The Proof Is In The Poseidon

Atheists don't believe God exists. However, God is the basis of all morality.

 
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Dialog:

  • Port:
    • Atheists don't believe God exists. However, God is the basis of all morality.
    • This must mean that atheist don't believe morality exists.
  • {pause}
  • Starboard:
    • You know who I don't believe exists? Poseidon.
    • However, being that he is the source of the sea, I don't believe the sea exists either.
 

75 Comments:

  1. thad Says:

    Picking the ending for this one was hard. I also considered using this:

    You know who I don’t believe exists? Harry Potter.
    But, since he is the source of all those books, I don’t believe they exist either.

  2. yinyang Says:

    I think you picked the right ending – it shows how ridiculous that line of reasoning is, with a god that almost everyone would agree doesn’t exist.

  3. thad Says:

    I hear you.

    The misguided assumption that a divine being is the only possible basis for morality is unfortunate. It bums me out when some believe it enough to judge people with it.

  4. Geir Says:

    I think it is great as is, but the Potter-ending really shows what kind of denial is needed to believe!

    Love your stuff man!

  5. thad Says:

    Thanks for the comment Geir.

    I’m glad you like the potter ending. You are right that it does seem to have something special. Perhaps it is because it takes the analogy outside of a religious context.

  6. jeff Says:

    God, like atheism and other group memes exist as examples of faith-based reasoning processes. In the case of god it is difficult to dispute existence: just because I believe god does not exist, does not mean God does not exist without lots of empirical evidence to persuade the belief in either direction. Ultimately, its your faith/belief in whatever that guides your moral compass. I would just ask people to kindly respect my point of view and not push a belief system on me. We’re only human after all and we have to believe in whatever it is that gives us most comfort, satisfaction, joy in being alive. Often logic is a poor and sterile substitute for analyzing
    one’s life, however, it can be a great tool for smacking down the holier-than-thou as your dialog so aptly points out. Thanks for letting me ramble.

  7. thad Says:

    Thank you for expressing your thoughts jeff.

    It might be helpful for me to reinforce the fact that this comic does not argue for disbelief in God.

    Instead this comic just points out what I’m sure you already know:

    • The sea can exist even if Poseidon does not,
    • Harry Potter Books can exist even if Harry Potter isn’t a real person, and
    • Atheists can be moral even if they don’t believe that God exists.
  8. DavidH Says:

    I just wanna say
    1) I found this through StumbleUpon – big thumbs up!
    2) The ending is perfect. This is much better than either the Christianity or Harry Potter endings. Sure, the Harry Potter ending might be more popular and topical, but it would be a cheap laugh. This one is more cutting and timeless/

  9. thad Says:

    Thank you for the compliment. :)

  10. Reg Says:

    Having lived through the BS of theism for over fifty years, I am so happy to find that the next generation is finding it’s voice. Thank you Thad.

  11. jake Says:

    seriously…

  12. Ben Says:

    HAHA – Top Stuff. This is the kinda bullshit argument my dear old mother comes up with, I’ll have to remember this one.

    I’m going to agree with everyone else. You definitely chose the correct ending.

  13. Richard Says:

    I have a paper clip on my desk that is the basis of morality, but I can’t get people to get behind that idea. But seriously, every time I think of robbing a bank or flipping my wang at a hot chick in the mall, I think of that paper clip, and it keeps me in line.

  14. AFOH Says:

    Simply great Thad!
    You picked a perfect example to reject an argument without reasoning. I, personally have thought about it too, but given the examples, the one you picked is a perfect fit, it is an amazing example, maybe due to its religious analogy, or probably because of its exotic nature, but still great.

    P.S.: Do not admire the analogy, admire how reason came to us. Though I prefered not to take this seriously.

  15. Rob Says:

    Loved the strip. and all the other comments. I have to but up with the same type of BS at work. I am glad there are still a few people out there without the “god blinders” on.

  16. CursedPerfection Says:

    Gah. Atheism is just like religion, guessing before they can see the whole picture, I don’t give a damn if they’re educated guesses – it dosen’t make them any better.

    All atheists seem to do is create conflict with religious people, if your going to be atheist – then just shut up and be atheist don’t bloody preach it as though it’s a religon in its own.

  17. TW Says:

    I’ve read this a few times now and every time I laugh as much as the first.

    Excellent cartoon strip! I agree with the majority here, your ending was spot on.

