Is God Good?

There is immense evil and suffering in this world that cannot be denied. Whether suffering is inflicted by fellow mankind or by natural disasters, the problem of evil is so pressing that it seriously questions the idea of a Good, Merciful and Compassionate God.

The typical answer to the evil caused by mankind is the free will defense. It is argued that the calamities of wars, violence and genocides is of our own free choice and therefore God cannot be held responsible for it. Well I do agree that a great deal of suffering in this world is caused by the  lust, greed and mischief of fellow human beings. But it also highlights the fact that no matter how much filth, plague and corruption we spread, God will never intervene to help the oppressed. Certainly God could have stopped the Holocaust or the Nanjing massacre, if he is all good… but no, he didn’t… he chose not to intervene. The truth of the matter is that freewill is a scapegoat to conceal God’s hypocrisy. Mankind has paid a huge price for this freewill. The price is not the mischief we spread but the indifference of God to what we do.

Men, women and children killed by landslide. Does this make you a saint?

On the other hand, the problem of natural evil is hard for anyone to defend. A common viewpoint most apologists hold is that natural evil exists so that good can come out of it. Pain and grief are means to develop human morality and conscience. In other words, suffering leads to saintliness. Well yes, but isn’t the suffering in this world too much already? Does God really need to torture us with earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, famines and AIDS in order to make us better moral beings? The level of suffering in this world is too much to justify this claim. In the Indian Ocean Tsunami alone, 230000 people were killed. If that many people were killed by a bomb or terrorism, it would have stirred the whole world. The people responsible for it would have been prosecuted, tried and sentenced. But unfortunately, justice cannot prevail when God commits such atrocities. Was it too much for God to make nature a bit more accommodating? There was no harm in a little more perfection.  His own universe would have been more splendid. And his own children would have been at peace.

To conclude, I see only a couple of answers to the question. Maybe God is all good, loving, compassionate and merciful. Maybe he did create us in good intent and tried his best to provide us with a perfect living environment. But the evil in this world suggests that he is too weak and powerless to intervene and help those in distress. Or maybe God is very powerful who can do anything he wants. But the problem with this assumption is that an apathetic God cannot be good in any sense. The omnipotent God who does nothing to alleviate misery and anguish is a ruthless, self righteous hypocrite and a sadist who enjoys human suffering. The universe is his entertainment and we are his gladiators.

Why Deism?

Since I left Islam, I am being constantly asked by my atheist friends why I have chosen Deism and why not Atheism or Agnosticism. Well, I have to confess that I am a highly spiritual person. I have always had a very strong belief in God. This is partly because I believe science will not answer all my questions. Religion is ridiculous but so is the idea of existence of something from nothing. I am not just a random collection of molecules, my emotions might be due to chemicals in my brain, my feelings might be result of physical stimuli, but there is more than that. I am creature of love and hate, compassion and corruption. I am creative, I am destructive, I am evil and I am good, I am inexplicable and incomprehensible, there is a conscience, there is a ghost in the machine.
Deism is a concept that holds a rational view of world, with no need of any organized religion. But this rational approach of Deism has a room for an intelligent supreme being. The universe is like a clock wound up by the supreme being, has a pre-specified time duration after which it will ultimately stop and die. You can call that intelligent being God, Krishna, Buddha or Spaghetti Monster if you want; all is fine. But one has to admit that there is something out there that started all this. Most probably, the intelligent being we are talking about is as powerless as any of us. For if he were powerful with a tiny bit of conscience, he would have done something about the filth, famine and disasters in this world. This gives me a sneaky idea that god is probably a nerdy scientist. The universe is but an unintended unsustainable consequence of his uncontrolled experiments that went horribly wrong. And since he cannot control it, he has no choice but to sit back and watch the universe run its course.
Coming back to the topic, I am not a hypocrite to suggest that Deism is the answer to the mystery of universe. I believe that the riddle of existence is too big to have a single path to the ultimate truth. Rationally thinking, you can not be sure with complete certainty of any belief that you hold whether it is Atheism, Agnosticism or Deism. Every single one of these beliefs has justified criticisms. But no matter what beliefs we hold, we should and must have a unique philosophy on the purpose of life. The purpose that became the reason we are here today, the reason we can talk, think and act. The purpose of life is nothing but to evolve… morally, ethically and intellectually. Thousands, maybe millions of species have died so that we could evolve and exist… let us not their sacrifices go to waste.