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Chapter Two: Problems with God

Section 7: Disease and disaster

Disease and natural disasters are further evidence that either God is not compassionate or, more likely, that he does not exist.

the aftermath of a cyclone in Bangladesh:

The previous section confirmed that the Biblical God lacks compassion; he kills and brings pain to the innocent and encourages his followers to do the same. The Quranic God is more protective of the innocent but still threatens death for those who do not follow his laws.

Put simply: the Bible and Quran tells us that God has the power to protect people but he chooses not to do so.

Let's assume that there is a God, but the Bible and Quran are partly or wholly irrelevant. Is this God compassionate?

There's a simple test - disease and natural disaster. Earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters kills thousands, sometimes tens and hundreds of thousands of people each year. Diseases such as malaria and diphtheria kill millions.

Some of those who die are undoubtedly highly unpleasant people who commit crimes and immoral acts with no concern for their fellow human beings. Others are ordinary people who try to be good and who often fail. And a few are either extraordinary adults who lead blameless lives or infants and young children who are incapable of crime and immorality. But all they die from disease and natural disaster.

If God is all-powerful, he can do anything. He can prevent the disease from spreading or only allow it to affect the criminals and immoral. He can prevent the natural disaster or only allow the criminals and immoral to suffer and die.

If God is all-compassionate, as well as all-powerful, he will save everyone. If God's compassion is conditional - as it is in the Bible and Quran - he will only save the innocent.

Does he save the innocent from disease and natural? No. That leads us to one of three conclusions:

1. God is all-powerful but not compassionate 2. God is compassionate but not all-powerful

Problems with God

Chapter One showed us that if there is a God, we cannot be certain about his nature. So let's look at the question from another perspective: Is there a form of god that can exist?

We start by looking at the god described in the Bible and Quran; does the information there support or reject the idea of God? Then we look at general concepts of God and see if they make sense.

2.1: In the Bible
Do inconsistencies in the Bible make it irrelevant?

2.2: The Jesus myth
Biblical evidence suggests that the Son of God never lived

2.3: Other scriptures
What do other scriptures tell us about God?

2.4: Forgotten tongues
Why can God not speak modern languages?

2.5: Male order
God's fondness for men

2.6: Compassion and bloodlust
God claims to be compassionate but frequently causes pain and death

2.7: Disease and disaster
Why do they happen?

2.8: Omniscience and free will
One or the other, not both

2.09: Miracles and prayer
How does God make his presence known?

2.10: Eternal life
Do we really want to live forever?

2.11: Alien beliefs
Do they know God on Betelgeuse?

2.12: Summary

Finished this chapter? Move on to

Chapter 3
God the creator?

God does not have to be the creator of the universe; in some religions the world comes first and then the gods apprear.

In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, however, God is the creator of the universe. How does he do it?

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3. God does not exist.

But the definition of God is that he is all-powerful. That means that disease and natural disasters are further evidence that either God is not compassionate or, more likely, that he does not exist.

Some of the issues in this section were covered in earlier articles on this site: No, you can't and United only in name

Chapter Two: Section 8 Omniscience and free will

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If God existed, he would...

admire the beauty of a universe that he did not create

recognize that eternity is meaningless

deny both heaven and hell

disown all men and women who speak in his name

denounce the harm caused by religious "morality"

help the human race to thrive without him

If God existed, he would be an atheist.

What is the difference between science and faith?

science is certain of nothing and requires proof of everything

faith is certain of everything and requires proof of nothing

Which do you trust?

"I know there is no God"
"I believe there is no God"

Check the answer

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