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My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'
August 4th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'

Editor’s note: Timothy Keller is senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and author of The New York Times best-selling book "The Reason for God." His book for church leaders, "Center Church," will be published in September.

By Timothy Keller, Special to CNN

(CNN)–When I was diagnosed with cancer, the question “Why me?” was a natural one.

Later, when I survived but others with the same kind of cancer died, I also had to ask, “Why me?”

Suffering and death seem random, senseless.

The recent Aurora, Colorado, shootings — in which some people were spared and others lost — is the latest, vivid example of this, but there are plenty of others every day: from casualties in the Syria uprising to victims of accidents on American roads. Tsunamis, tornadoes, household accidents - the list is long.

As a minister, I’ve spent countless hours with suffering people crying: “Why did God let this happen?” In general I hear four answers to this question. Each is wrong, or at least inadequate.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The first answer is “I guess this proves there is no God.” The problem with this thinking is that the problem of senseless suffering does not go away if you abandon belief in God.

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said that if there was no higher divine law, there would be no way to tell if any particular human law was unjust. Likewise, if there is no God, then why do we have a sense of outrage and horror when suffering and tragedy occur? The strong eat the weak, there is no meaning, so why not?

Friedrich Nietzsche exemplified that idea. When the atheist Nietzsche heard that a natural disaster had destroyed Java in 1883, he wrote a friend: “Two-hundred-thousand wiped out at a stroke—how magnificent!”

Because there is no God, Nietzsche said, all value judgments are arbitrary. All definitions of justice are just the results of your culture or temperament.

My Take: This is where God was in Aurora

As different as they were, King and Nietzsche agreed on this point. If there is no God or higher divine law then violence is perfectly natural.

So abandoning belief in God doesn’t help with the problem of suffering at all.

The second response to suffering is: “While there is a God, he’s not completely in control of everything. He couldn’t stop this.”

But that kind of God doesn’t really fit our definition of “God.” So that thinking hardly helps us with reconciling God and suffering.

The third answer to the worst kind of suffering – seemingly senseless death – is: “God saves some people and lets others die because he favors and rewards good people.”

But the Bible forcefully rejects the idea that people who suffer more are worse people than those who are spared suffering.

This was the self-righteous premise of Job’s friends in that great Old Testament book. They sat around Job, who was experiencing one sorrow after another, and said “The reason this is happening to you and not us is because we are living right and you are not.”

At the end of the book, God expresses his fury at Job’s ”miserable comforters.” The world is too fallen and deeply broken to fall into neat patterns of good people having good lives and bad people having bad lives.

The fourth answer to suffering in the face of an all-powerful God is that God knows what he’s doing, so be quiet and trust him.

This is partly right, but inadequate. It is inadequate because it is cold and because the Bible gives us more with which to face the terrors of life.

God did not create a world with death and evil in it. It is the result of humankind turning away from him. We were put into this world to live wholly for him, and when instead we began to live for ourselves everything in our created reality began to fall apart, physically, socially and spiritually. Everything became subject to decay.

But God did not abandon us. Only Christianity of all the world’s major religions teaches that God came to Earth in Jesus Christ and became subject to suffering and death himself, dying on the cross to take the punishment our sins deserved, so that someday he can return to Earth to end all suffering without ending us.

Do you see what this means? We don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, or why it is so random, but now at least we know what the reason isn’t, what it can’t be.

It can’t be that he doesn’t love us. It can’t be that he doesn’t care. He is so committed to our ultimate happiness that he was willing to plunge into the greatest depths of suffering himself.

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Someone might say, “But that’s only half an answer to the question ‘Why?'” Yes, but it is the half that we need. If God actually explained all the reasons why he allows things to happen as they do, it would be too much for our finite brains.

What we truly need is what little children need. They can’t understand most of what their parents allow and disallow for them. They need to know their parents love them and can be trusted. We need to know the same thing about God.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Timothy Keller.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (3,664 Responses)
  1. SDFrankie

    The reason suffering and death seem senseless and random is that they're senseless and random.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  2. Boff

    Thirst points to the existence of water, so why couldn't a sense of moral outrage point to a higher compass of right and wrong? Perhaps the rage from atheistic comments only shows that the church hasn't been very good in showing God's love to them, and they know it in their core... But how do they know what that love SHOULD look like? Where does that come from? Keller's all right. You can't prove what can't exists if it exists outside of what's measurable.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • saggyroy

      "...the church hasn't been very good in showing God's love to them..."

