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Does God exist?
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God is not inherently Good

The dystheistic belief that if God did exist, he could not be understood as Good.


Prominent particularly in certain atheist critiques of the Bible, Dystheism contends that if God did exist, his behaviour cannot be understood as 'Good'.

The Argument

Mikhail Bakunin, the revolutionary Russian anarchist, wrote in God and the State that "if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him". Bakunin argued that, as a "jealous lover of human liberty, and deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity", the "idea of God" constituted of metaphysical oppression of the idea of human choice. Thomas Paine, the American political philosopher, similarly wrote in The Age of Reason, "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God." He added, "It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."

Counter arguments



God is Omnipotent and Good. The Biblical God demonstrates qualities that cannot be understood as good. The Biblical God cannot be God.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 20 Mar 2020 at 15:46 UTC

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