home
RSS
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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. Pistis

    I Think he was referring to the statement "No Truth, Just Claims." It is self-defeating unless you qualify it with a subject,

    The Bible: No Truth, Just Claims

    Or something similar.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Yeah, he was being obtuse, and I replied in kind...

      gerald does not like an honest discussion, he would rather respond with minutia.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  2. Gabriel Malakh

    To Timothy Keller

    I agree with most of what you expressed in your commentary. But there are two points that you made which are incorrect according to God's word the Bible.

    You stated:

    "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."

    God himself did not come to earth as Jesus. Jesus clearly stated that he was sent by his Father, Jehovah God. Jesus existed way before the earth and anything else that was created. He was a master worker, working with his Father Jehovah, in creating everything else that came into existence, which includes angels, the universe, earth, the animals and us humans.

    In Genesis 1:26, God said "Let "US" make man in "OUR" image...."

    Who was he talking to?

    In Proverbs 8:22-31, Wisdom is personified as Jesus.

    Proverbs 8:22-31
    22 “Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago. 23 From time indefinite I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth. 24 When there were no watery deeps I was brought forth as with labor pains, when there were no springs heavily charged with water. 25 Before the mountains themselves had been settled down, ahead of the hills, I was brought forth as with labor pains, 26 when as yet he had not made the earth and the open spaces and the first part of the dust masses of the productive land. 27 When he prepared the heavens I was there; when he decreed a circle upon the face of the watery deep, 28 when he made firm the cloud masses above, when he caused the fountains of the watery deep to be strong, 29 when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order, when he decreed the foundations of the earth, 30 then I came to be beside him as a master worker, and I came to be the one he was specially fond of day by day, I being glad before him all the time, 31 being glad at the productive land of his earth, and the things I was fond of were with the sons of men.
    Genesis 1:26

    John 1:1-3
    1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 2 This one was in [the] beginning with God. 3 All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.

    John 1:14
    14 So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of undeserved kindness and truth.

    Colossians 1:15,16
    15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him.

    You also stated:

    "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."

    Your statement is incorrect, because the Bible does state why.

    You see, at times it may seem to us that the best thing would be simply to get rid of everyone wicked. We long for an end to wickedness, and yet we have experienced it for relatively few years when compared with the time that wickedness has existed. HOW MUST JEHOVAH GOD FEEL? For thousands of years people has blamed him, even cursed him, for the bad conditions they have endured. Yet, these are caused by Satan and by wicked men. Jehovah has the power to destroy the wicked. Surely there must be good reasons why he has exercised such restraint. If Jehovah's way on handling the situation is different from what we would recommend, should that surprise us? His experience is much greater than man's, and his view of the situation is much broader than that of any human.

    Isaiah 55:8,9
    8 “For the thoughts of YOU people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways YOUR ways,” is the utterance of Jehovah. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than YOUR ways, and my thoughts than YOUR thoughts.

    Ezekiel 33:17
    17 “And the sons of your people have said, ‘The way of Jehovah is not adjusted right,’ but, as for them, it is their way that is not adjusted right.

    For man to fully understand why God has allowed suffering for so many thousands of years, we have to read and study his word the Bible and pray for accurate knowledge in order to understand his will and purpose.

    2 Peter 3:8-13
    8 However, let this one fact not be escaping YOUR notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 9 Jehovah is not slow respecting his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with YOU because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. 10 Yet Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered.

    11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought YOU to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, 12 awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which [the] heavens being on fire will be dissolved and [the] elements being intensely hot will melt! 13 But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      The Big Book of Multiple Choice rears its ugly head.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Gabriel,
      From what you wrote I as/sume you hold "Jehovah witnesses' beliefs.
      They believe Christ Jesus is not God come in the flesh and that He is a created being
      They don't' know who Christ is.
      They go top the Father, not coming THROUGH Christ, but bypassing the true Christ.
      Unless they come through true Christ of whom the Holy Spirit testifies who He is, they can not come to the Father, and they are LOST.
      Here are Scriptures Jesus spoke to religious Jews of His day. He is speaking the same to religious of our day , but who DO NOT KNOW Him.

      "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

      41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
      47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”(John 5:39-47)
      Jesus said,
      " Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10: 1-5)
      How do they know the voice of the Shepherd? Because God gives His Spirit to those who are His, and by the witness of His Spirit they KNOW.
      "
      "26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will[e] abide in Him." (1John 2:27)

      Go gave to His body, the Church many offices of ministry. And we need each one of them. But every word of teaching that one hears, must be tested by the Spirit of God. That's where Jehovah witness followers ar going wrong. The teachers ar their source , not the Spirit of God. There are many voices out there many impostors. Bu t we on our own can not discern them . But the Spirit f God can, and HE will if you're willing to look to Him only!
      And finally, I just want to mention that the word "undeserved" in the verse you posted :
      .......and he (Christ) was full of ****undeserved***** kindness and truth.", is no other then satan's work . The Holy Spirit is circling this word in bright red! Believe it or not, He does that, and those who are His see it!

      August 10, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes otherwise rational adults into believing in imaginery friends like children do.

    August 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes otherwise rational adults into believing in imaginery friends like children do.

    August 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  5. Morris Wilburn

    Why not you?

