... as if we didn't already know.
In any case, I've quite a few agnostic friends and as such, this post is written for their benefit. Comrades, know well that an agnostic is simply an atheist who hasn't thought religion through properly.
I was browsing the tellingly titled Internet Infidels Discussion Board when this charming article came to my attention. This led to an odd little train of thought...
Take your pick of any diabolical mass murdering nutter. Hitler, if you like, he seems popular. Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Papa Doc, Suharto, Pinochet, Bush Jr, maybe Mother Teresa, whoever. The long and short of it is, these very few people were responsible for the death and suffering of vast numbers of other people, easily in the order of millions, mebbe hundreds of millions. Basically, if you stand in opposition to them, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, you will suffer and die.
Now take the Abrahamic God. If you stand in oppostion to Him, assuming, for the sake of argument, that He exists, together with all the other infantile psychobabble as per the Nicene Creed*, you will suffer an infinity of torments until the End of Time. And what with Him being omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, you are always in the wrong place at the wrong time.
At the time of writing, over 10 billion Homo sapiens have lived and died, presumably not all that many of them subscribing to belief in Yahweh. Given the Homo sapiens has been stomping around this happy little planet for the past 130,000-ish years, we can perhaps assume about 80% of that 10 billion expired never having known the glory of God, and as such, the poor buggers are all doomed to, at best, Purgatory or, at worst, Hell.
Simply put, God inflicts infinite suffering on a number of souls several orders of magnitude greater than that of all the world's worst despots in human history put together. So... God is supposed to be good?
Sorry, I've encountered far too many believers, moderate and fundie alike who happily perform the singularly obscene mental gymnastics necessary to reconcile God's utterly abhorrent behaviour with tripe about "all-loving". If THAT is what passes for "all-loving", then by the same logic, all those tyrants mentioned earlier are saints, having sent untold millions into an early afterlife. And the suffering inflicted? Testing faith, of course!
That having been said, I've been reading Russell's History of Western Philosophy and am quite frankly appalled by the intellectual (and sometimes literal) mass murder carried out by the Catholic Church over its long and diabolical history. Pope Innocent III. Now there's a misnomer and a half...
Anyhoo, that's it from me for now. I'm-a go teach me some Japanese verbs...
* I note that the Nicene Creed's definition of "truly human" does not include the fairly human attribute of staying dead.