You can choose any group of human beings and, focusing only on selected actions, you can make them out to be evil. This is because let’s face it, human beings sometimes do evil things. Throughout my life time I have witnessed a constant demonization of Christians. Christians are charlatans, destroy native cultures, control their people through fear, etc, etc.
You could do the same thing with Hindus-did you know a rigid caste system is built into their religion? Then list examples of the sufferings of individual Untouchables under that system. Those devilish Hindus. If only Hinduism could be wiped off the face of the earth. How about Buddhism? Did you know the cuddly Dalai Llama was an absolute dictator, a theocrat who approved cutting off of body parts as punishment? Did you know the Tibetan Buddhist clergy lived well while the general population lived in grinding poverty?
Aha! “It’s religion,” say the atheists. “We have found the one thing that causes all the misery in the world and if only we wipe religion off the face of the earth, we will live rationally in peace and harmony, etc etc.” How inconvenient that Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were atheists. How inconvenient that the population of the blindingly brutal Roman Empire were pagans and the leaders of the Roman Empire did not even believe as much as the general population.
The Roman Senator Seneca (4BC-65AD) probably summed up the true position of political leaders, still in force down to our day:
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”
No doubt Seneca considered himself as a wise ruler, that is, an atheist and manipulator of popular beliefs.
Here you get a hint of what is truly evil: using people’s beliefs to obtain and retain domination over them. Now you are getting closer to a thing that, if wiped off the face of the earth, really would make the world a better place. Call it Powerlust and then call it out wherever it crops up, for it will crop up in any group of human beings you care to designate.
Pictured above and below is a Christian who has been quietly working with poor children in our area for thirteen years. She gets no money for this and I know many unsung Christians doing good like she does. She meets with the kids weekly for Bible stories and art, cooking, reading and drama projects. She takes a group to summer camp every year and takes the kids who volunteer to the beach as a treat. We are only a few hours from the Atlantic ocean, but until Mary takes the kids, most have never seen the ocean.
You’ve never heard of Mary. Her faithful labor of love will never make prime time TV. Richard Dawkins will, ginned-up contests between science and religion will, Bill Maher’s cheap shots at religion will. But I know Mary is much more representative of Christianity than the “Christian” Powerlust Princes who crop up now and then.
Mary is doing a great and inspirational job, however what atheists, I’m sure most if not all would ask, is how come Mary has to do that job? It would make me very un-Christian indeed if I believed in an all powerful being yet had to put the effort in myself to make a difference. Especially when God is the one being worshipped every Sunday.
I could ask her your question (and will if you like) which I think is related to a comment made by a Brazilian archbishop: “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.”
Why are there poor children in the world? Because there are selfish humans in the world.
I have read that the world produces 2-3 times the amount of food needed for everyone.
Some fight selfish humans directly like the archbishop, some just roll their sleeves up and help the victims. Either way, RELIGION is not the evil.
have a lovely day,
So why hasn’t God intervened directly and changed this? If he has the chance to do so? That’s what I’m getting at, and I think you know deep down that you can’t answer that!
dang right I can’t answer that-(Why God does or not do a thing) That a human being can not read the mind of the Supreme Being is a very safe bet.
Thought experiment>If this world is a temporary testing ground, and here we wander with free will intact, PLUS instructions to help one another (I was hungry and you fed me. When? When you did it for the least, you did it for me) then the reason the world still sucks is that people are not doing what they were told to do>Love one another.
Why does a child have to suffer as a result of selfish people then. If God allows that, he is as selfish as the humans on earth that don’t give. Agree?
Strangely, that was my reason for becoming an atheist back in the day. All-powerful, all good? Didn’t add up.
As for suffering caused by other humans: Do you have free will? Do you make choices? I have chosen to do crappy things, fought off my conscience, done the crappy thing and no one stopped me. People were hurt. Why didn’t God stop me? He is all-powerful, right? But apparently our free will is very important and he does not violate it.
We don’t necessarily have free will, what is your next thought going to be? And how come when you decided against atheism you went into the religion you did, was it also the same one as your family/ friends/ society? I’m intruiged.
Well, first I decided I was an atheist. After several years I decided I could not KNOW there was no God, so it was a bit dishonest to assert that I knew. So I said I was agnostic. Then I started wondering if I should have a more open mind and look into other religions (since I was sure Christianity was shite-LOL(raised Catholic) So I studied Hinduism for a while-very deep and complex and rich, they are.
Then someone challenged me to read a little Gospel book with an open mind. Proud of my open mind, I said I would. So I read it and was somewhat amazed ( I had never actually read the Bible) Then it said, “Do you want to try this?” I thought of it as an experiment. so I mentally assented. But THEN I went out into the living room and kind of wondered out loud if this made any difference and had a most profound experience that I won’t describe unless you want to hear it.
An experience, you see. A profound, personal experience. If a thing is real it should have real results and it has-for many years now. Good results, life-changing results. Same as the scientific method you see-open mind, experiment, repeated results.