    August 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  6. Joe

    As I understand it, the righteous are in Heaven; doing what? What do you do for entertainment ? Do you get to watch videos of the condemned burning in that never-ending fire? Is it in high-def? Do you giggle with every scream? Are the screams in surround-sound? What kind of people are you?

    August 10, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • niknak

      From what I have gathered from the fundies I work with, heaven is whatever you want it to be.
      So the people who like to play video games can do that, for eternity. Same with gambling, womanizing, drugs, watching NASCAR and all the other things people here like to do. I am sure you can still have your gun too, all kinda guns!
      I wonder if the help will all be hispanic there too?

      August 10, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      ""And instead of facing the facts brought out by 2357"

      Prism,

      Don't like my point? Try refuting it rather than just throwing around insults.

      Unprovable statements are not facts, you intellectually vapid dou.che canoe.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      LOL watching tv in heaven? Are you really that ridiculous? It should be fairly simple to understand, unless you are just being facetious – The things of this world are temporary and will all pass away. They are illusions we use to intoxicate ourselves. My hope in heaven is based on the belief that I will be united with everlasting reality which provides peace beyond understanding, healing of every ill and love beyond measure.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  7. Paul

    No Truth, Just Claims wrote: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...
    You are absolutely right and the Bible is full of extraordinary evidence of divine inspirations.
    How else did the Bible writer know about the earth being round (sphere) and that it was “hanging on nothing” Job 26:8 written by Moses 1473 BCE. Isaiah 40:22 describes the earth being a circle. These descriptions are given from a perspective of a person in outer space.
    The hygiene laws described in the Bible are well ahead of their time, accurate information that only more modern science has verified. The Bible explains the cycles of the earth well before scientist understood these things.
    The Bible is not a science book, but when it touches on these things it is always accurate. So when these men who claimed inspiration by God, makes sense to me. Where else would they get such accurate information?

    August 10, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • Arvoasitis

      Your first reference should be Job 26:7 (not 8). to quote from a commentary, "The book's historical background is uncertain, and the author is unknown. Modern opinion favors a date of composition in the fifth century B.C." In the fifth century B.C. (or BCE, as it is now called), educated people accepted that the Earth was spherical from observations such as the change in angle of the North Star above the horizon as people traveled north and by the shadow cast at different locations far apart on the same day of the year.
      The problem of inspiration is crucial to the issue. The writers of the Testament felt inspired, but were they? If so, by whom: God or Satan.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Joe

      Apparently Jesus never read Moses. The Devil promised Jesus dominion over the four corners of the Earth, and Jesus never reminded the Devil that the world is round. To believe the bible you'd have to believe that God is a dimwit. After all, he's had 2100 years since Christ to communicate His message, yet Steve Jobs had no problem communicating with the world in less than 30 years. Maybe we should give thanks to Steve Jobs.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • niknak

      The bible writer?!?
      Your book of magic spells was written and re-writen over 2000 years by multiple "writers," some of whom could not even read what they were transcribing from some earlier version.
      But that cool, keep believing in your magic man in the sky, while all the while availing yourself on all the goodies in your life that science has developed for you to make your life easier.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Really Paul?

      It sounds like you have been accepting BS without checking it or reading yourself. You said....

      "but when it touches on these things it is always accurate."

      The Creation story, Noah's flood are just the biggies that are verifiably false. There is much, much more but if the bible gets even 1 thing wrong that is then evidence that it is flawed and could not be inspired by god.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  8. 2357

    We live our days beneath a scorching sun, on a veneer of cooled crust atop a molten fireball.
    What we call pain and suffering here are small things, compared to the suffering that is to come.
    What we call pleasure and joy are small things, compared to the joy that is to come.
    By the grace of God there is a sufficient measure of suffering for some of us to seek his desire.
    And by the curse of God we have enough freedom for some of us to deny his very existence.
    All that is named comes from God, but not all things return to him. Untruth will flee like darkness, only to a plunge into the glorious consummation. For He who is the Spirit of illuminating light, is also an ever blazing source of fire and heat in this universe.

    August 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Oh, what a beautiful, awesome and yet fearful expression of truth about ourselves, and our Creator with whom we all have to do!

      August 10, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • tallulah13

      So what you are saying is that you are perfectly happy wasting the one life you will ever get, in hopes that you will get a special reward after you die.

      Were you aware that there isn't a single shred of proof to support the existence of any god or any afterlife?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • 2357

      Proof of God is as near as the reality of named thoughts.

      Ideas are supernatural and do not have material origins. When you name invisible attributes that are real to you only by imagination or intuition, you are exercising an ability that is spiritual, not natural. Just ask the next big-brained animal you meet. Only people, angels, and God call things by name.

      Your dog or cat will respond to your call but not once will they refer to you by name. Human language consists of names almost in its entirety. We name years days hours minutes seconds. We have weights and measures currencies and denominations. Names for moods hues notes noises bodily functions smears and stains blips and bonks memes and tweets, symbols and toons dot dash slash !? etc etc. And each every one of them is as much proof of God as communication is real. If language is incoherent then ALL bets are OFF, burn the table and jump off the ledge.

