The Problem of Evil – Response to Ep. 1 of The Atheists’s Handbook Podcast

The first podcast I listened to in my effort to expose myself to opposing viewpoints was Episode 1 of The Atheist Handbook, by Paul Timothy Davis. This podcast is by a Christian who is countering many of the arguments that atheists give against the existence of the Christian definition of god.

The Problem of Evil is essentially this: how can there be a loving god if there’s so much evil in the world? Davis names some of this evil: school shootings, 9/11, the holocaust, 3rd world countries, the sex slave trade, suicide bombings, scam artists.

My first complaint is that Davis misrepresents the atheist’s position slightly. He says that atheists as how could there be a god if there is so much evil, but really the question is how can there be a loving, omnipotent god.

The Problem of Evil argument isn’t an argument against the existence of any god or gods, it’s an argument agains the Christian definition of god. From this point forward in this post, when I capitalize “God” I’m referring to the Christian god: loving, omniscient, omnipotent.

Davis breaks down the Problem of Evil into four points:
1. Either God doesn’t care, which means he doesn’t love us.
2. God can’t stop evil, which means he’s not all powerful.
3. God created evil, which means he isn’t good.
4. God chooses not to stop evil, which means it’s his fault.

All of these points mesh with my reasoning as to why God cannot exist.

I think it’s important at this point to give Davis’s definition of evil, which he gives later in the podcast: “Evil is a term we use to describe the actions of humans that result in harm or destruction towards things or people.” (For the record, I do not agree with this definition).

This got a bit long, so I split it up…click below to continue reading…

Davis starts by looking at 1 & 2 together: Does God care about evil and can he stop it?

He says that since God always stays the same and is unchanging, so we can look at examples in the past to give us a picture of how God will deal with evil in the future.

The examples he gives are Genesis 7 (worldwide flood, he kills everyone), Genesis 19 (Sodom & Gemorrah – God destroyed the city) and Exodus 32 (when Moses is on the mountain everyone else worships a golden cow, God makes the Levites kill the people who were worshipping the cow – 3,000 slaughtered. So, Davis explains, this shows that God is not powerless to stop evil, that to deal with evil God kills people.

I don’t understand how this is a satisfactory explanation for Davis. I’m going to put aside the fact that there’s no evidence corroborating these stories, and pretend for now that they’re all true. First, Davis gives these examples as reasons to think that God is all powerful, but really, humans have developed the power to wipe out populations of people, so how is this showing any kind of higher power? Can’t God just magic people dead? And in order to kill evil people why does he also have to, in the example of the flood, wipe out innocent animals, in S&G, destroy the city, and in Exodus 32, force the Levites to become murderers.

And second, Why can’t God just smite the people who are doing evil? If the only way to stop evil is to kill evil people, then leave the innocent babies alone. Many of the people in these three Bible stories aren’t even evil according to Davis’s definition. How are the 3,000 who are worshipping the golden cow causing harm or destruction? In Genesis 19, Davis says that Lot’s wife is killed simply because she looks back at S&G, how is that evil? It seems to me that Davis’s definition of evil is actually “Evil is a term we use to describe the actions of people that go against God’s word.”

In all three Bible stories Davis referred to, God seems to be the one doing the most evil.

Davis then goes on to contradict himself. He first said that God is unchanging, but now he says that God changed how he deals with evil: now, God simply tells you to follow in Jesus’s footsteps. Ugh. Davis said Jesus died for evil people, so I guess now all of a sudden it doesn’t matter if you do harm? As long as you accept Jesus, right John 3:16? This is a head scratcher for me…how does Davis not understand that even though Jesus came to save us all, there’s still evil, and it’s still not being stopped by anyone?

Okay onto number 3: Did God create evil?

Davis’s answer? No, it’s not possible to create evil. Can you draw a picture of evil? What does evil look like? Oh, evil’s not a thing? See, then it can’t be created. Davis pretty much says that evil is a side effect of the creation of humans, that if we have good in us then we have to have evil. So God can’t create people without the ability to do evil, doesn’t this mean God is not all-powerful?

