Sunday, September 4, 2011

Heaven: How Christians Avoid Dealing with the Problem of Suffering

One of my biggest realizations recently is this: Christianity downplays actual suffering in this world... which is everywhere. It pretends there is always some "higher" reason for suffering, or that it doesn't matter because eventually we will all be living in some transcendent world where there is no suffering. Large scale suffering (genocide, human trafficking, famine...) as well as individual suffering (horrible illness, loss of loved ones...) are downplayed.

God had a reason.
His ways our higher than our ways.
His ways are mysterious.
He works all things together for good.

And I finally realized what absolute bullshit this is.

We downplay suffering with the explanation that there is a world "after death" where there is no suffering... so that we don't have to work hard here on earth to try and minimize people's suffering!

We downplay suffering because we have absolutely no explanation for it. If there really is a loving God like we're taught, then the level of suffering everywhere makes no sense.

But we don't want people to disbelieve in "God" so we come up with ever more elaborate explanations for the suffering.

It seems hilarious (but not) that the final, unarguable explanation is that eventually we'll die and go to "heaven" and not have to suffer. It's like people were sitting around trying to figure out how to keep the masses in line, how to keep everyone from all this inconvenient questioning that was going on.

I know! Let's make up an imaginary world, call it "heaven," and tell everyone they're going there when they die! So when they ask "Why do bad things happen to good people?" we won't have to admit we have no idea. We can just tell them, don't worry about it, everything will be fine after you die.

It's so ridiculous I could just laugh, if I hadn't spent my entire life trying to believe this shit.


  1. EcksLibris (formerly known as Anonymous)September 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM


    If you haven't seen "The Invention of Lying" (Ricky Gervais), I highly recommend it. The movie addresses this very issue!

  2. Oh yes, I saw it! Great movie. Thanks!

  3. Yes! This one is so difficult to argue with Christians. I mean, all topics are difficult to argue with Christians because it ALWAYS reduces to the "God's ways are higher than our ways!" bullshit, which I always tell them is a defense for any arbitrary God, not just the Christian God. Poor argument, Christians. I used this argument against one friend (but very matter-of-factly, not aggressively), and she hasn't spoken to me in months. Haha, oops...

    When suffering is addressed in the Bible, it's always in the context of suffering for "righteousness sake." Basically, persecution, which is also such bullshit in this country. I didn't feel persecuted until after I stopped believing in the Bible myth. Go figure. Every religion contains members that are persecuted somewhere. Hell, look at how our lot has tormented paranoid Muslims in our country. It's circumstantial, not divine.

  4. Just found you through a co-follower on Twitter.....could not agree with you more. I am also an almost 40 former Christian, went through more like a 10 yr struggle with freeing myself from the insanity that is belief in one true benevolent god.Love your blogs, you are able to put into written word many of the struggles and sentiments I have faced personally. Would love to continue to chat. I have followed you on twitter as well. @thescientist44

  5. The religion of Hill Evidencism is only based on evidence and logic: