and the Epicurean Riddle
In your FAQ you list that the evil argument lends to weaken Christianity.
In fact evil strengthens the case for Christianity.
Example 1 (your example)
The Argument from Evil states that if God existed, we could assume he would be both willing and able to reduce the evil in our world. (Evil, in the strongest form of the argument, means suffering and premature death.) However, premature deaths and suffering prevail on this planet; therefore, no such god exists.
This argument proves that God keeps his promises. Evil was set loose because man has free will and chooses to sin or do wrong in Gods view. How can a just God reward people for wrong doing? Would you reward your dog for urinating on the carpet? No you would correct the dog. If the dog continued to urinate on the carpet and was unwilling to obey what would you do to the dog? Most people would expel the dog from the house or relocate the dog to an outdoor environment. To further expound upon the dog, If all the dogs offspring refused to obey and always urinated on the carpet what would you do? Most people would remove the dogs offspring from the house and warn others of this behavior. So using your argument God cannot reduce evil in our world because the world is disobedient to his will, if he did reduce evil and suffering he would indeed be a unjust and nonexistent being.
I have a question I did not see in the FAQ, and I would like to see your answer. Would you agree that the conquer of a people writes the history or revises the history to support or forward their cause? If this is true how would you view the existence of the dead sea scrolls and other historical texts that contain very little differences or only translation based errors. The Jewish texts have been proven to contain very few changes even though these peoples were conquered and ruled over by several empires and they have never integrated into other cultures. God promised, and documented that, he would preserve the Jewish people and they still exist more than 2000 years after this promise. I can find no other instance where a people has survived very long without a home land.
Also I thank you for the opportunity to ask questions, it is a privilege to be able to ask open questions in a forum that is intellectual and those who are angry or unable to follow the rules are removed from the dialog. I also extend my apologies for all those who profess to be Christian and do not have a love and respect for their neighbor, as we love ourselves. Those who speak with angry or disrespectful words will one day answer for their wrong doing. As a side note if there is ever a great disappearance of people from the earth, you may want to read the bible and follow the directions given it may save you;)
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Evil in world and Christianity
Date: October 28, 2003 4:16 AM
How does the untold suffering and wanton waste in the animal world "correct" humans?
And what kind of "correction" did my little brother get? He didn't get to live long enough to even learn how to talk! Some education!
"Uh, you have a learning disability, son. The Principal and I had a little talk about your problem last week. We decided that the best way to correct your little problem, the method that is the most consistent with the ways of our Loving God, would be if we were to take you out to the main gate and have the elders of the city put you to death!"
Brazenly warped is this concept of "loving," I surmise! Besides, what kind of "correction" would the poor fellow even NEED at such a young age? Or do you think your god was "correcting" my parents for sacrificially providing a home and a name for more than one orphaned child? Maybe He was warning others not to adopt parentless children because you cannot know the genetic makeup and therefore cannot know which congenital diseases to which they might be susceptible, and they might die in your arms.
Wha...? A grieving mother, herself sick unto death just from fear, clutching a dying child, holding on to him for dear life as if by so doing she might somehow keep him from "going" -- while an allegedly loving, supposedly all-powerful deity watches? There's something terribly wrong with this picture! What could the child have done to deserve this? For that matter, what untold evil could the mother have done? No! This is not a realistic story, but an insidiously brutal mindfuck invented by barbaric rulers to keep a peasant class in line! The only reason this doctrine survives to this day is because for fifteen hundred years those rulers tortured and killed anybody who spoke out against their policy of deception and mind control.
This is what the Epicurean Riddle is trying to point out!
Whenever I think it might be appropriate to get a little judgmental against my parents, I merely think about what good they did and my judgmental attitude instantly transforms into one of pure appreciation. Perhaps my sense of morality is superior to that of your Creator? Naw, I don't think so. Perhaps your Creator is merely a creation? a figment of some control-freak's imagination!? Hah! As Bugs Bunny might say, "Ya gittin WAHmuh, Doc!"
The Epicurean Riddle is not designed to provide a complete refutation of the popular claim that a deity exists who is both powerful and loving. If anything, it is a pointedly humorous look at the serious problems with that most disagreeably depressing doctrine. Even so, your objection to the Epicurean Riddle has not helped us (editorial "we") in our quest to stop being atheists and to join the human community, being accepted as fully human because we have come to the belief that gods and goddesses (and their consorts) exist.
Nevertheless, your objection the behavior of certain religious practitioners does help us come closer to accepting the fact that the behavior has more to do with the hatred boiling away inside a certain human than it has to do with religious faith. True, certain religious teachings lend themselves easily to becoming tools of such hatred. However, there are enough constructive teachings contained in Christian lore that one wonders where anybody can find the time to explore the bitterness that also resides in that lore!
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