  

    • The Other Weirdo

       Uh, actually, they do. From a certain point of view, it even makes sense, in a perverted, disgusting sort of way. Christianity is not so much a religion of acts as it is a religion of thoughts, so while it’s true a woman being raped does not have much free in regards to that particular activity, she does actually have free will as to her faith. If her faith be strong, then she will be rewarded in the afterlife. If not, then well, no matter, she will be likewise rewarded in the afterlife, albeit with permanent pain and suffering. It’s always about the next life with them, never this one.

      I think it all goes back to their endless fascination with the disgusting Book of Job.

      • ThinkingAtheist

        Well put, The Other Weirdo. This life is but a sad, frustrating filtering process to theists. I work with a born-again fundie. One day he was frustrated about something, so to lighten things up I said, “Don’t worry, we’ll all be dead soon.” His response was to close his eyes, tilt his head back and say, “Ohhh, I can’t WAIT.” It’s frightening.

        • Em

          Generally speaking, people who can`t wait for death should be referred to emergency psychiatric care. Suicidal ideation is worrisome.

          • ThinkingAtheist

            I might put a cramp in his style if I referred him to psychiatric care. For the past 10+ years he’s been functioning as a missionary to Romania (though I’d hardly consider being a Christian missionary as “functioning.”)

            • Em

               I’d intended that to be a little tongue-in-cheek; my apologies if I failed to convey that. (I still think it’s silly to have a religion that encourages people to want to die yet forbids them to do it on purpose. I’d much rather have them enjoying life.)

              • ThinkingAtheist

                Your tongue-in-cheek approach WAS appreciated in your first comment. No worries! Cheers.

            • Jsmith

              Sounds to me like your judging him

              • ThinkingAtheist

                Judging who? (And I’m sorry, but what’s wrong with judging something or someone? There’s no law against it.)

                • Jamith

                  You apparently forgot your earlier post. So I’ll cut and paste for you. “When the god people will learn to keep their religion to themselfs, you”l see no judging from atheists.” 

                • ThinkingAtheist

                  That quote was NOT written by me. You have me confused with someone else.

                • Jsmith

                  You’re right! Sorry! it was written on this site byPiet Puk

        • kagekiri

          Yeah….I remember my idealizing death and the after-life as a Christian.

          It sure didn’t help with my sinking into depression and suicidal ideation to think how much better being dead would be…

          • Anonymous

            same here, what made matters worse was being told that I would feel better if I prayed more/harder.

            • ThinkingAtheist

              I never get tired of this line: “You pray for me, and I’ll think for you.” -Unknown.

        • Coyotenose

           Now see, if he was self-aware enough to be joking while still being religious, he’d be pretty cool. But they’re all so bizarrely humor-blind. I don’t understand why that is.

    • kagekiri

      Yeah, it’s not particularly consistent with the idea of Heaven, either. If free will is so great, why do Christians lose it when they go to Heaven? They won’t even be allowed to be unhappy or mourn those suffering in Hell; they won’t even have that choice of basic compassion.

      If God wanted mindless worshipping drones, He could’ve just made them, but instead He chose to have some people go burn in Hell. I guess since he likes the smell of burning flesh, burning souls must be even more pleasing to him…

      • Anonymous

         http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20120328.gif

  • chicago dyke, venomous lesbian

     i confess that i tried, for years and years, to find a redeeming religion. i really wanted to believe there was one out there that wasn’t sexist, racist, violent, hateful, homophobic, fantastical, gluttonous, or intellectually flawed. i did not. i spent a lot of time in school making sure of this. part of me is embarrassed saying that; part of me is proud. now, i know for a fact that religion is a human invention, and that’s all i need to know. because i like art, it continues to fascinate me. but it’s not “real” in the sense we usually mean. i wish more people were comfortable just saying that simple truth. the world would be better for it.  

    • Anonymous

      When I first broke away from Christianity and began considering myself agnostic, I thought there was a chance I’d find brand of religion, mysticism, magick, or Eastern philosophy that would lead me to truth, morality, and understanding.  I cycled through fascination with (though not practice of) many other faiths at lightning speed.  Once I’d seen the flaws in Christianity, I was able to see the same flaws in all of the others.  I could find no faith to follow so I started reading about philosophy and science and listening to lectures online.  Only then did it dawn on me that truth cannot be found through blind devotion to an ancient mystical discipline.  That’s lazy.  Truth can only be uncovered slowly through research and hard work.  It didn’t really even take too much study of science, philosophy, and logic to realize why we should not believe in the supernatural… and why I’m now an atheist.

      • ThinkingAtheist

        It’s amazing how similar our paths have been. I began as a Bible-believing Christian who wanted to take his faith more seriously. I set out to *really* find “god/God,” no matter where it led. I wanted to know I was on the right path. (This seemed to be, after all, the biggest issue of my life!) After years of searching, studying, praying, reflecting, questioning, and debating, I realized EVERY believer is just making it up as they go along. Atheism followed soon after.