      Well I suppose the church doesn't want to show the love until you show them the money.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Your analogy is a bit weak. A sense of moral outrage merely shows that something lacked morals in the view of the outraged. Even if thirst implies the existence of water ( arguable, but lets go with it) Does it automatically imply the existence of oceans or precipitation or ice?

      August 6, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Which God??

      They show love to all the children, others wives, etc. They can't show gods love as they can show god. It refuses to be shown. You have to have some irrational thing called faith. Faith in a sky-fairy? Uh, I don't think so.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  3. catholic engineer

    I knew of a Catholic priest who volunteered to go to El Salvadore during the civil war there. Everyone urged him not to go saying "Do you know what the death rate is down there.?!"
    He replied, "Yup. One per person."

    August 6, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  4. Jon O

    If God saves one life, he takes a hundred more.

    Sorry, I don't have room to credit him with "miracles" when all day, every day, children die through no fault of their own because of this cold, hateful God of yours.

    August 6, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • catholic engineer

      Look your beliefs squarely in the face, Jon. It's cold, brutal nature that kills people. Wouldn't it be more honest to just say "a thousand random deaths are just nature's way of thinning out the heards."

      August 6, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  5. clubschadenfreude

    It's also quite cute when a pastor or priest try to make the old false claim that violence is "natural" aka "why do atheists care, shouldn't you all be out murdering everyone if you don't have my magical god to give you a carrot and stick." Well, Mr. Keller, I don't need such a thing, something so childish and primitive. I'm a human being that cares for others because of empathy and sympathy. I am a good person and I don't need some special present called "heaven". In light of that, who's the truly humane, decent person here? Someone who needs a nanny aka "god", or someone who doesn't? You sell humans short, Mr. Keller. But then, you need to in order to keep your job, depending on ignorance, fear and greed to keep the "flock" in line.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Reality is that creating a civil society is a survival trait. Ethics and morals are perfectly natural and explained by the evolutionary process. Religion is just one of the means used to bring behavior into a functional social level. It also uses our natural superst.itious responses to satisfies our need to know why things happen. Problem is that it has outlived its use in giving answers as there is a much better way now that actually gives factual answers.
      Socially, some people still need the carrot and stick of heaven and hell in order to be "good" people.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • jimbocombo

      Empathy and sympathy are caring for others. If those very honorable characteristics were enough, you would do them all the time. I don't and you don't. If these were the values to attribute your whole life to, there would be no need for police. No need for any concept of justice. If we all cared for each other unselfishly, with empathy and sympathy, what a world it would be indeed. But we all live in a fallen world. Even atheists believe something is messed up in our society. So what is the redemption to that? Only God can fill the enormity of that void.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • jimbocombo

      MarkinFL – "Reality is that creating a civil society is a survival trait. Ethics and morals are perfectly natural and explained by the evolutionary process."

      Survival involves winners and losers. If ethics and morals are perfectly natural in evolution as you present, they would include explicitly that it is immoral to have losers and it's unethical that someone wins and another loses due to their inability to survive. The missing link in evolution is that there is nothing perfect in nature.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • MarkinFL

      "There is nothing perfect in nature"

      So? What is your point? Humans learned communication and cooperation as a way to increase survival. Nothing magical or perfect about that. Quite useful though.
      Trying to simplify it to winners vs losers is not a legitimate argument. That's what the guy who wrote the article above does. He presents HIS idea of the arguments. Just typical straw man attacks.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • MarkinFL

      " If ethics and morals are perfectly natural in evolution as you present, they would include explicitly that it is immoral to have losers and it's unethical that someone wins and another loses due to their inability to survive."

      And I cannot even pa.rse that in a way to get anything logical out of it. Sounds like you are suggesting something without any basis in reality or logic.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • jimbocombo

      MarkinFL – "So? What is your point?"

