I am a born-again Christian whose Father lost his entire immediate family in the concentration camps of World War II. This including his very religious Mother and Father, The end result is my Father is bitter about Christians, has rejected God for, really, the same thinking you had.
I can’t spend a long, long time rebutting your flawed thinking I ran into when searching the general topic “Why Bad Things happen to good people”. For a moment, not knowing you were and what your position/book was about, I began to think you were doing a wonderful job elucidating this topic along my line of thinking as a Christian in chapter 8 of your e-book (see http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god8.htm
). . Of course that quickly changed as I read the chapter.
My heart broke regarding how you have come to believe what you believe – this concept of an illusion. Rather than go on and on with a long rebuttal, let me point out that your argument is logically flawed as follows.
1. Begin with the topic “does God exist”. I won’t go into the argument but it’s known as the argument of First Cause and it will lead you back, eventually, to who and how must the universe have been created. Non-believers point to a point of singularity, aka “The Big Bang Theory”. This has been and remains easily rejected under the umbrella of First Cause. That is, no matter how small and massive the point of singularity was, it was made of matter or energy .. or “something” which cannot be explained because of the very same delusion you speak of that you feel believers suffer. Even brilliant minds like Stephen Hawkings addressed his own bewilderment in his now ancient book “A Brief History in Time” and attributed it to something “supernatural”. By your standards, he was delusional. But again, he could not have been delusional because he did not believe in God. He simply admitted that it’s unimaginable how something could come from, nothing. I don’t keep up with the science any more but around ten years ago I found that people who take your position were spending endless hours of research describing how something, the very first ever, could come from nothing. And of course that would lead to more “something’, etc., etc. If you are among those who truly believe something came from nothing, you can stop here and close this email and begin to write about your own delusional thoughts.
2. If you believe there was or is a supernatural power that Created the universe, then it logically follows that this Person, whom I shall refer to as God, is all-knowing (omniscient), all powerful (omnipotent), and omnipresent (is everywhere). “All” means “no one more”. To argue that God is not any of these, is to assume there exists something more all-knowing, or more omnipotent. But this would be flawed thinking for the simple reason, again, of “First Cause”. That is, it would beg the question of who made God if there exists someone all-knowing or all-powerful.
If you are having trouble with this last point, take some time to reflect on this. Some of the greatest philosophers and theologians with expertise in an area called “apologetics” (I don’t mean to sound condescending – I just am not sure how singularly focused you are and whether you have broadened your knowledge to consider all viewpoints – recall, I came from a different direction – I was not quite where you are, but I was irresistibly and willingly compelled to ask Jesus into my heart and part of that process was studying apologetics – to such an extent that I realized it was me, not other believers, who was “brainwashed”. So shocking was this, that I studied how that could be. But that’s a topic for another discussion. It’s relevant here insofar as the question: “how can you”, or “how can Richard Dawkins” think as I once did and not understand what God has so elegantly and brilliantly made clear and evident to me but not you.
3. At this point, if we agree there is a God, that God is omniscient and omnipotent above all others, and that God is the Creator of the Universe, we are forced to ask what is now a much easier question to answer … well, sort of easier. That question is – why indeed does God, the God we speak of under the previously made assumptions and conclusions, allow things like that to happen.
The answer is one you will not like. It indeed is in his plans. Without digressing into another important topic, that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, I will point out that God made us, man and woman, in His image. But again, he didn’t make us as powerful as He is because that would be impossible and logically flawed. He instead made us less powerful and less knowing. He even warned Adam to stay away from the Fruit of Knowledge. Anyway, you are probably getting the heebie jeebies listening about Adam, Eve, etc. I can sum it up for you this way:
4. God made us for his greater pleasure. He gave us free will and he knew that we would be disobedient and become depraved. This depravity is historically cyclical and glaringly evident in the form of the rise and fall of many a nation/civilization. God knew this as well. He allowed us to choose the hedonistic way of life, But as only God can, and again for His pleasure, he presented the Promise of the Messiah and how man would be able to become redeemed by God allowing Jesus to die on the cross so that we could profess with out heart and lips that Jesus is our Savior and that we are utterly dependent on Jesus.
Everything fits nicely into such plans God has made. Do we understand each and every one of them (the plans) when they occur and are inexplicable or a certified “mystery” to us” to us? No. There is no mystery to any of this when it is looked at through the Gospel. Then it becomes very evident that God loves us, chooses us to become believers and we choose to step out in faith to support and love God and be honored and thankful we are Christians.
And why does God have in His plans, to allow depravity to occur in our “fallen” world?
Because it gives Him great pleasure to see who He can truly count among us, as people who have complete and utter faith and dependence on Him for their well-being, and for their unimagineably difficult-to-quantify the gratitude to Him -- the gift of a saving relationship with Him. If you don’t understand His plans, you will hopefully do so eventually.
Thanks and I am sleepy … have a wonderful day, weekend, and life and remember God Loves You!!!!!!