So this got me wondering, what is it like in heaven? If it’s not possible to have good without evil, then isn’t there evil in heaven? Or is God able to eliminate evil in heaven but not on earth? Also, why did God even bother with flooding the earth and wiping out all of the evil people? Did he forget that everyone has the capacity to do evil and that surely evil would still continue in the post-flood world?

Number 4 now…Does God choose to allow evil?

Davis says that the only way that God can end evil is to kill people. Again, contradicting God’s omnipotence.

He also says that the atheists who are asking why God doesn’t kill evil people should stop because since atheists don’t believe in God, they are evil would have to die. But atheists don’t fit into Davis’s definition of evil. Also, as an atheist I wouldn’t ask why God doesn’t kill evil people, I would ask why God doesn’t stop people from doing evil. If I was an omnipotent God and I wanted to stop an evil person from doing harm to others, I would just keep an eye on that person and disappear the knife or the gun or block their punches etc. An easy and peaceful solution!

Davis then goes on to say that God would end all evil when Jesus comes back. Ummm so isn’t he saying that God can stop evil (presumably without smiting everyone), and why doesn’t he just do it now???

Davis ends with a couple of analogies that he things show why even though God doesn’t stop evil, it’s not his fault that evil happens. He says that if he (Davis) knew there was a bomb in a Church and he didn’t stop it then it would be his fault because he’s ignoring his duty to save lives. I agree. But Davis doesn’t think that God can be guilty of negligence, because God warned us, he told us what would happen if we did evil. I have to disagree, I’ve never gotten any warnings from God.

His second analogy is awful: God makes a building and puts people in it. He tells them to only use the green doors, and if you use the red doors you’ll die. He knows that someone is going to use the red door but doesn’t stop them. Davis says this isn’t God’s fault because he warned them.

In my opinion in this analogy God is evil for making the red door, especially since He knew in advance that someone would use it. What a jerk!

In conclusion, Davis didn’t give a single good reason to make me think that there could possibly an all-powerful and loving God.

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23 Responses to “The Problem of Evil – Response to Ep. 1 of The Atheists’s Handbook Podcast”


  1. 1 Shamelessly Atheist December 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Yup. This is why it’s called ‘aplogetics’. I’d be apologizing, too, if I were to present such self-inconsistent arguments. Apologizing a lot.

  2. 2 kevinbbg December 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    And it isn’t just the actions of people, why does god allow earthquakes and tsunamis that kill thousands of people, why does he allow fatal diseases like cancer?

    The god-believers just never seem to grasp the idea of omnipotence, one guy told me that God can do whatever is possible to do, limited omnipotence! What a concept, kind of like Military intelligence or jumbo shrimp.

    They also have very limited imaginations, I can keep coming up with worlds far better than this one, like what if we all healed like Wolverine, no disease would bother us and we would recover from most violence. Not perfect but a lot better than what we have now. They think god wasn’t capable of creating a world any different than this one. There goes that omnipotence again.

    The bit about heaven is a good one that often stumps them, if this world is the best God can do then heaven must be just like Earth, or if heaven is possible as pain free and evil free then this world never needed to have them at all and God is just a sadist. There can’t be any other reason for all the human suffering over centuries. If he wanted people in heaven why not just put us there in the first place? Why go through the sadistic exercise we call Earth? What’s the point? To learn? Why? God could make us knowing whatever it was he wanted us to know.

  3. 3 EnlightningLinZ December 21, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    That’s a fun exercise, thinking of how, if we were all powerful, we could make this world better. I would evenly distribute fresh, clean drinking water throughout every country…I would not allow earthquakes…I would never have allowed pedophelia, yeesh can’t their all-powerful god take care of one of these things?

    Fantastic point about heaven.

  4. 4 Fabiooltje December 22, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Thanks for a good read. You crushed this man’s reasoning by just thinking clearly.

    And indeed, any natural disaster should be a good reason for God just to come on down and fix it… It’s an evil that is not caused by humans (and their free will), it causes suffering… Why doesn’t he stop it?