      To respond to _your_ idea (All Caps is not necessary) that your indirect suggestion that evolution, survival and even learned communicative behaviors we have employed – that they provide a much better explanation to the topic of the original author's ideas. I politely and humbly disagree. I find no hope in evolution. What I find in nature is that there was a God behind it all. No straw man attacks. No carrots. No sticks. Just dialogue.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • noel

      If you dont have something better to offer people, then why do you care, do you have any comfort? Read the bible & forget about religion you might learn something.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:34 am |
      • clubschadenfreude

        Another ignorant assumption, Noel. I've read the bible, at least twice now, as a belivever and as not. I know exactly what it says. I find that the support of genocide, of making women second class citizens, of hatred for anything not approved by a god that has no evidence of its existence to be anything but comforting. It takes the interpretation of each Christian, each sure that theirs adn only theirs is the correct way, ignoring all of the things you don't like. We have you sure that yours is right, and Fred Phelps sure his is. And none of you have any evidence, none at all. I prefer being a good decent humane being on my own.

        August 6, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  6. John M.

    God or YAHWEH or the God that created heaven and earth and all that is in them created man in his image which includes free will, He wanted us to want to love Him and to serve Him. When my children we young I would ask occasionally for them to give daddy a kiss and hug which was nice. Sometimes when I got home from work and my little girl would run out the front door embrace me, kiss me and say I am glad you are home daddy. THAT IS AWESOME or that is what makes free will so very special. God could have made us so we were incapable to excercise free will but I am glad he did not Thank you God I love You.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Mirosal

      Free will cannot exist since your "god" is suposedly omniscient. It's simple grade school logic. Think about it.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • richunix

      So John, please explain the difference betwen your GOD Yahweh and Zeus? The question is what make your so real and the other not?

      August 6, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You can't have free will and a divine plan. They are incompatible. Theists need to choose whiche there is, free will or a divine plan.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • clubschadenfreude

      Sorry, no evidence of free will in your bible. Your god loves to control people if we can beleive what that books says. If we can't, then why believe in this god at all. Every single miracle, every intervention of this god means someone's free will is ended. This god of yours repeatedly bent the Pharoah to its will to simply show off (read your bible, Exodus 7 amongst many others). Job's life really sucked since your god gave him over to the "debbil's" tender care, no free will for Job and certainly no free will for his family that God allowed to be murdered. Your god says that only those he chooses will be saved, no matter what they might do themselves (Romans 13) again, no free will. It's nice that you've created your own religion, but then, everyone does.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I've never understood how supposedly intelligent people who can perceive light as both a particle and a wave are unable to comprehend free will in the context of predestination.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Perhaps because the comparison has no meaning?

      August 6, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Why not? Both describe attributes of a dynamic that seems contradictory but, in fact, operate simultaneously. Just because you can't understand it doesn't mean it's false.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Think of free will as the particle aspect. Our individual free will is able to impact events and be measured autonomously from other particles or actions of other free beings. The wave analogy appears when we consider that the totality of the particles is still contained within the wave and that the behavior of the wave is not especially affected by any single particle. Seems simple to me.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  7. clubschadenfreude

    The danger of asking "why me" is that one realizes that there should be an answer from a supposedly omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god. There should be some difference in the lives of believers if their particular god is real. But there isn't. Not one claim of healing, of rescue etc can be shown to be anymore than wishful thinking or coincidence. What those claims do show is that the claimant is desperate for any evidence at all for his god, so much for unquestioning faith. They show that the claimant wants to be special, that his/her god cares for him and only him, who cares about those people who also pray just as feverently and who watch their children die, are harmed, starve, etc. The excuses come out, claiming that their god has some mysterious "plan" that can explain why prayer always fails.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  8. Reality

    Putting the kibosh god and religion:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    August 6, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Reality

      Oops, make that "putting the kibosh on god and religion".

      August 6, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    The problem with this thinking is that the problem of senseless suffering does not go away if you have belief in God.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  10. JoeProfet

    Does an Atheist have a positive thought? Are they pretty much all negative thoughts and hateful toward others? I realize Atheist don't believe in God and therefore don't pray, but when one of your friends, assuming you have some, other than feller haters, has an issue in their life and needs help, what is it that an Atheist does to encourage their friend? Do you spew less hateful things to the ones you like, or what? Because as empty as you believe prayer are for those that do believe in God, at least they are positive in thought...

