Why do atheists not accept that it is the secular world which causes evil to happen?

The secular world is evil, ruled by Satan.

Posted: May 31st 2007

George Ricker www

Since atheists are no more likely to believe in “Satan” than in “God,” it should be easy to understand why we do not think a secular world, ruled by “Satan,” is the cause of evil.

Speaking for myself, I think the world and everything in it is the result of undirected natural processes and that the good and bad things that happen to people are the result of either their own actions, someone else’s actions or, sometimes, natural phenomena over which no one has control.

What you really seem to be asking is why atheists insist that if “God” did exist, it would be responsible for the bad things that happen. The plain fact is that if you postulate a deity who is the creator of all that exists then you also must give that deity credit for the horrors of creation as well as its glories.

Sectarian religions have been responsible for some of the bad things that have happened in the world. So have other ideologies of various sorts. Since all those things are human inventions and there really is no supernatural realm but only this universe of matter and energy, then I suppose you could say the secular world is where bad things happen. But that isn’t caused by gods or demons, only people.

Posted: March 12th 2009

See all questions answered by George Ricker


Well, it’s pretty simple.

Evil, at least as I would define it, is either individual evil – that of a murderer, perhaps – or group evil – that of a state or other organization.

I do think that some individuals are sociopaths and need to be locked up, though I think there are things that society can do to reduce the number of sociopaths that are created.

As for group evil, if you look through history, to commit a group evil – and by that I mean “harm to others” – you need to create an “us vs them” mentality.

So, you need “we are moral, they are immoral” – or, better still, inhumuman.

The best divisions are persistent ones. If I argue that “they” are inhuman because they are stupid, that’s something that can be disproven. Similarly, if I argue that they are arming to attack me, that can also be disproven.

So, I want a division that will stand the test of time, and the traditional choices are religion and nationalism.

Religion is especially nice because most religions have a “we are right, they are wrong” theme already built into them, as you demonstrate by equating “secular” with “evil”.

Historically, it’s usually both religion and nationalism that’s used. The Nazis used both. The crusades used both, though in that case they are both associated with the church rather than a state.

The soviets stuck more strongly with nationalism and didn’t really use the religious side. That’s partly because they wanted to be different from the west and partly because at the time they took over, the churches were one of the few challenges to their power and outlawing them removed that threat.

Posted: December 10th 2007

See all questions answered by Eric_PK


In fact, it is the secular world (e.g. Scandinavian countries) where standards of living are highest, where women have the greatest equality and political power, where the poor are looked after, where the environment is the cleanest, where the government is the most caring, and where longevity, health care, and quality of education is at the highest.

It is religious countries that are more violent and have poor social outcomes for their peoples.

Religion has a two thousand year history of violence, cruelty and corruption. The Crusade wars, the torture under the Spanish inquisition, the sale of indulgences, the repression of women, the repression of science, the repression of homosexuals and Jews, etc.

Atheists often wonder why it is the religious that object to the display of nudity and adult consensual lovemaking in films, but sadistic acts of violence are permitted. The most religious mainstream film of recent times, the Passion of Christ, is also one of the most violent.

It’s been famously quipped that atheists don’t believe in God but follow him, more than theists, who believe in God, but don’t follow him.
Why else would so many powerful Christians and Muslims today be pro-war?

Posted: June 1st 2007

See all questions answered by RTambree


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