    (You could say that natural disasters are caused by God too, because he has created an imperfect world… either because he didn’t want it to be perfect, or because he couldn’t make it perfect!).

  5. 5 Valentin December 22, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Hey! Nice blog, I only read a few articles. Got here through reddit. I’m sorry that you don’t believe in Jesus anymore.

    My opinion is that God can and will do away with all the evil, He said that He will do that and make a new Earth at the Second Coming. God doesn’t need anyone defending him, we can only defend our own faith in Him. Everything He does is perfect, and if we can’t see it as perfect and accuse him, we are only liers (like the devil, which means slanderer).

    I believe it’s very hard to get into Heaven, that’s what is says in the Bible, that a lot of people choose the wide way and not take the small road of the cross. I also believe that only saints will go to Heaven and there will be God and the good angels. So that’s why evil will be banished there. We will all be good and want good and only good. This is what God wants also.

    In my opionion evil is explained partly by two things:
    1. We are free. We can make our own decisions and are free to go against God if we wish to do so. God restricts His all-powerfullness so that we can express ourselves against Him. Our freedom is important, because we should love God of our own free will and not be made to love Him.

    2. God wishes to give us a greater gift, and everything we experience here pales into comparison. If you cut your finger, it will hurt for a while then heal, after a year you will probably forget about it. We have to remember that God promised we will be restored, we will rise again, all of us, not just the people who believed. Depending on our faith and how we acted based on that faith we will go and be with God whom we loved and wanted in this life or we will keep rejecting Him and not be with Him, this will be hell.

    I’m struggling with my passions every day, because I ignored God for most of my life. I can’t say that Jesus is not God, because I have learned and read a lot and I know He is God. My struggles are with accepting what He asks of us (I mean going on a path of beign saintly, “consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” Lev 11:44), which is a struggle we will have for the rest of our lives.

    I find it helps to read about the martyrs of the apostolic church (before 313 when Emperor Constantine legalised the practice of christianity publicly).

    I hope you have a great day and keep an open mind.

    Valentin

  6. 6 dirtyduo December 22, 2009 at 9:40 am

    First, I think it is important to give credit to the original author of this argument, Epicurus. Also, there is one scenario you left out and that is God not knowing the evil exist. I think the Problem of Evil is best described in this very brief set of rules:
    1. If the Christian God exist, he is omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent.
    2. If he is omnipotent, he has the power to eliminate all evils.
    3. If he is omniscient, he knows when evil exist.
    4. If he is benevolent, he is all good and should have the *desire* to eliminate all evils.
    5. Evil exists.
    6. Either God does not have the power, the knowledge, or the will to eliminate these evils.
    7. The Christian God does not exist.

    I like where you were going and I too have reasoned that this is not just an argument against the existence of God, but rather that if he does indeed exist, he is either not all good, all powerful, and all knowing. And I think it quite possible that if God does exist, which I don’t think he does, but if he does, he is at least somewhat evil.

    It should also be noted that God could eliminate many of the evils without “interfering” with our free-will. The bomb example was good but my professor used this one: Say a baby was sitting in the doorway of a house that was on fire. A fireman walks by and so happened to be wearing all his protective gear. He could easily save the baby with no harm to himself, but instead keeps walking and allows the baby to suffer a horribly painful death. Could you call that man good? God does that everyday, that is, if he exist.

  7. 7 Global Villager December 22, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    There were 13 men on the field for the last second FG in this year’s Grey Cup – denying obnoxious Saskatchewan Roughrider fans a championship.

    The Leafs suck every year – making the centre of the universe more tolerable.

    God must exist.

    Linzee I know that you are Canadian so you might appreciate this more than others.

  8. 8 Global Villager December 22, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I enjoy when athletes and fans thank god when their team wins championships.

    Do they not understand that they are telling the losing team that god hates them?

    Talk about kicking someone when they are down and out.

  9. 9 EnlightningLinZ December 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Global Villager – Was the 13th man Jesus? Obviously Jesus is a Montreal fan!

