Thursday, May 1, 2014

Doesn't the Holocaust prove that God does not exist?

We can apply this argument to anything violent that happens whether it is the Holocaust or someone going postal in a school, mall or workplace. The problem with the logic is that God didn’t pull the trigger. A person did. In the case of the Holocaust, it was a group of people. Hitler & his advisors decided to implement the final solution & ordered soldiers to pull the trigger or push the lever to generate poisonous gas. The soldiers also made the decision to comply with the order making them share the guilt of these crimes as well.  God gives us the ability to make our own decisions, but that doesn’t mean we always do the right thing. Some of our decisions are bad ones or may even be outright evil.

Why wouldn’t God just make us so that we couldn’t ever commit those kinds of horrible crimes? If God did that, he would have to take away our free will, our ability to make good or bad decisions. What if God wanted to create people who would love him of their own free will? If God took away our free will, then the only people that would love God are the people he forced to love him. Without free will, they could never change their minds & not love God. Would that truly be love? Or just another form of slavery?

Let’s apply similar logic to a marriage between 2 people. There are good times & bad times, times when they are richer & healthier & times when they are in poor health or just plain poorer. If the marriage survives 50-60 years, that seems like a very successful marriage, because the love lasted through thick & thin. Most of us would guess that these 2 people deeply loved one another.

We might come to different conclusions if we found out that all marriages were arranged & divorce was illegal in that country.  Was the marriage highly successful? It’s a lot less likely.  Can we still say that both people loved one another deeply, since they stayed together? No. Can we say they at least loved one another in the beginning, because they married? Again no. It wasn’t their decision. Likewise if we were forced to love God, it would not be genuine love. Only if we have the option of not loving God can we eventually decide on our own to earnestly love him.

God does not create sin or evil. He loves us & wants us to love him back, so he gave us the free will to make our own decisions. Unfortunately, we can decide to sin & commit evil.  Instead of proving God doesn’t exist, the Holocaust is proof that humans can make some exceptionally evil decisions.

On my weakdays when I am filled with doubt, belief in God seems like such a tiny hope. That tiny spark of hope, though, allows me to think that someday all the victims of the Holocaust will see God’s justice prevail. If you conclude that the Holocaust proves God doesn’t exist, then you have no hope at all, the wrongs will never be righted & the legacy of the Holocaust is at best despair & anger at such a great injustice.  A tiny hope is definitely better than no hope at all.

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