    Keep up the good work.

  18. skaffen Says:

    I thought JK Rowling was the source of the Harry Potter books, kinda like God was the source of the Bible?
    Don’t get me wrong, I despise religion, but the Potter logic is flawed, or am I missing something?

  19. Russ Says:

    You and russell’s teapot dot com should be in cahoots. http://russellsteapot.com/comics/2007/the-beatings-arent-enough.html

  20. Adam_Y Says:

    Genius.

    I also agree with CursedPerfection, that aetheism is a belief just like most religions. Perhaps we could have Kurt Vonnegut as the Godhead and Richard Dawkins as a Pontiff?

    and yes, the ending was spot on.

  21. MM-BR Says:

    That ending, was as been voiced above, spot on. I found this through stumbleupon and it made me smile. Nice one.

  22. Tarzan Says:

    I’m sorry but that ending is wrong.

    Who says Poseidon created the sea? There is no proof of that at all.

    I have no problem believing in God, but as soon as I read that ending it just ruined it.

    The sea is there because of the way mother nature works, and has nothing to do with mythological ‘people’

    Some people have no confidence in themselves, they don’t believe in themselves, but I think they would belive they themselves exist.

  23. dox Says:

    “Gah. Atheism is just like religion, guessing before they can see the whole picture, I don’t give a damn if they’re educated guesses – it dosen’t make them any better.

    All atheists seem to do is create conflict with religious people, if your going to be atheist – then just shut up and be atheist don’t bloody preach it as though it’s a religon in its own.”

    That’s the dumbest thing I’ve read in quite a while.

    First, you claim that atheism is like a religion, but then you say that atheists shouldn’t be acting like it’s a religion – therefore you contradict yourself.

    Second, you say that atheists are “guessing” and call these guesses “educated guesses”. Atheism is based on science, facts, and not at all on guesses of any kind. There are no “educated guesses”, only reasoning from facts. If it bothers you that atheism is based on reasoning and not on guessing, it’s your problem.

    Third, you say that atheists should “just shut up and be atheist and not bloody preach”. Now that’s just wonderfull. Religious people can walk around the Earth spreading their religion and talking everywhere about it and convincing that it’s the right thing to believe in and so on, but atheists should just shut up and be quiet? Great. I’m not saying that atheism is a religion, I’m just saying that it, just like religions, can and should be talked about and spread around. If it bothers you that atheism is spreadiong around the world nowadays, again, it’s your problem.

  24. Adam Says:

    Harry Potter is not the source of those books, J.K. Rowling is therefore J.K. Rowling is God……

  25. Adam Says:

    ^Not sure if that was senseless enough to be a basis for religion though.

  26. mick Says:

    I don’t make a point of being an atheist but when I was under the domination of religion I was taught from the age of 5 to hand out tracts and loudly proclaim jesus as god. So who should shut up? I think religion should [...] be a private conviction.

  27. Mike Haubrich, FCD Says:

    I don’t believe in Poseidon either, but I maintain my comforting notion of the existence of the sea secure in the knowledge that Neptune does exist. Check a map of the solar system sometime, atheist.

    For morality, I don’t need a paperclip. I use a rubber band on my wrist. It has kept my ass away from the U.S.E. Ministry.

    Many times.

  28. Mark Fradl Says:

    I am SO tired of you atheists denying the existence of Poseidon. If Poseidon and his trident aren’t real then where did we come up with the idea for the fork? Do you think we could just make that up?

    If you’re a real atheist then you should only eat with chopsticks. Or a spork, but only the spoon part.

  29. lord miro Says:

    christians be christians and athiests be athiests, embrace it and enjoy it if it gets u through the night, lot of luck on that exhausting subject for u wont solve it coz its been there before u were even sperms and real thinkers couldnt figure out which theory wins. will you?????

  30. special k Says:

    i’m not sure the god thing either way but i’m still having trouble with the ending. picking up on what tarzan wrote earlier, the sea and morality are not the same class(?) of object. i go to the beach and the sea is their to touch and taste. morality is an idea that only serves to limit its practioners’ choices making its adoption counterintuitive.
    also is their a solid explanation for why water exists?

  31. Anonymous Says:

    The solidest explanation at the moment is that particles spread from the Big Bang eventually coalesced into gaseous clouds of hydrogen, helium, and trace elements. If a cloud was big enough, it condensed to form a star, which converted the hydrogen into helium, and so on into heavier elements. These scattered as the star died, and eventually coalesced into or on to planets, where hydrogen and oxygen combined to create water.

