Sunday, September 17, 2023


      I've been following with interest some of the ongoing debates and discussions at Citizen Tom's blog lately. The last month or so, he's been writing on various Christian-themed topics, which has brought a roving pack of Atheists to his comments section. I never quite understand people like this: they seem to circle the Internet looking for religiously-oriented posts, like a bunch of crows hunting out cornfields. Actually, they're worse: because at least crows don't try to lecture the farmer on why he doesn't need grain anyway. 

     The problem that most of these Atheists have is twofold: the first is that their understanding of what God is is not very sophisticated. The second is none of them seem to grasp that the onus of proof in a debate of this kind is for them to prove that God does not exist---not the other way around. A few Atheists, however, do grasp the second point, and commenter called 'Sklyjd' took a try at it, using the age-old Problem of Evil as his argument:

    "A woman was ill, her family prayed and prayed and prayed for many days but she died as science and doctors had predicted. 20 plus thousand kids die every day in agony from hunger and disease while untold greedy wealthy and dishonest people live the good life. Millions have died over 2 world wars...Your God appears to have left it all up to his flawed creation. Your God has never stepped up to the mark for many thousands of years...This is really good evidence God does not exist, or he does not give a F___k; so what evidence is there that your God has done something physically to save humans from themselves?"

    Citizen Tom gave a more traditional summary of the argument:

    The Problem – The gods are all-good, powerful, and knowing and yet there is evil. Thus either the gods can’t do away with evil—in which case they’re not all-powerful, or they won’t do away with evil—in which case they’re not all good. We can distinguish between:

   a) The logical problem of evil – gods and evil are incompatible or inconsistent; and;

   b)The evidentiary problem of evil – evil counts as evidence against the gods.

     This isn't an argument which should be dismissed too easily: polls showing the recent explosion of Atheistic beliefs among younger Americans indicate that this very argument is at the base of their unbelief. The consistency of this reason being given leads one to suspect that an agenda is being pushed among their educators and influencers. Alom Shaha, one of the celebrity academics promoting Scientism in pop culture, authored a book titled The Young Atheists Handbook {nota bene}. Therein he expressed the 'Problem of Evil' in terms reflecting the deep and profound reasoning that postmodern Academia employs to deny God's existence: "For a lot of us the 'God Hypothesis' simply doesn't work...The problem of evil genuinely stumps most ordinary believers. In my experience, they usually respond with an answer along the lines of, ‘God moves in mysterious ways.’ Sometimes they’ll say, ‘Suffering is God’s way of testing us,’ to which the obvious response is, ‘Why does he have to test us in such evil ways’ To which the response is, ‘God moves in mysterious ways.’ You get the idea.”

    Actually, I don't get the idea. The problem with Shaha's reasoning is that he presumes only two Divine Attributes: Divine Power and Divine Love, and assumes that the existence of Evil makes the two Attributes contradictory---without realizing that God is also All-Wise and All-Knowing. Since Wisdom is part the very Nature of God, it follows that whatever He wills is in accordance with Divine Wisdom. When something is explained by an underlying wisdom, it implies a reason for its occurrence. In this light, the Atheist view of  God is reductionist; and by doing so, they build a logical straw man. Alom's argument is further illogical, he commits the fallacy of argumentum ad ignoratium, arguing from ignorance. Because he cannot access Divine Wisdom, he presumes that it does not exist; which goes back to our earlier point about Atheists generally lacking an intellectually mature Concept of God. Alom is certainly not alone among his peers: interested readers can look up the Rationalwiki article on 'prayer' to get an idea of how simplistic their reasoning really is. 

     The other fallacy involved in this Atheistic line of reasoning strongly implies a deeply egocentric conception of how the world operates: because the Atheist can't fathom a reason behind the evils and sufferings of the world, they assume that there is no reason---and it follows that their own ideals of Good are supreme. This is one reason why Atheists are generally drawn like magnets to utopian and totalitarian political and social movements; Bolshevism, Naziism, the Great Reset, etc. are all about re-ordering society and human nature to what a handful of ideologues consider superior wisdom to God's. Almost all major religions hold that the fact of the existence of evil also strongly suggests Freedom of the Will; which is another reason that many Atheists of authoritarian bent find the idea of God distasteful. 

