If you had faith that fire wouldn't burn your skin what would be the number of skin grafts, pain pills or infections needed to convince you that your faith was misplaced?
As an intellectual I have always been resolute in my conviction that man cannot know God. Thus I hold the position of an agnostic. This is not to say that arguments about theism cannot be made. Today I will support my observational-based opinion that God is a malevolent deity.
William of Occam is the philosopher responsible for giving us "Occam's Razor" which provides that given two competing theories that equally explain the data that one should choose the one that posits the least number of entities. Occam's Razor debunks alien abduction. One theory to explain the feeling of being motionless but having auditory awareness is that a complex machine carrying extra-terrestrial creates has traversed space and come to your house for the purpose of retrieving you and conducting experiments on your body. The other is sleep-paralysis.
Now for an examination of God. The Bible, text of the Christian branch of the Judaic cult, tells us that there is one omnipotent, all-loving deity. The other Judaic cults as well as many others tell us of a benevolent God. But how can this be true if there is so much hardship, evil and "sin" in the world? The explanation is that there is a parallel entity called the devil who also seeks to influence our behaviour.
This seems to be a contradiction in a world created by a perfect, all loving God. If God is benevolent and he created the world then why did he also create evil? If you listen to the explanations propounded by the cultists dogma it has to do with tempting our free will. This is a very complex system that includes myths, fear of damnation, a purported luxurious afterlife, condemnation by society and a promise that the discord in your life, which may have brought you to seek the absurdity of institutional religion, is part of a grand scheme for your eventual betterment. There is an alternative explanation though.
Actually, there are two much more plausible explanations. The first, that we are simply evolved beings as Darwin and his predecessor, Diderot, have postulated. We are here by chance and have developed a survival mechanism whereby desirable traits are passed along and those that don't conform to advancement of the species are weeded out. Lack of a fear of heights is a trait that gets weeded out. Those ancestors of ours who were out wandering along the terraces of the cliff side which contained their dwelling, but who had no fear of heights, likely fell to their deaths.
But some believers challenge the evolutionary theory not by trying to disprove the theory but instead asking 'how was the universe brought into existence?' Their answer is, of course, their supreme being as espoused by their particular cult. Occam accounted for this by positing that God may have created all singularities but that once done there was no divine intervention. It's a reconciliation of the two view points; that God created the universe and man in his image, and that man evolved from from a chance configuration of the individual elements. God created the elements -- all matter in the universe -- then those elements started combing and through the near infinite probabilities over billions of years in trillions of galaxies eventually created man as we know ourselves to be here on Earth. But, today, I'd rather focus on the alternate supernatural explanation.
If you were given the whole Biblical story as an adult in full possession of all your mental faculties there is very little chance you would accept it. Adults are generally indoctrinated during times of distress -- death of a loved one, divorce, bankruptcy, major illness/mental condition or some other tragedy -- when they are in need of support and their logical resistance is subdued. The number of perfectly well-adjusted adults who take up religion as a new philosophy is exceedingly small. Likewise someone who was abused as a child with this indoctrination is unlikely to shed a belief in a supernatural being responsible for all of existence. So that is the basis on which I want to posit my theory today.
I have long said that if God exists then he is a malevolent being who answers the prayers of the priests of the pedophilia organization known as the Catholic Church but not the young children who suffer the sexual abuse condoned and covered up by that cult. I think of the possibility of the existence of a God much the way that Occam did -- the creator of existence. Epicurus had long prior argued effectively against the idea of an anthropomorphic god who was cognizant of human affairs.
Epicurus asks, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?. Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing?. Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then how can there be evil?" Descarte would later expand on this precept which I came to know before having ever read any of the works of Descarte.
The adherents of the various cults hold to a set of beliefs that there is an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful deity. For my examination I will start with the premise that there is an all-powerful deity. We are aware of this deity through our perception. Whether it be through personal reflection or actual conversation with God through prayer or meditation this interaction is subject to the construct of our minds. The same mind that gives us hallucinations, confusion between dreams and what we perceive as reality, or water on a roadway in the dry desert.
Since evil exists there must be a rational explanation to the questions that Epicurus asks. I have always been a big fan of the Twilight Zone television series which I got to watch in syndication as a young child. In Episode 22, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, alien beings manipulate the environment in a neighborhood. Electricity in houses go on or off, cars will or won't run and residents try to figure out who or what is behind these events. Eventually suspicion turns to each other and before the evening is over one anxious resident has shot another. The beings are then revealed and convey that the results are the same in every neighborhood in which the try this. These beings toyed with their human subjects for their amusements and a social experiment.
So what if God is the same? Before exploring that think of the Indian riddle -- The Blackfooted Indian always tells the truth. The Whitefooted Indian always lies. An Indian with moccasins on approaches you and claims to be an honest Blackfoot. Which is he?
Could it be that God is a malevolent Whitefoot and not the all-loving Blackfoot? Think of God as the all-knowing, all-powerful deity that created your mind and the manner in which it perceives. This malevolent deity tells you that he is an all-loving God which you perceive as true. That he is going to give you eternal life in bliss but you have to follow some rules that he has established for you and delivered to men that he has chosen to receive his message and then deliver to you. He has also told you that there is another force similar to him, but that this force is evil. This force will tempt you and try to turn you against the all-loving God. If you sacrifice your own desires, your ambitions and ultimately your happiness now and worship this all-loving God then you will reap the great rewards that he will bestow upon you later. Finally, that you should not apply logic to the existence of God because that will offend him. You believe all this and have faith in your convictions based upon your perception and likely indoctrination while you were an impressionable child who followed authority and hadn't developed the mental faculties to adequately challenge the absurdity of the stories you were told.
What if there was only one deity? That this one all-knowing, all-powerful deity is a malevolent force who sits aloof projecting thoughts of himself as being an all-loving god and then tosses mayhem, disaster and excruciating pains your way and blames it on an alternate malevolent force.
It is a question that cannot be answered. As Occam postulated though, the answer to two alternate theories should be the one which posits the minimum number of entities. The existence of one malevolent god would easily explain the great paradoxes and contradictions of the organized cults while accounting for the default response that "God works in mysterious ways."
If you would like to explore more philosophical thoughts and pursue a path towards attaining truth then you may wish to visit or become a member of the Center for Inquiry.
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