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Oct 18

God is Good. Right?

In Brief—A review of a few of the instances in which the all-good, all-seeing and all-powerful Abrahamic deity has dealt with humanity in ways that expose the delusional nature of belief.

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Do as I Say, Not as I Do—

Knife raised to strike the death blow, Abraham is stopped by God from killing his beloved son, Isaac. God intones, “You have now proved your faith in me.” God is good, right?

Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God, is nailed to a cross and has a spear thrust into his side to prove to humanity that God sacrificed his only son to redeem their sins. God is good, right?

Scottish patriot William Wallace is imprisoned by the English king, partially hanged, revived, emasculated, disemboweled and executed. God is good. Right?

A Japanese woman on her way to market, a young student on his way to school, and thousands of others are incinerated by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by an American bomber. God is good. Right?

Whole Vietnamese villages and their inhabitants are bathed in all-consuming napalm flames. God is good. Right?

A little child is dying of starvation in the arms of her emaciated mother in South Sudan. God is good. Right?

A gay young man is dragged behind a car and tied to a remote wire fence to die of exposure. God is good. Right?

An innocent black man is executed by the state for a crime he didn’t commit. God is good. Right?

A Western aid worker is beheaded by a masked Muslim fanatic. God is good. Right?

These are just a few of the millions of ghastly crimes that take place every day around the globe and throughout history. Despite a litany of horrors and lesser injustices, religious believers stoutly maintain that their deity is good, all-seeing and all-powerful. Surely, they must notice the disconnect between every-day reality and their belief. Yet they do not see the illogic between the covers of their purported “holy” books and the reality of the world in which we live.

Facts Worth Considering—

Judaism, Christianity, Islam

Judaism, Christianity, Islam

The Abrahamic religions—Christianity, Judaism and Islam—comprise about fifty-four percent of the world’s population. One wonders if they are right and the non-Abrahamic believers are wrong or, looked at from the other side of the fence, whether the Abrahamic believers are the ones who are wrong. More importantly, are ALL the religious believers wrong?

Could it be that the “holy” books were written, revised and censored by fallible humans like themselves? Could it be that the “holy” books were intended to sway credulous, ignorant people? Could politics have been part of the motivation?

Now, let’s take a look at the illogic wrapped up in “good, all-seeing and all-powerful.”

“Good” means that everything created by the deity must be good. Are suffering, death, war and injustice good? The reply of the believer is usually, “God is just testing us.” [See Abraham and God above.]

This leads us to ask if the deity is aware (all-seeing) of the wrongs. If the deity sees the wrongs and chooses to do nothing about them, then is he good?

What of all-powerful? The deity sees the wrongs, but being all-powerful, he chooses to do nothing to stop them. Now we’re back to “good.” Summed up, here’s the way it looks: Knowing that there is a wrong yet refusing to do anything to stop it, the deity is allowing something bad to happen. Ipso facto, the deity is not good.

Not good, not all-seeing and not all-powerful, the logical conclusion is that either Satan won or that there is no God.

Here’s a final thought to play with: if there is a deity who made everything in the universe, that deity made me and gave me the brain I am using to deny him. Is that deity “good” if he punishes me for using the brain he gave me?

The logical conclusion is that God is NOT good.

Update:  The corrupt African country of Zimbabwe has freed the lion Cecil’s killer, Dr. Walter Palmer from any charges that he poached Cecil and stated that he is welcome to return to kill more animals. And the beat goes on.

13 comments

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  1. Moorhouse Katharine

    Ever since I was about 8 years old, I haven’t been able to understand the concept of a “Loving God”. Once we kids were all confirmed in the Episcopal Church (to satisfy my mother’s sense of christian duty) we quite attending. So I’m with you on this.

    1. Don Bay

      I really admire you for seeing the lack of logic in a “Loving God” at a young age. It took me longer. I was in my early 20s before my objections jelled. I recall the day when it really hit me: I was standing in the Episcopal Church reciting with the congregation a confession about my “manifold sins and wickedness” and said to myself that I was really a good person. I stopped. Shortly thereafter, I read Bertrand Russell’s “Why I’m Not a Christian” and never looked back.

      Being a wide reader, a lawyer who looks for the evidence and a logical thinker, a deity just doesn’t make sense. The evidence is lacking. Numerous friends believe in this deity. I love these people, but they have a blind spot on this subject. They’re good people, and that’s what counts. Just don’t try to shove religion down my throat as many fundamentalists do. That’s plain wrong. Worship God as you like, I say to them, but don’t try to force that belief on others.

  2. Dave Meyers

    Oh Boy! Now you’ve opened a can of worms, haven’t you?

