If there were no God


Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back the truck up a little here. The atheist is most definately not saying that evil is a black mark for God. The atheist doesn’t believe that God exists. And this might seem a pedantic point but the black mark is given to the person who says that his God is goodness Himself where there is zero evidence in the real world that this proposed deity gives a rat’s buttocks for the entities that inhabit it.


Hmmm…so polytheism and monotheism are basically the same then?


The disagreement I keep seeing on these forums is that the theist claims that “non-belief” is a position to be held. The non-believer counters by saying, “well, no, non-belief is a lack of belief, therefore, not a position.”

I think by analyzing the scenario of what it what take for the other to “switch sides” gives insight into the reality of who has the “position” and who does not.

For example, if God appears to the non-believer as proof, the non-believer will then switch sides quite quickly and easily. God is there, end of story. (Don’t argue what it would take, or that some atheists are too stubborn, this is a hypothetical, not specific people!)

If a non-believer provides as much proof as possible that God does not exist, the believer will simply state that lack of evidence is not proof of anything.

Therefore by putting the shoe on the other foot, it clearly shows that unbelief is not a position to be held, because there is nothing to bring the believer to the other side.


Pain is obviously usefull. It serves a purpose. It is certailny worthwhile. We should be thankful that we experience it. We should be gratefull that we feel it. It’s God’s gift to us all.

Try that line of reasoning with your wife after 12 hours in labour. But stay out of reach when you use it.


At the ontological Centre of everything is Existence. It is simple. and unchanging, bringing every place and all that they contain into existence in their moment. There is an eternal unchanging Now from which springs every now, this one, the one that just was and the one that will be. It is within and encompasses everything. Existence itself is relational as a giving of Itself (the First Person, the Father) to the Second Person (the Son, the Word) that Giving is The Third Person (the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life). The Triune Godhead is Divine Love with the Spirit proceeding from the Father to the Sin, who returns that Spirit - three Persons, one God, one Love, Beauty, Truth and Goodness.

The Father through the Son (the Logos) brings forth creation from nothingness. We are created in the image of God, relational beings with a free will that requires the capacity to know and act, to choose in other words.

That capacity enables us to become love, to unite with what is other to ourselves though our giving of ourselves for the good of that other. At our beginning, we were given a choice - to submit to God, to Love itself, or to make ourselves God’s. This choice by one man and all humanity in him, resulted in death. Remember that love is a giving of self to other and Jesus hanging on the cross. This is what it means to be a god in real life. We ultimately return what belongs to God to God. The greater the attachment to what is transient and illusory, the greater the suffering. The earth itself, reflecting our own miserliness, has to be worked to give what would otherwise have been freely given.

Our actions transform who we are and also the world around us, from the deepest, in addition to the most superficial levels. Love brings about both internal and external harmony.

Morality has to do with laws. The commandments given to Moses Are a guide, a description or operational definition of love. In confirming our behaviour to their requirements, we can become loving persons. This is very difficult to do because we don’t want to follow them. An important spiritual step is the recognition of one’s sinfulness, which usually comes with the realization of God’s love for us. In that moment we find ourselves known and forgiven. As we are told, the entire law rests on two commandments - that we love God with all our hearts and one another as we do ourselves.

The problem lies in who we are and how to transformed into love. The aspiration itself is spiritual pride. We can only become Gods in and through God, returning everything we are to Him and thereby entering by virtue of that Love which is Jesus Christ, into the Trinity. We are one humanity fallen in Adam and saved in Christ, who is the living Way in which we become our true selves, the person we are destined to be.

That is why God established His Church, why He gave us the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit, that we might become Christ-like and share in His eternal glory. In the cross, Jesus demonstrates God’s love for each and every one of us, laying down His life that we may live. At the same time He shares in all our pain; He is with us when we feel most alone and rejected.


Continued from the above:

I understand what you say about scapegoating and how it is tied to psychological and social factors. I’m suggesting, from what may seem the other side of reality, that there is more than this fallen world with sin that defines it.

Sorry for the typos. I though it important to reply, but doing so on my phone, making my way home by train, having to cope with my poor vision.


The point of mobility is to avoid instances that require regeneration. To deny it as part of “the point” is just, in the words of my sister, “hot foolishness”.

And let us not forget, species with regenerative properties can be damaged to the point of death - not regeneration.

Far better to employ mobility to avoid those threats, which uses pain as a warning system.

A toothache can be a lethal event as an untreated oral infection is a danger to your heart. Not to mention your ability to, you know, eat.

