Do not ask a theist to explain God's actions...

I recently read one of Alicia Donathan's (St. Louis Presbyterian Examiner) articles responding to questions from an atheist.

Questions from an atheist part 6:

Q: If there is a loving God, why does He permit--much less create--earthquakes, droughts, floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters which kill thousands of innocent men, women, and children each year?

As previously noted, the answer to this question is, "I don't know. And neither does anyone else."

When you ask a person to explain God's apparently contradictory actions, you will inevitably get a shoulder shrug, and perhaps a "How am I supposed to know the mind of God?"

Atheists need to figure out the kinds of questions that get a bit deeper. Don't ask a person to explain God's actions. You'll eventually get to the "mysterious ways" layer if you ask deep enough.

The real question is, given that you are dealing with a creature whose motives are mysterious -- why are you worshipping it? It's really fairly simple, either you can know something substantive about God's actions, morals and motives and can make a judgment; or you can't know something substantive about God's actions, morals and motives and have to refrain from making a judgment.

A theist should not be allowed to hide behind "God is unknowable" and simultaneously claim that "God is praiseworthy".

Do not ask a theist to explain God's actions, ask a theist to explain his own actions. If the theist worships the God of the Bible, ask something like, "How can you worship a God that commanded His followers to kill children and infants as 1 Sam. 15 claims?"

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