Every description of God is an excuse for his absence*


Yesterday's mass murder in America points to one of the seemingly limitless problems I have with the Jewish, Christian, and Moslem view that God has both the infinite willingness to do good and the infintite ability to do good. The problem is, why doesn't he? God knew the Connecticut shooter was on his way to that school, and he could have stopped him, but he didn't. If I, imperfect being that I am, had known, and could have stopped him, but  hadn't stopped him, what would you think of me, and why should you think differently of a perfect God?

Christians offer various answers to why God permits evil and suffering. One is that we brought them on ourselves through original sin, so God is not responsible. Another is that God has given us the power to cure cancer, end war, enact gun control laws, provide universal healthcare, develop better warning systems for natural disasters, and so forth (ironically, surveys show that most American Christians favor war while opposing gun control and universal healthcare), and so, again, God is not responsible. Yet another claim is that suffering ennobles us, and is necessary for us to achieve our full potential for strength and compassion. According to this view, we wouldn't even recognize good in the absence of evil because we would have no basis for comparison. There's also the claim that the God for whom "all things are possible" couldn't hinder evil without hindering freewill, although why freewill is considered so important, I can't imagine. And finally, a great many American Christians believe that God not only allows evil and suffering to befall their country, he wills it to punish us for such sins such as re-electing Obama, taking prayer out of schools, and being "soft on homosexuality."

If such answers appeal to you, you are probably already a believer because, like transubstantiation, the virgin birth, and talking jackasses, only the faithful can make sense out of them, and this is only because they are unwilling to apply the same standards of rationality to religious belief that they apply to every other facet of life. If you are one of those believers, and you disagree, feel free to present your rational arguments. 


While I will admit that suffering can sometimes be ennobling, I won't admit that it has any place in a universe that is run by an infinitely good and infinitely powerful deity. This is because such a deity would be able to achieve all of the the good that suffering inspires without anyone having to suffer. In other words, he could eliminate war, crime, cancer, diabetes, child molestation, cruelty to animals, and every other evil on the face of the earth while at the same time lifting us to the exalted moral state of angels. The fact that he chooses to leave us in this hellhole of undeserved misery that life on earth represents to quadrillions of lifeforms constitutes ample reason to declare his existence a fantastic fiction that has, in any measurable way, done more harm than good over the course of history.

One of the reasons I've been attending some of the events at an Episcopal Church of late is that I very much want to think well of Christians. I want to see them as being as rational and intelligent as any atheist, but then something like this school shooting comes along, and I hear their pablum about the miracles God performed in saving some while others died, and I feel like a quixotic moron for even trying to find rationality in Christendom. My only question this morning--a pessimistic morning for sure--is to wonder how self-servingly delusional religion has to be before it qualifies as mental illness?

*I have no idea who said this.

30 comments:

rhymeswithplague said...

Well, there you go. You read it here first. Christians are mentally ill. So let's lock them all away in mental institutions or, better yet, euthanize them and put them out of their misery. We do it for our pets. It's only logical that we should do it for the poor deluded Christians. You do know, Snow, that this is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from your post. It's only a matter of time before someone makes it seriously.

Fortunately for me, our Constitution still has a First Amendment.

klahanie said...

Hi Snowbrush,

Your highly emotive article is singing off the same hymn sheet, so to speak, as how I feel about the whole god thing and what I think can be a somewhat delusional hope by those who justify the almighty.

You know, god doesn't interfere because he gave us free will. Whatever, a truly loving god would prevent the atrocities that occur. Yet, those of unyielding faith will say that there are lessons to be learnt from such things.

I believe that religious folks may well need a god to believe in because they want to believe that whatever happens is god's will.

I think many would be scared to actually think there may be no god as such. What happens is done by mankind and we are accountable for our actions.

All I know is I relate to people in how they are to me. I want to see the person and not have it clouded by some religious label.

A very thoughtful article and I shall now go back to my site.

In peace and hope, Gary

Mim said...

was the shooter "evil"? (I heard that on TV, like it was an excuse). was he mentally unbalanced (yup, by my standards). does "god" have anything to do with this? - Nope, not in my book.

