The problem of evil, restated.

For the merely adequate readers and those slightly dense, please allow me to clarify. I was making a point about/to people who believe in this god.

Got any proof? Your big book of God (commonly known as “the Bible”) has more logical holes and inconsistencies in it than than a pair of moth eaten socks worn by a fish.

I haven’t seen your god today. He was conspicuously absent in Connecticuit, as he is conspicuously absent when bad things happen.

Yes, he is.

Yes, he is.

It is.

No, he doesn’t.

No, he isn’t.

Neener neener. See how that works?

The essence of the OP is a large part of the reason I don’t believe in the omni-God. If any being has the ability in real-time to stop the killing (and in other instances around the world, the torture) of children, and does not, then that being is scum. It’s just that simple. I have not heard anything close to a convincing way to accept that it’s ok for any hypothetical God to not stop the torture, violation, and murder of children.

The only possible way around it that I’ve come up with, logically, is that those children are not actually suffering- that it’s an illusion (for whatever reason). I don’t buy it, obviously, but that’s the only way, logically speaking, that I could think of getting around the problem.

Nobody listens to me anymore (if they ever did), but this conundrum is one of my pet peeves.

Whether you’re an atheist or a believer, God exists precisely because bad things happen to good people. The whole concept of heaven is premised on, “Don’t worry about what happens on earth–do right by Me and you’ll get an eternity of love and good stuff.”

As far as God is concerned, what happens in places like Columbine HS, Abu Ghraib or at the hands of Ted Bundy has nothing at all to do with the victims–they’re getting delivered into bliss. It has everything to do with those who do the acts. If you’re to pity anyone, pity the survivors. Heaven is not a place on earth. Ever since Eden got shut down, I can’t think of any text that indicates God has promised otherwise.

Right. I think, among other things, gods were created because this world is so unjust that we had to create the hope that it will all be set right some day by someone more powerful than ourselves.

Our values are so different from the values of the god of the bible. We would have done everything possible to save those kids. God, (if he existed) chose to do nothing to save them.

But the religious spend so much energy trying to make their natural, humanistic values fit the values of this god, who doesn’t save kids from gunmen.

Exactly. There’s a big logical hole in the middle of the argument that God is evil therefore God doesn’t exist.

Hitler killed twelve million people. Does that mean Hitler doesn’t exist?

Why is the reaction to these sorts of events always that everyone reaches farther into their faith or, in this case, lack of faith. Many children die in a senseless act of violence, and those with faith look to God for solace, and those without see it as just that much more reason not to believe in him. To the OP, I have to wonder, do you really think your rant is going to change anyone’s mind? In this state, those who already agree with you need no convincing, and those who don’t see it your way will just be offended and turned further away from your cause.

I mean, really, the problem of evil, if events in world history like 9-11, the Holocaust, slavery, and who knows how many other shootings in recent times don’t convince someone that it actually is a problem, why would this event? If you want to have a reasonable discussion, it’s not a good idea to use an emotionally charged event like this.

You are aware that we’re in the Pit, right?

Well I guess that’s kind of my point. There’s a little story about God fully testing Satan’s will against Job’s–effectively allowing the torment of both. That’s just how He rolls–a little agony now will pay off in spades down the road, sort of like vaccinations. In the God System, we mortals want to play junior moderator and exact justice within our own lifetimes, and it’s explicitly stated that it is not our place to do so. What we are supposed to do is not be jerks to one another lest we shall surely be banned. Then we get all butthurt with The Moderator slaps us for trying to enforce His rules.

I seem to recall Jesus was a big fan of pitying the troll (evil doer) while comforting the victim. But there’s not much instant gratification in that–we instinctively want to see the banning happen Right Now. And it’s that desire which undoes our faith–a banning is between The Moderator and the banned.

For the umpteenth fucking time-he isn’t pitting this jackhole god he doesn’t believe in, he is pitting the people that do jackhole things because they believe in this jackhole god.
Anyone else want to pretend to misunderstand what is being said in plain English and jump on the “How can he pit God if he doesn’t believe in Him? Huh? Huh?” bandwagon?

Seems to me like he’s pitting people for believing something he doesn’t, and that he doesn’t believe it because his understanding of it is different from theirs.

He isn’t saying that he doesn’t believe in that god because of those characteristics-he is saying that that those, or any, characteristics don’t matter because their god doesn’t exist.

We’re failing to communicate again. I blame myself.

I’m reading things like, “Your god did the same thing as every other god in history…nothing…because he belongs to a long line of deities that do not exist” and assuming he’s taking the absence of action as evidence of absence. And yet, somehow, a lot of people believe that absence of action is perfectly reasonable given at least one particular god’s fondness for faith over proof.

I’m not certain I buy into it either, but I can understand why someone would.

The existence of evil doesn’t argue against the existance of god, it argues against the existence of good god. Yet people will flock by the millions to worship him ad try to bend their own understanding of how the world works (I’d save the kids) to his (I’m not going to save the kids).

I’m not trying to say god doesn’t exist in the OP(though I don’t think he does). I’m trying to say that Christians worship a malevolent deity and they have to go through manic gyrations to work around this idea.

Regarding Hitler…that’s just a silly comparison. There is incontrovertible evidence of his existance, regardless of if he was evil or benevolent. There is no evidence of any god, whether the subject wishes to imagine him evil or malevolent.

It’s a straw man because I never said it. I do think it is our responsibility to care for the mentally ill and have reasonable gun laws. But beyond our failed mental health system, gun crazy society, and locks on our school doors, 27 year old teachers did more to save those kids than god did. That’s because those teachers exist.

If you don’t believe God exists, how can you be angry at him for allowing people to die? Did anyone get angry at Superman for not stopping the shooting? Of course not, people understand Superman is a fictional character and can’t do anything in this world. But people get mad at God for not doing something at the same time they say they don’t believe God exists. If God doesn’t exist, you don’t get to be angry at him for not doing something.

It isn’t the God, it’s the belief that’s frustrating. It’s the futility, the wasted prayers, the empty sentiment, and the wasted time that is pitworthy. Claims of “It’s God’s will” means God is a monster who cares not for little children. “Let’s pray for an answer” Any God who would put bullets in the children of His believers is above the reach of prayer. “I’ll pray for you.” Well, make a casserole for the bereaved instead, whydontcha, or devote that time spent on bended knees reaching out to the weird, troubled kids in your community before they spray bullets at blameless innocents.

I know those of you arguing understand this, and are just falling back on your favorite “Angry Atheist” routines, but surely even the most devout must be questioning the actions we could have taken before, during, and after the shooting. Either the Christians who prayed or the god they prayed to are completely inept.

Another way to state the sentiment in the OP- if God exists, he is either unable or unwilling to prevent the murder and torture of children. If he is unable, then how is he a god? And if he is unwilling, then how is he deserving of our barest bit of respect, much less our adulation and worship?

It seems much more likely to me, then, that he does not exist.