I don’t participate in the God Debacle anymore, because I find it profoundly lacking intellectual honesty on both sides of the question. The argument between atheists and theists has all the earmarks of a debate about a third party that’s standing right there and could speak for himself if anyone would just pay attention.
Atheists fail to ask a simple question: God, are you there and, if so, could you please show me? So easy. Which of you has sincerely done that? If not, you don’t have shit to say. You don’t eliminate the existence of God by countering arguments for his existence, any more than you eliminate me by countering every argument that claims I’m here. You don’t eliminate the existence of God because of lack of evidence, especially not when you insist that “evidence” be limited to what by nature has no bearing on the question. You don’t eliminate the existence of God by putting the burden of proof on others. That’s like a scientist who refuses to look for sign of the undiscovered because no one can convince him that there’s anything to find. Why not? Because they have no evidence? LMAO! What a freaking joke, especially since we’re not talking about inanimate materials buried deep in mountains or retiring species hidden in remote ecosystems. Atheists are eager to hunt for those, but probe for an allegedly ubiquitous quarry? Not so much.
After all, we’re talking about a being who could answer for himself if asked but, ironically and for the most part, atheists really don’t want to ask. They seem afraid to ask. Or maybe they’re afraid they’ll get an answer. Or maybe they’re afraid they won’t be able to tell whether they got an answer or not. All this airy-fairy spiritual stuff is just so hard to put your finger on with any certainty, you know. Give them cold, hard science any day and they’ll be content, even happy. Is it because specimens don’t talk back, let alone express will or present existential difficulties? Bugs would say, “Eh… COULD be…”
“Believers” fail to believe a simple proposition: If God is real, he can speak for himself — and not only can he, but he does and he will. The hypocrisy of the unbelief involved in this lack of recognition is the crux of atheistic offense at the hubris with which you so-called “believers” compensate for your pathetic lack of faith. If your God were real, he wouldn’t need your help. Rather, you would get his. If your God were real, he wouldn’t need you to devise “proofs” for his existence, nor would you feel the need to devise them, because he’s fucking there. (Unless he’s really not.) If your God were real, you would ask and you would receive, because God would give. As it is, you don’t ask, because you don’t believe, so God does not give, and then, having nothing to show, you grasp at straws and make shit up. Shame on you.
I don’t participate in the God debacle because it’s trivial. The arguments are trivial. The “proofs” pro and con are trivial. Except one. The problem of evil or suffering, theodicy, is in no way trivial. But neither is it in any way “proof” that God does not exist. If God does not exist, then neither does the “problem,” because the problem is predicated on the assumed existence of God. Assume the opposite and the problem disappears. So how can assuming the existence of something be basis for “proof” of its non-existence? That’s flatly illogical, yet millions of atheists heartily embrace it. Many of them are smart people, so there’s gotta be a reason. What makes it compelling?
The problem of suffering is compelling to both atheists and theists because of the stunning travesty of divine passivity in the face of evil. But that passivity is relevant only because of the possibility that God exists, which possibility is in fact unavoidably compelling, as the ongoing debate amply proves. The God Debacle isn’t about proving or disproving the existence of God — both sides know that’s impossible, pretend otherwise as they might — it’s about denying or defending the possibility that God exists. It’s an argument over suppositions as if they were demonstrable conclusions, which is why it’s as illogical as it’s interminable. If it weren’t compelling to both sides, the God Debacle would dissolve for triviality, illogicality, and lack of energy and interest. It takes two to tango, as usual.
The problem of suffering is compelling because we feel the injustice of the pain and suffering of living beings and the earth itself. Eliminating God alleviates the pain of injustice, because justice is irrelevant if there’s no one to take responsibility. But eliminating God’s existence for the sake of emotional relief is denial, not demonstration, let alone proof. And it might not be the only option. Denying the existence of God on the basis of theodicy is a kind of boycott: I refuse to recognize your existence, because if you really exist, you must be a bastard and I want nothing to do with you. It’s the theological equivalent of holding your breath until you turn blue — a protest, not an argument.
Theodicy isn’t a philosophical or theological problem, but an existential one. And it’s legitimate. And it’s profound. That’s why everyone is interested and so many get so emotional and irrational about it. What could you possibly say about a divine being who does nothing when innocents suffer? The burden certainly doesn’t rest on atheists to answer that one. And they rightly resent you “believers” for failing to answer it after many thousands of years of opportunity. Don’t stand there and claim that the existence of God is obvious when you go dumb and mute over the most important question about him. You claim to “know God.” Prove that’s not a lie, at least.
But you can’t, can you? Your pretense of confidence in the “answers” you’ve concocted revolts us. Your smug penchant for blaming victims for their suffering is reprehensible and loathsome. And for all your many tomes, you haven’t touched the crux of divine passivity: why? Either God is talking but you’re not listening, or the whole thing is rubbish. It’s a toss, because until someone finds real answers there’s no way to tell.
I’m sick to nausea with the petty bickering and empty argument. I’m disgusted with the posturing on both sides. I’m flat out done with the bullshit adversariality. None of you knows what the fuck you’re talking about, because no one has answered the real question, yet. So I’m going to. Any and all are welcome to join in and help. The rest of you can shut the fuck up or go on bickering like fools, whoever you are and whatever you think yourself to be. Put up or get out of the way, because this is happening.