I don't even try to understand.

The Elephant's Child said...

I often see a belief in religion (any religion) as abdicating responsibility. 'God willed it, I couldn't do anything to stop it'. 'God loves me anyway despite the pleasure I take in child molestation etc, etc'.
Me? I do the best I can, believing that what I make of my life is up to me. No, I don't always get it right, but I can try and do better tomorrow. It works for me anyway.
Thanks Snow. I will (as always) be very interested in the comments that this post attracts. My one point of dissension is the ennobling that suffering brings. I doubt it.

Snowbrush said...

"Well, there you go. You read it here first. Christians are mentally ill."

I didn't say that, but I did imply it by putting it in the form of a question. After reading your comment, I took the question out, and I apologize for ever putting it in. As I think of it now, it strikes me as no better than saying that everyone who opposes gay marriage is a Nazi. My "question" was completely over the top, especially for someone who claims to put a high value on rationality.

I also changed the photo. The original was of the "Lamb of God" facing away from my post and by implication, I hoped, away from earthly problems. Later, I remembered the picture of the woman howling in misery yesterday. Hell is in her face, and the deity that most people believe in could have spared her from such agony, and didn't, so I thought her photo was representative of what I'm talking about in this post. At the same time, I felt that I was exploiting her by using the way she looked during the worse moment of her life to illustrate anything. I can but say in my defense that, if I were her, I would see the photo as such a powerful statement that no one--not even her--has a right to prevent its use.

I also added the following sentence to the paragraph about why people think God permits suffering. I never meant the list to be inclusive, but I did mean it to include all of the common reasons, so the following clearly needed to be on it.

"And finally, there's the view that the God for whom "all things are possible" couldn't possibly hinder evil without also hindering freewill, although why freewill is considered so important, I can't imagine."

After making these three significant changes, I republished the post.

angela said...

Oh snow bush were where you yesterday when I needed back up. As a greek orthodox we have a special ritual we perform at the 12 month anniversary of someone's death. So off to church I go for my uncle and had to sit through the priest telling us that we had to give to the poor Greeks in Greece because we are so rich and we don't give to help others. And commentating on their politics and ours. I mean if I wanted to discuss politics I'd do ith with a polition. I almost just walked out but I didnt for respect for my aunt. But I sat there thinking not very nice things about the priest. Stupid old fart that he was.

Stephen Hayes said...

I've never been able to reconcile the notion of free will with Divine intervention. I remember getting my fingers slapped for asking a priest, "If God created all things both good and bad, then God must have "bad" in him." I mean, if bad can come from good then good must be inherently bad.I wasn't popular in my Catechism class.

Julie said...

Hi, Snowbrush,

Your article is good reading as usual. My comment is about the school shootings too, but not the religious side. I just want to ask if anyone else sees a connection between sudden murder and suicide and the possibility or probability that the killer was under the influence of psychiatric prescriptions which have the side effects of violence and suicide. Think about all those sports figures lately who have suddenly turned into killers. The news report often concludes with "he was being treated for depression" or other references to drug use.

What do you think?

Julie

Snowbrush said...

"Oh snow bush were where you yesterday when I needed back up."

Angela, I'm sorry the ritual was tainted by the priest's attempt to use guilt to make a political plea to a captive audience. I would have been tempted to walk out too, but, like you, I would have weighed my desire to escape against my desire to support others, and consequently felt trapped. The hell of it was that the priest counted on just such a reaction to keep people in their seats. I believe that most clergy are more loving and ethical than that priest simply because clergy are people, and most people are more loving and ethical than that. If I were you, I would get contact information for any and everyone I might complain to about that priest, and I would complain to them. The only person I wouldn't bother with would be the priest himself unless I decided to send him a list of the people I had contacted and copies of the letters I had sent. I don't know how big a wave you might make on the surface of the pond of his life, but you will almost certainly feel better for having tried. I know because I've been in a similar situation.

Strayer said...

My reaction to the school shooting is that testosterone is extremely dangerous, especially in young men, with anger, with guns available. Neuter em all.