    Also, that was an awesome comic.

  32. Chad Says:

    So wait, morality exists? I must have missed the memo.

  33. Omega2k3 Says:

    The word ‘however’ is really a counter-argument to the previous statement, so the ending should probably be fixed…

  34. Tarzan Says:

    So basically Mark Fradl your saying that a fictional character (as there is no proof in poseidon) invented the fork? Doesn’t the devil carry a a 2 pronged fork in most pictures? I suppose angels invented the harp?

  35. Aaron Says:

    The presupposition is that everyone knows that morality exists, just as the sea.

    Some atheists believe there is no basis for morality.

    Interestingly, both sides are wrong. Both sides expect a metaphysical basis of some kind, and can’t see the possibility of a non-metaphysical basis for it. That’s the assumption on both sides.

    I, an atheist, believe in a functional basis for morality. It’s a necessary consequent of human cohabitation. “Morality” takes the form of a noun, but really what it refers to is a collection of verbs.

    Those who believe that without a God, there would be no universal foundation for morality. They’re right. Humans aren’t universal beings, and we don’t need morality to have universal underpinnings. The real, everyday needs of life are sufficient.

  36. Chad Says:

    I’m assuming that the incorrect sides you talk about here would be the theists and the athiests who aren’t you. Would that be fair, Aaron? Because you, you believe in a functional basis for morality.

    What I fail to see is the difference. You say that both of these “sides” are playing off of the metaphysical in one of two ways in order to define morality, but you stay within the bounds of every day life for your definition. A collection of verbs; basically, to you morality is less a book of laws and more of state of mind that is in constant flux, would this be fair?

    Based off of my current understanding, I have to ask, if you have to change the definition of morality to fit your understanding of it doesn’t it cease to be morality? At that point, aren’t we just discussing a form of subjective personal ethics? Morality is conformity to something static, what you are discussing is something that is defined by the person.

  37. Aaron Says:

    No, because I don’t believe that it’s all just subjective. Maybe inter-subjective at best.

    If you think morality is by definition static, then I think we might just have a semantical difference. IMO, the universal laws of physics aren’t even static. I just don’t buy into a static picture of anything in this universe.

    If you reject metaphysics, which I certainly do, it’s a shift of paradigm. It doesn’t change, but inform the meanings of the words we use everyday. The fact that there turns out to be vastly more space between protons and electrons than there is substance of an atom doesn’t mean the electron is less solid. It means that what’s solid turns out to be something different than we thought. Thus our understanding of the nature of solid things is more informed.

    I believe what we’ve been calling morality all this time to be similar. Rejecting metaphysics doesn’t change the universe but rather, our understanding of it.

  38. Charles Says:

    The idea that atheists can’t be moral doesn’t come from the idea that morality comes from God so much as from the idea that without God and the promise of salvation or damnation there is no reason to live a moral life. Atheists dismiss the foolish illusion of reward or punishment and embrace (or do not embrace) morality for other reasons: among them, the pursuit of the ideal of living in a just and moral society. In my mind, living a good moral life just because it is the right thing to do is a higher form of worship of the divine than anything motivated out of fear or cowardice.

  39. Adam_Y Says:

    I sort of agree with you there Charles…
    Though as a humanist I also believe that living a moral life is in everyone’s best interest if we wish to coexist as a society.

    I try to treat people with respect and dignity, not because I fear a god, and not through altruistic means, but because I can see that if you really want to get along with your life, you need to get along with everone else that is trying to get along with theirs.

  40. Chad Says:

    I agree with you that what we have is a semantical difference. My problem with what you say is that you are describing morality differently than what it actually is defined as. As such, you (and the comic) are making the assertion that you can have morality without the god. That is incorrect. The question here is what came first; the Judeo-Christian code of morality or the God that represents it?

    I posit that the morality came first and the “fiction” you atheists are so sure doesn’t exist came second. God is the Queen to morality’s Parliament, if you will. He’s a figurehead, a show, an symbol. If you truly want to be an atheist than you cannot rid yourself of the god, and yet continue to blindly follow the same set of laws that he represents.