    August 6, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Mirosal

      You couldn't be more wrong. We help others because we WANT to, not because some book tells us that if we don't, we'll be punished forever. We are much more accepting than thu'mp'ers, we do not care if you are straight gsy bi trans, black white X-tian, muslim Jew, Sikh, Hindu, whatever. We fully believe you have the right to practice what YOU want, but you do not have the right to tell ME that I have to follow YOUR "path", nor do you have the right to use your religious views to determine my civil laws. If someone is in need, we do help, out of simple common courtesy for our fellow human beings. No deity is ever needed to help someone in need. After all, your deity really doesn't have a lot of points racked up for helping anyone at all. People pray all the time, yet bad things still happpen. I guess your "god" isn't too courteous is he?

      August 6, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Timmy

      You should thank us "haters" for pointing out your delusions and trying to make a better world for all of us. While you're praying we are actually doing something tangible. Why don't you get off your knees and help too?

      August 6, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Reality

      Starting the morning with a prayer based on Truth:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      August 6, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • SDFrankie

      When my friends are sick or in trouble I create a web of lies, a vast fiction about how there's a purpose to it all and if they just say or do some magical thing it will all get better. I'm a pretty nice guy, huh?

      August 6, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  11. Rufus T. Firefly

    The danger of asking God "why me?" is that it leads to asking "why anyone?" which (should) lead to thinking about probabilities, populations, cause and effect, etc. It leads to thinking critically, and critical thinking is poisonous to religion. So, as with this essay, the purveyors of religion must do their best to anticipate the dangerous questions and provide some canned answers to ward off too much consideration, and to steer thinking down a safe path – you know, that circular one that always leads back to "because God is great, don't ask questions."

    August 6, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  12. LJ Crews

    Its funny. I read comments to see opinions of people on events and blogs, and the belief blog has me the most confused... I would like a honest answer to something... To the Athiest... If you dont believe in God then why do you read the Belief section? What purpose do you find in trying to take someones faith from them? Taking away, or trying to take away the one thing people have to believe in when down to your last??? How does this benifit anyone??

    August 6, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      I can't answer for "the Atheists" because they are not any one thing. There is no set of dogma. But many non-believers are convinced that religion is not a force for good in this world – that it is detrimental to clear thinking, and is often the source or at least supportive of bad social policy, prejudice, exploitation, and a roadblock to social and scientific progress. Adding to the problem is that religion has worked itself into a position of traditionally being above questioning, above criticism. It shouldn't be. Frameworks that presume to guide the thoughts and actions of entire populations of people should be questioned very closely and constantly examined critically. Encouraging people to do that often means confronting the long-held assumptions that they have been taught not to question. That's my two cents.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ LJ Crews
      Belief does not mean faith.
      Belief does not mean religion.

      I do not believe in unicorns, Bigfoot or the High Lander. However I still enjoy reading about them. That… and as long as theists insist on forcing their faith on others through law in OUR secular country, it affects me.

      Now I have a question for you sir. If all you want to read are comments that are from people that agree with you. Why are you on a public news blog?

      August 6, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • cjsop1

      LJ Crews – I am an atheist but I also understand what you are saying. When I go to a funeral to support friends or family, my heart breaks. I see their suffering and their clinging to religion as perhaps their sole comfort. My heart breaks because I see them sad, but also because deep down I see their clinging as a desperate delusion. I am not a hypocrit in those times. I offer comfort without overtly saying the usual things, like "it's ok, [your loved one] is in a better place now."

      But to answer your question, yes there are reasons I occasionally read the Belief section, and reasons I am compelled to try to argue with believers, logic against blind faith. In fact, it's really probably just that simple. Logic. As a human being, it is hard for me to sit quietly while I hear others state things that I find to be completely incorrect. You probably do the same in any other environment. Work, politics. Most people insist on logical answers to questions or dilemnas. Those same people, if they are "believers," quickly abandon that need for logic – out of sheer necessity when it comes to relgion.

      But mostly, religion just simply bothers me. I do not like to watch intellgent people put blind faith into something that makes no sense in so very many ways. It destroys my own faith – my faith in the human race. I would like to think that people are smart and logical. More than religion, intelligence and logic are things we need in this world if we are going to have as happy an extistence as possible. Instead we have "religious" people flying planes into buildings, protesting outside of soldiers' funerals, murdering doctors, carrying on thousands of years of war. And that is just off the top off my head.

