24 April 2012

The (im)morality of God




This video is nicely complimented by one of my favorite quotes from Richard Dawkins:
"The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference."


I should also add that this is from the debate between Harris and William Lane Craig. Craig did not even attempt to address the bulk of this, instead sticking to his tired "objective morality" canard that's already been shot down six ways from Sunday. But Harris is raising a really good point here – Believers have no choice but to rationalize all this horror as part of God's mysterious plan. But why would an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being create a plan that requires suffering on such a scale, and inflicted upon so many innocents? And who in their right mind would want to be a part of such a "plan"?

This is analogous to me to comments that God sends non-believers like me to hell. Not because I'm a bad person, but because I got the theological arguments wrong. Well, guess what? Fuck such a tyrant of a god. If my atheism is completely misguided and I turn out to be wrong, God wouldn't have to throw me into the lake of fire – I'd flip him the bird and jump in, and my 'saved' friends and family could spend eternity knowing that I'm suffering horribly. I wonder if they could really call that 'heaven'.

There is simply no amount of eternal bliss that could reconcile the mass suffering God's plan purportedly inflicts for those 'mysterious' reasons. It's not a plan that I, nor any decent human being, should want to be a part of. Such a god would be a despicable tyrant, and surely unworthy of 'worship'. Good thing, then, that he's a work of fiction.

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