Location: Eastern Tech High School
1100 Mace Ave, Baltimore, MD 21221- Classroom P-1
Time: 7:00 pm
Main Topic: Putting God on trial – The impossibility of a benevolent god
Members/Guests in Attendance:
Guest Speaker: Gregory S. Paul
For more information about our guest speaker, visit:
1. After introductions, Mr. Paul gave a PowerPoint presentation.
2. The presentation began with, “Why God Cannot Be Good: And Why God is not Good for Societies.” Mr. Paul posited that people were either Theists or Atheists. Agnosticism was discussed as a philosophy (as defined by Thomas Huxley); one could be an agnostic Theist or an Agnostic Atheist. The following slides provided statistics and information regarding the increase in atheism over the past decades. Recent statistics show that 4% of the population identify as atheists. When taking into consideration those who respond as not believing in God, the number comes to 20%.
3. Mr. Paul expressed that religion is not universal or integral to the human psyche. As an example, the Hadza people, one of the last remaining tribes in East Africa, have not developed a religion. They had developed myths and tales; they see the Sun as significant, but do not worship it.
4. Next, the presentation focused on the Successful Society Scale that Mr. Paul developed. It factored in statistical information on issues such as teen pregnancy, abortions, life span, mortality, etc. to determine which countries (countries selected were culturally comparable) were healthier or more dysfunctional. This was then correlated with the religiosity of each country. The information revealed that the less religious countries were healthier, with a correlation of 0.705. This held true whether the reliosity was moderate or fundamentalist in nature. Additionally, the statistics show that human life span is decreasing in the Bible Belt, compared to the rest of the United States. Mr. Paul also looked at the correlation between income inequality and religiosity. A Gini coefficient of 0.813 showed that countries with greater religiosity had a greater incidence of income inequality.
5. The next section, titled “When God Sanctions Killing” focused on Free Will Theodicy (Theodicies attempt to justify the existence of God in light of evil). Mr. Paul stated that based on his research, about 100 billion people have lived on Earth throughout history. About 50% of these people have died while they were still children. Only 10 billion people have ever heard Christ’s word. This raised the question of the nature of God and negligent homicide (Keith B. Miller – Perspectives on an Evolving Creation). One specific item discussed was the argument that malaria was intelligently designed (Micahel Behe – The Edge of Evolution).
6. In the next section, titled “Atheist Advantage,” Mr. Paul expressed that both Theism and Atheism can become morally depraved. However, religion cannot be the solution. Religion is a coping mechanism for anxiety. Religion is popular in dysfunctional societies, such as countries that are either not prosperous or insecure about prosperity. Universal healthcare is commonly found in progressive/Atheist countries. When the government provides charity, religious charities collapse. Mr. Paul cited the Bible (Acts 4: 32-34) as the first mention of socialism/communism in history: “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had…And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.”
7. Mr. Paul posited that we are wired for materialism (as in buying things, not the philosophy of existence). Walmart was responsible for getting rid of most of the blue laws (banning retail trade on Sundays). The repeal of the blue laws has led to decreased church attendance. There was discussion on the social values of today’s youth. Mr. Paul concluded that the church is an aging demographic.
8. After the presentation, the group engaged in active discussion. A few of the topics include: Quantum mechanics – inflation theory and multiple universe theory, Mr. Paul’s idea to petition The Hague Court to put God on trial for the deaths of billions of people. Member of the group also expressed interest in organizing a religious debate in the future.
9. Next Meeting: Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 18th at 7:00 pm, and is tentatively scheduled to be held at Dustin’s house. An agenda with additional information will be posted once the meeting topic/speaker is secured.
Typed by: Isidore Ducasse