What do we really know about God? For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the Bible is 100% accurate in it’s depiction. We know from experience that God as a person is outside the domain of the natural world insofar as we cannot run experiments for God and get reproducible results the way we can in other scientific investigations.
Because of the gap in the depictions of God in the Bible and our scientific ignorance of his persona, it’s can be interesting to do thought experiments guessing about his persona.
A discussion with a believer usually describes a God of love and mercy and justice. However, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to dispute those characterizations simply by reading the Bible. There are literally millions of sanctioned murders in it’s pages.
What if the Bible is true but we have ascribed a more beneficent persona to God than he deserves? What if God is evil and a sadist? What if he enjoys watching the suffering of his created creatures? Suddenly the so-called problem of evil goes away. What if God created Noah’s flood because he found it appealing to watch not just nearly every human on earth but every land animal drown? What if he enjoyed watching Job suffer with the deaths of his family and with a body covered in boils? What if he loved watching the skin melt off of his victims in Sodom and Gomorra? What if even now, he loves to torment his creatures with suffering and diseases the same way a vicious child might enjoy tearing the wings off of a fly?
Granted, any believer might find these very questions themselves to be horrifying and disrespectful and unfounded. But this is a thought experiment. And the experimenter is encouraged to presuppose an evil sadistic God and then read the Bible with the presupposition in mind. After all, isn’t that what the believer does in reverse? First, they presuppose the existence of their deity and subsequently presuppose benevolence of that deity. It is with that in mind that they open up their Bible and begin reading. It is in this context that they condone slavery and genocide within its pages.
Finally, ponder God’s ultimate infatuation with torture – Hell. Hell goes way beyond any justice by any conceivable human measure. It’s the ultimate betrayal of beneficence. It’s hard to imagine any other motivation for such a ridiculously vicious punishment than sadism.
Furthermore, what if God’s adherents are the ultimate masochists? You hear it in their terminology. They willingly call themselves “sheep”. They constantly discuss falling on their faces before him. They forgive every immorality in the Bible. They have no qualms about the injustice he will visit upon humanity who do not accept him. What if they also secretly behold their own sadism in supporting this tyrant who would boil his creation for eternity?
Remember that if the Bible and it’s adherents are true and right, God could have created the world and beyond in any way he wished. What if, horrifyingly, that’s exactly what he did?