Random means,

Without direction

If it takes direction that is really luck not direction


God as maker of all from nothing would still be the controller.  Randomness would not be random then if he is faking it.  Fake randomness or something that is set up to behave as if it were not controlled is not random.  Such randomness would be a trick and a lie.

To sum it up, "If there were a controlling force or being it is being neglectful."


If suffering really is random and left to its own devices then you are going to see it.  Suffering is personal and is about experience so it has to tell you that.  Trying to go into denial is self-abuse.  Suffering is changing and lessening which is why there is the illusion of being comforted.  There is no such thing.  Your suffering was not comforted before the comfort began so there is such a thing as uncomforted suffering.  A bit of comfort now hardly matters in the big picture when there was so much torment before.  Suffering is the experience of useless and worthless existence so it is God calling you worthless or letting you feel that way so how can you find comfort in him?

If suffering is random then you have to see it for it is worse if you do not.  Nobody is really prepared for new suffering but there is hope of being prepared enough when you realise that you are at its mercy.  At least you know you didn't expect it to develop some rhyme and reason.

Notions that you must suffer with Jesus who suffered on the cross imply company and nothing else.  This does not promise any comfort.  To really suffer with Jesus means you need to add in a new suffering, compassion.


God is regarded as all-loving and all-powerful. Yet the terrible suffering that engulfs the innocent of the earth shows every sign of being random and cruel. The doctrine of God urges us not to go by how it looks. It urges us to feel that despite how it looks, God is taking care of people and the suffering is allowed to happen for a good reason. It urges us to think that it is better to assume there is a divine plan and purpose behind all suffering than to think, "This suffering is totally inexcusable. When it happens, we will try to bring good out of it." It is obvious that the latter alone enables true compassion and healthy acceptance of the inevitability and uselessness of suffering. When you compare the two ideas, you see plainly which one is an insult to the suffering in the world. Those who try to make excuses for God in the face of the inexcusable are thereby silenced.
The Bible says suffering is a sign of loving chastisement from God. The book of Hebrews says that as fathers chastise their children so our chastisement from God proves we are God's children. That is illogical for God may chastise just because he is like a policeman. Does that Bible teaching that suffering is a divine gift of chastisement deny that good things and happy times are a sign of love then? Maybe it does. If we are suffering terribly and cruelly we will try very hard to feel that it proves we are loved and supported. Paradoxically Christians find it hard to feel loved when things are going good for the tendency to take things for granted arises easily. Trying to feel that every burst of agony is a gift will only leave you drained and cynical and worse off. It is actually better to see it for what it is - simply bad.

It is suspicious that God shows no consideration for making his plan look like a plan. A proper plan takes people's reaction into consideration. And if the plan is about our growth in wisdom it must look like a plan. We need to see evidence of a plan before we can be expected to take the huge risks that may be required in order to try and become part of it. And how are we supposed to learn from a majestic and noble plan that we cannot see?

The divine plan does not even look like a plan to us - it is just a guess that there is such a plan. People can call something a belief when it is a guess. The Christians are only guessing.

If there is no plan, and Christians are saying there is, then the plan is only in their heads. It is guessing that there is plan that gives comfort. But comfort got from a guess is weak and insecure and maybe more trouble than it is worth. Why not just guess that the bad things will lead to better things happening and leave it at that? An atheist can accept that. To say there is a plan when it is obvious that there is not is just condoning evil.

Why do religious people try to defend God and why do they want to? No matter how much you suffer, the fact remains that most suffering is not yours. You are one person against the billions who suffered. If you are defending God, it is because you feel he blesses you while others suffer. Even when you suffer you are often better off than most people. You are simply expressing pleasure that God lets other people suffer and be hurt while you are spared. Also, you may be afraid to suspect that the suffering that is allowed to happen is inexcusable but superstitiously you are afraid to say so in case God is offended and starts letting you get your fair share.

If faith in God's love is a crutch, it paradoxically is a malicious one!

The notion that there is an all-powerful all-good God implies that when he makes harmful viruses and bacteria he has a reason for it that justifies it. This is saying that God has a purpose for human suffering. But surely it is normal to doubt the existence of a good God any time you see somebody suffering unjustly and terribly? I am not saying disbelieve - I am talking about doubt. Decency would demand that you doubt. Doubt hurts especially in the face of such pain. It is not true that a believer in God should be happier than an atheist. The worse you suffer or another suffers the more grounds there are for doubt.

