God and evil
We were always told and in some cases, taught that God is an all-powerful, all-knowing and omnibenevolent deity, however, this creates a problem because of the philosophical question of the problem of evil. This is because according to the definition of God that was implanted in our minds, it seems impossible that an omnibenevolent deity would allow evil to exists. Surely, an omnipotent deity would be able to prevent evil in the world easily? This is why some people would say that the existence of evil disproves the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God. However, even some atheists would not use the problem of evil to disprove the existence of God, which raises the question of does the problem of evil disproves the existence of God?
Understanding the problem of evil
The problem of evil is a philosophical question that is best expressed in the following argument:
Premise 1: If an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God exists, then evil would not exist
Premise 2: Evil exists
Conclusion: God does not exist
Indeed, it could be said that the conclusion of the argument is flawed. Instead, in my opinion, should be ‘ An omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God does not exist’. The concept that God is a ‘superhuman’ figure comes from the society where we were told that it would be more logical to worship a perfect deity.
As a satanist and a member of The Satanic Temple, I am here to say that while the problem of evil does not disprove the existence of God, it does prove that if God exists, it is indeed an imperfect and profoundly flawed deity.
God and the Holocaust
To understand why the problem of evil proves that God is imperfect, it is always easier to access horrific events, and the Holocaust fits this category. In trying to defend God, Rabbis have said that the Holocaust is nothing more than God trying to test the faith of its followers. However, I disagree with this statement, simply because this is too cruel for human beings to stand. Even if God wants to test the faith of its adherents, why does it needs to involve the death of more than six million jews? Surely, testing of faith does not need to involve murder, especially when God itself has claimed multiple time in multiple holy texts to be a loving deity.
Some theist, in their attempt to justify the Holocaust, also claimed that God allowed the Holocaust to happen because it allowed for something better to follow suit. In order words, this means that the evil of the Holocaust allowed for a greater good of the Jewish community in the future. While it is true that there is now a Jewish state called Israel, I believe that the creation of Israel does not erase the horrors of the Holocaust. Firstly, Israel still faces constant threats from its neighbouring states, including rocket strikes from Gaza, which shows that the Jews are still not in a ‘perfect condition’ that should follow through after the Holocaust.
Secondly, we need to remember that the Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust. For example, the LGBTQ community, people with disability and other minorities were also the victims of the Holocaust. For most of them, life has not been much better after the end of it. For instance, homosexuality is still punishable with death in thirteen states, and it is a well-known fact that even after the Holocaust, some of the homosexuals victims were placed back into prison. This shows that the “first-order evil, second-order good” argument that theists love to make are not accurate because it does not apply to everyone.
Evil and free will
Some theist and deist alike have argued that God allows evil to happen because it does not wish to interfere with people’s free will. This is because if God interferes, it means that people’s actions are always pre-determined, causing free will to be non-existent. While this argument seems reasonable at first, further analysis would suggest that if this argument is valid, it further proves that God is a flawed deity.
I believe that if God exists and chooses not to interfere when evil is committed, it shows that God is apathetic towards the suffering of others. To a Satanist like me, this is no different to being an accessory of murder, especially since God repeatedly bragged in holy texts that it is the most powerful being in existence. Sure, some religion teaches that punishment would come in the afterlife. However, some religion also teaches that just believing in God or merely repenting before dying is enough for the sins to be forgiven. In this case, justice will never prevail.
Furthermore, the free will argument is deeply flawed and is arguably the weakest argument that theists and deists could provide in defence of God’s incompetence. This is because not all evil is the product of human’s actions. Natural disasters, for instance, are things that cannot be controlled by humans, which is why the free will argument is weak.
Does God deserve to be worshipped?
Seeing that God is a deeply flawed character, the most obvious question would be is, does God deserves to be worship? As someone who does not believe in the existence of God, I would say that even if one day God comes to me and say that I am wrong, I still would not worship it. This is because I refuse to bow to a deity that is arrogant, evil and unfair. Sure, one could argue that there are good in the world but the evil, in my opinion, is worse and most of it is not even the fault of human beings. Perhaps if God is more humanistic and does not illustrate such narcissistic tendencies, then I would have been more forgiving for allowing evil to happen. Nevertheless, I think that its suffice to say that an imperfect, psychopathic deity deserves no respect whatsoever.
Written by Nasrul Haziq
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not necessarily represent the position of UNM IGNITE.