    Now obviously, Judeo-Christian morality has some winners in it, and can surely be a large influence to anybody’s inter-subjective set of personal ethics. But to say that you follow the same morality only without the metaphysics is a cop-out, because the metaphysics is a by-product of the morality. Buying the morality will only lead to new dogma based on equally laughable metaphysical falsehoods.

    Oh, and good show btw. I’m enjoying this.

  41. KJDamrau Says:

    Can there be anything more scary than a person who TRULY BELIEVES that no matter what atrocity he commits, he can just say he’s sorry and go to heaven?

    On the other hand, if a person only makes moral choices because he thinks his imaginary friend is always watching, is that real morality?

    I think that only atheists can be truly moral, because only their choices are made freely.

  42. KJDamrau Says:

    I loved “cursed perfection”‘s comments. The guy is obviously some kind of comedian – what a hoot. It is the ATHEISTS who are pushing their view on everybody?!?!

    Can’t wait until tomorrow when I can go to my televised atheist mega-church.

    Remember when the atheists came to the New World and converted the native peoples?

    And let’s not forget the pervasive atheist evangelicals.

    Politics is another venue that needs examining. Every politician now has to ritually recite at the end of every speech, “god bless America.” Why?

    For those of you in the restaurant business, ever had an atheist leave you a pamphlet on their point of view instead of a tip?

    Thank you, Cursedperfection, for pointing out the obvious: Once somebody declares that they speak to *and hear from* imaginary friends, you really can’t take them seriously after that.

  43. Arfcollins Says:

    Chad, there is a valid explanation that morality can exist without a god. Read The God Delusion if you want a full explanation, but the essence of it is there is a ‘survival of the fittest’ element to it. Moral people survice better than amoral people, so they have more surviving granchildren. You have evolved to be moral.

  44. Chad Says:

    The idea that we have evolved to percieve things as either moral or immoral is more than fair. As is the idea that we evolved to have religion. However, I thought the whole point behind the athiest movement was to evolve even further. As such, it seems to me that if you keep the moral code of religious people without the mythology then you are left with the only thing that should have actually been rid of in the first place; dogma. It is this fear of dogma that I think cursedperfection was actually eluding to in his post, btw KJDamrau.

    And yeah, it’s a good book but I hate listening to that guy talk. I prefer Sam Harris.

  45. definitions Says:

    hey people; morality stands apart from religion;

    evil: action done for personal benefit with obvious negative impact on others
    good: action done for the benefit of others

    you dont need to believe in anything to be moral; but some people need a promise of some kind of reward as motivation for morality and living “a good life”

    living honestly is a reward in itself, you have a lot less stress and trouble than you would in any other way. no guilt! sooner or late you will feel guilt for all the evil you have commited.

  46. definitions Says:

    what is the probability of the existence of some sort of supernatural deity?

    i think that the problem with todays general understandings of “god” are at fault with over-personification, which always creates logic arguments that make the idea(god) look ridiculous.

    people thought that if they did evil in the name of god, it wasn’t evil.

    “it takes religion for good people to do evil things”

    ignorance is the message broadcasted by todays religions. if all people had knowledge of all the basic existing religions before joining a religious movement, they would most likely change their mind.

  47. justine Says:

    well lookie here, youve got yourself into a bit of debate now, havent you? i just wanted to say i liked the ending you chose, but it took me several hours to scroll down this far. not that i have a problem with the expression of opinions. i think it is a healthy practice!

  48. dana Says:

    i’m bringing back worship in greek gods, i do believe in Poseidon and his wrath through the sea….
    it always seemed like such a fun religion, i should adopt and raisekids so they believe in zues and diana and etc.
    maybe i’m thinking too small…i should get on tv—that’ll convert the masses

  49. piratess Says:

    Morality is an inborn consciousness of the existence of God. I wonder who built in this consciousness in us if there weren’t any God.
    Morality is like the only consistent thread that runs through the human race, regardless of race and religion.

    With the spread of atheism, the world can just wait for our ‘morality’ to fade into thin air.Not that we have much of those left though.

  50. Kris Says:

    If there are people who have to believe in god in order to not rape, rob and murder, then for goodness sake, we better be grateful they believe!
    As far as those pesky preaching Atheists go, Haven’t we all had the experience of hearing a knock on the door in the middle of a Saturday afternoon? You hide in the back because if you go to the door those earnest Atheists are going to talk your ears off and shove reading materials at you? And how about those donations? I give them money just so I can get rid of them.