  10. 10 EnlightningLinZ December 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Valentin –

    To answer your 2 points…

    1. Is there free will in heaven? If so, is there evil in heaven? And why doesn’t god stop earthquakes and droughts? That would certainly eliminate a lot of hurt without restricting our free will.

    2. Can you please re-state that in different wording? Because it sounds horrible and incredibly immoral to me. It sounds like God puts us here and allows us to be tortured during our lives because we get heaven after we die…oh, but not if you don’t have faith, then you get to burn in hell for eternity. Fun times.

    How would reading about martyrs help me? Any god that wants people to kill themselves in his name is evil and incredibly egotistical.

    You ask me to keep an open mind, I assure you I have one…I would like you to keep an open mind as well to the idea that all of this stuff you read in the Bible may not be true, and that perhaps the existence of evil really is good evidence that there’s no loving god up there. If there is a god, your excuses for his sorry behaviour don’t even close to measure up.

    A 22 year old girl I know was killed this Christmas eve in a tragic car accident. What kind of loving god would allow that to happen?

  11. 11 EnlightningLinZ December 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    dirtyduo – thanks for telling me about Epicurus’s argument…I hadn’t read it before.

  12. 12 jwscholar January 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    I’d like to comment, if I may, from the Christian perspective.

    1. God’s primary motivation is His glory.
    2. Allowing evil–and punishing it–glorifies His justice.
    3. Allowing evil and, for some people, taking the punishment on Himself, glorifies His grace and mercy.
    4. Allowing evil further accentuates His holiness.

    Without evil, neither His justice, grace, nor mercy would be observed, let alone glorified.

    How does this fit with God being a loving God? Quite simple. He shows his love, first to unbelievers by suffering them to live in defiance of Him, and to Christians by pardoning their sins and taking the punishment upon Himself.

    If we redefine “love”, as our culture has done, and try to fit *that* definition on God, then no, it doesn’t fit. But if we take the Bible’s definition of God’s love, it fits perfectly together.

    Interesting note–while our culture has one word for love, the Greek language had several for different kinds of love–the love of brother to brother, man to wife, etc.

    God bless,

    Jon

  13. 13 EnlightningLinZ January 2, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Hi jwscholar, thanks for your comment.

    I have to ask about your #1 – God’s primary motivation is his glory. – Do you honestly think that’s a good motivation to do something? Do you honestly believe that a god that’s that egotistical is worthy of your worship?

    2, 3 and 4 are just nonsensical to me, I’m sorry. I don’t see how allowing evil can glorify his justice, grace, mercy, or holiness. If god needs there to be evil to glorify himself, then does evil exist in heaven?

    You said: “He shows his love, first to unbelievers by suffering them to live in defiance of Him” – do you honestly think this is loving? What is the Bible’s definition of love? From what you said in your comment it doesn’t sound like any kind of love I want to experience.

    I have to wonder why somebody would feel the need to worship a god that they have to make so many excuses for. You have to go to such lengths to pardon god’s atrocities, is it just fear of punishment that makes you continue to worship him?

    I’m sure none of those Greek kinds of love involve inflicting suffering upon people who don’t worship you.

  14. 14 Valentin January 4, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Hi again Lindsay, sorry for the delay in responding, I was busy with the holidays and the New Year. Happy New Year! 🙂 and I wish you all the best for you and your family.

    First let me assure you that I am in no way capable of answering your questions correctly (meaning in a way in which a holy man would). I think my answers are more on the rational side. That being said…

    1. Is there free will in heaven?
    I think there is.

    If so, is there evil in heaven?
    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness[…]” Gen 1:26

    There is no evil in Heaven. Everyone thinks and does in accordance with God’s will, no one is against God and God rules Heaven. When we are created we are created in the image of God and with the possibility (our free will – choice) to become the like of God. Using an example: if God is the sun generating light, then we are mirrors which reflect the light, so we shine also, but by reflecting God, not by being gods in our essence.

