Creationist Wisdom #601: The Preacher Yet Again

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Rockdale Citizen of Rockdale County, Georgia, and it’s titled Denying God does not make the problem of evil go away; it makes God that much more necessary. The newspaper has a comments feature, but there aren’t any yet.

We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we usually omit the writer’s full name and city. But today’s letter is quite an exception. This is the fourth time we’ve featured a letter from John Pearrell, pastor of Gateway Community Church in Covington, Georgia. The church’s website says they’re affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The first of the rev’s letters was here: #322: The Preacher, the second was #350: The Preacher Returns, and this was the third: #402: The Preacher Again.

We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s latest letter — the worst of them all — enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go:

As scientific evidence accrues, the realization that we are not here by blind chance is becoming abundantly clear. Some renowned scientists have even observed that had Darwin been aware of the scientific information we have at our disposal today, his theory of evolution would never have been advanced.

Renowned scientists have said that? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We love the rev’s letters! Then he says:

The vocal atheist Richard Dawkins agrees that life on Earth is not the result of random chance. With this understanding, he publicly declared that while he agrees that the universe as we know it must have a designer behind it, he chooses to believe in “little green men seeding the earth with life-forms.” In his mind, unknown unseen aliens are a better explanation for what we observe today, than is a cosmic designer.

Dawkins thinks the universe had a designer? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Let’s read on:

Since scientific evidence points more and more to God, I have noticed that the arguments against God have become negative arguments. That is, we can no longer claim that all the evidence for life points toward time-plus-random-chance (all the evidence points to a designer of some sort, be it a God or little green aliens).

Yes, all the evidence points to a designer. The rev continues:

The main argument used now against God is there cannot be a God because of the evil that exists in the world. The problem of evil is not a new problem.

Everyone knows about Problem of evil, but we don’t hear much about it from scientists. The rev must be listening to a higher source. Skipping some bible quotes, here’s more:

Is the existence of evil a reasonable basis for non-belief? Let’s examine that.

First of all, to argue for the existence of evil, one has to be able to tell evil from good; there has to be a standard of some sort whereby we distinguish between the two. In short, the person who argues for evil must do so from the standpoint of a universal moral law. In order to have a universal moral law, there has to be a universal law-giver. Therefore, the existence of evil far from being an argument against God really points to the necessity of God.

Hey — that’s neat! The existence of evil is proof of God. We always enjoy encountering new arguments. Moving along:

If you are a non-believer in a God because of the problem of evil in our world, let me ask you a question: Does that really make you feel better? Does not believing that there is a God really make the problem of evil any less painful? To me it would seem that a recognition of the evil that does exist in our world while clinging to a belief that there is no real purpose for it and no possibility of relief from it, far from making it more bearable, would in fact make it intolerable.

God makes evil tolerable. That’s another great new argument. Now we’re skipping to the end:

Yes, as a believer I must deal with the problem, but so must the atheist. Denying God does not make the problem go away nor does it make evil somehow less evil. What it does do is relegate the problem to random meaninglessness and remove any hope of good ultimately overcoming the evil.

We are grateful to the rev for another fine addition to our collection.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #601: The Preacher Yet Again

  1. First of all, to argue for the existence of evil, one has to be able to tell evil from good; there has to be a standard of some sort whereby we distinguish between the two.

    This is odd too. Me, I’d argue, in my utterly godless and immoral fashion, that (for example) genocide is evil — in fact, I think it’d be hard on any moral basis to dispute that statement. Yet the god of the Old Testament explicitly condones genocide.

    Presumably, then, Pearrell does likewise and, in his advocacy of wholesale slaughter of innocent men, women and infants, is far more moral than I could ever hope to be.

    Or am I getting this hopelessly wrong?

  2. As scientific evidence accrues, the realization that we are not here by blind chance is becoming abundantly clear. Some renowned scientists have even observed that had Darwin been aware of the scientific information we have at our disposal today, his theory of evolution would never have been advanced.

    I notice none of these “renowned scientists” are named, perhaps because if they were, people would know they are “renowned” only in creationist circles.

    And as scientists keep having to explain, “chance” isn’t blind when it comes to the origin of life; it’s constrained first by the basic laws of physics and chemistry and then by natural selection in a changing environment.

    As for the question “But where did those laws of nature come from?”, who says they had to “come from” anywhere instead of always existing? Creationists would reach for their guns if someone asked, “Where did God come from?” because they insist that God has always existed–though they never explain just what He did to pass the time before He created the universe 6,000 years ago.

  3. Wait, doG makes evil tolerable? Seriously? Wow, if this is true then there really IS a use for doG. Well, I learned something new from this. Thanks much Rev.

  4. I love how creationists are always whining that more and more evidence is accumulating against Darwin, the theory of evolution, and other things they don’t like, but they never actually cite any of it. Come on, guys, it goes like this:
    Dick and Jane, 2015. Evidence that doG exists. J. Irreproducible Results, 34:201 – 223. Here on the internet you could even add a link to the article(s)… if there were any.

  5. There are several ways to look at events that may be defined as “evil”. The current writer seems to imply that “evil” is a human product. I would be interested in how he defends what are usually called “acts of god” – tsunamis,earthquakes, hurricanes, etcl events for which there is no human cause. If I view those “evils” in a biblical context the only conclusion I can draw is that we are faced with an evil god, right out of the genocides of the old testament.

  6. blah “is becoming abundantly clear.” -The Good Rev.

    Is there some point in the past where it wasn’t already abundantly clear to at least one member of his sect? I think not.

    Has the rev. lacked faith on the issue until some recent data came into his possession? I doubt that he has.

    It’s becoming more and more difficult to find a dividing point between Christian and Islamic rhetoric that could be used to support a statement concerning one sect potentially being more crazy than the other.

