Every time you think that Ray Comfort can’t top himself in suspending the logic and reason for which humans are supposed to be so famous, he manages to perform yet another stunning feat of obliviousness. Seriously, listening to him and the former child actor he ropes into his asinine endeavors, could probably turn God into a fervent atheist who’d reconsider having to save someone who abuses supposedly sacred texts with such wild abandon. This time, the inanity comes from his infamous 50 page screed added to a copy of Darwin’s Origin of the Species where he maintains that Hell must be real for the following reason…
On February 24, 2005, a nine-year-old girl was reported missing from her home in Homosassa, Florida. Three weeks, later, police discovered that she had been kidnapped, brutally raped, and then buried alive. Little Jessica Lunsford was found tied up, in a kneeling position, clutching a stuffed toy.
How do you feel toward the man who murdered that helpless little girl in such an unspeakably cruel way? Are you angered? I hope so. I hope you are outraged. If you were completely indifferent to her fate, it would reveal something horrible about your character.
Do you think that God is indifferent to such acts of evil? You can bet your precious soul He is not. He is outraged by them. The fury of Almighty God against evil is evidence of His goodness.
quote via Jerry Coyne
Ok, right. God is outraged by acts of evil such as raping and killing a child. Yet, God does absolutely nothing to stop the act. Where’s his great compassion? Where’s his mercy? Where is his blistering fury? Why wasn’t the monster who tortured and murdered a little girl struck by lighting repeatedly while a booming voice from above cursed him aloud to an eternity of hellfire and suffering? And let’s consider the callousness of Ray’s argument in this matter. Instead of at least pretending to be a refined theologian, this living fountain of insipidity tries his best to outrage us and hijack our emotions rather than appealing to any sort of logic or reason. Is this the big argument for divine justice? A sordid tale he exploits like a slimy tabloid hack with no sense of decency?
For theologists, the subject of why we have to deal with evil in our lives is called theodicy. Quite frankly, it’s the practice of waiving away the responsibility of an otherwise compassionate, omniscient, omnipotent and very loving personal God for our terrifying acts of cruelty to each other and nature’s lack of concern for how many of us die during an earthquake or a tsunami. They do it by one of two ways. They either craft it as a paradox that’s part of some divine plan our mortal minds can’t understand but have to accept in order to eventually learn why evil exists, or, like Banana Man here, completely side-step the issue and throw out emotional pontifications.
We can say that once in a while, parents have to let their children experience something unpleasant to get an introduction to just how cruel the world can really be. Nothing that would actually hurt them of course, just give them an exposure to unfair decisions or the carelessness of others. But the reason why parents would do it is because they know they can’t safeguard their children forever. Evil exists outside their control. An omnipotent deity doesn’t have such restrictions and if he’s so incensed by malicious acts, he could just create a world of peace, wealth and immortality for its supposedly favored creations. Why teach us lessons in pain or suffering if we don’t actually have to learn them in the big picture? The Fall of the didn’t have to happen and the story we get is paradoxical, confusing and raises far more questions than it provides answers, something a deity with a clear goal should have taken care of before unleashing his human creations on the world.