    <>

    I don’t know why this is so. In Ecclesiastes 3 Solomon ponders:

    1 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under heaven:

    2 a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build
    This doesn’t answer your question, but I don’t think you expect an answer so light as a blog comment, you could probably write your degree paper on this subject alone.

    2. <>

    If your mother is sick and in order to be healed the doctor asks her to take a medicine that tastes horribly and makes your stomach feel sick. And in addition she needs to stop eating some of the food and do some type of exercise that helps her illness but is very strenuous. She is free to chose to take the treatment and suffer, or don’t take it and die. This is our freedom as well.

    Or an even simpler example. Take a vaccine, it hurts for a few seconds when you are stung with the syringe, but you know it will protect you for a long time. Compare our lives with eternity, what is a second compared to a year, what is a second compared to our lives, what is a second compared to an infinity.

    <>

    I don’t know how it would help you, but I can tell you what I got from that: God does not torture people, other people torture people. They are free to chose to deny God and worship the roman gods (this was happening first in roman times) but they chose on their own free will to worship God and go through all that torture, because they understand that this life is nothing compared to the eternity awaiting them and not being with God for eternity is the worst thing that could happen.

    So, my opinion is that God does not want people to kill themselves. He allows this for a second so that people can show what their free will is. Some people chose to torture other people, some people chose to love God.

    Suffering does not equal evil. Sin equals evil. Jesus suffered on the cross and he forgave His enemies on the cross. If you put things in perspective you can see that a vaccine that keeps you from sinning (going against God).

    <>

    I do keep an open mind, but in my opinion this means that I need to know more. And in order to do that I began reading more about God, about Jesus in 2006, then in 2007 I moved from the US back to my country and went back to school, this time in orthodox theology, and I kept reading, and every time I read more my questions are answered, some stay, but everything is more and more coherent. The hardest part is to live according to your belief, once you start believing.

    So, my suggestion is to keep reading, keep asking questions, and keep praying, even by saying: God I do not believe you exist, or that you are good, or all powerful. This is my belief, please let me know what is your answer. He will answer in a way that you will understand. Try it for more than a week.

    I would also like to recommend a book written by a swiss man about his travels and his life and his search for enlightenment. He went through a lot of countries and a lot of religions, drugs, transcendental meditation, a lot of suffering (molested by a catholic priest for 7 years and others). His book is called 2 million km in search of God. I don’t know if it exists in English, I could only find it in German and Romanian http://www.amazon.com/Zwei-Millionen-Kilometer-auf-Suche/dp/372280518X/

    You can see a conference in English if you don’t mind the lady translating to Romanian:
    http://video.crestinortodox.ro/index.php?module=search&query=klaus%20kenneth&type=-1

    <>

    I’m sorry for that, you must feel horrible. I believe she is in a better place and away from all this suffering.

    Sorry if my answers are not very detailed or clear enough. I hope you can get something good from them. I’m sorry again for your loss.

    Take care,

    Valentin

  15. 15 jwscholar January 4, 2010 at 9:09 am

    “I have to ask about your #1 – God’s primary motivation is his glory. – Do you honestly think that’s a good motivation to do something? Do you honestly believe that a god that’s that egotistical is worthy of your worship?”

    This comes back to the question of how we determine if something is “good”. From a Christian perspective, God is the standard of and ultimate authority on good. So then, by definition, the answer would be “Yes”.

    If God is not the standard of good, then what is? On what basis could we say that anything is “good” or “bad”?

    “You said: “He shows his love, first to unbelievers by suffering them to live in defiance of Him” – do you honestly think this is loving? What is the Bible’s definition of love? From what you said in your comment it doesn’t sound like any kind of love I want to experience.”

    Justice would be delivering wrongdoers to punishment the first time they committed a crime. Love is delaying the punishment to give them ample opportunity to repent.

    “I have to wonder why somebody would feel the need to worship a god that they have to make so many excuses for. You have to go to such lengths to pardon god’s atrocities, is it just fear of punishment that makes you continue to worship him?”