   Citizen Tom brought up the counter-point that the existence of Evil presupposes the existence of Good; and when God is removed, there is no objective standard for either good or evil. Thus, all actions are matters of preference, not matters of fact. A moral relativist cannot reach a consensus with all other moral relativists about objective good and evil; thus what is determined is a moral system largely dependent on subjective values of preference---which, as we have seen in our own current system---is dependent on the wealthier lobbyists, social trends, and interest groups: but not facts. In a broader sense, this moral confusion leads to social instability; hence the growth of movements like Scientism which speak with the authority of a religion. Similar Atheistic Regimes have ended up like cults: the Cult of Reason by the French Jacobins; Nazi Occultism; and even some variants of Marxism like North Korea's Juche system stem from the failure of Moral Relativism to bring about social order.

   It's an interesting fact that, in Christianity, St. John posits the Advent of Christ as a Divine Emanation from the Logos, or Wisdom of God; and that throughout John's Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as following the Divine Will, up to and including his Crucifixion. How would the Atheist reconcile this with the teaching throughout John's writings that God is Love? St. Catherine of Siena, in her Dialogue on Providence succinctly explains: "Everything comes from Love, all is ordained for the salvation of Man, God does nothing without this goal in mind."

   The existence of Evil does not disprove the existence of God. When the Atheists speak of Evil and suffering; what they really mean is that God didn't create a Utopia---which they define according to their own subjective definitions of what good and evil ought to be. We've seen throughout History how well these utopias have all worked out; and many of them devolved into religious cults in their own right. Belief in God and a desire to serve and understand Him is an instinct innate in all of Mankind, and no amount of sophistry has ever proven otherwise, nor ever will.


  1. Silence of the Mind – Citizen Tom

    Your stated…” and no amount of sophistry has ever proven otherwise, nor ever will.”

    King Solomon’s wisdom e observation 3000 years ago agrees with your above statement about atheism beliefs are rooted in vanity or meaningless paths of live that lead to evil of mankind’s foolish choices.

    Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

    I said in mine heart, go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:1)

    Benson Commentary
    Ecclesiastes 2:1-2. I said in my heart — Being disappointed of my hopes from knowledge, I resolved to try another course. Go to now — O my soul! I will try whether I cannot make thee happy by the enjoyment of sensual delights. This also is vanity — Is vain, and unable to make men happy. I said of laughter, it is mad — This is an act of madness, more fit for fools who know nothing, than for wise men in this sinful, and dangerous, and deplorable state of mankind. What doth it — What good doth it? Or how can it make men happy? I challenge all the epicures in the world to give me a solid answer.
    Sadly. Here we are now 3000 years ago and a history of manmade evil choices in life still debating using fallible mankind rules of logic to debate the same issue and cannot seem to grasp. If only we would have followed Jesus Christ rules, there would have been less evil choices repeated over time as King Solomon predicted.

    And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done. (Eccleddisstes 2:12)

    In other words, WE are the masters of our own (evil) disasters. And the main diverter is manmade evil choices because we do not believe in Gods infallible rules instead of man’s rules of logic arguments you brought up in your post.
    Regards and goodwill blogging/
    Sophistry Definition ( Google )
    /ˈsäfəstrē/1.the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving: “trying to argue that I had benefited in any way from the disaster was pure sophistry"

  2. If your begin your defense of your god ( and his actions) by automatically assuming your god not only exists but is exclusive you are effectively stacking the deck. The problem here of course is you have no deck. Therefore,without establishing that your god exists any argument that proceeds from this will be flawed from the outset.
    Unless you are willing to acknowledge the argument is hypothetical as you currently have no evidence for your god, Yahweh?

    1. No: it's generally assumed that God exists. Therefore, it's up to non-believers to disprove the consensus.
      Yahweh is the name given to God in the Jewish religion, here we're discussing God in a universal, not a specific sense.

    2. It's assumed by . And of course there are many believers who follow many religions ergo...many gods.
      There is no universal god.

    3. Sorry, typo. It is assumed by believers.

    4. Well, there is a difference between a belief in God and adherence to a religion. Religions are somewhat like Governments; all men have a natural instinct to be free, but there are differing ideas on how to guarantee those freedoms. Similarly, Man is born with an instinct that draws him to God, and religious organizations are attempts to define and codify that.
      It's not really possible to prove God's existence through Religious Doctrine, since in religion, belief is an article of Faith along with definitions of living a life pleasing to God. Disproving a religion doesn't disprove God; in fact many have left religion but are still Theists. In fact, the Deistic Movement which began a few centuries ago taught that religious organizations were an impediment to worship.
      I would say that the strongest proofs of God is that 1) Humans have an instinctual belief in a God and even children have a moral sense; and 2) all known Science (not speculative science or Scientism) seems to have a teleological purpose tending towards some ideal of improvement. 3) along the same lines: Science has never been able to disprove God as a First Cause; nor that union with God is a final purpose.