The God Debacle

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.


About Millard J. Melnyk

Motley past, promising future exploring an open, potent understanding of mutuality, individual dignity and personal power through trust. DEAUTHORITARIANIZE EVERYTHING!
This entry was posted in Bible, God, Life & Death, Philosophy, Religion, Reversal, Spirituality, Truth & Rumors and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The God Debacle

  1. Gede Prama says:

    And I love all the posts in this blog really interesting touch words, thank you friend 🙂

  2. I have had to leave all ties to any organized church systems what so ever some years back, in order to give myself the chance to have an honest internal subjective investigation as to what I truly am in regard to my relationship, and my beliefs in God, and the teachings of Jesus Christ without the insanity that revolves all around organized religions and their convoluted doctrines and Dogmas. Also I feel the professional religious Theists and Atheists are taking advantage of this cultural discourse and cashing in on it without any regard for what damage it may be instigating out there as they fight to gather numbers of book buying followers on both sides of the issue that seem to require this polarization to give themselves an identity, not knowing this identity is second hand, at the very best…This is where 1800 years of man manufactured Doctrine tends to lead. Wasent the first Apostles accountings, and Jesus’ directives enough? man just has to always piss all over the gift for some crazy reason…Two knees, a bending at the half way point between the foot and the hips, and a sincere open mind to whatever the inner voice has in store for you, beats Doctrine and Dogma every time for this Theists…I most likely would have been very comfortable in the William Penn days, although I wouldn’t have appreciated the lack of heat during the winter, and lack of air conditioning in summer…

    I find this hate filled, hard stance, from both Theists and Atheists today to be the very spark that has, and will continue to be, the spark that ignites all sorts of ignorance into the world, as it has all throughout history, Only now we have buttons that can be pushed that go BOOM!!! for real…Its no wonder Soren Kierkegaard decided to live the life he did at that particular time in history, that so well reflects todays social and cultural paradigms of pure insanity (“group think”)…Theirs a great Youtube video with Wendell Berry speaking at a southern Baptists Church about Gay marriage. Im shocked he got out of there alive and in one piece…No Pansy there…lol…84 years of raw grit and intellect willing to speak out at the drop of a hat…As a musician, I work with Atheists every day for many years now, and we dialogue on these matters all the time, and never suffer from any discomfort that I can recall…A man should be grateful to be invited into another mans or woman’s mind set, it expands our own, shutting down the door way with this social illness is not only counter productive as a culture, but utter madness… I enjoy your blog my friend,hope you dont mind me dropping in like this…

    • Mind? Of course not! Thank you for your thoughtful remarks, and I couldn’t agree more. My goal in all this is a unification. These petty wars are unnecessary and, once the real issues are finally uncovered, turn out pretty easy to resolve. I find over and over that the real problem is often that people are afraid to put their real issues on the table, so instead they bring forward things they think will impress or influence, while trying to anticipate and preempt the “other side” so that it won’t take things in undesirable directions. Force gets applied tangentially and the cruxes are never connected, so the whole thing just spins ’round and ’round…

      It truly is an honor to be invited into someone else’s mind and world — their holy place. Hats and shoes off before we tread in gently and with appreciation… 🙂

      Please share more as you feel like it! I always enjoy hearing from others. Take care, man!

  3. mcasz says:

    The only peace available to me is accepting that I can’t know the answer to the God question. There, not there, real or unicorn? I’ve been content for decades now with not knowing, my only certainty is that any position I could take would eventually wither. Is there even a satisfying definition of God out there? Not for me. The whole concept is beyond my ability to adequately formulate, when I try to wrap my human scale brain around the enormity of the universe down to it’s subatomic underpinnings. God? Human-like? A human-centered, predictable viewpoint. So limited it should be an embarrassment to all humans. And while I appreciate the “bite” as you call it in your writing, your recent fascination with Jesus and the Bible seems odd (correct me if I’ve misread your About Me page). Your piece on cults was very helpful, really well written, so why wouldn’t you apply that same lens to Christianity? As someone must have said, they’re all cults, some more successful than others. And that’s not an idle pot-shot; I do believe any church worth it’s salt uses the same tools, more cleverly hidden, perhaps, as David Koresh and the Branch Davidians to control and extract it’s price from followers. It’s all mind slavery, and it’s beneath you. I hope you will escape someday and be satisfied to simply interact with the physical world around you and enjoy the unlimited creativity of the human brain without having to spend so much of the little time we have hassling an unanswerable question. No one is likely to call me original but my philosophy is easy and stems from a simple viewpoint: “I don’t know and you don’t either.”

