Evil, Christianity,
and the Epicurean Riddle
Shawn Brinley

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The Argument from Evil states that if God existed, we could assume he would be both willing and able to reduce the evil in our world. (Evil, in the strongest form of the argument, means suffering and premature death.) However, premature deaths and suffering prevail on this planet; therefore, no such god exists.

 

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "shawn"
Subject: Re: Evil in world and Christianity
Date: October 28, 2003 4:16 AM

How does the untold suffering and wanton waste in the animal world "correct" humans?

And what kind of "correction" did my little brother get? He didn't get to live long enough to even learn how to talk! Some education!

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"Uh, you have a learning disability, son. The Principal and I had a little talk about your problem last week. We decided that the best way to correct your little problem, the method that is the most consistent with the ways of our Loving God, would be if we were to take you out to the main gate and have the elders of the city put you to death!"

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Brazenly warped is this concept of "loving," I surmise! Besides, what kind of "correction" would the poor fellow even NEED at such a young age? Or do you think your god was "correcting" my parents for sacrificially providing a home and a name for more than one orphaned child? Maybe He was warning others not to adopt parentless children because you cannot know the genetic makeup and therefore cannot know which congenital diseases to which they might be susceptible, and they might die in your arms.

Wha...? A grieving mother, herself sick unto death just from fear, clutching a dying child, holding on to him for dear life as if by so doing she might somehow keep him from "going" -- while an allegedly loving, supposedly all-powerful deity watches? There's something terribly wrong with this picture! What could the child have done to deserve this? For that matter, what untold evil could the mother have done? No! This is not a realistic story, but an insidiously brutal mindfuck invented by barbaric rulers to keep a peasant class in line! The only reason this doctrine survives to this day is because for fifteen hundred years those rulers tortured and killed anybody who spoke out against their policy of deception and mind control.

This is what the Epicurean Riddle is trying to point out!

Whenever I think it might be appropriate to get a little judgmental against my parents, I merely think about what good they did and my judgmental attitude instantly transforms into one of pure appreciation. Perhaps my sense of morality is superior to that of your Creator? Naw, I don't think so. Perhaps your Creator is merely a creation? a figment of some control-freak's imagination!? Hah! As Bugs Bunny might say, "Ya gittin WAHmuh, Doc!"

The Epicurean Riddle is not designed to provide a complete refutation of the popular claim that a deity exists who is both powerful and loving. If anything, it is a pointedly humorous look at the serious problems with that most disagreeably depressing doctrine. Even so, your objection to the Epicurean Riddle has not helped us (editorial "we") in our quest to stop being atheists and to join the human community, being accepted as fully human because we have come to the belief that gods and goddesses (and their consorts) exist.

Nevertheless, your objection the behavior of certain religious practitioners does help us come closer to accepting the fact that the behavior has more to do with the hatred boiling away inside a certain human than it has to do with religious faith. True, certain religious teachings lend themselves easily to becoming tools of such hatred. However, there are enough constructive teachings contained in Christian lore that one wonders where anybody can find the time to explore the bitterness that also resides in that lore!

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Eight years of service to people
    with no reason to believe

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