  7. Stephen Kennedy

    Mrs. Job was incorrect when she stated that Job’s suffering proved there is no god, when actually it proved there is a god, What she did not know was that the suffering of Job was the result of a cruel little game that God and Satan were playing.

    It all started when God was bragging again about how devoted Job was to him. Satan then offered the opinion that Job’s devotion to God was because Job was so rich and his life was so easy. Satan said “I will wager that if Job had everything taken away from him and was made to suffer he would turn on you.” God said “your on!” and God and Satan’s viscious gamblng escapade began.

  8. What Eric Lipps and abeastwood said re: naming the “renowned scientists” and providing citations.

    Rev, I bet you’re pretty good at citing chapter & verse of the Bible; do the same to back up your statements concerning science.

  9. “In order to have a universal moral law, there has to be a universal law-giver.”
    This Pretty Good Rev may be aware that the PoE is not exactly new, he doesn’t seem to be aware of the Euthyphro dilemma, which is older than his beloved NT as well.

    “If you are a non-believer in a God because of the problem of evil in our world, let me ask you a question: Does that really make you feel better?”
    No. So what?

    “Does not believing that there is a God really make the problem of evil any less painful?”
    So our Pretty Good Rev can’t distinguish either between the problem of evil, which is a philosophical issue, and evil itself, which is a social issue as far as it’s caused by humans and a scientific one if we’re talking earthquakes and the likes. Yes, that’s very painful.

    “To me it would seem that a recognition of the evil that does exist in our world while clinging to a belief that there is no real purpose for it and no possibility of relief from it, far from making it more bearable, would in fact make it intolerable.”
    Exactly! That’s why I do my very best to do something about it. Sure my contribution is tiny, but every bit helps. Praying at the other hand doesn’t do anything. Thanks, Pretty Good Rev!

  10. Dave Luckett

    “Does not believing that there is a God really make the problem of evil any less painful?”

    Yes, it makes it less painful. It saves me from the painful and pointless business of wondering what to think of a god who is supposed to be omnibenevolent, but who allows toddlers to fall from balconies, or slag heaps to roll through village schools.

    See, if you’re driving along, and you see a toddler playing by the side of the road, and you accelerate and swerve to hit the kiddie, laughing heartily the while, I think the rev would allow that you’d be acting in an evil way.

    But if the kid wandered out onto the road, and you could stop or avoid hitting him and didn’t do it, you’d be just culpable, and just as evil. To refuse to prevent an evil, when you have the means, is every bit as evil as doing it.

    So god can’t claim that it wasn’t his doing that gravity smashed the kid on the pavement, or flattened a hundred of them. He could have prevented it – he’s omnipotent, ain’t he? – and chose not to.

    There’s no getting around this, consonant with a belief in a benevolent God who is only good. You can only go with Job. He isn’t omnibenevolent. He’s God, and that’s good enough.

    Well, maybe that’s good enough for the rev. Me, I’d rather believe in no God at all than worship one who’s no better than me. Or, if you throw eternal punishment in as well, considerably worse.

  11. The whole truth

    According to thumpers, their loving, just, merciful, omnibenevolent’ ‘God’ created, monitors, and controls everything, and that would include sin and wickedness and avarice and Satan and demons and everything else that they claim is “evil”. So, ‘God’ created evil but we need ‘God’ to protect us from evil and we can get (or might be able to get if ‘God’ feels like it) that protection by worshiping and praying to ‘God’ to protect us from all the evil that ‘he’ created, monitors, and controls. And for all that we should be thoroughly and eternally grateful to ‘God’ and must be obedient to ‘God’ and praise ‘him’ or we and others will suffer in life and burn in a lake of fire forever. Makes perfect sense, NOT.

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.

    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.

    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?

    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?

    Epicurus

  12. This is odd too. Me, I’d argue, in my utterly godless and immoral fashion, that (for example) genocide is evil — in fact, I think it’d be hard on any moral basis to dispute that statement. Yet the god of the Old Testament explicitly condones genocide.

    Perhaps in the addled minds of the followers and creationists there is both good genocide and bad genocide, arguing that the victims of the genocide brought god’s will upon themselves, because after all it’s all god’s will. This is very much the same mentality of the Nazis, ISIS, Pol Pot and the others of their kind as they excuse their own atrocities. You can expect this type of deviant thinking when you start all thought processes with a conclusion, i.e. there is a personal god that really doesn’t manifest himself in the physical world today and then try to work your way backwards in all of your arguments.

  13. Stephen Kennedy provides the story synopsis:

    Satan said “I will wager that if Job had everything taken away from him and was made to suffer he would turn on you.” God said “your on!” and God and Satan’s viscious gamblng escapade began.

    They changed a few names when they made the movie starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd…

  14. I wonder what if we substitute for suffering, or death, or loss of family, or loss of property, or destruction of the environment – what about being led to believe something false.
    If God would do that to someone, how is that more difficult to accept?
    What reason can we expect God to tell us the truth, when we cannot expect that he would save us from eternal damnation?
    If we can say that killing someone is not murder, can we equally well say that telling someone something that is not true is not lying?

  15. @EJB speculates: “Perhaps ….. there is both good genocide and bad genocide”
    Indeed I have met this argument. What’s more – non-creationist WL Craig with his Divine Command Theory argues about the same. This results in a defense also used by the nazi-criminal Paul Blöbel: “think of the soldiers who had to execute these orders! Think of what they went through!”

    @Mega assumes we know our movies: “starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd…” but forgets to mention Jamie Lee Curtis and above all Denholm Elliott.

  16. Well if you read the crap in your book o’BS you know why gawd is necessary for evil…The bloody fiend created it!!! So I guess you are right, gawd does make evil necessary. So your damned fiend is to blame for all evil!!!