        Show me 2 billion Christians, and I’ll show you 2 billion different religions.

        • Anonymous

          I think there are a gazillion other stories much like ours, and with good reason.

  • Anonymous

    God created us to be in a loving relationship with him and with each other.  Love must be given freely or else it isn’t true love. Therefore, God created humankind with free will, giving everyone the opportunity to be in loving relationships with him — or not if they so choose.

    Along came the devil and planted doubt in the minds of Adam and Eve about God’s love for them.  He suggested that God didn’t want them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if they did, then they would be like God himself.  That wasn’t true.  God didn’t want them to eat of that tree because he didn’t want them to know what evil was.  He was protecting them.  But they doubted his love and chose not to return it.  They didn’t trust him and that meant they disobeyed him re: eating the fruit.  When God says “don’t”, he’s saying “don’t do that because you will get hurt and I don’t want you to get hurt”.

    That bad choice introduced sin and evil into the world.  So it’s here because of people’s bad choices, not God’s lack of love.  Some people call evil the absence of good as darkness is the absence of light.  However, Norman Geisler, in his book, If God, Why Evil? says it’s more like a blight on something good — like rot on a tree or a wound on the arm.  What God made was good.  Humanity is responsible for ruining it, but, as I said, God gave us freedom of choice.  He didn’t create mere automatons.  We have no one to blame but ourselves.

    God dealt with evil at the cross of Jesus Christ.  Sin and death were defeated by his death and resurrection.  That implemented the Kingdom of God which we only see partially at the moment.  It will not be fully completed until Christ’s second coming at which time evil will be dealt with once and for all.  Right now, the Holy Spirit is in the world, curbing evil so, without God, things would be much worse.

    The cross of Christ represents the one and only way to assess the love of God.  Christ chose to die in our place that we might not suffer the eternal consequences of sin.  He offers the gift of salvation to all who want it.  Again, it’s a matter of free will and choice.  Some accept it.  Some don’t.

    God does not remove all the consequences of sin.  However, I have seen him work much good in the midst of tragedy and suffering and difficulties, in my life, and in the lives of others.  And, while he may not zap all of our problems away, he promises to walk with us through them so that we will have victory.  That’s certainly how it has been in my experience.

    God’s omniscience does not preclude our having free will.  Just because I know that my sister is going to walk the dog, that doesn’t remove her free choice to do that — or to stay home if it starts to pour rain.

    As for the issue of natural disasters not being a matter of free will, ALL of creation was cursed when Adam and Even chose sin over loving God.  So they are a result of free will, as well.

    And as for eternity in heaven making up for the difficulties of this life, I’m sure it will.  However, that doesn’t prevent me from living life to the fullest and enjoying God’s blessings now.  Christ came to give life and to give it abundantly, right now, here, on earth.  If you don’t want to enter into a relationship with him, that’s your choice.  Again, it’s all about free will!

    Of course, there is the question of how anybody can even know what evil is if we don’t have something to measure it by, that is, an objective, moral, universal truth.  Some people say there is no such thing.  But if you believe it is NEVER right to rape and murder a child at any time for any reason anywhere, then you believe in an objective, moral, universal truth. 

    Where does that truth come from?  If we are only here as mere accidents, evolved by chance, purposelessly, what makes one person’s view of truth more accurate than another’s?  Without God, we are left with competing “truths” from a variety of people.  Which person has the right one?  You can say, the person who chooses that which is for the greater good.  Well, Hitler thought killing disabled people, non-whites, Jewis was for the greater good.  What makes his view bad and another person’s good if both are just accidents of nature? 

    If you’re a fan of Richard Dawkins and believe that we are all merely “dancing to our DNA” as he put it, then we have no freedom of choice, but are determined by our biology.  And if one is born a rapist, then how can we fault him if he’s just doing what his DNA demands him to do?

    How does an atheist answers these questions?

    • Piet Puk

      Any god that chooses this much suffering as punishment for eating fruit is unworthy of anyones love.
      Back in the real world, I guess we are lucky your god is only fictional.

      Bad and good things happen without a reason. Things happen, that’s all.

    • ThinkingAtheist

      “How does an atheist answers these questions?”

      Well they START by asking you where your evidence is for all the religious stuff you just laid out. After a lot of back and forth, it’s determined that you DON’T have any evidence; all you have is faith. Faith is merely a crutch for saying “I know” when actually you don’t.

    • Coyotenose

       Oh gosh, so many ideas to dig into. I’ll pick just the first and let others tackle the remainder of this big post.

      ———

      “God created us to be in a loving relationship with him and with each
      other.  Love must be given freely or else it isn’t true love. Therefore,
      God created humankind with free will, giving everyone the opportunity
      to be in loving relationships with him — or not if they so choose.”