  51. piratess Says:

    can anyone explain the existence of morals. Did it come around together with the big bang or what. How is it we somehow know whats wrong or right. It sure as hell didn’t evolve.You don’t have to believe in god in order to have morals. You have them innately.

  52. definitions Says:

    hey piratess.

    morals exist because we are aware of our existence.

    society usually purges itself of “outlaws” because honestly; nobody wants to live next to a sexual predator, a murderer, a theif, a vandal etc… right? our judicial system evolved around that. so being an atheist, would a person suddenly feel that it is perfectly ok to rape their next door neighbor, cause “there is no god?”

    obviously, if this was your way of thinking, you are really just calling yourself an atheist as an act of rebelliousness toward religious belief. call yourself an anarchist.

    awareness of our existence led us to become aware of the existence of entities like ourselves; human beings, who could FEEL the same feelings we could. pain, joy, anger, hate, love etc… knowing that our actions can hurt another person, makes us think before we act. think of some animal capable of tearing flesh, does it go around tearing up its own kind just for fun? do healthy minded individuals go about inflicting pain in others just for the heck of it?

  53. piratess Says:

    apparently definitions you do not understand what I wrote. I simply meant to say morals is proof of the existence of God, and not as what you claim,because we are aware of our existence.
    Where we can steal in secret, where no one else will know what we did,why would some of us still choose not to do so.Why do we know what is right and what is wrong even without anyone telling us so.We do what is right sometimes even when there is no one to condemn us or know about it already shows that morals didn’t come into play because of the existence of others, or of ourselves.

  54. definitions Says:

    so you’d like to say that a lot of people don’t commit evil acts in secret only because god exists? thats a weak argument.

  55. God Says:

    I command you to stop arguing. I do not exist!

  56. The flying spaghetti monster Says:

    I weep for you all.

  57. Pasafarian Says:

    Yea verily i can feel his noodly appendage. May the sauce be with you!!

  58. Solanum Tuberosum Says:

    Humans have little going for them. They’re slow, weak, and usually have on average 2 children. Our brain and our social ability is what enables us to live. If we were all out for ourselves, and didn’t care about killing each other, then we would be extinct before you could say ‘arrested development’. However, this ‘morality’ is an evolutionary tool that enables us to advance in technology and destroy other organisms entirely.

  59. Ilana Says:

    I find it sad and pointless to argue with some ofthe posters whose minds are not open to questioning . Humans are inquisitive by nature, this is how we came to know what we know, and pursue what we do not. When a person stops this process due to dogma, I believe a piece of their escence, not to mention potential, is lost.

    Morality has existed in some manifestation since the beginnings of humanity, when the Judeo-Christian code emerged, it was clearly meant to act as a guide for peoples morality and to an ignorant mass, it would be most effective if personified and fabled. This is how the link between God and morality likely came to be, however it does not preclude morality from having existed for its own merit before notion of a God began to be drummed into peoples minds.

    As a side note, the comic is clear and to the point, the ending drives the analogy home regardless if the principles match.

    Atheists, I think it’s safe to say, do not proselitize (for the most part). We simply find it ludicrous that others haven’t yet figured it out.

  60. Kris *#2 Says:

    I really enjoyed “cursed…whatever”‘s contradicting claim about atheism being like religion but then not like a religion. That tickled me. I also couldn’t stop laughing after reading the witty sarcastic responses that apologize for the atheist movement invading our private worlds. S@#T’s hilarious.

  61. theTantoblin Says:

    I am a Christian, but I appreciate the cleverness of your comics(even this one). I guess my retort would be that belief in something has no basis on whether the something actually exists or not. So the argument presented in the comic really has no logical basis. If morality comes from God, not believing has no actual effect on his existance, so would not affect the existance of your morality if God was the source. I would also like to say that I understand that the biggest turn off in Christianity, in my opinion, is that all most people know of it comes from people who are or claim to be Christians. People, regardless of beliefs, are imperfect. It’s hard for peole to exept a “perfect” religion when the people who believe it are imperfect. “For all have sinned…” You have heard the rest from thos people at your door; you know the ones that came right after the door to door atheists.

  62. Vidar Says:

    The Poseidon ending was good. I liked it better than the Harry Potter one.

    About two months or so ago, I was watching a video on the possible source of human morality. It was going onto say that the human source of morality could have possibly come from apes, seeing as how apes help each other out. It was pretty interesting.

