The Problem of Evil in the Book of Job



I was actually shocked by the power of the arguments I found which, as I say in the paper, show that not only is it irrational to believe in an omnibenevolent, just deity given the problem of evil, such as the frequency of undeserved suffering in the world, e.g. the suffering of children, it is immoral. I.e. it is a morally indefensible position to either ignore or attempt somehow to explain away the problem of evil (undue suffering) in support of the idea of a just god. I just blew your mind, didn't I? :-)


I particularly enjoyed the two analogies comparing Yahweh to a lifeguard who purposely drowns his own children (and how do you defend that and still call him a just god?) and to a magician-king who offers to "save the world" if you would only let him have one of your children first to anally rape and barbecue. The question one cannot seem to get past in this second example: tell me again why you need to do this to my son first before you save the world? Couldn't you just save the world without ass-raping and torturing little boys, you sick bastard?


Ah man, I had a lot of fun writing this one, I hope you get a comparable amount of satisfaction from reading it. Let me hear your comments!

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Comment by Jedi Wanderer on April 4, 2012 at 1:38pm

Ah, I see your point James. Yeah, that makes a much better argument.

Comment by James Yount on April 4, 2012 at 12:44pm

His point was that for a believer in god, most answers are easy (god did it). They only have to explain then why a loving/good god allows evil. For the non-believer, the answers are harder because if god didn't do it, what did and how?

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on April 4, 2012 at 8:27am

Thanks for the comments guys, though I am still hoping someone will actually read the paper. James, I don't know who Dennis Prager is, but I would get pretty riled up at the suggestion that all theists have to explain is Job and atheists have all the (other) explaining to do. As if theism actually explains anything! For starters! All they do is kick the can down the road by adding explanations in need of still more explaining.


Steph, did you ever go back to your teacher and tell him, "Do you remember our conversation? Well it turns out you were right after all, and now I'm an atheist and our discussion really helped me in coming to that decision."? I bet that would really make him happy.

Comment by Michael OL on April 4, 2012 at 12:56am

Yet another example of how the surest path towards atheism is careful study of the bible.  If Christians actually took the trouble to read their "holy book", then maybe there wouldn't be so many Christians....

Comment by James Yount on April 3, 2012 at 9:32pm

Dennis Prager, a man that I usually agree with politically but not on 'spiritual' matters, always says that the believer has to explain Job, while the non-believer has to explain everything else. Personally, I have more problems with the biblical accounts of god-ordered genocide than anything else.

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on April 3, 2012 at 9:19am

Hah, well it at least shows that the ancients thought about sex a lot too, and imagined all kinds of... possibilities. Actually what I see happening is that they saw their heroes, like Achilles and Ghengis Khan, as being descended from the gods, and since their heroes had sexual access to any women they wanted, sometimes including first sexual rights before their husbands, it was perfectly natural for them to talk about these things without feeling ridiculous. How they missed this in the editing process though... really, Job does not belong in the Bible for many reasons. God punishes Job's friends (the Comforters) for having unreasonable faith in Him, and rewards Job for blasphemy/lack of faith. Kind of exactly the opposite message the religions push now.

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on April 1, 2012 at 8:44pm

Thanks Loren, SB! Loren, could not the author of Job be a sadist and have a skewed sense of justice? Hardly mutually exclusive, those two, eh? :-) SB, that is so funny, we were just talking about the "sons of god" thing in my class, and I suggested that there must have been some kind of mistake including Job in the Bible, that whoever wrote it must have been from another culture and the story got slipped in accidentally. And what it actually says is that the "sons of the gods", GODS plural, took the daughters of men for themselves. How can there be sons of gods?How many gods are we talking about, and how many sons? I think I pissed off a Christian in the class, but she is just so dumb. She fully admitted, after defending her completely wrong position that Job never sins against God (he blasphemes the hell out of him), that she only pays attention to the things she wants to hear. 8-0

Comment by Loren Miller on April 1, 2012 at 7:35pm

The problem with Job is simple: god and the devil make a bet, and involve a third party, without his knowledge or consent in the wager.  Said third party loses EVERYTHING, is taunted about it, and then gets his chops busted by the front office when he does finally bitch about it.  All of this so that god can win a lousy bet.  That this deity restores everything afterward doesn't negate the suffering Job goes through during the process, never mind the loss of life of Job's family.

Whoever wrote the Book of Job either had a skewed sense of justice or was a sadomasochist.  As for the god represented therein, I'm vividly reminded of the kind of child who would go after ants with a magnifying glass.

Despicable, plainly and simply despicable.



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