Silly Skeptic: The Onus is on You to Provide Evidence That God Does Not Have Good Reasons for Allowing Evil

The Burden of Proof | Evidence Unseen

A review of “progressive” evangelical theologian and apologist Randal Rauser’s latest book, Conversations With My Inner Atheist, Part 11 (end of the review):

“Mia” (Rauser’s nickname for his doubts):  What reason does God have for allowing children to die of cancer or starve to death or be doused in napalm? You say God is a loving heavenly Father. I think he looks more like an absentee landlord at best and a moral monster at worst. Why should I think otherwise?

Randal: That’s not how it works. The idea isn’t that I need to provide specific reasons that God plausibly has. Rather, you as the skeptic need to provide evidence that God couldn’t have specific reasons. …When I consider evil, I may not be foolhardy enough to venture into speculating on what specific reasons God has for allowing these terrible things. But I will ask, what makes you think that you’re in a position to know that God couldn’t have morally sufficient reasons to allow the evils that, in fact, befall his creatures.

—p. 185

Gary: “his creatures”. Those two words say it all: God can do whatever he wants with “his” property. Imagine if an earthly father said such a self-absorbed, immoral statement about his children?

What a disgusting belief system. Thank goodness it is on the decline throughout the educated world!

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End of post and end of review.

17 thoughts on “Silly Skeptic: The Onus is on You to Provide Evidence That God Does Not Have Good Reasons for Allowing Evil

  1. Well, yes. Since we can posit that God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing evil, you would have to disprove that.

    Otherwise the objection has been addressed.

    Very basic stuff.

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      1. Furthermore, what morally sufficient reason could “God” have had to allow (an estimated) 1/2 (and possibly more) of the population of Europe to die of bubonic plague in the mid-1300s. Those people had no advanced knowledge of microbiology. They didn’t know specifically what they were dealing with. It was mass death reportedly caused by a microorganism.

        If a human parent had sick children, and if that parent could intervene to prevent the suffering and death of their children but elected not to (knowing the children didn’t know why they were ill and that they could not cure themselves), we would likely be REPULSED by that. Further, imagine if that parent claimed they had morally sufficient reasons to apparently do nothing and then chose not to state those reasons. Would we accept that as a defense? Yet, many Christians leap to defend “God” for apparently doing the same thing. If any Christian claims the onus is on you to “disprove” that “God” had morally sufficient reasons to allow that mass death event, I would counter them with asking why you (or anyone) would choose to praise and worship such a “God” that did have morally sufficient reasons to allow that mass death event while apparently doing nothing and then doesn’t bother to tell us their reasons.

        https://www.historytoday.com/archive/black-death-greatest-catastrophe-ever

        Aside from this, Gary, I wonder why you spend so much time and effort engaging Rauser. Why do you care what he thinks? I don’t find his content to be particularly compelling. I also believe he uses disingenuous tactics at times when engaging those he disagrees with. I’ve seen it many times. That is especially true when the topic is politics. His selective moral outrage in that arena is glaring.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am an evangelist. My heart yearns to convert the superstitious…or at least prove to them that I’m right and they’re wrong!

          Have you seen the meme:

          Wife: Come to bed! It’s past midnight!
          Husband: Just a few more minutes! There is someone on the internet who desperately needs to be proven wrong!

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          1. That meme sounds familiar.

            Well, you certainly have put a lot of time an effort into this. I don’t believe Rauser will publicly budge one inch, irrespective of what evidence you may proffer. Frankly, I think arguing with him is a waste of time. Nevertheless, you are doing yeoman’s work.

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  2. That’s not how it works. Ahhhh yes! The typical believer’s response.

    And then to go on and say the skeptic is the one who needs to provide evidence. No … no … no, Mr. Randal. It is for YOU to provide the evidence because YOU are the one who believes in a fairy tale entity.