      To put it bluntly, this is equivalent to saying we “choose” to not be in a loving lifelong relationship with the unicorn we had a dream about when we were five.

      Except that unicorns are less likely to be imaginary, since inserting them into the universe doesn’t require rewriting as much of Physics as God does.

      “Free Will” does not exist in this situation anyway. You cannot choose what you actually believe in a vacuum of information. A person who does not believe in God could at most “choose” to let himself be brainwashed in order to change his beliefs, which still does not make him a legitimate believer in the sense of having Free Will. Feel free to argue, if you do in fact think that you can just make yourself sincerely believe that unicorn is right beside you right now, while at the same time not having to trick your own mind to do it.*

      What this supposed choice comes down to is that God is eternally punishing people for something entirely outside their control and entirely in his: whether they have reason to think he exists when he’s hiding from all detection. You might as well taser a blind man for failing to tell you what color your necktie is.

      Which is not to claim that atheists are “spiritually” blind, whatever that useless word means. It would be stupid to take it that way.

      *Orwell might have had something to say about this.

    • http://twitter.com/adam_the_k Adam K

       Here’s what I don’t get:

      “God created humankind with free will, giving everyone the opportunity
      to be in loving relationships with him — or not if they so choose.”

      “Along came the devil and planted doubt in the minds of Adam and Eve
      about God’s love for them.  He suggested that God didn’t want them to
      eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if they did,
      then they would be like God himself.  That wasn’t true. ”

      First of all, this is merely a serpent in Genesis, not necessarily the devil. But in any case, evil already seems to exist in the world before Adam and Eve made any kind of choice, or else the serpent couldn’t have explicitly lied to them.

      “God didn’t want
      them to eat of that tree because he didn’t want them to know what evil
      was.  He was protecting them.  But they doubted his love and chose not
      to return it.  They didn’t trust him and that meant they disobeyed him
      re: eating the fruit.”

      Secondly, the choice of Adam and Eve obviously wasn’t free if it was
      under false pretenses because the serpent led them astray. Also, since they
      had yet to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they
      could not yet know the consequences of their actions, i.e. the difference between good and evil.

      Thirdly, if God didn’t want them to know what evil was, then evil obviously already existed, if only perhaps as a potentiality that God tacitly endorses.
      “When God says “don’t”, he’s saying “don’t do that
      because you will get hurt and I don’t want you to get hurt.”"

      Lastly, this is plain wrong. God does not care if they get hurt, because free will and inevitable evil and suffering to come from its exercise is apparently too important.

      God created a tree in the middle of the garden for no other purpose except to tempt. He then punished two people for eating from it despite them not knowing the true consequences of their actions and having been tricked, thus their actions were not free.

      These are the most basic problems with the first few paragraphs. I hope I need not go on.

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      Re: “Humanity is responsible for ruining it, but, as I said, God gave us freedom of choice.  He didn’t create mere automatons.  We have no one to blame but ourselves.”

      Sorry but no. If every human being is “sinful” right from birth, there is literally no way any of us could possibly be truly responsible for that. None of us manufactured ourselves with “sin” built in. We CANNOT be to blame for it. In reality, God being (supposedly) omnipotent plants the “blame” for anything and everything squarely in HIS lap, not ours.

      Re: “God dealt with evil at the cross of Jesus Christ.”

      Great! Then the whole matter of “evil” has been settled, and is no longer a problem for anyone. Right? If so, then why are we talking about it, and why are you using “sin” to justify its continued existence?

      Re: “God does not remove all the consequences of sin.”

      But wait … if “evil” exists as a consequence of “sin,” then you’re admitting that Jesus did not, in fact, “deal with evil” at all. In other words, you contradicted yourself.

      Re: “Of course, there is the question of how anybody can even know what evil is if we don’t have something to measure it by, that is, an objective, moral, universal truth.”

      Actually, anyone can “know what evil” is, without an “objective, moral, universal truth.” Each of us carries his/her own internal “evil-meter,” if you will. In fact, your own Jesus mentioned it himself: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Mt 7:12; cf also Luke 6:31). Of course, he wasn’t the first to teach this (it’s known as the Ethic of Reciprocity, or the Golden Rule). But he did teach it nonetheless.

      Re: “But if you believe it is NEVER right to rape and murder a child at any time for any reason anywhere, then you believe in an objective, moral, universal truth.”

      Uh, no. If one believe this, one needs only arrive at this conclusion because one wouldn’t want these things to be done to oneself. No need to resort to any external agent to get this information. Again, this is fully in accord with what your own Jesus taught.

    • Heidi

       Well right off the bat, you’re wrong. God said “if you eat this, then in that day you will surely die.” The serpent said “no, you’ll just get more knowledge and be like god.” They didn’t die. They got knowledge. Who lied?

