I once read something by Stephen Hawking. I read it on an episode of VH1’s Pop-Up Video, but I read it nonetheless. Hawking said (and I’m paraphrasing) that time travel must be impossible because if if were possible we would encounter visitors from the future. In other words, if a certain proposition (i.e., time travel) were true, there would be observable evidence (i.e., people from the future) of that truth.
I believe something similar can be said about the character or nature or “heart” of God. Those who disbelieve in God often offer His character/nature/heart as reasons for their disbelief. They say He is cruel. For example:
Personally, I have never understood this argument. To me, it is basically saying, “I don’t believe in God because I don’t like Him (or, more accurately, who I imagine Him to be).” I don’t know what kind of logical fallacy that is, but it has to be one of them. Disliking something can’t evidence against the existence of something; something that exists exists whether you like it or not. And if something doesn’t exist, how can you dislike it?
But there are more objections to this argument than merely personal ones. There is evidence against this argument, the same evidence Hawking used against the suggestion of time travel. If God really were a cruel being, we would see His being cruel. He would be smiting people all the time. There would be hellfire and brimstone all over the place.
Is that what we see? No. We don’t see that any more than we see visitors from the future. We don’t even see those who deny God and/or say vile things about Him smited (or is it smitten?) in this way. And that fact that we don’t means only one of two things: 1) either there is no God (in which case we are then left with a host of problems, such as the source of morality and the purpose of existence) or 2) God isn’t nearly as bad as we think He is, isn’t nearly as big on smiting as we accuse Him of being.
I side with the second one. I think that fits the evidence (all the evidence) the best.