Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saying Good Byes

Over the many years of my education and activities, I've met some of the greatest people I'd probably ever meet. I recently said good bye to many of my friends moving off to college and my girlfriend. Knowing that I will be living totally separate lives from everyone I once grew close with is quite alarming. And (realistically) knowing that you'll probably never speak or see half of the friends you grew up with makes it even worse. Good byes suck, but it's just a part of life. I want to thank everyone in my life for having an impact me no matter how big or small, because without my friends, I wouldn't be the person who I am today. I wish the best of luck for all of my friends tackling college and I hope that we do keep in touch.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why I Don't Believe God Exists Anymore


I don't believe in a God anymore. 

After 17 years, I have been surrounded by God’s presence. I attended many religious schools, joined church groups, and was raised under a Catholic family. Baptized and Confirmed, I attended church every week and prayed every night to a divine being who I thought my whole life was must be real. At one point, I even considered on becoming a priest.  

Recently, I've gave much thought about my faith and my religion, and asked myself, how am I supposed to believe in a divine being that I have never seen or heard? My mom calls it faith but I call that skepticism.

When we really think about it, has God really made an impact on our lives today? When I made the basketball team in high school, did God give me that extra boost to propel me, or was it my hard work and perseverance that finally paid off? When I got hit by a car while on my bike, did God purposely eliminate all the cars off of that busy road or was that just a coincidence? How can we be for certain that God is real?  

As a child, I simply obeyed my parents and never questioned my religion. Now, I have lost faith in a divine being. I stopped praying every night, attending church, and normally when something good happens people normally say “Thank God!” I’m saying, “Thank you Causal Determinism!” I kid you not. My life is virtually the same with and without God and my life feels no difference. 

The Teleological argument, Cosmological argument, and Ontological argument are all theories for the existensce of God, but they can all be refuted in a way where we cannot completely accept them as true. But the biggest objection that convinced was the Problem of Evil. 

Why is there so much evil in the world? 

If God was an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent being, it is believed that the world should be full of happiness and love but instead we live in a world with much hate and negativity as well. The theists believe evil is justified under three main arguments: Evil is needed as a part of the body's warning system, Evil is needed to appreciate the good, and Evil is needed to punish the wrong doers. However, there are many arguments against these points that still leave theists puzzled and doubtful. 
The first response from the theist would be that pain is needed as a part of the body’s warning system. If a man put his hand on a stove, it could possibly burn his hand and give his body a “warning” to wear gloves next time or to not put his hand there at all. Along with fear, it’ll make sense to have fear when we see violent crimes unfolding such as a gun shooting or a bombing because it gives us a message to run away from the problem in search for safety. So it seems clear that pain and fear provide good reason to exist, but there are other instances where this is not the case. Take the case of a new born baby diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa, a disease that causes blistering all around the body and severely limits the baby’s physical freedom. The baby cannot even be held on lie on its back without pain. And also the case of a countless number of  patients who are in crippling conditions but cannot improve their situation, so they are left in suffering. What lessons would these pains bring up?

                The second response could be that Evil is needed to appreciate the good. At first, this sounds logical because if everything was indeed good, we cannot distinguish it from evil. The problem that arises is, is there such thing as excessive evil? Cancer takes millions of lives already, so why does AIDs, Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart disease and several other diseases exist? If God wanted to teach a lesson, why not kill 100,000 people instead of six million during the holocaust? Why add the extra natural disasters that punishes populations as big a cities to become a chaotic disaster?
          A theist’s third response to the problem of Evil could be that evil is needed to punish those for their wrong doings. This tactic is observed in child behavior. When the child does something that goes against the guardian's desires, the child is often punished by maybe not going out for a week, or not playing games until the end of the month, etc. Since this is a common theme with parenting, wouldn’t it make sense that this could apply to everyone in the world?. Unfortunately, there is no real correlation between the wrong doers and punishment. It turns out some of the worst people have great health and the more selfless people tend to die first or get diseases. There are babies who are born with diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa and die shortly after or live their life in suffering; Can we really conclude the baby had enough wrongdoings that God must perform such an act?
Gratuitous evil is an evil that is not logically needed for the occurrence of the greater good or essentially, pointless evil. A hiker in the wilderness who breaks his leg and cannot reach civilization for help is left out to suffer and die. Or a baby born with epidermolysis bullosa. There seem to be no greater good in these situations unless killing the hiker might bring peace and prosperity to his town and killing the baby will make the world a better place, both cases in which are highly unlikely.
Gratuitous evil does exist because we see reports of innocent lives being taken away from maniacs all over the world. The incident on 9/11 killed many innocent people because some guys wanted to go on a suicide mission. During the marathon in Boston, two guys set up an explosion near the finish line also killing innocent lives and frightening America. These criminal acts do not seem to have any effect that promotes the greater good and honestly, seems pointless.
          The thoughts for God’s existence are extremely contradicting. We would think that if God was real, we would have a much safer and happier world but the fact of the matter is, we don’t. Tragedies happen every minute, kids are dying for no beneficial reason and gratuitous evil surrounds the world.
The problem of evil has undoubtedly convinced me that there is strong evidence against God's existence. I still seek to take more philosophy classes as well as theology classes to kind of see where I'm at. But as of right now, the problem of evil has convinced me that there might not be any God.