      Not to mention that it’s idiotic to expect obedience from people who don’t know the difference between good and evil.

      • ThinkingAtheist

        I love pointing out that the god character of the Bible does in fact lie. In Numbers 11 he promises to feed a group of complaining people. He tells them they will eat meat for an entire month, that it’ll be coming out their noses, that they’ll eat so much darn meat it’ll make ‘em sick of it. So what does this god character do? He sends them meat, immediately followed by a plague that kills off a number of them, seeing to it they will NEVER fulfill His promise. The kicker here is that in doing so, God either sends them straight to hell (so much for “God doesn’t send anyone to hell”) *or* straight to heaven (in which case SCORE! What kind of punishment is THAT meant to be?)

        Anyone have any other tales of Bible-god lying???

    • TiltedHorizon

      “That bad choice introduced sin and evil into the world. ”

      So if eating the apple (i.e. the bad choice) introduced sin & evil into the world then how did the serpent get into Eden? Clearly the role of serpent is ‘evil’ yet based on your telling, it could not have been existed before the “bad choice” occurred. The chronological order, serpent before apple,  invalidates your conclusion that evil is predicated on the apple. Clearly ‘evil’ was already there.

      “Without God, we are left with competing “truths” from a variety of people. Which person has the right one?”

      It would seem WITH god, we are STILL left with competing “truths” from a variety of people. Which person has the right one?

      In case you are not aware, Christianity is not some uniform entity, it is comprised of disenfranchised factions all vying for mind-share. Here are just a few, some of which you may not consider Christian, which one is right?

      Adventist
      Anabaptist
      Anglican
      Assyrian
      Baptist
      Calvinism
      Christadelphian
      Eastern Catholic
      Eastern Orthodox
      Evangelicalism
      Gnostic
      Holiness
      Independent Catholic
      Jehovah’s Witness
      Jesuits
      Latter Day Saint
      Lutheran
      Methodist
      Miaphysite
      Morman
      Old Catholic
      Oneness Pentecostal
      Pentecostal
      Protestant
      Roman Catholic
      Unitarian

      • ThinkingAtheist

        Simple, logical, rational, reasonable…yet somehow uncomprehensible to the theist. WHY IS THAT? MaryLouiseC, are you going to respond to *any* of this?

        • Jsmith

          I’m amazed how you simple, logical, rational, reasonable, thinking athiest seem to to know so much. Based on the differnces in what we believe. You’ll die some day and never know if you were right. Since I believe there is life after death, I’ll die some day and know who was right. If you’re right and I’m worng, it won’t matter.

          • TiltedHorizon

            And this adds to the existing conversation how?

            • Jsmith

              Great response!  It adds to the conversation because it’s a DEBATE!!  I just wanted to make the point! If you’re right, No God, No eternity. Debate over. If I’m right, God, Eternity. Debate still over. We’ll all know there is a God!  There is one thing we all have in common, Everyone typing will die some day. To me, it’s more than a conversation.  

              • TiltedHorizon

                 It’s called Pascal’s Wager.

                As for your post, unless you are commenting on my post to MaryLouise. This adds nothing. Or unless you are commenting on ThinkingAtheist’s post, which is also a reply to MaryLouise, it still adds nothing.

                I love random points as much as the next person, for example, I like cheese, it has calcium which is good for bones.

                • Jsmith

                  I’m sorry, I didn’t realize this was a private forum for athiest to agree with one another. 

                • TiltedHorizon

                  I did not realize that pointing out tangents was the same as telling you not to contribute. Stop jumping to conclusions and read the words on the screen. 

                • Jsmith

                  Talk about tangents. I make a point about Pascals Wager, rather than respond to my point, you say it adds nothing to the conversation. I just wanted to give everyone something to think about. Sorry I interupted your conversation.  

              • Ran

                I think that if you took the time to examine the evidence from countless evolutionary biologists, geneticists and geologists and interpret what they have discovered in a logical way, that you would agree that there’s simply no need to bring any supernatural power into the equation because all of your questions would be answered. Perhaps you’re just finding it difficult to shake of life-long superstitious beliefs but don’t beat yourself up about it because most of the world’s general public haven’t either. I used to believe in father christmas until I knew better!

                • Jsmith

                  You used a key word. “Interpret”  Athiest interpret it one way, People who believe in God another way. What have the evolutionary biologists, geneticists and geologists proven.  How old the universe is. That we evolved from soemthing.  I’m here today by chance only. Someone will dig my bones up in a million years and claim to everything about me. I can’t get over how athiest say there is no evience of God. I’ve seen the evidence biologists, geneticists and geologist have given and would say there is evidence for the evolutiobary process. I don’t except it all. But there is evidience. I’m amazed that you say there is no evidecne for God and me and most of the world are just superstitious.  For someone who seems to be smarter than most of the world. I find it narrow minded to say there is no evidence of God.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  “I find it narrow minded to say there is no evidence of God.”