    • mcasz, please forgive my tardy response! I get online infrequently lately and haven’t been keeping an eye on this blog.

      I’m not sure what “your recent fascination with Jesus and the Bible” refers to. It’s not recent by any means. Born-agained and spirit-filled in 1972, an avid Christian for two decades through informal and organized religious groups and a quasi-cult. I rejected the church at large and Christianity as practiced there in 1994. I rejected the Christian religion in totality in 2009 after 15 years of atheist/agnostic thinking and living and deep deliberation. I made a point to family and friends (most of them Christians) that I am not a Christian and will never be one again.

      I don’t equate Jesus, the Bible, or their teachings with the mumbo-jumbo that we know as Christianity. Dechurched, Jesus is the most profound and insightful teacher I’ve encountered. Buddha comes in at #2 in a long line of Western and Eastern thinkers and sages that I love to read and ponder.

      My bent for some time now is to try to get our focus shifted from the “is not” to what’s actually going on. Of course we can’t “know” if there’s a God and what she/he/it is like — not the way we think of “knowing” these days (which is pretty superficial compared to the way the ancients understood the term.) At the same time, the things that we believe viscerally can’t be denied, no matter how ridiculous they are. If I’m convinced that really, really bad things will happen if I get anywhere near that spider, you can tell me that my phobia is irrational, imaginary, it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t help. Understanding what IS going on in my psyche might, though. I think it’s similar with beliefs. They aren’t justified *only* by reason. There’s plenty of intuitive and emotional stuff going on in there that make them convincing. But we can’t listen and understand it if all we do is dismiss it.

      *Believing* as a psychological process/experience is legitimate. We all do it. It’s essential to all thought. *What* we believe is always questionable. And the question of the validity of one is a very different matter than that of the other.

      “I hope you will escape someday and be satisfied to simply interact with the physical world around you and enjoy the unlimited creativity of the human brain without having to spend so much of the little time we have hassling an unanswerable question.”

      Haha, you’re too late. Been interacting like that now for several years in a big way. In fact, unless we engage in imagination, anthropomorphization, personification — and I recently added non-compulsive superstition to the list — we aren’t interacting with our entire psyches. There’s a good reason sailors call their ships “she.” I’m living in the woods in a tent right now. A Swiss tent. It’s instruction tag reads, “You might find your tent taking on personal characteristics. It will be different in cool weather, warm weather, dry and wet weather.” It cracked me up.

      Everyone who seriously interacts with the physical world finds themselves relating to it in very personified ways, like it or not. There are parts of our brain that just don’t work otherwise. We need to use them in relating to “inanimate” things and beings of “lesser intelligence” too. We might stop trashing our mother planet that way. And otherwise we’re missing out. It’s a party out there! 🙂

      I like to “hassle” the question because I love people on both sides of it, and I just want everyone to get along. So, I decided to see how much of it I can lay to rest. I like my progress so far. I just wish it wouldn’t take so long. Lots of self-deprogramming involved. I guess you haven’t read some of my more scathing pieces critical of Christianity. Some don’t make it here. I like to alpha-test ideas on Facebook. I tell Christians that they believe in the devil more than they believe in God. So much fear-based thinking and behavior. I’ve basically, through several pieces, intimated (I have no question personally, just not quite ready for the shitstorm that I’ll trigger) that the Christian church as we know it is the antithesis to the principles and experience written about in the New Testament, IOW it’s the “antichrist.” Christians think that the antichrist is some secular figure. Nope. It’s them.

      I hope that clarifies some things. I really like your thinking. Do you ponder big question things at all, or just “living in the moment” as they say?

Please let me know what you think!

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