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How can God not exist and be vengeful/terrible all at the same time?

I am confused by a number of different posts by the same people. In some posts they claim there is no way God exists and in others they claim Him to be a
hateful, vengeful being/force that causes so much harm and brainwashing-
I am trying to understand how you can attribute these things to something which you believe does not exist- doesn't something have toexist to also be vengeful, hateful and terrible-so which is it- does He exist or not?

PS- I believe Him to be a kind and loving being/force-


Asked by soyousay at 7:39 PM on Jan. 28, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 26 (27,669 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (37)
  • Well there are those that really can not grasp how you see it the way you do and will point out that it does not make sense to have a god that is all loving and all powerful and still have those horrible things happen. Then there are those that are not really atheists but think they are. Just like there are christians that say they are christian and fight tooth and nail because deep inside they really do not believe in god but they are not willing to admit it, there are atheists that deep down inside do believe but do not want to believe it.


    That first line is in no way trying to discredit anyones faith or anything just give the point of view of those that are seeing things diffrent than you do.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 10:19 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I'm not really sure how to explain this, but I think they mean it in a storybook character kind of way. Those people don't think He really exists, but in the Bible (which is a work of fiction to them) He is portrayed as sometimes vengeful, etc. So by acknowledging him as vengeful, they aren't actually acknowledging that He exists, just that the character of "God" is such and therefore causes much harm.

    I don't believe that Darth Vader really exists, but I can think he's one mean and nasty dude... ya know?

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 7:59 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I think I understand your question--you are asking how we can debate these things and not believe in the existence of a deity at the same time. It would be the same, as Anime suggested, as discussing/debating the characters in other books. If you are sympathetic to a particular character, but someone else has a different perception of that character, you might discuss it, but it doesn't necessarily mean that both or either of you believe that the characters are real.

    If we believe that the Bible is fiction, we can still discuss the characters in the book as we would the characters in other books we have read.  I might ask how Rhett can love Scarlett with such passion, yet be able to leave her--but it doesn't mean that I think either were real people.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 8:53 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I guess that I would have to know more specific things about what these people are saying then. Most people I have encountered IRL and on the internet are pretty adamant about God being a fairy tale, and I've never heard them say that God is responsible for anything. Most Atheists I know say that they are in control over what happens in their lives, both the good and the bad. They also state that natural disasters are just that... natural, and the war is the result of MAN's own selfishness and greed.

    Now, if those atrocities you mention are war, etc, then yes, God can be responsible... in a way. They see it that Man's view of what God wants from all of us causes these wars and other atrocities. It's not really that God Himself actually causes them (He does not exist), but rather the idea of God that some Men have and feel obliged to force onto other people, that is what causes such things. Make sense?

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 8:18 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Interesting question. I've always found my Heavenly Father, my creator to be nothing but loving, forgiving, caring, compassionate, generous. He loves uncondtionally, forgives unquestioningly, comforts unequally. He gave me life, then He gave me life everlasting. He saved my life, then He saved my soul. He sent His Son to die in my place, unworthy, though I am. He resurrected His Son to save my soul from eternal separation from Him, and give me eternal life in Heaven with Him. But, I will be interested to see some of the answers, and the people who answer are just as entitled to their opinions as anyone.

    Answer by cbk_mom3 at 8:14 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Here is the whole issue. It's PERCEPTION!!! You're idea/perception of god is obviously different then mine. While I do believe that God exists, I don't believe him to be the one portrayed in the bible. So, to me, the god of the bible is a man-made, fictious character. That does not mean, however, that I can't discuss "god" in an adult manner.
    Look at it this way, how can a Christian say that Oden was a mean, spiteful god when they obviously wouldn't believe them to be real? See, it works the other way too.

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 9:45 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • i'm with you soyousay. but i don't think you'll get a good answer. (isn't that what is said when the conundrum is tossed towards us?)

    Answer by dullscissors at 8:11 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • You must be talking about those super extra long responses about hating nothing. lol I start to hear Twilight Zone music and then I don't really finish and zzzzzzzzzz.

    Answer by 2tinyhineys at 8:18 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • soyousay: A lot of it has to do with lack of knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. The ones that say those things look through the glasses of the world... they only need to take them off and bam they will see the truth. Many do not want to know the truth, others do not understand it.
    Only Holy Spirit can open the truth for them... we are to sow and He will reap. The best thing to do is love them where they are at!

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 8:22 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I think Anime gave a pretty good explanation of the questions some Atheists have regarding the belief in the God of the Bible. While those who believe in it may not see the contradictions, or are able, through their faith, find a reasonable explanation for those contradictions, those of us who don't believe have a hard time grasping the concept of a loving and benevolent god who would smite entire nations of people or have his followers kill other people in his name.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 8:50 PM on Jan. 28, 2011