      Earth is so teeming with life we step on them all day long. Yet the rest of cosmos is so so desolate. The same is true of the propagation of names in the human mind, and the vastness of the void elsewhere in the universe.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • tallulah13

      In other words, you have no proof, but you will spew words and as.sumptions in an effort to get people to believe in something for which there is no reason to believe. Your ignorance is not proof of god.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • 2357

      Proof of God is in the very thoughts in your head. You don't see how special that is, what a supernatural anomaly that is in the universe, because you and everyone you know is just born with the ability.

      That is until you go live in Mars, or in an insane asylum.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      2357

      "Proof of god is in my farts that don't stink"

      Just as valid, and just as true. When you make a truth statement that can't be verified or falsified, it is then meaningless.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      "Your ignorance is not proof of god."
      Yet, your BLINDNESS and willful rejection of evident truth which God even put into your own conscience, which you silenced by rejecting it's witness, IS ALREADY a proof.

      And instead of facing the facts brought out by 2357, you call the person who wrote these posts ignorant?!

      Running for your life, hm?.....You really tell on yourself, more then you ever know, Tallulah 13! So do all the others, who parrot the same ole phrases , ducking down behind them,and dodging the facts staring them in the face!

      August 10, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ NO Truth
      Oh, another intellectually advanced soulless mammal. A prime specimen of evolutionary accomplishment! Very culturally advanced...hope of all mankind!

      You are a disgrace even to your own kind!

      August 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      ""And instead of facing the facts brought out by 2357"

      Prism,

      Don't like my point? Try refuting it rather than just throwing around insults..

      Unprovable statements are not facts, you intellectually vapid dou.che canoe.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must have forgotten whom you're addressing. Prissy can't refute anything. It will just tell you you're going to hell.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • GodIsLoveIsBlindIsRayCharlesIsGod

      Come on 2357...ideas are supernatural and do not have material origins!!?? Really!? Tell me, have you met many people without a brain who have ideas or can communicate via speech. Ideas certainly do have a material origin and it's that wrinkly blob of grey matter that resides between your ears, though, admittedly, some people seem to use it more than others. One of the most common symptoms that stroke victims exhibit besides paralysis is slurred speech. People suffering from Alzheimer’s will forget the names of things, common things like shoes or blender. All it requires a little effort on your part to exercise that brain of yours and make the simple deductive connection that the brain is the source of speech, and memory, and THOUGHT! There's nothing supernatural about it. And when your brain is damaged say by a stroke or some kind of trauma (or, as it would seem, religion), those neurological abilities go bye-bye. So set down that dummied down version of the Bible with all of the confusing thees and thous removed and try reading a basic anatomy book. You might add a wrinkle to your brain (by the way, that's just a figure of speech. You won't physically add a wrinkle to your brain).

      August 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Reason77

      @2357

      "Proof of God is in the very thoughts in your head. You don't see how special that is, what a supernatural anomaly that is in the universe, because you and everyone you know is just born with the ability."

      When I was a child, I had an imaginary friend Bob. He existed, but only in my imagination. The poof that he existed was in the very thoughts in my head. Bob was special. He comforted me. I talked to him. He talked to me. He had cool superpowers. He could do miracles. He wasn't real.

      It does not matter how powerful you imagination is, your imaginary friend is still imaginary. Even if you imagine him having unlimited superpowers, even if you imagine he has all the superpowers of a character in an old book, even if you imagine that he can grant you everlasting life, he is still a figment of your imagination.

      And when you realize the proof of God is in the very thoughts in your head (your imagination), that says it all.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Actually

      "Proof of God is in the very thoughts in your head"

      Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain
      We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology..

      Man's science is a study of God's handy work. But it is amazing what man will do, how far he will go to talk himself into believing there is no Intelligent Designer.
      All those who are attempting to disprove it, by saying it is all a product of evolution, are only making FOOLS of themselves!

      August 11, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prissy, complexity is not evidence of a god.

      Evolution occurred, is occurring, and will continue to occur. Your ignorance concerning science and your refusal to understand it have no bearing on the matter.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As for that nasty caps key, here's how effective it is when you use it:

      Prissy is a FOOL who thinks science is the study of GOD'S HANDIWORK.

      See? Does that do anything to convince you?

      It doesn't work any better when you use the same technique.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  9. Ram

    One has to assume responsibility for all his/her actions and also face the consequences of all his/her actions during the lifetime. He/She must enjoy from the fruits of his good actions and suffer from bad actions. In both cases he/she has no real freedom from the laws and jaws of mortal life. Analyze the lives (not just few days or fews years, but the entire lifetime) of your friends, relatives and your family, you will surely see why they are suffering with sorrow or enjoying with pleasure.

    August 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  10. Henry

    Atheists can insist until doomsday that 2 + 2 = 7, but that will not change the fact that 2 + 2 = 4. In the same way, atheists cannot nullify God and His word out of existence just because they say so, since they cannot even add a single hour to their miserable lives.

    Once atheists are driven hard to their knees and cut down to size by the sorrows and beatings of life, they will realize that they are not so high and mighty as they had previously thought, they will realize that they are nothing more than puny little creatures under the dominion of God Almighty, the Lord, Master, Creator, and Judge of the Universe, whether atheists acknowledge that fact or not.

    Immediately after death, atheists will have irrefutable evidence of God’s existence right before their miserable souls are thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched, and where their father the devil, the beast, and the false prophet had been thrown. Then the righteous or the believers will shine like the sun in the glorious kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

    August 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Assumption, meet Reality...
      While I always find it heartening that christians are thinking about math, I find it ironic that you miss the point that quant.ities are observable data than can consistently be relied upon and verified to deliver consistent results. Atheists expect no less from the world around them.

