By James A. Haught | 1 June 2023
Any intelligent person can prove that the Christian god doesn’t exist. All it takes is some obvious logic.
Churches say a divine creator made everything, and reigns invisibly as an all-loving, all-powerful deity. But thousands of cruelties and horrors around us flatly contradict this doctrine.
About 1,500 American babies are born each year with spina bifida, a vertebra gap that can mean lifelong paralysis. Many other babies arrive with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, blindness, deafness, hydrocephalia, cleft palate, retardation and a whole array of birth defects. Why did God create those defects? Or, if nature created them, why doesn’t he prevent them? Does he shrug off the agony of the children, or is he powerless to do anything about it?
Why did God create (or not prevent) the Covid 19 pandemic that has killed seven million people globally? Ditto for breast cancer in women, leukemia that kills children, and multitudes of other dread diseases that afflict humanity?
Why did God cause (or not prevent) the Christmas tsunami that drowned 200,000 Indian Ocean people, half of them children? Ditto for earthquakes, hurricanes, twisters, floods, wildfires and other deadly disasters?
Why did God design predators – wolves, foxes, coyotes, panthers, bobcats, cougars, hawks, falcons, eagles, lions, tigers, cheetahs, jackals, hyenas, etc. – who cannot survive unless they kill and eat innocent creatures? In the ocean, nearly every fish swallows smaller fish. Is this the divine plan of a “God of infinite mercy”?
"A few thinkers have perceived the falsity of faith."
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) May 12, 2023
In philosophy, this clear evidence is called “the problem of evil.” It began in Ancient Greece with Epicurus 2,300 years ago. It doesn’t rule out a vicious God, or a helpless one, but it proves that the proclaimed loving Father and almighty ruler isn’t there.
For millennia, theologians have struggled to find an answer to the quandary. Their effort is called “theodicy.” But it always fails. I think it should be called “the idiocy.”
Mark Twain saw the dilemma. In Letters From the Earth, he wrote:
“The spider kills the fly, and eats it; the bird kills the spider, and eats it; the wildcat kills the goose – well, they all kill each other. It is murder all along the line. Here are countless multitudes of creatures and they all kill, kill, kill, they are all murderers.” He said the predators follow “the law of God.”
Charles Templeton was a famed Canadian evangelist and partner of Billy Graham. But he began to doubt the Christian faith. He finally quit the church and wrote Farewell to God, in which he declared:
“All life is predicated on death. Every carnivorous creature must kill and devour another creature. It has no option. Why does God’s grand design require creatures with teeth designed to crush spines or rend flesh, claws fashioned to seize and tear, venom to paralyze, mouths to suck blood, coils to constrict and smother – even expandable jaws so that prey may be swallowed whole and alive? … Nature is, in Tennyson’s vivid phrase, ‘red in tooth and claw,’ and life is a carnival of blood…. How could a loving and omnipotent God create such horrors?”
For 2,300 years, this profound question has destroyed the claim of a compassionate, omnipotent deity. But the church has skyrocketed anyway, without seeming to notice that it’s logically impossible.
Reprinted with permission from the author.
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) March 18, 2019
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