For the sake of argument, I’m hereby granting you that theistic impressions of reality do in fact indicate an all powerful, all knowing, all loving god. All holy texts, miracles, experiences and feelings of divine joy from your god are tentatively accepted. I certainly grant you any variations I missed too.
Now, Is it possible that the content of your holy doctrine was directed by a god who, in reality, was different than is portrayed? Of course it’s possible… Why couldn’t an all powerful god portray himself (or herself) to humanity as he desired? Yes, I realize your objection “Doctrine says my god is perfect and loving and couldn’t do that… its not in his nature!”, but simply directing humans to write down that he himself is a perfect god who never lies, does not make it so. So, can we verify ANYTHING we know about god’s nature to be accurate and true? Probably not. A malevolent pretender god could say he’s “All Loving and Honest” just as easily as a benevolent one could. Humans simply have no way of discerning god’s intentions, as we are 100% spectators to what god chooses to show us.
Even with a fraction of his omnipotence and omniscience a god could show you EXACTLY what misinformation you needed, to believe that he loves you, to submit your will and do his bidding. What if god has treated you well, given you great joy and guided you through hard times? Well, couldn’t he be manipulating you into promoting his immoral doctrines, favorite injustices, baseless hate and holy conflicts? He absolutely could, since we are blind to his ultimate plan! Obviously then, any divine experience, vision, prayer or miracle reveals neither god’s reasons for helping out, nor his true nature.
“Historical witnesses and my holy book prove an “All Loving” god!” Sorry, no. Keep in mind, god’s possible deception could easily range through all of history. Just imagine if he manufactured everything about himself and his story, convincing ancient people to write it all down and believe unquestioningly. What if he did this for ALL religions, just to create conflict, pain and death? Wouldn’t it be a simple task to arrange a few key people, toss in some miracles and let human imagination embellish your greatness? Bingo!… You’ve secured worship and holy conflict for millennia!
Despite the fact that your holy book could be one big deception, why do you love and worship somebody who is responsible for genocide, slavery and a variety of other egregious atrocities? What convinced you that its acceptable for ANYONE to behave that way? Don’t you have the integrity to honestly ask yourself “How do I know I’m not being manipulated like a puppet?”
Luckily, we do have clues as to god’s true nature via the results of his “perfect management”. Since both good and evil gods could appear benevolent, we need to consider which version would also allow rampant starvation, disease, suffering, abuse, rape, war, genocide, murder and widespread fear. Before you attempt to excuse your god’s inaction, remember that your god makes the rules! With an all powerful god, any excuse to not act in a moral and benevolent manner, can only mean that god clearly is not moral and benevolent. If a god didn’t desire such terrible things for us, they simply wouldn’t exist! The only way out of this dilemma is to conclude that your god doesn’t make the rules or that he doesnt exist and we are on our own.
So, supposing that a god does exist, how DID you verify your god’s nature and intent? Why couldn’t an omnipotent god, bent on controlling humanity, manipulate you with false joy, targeted words and staged miracles? If you’re an honest, intelligent person, you’ll recognize that 1. You really have no idea who god is.. and 2. Worshiping him is utterly irresponsible! Otherwise, for every reason you’ve found to believe, god might be there pulling those strings, making you his willing, divine puppet!
Thankfully, atheists are free from this burden and avoid your puppet predicament altogether. We simply recognize that there’s no real evidence for a god and have instead decided to embrace dignity and reality. One day, when you’ve had enough of the excuses and wish to claim your freedom, you’re more than welcome to join us!
Thanks for reading,