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  3. This liberal Christian theologian (Rauser) who calls himself a Progressive Evangelical presupposes the existence of God and then makes claims that God is moral (but admits that the bible has some claims that seem to be immoral), then makes the assertion that non Christians need to disprove the claim that God is moral.

    How is it possible to disprove the existence of invisible beings: god(s), leprechauns, Satan, demons, angels, fairies, goblins etc. There is just no evidence for their existence. Subjective experiences of God (gods) are not evidence for their existence. They may well suggest that these things are only happening in the claimants mind or emotions. Why don’t these people admit that they could well be wrong, but that they simply choose to believe in God because it gives them a good feeling?

    Holy books are not evidence for God’s existence. The bible, which Rauser relies on (to some extent), contains contradictions and cannot be any Word of God and Rauser kind of admits this. But he uses convoluted arguments and then pretends that he has won the argument. Even his claims about Jesus being the Word of God are hard to swallow.

    Why doesn’t Rauser simply say that compassion and kindness are what matters no matter whether a person is a Christian, a person of some other faith, or an agnostic or atheist?

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      1. Gary, this note is off the topic, but since you spent so much time engaging Randal Rauser, I want you to see something he just posted on twitter. Now, I am not a Republican. I did not vote for Trump in the last election, and I’m certainly not here to defend him, but this level of rhetoric is way over the top (imo). If you followed Randal on twitter, you might be alarmed by some of what he posts re. politics and current events. I believe he is unstable (and not just because of this one tweet). I have thought that for some time. That’s why I opined that you were likely wasting your time trying to convince him to modify his theological views.

        excerpt:

        “Trump had no problem with Kim murdering and decapitating his uncle. He thought it was cool. He admired it. He wants that same power. He wishes he could imprison and murder his political enemies.” – Randal Rauser

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        1. I am inclined to believe Rauser is right on that one.

          —President Trump told Fox & Friend that he discussed assassinating Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

          Said Trump: “I would have rather taken him out. I had him all set. Mattis didn’t want to do it.”

          He then called Mattis “highly-overrated.”

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          1. Gary, Randal is clearly not referring to foreign dictators. He is clearly talking about U.S. political enemies. And, his tweet is drawing flack. Do you seriously believe that Donald Trump would actually MURDER Joe Biden or Chuck Schumer?

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              1. Okay, Gary. I have appreciated the dialogue on here, but I am flabbergasted that political partisanship in the U.S. has come to this. I don’t care for either candidate, and I think the two-party system needs to be overhauled. However, I would never endorse such a claim that one candidate wants to murder the other. That is banana-republic rhetoric on STEROIDS.

                Please don’t be swayed by MSM people like Rachel Maddow or Don Lemon (or Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson for those on the Right). Those people are paid political commentators. Exactly none of them are unbiased. There are very clearly dogmatic re. their political views. Being dogmatic re. political partisanship really isn’t all that different than being dogmatic re. religion (i.e. something you have dedicated many hours of your life to debunking).

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                1. I consider myself a political moderate, so I don’t care for Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow. But I believe that Donald Trump is the greatest threat to our democracy…ever! He has no conscience. He has no scruples. He would stop at nothing to achieve wealth and power…if he can get away with it. I do not put it past him to murder people if he thought he could get away with it.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I don’t know how someone could read the following set of proposed policies (this link is straight from Joe Biden’s website) and believe this is the path America should take. It is quite obvious that the Left wants to build a super coalition and establish complete control. As dysfunctional as the two-party system is, having (effectively) one-party rule is not the solution. It will make the nation much more polarized. And, I would say that about any one political party.

                    BIDEN-SANDERS UNITY TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS

                    Click to access UNITY-TASK-FORCE-RECOMMENDATIONS.pdf

                    I do not like either candidate, and I don’t intend to vote in 2020, but claiming that one candidate wants to murder the other has no place in civilized dialogue. Randal Rauser is reckless to promulgate such a claim.

                    Like

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