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There cannot be a Creator Who Cares About the Victims of Mass Shootings, or of the Deaths of Children

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The human being is a machine. An automatic machine. It is composed of thousands of complex and delicate mechanisms, which perform their functions harmoniously". For each one of these thousands of mechanisms the Creator has planned an enemy whose job it is to harass it, pester it, persecute it, damage it, afflict it with pains, and miseries, and ultimate destruction. Not one has been overlooked".   It is the Creator's Grand Army, and he is the Commander-in-Chief. Along its battlefront its grisly banners wave their legends in the face of the sun: Disaster, Diseases and the rest". It is wonderful the thorough and comprehensive study which the Creator devoted to the great work of making man miserable". All of the Creator's specially deadly disease-producers are invisible.   It is an ingenious idea. For thousands of years it kept man from getting to the root of his maladies, and defeated his attempts to master them. It is only recently that science has succeeded in exposing some of these treacheries.

  Mark Twain, Letters From the Earth

The blunt truth is that there is no way that there can be a powerful, moral creator that gives a whit about the death of the children at Newtown or anywhere else. But before we get to why that is so, and why that matters to modern societies, we need to discuss the rank bigotry against atheists that these tragedies expose.

Every time this sort of disaster happens there is a long line of clerics and lay believers who go on, and on, and on, and on about how yes Virginia there is a loving God who is prolife and pro human freedom, and that it mourns the death of the little children the deity will be bringing into heaven and so forth. Where the patent bigotry comes in is how only believers are solicited for their opinions on these matters. Think about it. When was the last time you were watching or listening to a mainstream or even a progressive talk TV or radio program in the wake of a calamity man made or natural, and there was a known atheist included on the discussion panel, or in a stand alone interview, to offer the nonsupernaturalists' opinion on why bad things happen? I have not seen a single example this time around. Instead, one theist after another is invited to offer yet again the same set of tired cliches and platitudes about how a speculative being of immense power and moral perfection could allow horrors to afflict there human creations, including the little tykes. It is not like we haven't heard it all before ad nauseam. It is an insidious form of casual bigotry in which most interview schedulers and program hosts don't even think of finding out what the atheists think, and automatically turn to the supernaturalists, even though they never have anything new (i.e. newsworthy) to say (http://www.gregspaul.webs.com/WPoped.pdf). This when recent survey data is indicating that about a fifth of Americans are at least marginal atheists (click here), and well over a third are nonreligious (redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/RED-C-press-release-Religion-and-Atheism-25-7-12.pdf).

Another form of tacit, exclusionary bigotry against nontheists is interfaith gatherings to mourn the victims of mass shootings and other catastrophes. Again, think about it. Say you are an atheist. Say you are sitting in a meeting where the speakers are offering that the God of Love exists and cares, etc. Being an atheist you are aware that the possibility that such a being exists is minimal at best, so you are listening to an paranormalist lie. Worse, you are listening to a proposal that the deity cares about humans, when the violent deaths are in obvious contradiction to this amazingly common conceit. One reason many people are atheists is because they consider it outrageous to contend that a good god can allow such repulsive horrors to happen. To most atheists the belief that a benign creator has created a planet of death is obscene. So an atheist at an interfaith conclave is hearing depraved lies. And if an atheist dares get up and mention that the belief in a God good or otherwise is delusional they will be denounced for daring point out the obvious. Atheists are excluded yet again, even though it is the nonsupernaturalists who are correct.

What has yet to be fully appreciated is the absolute degree to which the atheist rejection of a moral creator is accurate. That is because far too few persons, even atheists, know the pertinent facts that render to existence of an ethical God of extreme power literally impossible. Much of the following discussion is based on an analysis I published in Philosophy and Theology, please refer to the PDF at gregspaul.webs.com/Philosophy&Theology.pdf (and click here).

Before we continue, please imagine the following. You are in an audience. The speaker asks you to raise your hand if think it is it acceptable for homicide, either by neglect or premeditation, to be committed on a mass basis against children? I assume you would not raise your hand. I wouldn't. Instead, you probably would agree that it must be the top priority of all caretakers of children to do all they can to ensure the comfort, safety and lives of children. Right? Hold those thoughts.

The first fact that all need to know is that somewhere in the area of 100 billion Homo sapiens have been born (click here and wvaughan.org/howmanypeople.html). The second and dreadful fact is a figure that should have become common knowledge long ago, but I was the first to bother to calculate. About 50 billion children have been tortured to death by diseases, plus other nonhuman causes. For thousands of years tens of thousands of children have died every single day. The Holocaust of the Children is the greatest catastrophe in human history, one that has gone inappropriately under appreciated because it has usually been a story of personal and familial tragedies and grief, rather than the spectacular disasters that garner attention. One reason that children have died like flies is because they lack adequate immune systems. Because a higher juvenile mortality rate would crash the population, the suffering and death has been maximal.

Just a few moments ago you (hopefully) agreed that there are no circumstances that justify to mass homicide of children, and that those responsible for the circumstances that kids live within must strive to optimize them. According to Abrahamism, the one God created the universe, our planet, and all living things. It follows that if a being of immense power created a tiny planet so packed with diseases that they agonizingly terminate the lives of half the children, then it is cannot be the priority of the creator to come anywhere near close to properly caring for the earthly welfare and lives of children. Instead, the creator has committed maximal mass homicide -- at best negligent, at worst premeditated -- against children. It further follows that it is not possible for a creator of our world to be moral and loving.

