survival of the fittest

by Andrea Elizabeth

To the atheist, evil = suffering. To the Christian evil = sin, and suffering is the consequence of sin. Then the atheist asks, why do innocent children suffer?

Firstly I would say that suffering can be seen as a merciful deterrent to doing destructive things like not eating, getting too close to fire, or staying out in the cold too long. Doesn’t seeing a suffering child motivate us fix what ails him? If there were no suffering, people would die from neglecting themselves and others.

Secondly, if morality comes from God (I’ll lazily posit that as a given), then why should the atheist concern himself with virtues and vices? Isn’t the honest atheist one who uninhibitedly avoids pain and pursues pleasure without conscience? If power feels good, he should intimidate and lord it over others with the best of them, for example. Why should an atheist be conscientious at all? Unless it is a means to get more of what he wants. But some people get pleasure out of making other people happy, so the atheist wouldn’t act in a uniform way.

The evolutionary theory of survival of the fittest does not look out after the weak. If that is the case, why worry about whether weak things suffer and die? Unless they think that the survival of the fittest scheme is evil. I bet strong atheists approve of it, and weak, trounced-on atheists disapprove of it because they have suffered under it, and therefore they strike God from the record books.

So if survival of the fittest is a godless scheme, those who take advantage of it must not be Christian. But should the strong not compete, for example? Aren’t they lording it over the weak if they win? I suppose it depends. If they are defending the weak, then they are using their strength well. If they are taking advantage of the weak, then they are misusing it.

What are worthy things to defend? Truth, honor, beauty, life, faith, hope, love, righteousness, health, peace, innocence, excellence etc. One would think that good triumphs over evil, and I am wondering if this is true only if the strong hold these good, but fragile things up. Isn’t God himself upborne by the angelic hosts? But who gave the angels the strength to do that?

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