  63. Pitchfork Says:

    This is in comment to “theTantoblin”: The logic is this…if god exists, then atheists don’t; because atheists don’t believe in… HMMMM?!? Never seen, met or heard the tale of the dreaded “door 2 door atheists” either. So far as omni-presesnt and omniscient “G”ods go, where in your “G”ods name(which exudes all holiness and power) is the omni-”potence”? Just for STARTERS, riddle me that… w/out the “beyond our comprehension”/”G”ods divine and perfect infallable “will” argument(if you can even call that an argument). THIS GOs 4 ALL RELIGYS! P.S. Lovin’ the outlet, thanx THADGUY.

  64. definitions Says:

    dear true believers… einstein was a brilliant man, hear his words:

    If this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him? [Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950), p. 27.]

    now how can you argue against such logic? play the ‘we are too stupid to understand’ card? well in using such an argument you will surely convince others of yourself being so…

  65. Ben Says:

    Hey.

    Quick question.

    When was Poseidon the source of the sea?

  66. thad Says:

    Yeah, you are right Ben. In Greek mythology Poseidon wasn’t the creator of the sea. However, his name has so much more recognition than Pontus or Oceanus and so much more connection to the sea than Gaia and Uranus. As a result, I used Poseidon anyway. :)

  67. Amy Says:

    Wow! That was interesting. And to think I was looking for an image for a Powerpoint presentation on geometry!

  68. umbra deus Says:

    i have read all the comments so far and have enjoyed the argument so i will give my view on it the main reason i,personally, am a atheist is because if there was a god who created us then why did he (or she) make us flawed then the almighty perfect being that is god sends us to hell (eternal danmnation) for it
    it makes no sence other than there is no god or there is a god but he (or she) is not the perfect being theists claim he (or she) is also if there is a god why doesnt it show him (or her) self to an aethist/world population because personally if i heard a booming vioce come from the sky or a person in the street saying that “i am god” and letting us test to se if thats true or not i would become a thiest but untill the day god comes a talks to me or reveals him (or her) self to the world i will not be conviced

    to all you clever so and sos that know latin you cant use my name against me at all the reason i picked it was because i like the sound of it not for its translated meaning

  69. umbra deus Says:

    *see

  70. Marina =]] Says:

    i laughed so hard at that!
    =]]

  71. lolsuz Says:

    I don’t see any comic here… but then again I don’t believe in Thad Guy.

  72. the Tantoblin Says:

