suffering

We are taking a look at an atheist’s blog post entitled,

The Five Best Reasons Not to Believe in God

In my previous post I dealt with his argument for belief in God being “Illogical“.

As I tackle his arguments, you can click on the links below and see if he has made a more compelling argument. As always, I am advocating for the God of the bible, not the multitude of other gods for which I agree, there is no evidence for. Let’s get started.

His Introduction

  1. There is No Evidence for God
  2. Belief in God is Illogical
  3. Suffering Negates His Existence
  4. We Don’t Need God
  5. Life is Better Without God

 3. Suffering

A complete answer to the objection for belief in God based on suffering in the world, is not going to be answered here. To do that would require knowing what only God knows about. That is not a cop out just the facts. I can speak to suffering though. My wife and I are intimate with suffering and and seemingly unjust death.

We are the parents of three deceased children, our first born was our son Joshua who passed at 19 days, our daughter Sara only for only 45 minutes and Jonathan didn’t survive the womb. My nephew died from an aspirin when was only 10, and my brother died of a sudden heart attach at age 32, leaving a wife and a 4 y/o daughter. So you can be sure that what I am saying is from the heart and is referenced from personal experience and pain. Why did they die?

What was God’s purpose, if he even had one? I cannot answer that. But what I can say is that this life is only a sliver of existence, affected by evil, sin, decay and disease. We tend to ignore God when all is well, taking credit for our hard work and as some believe, good karma from doing good things, then blame God when something goes terribly wrong.

In some instances it is a matter of bad choices. A father tries to explain the dangers in life and that child ignores the advice and finds him or herself in deep trouble. In other cases like the argument here, the innocent, like my three children and my nephew’s lives are cut short.

I cannot see the whole of God’s plan or his purposes. I also cannot understand the totality of OTHER FORCES I cannot see that may be playing a hand in life on this earth. I take comfort in the belief and the hope, that I will one day be with all my CHILDREN for all eternity.

For the atheist, these young lives have unjustly been cut off, but God’s reference is all of eternity, not just life here on earth. If God is just, then how can we reconcile the loss of innocent life? We can’t on this side of life, but God is just and we just don’t know what is awaiting us on the other side. We do know that there will be a reckoning one day when all injustices will be make right. And when it is made right, it will be right for eternity.

Atheists only have a temporal mind set, and don’t think there is anything beyond this life. The bible is replete with scripture that tells us not to be attached to this world, that this world is not our final home. When we pass from this life, we don’t cease to live, who we are, our spirit continues on as I explained in my posts

When we think of life as continuing, and that a just and loving God will in the end make all things right, we can trust that what happens here is not the final word.


Writer’s Argument.

Paragraph 1. 

  • Comedian Stephen Fry calls God a maniac and accuses God of allowing suffering on a planet he created
    • Support from a someone who shares your opinion is not support for the argument that God doesn’t exist.
    • Attacking the character of God, in no way addresses the existence of God.

Paragraphs 2 – 3.

  • Suffering is an impossible problem for believers in God
  • Even the innocent and those worship God suffer starvation, disease, floods, rape, murder and torture.
    • See response below

Paragraph 4.

  • Admits that the suffering argument does not preclude God’s existence
  • If God does exist he is sadistic, vicious and narcissistic with no interest in the well being of people
    • This will be addressed with paragraphs 2 & 3 below

Paragraph 5.

  • A benevolent Christian God would not have created the world we live in
    • I am wondering what kind of world God should have created? The writer offers no alternatives, or support for why this world would eliminate the possibility of God’s existence. Again, an argument about how God works not if he exists.
  • Belief in God requires denial and ridiculous excuses to reconcile events on earth with the existence of God.
    • It doesn’t preclude the existence of a sadistic, vicious and narcissistic god, so it is an invalid argument

The argument here isn’t about the existence of God, [as admitted by the poster] it is that he could have done better. This is a value judgment argument.