It cannot be overemphasized that there is no cogent counter argument. Theodicy is the desperate effort by theists to justify believing in a perfectly good God in a world of dire imperfection. Their core argument is that God gives humans the gift of free will so we can all decide whether or not we want to dwell with Him for eternity in His paradise. As John Polkinghorne contends, the "suffering of the world is such that we might be tempted to think that less freedom would be a worthwhile cost to pay for less pain. But do we really wish we had been automata?" (Belief in God in an Age of Science, 1998). In this theory the supposed creator cannot interfere in worldly events lest he risk aborting the free will of humans, and ends up being robotically worshipped by human souls that did not decide they wanted to do so. This is in accord with the common Christian claim that the only way to achieve heaven is to deliberately accept the grace of Christ.  

The free will argument is blazingly stupid. Really, what are the theodists thinking? Because they lack mature free will, children are barred from signing contracts, etc., and are under the guardianship of adults. Obviously, the free will hypothesis can work only if every single human grows up to sufficient mental maturity and health to make a well-informed decision about their eternal fate. Instead, half of humanity has died as kids. Or in the womb, since at least half of conceptions (perhaps up the three quarters), fail to come to term because the human reproductive system is so badly designed. And a percentage of adults are seriously mentally disabled. It follows that if there is an ubercreator, then it does not care all that much about the free will of humans. And if those who die before they become adults get a free ticket to heaven, then paradise is largely inhabited by exactly the kind of automata that theologians deny that God wants, and that denies humans their freedom to choose who if anything they wish to worship for all time.

As I pointed out in the Journal of Medical Ethics (http://www.gregspaul.webs.com/remoteprayers.pdf) petitioning God with prayer to heal and save lives has been entirely ineffective, and there is no evidence that any god has done anything to alleviate the suffering and death of children (like providing them with effective immune systems, and informing adults about the need for sanitation). Who really cares about kids are the adult humans who have busted their butts to come up with the scientific means to save the children, driving juvenile mortality to wonderfully low levels in the last century. It is one of the pertinacious scams of our time that most humans still thank a god for what people should be given full and sole credit for.

Theism is wrapped up in the greatest bubble of denial of reality that there is. The obvious truth is that there cannot be a moral, loving supernatural creator that is prolife, or pro the freedom of humans. If there is a creator, it has perpetrated the greatest crime against humanity -- vastly exceeding those by the great human dictators -- and should be put on trial for the felony. Ergo, the still wildly popular belief that there is a God who truly cares about the earthly lives and ultimate freedom of kids is pretty much the biggest lie that there is. So no creator being cares all that much about the children gunned down in Newtown, and those who claim there is such an entity are grievously mendacious.

And the theistic denial runs deep. In the Philosophy and Theology paper I detail how theologians over the ages have long bent over backwards to avoid addressing the problem of the childrens' holocaust. The premature death of kids just does not come up in their wordy tracts. It is literally true that some theodists have paid far more attention to the suffering of animals than that of children. I'm not making that up, check out their books. It is not hard to figure out why theists run away from the slaughter of the kids. It's because they have not a clue how to explain it away, it being undeniable that all the dead children means that any creator is not ensuring that most much less all humans have free will. The evasion continues. I sent a PDF of the P&T paper to every theodist theologian I could think of when it came out in 2009 (as well as some prominent theists such as Francis Collins). So far there has not been a single reply in to my academic publication in the literature or elsewhere. None. Because they don't know how to rebut it. Not that they will do the right thing and admit that there perfect God is made up.

Not that the P&T paper is not having a major impact. Theologians appear to be quietly abandoning the free will hypothesis that theism has been relying on for centuries without acknowledging it, and without coming up with a viable alternative (which does not exist). John Haught was a prominent proponent of free will theory, lately he has been proposing that God gave us the "gift of being" without explaining how this justifies the terrible suffering of the children. In his new Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism Plantinga tries to wave off the problem with; "Suppose God does have a good reason for permitting sin and evil, pain and suffering: why think we would be the first to know what it is?" That is a cynical nonanswer from a leading theist who has no valid apology on hand. And it is moral abrogation, accommodation and relativism of the highest order. It is the ethical duty of all mentally capable adults to examine moral questions in detail and make careful decisions about them. To instead trust in some speculative being to properly handle situations is a juvenile dodge of mature ethical responsibility, all the more so when it is part of a deal for expected supernatural favors in return. It is morally slack.

Most monotheists propose -- often vehemently -- that societies that fail to believe in a supernatural creator that alone can provide absolute morality are doomed to mayhem and murder. It's pretty much the position of the Republican Party. But this cannot be correct since there cannot be a moral god in the first place. And the stats bear this out. The US is the most religious 1st world country, and it suffers by far the highest rate of common murder among the advanced democracies, including exceptional rates of mass shootings (I examine the reasons for this pattern at http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP07398441_c.pdf, and click here ). The most atheistic democracies enjoy the lowest levels of homicide seen in human history. There is even a study that shows that exposure to the extensive creator ordained violence in the Bible can increase propensity towards violence (sitemaker.umich.edu/brad.bushman/files/BRDKB07.pdf). The claim that the good god is good for societies is another great big lie that stems from the theistic bubble of denial.  

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Gregory Paul is an independent researcher interested in informing the public about little known yet important aspects of the complex interactions between religion, secularism, culture, economics, politics and societal conditions. His scholarly work (more...)
 

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... It would deserve, for allowing these horrors, ... by B. Ross Ashley on Sunday, Dec 16, 2012 at 5:42:29 PM
started using God to soften the pains of life to m... by molly cruz on Monday, Dec 17, 2012 at 2:56:55 PM
Mark Twain also wrote: "The altar cloth of one aeo... by R. A. Landbeck on Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012 at 5:30:06 AM
I think the article is very good.-------syntax err... by Dan Baron on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 1:19:56 PM
I think the article is very good.-------syntax err... by Dan Baron on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 1:24:40 PM
What a thankless task you are undertaking.No matte... by Dan Baron on Sunday, Dec 30, 2012 at 1:32:35 PM