(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, Appendix 1.)
We’ve been listening to a fictional Christian, whom we’ve dubbed “Dr. Geistur,” as he tries all sorts of excuses for why God does not oppose evil in the kind of tangible and productive ways that would be consistent with the existence of a good and all-powerful deity. We’ve heard him excuse God on the grounds that God really has no choice, that somehow He lacks the power to prevent evil from happening one way or another. We’ve heard him criticize a Jewish apologist for making basically the same argument, on the grounds that all things are possible for God. We’ve heard him propose analogies like the Super Bowl, as illustrating how struggle can make victory sweeter (though he apparently fails to realize that it also illustrates the existence of alternatives that do not require resorting to sin and evil). And we’ve heard him try to sell the idea that evil isn’t really all that bad, and that it’s actually good for us, in the long run.
As if that hasn’t sufficiently made a general hash of his own religious beliefs, he next turns to this tidy morsel of misanthropy:
STRAW [the Atheist]: If God is infinitely powerful as you say, then why does he allow bad things to happen to good people?
GEISTUR: We’ve already pointed out that there are good outcomes for pain and suffering. But we also need to point out that the question makes an assumption that isn’t true.
STRAW: What’s that?
GEISTUR: There are no good people!
Charming, isn’t it?