The pandemic gripping the world raises the age-old philosophical dilemma called "the problem of evil"—which asks why a supposedly all-loving God does nothing to stop horrors like diseases, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and the like. If there's an all-merciful father-creator, why did he make breast cancer, childhood leukemia, cerebral palsy, natural disasters, and predator animals that rip peaceful grazers apart?
Blaise Pascal is famous for, among other things, devising an argument for belief in God's existence even in the absence of good reasons to believe in God. He proposed that a rational person would reason that if God does not exist, then either believing or not believing that He does exist would cost nothing. But a rational person would also reason that if God does in fact exist, then failing to believe that He does would cost personal salvation. Does Pascal's wager really work? Would a rational person place greater value on a questionable promise of benefit than on intellectual rigor? How rational would a parallel belief in "Philo's benefactor" be, and what does the answer to that question tell us about the reasonableness of forming beliefs on the basis of Pascal's wager?
"Banished from Eden" is the story of my efforts to find religious answers to the brutal murder of my son. It's an in-depth emotional and intellectual journey from my struggles to reconcile religion with reality to my rejection of religion as an answer to anything.
Monotheists believe that a purposeful being (God) created the universe. But why did he create it? In this essay Michael D. Reynolds aims to show that there is no plausible answer, and that there are cogent reasons why God would not have desired to make a universe.
There are a lot of questions that I would like to ask god. The trouble is that god's answers would lead to many more questions, so my questions would have to become a conversation, delving ever deeper into god's answers. From what is said about god he might not like that. God seems to want unconditional obedience, not question and answer sessions. In any case, I here put forth my questions.
Could God, in effect, embrace some or many of the tenets of atheism? This entertaining short story seems to suggest that possibility.
Bible-believers obstinately argue that the divinely sanctioned massacres in the Bible were morally justified--even an example of God's goodness and mercy! If, however, we begin with the assumption that God did, in fact, order those biblical massacres, then let us ask if God is truly good. If this is to be a reasoned inquiry, then we must begin with the possibility that God may or may not be morally perfect. All possibilities must be on the table at the start of an objective inquiry; the evidence must decide, not preconceived doctrine. Are these massacres more likely the work of a morally perfect god or are they more likely the work of a morally defective god?
Job is the ultimate biblical hero. His long-suffering and unflinching faith is legendary and the stuff of great sermons and Sunday school lessons, and in the end Job is rewarded for his continued faith in the face of adversity. The standard interpretation of Job is that we should use him as a role model, accept adversity unquestionably, and never question God. But a critical interpretation reveals that God was the villain of the book, undeserving of Job's—or anyone's—devotion.
In spite of its popularity, the traditional Christian doctrine of heaven and hell is riddled with problems. It implies that God is cruel, unjust, and evil, and it contradicts fundamental Christian doctrines. One does not need to dig very deep to uncover these problems.
Apophatic theology is yet another attempt to explore the meaning of God, in this case, by negationâ€”to speak only in terms of what may not be said about the arcane being that believers call God. At first blush this doesn't seem like too bad an idea, since all previous attempts to explain God by telling us what He is and how He does operate leads most intelligent people to roll their eyes in disbelief at the twisted logic in which the explainers engage.
"Today we desperately need a new God—a God that is not an insult to our intelligence—a God that is as great as the endless cosmos. We need a just God that does not have chosen galaxies and a preferred life form—a life form that is told to slaughter other life forms. We desperately need a God that commands that we think, instead of believe and worship. We need a God to civilize us, not one that makes us savages." Robert Wright has made that effort."
God is propaganda. And to narrow the term, God is a rhetorical device of propaganda. "Godisms" are the rhetorical use of God to justify a claim, affect cheap profundity, or instill instant importance to any bit of trash.
In his twilight years, unknown to his adoring public, the venerable Twain spewed relentless venom on his Maker.