Update On My Next Anthology: "The Incompatibility of God and Horrendous Suffering"

It has been accepted for publication by the Global Center for Religious Research! Below you can see the confirmed authors and chapters. The book shows that it’s exceedingly improbable to the point of refutation for a deity to exist.

I'm still looking for more authors and chapters. Just submit a proposal to me at loftusjohnw@gmail.com, chapters marked with ?? are possible. Submit a proposal.


The Incompatibility of God and Horrendous Suffering

Theoretical issues surrounding the problem of suffering for various gods are important but not of the utmost importance, in the same way as theoretical issues surrounding the problem of miracles are important but not of the utmost importance. For just as philosophers can endlessly wrangle over the definition of miracles, the kind of evidence required to believe in them, and the demarcation line between supernatural and natural events, so also they endlessly wrangle over the definitions of evil, goodness, omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenelovence, free-will, and other questions in attempts to make suffering compatible with theistic god-concepts, revising their god-concepts down the endless rabbit hole.  

The way to deal honestly with miracles is to focus on the question whether or not there is relevant sufficient objective evidence for an actual miracle, something I’ve previously argued.[i] It’s not to construct endless hypothetical cases to see if a miracle can ever be believed.[ii] So too, the way to deal honestly with the problem of suffering for the various god-concepts is to focus on clear-cut obvious cases of horrendous suffering, the kind everyone can agree on as being horrific which no one can reasonably deny.

Part 1 Apologetical Issues.  The goal in Part 1 is to challenge theistic apologists to admit that horrendous suffering renders it exceedingly improbable to the point of refutation for a perfectly good, all-powerful, all-knowing deity to exist.

1. William Patterson, The Problem of Unequal Suffering

2. John Loftus, The Problem of Animal Suffering

3. Darren Slade, The Problem of Childhood Suffering

4. Vitaly Malkin, The Problem of the Holocaust

5. Franz Kiekeben, The Problem of Senseless Suffering

6. John W. Loftus, On Endlessly Making Excuses for God

7. Robert M. Price, Theodicy: The Idiocy

8. David Kyle Johnson, A Refutation of Skeptical Theism 

 Part 2 Religious Issues

The goal in Part 2 is to show the relationship of suffering to robust religious faiths. We never find “God” in the abstract. That kind of deity is one that philosophers have created purely for discussion. It doesn't exist except in the minds of a few people in the world. Only robust gods exist, one's that have a whole religion as baggage. 

9. William A. Zingrone, The Suffering Caused by Faith.

10. John Loftus, The Abject Failure of the God of Creation, Revelation, Providence and Redemption

11. David Eller, On the Morbid Need for Self-mortification/Asceticism in Religions.

12. Mark Gura, Karma, Reincarnation, Gurus, and Suffering in the Buddhist Tradition

13. Taner Edis, Why Muslims are Rarely Bothered By the Problem of Suffering

14. John Loftus, The Calvinist God Explains Everything, Yet Nothing

 Part 3 Biblical and Historical Issues

The goal of Part 3 is to demonstrate the horrendous nature of some of the stories and doctrines of the Bible in light of the horrendous suffering. Basically I'm looking for chapters on the biblical god being cruel and uncaring, incompetent, and/or ignorant; attributes unbecoming of an omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good deity. On his so-called perfect goodness just think of child sacrifice, genocide, the abject subjugation of  women, slaves, animals and so on.  

15. Dan Barker, God, The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction

16. David Madison, Bible Horror Tales That’ll Chill You to the Bone 

17. David Madison, Does Suffering Make Any Sense in Genesis, Job, Ecclesiastes, the Gospels, or Anywhere Else in the Bible?

18. Michael Paulkovich, Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy

19. Elicka Peterson-Sparks, The Surprising Link between Conservative Christianity and Crime


Appendix: Dale W. O’Neal, The Making and Unmaking of a Christian Zealot.


[i] In my anthology The Case against Miracles (Hypatia Press, 2019).

[ii] The most interesting hypothetical fictitious case was told by Daniel Howard Snyder. In it Manuel Kont won the Fourth of July Bellingham Salmon Derby with a new world-record catch of a 178-pound king salmon, which was officially weighed and witnessed by all twelve judges. The previous record was 143 lbs. Unfortunately, after the final weighing it slipped back into the Bay. This was not enough evidence, according to the story, to be accepted in the Guiness Book of World Records. This deceptive story is meant to poke fun at those of us who require sufficient objective evidence before we can accept a claim based merely on the testimony of, say, the supposed virgin Mary who said her son is God’s son. Daniel Howard-Snyder, “On Hume’s Philosophical Case against Miracles” [http://faculty.wwu.edu/~howardd/miracles.pdf]