    It’s not a fear of punishment; it’s a love for Him because of what He did for me when I was still in rebellion against Him. As John says, “we love Him because He first loved us.”

    “I’m sure none of those Greek kinds of love involve inflicting suffering upon people who don’t worship you.”

    Would you call it “love” if a parent permitted their child to do whatever it wanted, without punishing it when it did something wrong? Is that “love”?

    Please don’t feel like any of these comments are a personal attack on you or anything. I try to keep from writing in a hostile manner, but sometimes it comes across that way anyway. I’m not really hostile. 🙂

    Jon

  16. 16 EnlightningLinZ January 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Valentin & jwscholar – I’m having laptop troubles right now so don’t have enough computer time to respond to your comments (I still want to be able to post something new today), so just letting you know that once my laptop is fixed I’ll be able to respond. Thanks for your comments & jwscholar you don’t have to worry about me thinking that your comments are a personal attack – it takes a lot to offend me 😉

  17. 17 EnlightningLinZ January 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Valentin –

    Regarding your answer to if there’s free will in heaven – so if everyone does God’s will in heaven, is that free will or is that God’s will? And if there’s free will in heaven and everyone’s good, why can’t everyone on Earth be good? Why does god put us through the tortuous aspects of life, why not just create us in an environment where he knows everyone will be good? It seems cruel to create us with the ability to go to hell (for idiotic reasons like not believing in something for which there’s no evidence), when he is able to make a place where everyone is happy and does God’s will. It doesn’t make sense, and you have to do some ridiculous mental gymnastics to make it even a tiny bit rational.

    #2, I’m sorry but I just don’t see what you’re saying here. I think perhaps what you’re saying is that the “treatment” for eternal damnation is to believe in God, but your analogy of taking a vaccine to avoid the illness doesn’t work for this reason: science shows us that the vaccine will help us. We know vaccines work and help to avoid suffering, but if there is a God, he gives us no evidence that he’s here, so why would I take a treatment that there’s no evidence for for a problem that I don’t believe exists?

    You say God doesn’t torture people, but then why do we call things like tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, etc. acts of God? If there’s a good god but he can’t stop us from hurting each other, why doesn’t he at least stop the Earth from hurting us? And if he’s so good, why wouldn’t he forgive us for not believing in him after we die, and let us come to heaven regardless of our beliefs while we were alive?

    I’m not going to pray because I prayed for my whole life up until recently and I didn’t get anything out of it. If you want to pray for me, fine, pray that God shows me the evidence that he exists, and if he does I’ll start believing.

    The book you recommended called “2 Million KM in Search of God”, it sounds like the author decided a priori that there is a god. Is this accurate? I googled the book but couldn’t find any English versions, do you know if the title in English is the same? It does actually sound like an interesting book, I wonder how anyone who has been molested by a priest could believe in a good god.

    Thank you for your condolences.

    PS: are you Romanian? If so, have you ever heard of ZOMGitsCriss on Youtube? She does some great videos on science, religion, atheism, etc. They’re all in English but she’s Romanian and sometimes talks about domestic issues.

    jwscholar – I’m sorry I don’t have time right now to respond to your comment yet, but I’ll try to get to it sometime this weekend!

  18. 18 Jeff Clement January 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I was just listening to these podcasts and they are rather unimpressive. The group he is preparing with these presentations is going to be rather unprepared for a real argument with an atheist.

    Nice post!

  19. 19 EnlightningLinZ January 31, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    jwscholar – sorry it took me so long to respond to your comment! Here goes…

    On defining how we determine if something is good, I obviously disagree that God is the ultimate authority on good, because I don’t believe there’s such thing as God. But in the Bible there are instances such as Soddom & Gemorrah and the flood where God kills innocent people, would you say that is good just because God does it?

    And how can you determine what is good if it requires getting the answer from God? God doesn’t speak to people or make an example of himself, so how do we even know what’s good if it comes from God?

    We don’t need God to be good…we’re social animals, so we need to be good to each other in order to maintain our social bonds. I would define good as something that leads to happiness without causing harm.

