I Think I’d Rather Be An Athiest

Even taking into account the limitations of the human brain, I’ve had a very hard time these last few days reconciling the image of a merciful, loving God I’d believed in with an all-seeing God who could proceed with the creation of mankind knowing even one of us was capable of shooting a classroom full of little kids 11 times.

In what scenario is the creation of mankind ever justified with this outcome? And it’s not just this one mass murder. What about the little kids who endure unthinkable sexual abuse daily or the little babies murdered by their parents every day? I’d rather believe there is no God at all than believe in a God who could see these events and still proceed with his creation.

I was taught that the sole reason for the creation, and the creation of mankind specifically, was to glorify God. This is what makes free will necessary because God wants to be loved by choice not by force. But the ultimate price of that free will is a world in which events like Newtown, and the daily abuse and murder of children are a reality.

I’d love to turn my back on my faith and go forward without a belief in God, but what sickens me is my genuine belief that God is real. There will be stories of good things coming out of this tragedy. Stories of families reunited, communities coming together, people changing their lives for the better. But I can’t think of a single good thing that is worth having a six year old’s little body torn apart by 11 bullets.

How can I be joyful at the thought of spending eternity with a God who felt having a creation free to worship him was worth this kind of suffering?


2 thoughts on “I Think I’d Rather Be An Athiest

  1. Speaking as an atheist, it doesn’t make these things any less horrible when they happen. OK, so it doesn’t cast doubt on your belief system, but it’s still awful.

    (Mind you, also speaking as an atheist, the notion of free will as put forward by Christianity has always struck me as exceedingly weak. “You’re free to worship me, or to have your flesh devoured for eternity by bird-headed demons since the only way to avoid said beaky torment is, hey, by worshiping me. But it’s your choice! Don’t take too long to decide!” But then if you remove free will from the equation, the old question of “why does god allow suffering?” becomes “why does god plan suffering?” and that’s even worse. Thorny, which I suppose it remains one of the great theological-philoshophical debates.)

  2. I don’t know that my take on this follows any official doctrine, but I put much of the responsibility for human tragedy on the humans who directly cause it–such as people who leave guns in easy reach and the people who in turn pull the triggers and kill their fellow man. Humans have just as much potential for good, but somewhere along the line, they freely make choices that lead to their own destruction or that of bystanders. That’s on them, not on God.

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