God is a dick

Hospitals are grim. The media sensationalises medical happy endings, but the reality is that loads of people die in hospital. Not just the old. Pregnant ladies, toddlers, babies, orphans, what have you, they all die in hospitals; sometimes in pain, and sometimes alone.

I don’t feel bad about generalising the statement that most religious people perceive god to be an all loving god. Not all religions pitch up with claims of their god being a benevolent god, obviously there are exceptions, and not all general theists do either, but there aren’t really any religions that don’t worship, or pray to a ‘kind’ god, or rather, a god that is kind exclusively to his followers.

I think it makes sense to believe in an all loving god, in a way, if god was any less than all and infinitely loving, then what would I gain from believing in him that I can’t get from some nice friends and family? No, one of god’s main selling points must be his ability to be nicer to you than anyone human could possibly be, he needs it to make him at all worthwhile really.

 

Being kind is certainly not god’s only property, oh no – gods tend to be all powerful as well. They can control all that exists and manipulate it in any way they want. Can they create boulders that they can’t push? Yep – and they can push them. On top of all that, it seems a bit of tricky position to say that god is all powerful without being all knowing, so let’s chuck that property into the biscuit tin as well.

So then, let’s pretend for a second that there is a logical way of proving the existence of a creator – I’m not even sure than religious people would refute that it is difficult to ‘prove’ god without ‘faith’ in him. How can we make that critical step from ‘god’ to ‘kind god’ when so many innocent people die every day of horrible illnesses and injurys?

A Christian response to the problem of evil would be “god has a plan for everyone, it is just more complex than us to understand”. Bleh. How extremely self-deprecating and patronising. Have some faith in your self, for Christ’s sake, when you think that bad things are in fact bad. Try telling a grieving family member that when someone dies it is for a greater cause, just more than they can understand. It is on a level with wearing a t-shirt that says in big bright letters ‘I am emotionally stupid, and so are you’. Nope, that’s certainly a rubbish answer. If god’s plan is for 14 million people to die of H1N1, then his plan is not an all loving plan.

How about free will? With free will in the equation, it’s clear to see how god can be blameless when two thug stab one another to death. Or is it? He loves both of them of course, but he is fine with watching them murdering each other in the sake of protecting their sacred free will. It’s not like he could stop it from happening anymore than I could, thugs are pretty tough, you know. Oh wait no that’s not right; he is all powerful!

Imagine yourself getting savagely beaten outside cheapskates on an inconspicuous night out as an innocent bystander watches. You wouldn’t feel to bad if that bystander was a 12 year old girl, they wouldn’t be able to help. What if it was an 8 foot body builder? What if he was your best friend? Then you would be miffed. If we extrapolate the properties of our bystander so that they are infinitely strong, and infinitely loving, then I conclude that I would be infinitely miffed, and think that the bystander does not in fact love me at all. “Perhaps he simply doesn’t interact with the world?” – pah. Then why worship him?

What do we know about the way nature works? We know that bacteria, virus’s, all forms of life in fact, are interested in survival, and whatever cost. Nature is cruel, and those who are weak die, and in evolutionary terms, they should die. This isn’t a Nazi agenda I’m prattling off; it’s the way nature works. If there is a god, and if he does have all the wonderful properties that everyone claims he does, then he must be a dick.

Obviously not everyone in hospital dies, however, some do get better. Some respond surprisingly well to treatment. Who’s to thank?  A lot of people would thank god. It seems as though we’re both blaming and praising the wrong people.

Maybe I’ll go to the hellfire writing this, but then, again, if Abrahamic religions are on the money about god, then I’ve only him to thank for being an atheist. I may go to hell for following my nature, but I’ll certainly have the smug moral high ground. Although actually, I’m not too worried about hell. I happen to think that it’s not a real place.

Robby Vaughan

For some balance, Peter Woodward-Court, our news editor, has gracefully written a reply: http://108.179.231.111/~themedn6/2013/05/01/re-god-is-not-a-dick/

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