Terrible tragedy, a horror. Yeah, the injection of religion and god into it has totally swept the nation. And yet no one is saying, "God must have been asleep at the wheel, on drugs, to let that slip by." I'd like to hear someone say that and also call them on the "this one was saved by miracle" while others died horribly. Was that a miracle and by design also? For the good? None of it makes sense. What does make sense is the consideration that a young man became enraged, had ready access to guns and executed a fantasy, while in some rage, probably over hatred of his mother, since he shot her in the face, a very personal hatred act. Could he have killed a lot of people without ready access to an assault rifle? Maybe. But not easily. And because it's not so easy, probably would not be as an attractive of a notion. Fact is, young men have always become enraged, (tumultuous hormones) but they haven't always had instant access to such a deadly means to vent it on others. So most just cool off and go on to long lives I bet.

Kert said...

I read comments about how the school has not opened itself to God and I just want to ask them, "If that is the case, why is your God so spiteful and insecure that he has to kill children to get his point across?" Others claim that the shooter is an atheist because only atheists could do this for they don't have any moral values. I just roll my eyes. The things some Christians say sometimes just reek of ignorance.

Deb said...

I was thinking a lot of things when this was happening. Like, -- the shooter killed himself. Where does he go? Does God accept him say if, he was a Christian? Is there a hell for him? Or are we the ones in hell? Is there a hell? You're right - God can do anything - God can stop and create. In Revelations, the evil one takes more control as you know. It only gets worse before it gets better. And yet, we Christians (not you of course) have a ton of explanations. We can say all day long, "there's a bigger picture" and yet still have faith. Our young children are shot to death brutally, and we say, "Well, God has a bigger plan." And yet it doesn't suffice. We lose more and more faith as more "evilness" starts unfolding. I can definitely see why you're an atheist. I can see why some atheists get angry at Christian beliefs -- "fluffy feel good big picture" type of excuses. There is no evidence of "the big picture". And if faith in a mental illness, then it's one I still wish to have. It's the only thing that keeps me going when horrible and tragic things like this occurs. But that's just me. I totally get you though. Great post.

Snowbrush said...

I have made many major revisions on this post since I posted it. I now wish I had held onto it for a day.

""If God created all things both good and bad, then God must have "bad" in him." I mean, if bad can come from good then good must be inherently bad."

Well, sure. The Bible tries to sidestep the problem by blaming evil on Satan, but where did Satan learn to do evil. Oh, but of course, he freely chose it. But how can it be that either humans or angels would choose that which they have no propensity? I might be able to choose to sleep naked on a frozen river, but I have no propensity to do it, yet, according to the Bible, every last human being jumps into doing evil with considerable enthusiasm. In other words, we are born with a propensity for evil, and since God, not Satan, created us, then God would have surely put it there.

"I just want to ask if anyone else sees a connection between sudden murder and suicide and the possibility or probability that the killer was under the influence of psychiatric prescriptions."

I've taken many pills that list violence and/or suicide as possible outcomes, but as to mass murder, I have no data, so I have no opinion--or at least no opinion that I consider worth expressing.

"My reaction to the school shooting is that testosterone is extremely dangerous..."

Yes, testosterone is dangerous. It has its good points, but it sure the hell has some major downsides. One of the things I've noticed since going off narcotics is that my own testosterone is on the rebound, and this is NOT good news because I don't enjoy lusting after women, yet low-testosterone can cause severe fatigue, and that's sure what I had. Still, Strayer, there was surely a heck of a lot more going on with this guy than high testosterone. For one thing, high testosterone leads to impulsive behavior, and what he did appears to have been calculated.

"Others claim that the shooter is an atheist..."

Actually, it was an atheist conspiracy, and I was the one who thought it up, so I just wish that people would give me credit here. It hurts to go unheralded.

"And if faith in a mental illness, then it's one I still wish to have."

As I understand you, you're saying that you would choose to believe a happiness-producing untruth (even to point of mental illness) over a truth that made you unhappy. I'm assuming that you will agree that this position is lacking in intellectual integrity. Yet, when you think of Jesus, what do you think of if not integrity, and isn't it your goal as a Christian to follow the example of Jesus even if doing so should result in atheism? This is what I meant following my last post when I wrote that, as I see the commonplace American view of God, I can only show respect (for the concept of a deity) by NOT believing in such a God. I'm not at all sure if I'm making myself clear, so let me know.