Telling yourself that certain things will be okay in the long run does not work at times. It can rub in how awful you feel. The pain will be worse if you think God should be supporting you and seems to have forsaken you. What about when you pray for others that they may get out of bother and strife? Why does telling yourself that God’s plan will help them help you feel better? It probably just does. You know fine well that you should not feel better about it just yet for even faith does not guarantee happiness and peace. A placebo is at work. Your good feelings about how you are praying for them is not down to God but to a placebo.

God alone matters. Jesus said you must love him with all your heart. He said you must love your neighbour as yourself but not with all your heart. If you are not to doubt the love or existence of God, then why not? Is it because it upsets you? Or is it because God does not deserve to be doubted? If God alone matters, then your upset is irrelevant. It is all about him. So believing in God to feel comforted would be a sin.

People who suffer may pray and think they have experienced the hand of God helping them. But their perception tells them that so it is more important for their comfort than God even if God did help. Your perception of God and what has happened is not God. It is what does the comforting. And how can you know if God helps? Religion says that God is going to do the right and best thing all the time so if you pray for something and get it you were going to get it anyway. Even if there is a God, answers to prayer are impossible. It would be arrogant idolatry to judge if God has done this or that. Only he can know what he has done. The comfort from answered prayer is really devotion to what God has done and not God himself. It is reification - confusing the abstract with God.

Even if it is true that some believers do not believe in God and religion in the absence of evidence, but because they are considering the evidence and really think it is all true, the fact remains that most believers have little or no regard for evidence. They want to be detached from reality. There can be no real comfort in such an attitude. If you take doctrine seriously and don't care about evidence then you simply don't care about truth. If that comforts you, it won't for long. There will be a savage wake-up call. And how could you trust people in your church if you think they are doing the same thing as you? And if there are believers in God who care about evidence, if they care, they will be open to evidence against God and that will take away their faith in God. They will then have to find faith in themselves.

Nature has built in the tendency to think and feel that terrible things happen to other people not me. We get a lot of comfort from that. People thank God for this stupid and awful and more or less callous attitude. That makes the alarm bells ring. When people thank God for how he protected them during the day, it is the tendency to think they are too special to be hurt badly and others are not, that is at work.

The tendency does have its advantages but the reality is that bad things can happen to anyone. We will cope terribly if we think we are somehow immune and when something happens. It is safer then to realise that life events are random and no magical power and no magician in Heaven is going to save you from accidents and misfortune. You are as vulnerable as the people whose lives are hell.

The tendency is based on magical thinking. We think some magic is protecting us and not others. Even atheists have the tendency. The rub is how to reduce it. It needs to be discouraged and reduced as much as possible because it is insulting to think that magic should save some and not others. It is not the kind of thing you should merely think - you need evidence. Religion makes it worse. Belief in God makes it worse. It is more evil to feel that others should suffer not you when you believe in an all-good God than it is if you are simply superstitious and think that magic randomly has its favourites for protecting from evil. Belief in God favouring you implies that others are dirt. At least with the magic you could be favoured for no reason - it's random.

Another thing that encourages the tendency is being part of a religious group. If you feel the group is the one true Church you will get a sense not only that you are protected but you are protected as a part of the religion God protects and guards.

Suppose two loving parents lose their child in a horrible agonising death. They comfort themselves in thinking their child went to God. But does it make sense to be happy that you child has gone to a God who let her suffer and die so terribly? They must think that God had no choice. But then does it make sense to be happy that your child is in the arms of a God who like us has to do things against his will? Belief in God only gives superficial relief. The underlying problem is still there. The clergy and the nuns delude themselves and get a warm glow from giving non-help. And the notion that the child was taken for God had no choice is judgemental. It implies that God may have had to do this to the child for he sensed that the child would grow up to be a ruthless drug-pusher or something. It might be a may but it is still judgemental.

Finally, religion is taking advantage of people's fear of being at the mercy of chance.  Yet even if God has a plan it might be so complicated that we may as well be at the mercy of chance!  It is dangerous to feel a plan is on your side if that is not in fact true.  If comfort is an illusion given by chance it will not last and you will wish you had been more realistic in the first place for now you suffer for the same reason that a poor person getting a crock of gold that vaporises is worse off for having got it despite a week of heavy spending.



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