    You said: “It’s not a fear of punishment; it’s a love for Him because of what He did for me when I was still in rebellion against Him.” -So you’re good because you love him? But isn’t the punishment for not loving him (or believing in him) hell? I just don’t know how anyone could love a being that would create a life with the possibility that it could be subject to eternal punishment.

    You said: “Would you call it ‘love’ if a parent permitted their child to do whatever it wanted, without punishing it when it did something wrong? Is that ‘love’?” -No, it’s important for parents to punish their children. But punishment should involve learning a lesson and giving reasons for why what they did was bad, and that reason shouldn’t be ‘because I said so’. Also, punishment shouldn’t be eternal, nor should it involve inflicting pain or death, yet the Bible condones all of these types of punishment.

    Jeff – thanks and I agree…none of what he’s teaching holds up to any kind of scrutiny.

  20. 20 jwscholar February 4, 2010 at 10:59 am

    “I would define good as something that leads to happiness without causing harm.”

    Okay. But what if someone else defines ‘good’ differently? Say, “something that leads to happiness–irrespective of whether or not it causes harm”? Why wouldn’t their definition be correct (or would it)?

    Take the Holocaust, for example. Hitler’s moral code was clearly far different than yours. Was he wrong? Sure, according to your moral code. But was he under any obligation to your moral code? Are you under any obligation to his moral code?

    Morality, therefore, becomes completely subjective–what’s right for you may not be right for someone else, and vice versa. So who’s to say what’s absolutely right or wrong for everyone? Or can we?

  21. 21 EnlightningLinZ February 23, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I guess the definition of good is very subjective, and different people will define it in different ways. It’s a hard thing to discuss because different things will be good to different people. I think it’s necessary for good and evil to be subjective. To decide whether something is good or bad we really have to look at the individual situation. That’s why law is so complicated!

    I don’t have a moral code, but in my opinion Hitler was obviously wrong and that should be clear to everyone. In his own head he may have seen himself as good. He wasn’t obligated to anybody’s moral code but his own, but history judges him as one of the most evil assholes that ever lived. I’m on obligated to his moral code or anyone’s, I decide for myself what I think is right and wrong, and so far I think I’ve done pretty good. But not everyone is capable of doing the right thing, so that’s where law enforcement comes in.

    We can’t say what’s absolutely right or wrong for everyone. It’s very subjective and I don’t see how it can be any other way.

  22. 22 reverendjank September 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I just listened to the podcast today. I was appalled by Mr. Davis’ illogical, weak arguments. I was so offended by his ignorance that I looked typed in his name and the name of the podcast (I was going to contact him) and I found your page. THANK YOU! You responded with nearly identical arguments that I had while listening. By the way, he is no longer the youth group at this church. Here’s the website if any cares…

    http://www.wecoc.org/aboutus/history.php

  23. 23 Kort April 12, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Wow, just…wow. I’ve never read such a bunch of nonsense in my life. I really love how atheists claim to have all this knowledge about the Bible, yet they miss the most basic of concepts like “original sin”, which, if you know anything about Christianity, corrupts even the “innocent” babies and is the basis for Christ’s death on the cross. You also clearly miss the concepts of God testing faith and obedience. Also, do you even know what the definition of faith is? It is the certain belief in something that can’t be seen. By this definition, even atheists have faith, the faith in existence of no higher powers, which they can’t prove, except by their own dogma and philosophy. Clearly the writer of this blog had weak faith in Christianity to begin with, which I sort of guessed was the truth, since the most rabid and self-assured atheists I’ve ever met are usually former Roman Catholics. Convinced into atheism by a MOVIE?! And a movie starring Bill Maher of all people. A man whose understanding of the Christian faith wouldn’t even fill a single 8 by 11 inch sheet of paper. I laughed, not at his jokes, but at his obvious ignorance. To be honest, I don’t care if you share my beliefs or not, but if you try to tear them down, at least have the courtesy not to drag out every half-baked idea in a lame attempt to discredit them. What a joke. Just like this blog. Don’t reply, I’m never coming back.


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