Rebuttal

Paragraphs 2-3

Since the blogger admits this argument is irrelevant to the existence of God I don’t have to rebut it. I will say that citing the ramblings of a comedian as some sort of authority does not add any weight to his argument. Although I find this comedic actor extremely hilariously funny and have enjoyed for years, his opinion is not support for anything.

We may not like how God does or has done things but he can still exist. We man also be very wrong about God, because we don’t see eternity or the consequences of every event.

[God]has created a world in which children die in floods, starve to death, perish in agony from TB and malaria? 

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are tragic but they are a function of the planet. I have no answer for why people die in earth quakes, hurricanes and floods. Possibly the writer has an idea how the earth could have been made to sustain life but not exhibit geologic events?

Starving Children

Many of the atrocities people like to lay at God’s feet like children starving and dying of disease falls squarely at our feet. Human greed and indifference accounts for much of the suffering we blame God for, including the unavailability of life saving drugs to third world countries. God’s earth produces enough food for everyone and until we have a better understanding of what causes and why diseases like cancer are on the rise, can we blame God for it all?

Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. The food currently lost or wasted in Latin America could feed 300 million people.The food currently wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people.The food currently lost in Africa could feed 300 million people.Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world [Food and Agriculture Org of the United Nations]

Can we be sure that disease and hunger are not factors of our own wisdom that produces preservatives, plastics, poisons and pollution? I think this writers and others positions are rather short sited and simplistic.

Sadistic, Narcissistic

If God does exist he is sadistic, vicious and narcissistic with no interest in the well being of people

What about rape, murder and other atrocities suffered by even the faithful? God tells us we will experience all kinds of trouble but that he will be with us through it. The believer is not exempt from the out workings of human failings, fears and immoral evil people. He has given us free will, and some use that to commit evil acts.

No Interest In Well Being of People

This is the God who became one of us. The God who chose to experience our suffered as human beings, including the injustices of man against man. He was innocent man who was murdered by men who wanted to keep their power, and for what? So we could spend eternity with him. Remember, God’s perspective is eternity, not the short time we have here on earth.

If you look on this blog, you will find many posts that demonstrate God’s love for us and his heart ache for those who choose not to acknowledge him. God is love, and that is why we love. All too often we judge God by those who claim to know him, and he suffers by association. People are not perfect, make mistakes and fail. You have to judge for yourself by getting to know God yourself.

1 John 4:8; …anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 1:10-14 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

Luke 23:47 When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent

Ultimate Justice

Remember, I am writing this as a father who had to watch his only son’s life slip away while in the arms of my wife. I am a father who, though I held my daughter as tight as I could, could not stop the life from leaving my little girl. Where is their justice some might ask?

If life end at physical death like our blogger believes, then there is no justice for many. But if God exists as over 5 Billion people believe, this life is just the beginning, and my children are conscious and alive this moment. it is only a matter of a little time before we will have an eternity together. Is my heart broken, yes, I could not get these paragraphs out without tears, even after these many years. I miss them dearly. Are they better off with God, not having to experience life’s trials, troubles and pains?

For the atheist, their life has ended, for me, it has barely begun.

If there is no God, there is no hope for justice for those who have passed at the hands of others, disease or disasters. Like a movie, we see each day one frame at a time, but God has seen the whole movie? The arrogance of thinking we can judge God with our limited wisdom is staggeringly infantile.

The Harsh Reality

Ultimately there will be judgment, and ultimate reckoning for those who have done wrong, and for those who have been wronged. The harsh reality is that suffering is not relevant to God’s existence.


Has the blogger presented a logical and persuasive case that God does not exist with this argument? That is for you to decide for yourself. In my experience of death, tragedy and suffering, it is not enough to conclude God is any of the things leveled against him here, let alone he doesn’t exist.

1 Corinthians 1:20-23

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

 

Robert J.

 

 

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