    That is such a great quote Definitions. Einstein was a brilliant, logical man. I understand completely what he was saying. We are the way God created us, how can He deal out judgment on His creations without also dealing out judgment on himself. As humans, we create lots of things. Sometimes they go as planned, sometimes they don’t. We don’t claim to be omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent; so we can sometimes get out of moral responsibility for our creations. Things happen that we don’t always intend. A being that is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent can not claim that. So as Einstein stated, “In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself.” I guess here is a possible answer. Out of all creation, made from man or made from God, humanity is the only creation to be given free will. We were made in his image. We have the choice to do right or wrong. We have the choice to love or hate. We decide who we are. We are not carbon based robots. We have the ability to make choices, and that brings responsibility and consequence. In a way, God gave us the ability to “create ourselves”. Obviously, we all have limitations that an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God does not. As a Christian, I find the last part of Einstein’s comment harder to take. “How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?” Life can be hard. Not just our choices, but the choices of others effect our lives as well. People spend there whole lives just trying to be okay, or to feel happy, or to know what love is; to feel it even just for a moment. It is hard to take the thought that we are going to be judged after it is over. Here in part is where my own personal faith saves me. I believe in His goodness. I believe in His love for me. I trust Him. For everyone else trying to rationalize it… Well, you are not really trying to rationalize it, you are trying to use judgment as some way of disproving God by making a contradiction… but for everyone else, I would say to be fair that There are a lot of different view points on “Hell” and judgment even in Christianity.
    As far as Pitchforks comments to me, I am a little confused as to what you are asking me. I will try to answer though. You said, “The logic is this…if god exists, then atheists don’t; because atheists don’t believe in… HMMMM?!?” It is a false if then statement. It implies that something doesn’t exist if you don’t believe in it or that nothing can exist that does not believe in something if the said something really does exist. It’s not logical. It is a fallacy. If I am not understanding what he is saying, then I apologize and am up for more explanation from someone.
    I had to read the second part a few times, but I think I get what you are asking. I think you are asking, if God is all powerful, then why doesn’t he do more? Or some people would ask it this way(maybe not you), If God is omnipotent, then why does he let bad things happen to good people? I have a short answer and a long answer. I will give the short answer first so that those who are tired of reading my post can stop. lol Keep in mind that I, in no shape or form have claimed to be omniscient, so I am not always right. It’s sad. I know. Short answer: If there were no consequences for our choices, then nothing would mean anything. If God stepped in every time someone made a bad choice that effected their life or the lives of others, then having free will, the greatest gift ever given, would mean nothing. Now the…
    Long answer: So let’s say that God came to me before He created the earth(I am aware of the logical flaw here lol) with two different versions of the world and wanted to get my opinion on it. In the first version every one was always happy. No one ever hurt. No one ever cried out of sadness. Every one felt joy and excitement every day. Every one loved and respected every one else. There was no sickness or death. There was no pain. Hearts were always full and never broken. There was no need for hope, because you knew that you would always get what you wanted and it would always be what others wanted to happen as well. And I am like, “Wow. That sounds pretty good God.” Then He shows me the second world. It’s a world where people live and die. It’s a world with hate and love. Sometimes good people will try with futility to do the right thing and fail. Sometimes people will hurt each other or themselves out of anger or spite or to take what they want from someone else. This world has heartache and brokenness. It has love and joy. Sometimes people will sacrifice for the happiness of others. This world will have great loss and pain and sickness. Sometimes good people will fall. Sometimes people who are broken will fight for redemption and win. This world can be hard… But whatever it becomes it is what the people chose to make it. And no matter what, it will be the most beautiful thing in all of creation. I know what world I would choose. I have given that analogy a few times, and I don’t always feel like the other person or people feel the same way or get what I am saying, but there it is anyway. I guess what I am saying is that free will comes with consequences. It doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful. For those that would have taken the first world, I guess I would just ask if they think that love, real love, can really exist without free will; without choice. And maybe that is what this whole creation thing is about…
    Anyway. thanks for reading. I am not perfect. I am sure I am wrong about something, but there are some of my thoughts…

  73. lolsuz Says:

    The Tantoblin said, “Short answer: If there were no consequences for our choices, then nothing would mean anything.” Far from it; we suffer the consequences of our actions and inactions every day, regardless of our beliefs and of the presence or absence of the panorama of deities that are venerated by humans.

    Following the Christian view that god is all-knowing, all-powerful, and always right, there are no consequences for god’s choices, rendering god meaningless. By your logic, humans have more meaning than god. (A statement that I could not agree more with personally!)

    Again I am reminded (as I so frequently am) of Epicurous’ line of questioning:
    “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?”

    Indeed, why even bother with a god at all?

    The amount of convoluted anti-logic required for the faithful to sustain their faith SHOULD be a tip-off to them that there’s something terribly wrong going on. If you had a boat full of holes, and the holes were plastered with patches that also had holes, and those patches had patches that also had holes…. leaving you with a boat that’s more patch than boat… wouldn’t you just throw the damned thing away?!

  74. smartalek Says:

    2+ years later, I’ll add my kudos to the stack; the punchline chosen beats the harry-potter option both because it more accurately analogises the original argument (for the clever) and because it’s topically consistent (for the ones who might have trouble w/analogies and abstract thought — and there are more of them out there than you think).
    thad, thank u so much for this brilliance
    definitions and lolsuz, thank u for the Einstein and Epicurus quotes; I’d never read either before
    Though I do feel moved to point out that there are at least some people in the world who would not accept definition’s definition:
    “good: action done for the benefit of others.”
    Followers of Ayn Rand would strenuously disagree. And though recent history provides some very strong evidence against the Randians’ take on reality, unfortunately, it’s pretty clear that at least some of her followers (and possibly all remaining ones) have such fact-resistant faith in her belief system as to constitute a religion. (Ironic, considering she was well-known as an atheist herself.)

  75. Artemis Says:

    But my father’s brother does exist! And he is not the source of the sea, but it’s master (but only after the Olympians overthrew the Titans)! Gaea is the source of the sea, she created Pontus after she created Uranus and the Mountains!

    Alas, I must be off, my fingers itch to let fly my golden arrows…

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