Debating the existence of a god with a theist is often a tiresome waste of time. It is sometimes more entertaining to debate specific aspects of doctrine with a theist. One point that I find it interesting to discuss is that of the god's supposed omnibenevolence or love since it is a position which they are unaccustomed to defending.

How do you determine that another human loves you? After much experience to the contrary I could never take someone's word that they really love me even if they say they do. I need to see a consistent pattern of caring behavior in order to believe that someone loves me. Should I use a different criteria to determine if a god loved me? I would not. If different criteria are used then it would be an entirely different definition of love. Therefore, I can use a god's behavior as it is expressed in scripture to determine if he loves humans by a human standard.

So, I would ask a theist, how do you know that your god loves you? You take it for granted but what proof do you have? How has your god demonstrated his love to you? Does he keep you from harm or trauma? Do natural disasters give you a wide berth? Does he ensure that you and your family are always fed and happy? No? Is his love dependent upon your good behavior and your misfortune due to your bad behavior? Would you call a parent who only treated a child with care when the child was perfectly obedient a loving parent?

The Abrahamic god permits natural disasters and human evil. The stories documenting the malicious nature of this god are plentiful. Where is the evidence that this god possesses even a tiny bit of love? He sacrificed himself to himself, according to Christianity, in order to forgive us for our disobedience you say? Please explain how that qualifies as love.

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Comment by Tom Thompson on March 8, 2010 at 6:44am
Absolutely agreed Glen. It is generally a waste of time to prove a point with a theist but it is occasionally fun to try. What isn't fun is that there is a common set of points which both atheists and theists focus on so it gets very predictable and boring trying to have a discussion. I like to take a discussion to a place that they haven't read a script for in preparation. I like to make them think on their own. True, there is very little that they haven't been prepared for with their brainwashing but it's still fun to try.
Comment by lost in translation on March 7, 2010 at 5:46pm
well, when my husband needed a job his family would say "I'll pray for you!" So when he eventually got a job they said "See? Prayer works!" Not my husband's efforts. To them the fact that he got a job was evidence of love. Give credit where credit is due!!

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