Christians and others offer reasons why God might be justified in letting terrible evil happen.

They say it is for some worthwhile good.  But good is always overstated.  If a person is burnt alive, it is good if the pain for a moment reduces by 5%. That is an example of good being relative to the situation. Good is assessed not on objective but relativist grounds and can sometimes be terrible.  Religion says that evil inherently opposes truth and pretends not to.  Here we have a new problem.  Good itself can be too readily taken for evil.  Even if a good God could allow evil, it does not follow that anybody's motives for saying he is right to allow it, are noble.  They are in fact arrogant and too presumptive.  It is too much about wanting to see good than really seeing it.

Religion says there is always more to evil than meets the eye and it feigns good intentions.  Evil depends on lies and is a lie.  But just because evil is a lie that does not mean that good is necessarily in line with truth.  Good claims that ought implies can.  If John is forced to deceive the neighbours by disguising himself as a scarecrow.  If John is forced to shoot the neighbours.  Then what he did was good under the circumstances.  With good having to condone lying when forced and with evil being a lie, nobody can have the right to say they know God and that he is good or that Jesus was good or anything like that.  They are lying if they say they do.  Fearing evil for how it fools is terrifying but now we see that good itself is suspect too.  We fear that if we cannot fight evil but merely contain it that we will end up murdering people for say adultery.  After all to say we only contain evil means that we are using evil to help stop worse evils.

If God is all-powerful and all-good he should not have to permit any evil.  Catholicism strangely says God can permit all innocent people on earth to burn alive for decades in unimaginable agony but that he did not permit the Church to fall into doctrinal or moral error.  So the Church being wrong on the virgin birth is intolerable but people suffering is not.  Something is badly wrong here.  There is a bad moral compass applying if it is okay for God to permit any evil but the Church being wrong on matters of faith and conduct.

We hear of Christians and Muslims who say that if God could rape or commit child abuse then it is good when he does it. This is the notion that evil is good when God does it. Few accept that view for it amounts to saying that if God could become man then that man has the right to rape and murder little girls for fun. It is desperation when you would condone human suffering with an excuse like that. What does it say about you? An excuse like that shows you have no moral compass at all.

Some should go as far as to say that if God says you must not murder the innocent then if you can do it that is a sign that he permits it and so if you do it then you are exempt from the rule.

Those who say that God makes good good and who say that child rape would be good if he commanded it give the impression they are telling us what God tells us to do but not what he would do. But he is evil and worse than us if he gives such commands in the first place. His not doing things personally means nothing for he is doing something: giving bad commands and even promising to reward them if they are obeyed.

Some say, “God’s goodness is infinite so his goodness is different to what correct reason sees as goodness. Praised be the Lord!”

This is what religion has got to believe if it wants to believe in God in spite of the injustice he has thrust upon the world and lets happen. Religion offers us a God who makes doubt a sin though it cannot be, who took out our sins on sinless Jesus and who punishes the unbaptised for a transgression they had nothing to do with. In brief, it presents a being to whom the evil he performs is good and who carps when anybody practices what he practices.

An infinite line is still a line so infinite goodness is not goodness so great that it becomes evil.

God recognises some things as evil for they do pointless damage. If avoiding the most harm is good then it is always good.

The argument that malice or harm is good when God does it is, in reality, a repudiation of the real existence of good and evil. Good is reduced to a meaningless term that includes some of that is good and what is evil and pure black evil could be good in its estimation. Good is made out to be something that exists solely in the demented mind of God.

The theory belittles those good souls who have suffered. And so is the suggestion of some that we should suffer for we could suffer far more and ought to be grateful we can suffer as much as we do. That things could be worse but are not does not mean that they could not or should not be better.

The evil is good when we are talking about God excuse is sometimes disguised as the doctrine that God is not a human being and does not have to follow our moral rules or values. The booklet God and Evil says that since God is not part of the world but the maker of the world he cannot be judged by our standards. It actually says that if he could have made saints but didn’t he was right to even though it would have been best to make saints (page 9). It quotes Romans 9:20 where God’s word says that the potter has the right to make some items for menial use and others for honourable use in its favour. Believers in the excuse say that scientists who could make babies in the lab are bad if they make blind babies and should make perfectly healthy and physically well babies. But if they are right that God is right to make blind babies for he owes the babies nothing then an interesting question arises. How do they know that God isn’t inspiring and requiring the scientists to make blind babies? The scientists cannot be condemned. The excuse then destroys human morality and decency. It endangers belief in right and wrong. Babies are persons not things and not even a God can have the right to make sick babies. To make a baby blind, God has to make forces to cause this blindness. Blindness is not just the absence of sight. God makes evil.

So the excuse argues that parents have different duties from nurses and so God has different duties from people. This is really saying that God has no duties at all because the law is that the best must be done and this is saying he does not have to keep it. And nurses and parents are doing what is best or hoped to be best in different ways and if there were nurses but no parents or parents and no nurses the world would be a worse place.

Karen Armstrong used to agree with the excuse. She said that God’s morals could be different from ours so that God and his love could be terrifying (page 65, The Case Against God). The Church should teach this more so that people would be turned off religion for life and be seen for what it really is.

When religion says that God is beyond or above good and evil that is what it means so when we call God good we do not know what it means (page 48, Arguing with God; page 25, The Problem of Pain). This reduces prayer to God to prayer to a Devil. It makes faith a curse.

The only excuse left is that evil is a mystery. The only real mystery is why people fall for it. It is just a hidden way of saying that evil is not evil when God is behind it. It is used even by those who say we can know what God should do even if we cannot know how he has to work in particular situations.

The believers admit that they do not and cannot base their faith in God on the evil they see in the world (page 32, Asking Them Questions). That is as faulty as believing in the goodness of a sadist because a few people praise him and excuse him to you while paying less heed to the awful things he does. To condone the mercilessness of a God whose ways cannot be justified is no different to condoning that of a tyrant on earth. Correction: it is worse because people have different ideas and opinions which is why if you ask any number of people what the right thing to do in a particular situation is they will give a wide range of different answers. Despite this, the tyrant gets nothing but condemnation. The pope gets praise while he murders women by banning contraception for they are too afraid and too conditioned to disobey him – he may say that conscience is the ultimate guide but adds that no conscience consistent with Catholic dogma would disagree with him for the ban is in tradition. God gets an even more dedicated torrent of praise which is a worry for no excuse for him works. Many will rightly see this praise as offensive even if religion is right that God does right because this cannot be proved meaning it is still unjustifiably offensive. Priests and clergymen don’t worry much about that. You cannot condemn the tyrant when life on earth is fraught with difficult decisions and good deeds that look evil when one does not know all the facts while God gets applauded for setting up worse evils without declaring your hatred for humankind.

It is evil to fail to take an intolerant attitude towards the malicious abuse of another. Evil by definition is intolerant. We should not care about any good in it or any good results that may come from it in time. Religion is based on the evil of condoning God tolerating evil just because he say so. He does not allow us to admit that we are condoning. Evil and what it means matters and God matters not an iota in comparison. How can I say that? It is more important when we see how people can be degraded by evil to define what evil is. It is bad so it needs it and it is needed for the people suffering need a diagnosis of their tormentor. And so do those who care for them.


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