David Wood's Argument: Does This Make Any Sense?

David Wood has made an argument I simply cannot make any sense of here. He's usually very bright, but what's this? I responded harshly at first and then later apologized, since he's at least trying to deal with the problem of evil. Many Christian theists don't want bothered by it.

Here is a short list of some of the reasons why I don't believe in an omnibenelovent God given the massiveness and intensity of suffering we experience (all posted in the comments section).

1) I don't see any reason for God to create anything...anything at all. 2) I don't see any reason for God to have given us free will (or so much free will) if he knew we would abuse it so badly. 3) I don't see any reason why God should punish us so severely when we disobey (with disasters and hell itself). 4) I don't see any reason why God would build heaven upon the backs of billions of screaming people in hell, if he's omnibenelovent.

I simply don't believe in physically brutalizing someone who breaks the law, or in maiming him, or putting him in a wheelchair, either. Our punishments are humane when compared to anything that barbaric God does. We simply put criminals in jail. Under extreme conditions we put them to death in humane ways, like lethal injection, even though most of the rest of the civilized world won't even do that. Now just compare our ways of punishing criminals to God's and you'll see a big difference. That God is barbaric.

Christians will counter-argue that God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. But does this justify how he treats sinners both here and in the life everafter? Even if he is holy he could deal with criminals like us in more humane ways.

Hume actually argued that people can learn to be good and avoid doing evil by means of pleasure and the absence of pleasure alone! That alone, he argued would be enough to motivate us. I do not believe parents have to spank their children (much at all) to teach them. I don't believe we have to hit or spank our dogs to train them. Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) has been around for a few decades and the children from these homes (if consistent and also loving) have produced obedient kids. But the Christian God breaks our arms, plucks out our eyes, and burns our skin. Why? Because we did wrong? Why? To teach us. Why? To punish us. None of this makes any sense. Can anyone actually make any sense of this at all?

David Wood claims that atheists are looking for a "blissful" existence here on earth. Would I still reject God if I received a scratch on my toe? Hardly. The force of the argument from evil is in its massiveness and intensity. Take those two things out of the problem of evil and you take the force out of the argument. It's a continuum. The more intense we suffer the more intense the problem. Would there still be a problem if I received a scratch? Maybe. But it would only be a scratch of a problem, hardly anything that would be seen as a problem at all.

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