Snowbrush said...

"I think many would be scared to actually think there may be no god as such."

But of course, and this muddies the water when it comes to discussing whether or not God exists.

"was the shooter "evil"? (I heard that on TV, like it was an excuse). was he mentally unbalance"

I like the word evil because anything short of it would, to a degree, excuse the shooter, yet I certainly don't think it accurate in a religious sense. Was he mentally unbalanced? I would interpret the act itself as proof of that because no normal person COULD choose to do such a thing.

lotta joy said...

I can see why rhymeswithplague would go off on a tangent regarding something you said, to such an extent that he jump to "euthanize" as the option. So did the Spanish Inquisition. But that's not reason enough for you to change any wording in your post.

Those of us without a chip of the old rugged cross on our shoulders would recognize your heartfelt expressions as coming from distress.

Stud dragged me, kicking and screaming, to church today so he could hear some rational explanations as to why God would allow such evil to be visited upon the innocent.

I could have told him what to expect, and yet he was still disappointed for some reason when the minister listed the ingredients for faith:

(1) we don't know why, but we know the ONE who does.

(2) All things will be made clear in due time

(3) HE is a god of mysterious ways and it is not our place to question

(4) think of the many parents who will come to seek a closer relationship with god due to this tragedy.

(5) and my favorite: It's all Adam and Eve's fall from grace and we're still paying the price to a loving and FORGIVING god.

Hey, try putting THAT sentence into some semblance of sanity.

And to those who can, "Yes. You're insane."

Marion said...

Two words: Free will. Without free will, what would humans be but puppets for God's amusement? That's just my opinion and what I believe, Snow.

I find the shooter's actions beyond evil. But what is truly broken in this country is our mental health system which does not care for kids like him...or the guy who shot up Virginia Tech or the Columbine kids. "Normal" people do not kill innocent children. My heart is broken over this event and I have no answers. I can't even think about it without crying. My own two precious daughters are teachers and I worry for their safety, too, and I think of the bereaved families of the 6 adults killed. I hear most of them died heroically, trying to save their precious charges.

Love to you, Snow.

(PS: about your question the other day: Yes, I do memorize a LOT of poetry and have since I was about 14. "The Raven" was my first long poem and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot the next longest. I also memorize chapters in Psalms and find them comforting on sleepless nights.) xo

Snowbrush said...

"I can see why rhymeswithplague would go off on a tangent regarding something you said...But that's not reason enough for you to change any wording in your post."

I didn't change it because he complained but because I agreed with his complaint. I really appreciate your enumeration of the points the preacher made. I have been told from time to time that I'm "too sensitive to be a real atheist," yet it seems to me that it's far easier to maintain religious faith in the absence of great sensitivity.

"Two words: Free will. Without free will, what would humans be but puppets for God's amusement? That's just my opinion and what I believe, Snow."

I don't know what it means when you say that your belief is "just" your opinion. In any case I have some thoughts to present, and I can do so more succinctly by putting them in the form of questions rather than arguments, although I would very much like to hear your thoughts if you should care to present them.

1) When the rest of the universe appears to be operating on laws of cause and effect, what is the basis for your claim that human beings have free will?

2) If God has known every last detail of every last action of every last person he/she/it ever created (or will create) for an infinite amount of time before creating him or her, and these people cannot possibly behave any differently from what God foresaw them doing, can they be said to truly have free will, and if they can, why did God at least not forego the creation of people who he/she/it knew would commit acts of extraordinary evil and instead focus on the creation of people who would be remembered for the good they did?

3) Why does God hold freewill in such high regard when the outcome of our freedom to choose has been so misery-producing? Is there a human being who would not prefer that God have made us kind and wise?

4) If we truly have the freedom to choose, why--in the Biblical view--does every last one of choose to be such filthy sinners that we deserve eternal torture? Surely, the universality of sin suggests that God endowed us with the propensity to choose evil rather than good, and this can only mean that he inclined us to do the very thing that he forbids us to do.