But to your main point here… I guess you implicitly claim to possess the qualities that a designer would exude pertaining to how pain works? You have the rational standard that the supposed god would have to adhere to? It feels like nonsense just typing it…

A least try to wipe the feces off the next time you try to pull such nonsense out…

I’ve yet to see a standard that objectively identifies pain or suffering as gratuitous or unnecessary. Again, your device here kind of requires it. And beyond more quasi-religious tripe, you can’t produce. The notion is vulnerable to the same lances by which the skeptic kills the supposed god, in case you didn’t know.

Pain is the result of free moral agency. If you don’t like that… well… :man_shrugging:


Which, for the umpteenth time, segues into a discussion about whether a good god can give its creation free moral agency, which is the cause of non-goodness.

I completely understand that you feel that way.

You just can’t objectively show why it’s true in a way that’s immune to the very same attacks some lob at theists when they allude to “god”.


**[quote=“Gorgias, post:193, topic:491029, full:true”]

No… it’s the moral code that claims “there is no absolute moral code” – in other words, it’s the moral code that says “each does as he sees fit.” That’s a positive statement (and an absolute one, to boot!), and not just a bald head. :wink:


At best that’s a strawman, at worst it’s incoherent


Very rarely can you see vegetation being damaged to the point of death due to natural causes.

You missed the point. The pain one experiences is not commensurate to danger it warns about. Another sign of no design, or incompetent design.

How it SHOULD work in a competently designed system. I could not design a skyscraper, but when one collapses, everyone can see that it was a bad design and/or workmanship.

Well, then, just open your eyes and look around. If no one can present an argument about the pain’s intrinsic beneficial nature, then it is a bad proposition to say that “maybe” it is beneficial, we just don’t know it. As I like to ask, analyze the Holocaust and point out why the prevention of it would lead to an inferior state of affairs. I can hardly wait. Employ the “duck principle”.

SOME of it. And, of course the unbridled freedom is one of the worst ideas. Only a totally indifferent designer (or an idiotic one) would allow the amount of freedom which would bring down to whole creation.


I have a tree in front of my house right now nearly dead from parasites. Goats will eat grass down to the roots.
They usually achieve equilibrium, but death is very much a routine part of the biosphere.

Again, if you get a toothache and you don’t relieve it somehow, it’s probably going to kill you. You just used a bad example to support your fiat.

No one has the credentials to say “ought” as a matter of indubitable fact. Empiricism can only handle “is”. “Ought” is the next county over where the sheriff has no dominion.

You’re just trying to dress up your opinion as fact, here. The clothes fit poorly.

Which is, again, not an objective standard - merely your opinion trying to parade as such.

And here you have an actual hole in your education…

Allow me to elucidate: The “duck principle” is a means by which you form a hypothesis. Not a conclusion.

No charge - this time.

To your audience here (CAF), it’s the source of ALL of it.

We don’t have unbridled freedom. I can’t spontaneously choose to fly. Or buy a small island. But I am a free moral agent.

Opinion, not a fact. And we obviously disagree at an axiomatic level.
You simply don’t have anything here with which to “edge” your rhetorical competition.

What is a more loving god? One that gives you the freedom to perform good or selfish ill at your whim, or one that bends you to its “benevolent” will? I pick the former. You seem to prefer the latter.


How can Existence not exist?

This is madness.

I cannot fathom in my mind how Existence is non-existent.

God is OMNIPRESENT!  OMNIPOTENT! We are on a journey, through this life, to the next. God has a time for us. There is a time to be born and a time to die. If there was no death, we’d run out of room and food. Theoretically, in a no death space, there could be no births. 
 God let’s us pray for our miracles. Some are answered the way we want them. He always answers: YES, NO , MAYBE & WAIT. What His criteria for His Answer is, is not known. I feel, His decisions are based on the salvation of that person’s soul. Will the future bring him to lose his soul. (Keep him). Will the answered prayer, lead to others souls salvation & not lose the infirmed souls?( return him) 
We should pray for WISDOM, to know for what we should pray. Pray for the grace to receive the answer. Pray for God’s love to be felt by all in this drama. 
  I am not boasting. I am humbled when God uses me, yet a sinner. 

In Christ’s Love


If you confuse the severity of tooth decay with cancer, there is not much you can say. By the way, rodents continuously regrow their teeth, so the concept of regeneration is well established as a viable solution.

