“God Loves You” (A Few Reasons To Doubt The Existence Of A Loving God)

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : March 18, 2006

From August Berkshire of Minnesota Athiests:

abscesses, acne, addictions, adenitis, adenoids, AIDS, albinism, allergies,
  ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, anemia, aneurysms,
  angina, anorexia nervosa, anthrax, anxiety attacks, aphasia, appendicitis,
  apoplexy, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asphyxia, asthma, astigmatism, athlete’s
  foot, attention deficit disorder (ADD), autism, avalanches, back aches, bedsores,
  Bell’s palsy, beriberi, bipolar disorder (manic-depression), birth defects,
  blackouts, bladder infections, blemishes, blindness, blisters, blizzards, bloating,
  boils, bone cancer, bone spurs, botulism, bowlegs, breast cancer, brain cancer,
  breech presentations, Bright’s disease, brittle bone disease, broken bones,
  bronchitis, bruises, bulimia, bunions, bursitis, calcinosis, canker sores,
  cardiac dysrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, cataracts, cellulitis,
  cerebral palsy, cervical cancer, cervicitis, chapped lips, chickenpox, chlamydia,
  choking, cholera, cleft lips and palates, clubfoot (talipes), cold sores, colic,
  colitis, colon cancer, color blindness, comas, common cold, concussions, congestion,
  congestive heart failure, conjunctivitis, constipation, convulsions, coronary
  occlusions, coughs, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, cyclones, cystic fibrosis, cystitis,
  cysts, dandruff, dangerous plants and animals, deafness, deformities, dehydration,
  delirium, delirium tremens, delusions, dementia, dental problems, depression,
  dermatitis, detached retinas, deviated septums, diabetes, diaper rash, diarrhea,
  diphtheria, dislocated joints, dizziness, Down’s syndrome, droughts, dysentery,
  dyslexia, dysphagia, dysphasia, dysuria, ear infections, earthquakes, Ebola
  virus, ectopic pregnancies, eczema, edema, elephantiasis, embolisms, emphysema,
  encephalitis, endocarditis, endometriosis, enteritis, epidemics, epididymitis,
  epilepsy, Epstein-Barr virus, erectile dysfunction (ED), excessive ear wax,
  fainting, fallen arches (flat foot), farsightedness (hyperopia), fevers, fibrillation,
  fibromyalgia, fibrosis, fistulas, flatulence, floods, frostbite, gallstones,
  ganglions, gangrene, gastrinomas, gastritis, gastroenteritis, germs, gingivitis,
  glaucoma, goiter, gonorrhea, gout, granuloma, Graves’ disease, halitosis, hallucinations,
  hay fever, headaches, heart attacks, heartburn, heart murmurs, hematomas, hemiplegia,
  hemophilia, hemorrhages, hemorrhagic fever, hemorrhoids, hepatitis (A,B&C),
  hernias, herniated and slipped disks, herpes, hiccups, high blood pressure
  (hypertension), HIV, hives, Hodgkin’s disease, humpbacks (kyphosis), Huntington’s
  chorea, hurricanes, hydrocephalus, hyperactivity, hypercholesterolemia, hyperemia,
  hyperglycemia, hyperthermia, hyperthyroidism, hypertonicity, hyper-uricemia,
  hypochondria, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, hypothyroidism, impacted teeth, incontinence,