5) Why did not God give us freedom to choose but make us such a noble species that none of us would choose evil?

Lisa said...

I dont know and the more I do know about God (or you know,whatever) the more I wish I didn't know at all.

I am saddened by the losses the world has had to endure this week, I am saddened by the loss of a friend 3 weeks ago and even sadder for his wife, my friend, left alone in the darkness that true grief brings.

God.
God.

I dont believe, I really dont believe anymore.

My faith is in tatters and my rational, logical mind tells me it is right to be so, to be faithless.

Its almost Christmas and we are expected to believe in a miracle no rational thinking person could honestly believe.

This earth, our world, it needs the miracles NOW.

If divine intervention was ever on the cards it needs to happen NOW.

Thank you for your post Snow. It was an important read.

Snowbrush said...

"My faith is in tatters and my rational, logical mind tells me it is right to be so, to be faithless."

Losing faith in religion is one thing, Lisa, and losing faith in life itself is another, and I hear the second in your words. I think it likely that your present level of anguish in this regard will surely diminish given that all of our lives contain ebbs and flows (indeed, knowing this keeps me going at times). As for grief over the loss of religious faith, I can certainly relate. Some--probably most--atheists see their loss of religion (if they ever had religion) in terms of liberation, and I do too, but for me, the loss of faith in a divinely ordained purpose (not just to my life but to the entire universe) was a tragedy that will follow me to my grave, yet I would not say, as did Deb, that I had rather believe for the peace it brings even if belief is irrational. However, I couldn't simply choose to believe in God even if I tried, and I don't understand how others can.

Did anyone else see the 100% Christian "Interfaith" meeting that Obama attended in Newtown? He started his speech with II Cor. 4:16-5:1 (text below), and I wondered if I was the only one who thought it odd to refer to a life that includes the murder of children as a "light momentary affliction." It put me in mind of what I wrote somewhere in this response chain about sensitivity being the enemy of religious faith in that sensitivity forces one to go deeply into the implications of belief, which means that, in its absence, reality can be glossed over, leaving a person free to regard mass murder as a "light momentary affliction," or, as a Christian author entitled his book: "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff--and it's all small stuff."

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Anyway, his talk about bringing those mourners "the prayers of the nation" sure the hell left me cold. It's always a drag when the president of my country won't even acknowledge my existence as a part of the nation that he leads. Oh, but I know, we atheists are supposed to be okay with keeping our mouths shut when religious people are doing their thing, even when the religious person involved is our president, and he is claiming to speak for the nation.

kylie said...

snow,
i like to think i am a rational and intelligent christian but for the life of me i cannot fathom why that shooting happened. how can any rational person understand a completely irrational act?
not wishing to be callous but maybe the slaughter of 37 people, including 20 children is what it will take to make the US think more carefully about gun control?

maybe this event will eventually see lives saved? maybe that is Gods will here, maybe it is not, i dont pretend to know.

you know, it doesnt matter if we talk about God or if we talk about it in generic terms like "energy" or "the universe" but there is SOMETHING which balances these things.
in my opinion,too many individuals in the US are rather too fond of their firearms and arrogantly so and while i would never have wished this to happen maybe a massacre is what it takes to effect change.

heaven knows what kind of dirt you will heap on me for this one because it provides no answers but i am frankly tired of the atheistic aggression that christians cop over and over again. my beliefs help me to make sense of the world, they help me to carry on when i would rather not, they make me a better person. i have no desire to attack atheists for their opinions and i dont know why i cant similarly be left in peace.

lotta joy said...

Lisa, during my 40 years of teaching the gospel, I lost my faith on a regular basis, then gave myself a pep talk about how unworthy I was, how I had dropped the ball in god's eyes and the eyes of my fellow believers, and how I'd better get back in the boat before god turned my heart to stone.

Your faith will return when life settles down to a memory of the tragedy. 9-11 anyone???

See. Some lost their faith then, some FOUND a faith then.

When Snow says that probably most athiests feel liberation after they ditch their 'faith', he is correct.

And NONE of us ditched it in a cavalier way. Most of us struggled for years, then suffered guilt, before attaining TOTAL LIBERATION.

