Evil vs.Good, an Atheistic perspective

One of the many aspect of a great radical atheistic literature is to point out how “immoral” or “evil” God is. This thread then is the place for Atheist brothers and sisters to show their perspective on morality. What is actually good, and what is considered evil? Once defined, how would religion fall into those dictions?

I think vast epistemological & philosophical tracts have been written on how good and evil, or what is moral, can be seen from a secular perspective, whether there is absolute morality, etc.

I guess the “God is evil” argument is mainly based in applying present laws/morality as apply to humans, e.g. against genocide, war crimes such as murder and enslavement of prisoners etc., and ancient morals (don’t murder), against God as portrayed in the Old Testament, esp. the Torah (e.g. the slaughter of the Midianites, Num. 31:18) and the divine commands on the conquest of Canaan in Joshua and Judges? Or the Flood in Genesis for that matter?

Are you arguing that without divine law/natural law we can’t make absolute judgements about things like genocide, murder etc., and then can’t say God (or anyone or anything) is evil?

I believe that mankind will always have an instince of knowing what’s good or evil. But where do you get that? The statement of moral objectivity must come from something that is objective.

*I believe that mankind will always have an instince of knowing what’s good or evil. But where do you get that? The statement of moral objectivity must come from something that is objective. *

Reason and conscience confirmed by revelation. :thumbsup:

just curious- do you personally believe there could be an objective morality without the existence of God?

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I don’t know how you discover an objective morality without God. I suppose you could argue that objective reason would provide the ground. However, one man’s reason is another man’s foolishness. Where there is disagreement, how do you build an “objective” moral consensus in society? Moral anarchy will be the order of the day, as we are now finding out with the declining influence of religion in public affairs.

Without God, the unmoved mover, the first cause, no one would exist to propose objective, or subjective, morality. Therefore it is a moot point.

A robust theory of ethics or metaethics is not required to condemn the Biblical monster Yahweh. It is sufficient to observe that a being who has human souls tortured in a Hellish afterlife according to his divine pleasure is thoroughly detestable.

Nonsense.

without getting into an argument on why what you are saying is absurd i will ask this…

why is effort or thought at all for that matter put into showing that something that is “non exsistent” evil or a monster.

if we are not obliged to have set of rules or morality because there is nothing making us, that life has no purpose that you are born and then you die why would any moral ever truly exsist.

if there was no one we had to answer to for the things we have done then i dont see why we couldnt do whatever we pleased why we would ever have to follow any rules. we could all murder/rape w/e we wanted and i dont see how it would be wrong you would just in the end of you life die and that would be it. even if other people saw it as wrong why would that matter in the end all life would just sieze to exsist and nothing more.

which is also why i dont understand athiest if life has no purpose you live then you die thats it, then why care what other people believe why care if what they think is false we will inevitably all die and nothing would matter at that point if such a thing was the case.

I have heard this before. I have always found it intriguing that there is a willingness to apply some absolute standard of ethics to God, even when there is a rejection of ethical absolutes for man. In this we can see a clue that Hell is not so much a place where God tortures sinners as a place where sinners torture themselves, consumed by hatred of God.

Is it absurd to suggest God has people tortured for eternity according to his divine will, or is it absurd that we should consider such malicious treatment detestable?

The reason I ask is, if you are disputing facts, i.e., if you are disputing the notion that God has people tortured, then that’s a good sign. However, in that case, we are not engaged in a moral disagreement, but rather a simple factual disagreement. However, if you agree that God really does have people tortured, then we must turn to the subject of morality.

why is effort or thought at all for that matter put into showing that something that is “non exsistent” evil or a monster.

God may not exist, but God-worshipers do exist, and this has dramatic social and political consequences. If they can be made to understand that they worship a hideous monster, then maybe they will begin to critically evaluate their beliefs.

Beyond that, I can’t speak to every skeptic’s motivation.

if we are not obliged to have set of rules or morality because there is nothing making us, that life has no purpose that you are born and then you die why would any moral ever truly exsist.

What in the world does God add to the mix? If I say, “torturing people is detestable,” am I not communicating some fact of the world whether or not God exists? Is it not true that men, when reflecting on the nature of torture, tend to disapprove of it in no small measure?

if there was no one we had to answer to for the things we have done then i dont see why we couldnt do whatever we pleased why we would ever have to follow any rules. we could all murder/rape w/e we wanted and i dont see how it would be wrong you would just in the end of you life die and that would be it. even if other people saw it as wrong why would that matter in the end all life would just sieze to exsist and nothing more.

