The "problem of evil" is not simple and atheists do not do themselves any favors by pretending that it is. That's exactly the criticism we level at theists who don't even try to understand nonbelievers.
The New Atheists Are Simpering Cowards]. Why in the world would he think that?
Because he's using the argument of angst to promote the idea that atheist logic is flawed. What is the argument from angst? It's a favorite of naive Christians like Barry Arrington and it goes like this. Friedrich Nietzsche was a troubled man and part of his problem was that he couldn't cope with the moral freedom that came from abandoning god. It drove him crazy. (Syphilis may have helped, but he was certainly manic-depressive.)
Christians would have you believe that this is what should happen to all intelligent people who don't believe in any gods. Here's how Barry Arrington explains it ...
Nietzsche was wrong and tragic and, in the end, insane. But at least he was brave and honest. Brave enough to stare into the abyss and honest enough to report back what he saw there. He would be disgusted by the puerile, simpering cowardice that characterizes atheism in the 21st century.Apparently, the people of Denmark are just not experiencing enough angst and that's because they are "simpering cowards." They have built a secular society that avoids facing up to the extremely troubling aspects of not believing in god(s). This pretty much applies to most of the people in my neighborhood as well. We seem to be getting along just fine without any gods to guide us but, according to Barry Arrington, we aren't suffering enough.
I feel like my ears are going to bleed at the bleating of the new atheists who write in these pages. They go on and on and on and on about how morality is rooted in empathy and the avoidance of suffering. Nietzsche would have spit his contempt on them, for they are espousing the “herd animal” Christian slave-morality he disdained and which, ironically, they claim to have risen above. How many times have the atheists insisted, “we are just as ‘good’ as you”? Why have they failed to learn from Nietzsche that “good” means nothing. Why do they insist that they conform to a standard that they also insist does not exist?For the record, I do not insist that gods are dead. They never existed in the first place. Being good was an important value for all societies long before they invented the Christian god.
The answer to these questions is the same: They refuse to acknowledge the conclusions that are logically compelled by their premises. And why do they refuse? Because they are simpering cowards.
I can respect while disagreeing with a man like Nietzsche, a man who follows his premises where they lead, even if they lead to asking questions such as “Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us?” I have nothing but contempt for smiley-faced, weak-kneed, milquetoast atheism that insists that God is dead and all is well because we are just as nice as you.
In addition to their ridiculous "problem of evil," it looks like Christians also have a "problem of good." They don't understand how you can be good without god. It's probably better if they keep believing in their gods because, otherwise, the streets would be full of ex-Christian mass murderers. Here's what Barry Arrington thinks ...
When Nietzsche urges us to go beyond good and evil, he is urging us to recognize the implications of God’s death for morality. God is the only possible source of transcendent objective moral norms. If God does not exist then neither do transcendent objective moral norms. And if transcendent objective moral norms do not exist, neither do “good” and “evil” in the traditional senses of those words. There is only a perpetual battle of all against all, and “good” is a synonym for prevailing in that battle, and “evil” is a synonym for losing.