                  Which means there must be observable evidence of god. Since god is supernatural please show me evidence of something supernatural. Once that can be proven it is easier to build evidence for god. 

                • Jsmith

                  Please define supernatural. Where did you get your information about God being supernatural. Could evidence of God be seen when I looked at looked at the stars last night or saw the sun come up this morning. You said there is no evidence for God. I say it is evidence. We’re on teh same jury, we just look at the case differntly.

          • ThinkingAtheist

            Do a Google search for “Pascal’s Wager.” Your argument here advances nothing in our conversation, strategically speaking. Not only that, but you’ve left out all the other possible god/heaven scenarios that might also exist. Have you ever considered that you might die and stand before a god other than yours? You might be in more trouble than the atheists if that’s true. How worried are you about that? Not much? Now you know how *I* feel.

            • Jsmith

              I’m very familar with Pascals Wager. That’s where the information came from. Yes, I have consider other Gods. Why are you making an assumtion on which God I believe in? Why are you makeing an assumtion that I’m worried. So, no I don’t know how you feel. I thought this conversation was based on evidecne, not feelings and assumtions.  

              • TiltedHorizon

                 I thought this conversation was based on evidecne, not feelings and assumtions. 

                *This* conversion is based on Mary’s interpretation of scripture. *Your* conversation does not discuss why Mary’s interpretation is wrong or right, it does not discuss why my rebuttal of Mary’s comments is right or wrong, instead it tries to start a NEW dialog with a variant of Pascal’s Wager which has nothing to do with *THIS* conversation. Feel free to start a new thread. 

              • ThinkingAtheist

                “Why are you making an assumtion on which God I believe in?”

                The fact that you believe in ANY god is cause for questioning. OK, I’ll bite: which god DO you believe in, and why do you believe THAT god exists and the other gods DON’T?

                None of my comments are based on “feelings and assumtions [sic].” They ARE – in fact – based on “evidecne [sic].”

                • Tjones

                  How can you have evidence of something that doesn’t exist?

                • ThinkingAtheist

                  I don’t claim to have evidence for things that don’t exist. I never said I did. I have no evidence for the non-existence of Jesus, Thor, Zeus or the Easter Bunny.

    • Anonymous

      So you admit that god created Adam and Eve without the knowledge of good and evil and then unreasonably expected him to obey his commands. That’s like putting a toddler in a room full of candy and telling them not to touch the candy.  Who created the devil? What it god? If it was, why would god create a being that he had to know would ruin his perfect creation? If Adam and Eve were created with only the knowledge that god wanted them to have, then how did they have free will?

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

       

      Love must be given freely or else it isn’t true love. Therefore, God
      created humankind with free will, giving everyone the opportunity to be
      in loving relationships with him — or not if they so choose.

      The threat of Hell pretty thoroughly obliterates the possibility of giving love freely to God.  If my choices are to love God or be tortured for eternity, then I’m no more free to choose to love God than a mugging victim is free to choose to hand his wallet over to the person pointing a gun at his face.

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

       

      Love must be given freely or else it isn’t true love. Therefore, God
      created humankind with free will, giving everyone the opportunity to be
      in loving relationships with him — or not if they so choose.

      The threat of Hell pretty thoroughly obliterates the possibility of giving love freely to God.  If my choices are to love God or be tortured for eternity, then I’m no more free to choose to love God than a mugging victim is free to choose to hand his wallet over to the person pointing a gun at his face.

    • Niali

      so the devil is more powerful than god? Wasn’t he also created by god, actually? Also please, please, please watch the impossibility and the absurdity of concept of free will given by Sam Harris here. He speaks for many non-believers in the way we perceive this strange notion, the notion that an individual exists in a vacuum and makes decisions devoid of ANY influence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g&feature=share

  • http://msmith13.wordpress.com/ Mark

    So it all boils down to faith as a so-called virtue. On that point I have to bow to Carl Sagan: “Faith is belief without evidence, and why would you want to believe something if there’s no evidence for it?”

  • Jsmith

    It sounds to me like your proof of God is based on how well he treats you or others.
    I don’t prove the existence of the police based on how fast they respond to a 911 call.  If there is no force stopping the rape of a woman, which is what you base your athiesm on.  Is there some force causing the man to rape or kill. If so what is it?
    Why does God have to intervien in my life to prove he exist?  Could the sun rising every morning be enough to show there is a God?  With all the energy you put into this video and web site, I would say you believe in God, You’re just pist off at him because he doesn’t do what you want him to do. Which would make you God!!  

    • ThinkingAtheist

      When you call 911, the police respond, sooner or later. Not so with invented gods.

