Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Riddle of Epicurus

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?

Question: Do you believe that there is a perfectly good God who love us so much and unconditionally?

Answer: With this the kind of world we live in, I don't see how we could. Unconditionally? This is God's love: Worship me or be tortured in the flames of hell forever. Sounds very conditional to me.

Another thing, not only does he not give us compelling evidence of his existence, he also supposedly puts his "message" in a book that sprouted more than 33,000 sects and denominations each claiming to be holding the truth and the "correct" interpretation of that book and those who do not agree with them are wrong and worthy of being tortured in the fires of hell eternally. They also accuse one another that they know the "true" interpretation but only rebelling and engaging in willful and conscious "twisting" of the "real" message of that book. How do they know these? They each say that the Holy Spirit guided and told them so. They also claim that if one will only be honest, carefully read and study the Bible, and sincerely ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, they would come to this "correct" interpretation thereby accusing the other 33,ooo + that they were dishonest, did not sincerely carefully study and read the Bible and did not wholeheartedly ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The thing is, many had done these and yet had arrived to drastically different conclusions. But of course the only way Christians (whichever sect you belong to) can get out of these situation is to claim that others:

  1. Did not genuinely ask the Holy Spirit to guide them
  2. Deceived by Satan (inspite of sincerely asking the Holy Spirit to guide them)
  3. Combination of 1 and 2 minus the sentence in the parentheses.
  4. Did not seek hard enough (thereby assuming others to be too lazy to continue studying which is an insult, an unfounded accusation, and judgementally presumptous to those who genuinely studied and arrived to a different conclusion and those who honestly remained to hold a different conclusion till their death. Also assuming that every person must arrive to the same conclusion if they would only seek hard enough. This is unfounded and falsifiable by various people who arrive to a different conclusion)
  5. Was not educated enough with "proper" interpretation (eq. Hermeneutics). They each claim to have "properly" interpreted the Bible.
  6. Simpy dishonest and insincere in reading the Bible that's why they arrive on a different conclusion. (Again an accusation based on (their interpretation of) the Bible.
  7. In rebellion. They willfully twist the meaning of the Bible inspite of the fact that they "know" real the meaning/interpretation of it
  8. Don't have enough faith. (I thought all it requires to move a mountain is small seed of mustard size faith? Much less, faith required to understand God's word.)
  9. One or more or all combination of the above.
You can see here that the Christians' escape goat is to throw wild and absurd accusations to others. That's the only way they could make sense of the Bible and the mess the Christianity is in.

With this kind of mess we are in, how are we gonna be able to know the path that God wants us to tread, if after honest, sincere, prayerful, and rigorous study we still arrive at different conclusions. On a personal note, I also honestly, sincerely, prayerfully, and rigorously study the Bible and yet I have arrived to a different conclusion. How are we supposed to come to the correct conclusion then? Why are we punished if we do not?

Note that I still haven't touched Islam and the numerous other religions here.

And if God "revealed" himself "more" to some people but not others making it easier for some people to get into heaven - then he's not a very fair god, much less an omnibenevolent one.

Is this cruel cosmic gamble we found ourselves in (we didn't choose to exist and be part of this cosmic shell game in the first place. We were forced to play without first considering if we would like to. So much for God valuing freewill eh?) characterizes an omnibenevolent God?

This gambling game in cosmic proportions is also cruel in the sense that we are being forced to make a dangerous decision in such a brief span of time with our eternal souls hanging in the balance. Died when you were 15? Too bad. Why is this God in such a hurry anyway? So much for "the Lord is good and his mercy endureth forever" and "God is patient".

I remember a pastor preaching, in a worship service I once attended, that the Bible is so easy to understand even a child will have no trouble understanding them. Give me a break.


At 2:11 PM, Blogger BEAST said...

The first time I read the bible, I was around 5 yrs old, and it was the damn King James Bible. If any priest were to tell me in my face that the bible is "easy to understand", tell him to try reading "Midsummer's Night Dream" by shakespeare.I cannot imagine any child even remotely comprehending such tedious trivia, unless the child is a born genius (Which I digress, because any genius worth his/her salt will never wish to read the bible on his/her own free will).

The Bible isn't an easy read, not for me anyway. Even with the more user friendly editions available in bookshelves, they are, for the most part, dull, dry, and utterly boring (safe those murderous parts of the bible, if you are a sadist. Ha ha).

