there no God?
2 of God Really IS Great! Religions Poisoned Everything!
is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom; Yes, with all
your getting, get understanding. How much better is it to
get wisdom than gold! Yes, to get understanding is rather
to be chosen than silver. Proverbs 4:7, 16:16
There is a renewed debate today on the existence of God. Arguments
for and against have been proposed by philosophers, scientists,
and religious leaders. In particular, atheists maintain that
claims for the existence of God show insufficient reason to
believe. Persuasive arguments are made against religious claims
to expose the foolishness of belief. Nevertheless, this can
only discredit the organizations making these misguided claims.
Those challenging a belief in God more often than not are
protesting the religious organizations propagating their version
of God rather than opposing a belief in God's existence. Most
would not oppose a belief in a wholly good, all loving, omnipotent
and omniscient God but they feel the real world evidence suggests
An often cited argument against God is the presence of evil
in the world. How can anyone believe in a wholly good, all
loving, omnipotent and omniscient God who permits evil to
exist? Webster defines evil as that which produces unhappiness;
anything which either directly or remotely causes suffering
of any kind. Much of the human suffering is to a degree a
direct cause of the free moral agency; the freedom people
have to make good and bad choices which impact themselves,
their family, their community and society in general. Other
reasons for suffering are not directly linked to human choices
but to natural causes.
has been a direct cause of suffering as it has played an arguable
role in many of the mass murders and genocides throughout
history. Religion provided a sense of a God-ordained mission
to cleanse the world of evil. Civil leaders in collusion with
religious leaders convinced the common people of possessing
authority from God earning them their trust and unwavering
loyalty. Civil powers were justified by their religious counterparts
to authorize cruel acts against humanity as they purified
the world. Religious leaders then forgave those committing
these atrocities. Religious justification of inhumane acts
appear to have at least temporarily relieved the perpetrator’s
conscience of personal accountability in the afterlife. The
inquisitions of the dark ages testify to the depravity of
the human condition when acts against conscience are excused.
If God does exist, why would he stand by when people kill
in his name?
to formal governments and religious institutions, people resided
in small clans. Clans were usually members of an extended
family ensuring their survival by controlling the best geographical
regions. Distrust between clans often led to the murder of
opposing clan members. This continues today in the form of
gangs. W.B. Miller (1992) defines a street gang as “a
self-formed association of peers, united by mutual interests,
with identifiable leadership and internal organization, who
act collectively or as individuals to achieve specific purposes,
including the conduct of illegal activity and control of a
particular territory, facility, or enterprise. Gangs are responsible
for drug smuggling and sales, arms trafficking, theft, human
trafficking, assault, extortion, hate crimes, kidnapping,
murder, pandering, financial crimes, and the list goes on.
How can an omnipotent God stand by apparently powerless to
stop these gangs from inflicting pain and suffering on society?
disasters also result in real suffering. Innocent people are
injured and die in these disasters or “chance”
events. The 1931 China floods claimed the lives of up to 436,000
people. It is estimated over 700,000 people perished in the
1976 Tangshan earthquake. In 1970 a cyclone hit Bhola in Bangladesh
where the death toll exceeded 300,000. More recently, the
Haiti earthquake of 2010 and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
each claimed over 300,000 lives and countless injuries. Religious
leaders of all faiths attribute these to God’s wrath
on an immoral world and are quick to justify themselves when
the natural disaster largely affects people of differing faiths.
Is God truly responsible for these disasters which devastate
physical and mental disorders and natural death results in
suffering not attributed to the acts of another human being.