      ASSUMPTION – "In the same way, atheists cannot nullify God and His word out of existence just because they say so, since they cannot even add a single hour to their miserable lives."

      REALITY – Atheists have no desire or requirement to prove the non-existence of gods. We also do not spend our days trying to disprove fairies, leprechauns and the tooth fairy. People who make extraordinary claims must present extraordinary evidence. 2nd assumption, I've yet to meet one of the miserable atheists. I'm sure it makes you feel better to believe it's true. How could anyone be happy or feel peace without god, right? Guess what? It's a big world and there are many paths to peace and joy. Some people drink, some people take meds... Most paths only provide temporary satisfaction. Enter the Buddhists' precepts which promote emptiness and mindfulness to achieve enlightenment. Atheists have families and friends and jobs. We are much like everyone else.

      ASSUMPTION – (There are a few here, like assuming there is a god, but I will address one) "Once atheists are driven hard to their knees and cut down to size by the sorrows and beatings of life, they will realize that they are not so high and mighty as they had previously thought"

      REALITY – Atheists do not own the truth. We only accept what comes to us by way of evidence. Being "high and mighty" can only be based on the illusion that the truth (however limited it may be) belongs to us. This is a basic problem with ego, and is not limited to atheists but extends to all people (yes, including christians).

      ASSUMPTION – "they will realize that they are nothing more than puny little creatures under the dominion of God Almighty, the Lord, Master, Creator, and Judge of the Universe, whether atheists acknowledge that fact or not."

      REALITY – I already recognize that I am a puny little creature when it comes to the power of the universe in its many forms. I find understanding the universe around me to be a very humbling experience. However, if your god has given me a free will, I will use it to analyze the actions of your god and see that he is full of violence and judgment as you say. Even if your god does exist, morally, I could never except such a tyrant as my god. I will face my destruction with courage, knowing that I was true to myself and my moral code.

      ASSUMPTION – "Immediately after death, atheists will have irrefutable evidence of God’s existence right before their miserable souls are thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched... BLAH BLAH..."

      REALITY – You are basing this whole colorful description on a book written by men. Clearly you've never meditated or studies any eastern philosophy because if you had you would know that all fates can be accepted. If it doesn't destroy you then it's just a mental game you play with yourself. Sarte said, "Hell is the other." Other people have written about the hell on earth experience. Watching your child die from cancer is hell. I can't imagine burning for eternity being worse than that. Most people would choose burning over watching theirs child die of a painful necrotic disease.

      When I read comments like yours, I can only assume that your sphere of experience is limited. The more you learn and the more you experience the less black and white your world becomes. It is a maturing and humbling experience. Though I doubt you'd ever take advice from someone like me, it would be go explore the world around you without making assumptions of what you are seeing. Never accept anything than cannot be verified. Eventually, through a process of acceptance and elimination a picture of the truth begins to be revealed. I'm sure you want to make me the enemy because it's simpler that way. But I assure, I'm not your enemy. Our worst enemies always come from within.

      August 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Sleepless?

      @Henry

      How do you sleep at night exalting such a cruel ent.tiy? I sincerely hope that you can find some shred of decency somewhere in your heart that will help you recognize that there is something terribly wrong with the picture you paint.

      August 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Henry

      Jesus said in John 8: 23-24,“You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

      August 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Henry, I'd like to see you discuss the points raised by God Free Now, if you can.

      August 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Nope!

      Amen, Henry! Just wait till Great Tribulation comes, and God pours His wrath on the wicked.
      They will seek death but death will flee from them. But even then they will not acknowledge God because of evil in their hearts.
      And buddy, we're not far, all signs point to how close we are!

      August 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Moby Schtick, I suspect it won't even be read. I probably wrote too much in retrospect.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Henry, try this math on for size...

      Love + hate + passion + apathy + peace + war + free will + god = Love + hate + passion + apathy + peace + war + free will

      Solve for god.

      The world is as it is regardless of the existence of any deity. So, why believe? I can only conclude that deists believe out of fear. And deists commonly come to their beliefs through traumatic experience or childhood indoctrination. So sad that we don't promote stronger will in people. Instead, believers draw comfort from collective abdication of responsibility and of their own fate.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Henry,

      You are absolutely correct,

      I am going to take what your are saying and apply God's teaching to my life and the life of my son. He is young enough so I can leave his life and he will not remember me, I will however have my neighbor down the street write a book about me and let my son know I exist. I will return to his life when he is about 40 years old, if at that time he believes I am his father and he loves me I will buy him a car, if he does not I will set him on fire. It all makes sense now, whatever happens he is responsible for the outcome, I will have done everything I can, my conscience will be clean.

      August 9, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Atheists can insist until doomsday that 2 + 2 = 7, but that will not change the fact that 2 + 2 = 4. In the same way, atheists cannot nullify God and His word out of existence just because they say so.

      Bwaaa Haaaa Haaaa Haaaa

      That's the funniest thing I've seen in a while. Thank you Henry for the laughs.

      Atheists cannot nullify God eh? How do you nullify the non-existent? That's a challenge for the deepest philosopher.