      • Jsmith

        You don’t live in my nieghborhood.  My point: I don’t have to get a response to belive they exist. Can you prove that it wasn’t God that responded to my prayer?  

        • TiltedHorizon

          So you don’t require proof to believe god responded to your prayer but you DO require proof to believe god did not respond to your prayer. That makes perfect sense.

          Based on that, Santa IS actively tracking my naughty and nice scorecard. Prove to me that he does not. 

          • Jsmith

            Who said I didn’t need proof. The proof to me is that he responded to my prayer. I asked you to prove or convince me he didn’t. You didn’t do that.  You made a comparison to Santa. Who’s making sense. Prove to me God does not respond to my prayer. 

            • Piet Puk

               Prove me it wasn’t satan that answered, disguised as your god.

              • Jsmith

                So you believe in Satan and not God? You cannot use what you don’t believe in to prove what you don’t believe in. I asked you to prove God didn;t answer my prayer. No one has done that!  

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

      We don’t prove the existence of the police based on how fast they respond either.  We prove their existence by directly observing it.  One can prove their existence simply by walking into a police station and counting the cops.

      Additionally, nobody claims the police are both omnibenevolent and omnipotent.  They’re human and subject to human constraints.  The lag in response is expected, even predicted, by the humanity of police officers. 

      People do make the claim that God is omnibenevolent and omnipotent, a claim that is immediately refuted by the evils described in the video.  The problem of evil may not disprove the existence of an evil or disinterested god, but it certainly disproves the notion of an all-powerful, all-knowing god that loves and takes a personal interest in the welfare of every person on the planet.

    • TiltedHorizon

      “You’re just pist off at him because he doesn’t do what you want him to do. ”

      Why do you assume we feel anything on the subject of God? I don’t believe in Bigfoot, Jackalopes, Chupacabras, Santa, Unicorns, Dragons, Ghosts, Aliens, UFOs, Zeus, or Allah. I don’t hate these things, how can one hate something that does not exist? Do you hate what you don’t believe in?

      The only defense against being taken advantage of is to ask for proof, without which any assertion is true, no matter how far fetched.

      • Jsmith

        How much time do you spend proving  Bigfoot, Jackalopes, Chupacabras, Santa, Unicorns, Dragons, Ghosts, Aliens, UFOs, Zeus, or Allah don’t exist. If God doesn’t exist, why waste your time trying to prove it!

        • TiltedHorizon

          It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. That said, I would happily go about the rest of my life unconcerned with such debate. Unfortunately, as long as there exists a body of theists who keep diminishing my worth, judging me solely by my non-belief instead of my actions, and generally condemning anyone who does not subscribe to their ideology, then I ‘NEED’ to stand against them.

          So to answer your question, I don’t have to spend any time proving or disproving Bigfoot, Jackalopes, Chupacabras, Santa, Unicorns, Dragons, Ghosts, Aliens, UFOs, or Zeus. There is no ‘need’ to ‘waste my time’ because my no one is judging my existence on those things.

          • Jsmith

            Thats a pretty good point!  I hate it that people judge you based on you unbelief. But if there is nothing after this life, why do you care what they think.  I’ve always tried t think of it this way. If there is no God, then in the end, we cease to exist. But what if there is a God and the Bible is true,  where does that leave people who don’t believe?   

            • TCC

              Because there’s something in this life, and people judging and shunning you (at the absolute least) for something that should be inconsequential can make this life – the only life – hell.

              • TiltedHorizon

                 Bingo!

              • Jsmith

                When you say there is something in this life, can we assume your searching for that something and haven’t found it?  Most peoples judgements are based on what they believe. Most people who believe in God make judgements about people who don’t believe in God. But on the other hand most Athiest make judgements about people who believe in God. Why can’t we agree to disagee and have a good debate.   

                • Piet Puk

                   Because the god people keep trying to poisen children with their superstition and keep others from having equal rights. When the god people will learn to keep their religion to themselfs, you”l see no judging from atheists.

                • Jsmith

                  Thats a pretty good point, but where did the get the ideas that people aren;t suppose to judge one another?

                • Jsmith

                  Are you serious! You’ll see no judging from athiest. You apparently haven’t been reading anyone elses post.