I would go so far as to say that, at one point in my struggle with guilt, I realized that MOST of my beliefs of 'retribution' due to my loss of faith were based on a list of biblical fears that resembled nothing more than superstitions.

Now, as those around me search for answers, wringing their hands and thinking that KNOWING will set them free, I accept, adapt, overcome and keep going.

YES I feel sorrow. YES I suffer for those children and their parents. But I have one less burden by not looking for "the one who has the answers" to shed heavenly light on tragedy.

Deb said...

"As I understand you, you're saying that you would choose to believe a happiness-producing untruth (even to point of mental illness) over a truth that made you unhappy. I'm assuming that you will agree that this position is lacking in intellectual integrity."

I don't think I made myself clear enough on that one... What I meant is, that IS my truth. My belief isn't just a belief - but more of a knowledge that God is real through my own spiritual experiences. I may not believe some of what the bible says or how it's interpreted by 'man', but I wouldn't give up faith for anything. I was trying to not be all "in your face" with religion, but as you went on to insinuate that "this position" - or (myself) is lacking intellectual integrity, may I also add that it's the one statement I'm very used to by atheists who are so hung up and angry over any Christian --- whether extreme or in the middle. I really didn't expect anything less. ***But***..... I do realize you were speaking about believing in something (and knowing) it's false. So I won't bust yer' balls on this one. ;)

Snowbrush said...

"What I meant is, that IS my truth. My belief isn't just a belief - but more of a knowledge that God is real through my own spiritual experiences."

My dear, Deb, I do so enjoy you because whatever our differences, you do make the effort to think for yourself, and so in that, we are alike.

You wrote on your blog today that there are no concrete answers to anything, implying, I thought, that there's really no difference in astrology and astronomy, in homeopathy and allopathy, in research and intuition. In other words, if I understood you correctly, there is no possibility of finding objective truth or even knowing for sure that it exists, and so nothing can be either believed or discounted to the nth degree. One problem I see here (again, assuming that I understood you correctly), is that no one lives this way. All day, everyday, we act in the belief that certain things are objectively true, and can be relied upon to happen. For example, we know that fire burns, that cars start when we turn a key rather than do a dance, and that toasters are useless for scanning documents. But when we come to areas about which little if anything can be known due to a lack of verifiable evidence, we (many of us anyway) feel free to speak of objective truth as if it's either unknowable or non-existent. You seem to believe in SOMETHING--based upon your inner experiences--yet if you believe that concrete truth is impossible, I don't understand how you can put any confidence in your inner experiences. With the help of drugs, I've heard spirits speak, I've seen demons leap-out at me, and I've watched trees dance for joy, but whereas some might say that the drugs had opened my eyes to a real world that was always there, I attributed the experiences to chemical-induced hallucinations, not because the former belief is necessarily impossible, but because the latter seemed to have a great deal more to recommend it. However, if I were to believe that there are no concrete answers to anything, then I wouldn't feel justified in pronouncing either possibility correct. I would live out my life as one who had no confidence in anything being necessarily true. Have I understood your views--if not your conclusions--about truth correctly?

Snowbrush said...

" i cannot fathom why that shooting happened. how can any rational person understand a completely irrational act?"

People build careers around doing just that, and what interesting careers they must be! I think that all things are understandable, and that it is essential that we understand acts of seemingly irrational cruelty. For my part, nothing about the shooting is nearly so interesting as the shooter.

Kendal Rooney said...

Hi Snow,

Having been baptized as a Roman Catholic, even with an Atheist Father, and later learn my Mom was Agnostic. It's hard to break away from parental "brainwashing" I call it. Now when asked "If 90% of the world believes in God, how can he not be real?" Instead of saying just because they do doesn't mean there is, I know say I'm not surprised. Children are born innocent, their minds a sponge, and who first do they listen do as absolute? Parents, then school and other adult figures some into play. Whether they are Iman's Priests, Fathers, Reverends etc they all influence our thinking, backed up again by our parents.

