During one of my debates, Dr. Barry Creamer said "I'd rather live in a place with evil and free will, than a place with no evil and no free will."
So, I asked him "Is there free will in heaven?" he said "Yes." So I said "Is there evil in heaven?" He said "No."
His response was: "Evil is not required for us to have free will. You can have choices without one of them being evil. Just like in heaven - We will have choices, but we won't be able to choose evil anymore."
That sounds like a great answer - because after all, assuming that you have free will in heaven doesn't mean you'll be able to 'choose' to burn the place down, or kick Jesus in the face.
Evil isn't an option in heaven. But you still have choices.
His answer sounds great, but it also means we could have free will on earth without rape, earthquakes, and 3-yr-olds dying of cancer. Evil is not necessary for us to be able to choose, but God created evil anyway. Isiah 45:7 says so.
I'll end this with a few points that are probably the strongest reasons why I am an atheist:
- Evil is not necessary for free will, but you believe God created it anyway, and you still worship him as though he is good. Why did he create evil in the first place, when he could have granted free will without the suffering and agony?
- You believe God is strong enough to stop rape and child cancer and earthquakes, but he chooses to watch us suffer. Yet you believe he loves you.
- Satan "knew" God existed, saw God face to face, and still turned against him. So, God showing himself to us would not remove our free will, but could literally save billions of souls. Yet he doesn't do it. And you think he loves us and really cares about our eternity.
- You believe that God sees the wars over him, and Muslims vs Christians dying by the thousands every day - and doesn't stop it. He doesn't clear the air. He doesn't settle the feud, even though he has the power. Yet, you thank him and pray to him and glorify him. It makes no sense to me whatsoever.
Why doesn't a powerful loving god stop the wars, save the children, and stop the earthquakes? Because the concept of god was conjured up by archaic people trying to make sense of the world and gain political power to take over land.
If we are products of evolution, our stupid fighting and senseless killing and contracting of diseases makes perfect sense. We are flawed because we are evolving, and evolution isn't perfect, and our immune systems aren't perfect, and this world isn't perfectly designed for our survival.
Injecting God as the answer only begs more questions about why 'he' would allow such things. Remove God from the equation, and suddenly, the answers are clear.