  • Buba_25

    I just put a cross necklace on about an hour ago that I made when I was a little boy, I’m now 20. Ya know, There’s one thing that people never bring up when they’re talkin about religion, spirt world, heaven and hell. It’s called illusion. Obviously we’re all here for a reason right? We all have a set goal in our lives, OUR lives. We were created to live OUR life and choose to do with it however we please, by looking towards the light or putting a bullet in our head. Your life is your illusion and you can make whatever you want to happen to happen! It’s that easy. You just have to get the bigger picture of life and how everything just fits together. Do me a favor, go walk outside.. What do you see.. The sun or moon, trees, grass, birds, creation. I don’t know whether this world exists outside my head, just an illusion or dream. I don’t have answers in my post you guys, I’m not god. (wasn’t supposed to be funny). But all I’m trying to say really is that keep an open mind and don’t ignore the things around you. There’s a million believers in this world that have their own opinions because it’s there life! They have their input. There’s a reason why I’m here, there’s a reason why you are here. There’s a reason why I’m married at 20 to my beautiful wife who’s 35 and has 4 children. And I’m in the miltary fighting for my country. t’s because I chose that lifestyle, I’m an old soul and that my friends is why I believe in free will. Am I making any sense? Your life is your own special illusion and you can make anything you want come true. Without a doubt, miracles happen because you believe in them. Miracles don’t happen when they are ignored. Will i die of lung cancer? Ive been smoking Cigarettes everyday for 2 years, I believe that I won’t die from it, because this is my illusion and I make the calls but I still follow the rules. I’ve sinned. Who hasn’t? No ones perfect. Do me another favor before I end my post here.. Don’t stress about what happens after you die, or where you go when you leave your body, Because you will end up wherever you want to be. It’s your life, it’s your illusion, you make your destiny. Have a good day everyone

    • Anonymous

       You asked at one point if you made any sense. The answer is no. Your rambling post had absolutely nothing to do with the OP.

  • Tjones

    I see alot of “Free Will” arguements. So God doesn’t exist because he imposes “free will” If he uses free will, lets us make our own choices without interfering, how would know if he existed? To me the video doesn’t say God is not real. It says if he is real, he’s unfair and doesn’t care. Your argument is not from a true athiest point of view. You’re not saying God doesn’t exist, it says if he does exist, he is unfair.

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      As I see it the “free will” theodicy is flawed because it implies that “free will” cannot exist except in conjunction with evil. In other words, in order to give us “free will,” god was somehow coerced into letting evil exist. But an omnipotent god can never be constrained, not in this way, nor any other. It must have been possible for him to have created a universe in which we could have and express our “free will,” but which has no evil in it.

      Since god (if one assumes he exists) created a universe in which there’s evil, there can only be one possible reason for it: Because he wants evil to exist. In other words, he’s a malevolent … not a benevolent or even ambivalent … being. No other conclusion is rational or logical.

      • Jsmith

        Can I force my kids to love me? Can I force them to make all the right choices? No!  Do I cease to be a Father if I let them make thier own choices? No! Yet God doesn’t exist because he allows me to make choices that may hurt me? If my child chooses to love me thats awesome, if he makes good choices thats great. But his love and choices don’t determine my existence. 

        • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

          God cannot be logically compared with a human parent. Human parents are, by definition, limited … by their own nature, as well as the nature of the children they raise. By contrast, an omnipotent god has no such limitation. He not only “made” his children, he “made” their nature itself.

          As for having the free will “to make choices that may hurt you,” that’s entirely different from having the free will to make choices that hurt others and cause them to suffer, even though they’re innocent of that choice. You wrongly assume that all evil in the world is the direct result of choices made by those who suffer, themselves; that is absolutely not true. You also assume there’s no “evil” not caused by human action, which also is not true; natural disasters & disease, for instance.

          All of that was, or is, under your god’s control … assuming he exists. He must want that evil to occur to people who did not make a wrong “choice.” There is no rational way to avoid having to make this concession. His supposed omnipotence makes it unavoidable.

          Lastly, I question the logic of assuming that an omnipotent being wants his creations to “love” him. A desire for love is a human trait. To assume he wants our love is to think of him as a very big and powerful human being. An omnipotent being, on the other hand, would most certainly not merely be a super-powered human. Odds are, such a being’s nature would be far different from ours.

          • Jsmith

            Can we narrow your theory down to your disbelief of an omnipotent God on the basis of allowing suffering to occur? Is it possible that an all controlling God can control himself? If there were no suffering, natural disasters and dsease, would you believe in God. Some people would call that place heaven.  I’m amazed at your logic. I can tell you have done your homework. You talk as though you know God better than anyone else.  Anyone can read about a sunset on the ocean and assume to know everything about it. But the person who has been there can tell you what it smells like, sounds like, looks like, and even tell taste like. It doesn’t mater what the person who read about it says. It doesn’t come close to experiencing it.  You can question my logic, but you can never take away my experiences.

            • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

              Can we narrow your theory down to your disbelief of an omnipotent God on the basis of allowing suffering to occur?

              The issue here isn’t whether or not I believe in your god. For me the question is whether or not the posited Abrahamic god actually desires the existence of evil. I suggest that he does, becausee logic permits no other conclusion.

              Is it possible that an all controlling God can control himself?

              Of course he would be able to! “All controlling” means “all” + “controlling.”

              If there were no suffering, natural disasters and dsease, would you believe in God.