The Beast

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought when you are an atheist you don't believe in god? so why the heck you still talk about Him?

also if you want to prove that there is a real god? go ahead. just continue what you're doing. if he did not punish you well enough then there is no god but if he did then there is.

- erica

At 2:23 PM, Blogger The Atheist Seeker said...

I thought when you are an atheist you don't believe in god? so why the heck you still talk about Him?

First of all, this statement is non sequitur. Your disbelief in something does not preclude you from talking about that something.

Second, one of the main reason why I talk about this topic is because of the value I put on truth. "If the truth is that the god concept is nothing more than wishful thinking, mankind can only benefit from confronting this reality and dealing with it accordingly." Read this if you truly and sincerely wish to understand more.

also if you want to prove that there is a real god? go ahead. just continue what you're doing.

Theists cannot even make a meaningful definition of God. How can I have a starting point in proving God if there is not even a workable definition to begin with? Besides, if I have compelling evidence and proof of God's existence then I would no longer have faith for "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). As a result, I will then violate the biblical principle "And without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).

if he did not punish you well enough then there is no god

Non Sequitur again. The statement, "he did not punish you well enough", implies that there is a God who punishes. It is just that it isn't "well enough". It does not follow that there is no god.

but if he did then there is.

Again non sequitur. Your premises does not follow your conclusion.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger BEAST said...

Good point there.

If deities can be proven, religion will not need to illicit or invoke the faith factor. Yet without the faith factor, religion loses one of its major pillars.

Sounds like a lose lose situation to me.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Euri said...

Worship me or be tortured in the flames of hell forever.

My favorite lines! ^_^

At 12:41 AM, Blogger BEAST said...


My mum is doing fine, thanks for your concern. The side-effects of chemo aside, she is doing fine.

Anyway, thanks once again for your concern. In the meantime, I will be posting on my blog more often, and if possible contact you via yahoo.

The Beast

At 10:53 AM, Blogger hastydevil said...

this site is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for the close-minded. i totally admire what you are doing. if only more people would seek out HIS existence rather than just accept the boxed-up version offered by organized religion, there'd be lesser hypocrites.

At 3:13 AM, Blogger The Atheist Seeker said...

Thanks hastydevil. It's a whole new experience to be commended by a theist such as yourself. Though we disagree in our stand with regards to the god concept, I see a ray of open mindedness, tolerance, and intelligence from you.

At 11:28 PM, Blogger ernesto esteves said...

Good to be here... congratulations!
Greetings from Portugal.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger The Atheist Seeker said...

Thanks ernesto!

At 2:49 AM, Anonymous Iconoclastithon said...

Very good stuff.

Allthough, I must mention, it is a common misconceptiuon that Epicurus was an Atheist; in reality, Epicurus was more of a Deist{or proto-deist, since 'deism" as a term did'nt exist yet; much like Aristotle, allthough piety was less important to Epicurus's deism.}

In Reason:
Bill Baker

At 1:26 PM, Blogger The Maximum said...

You seem very intelligent, and I appreciate that there is one atheist in this country who is atheistic for the right reason. Most atheists here only think they are, and for the most part are atheistic because they can't do the whole "going to mass on sundays" thing, as if that were a good reason.

Have you ever heard of Occam and Occam's razor? He believed that if something just complicates an argument, it should be thrown out. As a dedicated young agnostic (I'm seventeen) I believe that there is no point in talking about God since there probably isn't one as defined by the Catholic Church, and even if there were, we'd never understand 'it'.

That said, isn't it better to throw all debate about God out the window? I have learned, in my life, that unless a person is reasonable, or willing to be convinced, it is impossible to change his point of view. That's simply human nature.

You have an impressive mind. Shouldn't it be turned to more important things than this silly debate over whether or not there is a God?

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't this David Hume's version of Epicurus' riddle?

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read this at:
This disproves everything about religion. It tells of its origins and the repetitive nature of each "savior". I find it funny that most people do not actually 'believe' in their religion, but rather the morals taught by it; thinking it too be teaching others to be 'good'. People have morals without religion, therefore it is pointless.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Lauren Antidouche said...

God doesn't exist. Riddle = Solved.


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