  indigestion (dyspepsia), infarctions, infections, infertility, infestations,
  inflammations, influenza, insanity, insomnia, iritis, irritable bowels, ischemia,
  itches, jaundice, Karposi’s sarcoma, keratitis, keratosis, kidney failure,
  kidney stones, knock-knees, labor pains, laryngitis, Legionnaires’ disease,
  leprosy, lesions, lethargy, leukemia, lice, lipidosis, lipomas, liposarcoma,
  liver cancer, lockjaw/tetanus, lordosis, low blood pressure (hypotension),
  lumbago, lung cancer, lupus, Lyme disease, lymphangitis, lymphedema, lymphocytosis,
  lymphomas, macular degeneration, malaria, malocclusions, manias, mastitis,
  measles, melancholia, melanomas, meningitis, menorrhagia, menstrual cramps,
  mental illnesses, mental retardation, migraines, miscarriages (spontaneous
  abortions), mononucleosis, monsoons, morning sickness, multiple personality
  disorder, multiple sclerosis, multiple system atrophy, mumps, muscle cramps
  and spasms, muscular dystrophy, myalgia, myasthenia gravis, myelitis, narcolepsy,
  nausea, nearsightedness (myopia), necrosis, nephritis, nephrosis, nervous breakdowns,
  nervous tics, neuralgia, neuritis, neuroses, night blindness, nosebleeds, obesity,
  osteitis, osteodystrophy, osteoporosis, otitis, ovarian cancer, Paget’s disease,
  pain, palsy, pancreatic cancer, paralysis, paranoia, parasitosis, Parkinson’s
  disease, pericarditis, periodontitis, peritonitis, phantom pain, pharyngitis,
  phlebitis, phobias, pimples, pinched nerves, plagues, pleurisy, pneumonia,
  poisons, polio, Pott’s disease, premature births, premenstrual syndrome (PMS),
  prions, prostate cancer, psoriasis, psychoses, psychosomatic illnesses, ptomaine
  poisoning, pulled muscles, quicksand, rabies, rashes, Raynaud’s disease, resistance
  to curative drugs, retinitis, retinitis pigmentosa, retroviruses, Reye’s syndrome,
  Rh incompatibility, rheumatic fever, rheumatism, rhinoviruses, rickets, riptides,
  Rocky Mountain spotted fever, rubella, ruptures, salmonella poisoning, sandstorms,
  sarcomas, scabies, scarlet fever, schizophrenia, sclerosis, scoliosis, scurvy,
  seizures, senility, septicemia, severe thunder storms, shingles, shock, sickle-cell
  anemia, skin cancer, sleep apnea, smallpox, sneezes, sore throats, sores, spastic
  colons, speech disorders, spina bifida, sprains, stillbirths, stomach cancer,
  strep throats, strokes, styes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), sunburn,
  sunstroke, swelling, syphilis, tabes, tardive dyskinesia, Tay-Sachs disease,
  teething pains, temper tantrums, tartar, tendinitis, testicular cancer, thrombosis,
  tidal waves, tinnitus, TMJ, tonsillitis, tooth decay, torn cartilage, tornadoes,
  Tourette’s syndrome, toxemia, toxic shock syndrome, transplant rejection, trauma,
  tremors, trench foot, trichinosis, tropical storms, tuberculosis, tumors, tunnel
  vision, typhoid fever, typhoons, typhus, ulcers, uremia, urethritis, uterine
  cancer, vaginitis, varicose veins, vertigo, viruses, vomiting, warts, whooping
  cough, wounds, yeast infections, yellow fever

