Good Old God!

I’m an atheist. A very happy one at that. You won’t sway me, so please don’t even try. Equally, I won’t try to tell you who or who not to worship. Other than me, obviously: but that’s a given, anyway.

What I don’t understand (and probably never will) is reactions such as those of “Bruinman” to the deaths of three children (since updated to five) in a horrific car accident near Pretoria.

It is always sad to read news like this, especially when there are children involved. My condolences to the family and friends of the children.
May the Lord be with you and give you strength in this time of bereavement. God Bless.

Look, I’m completely with him about the “sad news” bit. And, for what it’s worth, perhaps even the condolences bit, too. But then it goes horribly wrong, because I’d actually have liked the Lord to have been with the kids in the back of the car, looking after them and maybe preventing them from plunging 15 metres (45ft) off a road bridge and onto the freeway below; not turning up a day later with a bashful apology and a pat on the back for the grieving parents, like the murderer bringing flowers to the funeral.

Perhaps someone can explain to myself and my readers as to why the “loving”, “omnipresent” God wasn’t there to stop these five innocent kids dying in such a horrible way.
While you’re at it, help me out with the rape stats in South Africa (52,000 pa) – can “He” not  do something to sort that out at all?
Cholera in Zimbabwe? 80,000 infected, 3,500 dead. Why would “He” let that suffering occur? And while we’re there, why do “He” and his followers tolerate Robert Mugabe swearing himself in (again) on the Bible “in the sight of God”? Not the sort of message I’d want to be sending out, but “He” allowed it to happen (again) this week. 

I could go on and on, you know. I often do.

It’s unfathomable to me as to how Christians (and those of other religions) can so easily turn a blind eye or make excuses for those things which don’t fit conveniently into their religious demographic.
If you think you’re different and you can tell us how and why these things happen with such regularity and apparent impunity right under “His” beard, please leave a comment.  

Note well: The first person to use the phrase “God works in mysterious ways” will be banned. Immediately.

32 thoughts on “Good Old God!

  1. Oh dear. Prepare for an onslaught of nutters, who will happily trot out arguments that have been refuted countless times. They won’t know this, of course, because they wouldn’t have read anything written by someone who could pass Logic 101.

    As for the ban-inducing blandishment: it’s sometimes useful to remind those saying that of Wittgenstein’s “a nothing will serve as well as a something about which nothing could be said” – ie. if something is so damn mysterious, how is it suddenly also so clear at other times. Mysterious when we don’t like the outcome, perfectly clear when we do. Idiots.

  2. Quinn > I wondered if you might be tempted on this one. Age old question and yes – age old responses, I’m sure.
    I know it might sound religiously-naive – and perhaps to some people, I am – but if they wish to apply their beliefs to modern society, then I think they should expect to have to defend those beliefs in the face of incidents like this.

  3. God wo… Ok I jest.

    I cannot help you there. I am way too confused to commit to believing in anything.

    po´s last blog post was: Biology is a beach. (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  4. As you are a devout atheist it is impossible to explain to you that he was in the car with them and probably gave them courage and strength. Of course as an atheist you also do not believe in a better afterlife.
    To a Christian he turned up like a family member/friend bringing condolences and support to the family members and promise of a better future.
    Would calling God a murderer not vilify his followers?
    Perhaps he had a different purpose for them, perhaps there time had come and there survival would have been ultimately disastrous for millions?
    The few dimensions I think and walk in are not nearly enough to comprehend, let alone try and give definitive reasons for him not changing the destiny or forcing a set future onto mankind.
    I do know that I also like my destiny to be my own and not the choice of another being. Life would be pointless if I was just a sim in some celestial game.
    You make it sound as if God is a rapist as well as a murderer and biowarfare instigator because he allows people (so many of whom denounce him constantly) free will?
    By this logic you also allowed these things to happen again this week. So did Zimbabweans, South Africans, EU, USA U name it?
    What about all God’s followers you hardly ever hear about that give these people Shelter, risk personal safety by going across the border and handing out food, medicine, clothes and all the rest?
    Most of what you wrote was typical stereotyping. The touchy subject you used make most responses sound uncaring as well.
    My dad always said, “God helps those that help themselves.”
    God works in “unfathomable” ways.

  5. “By this logic you also allowed these things to happen again this week”

    My god, 6000 – my god? But Sean’s comment did make me think: it would be fantastic if churches could get the car companies to install video cameras in cars by default. Think of how inspirational it would be to potential believers to see those blissful, comforted smiles as people drive off cliffs, or into head-on collisions, thanks to that courage and strength god was there to give them.

