Why God, whichever god, does not promote evil

Published September 4, 2017

Do religions promote evil?

No human can prove a deity’s intentions, good or bad, but we can prove evil isn’t promoted through followers of a deity. Any deity, actually!

All it takes is an unbiased look at the mathematics of evil as compared to the mathematics of believers.

First, let’s assume all evil is created by believers. (Note: we’re assuming the worst possible scenario for a God, any God, who might promote evil, that his/her followers do evil.) There are approximately 14% of people that are evil, as evil is defined below in the section marked Evil. (Lang 2016, pp24-27) With 7.5 billion people in the world, 14% of that number is 1.05 billion persons committing evil acts.

There are approximately 84% of people who believe in some God(s) or follow a specific religion. (“List of religious populations” 2017) This means, of 7.5 billion today, approximately 6.3 billion people are believers. 6.3 billion – 1.05 billion evil persons equals 5.25 billion good believers. That’s 83.33%: 5.25 billion divided by 6.3 billion. So even if we assume all evil is created by believers, something probably not close to the truth, there are more than 8 good people who are believers for every 2 evil persons. That’s an overwhelming majority.

If we assume anything less than all evil created by believers, the 83.33% above increases, further “proof” that God, whichever god, does not promote evil, or at least not through the overwhelming majority of his/her followers.

Now for the part believers won’t like, application of our assumptions. Since our assumption was evil created by believers, then, if we could eliminate the Bible and the Qur’an, or at least eliminate the evil parts of God’s words, evil could be lessened by approximately 633 million: 3.8 billion (2.2 billion Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims) divided by 6.3 billion (84% of 7.5 billion), then multiplied by 1.05 billion (14% of 7.5 billion). This would lessen evil by 60%. Of course, not all evil acts are committed by believers, so cutting evil by more than half might be asking a lot, but mitigating evil through scholarship (i.e. not seeing a book as inerrant) has benefits.

Evil:

Includes estimates for terrorists, murderers, prisoners, suicides, human trafficking, unreported violent crime, all arrests, and unpunished violent crime.

Some double-counting (or more) could occur (i.e. a murderer was arrested and put in prison).

Quotes:

“…evil intentions result in negative action approximately 13.92% of the time throughout the world, in a given year, on average.” (Lang, p27)

“The end note to this chapter, along with the many footnotes from this section, begs that this estimate is detailed, and probably overstated. For example, if we were to include [name crime], we would first have to assume the perpetrators were not already covered in violent crime, arrests, unpunished crime, or unreported crime, all of which were used in attaining an estimate of 13.92%.” (Lang, p27)

“…we can now compare this estimate to the approximate 84% of theists…Given this comparison, that 84% is more than six times as high as 13.92%, leaving plenty of room for dissenting opinions, how could one conclude that religion spawns evil today?” (Lang, p28)

References:

Lang, B. (2016) The World from Outside Its Box. Indianapolis, IN: Dog Ear Publishing.

“List of religious populations.” (2017 Aug 30) In Wikipedia – the free online encyclopedia. Retrieved from [Link]

Note: I am not attempting to belittle the tragedies for the victims of evil, the sufferers. On a macro level, given the numbers above, particularly in a country where reading is easily accessible, any negative view is a result of a negativity bias.

BLang – just another human, one of over 7 billion.