    Suppose that I travel back in time and kill my grandfather. How can that be? I wouldn’t exist if that was possible. Therefore time travel is impossible….no?
    The ‘God is good’ question is the same sort of argument. There is no logic to it. If there is a God, how can he stand by and watch horrific things take place?
    Well….he’s here to advise and provide a way to righteousness, not to micro-manage mankind. Really….then why do we pray for the outcomes we want? Surely in my case he can step in and fix things…no?
    ‘God’s will’ is always the answer a believer gives no matter the outcome. Really….so God just screws around with us then? Sometimes he helps, sometimes he ruins our lives. Why would anyone bow their head and fall to their knees for that kind of God.

    The basic tenants of all religions are mostly good; love, peace, compassion, generosity. After that, it’s nonsense and fairy tales. Pray to a zucchini. Your chances are just as good.

    1. Don Bay

      You hit the key points in the logical/illogical argument. Let’s face it, humans are fallible and the holy books they have written show a deity with all the flaws of their own species.

      The basic tenets of all religions reflect the same characteristics that humanity has displayed since religion was invented to answer the mysteries of nature that were not yet answerable: good, bad and everything in between. Now, as to that zucchini…it adds vitamins to that stew on the stove.

  3. Brenda

    Let’s face it. God is “Society.” There has to be something one looks for to resolve their issues or help them–in one’s mind, it is “God.” The same as “Society.” Some one wrote the Bible, but it is mearly a book, just as all the motivational publications out there now. Wonder if they will be looked at as a religion in the future.

    1. Don Bay

      As you point out, the Bible and all the other holy books around the globe were written by men (no women, of course) to influence others. The deities they portray have the same warts as the guys who wrote the books over the course of all those centuries. Besides they were ignorant and credulous by today’s standards. Religion is all marketing. Assuming humanity has a future, there’s still going to some huckster who’s going to say, “God wants you to do it THIS way.”

  4. Brenda

    Sorry for the misspellings, but God was making me watch the Texans while I was typing my feelings.

    1. Don Bay

      Forget the mistakes, if any, the important thing is that you shared your thoughts with others. Now, back to TV.

  5. Jim Newton

    There really are two issues here. One is faith, the other is religion. As long as a person doesn’t use his/her faith to harm others, it is a personal issue. Behave in a way that suits their faith, as long as it’s loving, caring and not harmful to anyone else, and it’s between them and their god. So the issue of whether or not there is a god is not for me to fret about with respect to them. I can choose to believe or not believe. That’s the story for me with respect to faith.

    Bu then there is religion. Faith plus religion is a very different thing. Religion usually has a book of some kind which prescribes the path the faithful must follow. To that is added the proclaimer of the faith and the book, called a priest or minister or rabbi or imam. Combine the faith with the book with the proclaimer and all manner of trouble and evil erupts. Now I am told what I must believe and do. Now harm comes to people within and without the religion because they don’t see, believe, or understand all that is proclaimed by the book and the proclaimer and the believer.

    Now back to paragraph one. The believer can do or think or believe anything s/he wishes as long as s/he does no harm to others. Add religion and the believer now is constrained to do what the book and the proclaimer say. Now it’s not just a matter of faith, it is a matter of what constraint is imposed on the faith and the faithful. And in many cases, religion is the most evil of all. Is there good in religion? Sure, sometimes. Is there evil in religion sometimes, even often? You bet!

    1. Don Bay

      Faith in and of itself is vague. I have faith in myself versus my faith requires a belief in a deity. I think that regardless of whether one forces his/her religious beliefs on another, that form of faith is harmful in that it prevents the free, unfettered use of the mind and gives cover to those of a more pernicious form of faith in their deity.

      You seem to blend the two together by claiming benign faith (belief in a deity) is harmless. I disagree. All faith in a deity is harmful to the freedom of one’s mind. I’m okay with saying I have faith in myself. What I’m not okay with is faith in a deity.

      We all have the right to believe what we want. Whether it’s faith in one’s self or in a deity makes a world of difference. I can respect the choice of having faith in a deity, but it’s a waste of a part of a mind. That’s a pity because it limits a person’s thinking. You are more accepting than I.

      1. Dave Meyers

        You’re right. Faith in a mystical, all seeing, all knowing person presents some real problems.

        Stranded on the ocean in rubber raft might be cause to pray to some god on another. But, FAITH that your plight might be resolved by a passing ship or an airplane, favorable currents, or….. in YOURSELF (when you fashion a sail from your shirt), might be more well placed. Now some might say that God sent that ship, God willed that current, God inspired you to be creative. Well, OK…..but I prefer to skip the middle man.

        1. Dave Meyers

          That is: Stranded on the ocean in a rubber raft might be cause to pray to some god or another…

          Grammar are hard.

        2. Don Bay

          I got it even without the grammar problem. We all have a grammar (or spelling) problem from time to time. No harm, no foul.

          It’s real easy—and even understandable under some circumstances—to pray for relief from a deity rather than looking to one’s self for a solution. Rationally speaking, a good, all-seeing and all-powerful deity just doesn’t make sense in a world like ours. We need to look to ourselves for answers rather than to some supernatural power who is capricious, murderous, et al.

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