What should we Catholics say about this atheist meme?

I found this meme surfing on Internet. I don t know what to say about this irreligious meme. It sounds very provocating .What should we Catholics say about this atheist meme?

How about a sincere heartfelt prayer for whoever composed and is amused or interested by this meme, that they reach a greater understanding, and then just ignoring it?

The Internet is full of stupid memes, and getting riled up over one usually just brings it a lot more attention, which is not desirable. Furthermore, the subject matter of the meme (why Jesus would allow a young child to suffer) is not an easy topic to just explain to people whose minds are closed and who have already made up their mind to reject the concept of God. One must pray that the Holy Spirit reaches them and opens their minds to understanding. Otherwise, the best explanations in the world would fall right on deaf ears.

Can’t fix stupid. Consider it a sign to ignore the person that uses it!

Another atheist straw man construct, making it easy to trivialize beliefs they neither share or understand.

I want to ask a question : After having seen this picture , should Catholics thank God when the event is not very important? For example : Should a Catholic thank God when he wins a race instead of , for example, surviving an horrible car accident that destroys the car? I hope that you have understood my question , I m not very good at English.

A Catholic or any Christian or believer in God can thank God for anything that he feels thankful for that is good (i.e. you would not thank God for doing harm to someone else unless it was to save the life of you and your family by causing the murderer to fall off the cliff instead of shoot you). You can and should offer this thanks at any time and regardless of whether anyone else thinks it is “important”.

It is a good thing to sincerely thank God for many types of things. Could be everything from winning a ball game to just thanking God that you woke up to see another day. Some people even thank God for their own sufferings as they feel that this experience is of value somehow, to offer it up in reparation for sin, or to help them learn something.

Whether thanking God publicly is a good thing or not depends on if it is a sincere Thanks or whether the person doing the thanking is putting on a public show of giving Thanks, like Jesus warned against in the Bible.

We do not stop offering our sincere Thanks to God just because some atheist does not understand or makes fun of it. We don’t care about that.

Thanking God for simple things is just our way of acknowledging his presence in our lives. His mercy is infinite after all. there is evil and injustice in the world. Someone might say that the atheist would just say oh well and walk on by, the believer would hopefully try and do something about it, even if it’s simply saying a prayer!

It is designed to be provocative and very effective at that. Contrasting the trivial results of a ridiculous prayer with the heartbreaking picture of a small child in Africa is a very effective way to show that God - if exists - cannot be called “good” or “loving”. However, instead of thinking about the subject, some posters refuse to even think and understand what the story is all about. Of course it is pure self-defense on their part. If they would dare to examine their beliefs in the blinding light of reason and reality, they would immediately drop their faith… and that is what they are unable and unwilling to do. Instead of that they mumble something about “straw men”. and stick their fingers into their ears, while chanting: “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!”

God should be thanked for all that is good.

Oh Vera Luba. So supposedly enlightened by reason. So little in actual understanding.

There’s no plugging fingers into ears, you just think we believe some caricature of Christianity you have in your head. It’s not a lack of reason… it’s a different, foundationally different, way of understanding. And you only see the narrow point of view your on. You call yourself enlightened, but don’t realize there’s a different way to see the world. Not by ignoring. Still seeing, but differently. I’ve been there. I really have. And then I realized that the way I’d been seeing my whole life wasn’t all there is, that it wasn’t neutral, that it wasn’t some default, that it wasn’t even fully consistent, because it was just what was ingrained into me from society growing up. “Obviously if people would just think, they’d see it my way!”

I don’t know anyone who has “dropped their faith” because of a tasteless meme like this. It doesn’t exactly scream “blinding light of reason and reality”. The existence of natural evil disproves the existence of God as much as the existence of goodness disproves the idea of atheism.

My “reason” is telling me that anybody who insists that if I used my “reason” I would surely agree with them is not being “reasonable”, they are simply pushing some viewpoint in a manipulative way.

How is it atheist? To me it obviously points out the hypocrisy around us. :shrug:

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

Another straw man.

And thanked for all that is evil? Or curse for it?

You forget; to call something a caricature is the admission that the description is correct. A caricature is much easier to recognize than a portrait. As a matter of fact even the church admits that the “problem of evil” is a MYSTERY. It cannot give an answer for it. And then comes the horde of apologists, which tries to explain away the unexplainable. The irony is that they cannot even come to some consensus among themselves. Some try to use the “free will” argument, some attempt the “greater good” argument. But the church is silent. Keep that in mind.

