EVIL, WE SAY GOOD IS DOMINANT BUT THERE IS A CASE FOR DOUBTING THAT

The basic drive behind religion is the wish to believe that evil is not dominant and God is good and has the final say in all things.  Its thinking along the lines that if evil is dominant now, it won't be dominant in time.  In fact the good will prevail.  Without this religion just becomes a tradition and is no longer religion.  Its just opinion or a social practice.  Its not really useful.

Good is relative in this sense.  If incurable disorders afflict the human race then it might be good to be arthritic and able to walk only for a mile in a day compared to the alternative.  When people think of good they exaggerate it in their heads and fill them with unrealistic visions of a perfect paradise.  Its unrealistic for you need to be able to visit a paradise to know what it is.

If good is good then what matters is that it happens not that it will rise to the top of the mess.  It is putting what it does above what it is.  The other side of this is that it is saying evil as evil does not matter as long as it will change into something that is neutral or good later.  This whatever it is, is not a moral stance.

If good is good then attaching much importance to its triumph is evil.  This is hard to understand so we need to be careful.  We are saying that there is a difference between the wood and the trees.  There is a difference between the wire making up the bird cage and the cage.  We end up like those who think its okay to steal from your family today for you will be honest next year.

If evil will hold its own so that it and good will have to just accept its like half and half that also eliminates the value of religious faith and religion.  If God is the creator of all and is totally good, that is hardly comforting if he gives us free will meaning that most of the creation might hate him forever and revel in evil and violence.

We have learned so far that belief in God does not necessarily imply faith that good is in any relevant way ultimately pleasing or worthwhile.

Religion glosses over this.  By God they broadly mean that which causes evil to combust or lose.  The implication is that those who do not affirm God as true strongly are in fact harmful defeatists.  Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga says that evil is terrible and vile but reminds us that it is a not just a foe but a defeated foe. This denies that evil defeats itself. God had to do something to it from outside to defeat it.  This blames those who are not choosing to work with God of being emissaries of evil.  Those who refuse to work are virtually demonically evil.

Anyway religion/religious faith is at its core, about evil not being dominant.  God is only an expression of that idea and a prop for it.  They could think that good will get the better of evil perhaps in a long time but that is not enough.  They come up with a God who is about being good and has the power to dismantle evil.  They fear that good being good is not enough.  You need something with the intelligence to combat evil.  They don't want good to conquer evil the way the sea conquers land.  They want it to know what it is doing.

Religion needs this idea of evil being something that will, thanks to God, fix itself, whether it likes it or not, to give it hope.  It also needs it to ground morality for what is the point of trying if evil is going to get stronger or if challenging it only drives it underground? 

Religion says that evil is not a power or a being but the lack of a good that should be there but is not so there is no need to ponder how an anti-evil God can create evil.  Its answer is that he doesn't.  But this says evil cannot last anyway.  So why does it need a God to make it dismantle.  If evil has to fade away then faith in God hardly matters much. 

Religion has no sensible or persuasive definition of what it means by evil.  Evil rouses hate, pain and fear.  But so does cough medicine.  It does not tell us what evil is.  Religion cannot really help with evil when it does not know what the foe is.  And it does not really want to know.  Thus it is part of the problem.  If evil can be understood and defined then religion is evil.

The urge to feel that the holocaust or some event akin to something happening in a slasher horror is objectively wrong and extremely objectively wrong means that your morality is forced and therefore vague.  How?  You want evil to be like cheese not holes in the cheese.  This bias is dangerous because again you need to be the therapist and keep your biases out of it otherwise you will do more harm than good.  But the bias is there.  That is why even if objective evil makes sense, it does not follow that anybody endorses it because it makes sense.  They are compelled. Get that?  Pride is a sin and an evil we are told but it is undeniable that those who speak for objective evil being a concern and a foe are pretending to see instead of being puppets of bias.  They are claiming to be wise and superior to human nature.

To maintain hope, religion teaches that evil is not a thing or power.  It's nothing anybody can make.  In other words, there is no pure evil.  Pure evil would be an evil thing that exists just to be evil.  So religion says that evil in fact is simply a good that is not there and should be there.  In other words, it is good that is not good enough.  This is thin when you realise they are saying good is a thing and real.  It is not.  You cannot weigh compassion for example.  The fear is that if evil is a thing then God is its creator and is evil and so evil will never be overcome.  It is a circular argument.  They are presenting evil as a problem for faith in God's love but not as a contradiction.  They are saying, "We assume there is a God planning all things.  So we know what should be in us and in our lives.  Whatever falls short is evil so God exists because evil is a mere problem and evil is a mere problem because God exists."  That is pretending you are arguing to show you are right when in fact you have already made up your mind.  If evil needs a lie to defend it as a valid concept then evil is dominant in the universe! 

