Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnibenevolent and Omnipresent, or non existent?

Many theists are adamant in their confidence that their god not only exists, but is heavily involved in their lives, and listens to their prayers. They believe that their god is all knowing, all powerful and all present, yet they allow things to happen almost as if they don’t exist. Many theists claim that everything that’s bad happens because of man’s alleged lifestyle and sin, but that doesn’t account for natural disasters like drought, famine, earthquakes or tsunamis where countless lives are either taken, or badly affected. If a god was all powerful and all knowing, they’d surely prevent things like that happening, but it happens and theists just accept that it’s their god’s will through ignorance and naivety.

How can theists claim their god is all knowing and all loving but allows priests who represent the Catholic religion to abuse children and nuns? Surely he knows they are going to do it before they do, so why doesn’t their god prevent it if he loves everyone? This is the same loving god that send a flood and wiped out most of the life on Earth according to creationists, and the same loving god who’s prepared to order the execution of a man collecting wood on the sabbath, and it’s also the same loving god who’s prepared to punish someone with eternal Hell for not choosing to acknowledge their existence.

“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 whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” – Epicurus

What’s alarming about all of this are the amount of humans who take everything that happens as their god’s will and just accept it without question. If you are attacked, or raped, your loving god knew it was going to happen, yet didn’t prevent it. How can someone just accept that it’s god’s will, and just carrying on with life? I can imagine that through process could help with grief, but it’s far from rational.

What equally as disturbing is the belief that theists think that they have a personal relationship with their god, and he communicates with them. So if this is the case, why hasn’t god spoken to everyone and put atheism and agnosticism to bed? The fallacy that you have to seek god and put your faith in him before he reveals himself is nothing more than insane ramblings of the delusional.

Do we survive death?

You hear frequently that theists believe that when they die their spirit and soul will leave their carbon based bodies and meet God, where he’ll judge you on your actions during your life. Practically every religion throughout history has had some belief in some form of afterlife, where the remaining consciousness leaves the body and ventures into a spiritual existence, or reborn into another life. This is especially believed in Indian cultures that practise Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Hinduism. This can either be a reward, or a punishment depending on how they conducted themselves in their previous life. Abrahamic religions, that consist of the Baháʼí Faith, Islam, Judaism and Christianity believe in the dark and the light, the good and the evil. They all have their versions of Heaven, and Hell, where varying degrees of suffering and reward are subjected to the deceased depending on their level of sin during their lives.

“You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.” – Pope Francis

As you can read above, Pope Francis said in 2013 that be believed that atheists would enter Heaven if they lived their lives following their conscience. If an atheist adopts a humanist approach and lives a kind and virtuous life, surely any compassionate god would forgive them if it turns out Heaven does exist? We are approaching 8,000,000,000 on this planet, and some are by nature good, and some aren’t; but theists and non theists are individuals with different personalities, desires, morals and ethics. So how can an afterlife, or a Heaven be a personal experience for everyone? Is it an irrational concept to imagine an eternity as a spirit?

What will people do forever?

Surely it would get boring as I’m sure there are no bars, social clubs, sporting events or holiday companies.

Why would anyone use this life to plan for that?

“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Is our body mortal but our soul or spirit immortal? Personally I think that when we die it’s like turning a switch off and once brain activity ceases we are no more, but over thousands of years, various cultures and religions have questioned what happens after death. Is the afterlife no more than just wishful thinking and is it just to give people hope in that death might not be the end? When people have supposedly died, and they’ve claimed to have seen a tunnel of light, surely this is just electrical activity of the brain and if you were truly on your way to judgement, would you even remember after you’re brought back to life?

“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.” – Carl Sagan

Why religious people can’t be objective: Part 2

I’ve obviously already covered objective morality, and the claims from the religious that you need a higher power for morals to be objective, and I stated that it’s flawed for two obvious reasons, and that morality can only ever be subjective.

1: Objective, in its simplest terms is an unbiased fact. The existence of a god has never been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, either using a strict adherence to the codes applied in a court of law, or by using the scientific method. Some may argue that neither have ever proved the non-existence of any god, but that’s irrelevant to the matter at hand.

2: If somehow, a divine creator was proven, or they stepped forward and proved their existence, which can’t exactly be difficult as they’re a god, then they have to prove that what they define as moral is fact, and without bias. Yet the god of the Bible clearly has preferences, like a sabbath should be spent worshipping. Sabbath is a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, which is Friday evening to Saturday evening in Judaism, and Sunday for Christianity. In the Bible, a man was discovered collecting wood on a sabbath, and god ordered his execution, as he defined it as work, and work is a sin on a sabbath day. A sin, is a personal attack against god, and followers believe it’s a moral sin. Is not worshipping a god on a specific day immoral, or is it pandering to a childlike ego, who wants to be noticed and respected on a certain day? I’d suggest quite confidently that it’s the latter of the two choices.

To put the difference between objective, and subjective as simply as possible, is objective is factual, and devoid of feelings or emotion, and subjective is the exact opposite. Most things in life are subjective as they are open for interpretation. What’s suitable for one, might not be suitable for another, and this is why the golden rule can be considered flawed. If something is objective it can be proven, and is impossible to deny. The people who claim objective morality is drawn from their religion, often believe that being LBGTQ is an immoral sin. But why? Because a collection of books that were written a few thousand years ago, by random anonymous authors, who claimed that the morals were provided by god himself says so. If someone is homosexual, has a consensual relationship with another, and live their lives as upstanding citizens, who work hard, pay their taxes and get involved in the community, how are they immoral? In the Torah, the 613 mitzvah list the things expected, and the things not expected for the followers of Judaism. Every form of incest is considered wrong, ie: sleeping with mother, uncle, sister, brother etc, and every form of homosexuality is wrong, ie: a man sharing a bed with another man, or a male relative, but there’s absolutely no mention of two women sleeping together. So how can it be considered immoral for two men to engage, but not immoral for two women?

If objective is devoid of emotion, how can it genuinely apply to morality? If someone was in distress, normally a person’s emotions take over, as they feel compassion, or empathy, and they help that person because it’s their duty, as it’s the right thing to do. As to what level of help you give that person is open to interpretation, so it’s subjective. If something is objective, it’s universally accepted. ie: a tree is a tree, so it’s objective, as it’s a fact. A painting of a tree, isn’t a tree. It’s an artistic interpretation, and more than likely isn’t identical to the tree they’ve observed to create the painting. So the painting of the tree is subjective, as a different person would paint it a different way. Another example is Christianity isn’t just one strain, there are many variants of the disease. Some are more infectious than another, and some are more powerful and influential, but none of them 100% share the same views or opinions. So how could Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox both claim objective morality, when despite having the same god, they have distinct differences, be them geographical, political, and/or cultural differences, and this is especially noticeable when the great schism of 1054 happened which completely split eastern and western Christianity in half. The west’s theology continued to work mainly using Roman law, where the east had its roots firmly based in the Greek philosophies, so both grew as complete opposites and have completely different views on the gospels, and interpretations of the Bible. So, they both have to be subjective in the field of morality, and it’s impossible to claim objective morality if the doctrines aren’t universal. I used these two examples as Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination of Christianity with over a billion followers worldwide, and Eastern Orthodox is the second largest with over quarter of a billion followers.