When Mom was killed my Dad absolutely forbid bibles, talk of Jesus or any religion. At 12 and in pain from verbal, sexual, physical abuse, and a man sentenced with Vehicular manslaughter. This made me even more confused. We sometimes we went to Church, usually Christmas. Where we lived 99.9% of the people living in the town were Caucasian, two families were Native/Caucasians. The school grades 1-8 did not separate church and state. There was no one to make them.

Therefore we were brainwashed even more. Don't let anyone touch your breast, otherwise you get breast cancer, don't take a hot bath when you start menstruating it'll clot your blood. Physical & verbal abuse was par for the course.

It took years after leaving school for me to learn the truth, the truth about religion, science, biology etc. So as any cult, where there is a powerful head you get a load of messed up confused people. Some take the bible and other beliefs with a grain of salt. Some take their leaders, Pope, the bible and preaching literally. Leaving no room for evolution etc. All religions have their extremists.

Because more evidence some to light, the more some leaders change to adapt, even if it's still stupid, like tje earth is now 6,000 years old.

No one knows for sure, but Evolution offers the most evidence, while religion still requires you to take it on faith. No one has yet to to offer a reasonable explanation. I'm happy as I am, no worries about going to hell, if we got to the center of the earth we'll all burn up anyway lol. Our bodies die, our energy is reabsorbed. Thanks for your post, as always, are well thought out.
My new link http://deconstructingmyillusions.wordpress.com/

The Blog Fodder said...

If God is punishing America for its sins, maybe it is for the millions of children whose deaths america has been responsible for over the past 300 years. or even the past 60 years.
And I don't understand how spam on my blog shows up on yours or even affects you. That baffles me. There is a great deal of anonymous stuff coming in. Bloggers spam catcher gets most of it and I delete the few that do make it through.

Snowbrush said...

"If God is punishing America for its sins, maybe it is for the millions of children whose deaths america has been responsible"

As a Canadian Christian, you rightly excoriate the Christian leaders of America for "300 years" of callousness and brutality, yet you conjecture a deity whose behavior is so vicious that he seems admirably qualified to serve as an American president, and then you worship this deity. How can you worship that in God which you deplore in people? Do you simply say, as so many do, that "his ways are not our ways" and let it go at that? Whether this attitude fits you or not, it is the kind of attitude that I referred to somewhere up the chain as making sensitivity the enemy of religion because a person has no choice but to embrace callousness in order to call a brutal deity just, loving, compassionate, and so forth.

"I don't understand how spam on my blog shows up on yours or even affects you."

Thank god it doesn't. Having followed your blog for years, I get at least two to four emailed pieces of SPAM from your blog every week, much of it from posts that are years old, yet this SPAM never appears on your blog itself that I can see. However, when I click on the unsubscribe link that is in the SPAM, it takes me directly to your blog, suggesting that the SPAM really is coming through your blog (maybe its bypassing your filter somehow) as opposed to another source. I am getting more and more SPAM from the blogs of almost everyone who doesn't monitor their comments, and this makes me reluctant to even sign up to receive comments related to non-monitored posts. I hate to miss out on the discussion by doing this, but I could conceivably receive thousands of SPAM messages due to the huge number of posts that I have signed up to receive messages from over the years.

Snowbrush said...

"Now when asked "If 90% of the world believes in God, how can he not be real?" Instead of saying just because they do doesn't mean there is, I know say I'm not surprised."

Most people do believe in things for which there is no substantiation. For instance, many (and in some areas most) Americans believe that ghosts are real, space aliens have visited earth, Obama is a Islamic Communist, evolution is a Satanic lie, and that the Bible is completely consistent and without error down to its smallest detail.

C Woods said...

The trouble with the "free will" argument is that the phrase "free will" never appears anywhere in the Bible. There are passages that have been interpreted to imply that humans have a sort of free will, but nothing explicit. To me, it is a cop-out for those who want to have an all-loving and all powerful god who allows evil things and natural disasters to happen, even though ---if he existed and that he had those powers ---he could stop them. That's one of the many reasons I don't believe god exists. And if he does, I could have no love or respect for him.

Joe Todd said...

Maybe God gave us "self will" and that is when the "problems" started.What are your thoughts on the resignation of the Pope???