      Cleave to your faith. I don't seek to change you. I am happy to live and let live. Just don't proselytize or try to legislate my life according to your mores.

      August 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Henry, there is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of your god, or of any god. There is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any after life. Throughout history, humans have worshiped literally thousands of gods. Your god isn't that special or that original. When you comment on what happens after death, this is only a guess or wishful thinking on your part. And I have to say, your desire to see others suffer for eternity is very nasty wishful thinking indeed.

      I do wonder why christians think themselves to be so virtuous.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • sam stone

      Soending a lot of time on your knees, are ya henry?

      Your post is full of conjecture and empty proxy threats.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Shiloh

      Henry, Paul, 2357, Prism1234

      Touche' Good info and prose – God Bless! I agree the times are drawing near – I think it is so exciting to see what the Lord is doing around the world – the church in China is incredible – I have friends over there and it is so encouraging to hear what God is doing – in India also, where ever people have a sense of their own need – beautiful! My passion is getting people to read and grow deep through fellowship and mentoring – have you ever read Wisdom Hunter – great Christian book. Do you guys like Ravi Zacharias? RZIM is involved with this year's National Apologetics Conference in Charlotte (October) – good stuff, lots of wonderful speakers – I got to hear Colson at one a few years ago. Blessings in Christ!

      August 10, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Blessings to you also, dear brother/sister!
      We know that the evidence of God working in this age we're living in is overwhelming. There has never been time like we're living in. The advancements in technology have given so many opportunities for spreading the Word of God to most remote places on earth, which in times of the past was unthinkable. Just think... the human race has lived certain way without much changes for thousands of years, but just in last 100 years or so, everything has changed. We don't live in "ordinary times" that's for sure. I am of firm conviction that God withheld the technological advancements of mankind up to this present age, because this is the time nearing the prophecies of the Daniel and Book of Revelations (which go hand in hand) being fulfilled. It is an exciting times to live in, but also fearsome times. We have to just keep in mind that no matter how much the forces of evil are overtaking this world, it was God's appointed time to allow them... and when the anti-Christ appears, although with power over all nations and peoples of them, IT WAS GIVEN TO hIM, for a season of time.
      The verses in Daniel 12: 9-10 say
      "And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." ~~
      In those words lie great promise to God's people.
      I live just couple of hours from Charlotte, and would love to go to to those conferences, but my work may interfere and prevent me from going.... I see Ravi Zacharias as modern day apostle and great servant of God. He has powerful testimony and the Spirit of god is without doubt his Source. I have to check out the book Wisdom Hunter.
      Thanks for your encouraging posts and let us keep praying for all those who are persecuted for Christ's name sake, that God would shield them from their enemies and surround them with legions of His angels to protect them, especially in Islamic countries and Far East. God has many of His "little ones" there and whoever hurts them it would be better the a they were never born.
      May God bless and keep you. friend!

      August 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • GodIsLoveIsBlindIsRayCharlesIsGod

      ∞I (all powerful) + ∞S (all knowing) + ∞L (all loving) = God,

      ∞I (all powerful) + ∞S (all knowing) + ∞L (all loving) ≠ Suffering,

      Therefore,

      God = 0.

      Now if we subtract ∞L, that would rectify the equation, but then,

      God = Uncaring.

      If we subtracted ∞I, that would also rectify the equation, but then,

      God = Impotent.

      And same with ∞S, but then,

      God = Unaware.

      And none of these fit the description of the Christian God as posited in the first equation.

      So, out of this we are left with the final conclusion that,

      Christianity = Ignorance.

      Class dismissed.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Henry

      Isaiah 14: 12-15, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

      Lucifer is also known as the Devil, Satan, Abaddon, Accuser, Beast, Adversary, Angel of light, Angel of the bottomless pit, Morning star, Antichrist, Apollyon, Beelzebub, Belial, Deceiver, Dragon, Evil one, Father of lies, God of this age, King of Babylon, King of the bottomless pit, Thief, King of Tyre, Lawless one, Leviathan, Liar, Wicked, Little horn, Lucifer, Man of sin, Murderer, Power of darkness, Prince of the power of the air, Roaring lion, Rulers of darkness, Ruler of demons, Ruler of this world, Serpent of old, and Son of perdition.

      After the fall of man, there was war in heaven, Michael the Archangel and his angels fought against the dragon or the devil, and the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

      Therefore, atheists are the hellbound offspring of the great dragon that was hurled down to the earth, which is that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

      Jesus said in Matthew 13: 36 –43, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

      In order to show His wrath and His power, GOD choose to bear with great patience the atheists the objects of his wrath prepared for destruction, and to make the riches of his glory known to His Children the objects of his mercy whom he prepared in advance for glory, even us, whom he called.

      Through his utter depravity the devil was forced to make a condemning judgment against God, and seek God’s destruction, but his feebleness only serves to inflame his foolish rage through deception, thus he began to deny the existence of God in full knowledge of His existence, since even the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands, and day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge, there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

      There can be no doubt that Atheists are the vanquished fiendish varmints possessors of a boastful mouth, which they use to spread lies among the ignorant and the lost concerning the Creator and His Creation who is the living God, Lord, Master, and Judge of the Universe, including Satan and his offspring the atheists.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You need a mental health evaluation, Henry. You're foaming at the mouth again.

      Or maybe you just have rabies.