It is MUCH more than that. We live our life according to this principle - every day. We never assume that a charging tiger is “really” just a cute little kitten. If your boss behaves like a tyrant, you consider him one. If your spouse exhibits love toward you, you don’t think that it is just a “make-believe”. The problem is that you wish to discard this principle when it comes to the beliefs pertaining your religion.

I don’t believe you. Presumably you think about the “original sin”. That is not my problem. We, outsiders do distinguish between an earthquake (a “natural evil”) and armed robbery (a “moral evil”). If you consider them the same… well, that is just too bad.

Your freedom as a moral agent is also limited. None of us can kill just by “willing” the death of others. And none of us has the power to heal others simply by willing it. So - fortunately again - we have a limited power / freedom as moral agents. Actually we have insufficient power to do good, and too much power to do bad. So to have certain constraints on our freedom is already reality. The question is not the existence of the limitation, but the extent of it.

Of course I prefer the latter. And every victim of rape, torture and murder would prefer if that benevolent deity would have interfered on their behalf. And I am hundred percent sure that you would say the same, if that victim would have been you, or one of your loved ones. It is easy to “vote” for the freedom of the psychopaths, if the victims are not your family.

By the way, here is the argument you need to think about. If any decent person has the necessary knowledge about an impending terrorist attack, AND the necessary power to prevent it (and the all-knowing, all-powerful deity would have it), then you - hopefully - would exercise your power and would prevent the act. If anyone would allow the attack to go on, that would be just as “evil” as the actual perpetrator.

Another principle: “there is no significant difference between the active and the permissive will”.


Yes, so you repeatedly say. But I simply don’t understand why the pain the rabbit feels when the fox tears it apart has got anything at all to do with free moral agency.


Re toothache…

It’s only relatively recently that we could actually do anything about a bad tooth. For 99.9 percent of our history, yeah - it would kill you. There was nothing you could do (short of someone beating it out of your head with a rock) and the pain is superflous. I had an extremely bad toothache a few years back and was a few hours from medication. I was literally in tears because of the pain. If I knew there was no hope of relief I would seriously have been looking for a cliff to throw myself off. So no, that sort of pain, when there is no hope of any remedy, is bad design.

Likewise the pain of labour. If I had a dog and it went through the same pain as my wife did giving birth, I would have shot it. And if you’ve seen a dog or a cat or a horse give birth, it’s all pretty much a non event as dicomfort goes. So no, that sort of pain is bad design (although if you know enough about our pre history and developing an upright gait and an increased head size to allow for a larger brain, then you know it wasn’t designed in the first place).

So everything looks exactly like it wasn’t designed (unless the designer is a sadist) so If There Were No God we would end up living in a world exactly like this one. And no-one to blame except the vagaries of the evolutionary process.


If you stay within arms length, you may even get to experience some of that useful pain yourself.


No, you’re just trying to move the goalposts here because you started with “toothache” and apparently don’t know a lot about those. Which is fine - we live in an age where access to dentistry has been available to most ppl for half a century.

My 2nd eldest sister is a dentist and her husband is an oral-maxillofacial surgeon. Perhaps they might log on and explain to you the dangers.

Only to the uneducated. I say that as gently and sincerely as possible.

Fools derive truth from the “Duck Principle”. It’s a tool for beginning your analysis; not ending it. If you persist in disagreement - your loss. Truly.

Then if you’re going to critique Catholic views, you should probably learn about them first so you actually know what you’re doing.

I find my power to do good to be quite sufficient.

More opinions dressed as facts? A habit of yours, I’m seeing…

Oh? You get to frame my views for me? :thinking:
Do I get to frame your views for you, as turnabout is fair play?

(of course not, in case you didn’t know the answer)

Unless that someone found the curtailing of moral agency to be a greater evil than the attack itself.

Oh? Allowing a thief to run past me is as bad as performing the theft itself? The law itself seems to disagree…

It seems your understanding of the “Duck Principle” isn’t the only thing that could use some reconsideration.


I don’t see why that example of pain is “bad”. It simply “is”.


I have the understanding that extractions are nearly as old as the agriculture that largely necessitated them.

The assumption there is “I have an idea of what the designer would/should have otherwise done”, which is a little difficult for me to accept on face-value - especially from someone who doesn’t think such a designer exists.

Now I’ll accept “what I would have otherwise done”. But that’s not hardly the same thing.

How often do you disagree with the rationale of a spouse? But, for some reason, a disagreement about the perceived rationale of a creator gives support for the notion it isn’t there?

Come now…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.