for further reading . . .

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14 Responses to ““God Loves You” (A Few Reasons To Doubt The Existence Of A Loving God)”

  1. Chris B. on March 18th, 2006 4:33 pm


    I’m interested to meet August Berkshire

  2. Em on March 19th, 2006 3:28 pm

    We have troubles in our lives because God gave us free will, which means things aren’t going to be perfect. Humans aren’t capable of making good decisions, only by the grace of God can we do anything right. Also, problems in life, such as those you listed, will teach you about God if you let them. He gives us problems because He wants to become closer to us. Hard times are essential, because they show us how NEEDY WE ARE of Jesus. Heaven is eternal happiness, so there won’t be strife there. Life on Earth is short, so just believe in Jesus and no matter what your illness, it WILL work out in the end, and you WILL go to Heaven.

  3. Van S on March 19th, 2006 3:34 pm

    Thanks em,

    I made this post because someone from Mr. Berkshire’s organization, Minnesota Athiests, will be joining us for an upcoming Pub Gathering. I’m interested in hearing how people respond to this sort of critique.

  4. blorge on March 20th, 2006 9:18 am

    The idea of moral evil that is caused by free choices we make is one thing, but physical evil seems to be more difficult. I didn’t choose to have a birth defect, just like the Sri Lankans didn’t choose to have a tsunami.

    I agree, Em that we have a choice with how to deal with this, but it is still horrifying when I think about how many people suffer in the world.

  5. Brandon on March 20th, 2006 3:30 pm

    This article from First Things may help this dicussion.

  6. michelle on March 20th, 2006 9:31 pm

    I know August very well actually, and Chris I think you have met him before too.
    He is very tall, deep voice, and talks inscently about his sexual relationship with his girlfriend.
    He told me once that experiencing the Holy Spirit was equvalent to a runners high. Having experienced both of those I am convinced he has not experienced the Spirit or he never could have made such a comparison.
    I remember the first time I showed his propaganda to Kelly and he laughed so hard he cried over the hernias. I used to have a drawer full of his stuff.
    Thank you so much for this post it really brought me back to exciting moments in my walk.

  7. tim on March 21st, 2006 11:52 am

    What kind of logic is it that would drive one to amass a list of unfortunate evils of this world to disprove the existence of God? Could one merely make a longer list of lillies, parenthood, love, roller coasters, Bach, Chopin, cupcakes, and smiles? Isn’t his method a little reductionistic and mathematical?

  8. tim on March 21st, 2006 11:53 am

    What kind of logic is it that would drive one to amass a list of unfortunate evils of this world to disprove the existence of God? Could one merely make a longer list of lillies, parenthood, love, roller coasters, Bach, Chopin, cupcakes, and smiles? Isn’t his method a little reductionistic and mathematical?

  9. blorge on March 21st, 2006 5:34 pm

    I don’t think it’s reductionistic or mathematical, per se. I think it’s just a building of rhetorical weight that is meant to tap into something deeper inside of you. It’s the difference between saying that the world is a bad place, and the world is a bad place because of the turmoil in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Russia, China, Venezuela, Colombia, North Korea, Iran, etc.

    When I say the world is a bad place, you can choose whether to agree with me. If I say that the world is a bad place because of a large number of concrete reasons, it seems less etherial and more basic. More flesh and blood.

  10. todd on March 23rd, 2006 12:07 pm

    August raises the right question. That’s a lot of evil, bad, stuff there. Wonder where it all came from? To extend the comment from Em a bit: It’s funny, but to me, all this is more evidence of the spiritual underpinnings of our “reality.” There is a battle underway, and this natural world is paying the price. Absent that, I find no plausible reasons why this much pain should exist. It’s far too much.

  11. Em on March 24th, 2006 2:39 pm

    If this list causes you to question God’s existance in any way i recommend a book by CS Lewis called “The Problem of Pain.” (it’s very good and not very long!) Or, just google “why does God allow suffering?”
    With Christ in your life, you should not fear anything! Death means that you’ll be able to be in eternal happiness with your Lord! This life is sooo short (think about comparing a number like 90 years which is our time on earth to infinity which is our time with God), if we can just strive to glorify God in everything, we will prosper in the end. Life on earth stinks sometimes, but we can have a peace in anything with the assurance of salvation.

  12. nontalk on March 27th, 2006 1:02 pm

    I play badminton with August Berkshire.

  13. August Berkshire on April 7th, 2006 10:10 pm

    I hope you all can make it to the Pub Gathering, April 3, 7 p.m., Corner Bar, Washington Ave. S. & 15th Ave., West Bank, Minneapolis. I’ll be the one doing the presenting. Afterwards there will be several of us from Minnesota Atheists to sit and chat. Cheers.

  14. August Berkshire on April 7th, 2006 10:11 pm

    Sorry, that’s May 3rd for the Pub Gathering.

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