Theodicy

Let’s imagine you’re standing on a street corner and beside you is a young girl. A car comes to a screeching halt in front of you. Suddenly a door opens, a man rushes out, and he grabs the child. As she kicks and screams in resistance, it becomes clear to you that you’re witnessing an abduction, and it’s likewise clear that you’re the only person close enough to prevent it. Do you intervene?

No? Let’s further imagine that you’re incredibly powerful, so that your intervention can’t possibly fail or put you in any danger. Do you intervene?

No? Let’s assume that this girl is not a stranger but rather someone that you love dearly. Saving her will cause her to love and praise you for the rest of her life. You now have motive and incentive, too. Do you intervene?

No? Seriously??? Well, I shouldn’t be so surprised, because God would give the same answer.*

————————————————–

God claims to be omniscient and omnipresent, which puts Him at that street corner every time this situation arises. He’s omnipotent, so there’s never a question about whether He can prevent it. He loves you, so it makes sense that He doesn’t want to see you get hurt. He claims to protect you – he has the hairs of your head numbered – although I personally wonder why he doesn’t even protect these numbered hairs against the most routine shower, let alone from evil men who would want to hurt me.

This situation is not hypothetical. In the US alone, a child is kidnapped every other minute on average. Many of them are in no danger, but some of them are raped or beaten or killed. This happens under the watchful eye of a God who claims to hate such evil.

In many of the United States, it is illegal to simply watch a criminal act without intervening because of the Good Samaritan laws (you’ll notice the name is taken from a parable that Jesus told in which he admonished Jews to help a person that needed it, no matter who the person was). This intervention can be as simple as calling the police, which is perfectly acceptable (given the personal danger often involved). But I believe that the population in general doesn’t need to be threatened with prosecution in order to motivate us to action, because it’s against our nature. But isn’t it also against God’s nature? What’s His excuse?

This is the problem of Theodicy, and we should consider it solved. These attributes that we’ve given God aren’t all there (you’ll notice I cited scripture for each one). I believe God isn’t all of these things because He’s none of these things – He just doesn’t exist. But I can’t prove it.

But even if He did exist, then what is the real benefit of a relationship with Him? He has complete authority over you – he treats you like a slave (the apostle Paul even suggests that you be a bondservant, or “willing slave”). He punishes you when you disobey Him, and promises eternal torment if you distrust Him. And He doesn’t even protect you from natural disasters, accidents, or from the very evil that He claims to hate. On this basis, I strongly recommend that the Bride of Christ dump Him. You can do better.

-Supernova

*I’m assuming an answer of “no” throughout this series of questions, but if you answered “yes” then congratulations! You are more moral than God.

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About starcrashx

I love statistics. They drive my poker playing, my reasoning, and my research. As Penn Gillete said "Luck is probability taken personally". There's no such thing as luck... but I wish you positive chance. View all posts by starcrashx

3 responses to “Theodicy

  • J.M.

    What’s your basis for morality? Why should I help other people if it doesn’t benefit me? I guess I am stumbling towards the argument some would make that without God there is no basis for morality, therefore the action of ignoring violence against someone isn’t wrong. Yet, we really do think it is. So, the question that is challenging to answer has shifted from “If there is a god, why doesn’t he intervene?” to “If there is no god, then why do I have a sense of morality?”
    Do you have recommendations for other explanations for morality, perhaps biological? I think Dawkins may have written about this, but you would know better. Thanks for your time.

    • starcrashx

      Forget about Dawkins – I wrote about this, a few blogs back (“Where Do Morals Come From?” https://starcrashx.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/where-do-morals-come-from/) and just assumed my readers had already seen this.

      Causing pain and suffering is immoral, so kidnapping (and of course raping) an innocent child is immoral – but I hardly think it should even need to be said that immorality does happen, and does claim victims, and that this happens in a world that is supposedly under God’s watchful eye. This is the only thing that you need to assume in order for my argument to have a rational basis.

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