      August 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  11. Justin

    Or...just hear me out, this new radical idea that I see floating out there that God doesn't really exist. WHAT!?!?!! God doesn't exist, but that mean's that death and suffering is random....yes, precisely. It's not for a purpose or not, it's just random. People believe in God because it gives them comfort and hope, they are too weak-minded to live with out "him". But people are so caught up in the security and comfort of the idea of a supreme being that they let it dictate their beliefs and judgements. No gay marriage, no abortion, etc...but these ideas are wrong. The Bible is simply a guide on how to live one's life. It was written over the course of hundreds of years and even the first page of the new testament was written nearly a century after Jesus died. I beg you all to release this stupid notion of God and realize that religion is a way to guide our moral compass like this fantastic writer mentions in this post. Live your life to the fullest and in a moral, responsible way, but don't blame God when something goes wrong, it has nothing to do with you or God, life is just random.

    August 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Justin

      There is this new radical belief...*

      August 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Your new radical idea is actually the oldest radical idea

      August 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  12. Oil of Man

    The Death of God has been met with sadness by some. It kindles in me the spirit of opportunity. God and the associated baggage of his “moral order” were impediments to progress. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sphere of commerce. Some years ago, I developed a most useful medicine. Taken internally it is a cure for disorders of all kinds and acts as a general tonic. Applied topically, it is a remedy for gout and psoriasis and posses an SPF of 15. The precise recipe is, of course, a trade secret and is protected under US Patent. While God lived, the oppressive machinery of society stood in the way of the production and release of my curative. The Death of God, I hope, will occasion its availability on the free market.

    I speak of Oil of Man.

    Oil of Man really is one of the most useful medicines ever discovered. Its production has been somewhat limited by the natural reticence of society to make the ultimate sacrifice for the afflicted. During research and development for Oil of Man, I was, in fact, forced to requisition unwilling donations of certain vital ingredients for my vats. The destruction of the logically inconsistent but simple moral system of the theists will, I hope, increase availability of the necessary raw material. I tire of having to spirit shrouded “donors” through the rear door of my oilery. A godless society is perfect for the production of Oil of Man. The attempts of the Godless to construct a logically consistent system of ethics sans theos are a failure and are easily discarded by the pragmatic and enterprising among us. Some free thinking rural physicians in my area have been utilizing my tonic for years now-sending patients to me (the only dispensing pharmacy) with a prescription they are pleased to designate as __OL. Hom.__

    Thank heavens for the progress of free thought. The elimination of society’s detritus (unwanted children, the elderly, the poor, opposing political parties, etc.) and their incorporation into Oil of Man will be of great general weal to mankind as it hurdles into a future free of outmoded concepts like good and evil.

    Boffer Bings

    August 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  13. I Believe Help My Unbelief!!!

    Suffering has been a universal question and probably the biggest question mankind had tried to conquer since he became aware of himself. Why do these things happen? Why do people get sick and die? Why are these natural disasters and calamities. I don't know. I don't pretend to understand how or why God allows or does not allow things to happen, all I can hope for is that He loves us and He is working on restoring all things to their original glory. I think it is natural to wonder why and ask where God is. I think it's foolish to think we can know though. In the end faith is about love and hope, love for God and eachother and hope that all will be well. That's all we can do. So stop beating up eachother and give someone a hug or a smile or a kind word. Hope that all will be well. Peace.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Obviously, only religious people seriously ask, "where was god?" For those who do not believe in god's existence, we understand that we don't need to over complicate the issue by introducing mystical beings in the equation. Ironically, we never question god as someone who believes in god would, so maybe we are the best of god's creation after all. [sic]

      As Richard Feynman used to jokingly say, "you won't believe what happened to me today. You just won't believe what happened." And they'd say what? And he'd say, "absolutely nothing."

      Most of the time, "nothing" happens. When "something" happens we always tend to make it bigger and more profound than it actually is. Things happen, and they don't happen. It's that simple. Why over-complicate the issue with unprovable assumptions?

      August 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      @ I Believe

      You said " I think it is natural to wonder why and ask where God is. I think it's foolish to think we can know though. In the end faith is about love and hope, love for God and each other and hope that all will be well. That's all we can do. So stop beating up eachother and give someone a hug or a smile or a kind word."

      OR...

      We can work hard, study, and develop these little things called vaccines, surgeries, gene therapy, antibiotics, oncology, germs, stem cells, bone replacements, organ transplants, DNA, MRI, anesthetics, orthopedics, grafts, dialysis, pasturization, sterilization, and the list goes on. On the day that you need any of these things, will you simply "hope all is well" and place your fate in god's hands, or will you use medical advances by humans to extend your life to its fullest extent?

      I will await the day of your ultimate hypocrisy.

      August 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Shiloh

      Ex longhorn

      Good list – interesting to see what they accomplished compared to your list

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

      August 10, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  14. Pistis

    "I bet he did not use prayer, religious ceremony, the bible, ect.ect. To come to that idea, but even if he did, science through observation and testing of the natural world came to the conclusion he is most likely right, religion had nothing to do with the process. I am not saying religious people can't figure things out, just that religion itself is useless in figuring it out."