      Religion is simply wrong. All of it. It is incorrect. It is factually untrue. And no matter how bad I feel for my friends and family in their times of suffering, there is always a part of me that wants to say: "toughen up and deal with this – without pretending there is some master plan of a God, and your loved ones are in a better place where you will see them again someday."

      I am an atheist so when horrible things happen to me, I have no delusions to make me feel better. But I get through it just the same, and at about the same rate as religious people. I go through all the grief stages and have all the same issues in times of crisis. And then I ultimately accept that this is life and I move on.

      So LJ Crews, who does an argument against relgion benefit? I guess you might say in my mind, the whole human race. I truly believe that in some unlikely future where religion is abandoned for logic, the world would be a much better place. I simply always feel compelled to argure toward that end.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      LJ –
      I think this are valid questions that you ask I also think that EVERY Atheist ( I prefer non-believer but... will go with your word ) has an obligation to answer your questions.
      That being said MY answers in no way reflect the Atheists view as a whole. Atheists pride themselves on their individualism, however, I do think that most Atheists will not oppose my answers.
      1) If you dont believe in God then why do you read the Belief section?
      I personally read the believe section to self CHALLENGE my Atheism. Unlike believers that are threatened by challenging questions to their religion and beliefs. I welcome challenging questions to my reason and logic. I search for a theorum/ process/ arguement that will enhance or change or enlighten ( if you will ) my set of logical /rational mindset. ... To date I have not found one from the believers.
      2) The next three questions I'll combine into one. How does my "taking away" a persons faith benefit that individual. Again, speaking from personal experience only. I used to be a believer. 12 years of Catholic education ( no I was not se. xually molested ) and years of exploring other religious practices left me with more questions than answers. I actually fought the idea of "no god" for 40 years. The day that I could not deny it any longer - I actually found a peace that I had not experienced before. I realized that my previous 40 years of believing were a lie and NOW I had to start living, because this life is the only life I'll ever have. BECAUSE there is no GOD, no afterlife, no eternity ... I love today.
      Hope this helps.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Ann

      LJ – I respect your right to your beliefs, though I see no logic in them. What does concern me, though, as others have said, is when religions attempt to force their beliefs on others.

      There are all the frequent dispute topics about legislative restrictions. I won't go over them all.

      The one thing that comes up much less frequently is the tax breaks religious organizations get. I live in a small town. The property taxes are high, and there is a contentious debate every year about how the local government can manage a budget to give the services we need without killing us with higher property taxes.

      Then I take a drive around town, and see six or seven churches, on nice little pieces of property, right in a central and desireable part of town. AND THEY PAY NOTHING. Nothing! They have all the town services, and we have to pay for it. Our taxes go up, and they pay nothing.

      I have no objection to churches being there, and people attending and listening to the sermons if that's what they want. They just need to keep their beliefs to themselves, not use them to restrict my freedoms, and not use them as an excuse not to pay their fair share of taxes.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  13. hmm?!?!

    Question for the guy who wrote this article: Does God love Esau?

    August 6, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  14. michaelrivest1

    Nutcase.

    August 6, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  15. MarkinFL

    I love how this guy pseudo quotes Nietzsche" completely out of context and then pretends it represents the atheist point of view. He was wrong on both counts.

    August 6, 2012 at 7:44 am |
  16. richunix

    Not sure which GOD your talking about..is it ZEUS, AN or RA or is it YAHWEH...Please use the name of your deity so the reader understand which GOD you are refering.... with so many to chooose from, it can be very confusing.

    August 6, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  17. StJman

    Secondly,

    take the concept of suffering and the concept of god "the all knowing being." If there was a god, and he created man, he had to know the outcome before the creation. He was "all knowing." So if he went ahead with the current plan and created man, he created the suffering. he created the lies. he created the hate, he created all of the necessary evils that one would pray to god to stop. He would know full well all of the historical figures that would butcher, maim and kill in his name... and he would have created it all for what purpose?

    To amuse a bored diety? To inflict suffering for percieved wrongs that he-she-it-they created? Or is the base principle that "God is all knowing and infallible," flawed.

    So, by this logic you are left with three rational outcomes as to the nature and/or existence of god.

    Theory 1. God Does not Exist.
    Theory 2. God Exists But He is a Sociopath.
    Theory 3. God Exists and is terribly incompetent.

