Below is the text and video of my contribution to the University College Dublin, Literary and Historical Society Debate. The motion was, “This House Believes That God Is Evil”. Not least because the proposers were roundly defeated, I’ve also included a video of Abdullah al Andalusi speaking for the opposition.
I don’t believe that any god actually exists, but it is perfectly clear to me that if I’m wrong, and god does exist, then god is most certainly evil. Strictly speaking, before concluding that I’d have to know which of the many gods we were considering. For example, some people believe in a god that is fallible. In this case, the creation of say, the deadly volcanos that have caused so much needless suffering in the world, could be attributed to a divine mistake. Such a god would then clearly not be evil, but would merely be an incompetent moron.
I can make the case today in relation to Jesus Christ, but almost all of my arguments apply to almost all of the gods, and certainly all flavours of the Abrahamic god. Jesus is evil in both word and deed. That is, in his own words and by his own admission, Jesus is very clearly evil. But also in his deeds, which we can see all around us today, in this universe that we’re told he created, there is ample evidence that Jesus is evil.
In his own words, Jesus promised John of Patmos that he would kill the children of Jezebel for the sins of their mother. Murdering innocent children is obviously evil. In fact, the punishment of children for the sins of their parents, is a recurring motif in the story of the Christian god. Depending on his mood, he even promises to continue this practice through either “the third or the fourth generation“. If I began murdering the people in this room, for the supposed sins of your great grandmothers, which were committed in the nineteenth century, would you think me evil? I certainly hope so.
Many Christians are surprised when they read these words of Jesus. In this country, the religion curriculum taught in schools is almost exclusively Christian, but somehow they manage to leave out the various admonishments that Jesus issues for the murder innocent children. Many Christians prefer to believe that while Yahweh may have become a little carried away with all of the smiting in the Old Testament, the New Testament was when Jesus, meek-and-mild, convinced his curmudgeonly Father to calm down a little. This view of Jesus, as a character that is detached from the evil of the Old Testament, is absolute nonsense.
The triune god of Christianity does not depict Jesus as character that is entirely independent of Yahweh. Christianity even invented a new word for this. We’re told that Jesus is “consubstantial“ with the Father. Whenever god decided to drown the entire world, with the exception of one lucky ark-resident family, Jesus did that. Jesus is therefore not merely evil, but in fact he is a genocidal monster, who murdered more people, more quickly, than Hitler, Stalin and Mao combined.
Furthermore, when he had the opportunity to distance himself from the evil sanctions mandated in the Old Testament, Jesus instead enthusiastically embraced them. In fact, he insisted that “not one letter“ should be changed from those laws. So Jesus is especially keen to ensure that if any woman is not a virgin on her wedding night, she must be stoned to death on her father’s doorstep. If the second coming of Christ occurs in the next five minutes, and Jesus stands where I am standing now, reiterating the necessity of stoning women to death for premarital sex, will you think him evil? I certainly hope so.
But it gets worse, because Jesus offers his own novel and original evil words, to add to those of the Old Testament. In the Parable of the Weeds, Jesus talks about a farmer separating the weeds from his crops in order to burn them. Subsequently, Jesus is invited to explain the meaning of this parable. In his elucidation, he departs from his allegorical language of metaphor, and instead offers an explicit prophesy. Jesus tells us that the meaning of his parable relates to his own second coming, which he promises will involve him burning sinners “in a furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth“.
I think we can all agree that when ISIS burns people alive, this is evil. In fact, I’m sure we can all agree that this is evil, no matter what transgressions the unfortunate victim may or may not have been guilty of. So, here we have a specific case in which we can measure exactly how evil Jesus is, in an entirely objective and empirical manner. Whereas ISIS merely immolates people for the short time it takes their victim to expire, Jesus makes the extra effort to arrange that this torture in fire should persist for an infinite amount of time. Jesus is therefore infinitely more evil than ISIS. I submit to you that an empirical measurement of god, as being infinitely more evil than ISIS at their worst, should persuade this house to accept the proposition that god is evil.
But even without Jesus describing his own evil nature in his own words, we can see his evil all around us in his deeds. Mexico is a Christian country. When the recent awful earthquake began to shake that region, there is little doubt that some number of terrified children would have prayed to be saved. Just picture that horrible scene for a moment. An innocent little girl has spent the entirety of her short life, diligently following the instructions of her parish priest. The earthquake is a feature of the world that Jesus has fabricated, and when it begins, the little girl prays to Jesus to be saved from the earthquake of his creation. Jesus listens carefully to these prayers, and for some number of innocent children, he decides that they should die slowly, in darkness, in terror and in agony, even though he could easily save them all. This is the purest of evil, and we can see it all around us in the various natural disasters that fill our newspapers almost every week. These very obvious evils that we observe in the world, indict all variations of the Abrahamic god and all other creator-gods too, and so I recommend to this house, that in both word and deed, god is demonstrably very evil indeed.