    -> Most thoughtful Christians would agree that Religion does not take the place of science, nor does science take place of religion. Science is a wonderful tool to discover how things are, and we are much better off for it! Religion is more focused metaphysical questions, due to the nature of it all. I would say religion and Philosophy link up more than religion and science. I concede that there are alot of layman christians (and athiests) out there who do not see this, and thats why I try and educate as many as I can.

    "Yes I know that is what religion teaches now, but when the bible was written it WAS to be the "Complete List of Everything God Did Book". Some Christians just changed their minds over centuries of realizing that the stories were too absurd to continue with that conclusion, and it was not a smooth transition of Christian world view. And science was the driving force for that change."
    -> That is all well and good, but I am more concerned with how Religion operates today. Science was a driving force, and there are many Christian scientists out there seeking the naturalistic truths to the world we live in, as it does not directly effect their faith.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  15. No Truth, Just Claims

    The point is Paul that information from other sources don't make the claim that at some point someone talked to god, we know that information originates from man. Religions make the claim that their information originates from a supernatural ent.ity. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...

    August 9, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  16. forts

    the kybalion:
    higher dimensional knowledge

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=360]

    August 9, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • forts

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=360]

      youtube, kybalion link.

      August 9, 2012 at 7:30 am |
  17. jack

    God, Allah, Yahweh all myths. Move on its the 21st century.

    August 9, 2012 at 5:24 am |
    • iridescent

      math proof of God:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=360]
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLp236oAZa8&w=640&h=360]

      August 9, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • forte

      math proof of God

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=360]
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLp236oAZa8&w=640&h=360]

      August 9, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • forts

      math proof of God

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLp236oAZa8&w=640&h=360]

      August 9, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • The King Is Coming

      Yeah, and God still heals and lives in the 21st century. Theres no "moving on" from that.

      August 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Anonymous

      And it wasn't until a few centuries that the existence of God begun to be doubted due to pure naturalistic thinkers. God has always been around and he will always be around. Wake up.

      August 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      As many have pointed out, god has yet to heal one amputee.... Why is that?

      August 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  18. jack

    God is a myth. Move on.

    August 9, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • forts

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLp236oAZa8&w=640&h=360]

      August 9, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  19. My Name is Boffer Bierce

    The Death of God has been met with sadness by some. It kindles in me the spirit of opportunity. God and the associated baggage of his “moral order” were impediments to progress. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sphere of commerce. Some years ago, I developed a most useful medicine. Taken internally it is a cure for disorders of all kinds and acts as a general tonic. Applied topically, it is a remedy for gout and psoriasis and posses an SPF of 15. The precise recipe is, of course, a trade secret and is protected under US Patent. While God lived, the oppressive machinery of society stood in the way of the production and release of my curative to a needy world. The Death of God, I hope, will occasion its availability on the free market.

    I speak of Oil of Man.

    Oil of Man really is one of the most useful medicines ever discovered. Its production has been somewhat limited by the natural reticence of society to make sacrifices for the afflicted. During research and development for Oil of Man, I was, in fact, forced to requisition donations of certain vital ingredients for my vats. The destruction of the logically inconsistent but simple moral system of the theists will, I hope, increase availability of the necessary raw material. A godless society is perfect for the production of Oil of Man. The attempts of the Godless to construct a logically consistent system of ethics sans theos are a failure and are easily discarded by the pragmatic and enterprising among us. Some free thinking rural physicians in my area have been utilizing my tonic for years now-sending patients to me (the only dispensing pharmacy) with a prescription they are pleased to designate as __OL. Hom.__

    Thank heavens for the progress of free thought. The elimination of society’s detritus (unwanted children, the elderly, the poor, opposing political parties, etc.) and their incorporation into Oil of Man will be of great general weal to mankind as it hurdles into a future free of outmoded concepts like good and evil.

    August 9, 2012 at 4:08 am |
  20. Paul

    Reason122 Wrote: “Remember your understanding of the god myth is based entirely on what other humans have told you or wrote down.”
    I wonder! And where did you get your information if it weren’t based on what others have studied and written down? Or have you done every bit of research of every scientist and proved it for yourself. You see we have to some extent rely on what others say or research.
    Have you considered that your belief is possibly based on faulty research? Not that many years ago people believed science in thinking it was OK to go from doing an autopsy to delivering babies with fatal consequences and for many years they had no idea why. If they had read their Bibles and applied it’s hygiene laws this would have been avoided. Funny that, how did writers of the Bible know such things when the clever people didn’t?
    Clever people back then would have argued how right they were. I think I’m hearing something similar today.

    August 9, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      The point is Paul that information from other sources don't make the claim that at some point someone talked to god, we know that information originates from man. Religions make the claim that their information originates from a supernatural ent.i.ty. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence...

      August 9, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Pistis

      "we know that information originates from man"
      -> Do you now?

      "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence..."
      ->That is a nice catch phrase. What about on the athiest world view of how the earth started? we dont have any evidence from Planck time or prior, so we do not exactly know how the universe came into being. Another claim would be the human mind. Look at the person next to you, do they have a mind? are they an automatron clothed in human skin? There is no way to test for a mind, but we take it as fact that everyone has one. Why pick and choose what needs evidence and what doesnt?

      August 9, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Pistis,

      As far as the information statementment I was refering to science, after re-reading my comment I can see that was not clear. So yes, I do know science information orginates from man.

      "What about on the athiest world view of how the earth started?"

