Tuesday, April 15, 2014

God should have been Able to Do Better: Discussion with an Atheist

I certainly can respect your thinking that if God is omnipotent and all-loving, He should have been able to do a better job. However, please bear with me as I try to point out the weaknesses of this position:

  • Your conclusion requires that you understand enough about the cosmos so you can claim that such a God should have been able to do a better job. However, we might be overstepping the limits of our wisdom in such an assessment. It reminds me of evolutionists who claim that the eye and other organs were poorly designed if designed by this God. Such a claim depends upon thinking that we know better, but do we?
  • There is actually a multitude of evidence in favor of God’s beneficence. We hunger, and God has provided food. We thirst, and He has provided water. We tire, and He has provided sleep. We are lonely, and He has provided friends and family….  In fact, if we observe this alleged problem of God’s failures from a broader perspective, we find that the vast majority of people vote with their legs (relatively few commit suicide) that this life is worth living.
  • The charge that such a God “should have been able to do a better job” is logically incoherent. Without an absolute system of values or moral laws, we have no basis to talk objectively about better or worse, good or bad, just and unjust. Perhaps “better” is a matter of dying earlier or of sacrificing ourselves to wild beasts? Without God, we are left in a morally relativistic world, where values and laws are arbitrary and humanly created, where objective judgments are not possible since objective laws/truths are non-existent. Only if God exists can we begin to talk coherently about values.

I also want to answer you on a more personal level. You wrote:

·       I don't believe in God. If I believed that some God made me the way I am and the world the way it is, then, yes, I would blame Him for not making me sufficiently knowledgeable of His existence and of the "wages of sin" and sufficiently able to love and obey Him that I did, in fact, love and obey Him.

I don’t know how to make my response inoffensive. Sometimes the truth is highly offensive, especially if we live in darkness and denial, as the Bible claims. Jesus stated that He was so hated because He shed the light about humanity into our darkness and self-righteousness:

  • The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. (John 7:7)

For years I had self-righteously regarded myself as a “truth seeker,” but I wasn’t. I was merely seeking for those beliefs that would enable me to feel better about myself. Of course, these were always self-promoting beliefs and very contrary to the revelations of the Bible. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was suppressing the very truths I had claimed to be seeking:

  • The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Rom. 1:18-21)

Our problem is that we already know God but have effectively suppressed that knowledge of God. Consequently, God is not at fault for our lack of knowledge, but we!

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