MrV, repeatedly telling yourself and others "there is no God" won't make the guilt go away. I say this because your hostile behavior in these religious/anti-religious threads appear to be a cry for help.
- Dr Phil
Physician, heal thyself.
Why do horrible things happen?
Any self respecting GOD would not allow any of these things to have ever occurred.
Believing in God or not has nothing to do with "better we focus our efforts in making this world a better place, instead of blowing it off in hopes of a mulligan in "the hereafter.""
You can be a Christian (or any other religion for that matter) and do much for the world today and not blow it on the "hereafter".
Believing in God is a matter of faith and faith alone. If there was physical evidence for a God, everyone would be forced to believe in one. If there was physical evidence for God, and heaven existed, scientists would be proposing methods and string theories and whatever that would be a mechanism for getting one from here to the hereafter. And then God would cease to exist, because it's been explained.
God is the impossible. If God was found to exist, then it wouldn't be God now, would it? Its workings and mechanisms would just become part of our physical universe, and we would call heaven the defined area (we would probably name a dimension "heavenspace") that we go when we die, and we would find some theory that gets us there using some new branch of Physics (godmology). Billions of dollars in research grants would be granted to find the path. We would be attempting to find ways to reverse transit from heavenspace back to our dimensions, and so on and so forth.
God is mystical. Accept that. You can either have God in your heart, or not. I choose in, despite that fact that there might not be God.
I promised myself not to get involved in any of these type of threads, but I had to commend you for how well you expressed your (and my) sentiments.
If God was found to exist, then it wouldn't be God now, would it? Its workings and mechanisms would just become part of our physical universe, and we would call heaven the defined area (we would probably name a dimension "heavenspace") that we go when we die, and we would find some theory that gets us there using some new branch of Physics (godmology). Billions of dollars in research grants would be granted to find the path. We would be attempting to find ways to reverse transit from heavenspace back to our dimensions, and so on and so forth.
You say this as if it were a bad thing.
I would very much like to be proven wrong (but I won't be).
Personally, I would like for something other than string theory, but thus far it ain't happening.
The stance that God's existence is faith based alone, and therefore neither provable nor refutable, is sort of the easy way out of the argument and is surely not the stance of all theists. For instance, the Catechism of the Catholic Church decrees that God's existence is demonstrable and can be derived from man's reason alone. Not all of the Protestant sects have rejected that line of thinking. The resulting arguments presented from theologians like Saint Thomas Aquinas are pretty interesting, but still have not convinced me. I think the problem of Evil (stylized here as the production of 'Glee', but should refer to non-human caused suffering such as natural disasters) is still the biggest hang up for me, and hasn't been satisfactorily addressed by theists (although Aquinas did try).
I agree that faith and reason need to go together, in fact I think we need to recover Cardinal John Henry Newman's understanding that a decision for faith itself is an act of reason. There are other ways to use our human reason but in every instance of its use we take evidence, facts, logic, etc. and putting them together come to new conclusions. These conclusions become our knowledge. Our knowledge of the higher things like the existence of God is reached through faith based on reasonable conclusions arrived at by examining the evidence all around us. Faith is not blind and faith in God is not unreasonable.
In regards to the problem of evil, if Aqunias and Augustine couldn't convince you I have no chance. Therefore I'm not even going to try to make a coherent arguement. Instead lets look at the options: (1) Either there is some plan that I am not privy to that somehow allows all this suffering in life, even that not caused by my own or others misuse of free will, to lead to my salvation in a place where there is no more suffering and pain and in this Heaven the sufferings of the present will seem as a blink of an eye or like the pains of childbirth quickly forgotten in the face of something so wonderful as new life. (2) Or the sufferings I endure and the evil of this world are not good or bad but just reality, a horrible and inescapable accident of life that is filled with no ultimate meaning or purpose and any of my pursuits to overcome it will have no lasting effects for me or others who suffer evil as death only brings an end and nothingness.
Now, I have shown many times my ignorance towards the view of atheists and have been humbled in trying to express their varied views on how they deal with the problem of evil, but this is how I see their view, maybe they can correct it. By the way I like option #1.
Finally, I do not think a general theist, especially one who believes in a distant god, can have an adequate answer to the problem of evil. I think you need a God very personal, very loving, and very close to humanity; so close that this God would be willing to share in our suffering for you to come close to any adequate answer.
All morality is relative.
faith based on reasonable conclusions arrived at by examining the evidence all around us.
The same faith that persecuted Newton and Gallileo, after examining
their evidence? The two men who are regarded by most as the
greatest scientists who ever lived?
You want us to trust the flawless reasoning and deductive powers
of a church that was so ignorant and full of itself that it would have
seen these men dead if they could have arranged it?
I don't think so.
Why would the concept of "evil" somehow tend to prove the existence of god?
The Problem of Evil is a classic non-theist argument, not the other way around.