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God's Plan? A Case Against A Divine Overseer.

jat93
Posts: 1,440
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4/27/2012 12:34:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Before the Industrial Revolution, most children died before reaching the age of 5. So great was the pre-modern loss of children's lives that anthropologists claim to have found groups that do not name children until they have survived a year. Of this, I simply ask God: why? But the awfully filthy, hazardous living conditions which almost all humans were subject to for thousands of years before the advent of modern technology and medicine were certainly not limited to young children. Let's say the consensus is that our species has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years. As Christopher Hitchens so frankly points out, in order to be a Christian:

"You have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks ‘That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Not ‘let's appeal to the Chinese', for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense."

Of course, for non-Christians the part relating to human sacrifice may be irrelevant – though it should be noted that even in the Old Testament, in Samuel 2 21: 6-9, God accepts human sacrifice in return for his aid to end a famine – but the general point stands regardless. In order to accept any of the three major monotheistic religions, you have to believe that for the vast majority of our history, mankind was living in the most abject and awful conditions possible, God didn't care enough to intervene, and suddenly a few thousand years ago he decided it was time to do so in parts of the world where most people couldn't read or write.

Furthermore, how can a being so powerful that he can stop any disease and knows when diseases will occur still claim to love those afflicted by terminal cancer and other countless terrible diseases? And not only are we supposed to believe that he simply loves those poor individuals he has allowed to suffer so miserably, but that he loves them with the utmost love possible in this world or the next (assuming, of course, that they're lucky enough to be one of God's "chosen people", quite a strange and dubious idea when one considers that God is supposedly the father of all mankind).

Even more glaring contradictions arise when we consider God's perfect characteristics in light of what we know about his magnum opus, the Bible. Consider for a moment that the Bible is hailed by believers as the work of an omniscient God; he is aware of the past, present, and future of quite literally everything. As Sam Harris points out:

"Why doesn't the Bible say anything about electricity, about DNA, or about the actual age and size of the universe? What about a cure for cancer? Millions of people are dying horribly from cancer at this very moment, many of them children. When we fully understand the biology of cancer, this understanding will surely be reducible to a few pages of text. Why aren't these pages, or anything remotely like them, found in the Bible? The Bible is a very big book. There was room for God to instruct us on how to keep slaves and sacrifice a wide variety of animals..."

In short, a deity who is omnipotent, omniscient, and who loves at least his chosen people with the utmost love possible in this world or the next, is simply not compatible with the "plan" that has been unfolding throughout human history - and neither are any of his supposedly holy books.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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4/28/2012 4:29:49 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Since you mention Sam Harris, his response too all the evidence you point out and more is.......does this evidence suggest the existence of God ? no. Can it be made compatible with the existence of God ? yes, and the answer will always be yes, you just need to add caveats.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Reason_Alliance
Posts: 1,283
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4/28/2012 8:40:02 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/28/2012 4:29:49 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
Since you mention Sam Harris, his response too all the evidence you point out and more is.......does this evidence suggest the existence of God ? no. Can it be made compatible with the existence of God ? yes, and the answer will always be yes, you just need to add caveats.

^ now take that line of reasoning for the potential defeaters to Christianity, but now add the positive evidence for Christianity... and I think we have more than just caveats for showing Biblical theism to be true...