In particular death is so different from other calamities
of life. When someone dies the situation seems so hopeless,
so very final, the end of everything. If God does exist, why
didn't he create the human race to live forever in health
and happiness upon the earth, just like the angels in heaven?
us begin by using deductive reasoning to explain God and the
existence of evil. Reason is considered a fundamental characteristic
of human nature. It is the power of comprehending, inferring,
or thinking especially in orderly rational ways to make sense
of things. Deductive reasoning is a form of reasoning in which
a conclusion follows necessarily from the stated premises
or first principles. In our case, the first principles will
be the presence of evil coinciding with the existence of a
wholly good, all loving, omnipotent and omniscient God. We
will only use deductive reasoning to explain how they are
not mutually exclusive.
first principle concerning God’s attributes of wholly
good, all loving, omnipotent and omniscient constrains God
to choose the best course of action for his creation. To understand
the matter differently would diminish his attribute of omniscience
(all knowing), all loving (caring) and “wholly good”
(impartial, equitable). Others affirm these attributes but
explain the existence of evil as God's inability to completely
control evil in all respects. This thought requires the diminishing
of God's attribute of omnipotence (all powerful). If we are
to preserve all of God’s attributes in the absolute
sense, we must conclude it is not an inability of God to stop
evil, but a deliberate action on God’s part to permit
evil. So why does God consider experience with evil the best
course for the human race?
are two possible answers to this question; the permission
of evil leads to a greater good or prevents a greater evil
for the human family. A case-by-case attempt to reason the
most heinous acts of evil as resulting in greater good or
lesser evil is difficult and often impossible. Various explanations
may be offered; fundamentally, this is purely conjecture and
speculation. An obvious objection to our two answers is that
experience with evil can result in irretractable pain and
suffering which leads us to question the integrity of God’s
plan. We are left to rely on God’s attributes leading
us to blindly trust in his plan which accomplishes little
to satisfy our desire for understanding. The difficulty of
offering a fully satisfying answer arises from our limited
knowledge of God's deliberate action for permitting evil unless
God were to reveal his intentions to us. Though far from satisfactory
to the inquiring mind, both arguments can reason the existence
of evil being compatible with the existence of a wholly good
the following example. Would a loving parent permit evil,
anything that causes pain or suffering, to their own child
while considering it to be the best course of action for a
greater good, or the prevention of a greater evil? What child
has not touched a hot stove in their lifetime, even though
they were warned over and over not to do so? Yet, most children
continue to disobey their parent. Why doesn’t the child
simply obey the parent in the first place to avoid the pain
altogether? Why do parents purposely place a child’s
hand on a hot stove? The child may not understand their parent's
action; however, the childs lack of understanding cannot justify
their feelings. In this example, we can see the greater good,
and the prevention of the greater evil, even though the child
at the moment cannot explain it.
are additional lessons we can gain from this simple example.
First, real experience serves as a superior schoolteacher
to simple instruction and observation. Second, the parent
ensured the suffering was temporary and the effects of the
pain were not permanent, just enough for the child to fully
understand the consequence of their decision. If the experience
was too short, say the child quickly touched the hot stove,
the child may not learn the desired lesson. If the experience
was too long, the child could sustain permanent injury. Since
imperfect parents are careful with the lessons they provide
for their own children, why would anyone consider an all wise,
loving, and good God would be any less careful with his creation?
Therefore we can reasonably conclude the present experience
with evil is carefully supervised and will not permanently
injure neither will it continue indefinitely. These conclusions
raise many other questions which will need to be examined
reasoning substantiates the idea of a wholly good God with
the existence of evil in the world. Reason can also establish
the permission of evil as being a deliberate act of God to
achieve a greater good and to prevent a greater evil to his
creation. Reason cannot conclusively answer what greater good
or lesser evil is achieved without additional information
concerning the current and future condition of the human family.
God provided this information in the Bible which is a detailed
and admittedly somewhat fragmented explanation. The Bible
has been used by many to advance various concepts of heaven
and hell, love and justice, reward and punishment to explain
God’s purposes. Most of these explanations abandon reason
altogether in favor of man-made creeds, pagan philosophies,
and superstitious traditions.
must always be employed when searching for truth on any subject
matter especially those concerning God’s plans and purposes.
The Bible, or any other book claiming a higher authority,
should not be used as justification for abandoning reason.
On the contrary, God appeals to us to reason our condition
and his proposed remedy. "Come now, let us reason together”,
says the LORD... Isaiah 1:18 A faith in God and in his plan
must be reasonable, fair and loving for all, otherwise he
would not have invited us to reason it.
Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true
worker who isn't ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly.
2 Timothy 2:15