Why is it tasteless? Because it exposes the incredible hypocrisy of the believers?

That is nonsense. The existence of good would only disprove the existence of a malevolent deity.

A caricature is a dishonest representation of something.

As a matter of fact even the church admits that the “problem of evil” is a MYSTERY. It cannot give an answer for it. And then comes the horde of apologists, which tries to explain away the unexplainable. The irony is that they cannot even come to some consensus among themselves. Some try to use the “free will” argument, some attempt the “greater good” argument. But the church is silent. Keep that in mind.

To say the Church has no answer to evil is false.
Here is what the Church actually says about creation and the existence of evil:

Providence and the scandal of evil.

309 If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better.174 But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.175

311 Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil.176 He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it:

For almighty God. . ., because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.177
312 In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: “It was not you”, said Joseph to his brothers, "who sent me here, but God. . . You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive."178 From the greatest moral evil ever committed - the rejection and murder of God’s only Son, caused by the sins of all men - God, by his grace that “abounded all the more”,179 brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good.

313 "We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him."180 The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth:

St. Catherine of Siena said to “those who are scandalized and rebel against what happens to them”: "Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind."181
St. Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: "Nothing can come but that that God wills. And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best."182

Dame Julian of Norwich: "Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith. . . and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time - that ‘all manner [of] thing shall be well.’"183

314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God “face to face”,184 will we fully know the ways by which - even through the dramas of evil and sin - God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest185 for which he created heaven and earth.

Not at all. It enhances the most pertinent features of the subject - to make it more recognizable. And that meme is the perfect example to display the intellectual dishonesty of the believers, who praise the Lord for some gratuitous “good”, and fail to recognize the responsibility of God for all the suffering. And this double standard makes them hypocrites.

Says the catechism: “To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice.” And there is no “long” answer either. Only some generalities. To use the most obvious problem: “the teething of the newborns”. It is a temporary, though extremely painful experience, which has no positive side effect. The teeth could come out from under the gums without any pain at all. The poor kids cannot “offer” it up, since they are not developed enough to do so. It is the best (or worst) example of unnecessary or gratuitous suffering.

Also: “He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it” Of course the catechism also says that no evil can be performed of allowed even if something good will come out of it. So the catechism refutes itself. But apart from that. “What good can come out from the rape and torture of children, which God could not achieve without those acts”? No “mysteries” please. Enumerate the facts, only. Of course you are unable to provide any explanation, so your faith that “God is good” is just another empty, unsubstantiated belief.

All you can say: “We have no idea, there is no explanation, but our (blind) faith tells us that there must be some overriding good, which will justify the suffering. After all, if there would be no justification, then God would not allow it”. And that kind of blind faith simply does not make a rational explanation.

Finally, in 324, the catechism repeats:“The fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery.”. Capisci? It is a “mystery”.

Let’s just start with one simple thing befor we try to resolve the other distortions:
can you just go to Websters and copy the definition of caricature? The word distortion is used twice in the definition of caricature.

Then maybe we can discuss what Catholics mean by “mystery”, cause we know you want to discuss the Christian God and not some straw god. Right?

Of course it is a systematic distortion by enhancing the most pertinent feature of the subject, to make it more readily recognizable. If the subject would not be recognized, then the caricature would not “work”. The caricature goes to the “essence” of the subject. So, if you complain that the meme is a caricature of Catholicism, it means that you recognize the subject, but do not like what you see. Very few people are willing to accept the caricature about themselves, because it cuts to the jugular of how they would LIKE to see themselves.

Sure, you would LIKE to see God as the ultimate good, without any negative feature, and when this meme forces you to see that this “picture” is incorrect, you become desperate and start to scream: “straw man”, “caricature”!

Ah the old trick. When someone points out the hypocrisy and you don’t like it, you cry “straw man” (or caricature). You cannot create a special definition of “mystery”. And most certainly you cannot create a special definition of God: “all good, all loving, etc…” and when it is questioned, you are NOT allowed to say: “but that is not God! You speak of something that is not God! That is a straw man.”

God must be treated as a hypothesis, with all his fancy attributes. Then we can analyze this hypothesis, and see if the attributes are 1) meaningful, 2) without internal inconsistency and 3) are not contradicted by the existing reality. You cannot define God’s alleged “goodness” into reality.

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