The problem of evil is a huge problem that the church has spent thousands of years excusing. One of the usual excuses I get when I am forced to discuss this matter with religious people is the idea that ‘god’ gives people ‘free will’ and he doesn’t interfere with that because that would not be loving.
I love my kids. I mean, I would probably jump in front of a bullet for them. OK, I’m putting myself too high on a pedestal since I have no idea how I would act in a situation like that. But I do know that if one of my lovely children, each of whom I encourage to think and act for themselves, decided to murder or rape or bully or…well, anything bad like that, I would do everything in my power to stop them.
I would never just sit back and say, “Well, the kid has his own mind and I should just let him do whatever he wants and he’ll just have to deal with the consequences of his decisions.”
And, just like that, I’m more moral than your god.
I have a lot of friends who are Agnostic and many more who believe in some sort of deity. I know that being a full-fledged Atheist is frowned upon due to the lack of ability to either prove or disprove god, but to me, if there is a god, it raises so many more problems than it solves. If there is a god who was powerful enough to set all this in motion, then chose to sit back and watch it unfold like a bad reality TV show, it must be the sickest, most sadistic being that ever was.
Humans invented god so they would not feel alone and in order to explain everything they didn’t understand. I’d like to believe that the more we understand of science, at least the latter excuse will eventually disappear.
The former never will.
There will never be a time, so long as humans exist, when there are zero lonely human beings in the world. Loneliness is a real problem. Religion offers a quixotic solution. But we don’t live in that sort of world, therefore, the person who buys into the ‘god is always with you so you’re never alone’ hype, had either get really good at lying, especially to themselves, or they will drift off to the next thing that offers the dream of never being alone.
Most people in the world are alone. It sucks. I know. But pretending in some invisible being who has never helped me in any situation, who refused to stop my parents’ abuse, the neighbor’s abuse, and that of the babysitter or my ex, simply because it wanted these people to have their own free-will, is far too masochistic for me. I refuse to submit myself to that abuse as well.
Supposedly, religion brings people peace. So far, in my conversations post-deconversion, it really sounds as if the peace the people have is a product of their own minds. Just as reading about science or working out math problems gives me peace, these people find that believing there is some sort of quasi-omniscient being out there watching over them, yet not intervening, as they suffer gives them peace.
So long as there are lonely people, there will be charlatans who will convince them that obedience to whatever it is the charlatan has said about the supposed deity will help them to feel as if someone loves them.
It’s a sweet deal for the sellers, whether they are getting money out of it or not. I mean, all they have to do is tell you that following the deity will make you not be lonely anymore, and then they can go on their way without actually ever doing anything about loneliness. It’s like some sort of twisted pyramid scheme that only ends well for those who can perform the mental gymnastics needed to achieve that promised ‘happy ending.’