Ok so I got this forward to me from an idiot the other day, some of you have probably seen it and I haven't decided on how to reply to it yet, any ideas?

This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen.
A  man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his  beard trimmed.   As the barber began to work, they began  to have a good conversation.  They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: 'I don't believe that God exists.'
'Why do you say that?' asked the customer. 'Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people?  Would there be abandoned children?
 If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain! I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.'  The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument.  The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. 
Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber:   'You know what? Barbers do not exist.'    'How can you say that?' asked the surprised barber.   'I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!'   'No!' the customer exclaimed. 'Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.' 
 'Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me.'    'Exactly!' affirmed the customer. 'That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world.'
 If you think God exists, send this to other people---
If you think God does not exist, delete  it!

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Sorry, my copy and paste doesn't seem to work for some reason.
Yeah, it is like people going to the barber and coming out with their hair the exact same length and no hair clippings upon them, but claiming that they got their haircut and isn't it amazing?

A haircut is demonstrable and can be objectively verified.

God is, for most people, not objectively demonstrable and believers rely on subjective evidence and feelings.

The analogy is flawed for so many reasons, but that is what these stories are designed to do. They present a nice narrative that drives home a point while disguising flaws in the internal logic of it all. It is a staple of conservative chain emails on everything from religion to politics.
Hmmm... I find the story and the analogy quite ridiculous, but typical. Christianists are notorious for incorrectly using inductive reasoning to prove their god exists. It's like the watchmaker analogy when they say if they found a watch on the beach they can correctly induce that a watchmaker made it, so if they find an orderly universe, they can correctly say that a god created the orderly universe. They take a simple proveable cause and effect and try to extend it, failing to acknowledge that no one has ever seen a god create a universe, like we have a watchmaker make a watch. To say there are no barbers because people have long hair and equate that to saying there is no god because evil exists are so far from one another. If only evil was as easy to correct as long hair.... Having once been a christian, I went to the barber, he just didn't want to cut my hair I guess. Maybe it was a busy day. Makes my stomach hurt.
But truth be told, in my humble opinion, I guess you asked how to reply to it. I wouldn't. They love when they feel they can engage you. But I don't tend to argue with them. It's like arguing black is blue with a retard.
Well my best reply to this message would be: " So I guess this means that Jesus was an Atheist?
As instructed; just delete it.
Many atheists are ex-believers who have earnestly petitioned God for help.

The deafening silence we got in return is often what prompted us toward atheism.
I agree with this so much, not that my life has been Horrid or anything, but it was the little stuff for me, like asking for help on quitting smoking (because it was a sin), or asking for help losing weight (becuse gluttony was a sin) Of course in reality, I knew I had help to do those things (because god helps those who help themselves), but you see where I was going with that. and like Jason (below) Note: god does not exist lol

To answer the question above, No reply needed.
This is simple. The barbers’ (atheist) argument is somewhat weak in the first place. His reason’s for disbelief is no reason for disbelief in the first place. He is immediately equating the existence of God with that of a loving God. The customer never said in order for a God to exist it must be a loving God. Abandon children, sick people, and pain/suffering could be evidence for the argument of weather God is loving or not, but it has no relevance as to weather a God exist or not. Weather God loves you or not should not be used as the principle argument in deciding if he exist. He could exist and is just a total asshole. – note God does not exist.
That whole mail implies that God saves the one who "come" to him. I know allot of people that do not come to God and aren't doing any of that suffering and cruelty.

How come those who do not come to god, live a better life? Those who use the scientific method to create the world around you, including medicine, transport, clothing, food, etc. That would be a reverse question.
Well this is pretty stupid. Some of the people I know that suffer the most are also people that are the most religious. The other problem is that I think that's a poor argument on Atheism's part to deny the existence of God and that's fundamentally NOT our problem with theism. If I was a believer, I would say that God allowed suffering because the complexity of reality simply escapes human cognitive limitation-- we can't imagine why a benign god would allow people to suffer. What's the point of life if nobody suffered? Really? If everybody on earth had a mansion and a million dollars in the bank and an expensive car . . . how could you appreciate it? How would society work? It just wouldn't. Suffering is there because it needs to be, regardless of what humans think a god should or shouldn't do. If anything it only supports the idea that there could be a Deist god-- a god who made the world and then left it alone because it needed to be left alone.

My problem with God is instead that the idea is purely illogical and, in my opinion, *impossible*. There is absolutely no evidence pointing to God at all and it's not a notion I consider with any length of seriousness anymore.
I don't think this deserves the dignity of an answer. I would not reply I would delete and move on. And/or I would block the sender. It is just typical a typical spam mail/chain letter thing. Possibly carrying a virus.


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