A resurrection from 2007 today. Normal service will be resumed next week.

Discussion (23)¬

  1. MarkyWarky says:

    Author, third panel, is should be it’s?

    But I love this one, great delivery 🙂

  2. Michael Houghton says:

    That’s funny. I just read an essay discussing theodicy and why evil would exist in the face of free will and also an all-powerful loving God and all that.

  3. Well said. The least satisfying end to a discussion. Total teenager talk. Happy 2020 Author. You’re off to a great start.

  4. Author says:

    Thanks, MarkyWarky. Fixed.

  5. Tinkling Think says:

    According to the religious, including most pantheists, something super-powered created humans, made them the way they are, wound them up then let them wander about loose, Evolution had bugger all to do with it, humans were always as daft, smart, hateful, kind and weird as they are today.

    Fine. Let us take this as our axiom. People were made to be the way they are, just as we make ice cream and radar ovens.

    Humans like ice cream. By religious theory, this is programmed into them by those or he [or she] who designed them. It isn’t anything people can change. It is a built-in fact. People like strawberries [except the ones who don’t] because they are programmed with a strawberry-liking sub-routine.

    Humans like hurting animals. Humans like hurting people. Humans like blowing up stuff, setting light to stuff, stealing, lying, taking massive bribes, peculating from the public purse, snorting drugs, beating up suspects in back rooms, raping little children in churches and doing all sorts of other really bad stuff. These, too, are built in. They are part of the design. It is not our fault. People are born evil and twisted by design. Deliberate, forethoughtful design.

    So why are we “sinners”? Why should we repent? Should we not just acknowledge our design flaws, revel in them, thank our makers for them, thank our makers for making Life interesting by making us evil so we can have fun killing and thieving and harming and go to our various Heavens with a clear conscience?

    We are innocent no matter what we do. We are as innocent as a dandelion cracking a concrete paving stone. We can’t be held responsible for evil that is built into us by a super-being.

    If gods made us, then gods should repent our “sins”. We, ourselves can never sin.

    Not unless you consider that trying to be “good”, trying to do “good” is, by way of being against the Grand Design and against the wishes and plans of the maker or makers, a great sin. Being “good” is going against the wishes of the god or gods. “Good” is, by definition, the only sin we could ever commit.

    A truly good human is a nasty, evil, vile, corrupt torturer who dances while the City burns.

    It is the only possible way to please the maker.

    All that being said, does anyone think the Courts will buy it?

    The point of this ramble is that if the gods or god made us like bananas and setting fire to ants using the Sun and a glass, then it or they could have built us to not like hurting things. They or it could have built us to not like eating too much, too.

    If there is a designer, it’s a piss-poor one.

    Unless the flaws are maliciously imposed on us in which case it or they did a bloody good job.

  6. Steve Sherman says:

    Sorry, Tinkling Think, even this unbeliever doesn’t buy it. And that straw man religion you think you’re refuting bears no resemblance to any one that actually exists.

  7. Vanity Unfair says:

    Theodicy: portmanteau word from theology and idiocy.

  8. Michael says:

    Michael Houghton: The free will argument against the Problem of Evil fails because while the perpetrator may make a free will decision to commit evil, few if any victims make free will choices to be victimized.

  9. Paul T Seed says:

    Michael’s point is very strong. Sin is essentially a list of things that are (or were) destructive of society. They were declared sinful in order to allow society to function. But the list is thousands of years old, and hopelessly out of date.

  10. jb says:

    Apparently nobody ever does anything evil after they go to heaven (despite having all of eternity to do it in). So the question is this: “do you have free will in heaven?” If you do, then evil is not an unavoidable consequence of free will. If you don’t, well, then free will can’t be all that important (I mean, you’re in heaven after all!), so why did God burden us with it?

  11. Laripu says:

    jb – the way out of that conundrum is this: presumably god modifies the souls of people who are admitted into heaven so that their free will won’t ever lead them to do evil. He perfects them.

    Or maybe the rules in heaven are different and nothing is evil. Or maybe “god works in myth-terious ways”.