Another circle is, "Evil is not a real thing for God exists and God exists though there is evil simply because evil is not a positive but a lack."  That is a lie too and nobody gives anybody the right to talk about a huge ocean of suffering they will never understand like its something to make a point and that is all that matters.

So far we have shown that so-called good and hope depend on the evil of lying so it does not matter what evil is.  It is dominant.

Anyway here is more.

If evil is not there then, what is there is the good that is not good enough and which is hated for not being good enough. You cannot see evil without seeing the evil.  You see evil in reference to the good.  The paradox here is when you demonise this good as evil and hate it you are hating good and well on the way to letting evil into your heart yourself. It is the evil of persons who use morality as an excuse to hurt others.  Or the persons who are moral for they think morality is painful and hurts people and revel in it. If you are a role model or preacher and want people to be moral for it will be hard for them you are weaponising  morality.  You may not even know you are using morality like that.  The blind spot we have with morality is so bad that we will play innocent even in the obvious proof that we are far from innocent.  Even when we hate evil, we hate it in such a way that we deny we have done it when we have.  Hating evil is seen as a virtue but the evidence does not support it as much of a virtue.  We hate evil but when we see it in ourselves we go into denial and start to hate those who tell us we are guilty.

What puts hatred for evil in you? Is it just nature? Or God. Both? Why does it matter?  Nature if it is just an undesigned pattern rules out any need for God if it puts the hate in you.  If it is both God and nature then why would a moral God let a thing have some say in how we see evil?  Why does he want such a dubious source to direct us?  How do we know which part of our perception of evil is from him or not?

Religion fails to show that God and good are necessarily connected or that God and morality amount to the same thing. People want to hold that an ontological realm of morality that is independent of human experience and opinion exists - ie moral principles are real and not just opinions and rules.  But all this is about is trying to avoid people fighting over what is right and wrong and saying perhaps, "I want to rob the bank to feed my children therefore it is just and fair and moral for me to do so."  Morality should be independent of what anybody thinks or wants and that includes God.  If morality is real then it is independent of anything and anyone's experience and opinion.  That includes God. 

Believers decide that God is right and then say morality is whatever God tells us for he knows but whoever talks about their God is talking about themselves.  They evaluate him and give him godhood so its about them.  God is not your God unless you enthrone him so its about you.  They use these tricks to get started with "morality" and then work out that gives them the right to say that suffering that they will never experience and that belongs to others should be seen as fitting the love and morality of God.

If God creates from nothing and evil is a real thing then it is like him, something that was always there, and has the power to create. If evil is real then it has the power to create further evils out of nothing. It could incapacitate God totally.  If God makes evil himself then he might make it rule the day forever and wipe out all good.  If a human person embraces evil and becomes evil it follows you can destroy them.   We have seen that it is possible to say evil is not a power and show by your outlook and actions that you in fact seem to think it is.  How you treat something and how you think of it may not match.  Talk of evil does smooth the path to violence and we should not be surprised when religious people start slaughtering so called sinners.

Religion however says God is master of evil though he does not cause it. He permits evil to happen for the sake of a good that is worth it or to prevent some equal or greater evil. Permits means tolerate in this context.

Now to say that somebody is in the pits of incurable depression and there is nothing but dark and pain is permitted to face this is obscene.  Holding a person down in the water is not permitting them to drown but drowning them.  The experience is a thing and is created. To say its not God is to tell the depressed person they do it to themselves or Satan is doing it.  Neither of these show the remotest respect for the person.

Religion calls evil a lack of good when the good ought to be there.  But its plural.  It's lacks.  No two lacks are the same.  Calling evil a lack allows religion to over-simplify.  The argument is that evil is a lack and it is that simple and it is not wrong for God to let the lack happen.  But its a case by case thing.  John lacking medicine for his sick tummy is not in the same category as somebody in unimaginable depression for five decades.  Even if evil is a lack and that solves God and evil religion is evil for lying about it and being cold and dismissive.

Religion says, "Evil being a defect means the gold is good it is just your greed for it that is bad and this does not effect how good the gold is."  This tries to make you think only of how we make the lack not God but the fact remains a kitten lacking health is not the same thing.  God is causing its defective health.  Its a cruel trick to blame people not God.

We have seen that religion's account of evil does not agree with itself and does not take account of how talk of evil triggers human nature's violent side.  It is not consistent with something that really wants to do something about evil.