Are you suggesting that the only reason you don’t murder or rape is because there is a divine policeman looking over your shoulder? Surely not! Human beings have a moral sense, and this compels them to behave as morally as they do. Whether God has implanted this moral sense in us, or it is some natural endowment, makes no difference to the end result.

which is also why i dont understand athiest if life has no purpose you live then you die thats it, then why care what other people believe why care if what they think is false we will inevitably all die and nothing would matter at that point if such a thing was the case.

My life has as much purpose as yours. I have the same kind of passions as everyone else.

What makes you think I don’t apply the same standard to man as to your God? It would be just as wrong for a human being to torture other human beings as it is for God to do it.

If God didn’t exist, then what would make torture wrong? Would it just be that “inner feeling” that most men have which tells them right from wrong? If so, then why would you listen to it? When you finally come to the realization that its not a Supreme Being issuing morals but simply your own subconscious then why listen to it?? Why continue to be a slave to your genetic code that has instilled you with a sense of right and wrong?? You can rise above it now that you have realized where it comes from.

I don’t agree with what he said either… but you’re not helping by giving a one word answer that does nothing to discredit what he said or reaffirm what you believe. In fact giving such an answer you make it appear as though you lack the knowledge to give a proper rebuttal… if I’m wrong please, show me. Explain why you think it’s nonsense.

Personally I try not to get directly involved in such conversations as there are valid points to both sides and both sides are typically very stubborn. It’s a situation where people need to agree to disagree. Christians are not going to make hardnosed Athiests believe in God and Athiests are not going to get hardnosed Christians to renounce their faith.

But does God torture man? Imagine if I am to be on a boat and you’re sinking, and I myself came to you, prepared to sacrifice myself for you, and never cease to tell you to hold my lifesaver, if you fail to do such thing, is it my fault or yours? Or if you have a cancer and I provide you a cure, but you don’t want that cure, who is it to blame, me or you(If you watch House you’ll often see that.)

Likewise, how can you say it is God who throw people into hell if it is the people who refuse His treatment? Why fear hell? Hell has nothing on you if you follow God’s instruction. It is us who are seperated from God who will suffer hell, hell in itself is not just a place, but it is the manifestation of our seperation, it is the purest image of what a world gonna be without God, without any light, life, nor balance. We don’t have to follow it, it seem like you’re afraid for those who follow Him who have to always be afraid and in constant fear of hell, but like a student who’s prepared, why fear of the mid-term?

To be able to criticize someone or some being with immorality, you need a moral authority(just as to judge a wine contest or a music competition you need good authority from wine taster and musicians). You say morality is something in our being(a feeling maybe?), but in the same time one can argue that people can have different outlooks on morality. The Mayan sacrificed human for the sun god. The Muslims throw stones to adulterers. The Nazi massacre Jews and the Soviet Union massacre Christians. How can morality be defined? For an example you can say “God is evil”, I can ask what do you define as evil? Then it would turn out that since there’s no God, your view on morality, good vs. evil is just purely an American view. How do you know the American view is any better than a Chinese view or an African view?

Human beings, in rejecting God, will impose their own brand of faith in their personal affairs and, sometimes too, on the state level. They see nothing beyond this world and so fill the void with materialism. With an impoverished metaphysics that allows no reality than what can be seen, those who are determined to form and manipulate other people and society, itself, seek power in one way or another. St. Augustine called this desire the libido dominandi, “the lust for domination.” He considered it a disorder of the soul. If there is no meaning to life, why bother respecting human life? Original sin? No such thing! The materialist will talk about objective truth, immutable truths, but they are only of his own making. Reality is contrived to his own beliefs and he seeks the power to materialize it believing his knowledge to be superior, his moral/ethics above the proletariat, his reason for being to rule or manipulate to his liking.

If man does not want God, if man want to seperate himself from God and that which He had ordained since the beginning of the Creation, then God Himself can’t just forcefully drag them to the pearly gate. If God gives human freewill, and we say to God: “Ok God, I know your heaven is real nice, but I don’t want any part of it” then God will let you go to hell base on your free request.

You are correct. I did resort to a tit for tat.
Sorry.

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