    I would prefer Theory 1, because the other 2 don't leave us someone we can count on.

    August 6, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • StJman

      There is no god. There is no reason to even ask the question "IS THERE A GOD?" Why? because there is no rational evidence that there is any observable data to create the need for the question "IS THere a God?" Take Gravity as a base example. If you jump off a building in China, If you jump off a building in Italy, If you Jump off A Building in Chile... You get the same result... you hit the ground.

      Yet with this "god" concept, you get totally different results. Each area (mentioned above) has its own, if not many experiences of "what god is." this tells one that "god" is most likely a psychological phenomena that is unique and personal, but has no analog in the natural world.

      IF GOD was a real thing, it would be a universal experienec across the globe. Instead it seems to be a many-facetted gem of the human mind.

      Think I am wrong? Jump off a building and test my theory.

      August 6, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • JoeProfet

      Yes, yes, we all know you hate God. We know you hate those who believe in him. Good for you. Keep hating.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Look up the word misotheism Joe, then come back and apologize.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • crazy_days

      Theory 4
      God does exist but is bigger and more complex than we can understand with our finite reasoning.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  18. Sagebrush Shorty

    "If I had been present at creation, I would have given some useful hints." Alfonso the Wise.

    August 6, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  19. Susan

    "God did not create a world with death and evil in it. It is the result of humankind turning away from him".

    Animals in the wild get diseases and die, they kill and are killed by others. They fall off cliffs, are burned to death in wild fires, are struck by lightning, and drown in floods. They give birth, the weak die and the strong live on.

    It's not logical to assume that man has created a world of "death and evil" because he has turned away from a god when the exact same thing happens in nature. I can't possibly fathom that the reason a mother hamster eats her young is because hamsters have turned away from a god. Logic, man...logic.

    August 6, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Andrei

      GOD put man in change of animals.

      August 6, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Andrei: Care to back that statement using actual facts??? Set down the buybull and use something other than that outdated 2000 year book to back you or your claim fails in this society.

      August 6, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      So if I tell a lion to pleasure my genitalia with its mouth, it'll do it because a sky wizard says so? Wow, I'd better try this straight away.

      August 6, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Andrei thinks the buybull is evodence of some kind lol ... it's probably the only book he's ever opened. Andrei, is yours the ORIGINAL buybull in its native written languages, or is yours a translated one that had been edited and re-translated hundreds of times in the past 600 years?

      August 6, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • StJman

      There is no god. There is no reason to even ask the question "IS THERE A GOD?" Why? because there is no rational evidence that there is any observable data to create the need for the question "IS THere a God?" Take Gravity as a base example. If you jump off a building in China, If you jump off a building in Italy, If you Jump off A Building in Chile... You get the same result... you hit the ground.

      Yet with this "god" concept, you get totally different results. Each area (mentioned above) has its own, if not many experiences of "what god is." this tells one that "god" is most likely a psychological phenomena that is unique and personal, but has no analog in the natural world.

      IF GOD was a real thing, it would be a universal experienec across the globe. Instead it seems to be a many-facetted gem of the human mind.

      Think I am wrong? Jump off a building and test my theory.

      August 6, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • JoeProfet

      God created Belief Bogs so Atheists and those who hate him can post comments, otherwise they would't have a reason to live!

      August 6, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • jimbocombo

      JoeProfet "God created Belief Blogs so Atheists and those who hate him can post comments, otherwise they would't have a reason to live!"

      Second the motion.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  20. Charles Sinclair

    "If there is a God, he has a lot to answer for" Robert DiNero

    August 6, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Prove

      So there is no God, so there is a God, both sides fight about the existence and neither can provide solid proof. All holy scriptures where written by MAN, man is flawed and can at time miss represent the true or even be made to think it is one thing while its actually something else. So if either side wants to prove or disprove god, do so with out the reference to MAN written scriptures. Prove to me that GOD can not exist. As for Evil and Good, who as set the standards for each? How can we define either with out the influence of religious believes? Last note out of every evil act, just as much good comes from it. From the support of our fellow humans, I.e. laws passed better awareness of the issues, finical and human aid and the realization of how fragile life really is. Prove too me the existence or nonexistent of God with out our knowledge passed on by “Flawed Mankind”.

      August 6, 2012 at 8:23 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.