      First, there is not an "atheist world view" Second, I have no problem with the answer of "We don't know". And that is the problem with religion, they CLAIM to know, but there is no reason to think they are right. The track record of religion figuring out how the natural world works stands somewhere around 0%.

      "There is no way to test for a mind"

      Not yet, you seem to assert that we "can never know" so we shouldn't try to figure it out, we should just assume it is "god". Not to mention there are some tests for a "mind". For instance, how a persons mind can radically change after a major trama. Question, which "mind" is the real person?

      August 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Pistis

      I suppose I could narrow down the statement. You (I will assume you are an athiest, if not it would not change the premise much) have a world view. Your world view does not include God as a possibility. You still come to the conclusion that we got here somehow.

      By saying "We do not know" is acceptable, but a Christian who truely seeks the answers, looks through all of the evidence and comes to the conclusion that God created the universe is also acceptable.

      As far as 0% track record for Christians figuring out how the natural world works is a bit higher than 0%. THe Big Bang was first postulated by Georges Henri Lemaitre, a Belgian Priest! The Big Bang is what the standard model of particle physics is based off of, and it is not completely confirmed with the confirmation of the Higgs-Bosson particle. You could mean that the Bible is not accurate when it comes to describing the world and how it came to be. It may be best to remind you that the Bible is not the "Complete List of Everything God Did Book," but rather a book devoted to showing his character, and nature through His sone Jesus.

      August 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Pistis

      Edit: The model is now completely confirmed, dang my typing!

      August 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "Your world view does not include God as a possibility."

      Pistis,

      Actually it does, just not the christian god. I, and most atheists, do not claim that a "deistic god is not a possiblity, we just don't believe it without better evidence.

      "THe Big Bang was first postulated by Georges Henri Lemaitre, a Belgian Priest! "

      I bet he did not use prayer, religious ceremony, the bible, ect.ect. To come to that idea, but even if he did, science through observation and testing of the natural world came to the conclusion he is most likely right, religion had nothing to do with the process. I am not saying religious people can't figure things out, just that religion itself is useless in figuring it out.

      " It may be best to remind you that the Bible is not the "Complete List of Everything God Did Book,"

      Yes I know that is what religion teaches now, but when the bible was written it WAS to be the "Complete List of Everything God Did Book". Some Christians just changed their minds over centuries of realizing that the stories were too absurd to continue with that conclusion, and it was not a smooth transition of Christian world view. And science was the driving force for that change.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Pistis

      "I bet he did not use prayer, religious ceremony, the bible, ect.ect. To come to that idea, but even if he did, science through observation and testing of the natural world came to the conclusion he is most likely right, religion had nothing to do with the process. I am not saying religious people can't figure things out, just that religion itself is useless in figuring it out."

      -> Most thoughtful Christians would agree that Religion does not take the place of science, nor does science take place of religion. Science is a wonderful tool to discover how things are, and we are much better off for it! Religion is more focused metaphysical questions, due to the nature of it all. I would say religion and Philosophy link up more than religion and science. I concede that there are alot of layman christians (and athiests) out there who do not see this, and thats why I try and educate as many as I can.

      "Yes I know that is what religion teaches now, but when the bible was written it WAS to be the "Complete List of Everything God Did Book". Some Christians just changed their minds over centuries of realizing that the stories were too absurd to continue with that conclusion, and it was not a smooth transition of Christian world view. And science was the driving force for that change."
      -> That is all well and good, but I am more concerned with how Religion operates today. Science was a driving force, and there are many Christian scientists out there seeking the naturalistic truths to the world we live in, as it does not directly effect their faith.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      "Religion is more focused metaphysical questions, due to the nature of it all."

      Pistis,

      Here is my point, religion including Christianity, originally was intended to answer most, if not all our questions of our world, including all natural observations. Over time reasonable people (Christians and atheists alike) realized that religion is not capable of answering questions of how the natural world works. So why should anyone trust that religion gets metaphysical questions right? Especially since metaphysics cannot be proven right or wrong one way or another, it seems to me Christianity just tries to fill in areas where it can't be invalidated.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Pistis

      When you say that religion was intended to answer most questions, do you mean that there was no other purpose behind them? Quite a few people through history thought of Christianity of a means of salvation through faith in Christ, knowing that they would not get answers to alot of questions along the way. If they do not get questions to how the earth was formed exactly, or how the Grand Unified Theory works... they are alright with that. There are answers in the Bible. Many answers, if you accept them that is another issue all together.

      August 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Pistis,

      The foundation for Christianity is the Old Testament, Adam and Eve, the fall of man, God's covenent with Noah, the god is the same, the messiah prophacies that Christians claim Jesus fullfilled. If the Old Testament can't be trusted to be correct, it automatically puts everything in the New Testament as being questionable. Liberal Christians (including me when I was one) write off the OT as metaphor, but that was not the intention of any of the writers of the bible. There is no need for Salvation without the OT. I don't question whether there are answers in the bible, but are they the right answers? No, they are not.

      August 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Pistis,

      I have enjoyed this civil discussion but I have to go for a while, feel free to respond to my above post as I will check back later.

      Peace

      August 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • gerald

      Hey no truth, just claims. I have a question for you. Is that true?

      August 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      The OT? No it is a myth.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:47 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43
Advertisement
About this blog

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.