              Whether or not I believe in your god is not the point, at the moment. I cannot and will not place before you some condition which … if you think you fulfill it … will compel me to believe in him. My belief (whether current or future) is not at issue just now. What we are doing is exploring the logical ramifications of the commonly-posited Abrahamic god. Once we’ve gotten beyond that, then we might discuss what it would take to convince me he exists.

              I’m amazed at your logic. I can tell you have done your homework.

              Thank you.

              You talk as though you know God better than anyone else.

              Actually I don’t “know” him at all. I do, however, “know” much of what his believers say about him.

              Anyone can read about a sunset on the ocean and assume to know everything about it. But the person who has been there can tell you what it smells like, sounds like, looks like, and even tell taste like.

              So you’re saying that god can’t really be discussed, he can only be experienced. This is not a new or even unusual proposition. It’s a component of most mysticism, and was a core notion of the classical Gnostics, not to mention the initiates of other mystery-religions in ancient times.

              You can question my logic, but you can never take away my experiences.

              I’m not sure I ever expressed a desire to “take away your experiences,” or anything else you have. All I am doing is teasing out the ramifications of asserting that an omnipotent deity created and rules over the universe. You can suggest logic is of no help in the matter, but that isn’t going to convince me not to pay attention to it. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” didn’t work for the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, either.

              • Jsmith

                Are you a lawyer or did you debate in college? You broke down every thing I said and gave a rebutal. I’m impressed!  I love a good debate. We have differnent reasons for believing what we believe.  Will we ever persuade one another to the other side. I doubt it. I know there have bee times I wondered if there really is a God. I’m sure you and many others have wondered, Is there a God?  After reading the Bible, I’m convinced that if what I read is true, I will never understand the complexities of the universe. If the Gospels are true, If John 3:16 is true. God loves us!  

                • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

                  I did a little debating in college, in a couple of seminar courses where students would present positions, state a case, then deal with scrutiny from the prof and other students. But I have no formal “debate team” experience.

                  I appreciate your comments so far. We’ve had a cordial discussion, even if we’ve had to “agree to disagree.” Definitely a positive experience, which unfortunately is becoming rare on the Internet.

                  As for understanding the universe, none of us will ever do that completely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try, and it doesn’t mean we should give up trying to master parts of it. If each of us masters a piece of it, we might together puzzle it out … over time.

                  Again, thank you.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    The comments on this post are truly disheartening. I almost think that atheists should refuse to debate the morality of the biblical deity because to do otherwise plays right into theists’ hands. It’s like they take it as giving credence to their god. They can’t conceive of it as a hypothetical. Talking about their god as if it were real only seems to make them think that we reject their deity because of its unpleasant character, when it reality it has nothing to do with that, and everything to do with a lack of evidence for its existence.

    • Tjones

      O.J. didn’t go to jail because a lack of evidence.

    • Tjones

      I find it narrow minded to say there is no evidence of God.

      • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

        The burden of proof is on those who make positive assertions. If you feel you have evidence, then you are welcome to present it. It’s not narrow-minded of me to withhold belief until I see evidence. And FYI, ancient scriptures do not count as evidence, since surely you do not accept the existence of the Vedas and Upanishads as proof of the Hindu deities.

  • Buba_25

    I don’t ramble. And I also don’t put down other people on the Internet. Open your eyes and see the bigger picture of how this world works. All the answers are there and I’ve found them already. One day you will too. Good luck

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Natalie-A-Sera/743004321 Natalie A. Sera

    So why did all the good folks have blue eyes (and are therefore white), and all the bad folks have dark eyes, like the rest of the world? Little bit of unconscious racism here?

  • Ran

    You will never convince a believer to stop believing with facts and logic because their minds don’t work that way. To believe in god *requires* abandonment of logic and common sense.

    To the believers on this page, you’re wasting your time here and you’re likely to receive bullying and abuse.

    Don’t take it personally, it’s because we think you’re deluded idiots.

    • Jsmith

      I find it interesting that you say believers are likely to recieve bullying and abuse. Most of the athiest I talk to say they are abused by believers. I agree with the statement that our minds don’t work the same way.  But to say I have abandoned logic and common sense because I made a decsion about what I believe based on what I have studied for 30 years. I guess I am a deluded idiot with a Masters Degree.  I’ll take that abuse.

  • Kero319

    Think to the defining moments of your lives. Im sure much of it is happy. A birthday or wedding or birth. But t really think about those moments that truly define you. The death of friends, family. Failure, disappointment and pain. These are the true teachers of man. Without these things, life would be meaningless. And yet with the blindness of children we ask why. We wish for a life free of bad things, yet this would destroy our humanity. Without pain there could be no pleasure. Without evil, there can be no god.

    • ThinkingAtheist

      “Without evil, there can be no god.” You said it! Thank goodness there is no god.


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