This may come out as a syllogism. It isn’t rational, but it sounds rational until you think. Here are two examples. Both are irrational, but they sound rational.
William L. Rowe: “There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. Therefore, there does not exist an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being.”
Paul Draper: “Gratuitous evils exist. The hypothesis of indifference, i.e., that if there are supernatural beings they are indifferent to gratuitous evils, is a better explanation than theism. Therefore, evidence prefers that no god, as commonly understood by theists, exists.”
There are many problems with these. The main problem is that both assume to know what God would do. They both assume that the authors of the sayings know what is good and what is evil. However, if God doesn’t exist, there is no such thing as good or evil. So, both of these man commit the is-outh fallacy and the fallacy of moralism. Yet, they claim to be the authority (over God) of what is good, what is evil, what should be permitted, and what is wise. If they are making such a claim for themselves, they ought to have at least created one universe out of nothing.
In addition, both men assume that God should not be patient in allowing some evil, for instance, their own attitudes toward God, for a time in order to end with a better conclusion that could not have been accomplished any other way. Here is a huge assumption stated as if it were a fact, “which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse.” Yet, God is saying that at the end of the ages of the ages we will all understand His wisdom in doing everything He did in the way that He did it.
This question fulfills the proverb: “As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.” The word translated as “proverb” is a Hebrew word that means a statement about what is right and wrong. God says, “A fool says in his heart that there is no God.” That person is a fool because, without Divine revelation, nothing can be known. Every person who follows Christ is led and taught by Him. God says that He reveals Himself to every person who lives, but some refuse to acknowledge Him. They are fools for doing so, and they are fools because they cannot know anything. They can have strong opinions but not knowledge of truth. They cannot be rational, since rational thinking requires a true premise. Without Divine revelation, no premise can be shown to be true. Therefore, Secularists can’t know the difference between concept and reality. Since they think that everything is based on assumptions, they can’t tell the difference between reality and make-believe.
If Atheism (or many other religious views) were true, how could you define good? Many Hindus, for example, openly admit that they believe that there is no good, evil, right, wrong, truth, or error. A consistent Atheist or Agnostic would have to say the same. For those who believe that all is random, there is no rational way to claim that one way of acting is righteous and another way of acting is unrighteous. Some of them do claim that there is good and evil, but they are being inconsistent and irrational by making such a claim while also claiming that everything happens by random chance (that is, that there is no God). For those who claim that there is a god (small g) but that nothing can be known about this god, they would have no way of discerning what is good or evil either.
When unbelievers are asked how they can determine good from evil, they may try to create a straw-man argument by answering a question that was not asked. The actual question asks for the logical basis of the unbeliever’s concept of good and evil. Many times and unbeliever will insinuate that the question that was asked was, “Why can’t unbelievers do anything good?” It is a fact that they really cannot do righteousness in the sense of God’s definition of righteousness (study the diagram), but that is not what is being asked here. We are asking for their logical reasoning behind their particular definition of good. They must end up in an irrational argument. There is no other option for the unbeliever.
The reader may be interested in just exactly why things are as they are. Read: How Everything Got So Messed Up and What God Is Doing About It There are some additional links at the bottom of the page to help in understanding God’s purpose.
It is a fact that the unbeliever must be irrational in defining good. They must be arbitrary, which is irrational. They have no absolute standard. If they did, what would it be? Only the follower of Christ has an absolute standard that is both internally and externally consistent. That standard is that which is revealed by God Himself. The standard is received by revelation in real time from the throne of God.
The fact is that, without the God of the Bible, there can be no objective good or evil. God defines good and evil. The purpose of asking the unbeliever to test his or her logical basis for judging right and wrong is to help the unbeliever to realize that their question borrows a viewpoint that can only logically belong to a Christian.
Interestingly, logic cannot exist outside of the God of the Bible either. There is no reason for the law of noncontradiction, for instance, to exist in the worldview of the unbeliever. For the Christian, the law of noncontradiction is just a revelation of the nature of God. Many unbelieving religions actually reject the law of noncontradiction, which is illogical and can easily be shown to be wrong.
The reason those who follow Christ believe is not based on physical evidence or human argument, though the observable physical evidence supports God’s existence and His Truth without the mental gymnastics that the Atheists and Evolutionists find themselves tangled in. It is based in the power of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word (utterance) of God. God speaks. God speaks to every person. Whoever will listen receives the faith that is of God. This is a supernatural belief that is not human-generated. It is a gift. That faith is the belief that what God has said is true. Before a person is born again, there is a history of hearing God’s voice. No one can come to Christ unless the Father draws him or her. A person is born again the moment that he or she hears God’s voice and receives faith to believe in Jesus as Savior from sin. In the same way, it is God who speaks and says that the Bible is the Word of God without error. When we hear His voice, then His faith comes, the supernatural belief that the Bible is the Word of God without error. Once God opens our eyes, we see that the Bible is the only source that is both internally and externally consistent. We cannot possibly believe unless we are having an active interaction with our Maker. Some Christians are not aware enough of their own experience to know this. That’s why we have all the previously-mentioned reasons for believing the Bible as the Word of God. (some caveats about hearing God’s Voice)
Interestingly, explanation given in the previous paragraph does not depend on circular reasoning or poor logic. It depends on God. This is the kind of faith that is what is really operating. It is based on revelation. Now, a naturalist will attack the whole idea of revelation claiming that revelation cannot be verified.
- Ungodly People Miss Out On What Is Good–Ungodly Christians Miss Out Too (
- Don’t Fall Short of the Wonderful Plans, the Destiny that God Has Planned For You. (
- God’s Purpose For Our Lives Is That We Become Like Jesus (