A couple questions for atheists on Suffering

by little_Socrates 102 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cofty
    As absurd as the question is I want to know, for an atheist, what makes suffering evil?

    Who said it was "evil"?

    Since you admit your question is absurd why are you still asking it?

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    @ little_Socrates:

    "If you where God and could eliminate suffering what would the world look like?"

    If I were to play god I would do the following:

    • Eliminate all psychopaths and the genes in non-psychopaths that determine, when mixed with the other parent's genes, the type of brain psychopaths have. Yes it is neurological.
    • Eliminate the genes for congenital diseases and eliminate all organisms that cause diseases in human beings (although they might re-evolve again).
    • Increase a sense of altruism within humans.
    • Restructure society to a more humane one that eliminates alienation and increases a sense of community.
    • I would still allow suffering for grieving and other situations were it would be appropriate. A person who doesn't suffer under those circumstances is not fully human.

    "The Atheists argument is... the world does not appear as though it has been created by a loving God so therefore no God."

    The Universe shows signs of order and disorder but not intelligence. Think of all the suffering that life forms on other planets would go through when two galaxies crash together or when a supernova incinerates everything within several light years. There is no "love" in that. Any god who would have created that must be callous and above, or beneath, a sense of love and morality.

    There you have it.

  • EdenOne

    The only time suffering is aptly qualified as "evil" is when it's unecessarily inflicted by a human upon another human. Everything else is just random chance, even something as horrific as the Tsunami of 2004.


  • Viviane
    In and of itself that is a pretty horrible event. However when taken as a whole with the whole human condition it doesn't make the world an evil place.

    No one said it did. But, you said the ENTIRE human experience was beautiful. You are calling that beautiful. You are calling the deaths from the tsunami beautiful. You are calling every miscarriage beautiful. You are calling every death of a child beautiful.

    Even if your argument is that it averages out, you would be arguing that it's OK to give you poison, making you sick because it averages out. Do you really want to start decided and comparing a child being raped and saying it's OK because someone else had a nice day?


  • cofty

    Theists have such low expectations for their omnipotent deity.

    "Never mind all the earthquakes, floods, droughts, volcanoes, tsunamis, childhood cancers, parasites and all of that trivial stuff. Those hummingbirds were f***ing awesome"

  • OnTheWayOut

    I don't want to spoil my answer by reading other fine answers, so I will skip reading until later.

    Who told you that the world should be free from suffering?

    Not even addressing the fallen condition of man described in the Bible which necessitates "the Law" and the "ransom." Let's just go right to birth defects and child abuse and the 2004 tsunami that swept away tens of thousands of children and the 2010 Haiti earthquake that also killed tens of thousands of children and maimed others. What jerk of a god stands by and lets that happen? A "God" could have easily just caused such a thing as a tragic tsunami or earthquake to not happen rather than provide a revealed miracle.

    Do you find any value in suffering?

    If people got some value out of the disaster, the price was too high. The agony of parents and grandparents and siblings was too much to ask for even if all those children get some future reward. If people get some value out of knowing about child abuse, the abuse for even one child is a price too high.

    Do you think it is possible to experience all the beauty and goodness and pleasure the world offers without also experiencing the bad? Isn't good only good because we know what bad is? If there was only good would it really be "good"?

    I have heard that and don't go along with it. I get that challenged people do more than unchallenged people, but I don't believe we need tens of thousands of children to die so that people can appreciate surviving. We could easily discuss the beauty and goodness and pleasure that children can find in a world without traumatic and sexual abuse.

    If you where God and could eliminate suffering what would the world look like? Or conversely if there was a loving God what should we expect the world to look like?

    I don't typically bother with such a "what if" question because the inquisitor simply says that there are reasons my way can't be the way. But I will answer part of it. No children would be born with mental and physical defects that cause pain or extremely difficult lives. People who abuse children would be revealed in public before I would assign them to oblivion.

  • OnTheWayOut
    From page 1: I am just trying to turn it around and see if I can get atheists to defend and explain their positions. Usually theists are the ones that always have to defend themselves :smile:

    First of all, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!! That's rich. I don't believe in the garden of Eden and all the unsupported miracles in the Bible and God has not shown himself, but I have to defend my position. Please defend your nonbelief in any of the myriads of gods of mankind.

    If some suffering is useful and valuable, where do you draw the line to what is just pure evil?

    I am pretty sure I answered that in my last comment and Cofty answered similarly.

    I want to add that with all the thoughts on the benefits of suffering, LS must think that God and the angels are really lacking because they don't suffer. And if you say they suffer through us, then why can't we suffer through the agony of plants or nonliving matter?

  • Heaven

    The entire human experience is beautiful.

    Uh, no it isn't. How old are you?

  • StrongHaiku

    Who told you that the world should be free from suffering?

    Jehovah's Witnesses taught me that. They taught me that all suffering started with the original sin and someday we would all be free from it. They taught me that human imperfection, Satan, our lack of a direct relationship to God, etc. were to blame.

    Now, I know better. As an atheist, I now know that there is suffering comes from a variety of sources; from an impersonal nature (e.g. earthquakes, hurricanes, diseases), bad people (e.g. selfishness, greed), bad circumstances (e.g. car accidents), bad decisions, etc.

    As an atheist, I hold to the idea that if we really want to make the world "free from suffering" it will be up to the human species to do so. This would take a lot of work and a lot of time and a lot of resources. We make progress and sometimes we take three steps forward and two steps back. And, ultimately some problems may not be solvable. Regardless, I have no illusion that addressing suffering will be taken care of by anyone but us.

  • Giordano

    This is precisely why non believer's get grumpy with believers. A believer in a perfect and loving God is delusional.

    What you need to focus on is that belief in itself has an evil component. It is mandated that one commits evil things in every holy book out there. From burning and stoning people to mass genocide.

    • Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
    • Steven Weinberg

Share with others