  12. helenahandbasket says:

    The thought occurs to me that the whole of theodicy is a variant of the Just World Hypothesis documented by the psychologist Lerner.
    He noted that there is a special form of cognitive dissonance–the tension felt at entertaining contradictory thoughts simultaneously. We see it manifest in victim blaming, for example.
    Put simply–we find it unpleasant to realize that bad things happen to good people.
    So, what to make of a world where the manifestly unjust seem to often lead long and happy lives while innocents suffer?
    Or, to put it more psychologically, how to reduce the dissonance?
    1) Suggest that evil must exist for good to exist
    2) Shrug and go “well, what’s evil anyhow”?
    3) Suggest that just desserts happen in heaven.
    1) Requires some fancy footwork. Does heaven require hell? It didnt before the devil was disobedient?
    2) Is possible but then requires all churches to shut up shop and go home. What exactly are they selling if they cant tell us what god wants really?
    3) Conveniently moves the goalposts in a way similar to communism (“this world isn’t the real one…the real one will exist once you are dead” compares well with “all the communisms we’ve tried–the ones which resulted in huge piles of tortured corpses–weren’t real communism, the real one will happen with another species that doesn’t have human nature”

  13. Anonymous says:

    Nah, god deffo made up…the evil of his great big footprints in my butter dish has never happened, theodicy is flawed…

  14. Mr Gronk says:

    Which is why I prefer the Greek gods, who didn’t pretend to be benign. The Odyssey was not theodicy.

  15. MarkyWarky says:

    Laripu, I still think jb’s point is very valid. If God can create a world in heaven that either has free will without evil, or doesn’t require free will at all, and that’s regarded as better than our lives on earth, then why didn’t He just do that in the first place? Why have any need to modify any souls?

    This has always been one of the strongest arguments against religious belief IMHO. If God is as omnipotent and benevolent as is claimed, why did He need to make evil in order to make good work, and why the need for free will? Christians will claim that the one requires the other, or that a life without free will, which by necessity results in evil outcomes, would be pointless. But why limit Him thus? Why, given His power, could He not solve ALL of those problems?

    Jb’s argument simply adds another layer, which is to point out that actually, if believers are right, He HAS done exactly that elsewhere, so why not here?

  16. Laripu says:

    MarkyWarky, the argument may be correct or incorrect, but the point I failed to make is that there’s no use in using logic against faith. The whole bible story is too nutso to debate.

    If someone tells you they’re a fish, and because you’re just like them, you must also be a fish, you don’t take off your pants to prove you have legs rather than a fish tail. You just acknowledge that they’re too nuts to argue with.

    It was flippant, but bears reiteration: god works in myth-terious ways. It’s a story, not a set of verifiable facts that you can contest if people want to believe every detail, that’s a kind of insanity.

    And most don’t: they pick and choose which parts to take literally and which parts they say are metaphors or parables.

    Oh, and by the way, we’re fish. 🙂

  17. MarkyWarky says:

    Hmm Laripu, I’m not so sure. No reasoning is going to result in an instant conversion, but it is possible to chip away at people and weaken their confidence in nonsense. Not everyone, but some people.

    Oh, and agnostics? I was one, sort of (I never saw any truth in religion as such, but did consider myself agnostic in a Pascal’s Wager kind of way, even praying just in case), I was finally free’d by the reasoning in The God Dillusion, so it can work.

    But no you’re wrong, I am NOT a fish. Mooooooo

  18. oelgaard says:

    Jesus and Mo Book Vol. 8 – A Users Guide:
    1. Find strips: worthy, maybe2, ten and egg on the website and print them..
    2. Glue them into pages 11, 13, 21 and 81 to cover strips mistakenly repeated.
    3. Enjoy your reading!

  19. Laripu says:

    MarkyWarky, clearly you’re in pescadenial with severe embovination. But I’m easily amoosed.

  20. Author says:

    Thank you for this information, oelgaard. In the rush to get Vol8 printed before Xmas, the proofreading suffered. This is unacceptable and I apologise. To make amends, I offer to send you signed prints of the missing strips. The same goes for anyone else who purchased a faulty copy. Contact me, authorATjesusandmo.net, with your address and proof of purchase, and I’ll get prints in the post to you.

  21. Troubleshooter says:

    As it comes to the whole theodicy thing, seems to me there is one hell of a fly in the ointment, and it comes from the source. To wit:

    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
    — Isaiah 45:7

  22. John Moriarty says:

    The ‘problem of evil’ began in earnest when an ancient tribe made up shit to justify grabbing their neighbour’s land. And their virgins. Otherwise, slaughter them all. Flipping brilliant, a HOLY war! (not sure if saying fuck is allowed)
    Inferring the best explanation is easy peasy when you figure out that mister all powerful ought never have employed a self serving rabble in the cause of moral righteousness. Meh.

  23. Maybe God is both dark and light
    giving and receiving
    harsh and gentle
    Maybe we too are divine.
    we just have to accept the Yin & Yang
    within us.
    maybe kingdom of heaven resides within.


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