  6. Another question I happened to ask on the very same forum mentioned above was “Do you think Quinn reads Hawking?”

  7. Sean > Inconsistent.
    If the afterlife is so good, why doesn’t god take everyone there? What was so special about these kids, compared with the80-year old who struggles to church every sunday and has done since she was a girl. Why is she still made to suffer on this mortal coil?
    Perhaps their continued existence would have been ultimately disastrous for millions? Like Hitler, Bush, Hussein? Why didn’t they die in a car crash age 5 then?
    Those dying of cholera in Zim (and SA) – just by chance their continued existence would have been ultimately disastrous for millions as well?
    I allowed all those nasty things to happen again this week. I’m not omnipotent (although I’m working on it): I had no power to stop them happenng, but god did, god does, but god… didn’t.
    “To a Christian he turned up like a family member/friend bringing condolences and support to the family members and promise of a better future.”
    This, I find sickening. This is my biggest sticking point. A better future now that they have the visons of the dismembered remains of their kids who they had to identify in a PTA morgue? A better future without their child’s laughter and smiles? An empty bed at home? A tiny white coffin at a sorrowful funeral. How do you really think those families feel now?

  8. Quinn > Guilty as charged. We all are. That’s why we’re going to hell. It’s no use trying to play catch up now by making that call to Mad Bob and telling him to step down. You could have done that years ago and you didn’t. Burn baby, burn!
    I like the camera idea – I can see a cheap, tacky show on CBS already – “Smile – You’re About To Die!”

    Sean > I don’t know. Quinn – Do you read Hawking?

  9. I’ve read some Hawking. But Sean’s “forum mentioned above” reference is unclear to me, so I’m not sure why it matters. Any idea? Though I guess it’s going to relate to another typical failure of logic, like an appeal to authority or somesuch, based on a misinterpretation of Hawking.

  10. Quinn: Stephen hawking happens to fall into your “logic 101” persona quite well. A good read would be the universe in a nutshell followed by this lecture:
    http://www.hawking.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&Itemid=66
    “Not only does God play dice, but he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.”

    6000 there is a whole book for you to read and study made by people who are much smarter than me if you want to find consistencies in religion.

    I’m not here to try and convert you, anything I say in defense of my view would be construed as such so therefore I’ll leave you with the key to your questions in your own hand and the ability to find the answers in your own head.

  11. works both ways when it comes to an appeal to authority and misinterpreting. why is it so easy to miss interpret the bible as an example?

  12. Sean > Misinterpretation occurs when there is no logic, no fact, no foundation for a statement. Much like the work of fiction you studied at school (Of Mice and Men sticks in the memory for me) there are no right or wrong answers as long as you back up and justify your opinion.
    I guess that justification what I was (foolishly) looking for here, but seemingly it doesn’t exist. And why should it, when there is no logic, fact or foundation for what you choose to believe?
    Instead – despite my willingness to try and understand how things work in the christian mind – all I have seen are disingenuous answers, poorly disguised avoidance techniques and the belittling “you just don’t understand” routine.
    If I were marking your school report card, I’d be wandering well down the alphabet.

  13. Misinterpretation also occurs when the interpreter is ignorant of the subject matter.

    Justification does exist but you are unwilling to listen to it and I am unwilling to waste my time. I know it would be pointless as only you can justify your choices to yourself.

    There is logic, fact and foundation but you are not able or willing to “justify” it.

    You see what lets you justify your view in the easiest manner without having to change the foundation of your existence.

  14. It took you 14 days to come up with that retort? Sean – inventing a grand fictional answer to everything is the “easiest” form of justification. Those of us who don’t believe in those easy answers have a far more complex, interesting, and difficult worldview. I’m not surprised it scares you, as it requires some concentration to understand.

    Jacques´s last blog post was: Errol Naidoo: High priest of hysteria (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  15. I do not frequent this blog all that often and came back here only after noticing a thread about this on a forum.

    There is not much of value in your reply, just more generalisation and insults to a group of people and subject of which you have no understanding.

    This reminds me of the “proud savage” excuse used to wipe out and colonise Africa.

  16. Sean > “…subject of which you have no understanding”? Indeed. In fact, Carte Blanche were so unimpressed with his lack of understanding that they’re putting him on the show on Sunday discussing – er… this subject.

    1,000,000 Derek Watts’s can’t be wrong.

  17. So basically we are looking at more media hype and paranoia in the same light as farm murders, SA crime and all the rest.

    Perhaps they should invite someone like my grandmother (someone who has understanding and not bitter or unfounded ignorance) if they are looking for facts instead of hype.

  18. Sean > I’m sorry – you seem to have switched sides.
    You’re talking about “facts” now? Christianity has no “facts” – it’s fiction based on a book full of ridiculously tall tales which itself is based on rumour, heresay and subjectivity. No-one has ever proved “god”.
    Sorry, but there are no “facts” in christianity, save for the fact that deluded people believe that god exists.

  19. Sean, perhaps your grandmother should be the one commenting here, then? She’ll at least have had more practice in making the best case for the incoherent.

  20. Two replies where “coherency” is replaced by insult.

    You have no basis but insult to hide your fear behind.

    Bless you 🙂

  21. Sean, go back to the beginning. This post was about horrible things happening to people, and your response – as a Christian – was to trivialise their suffering with some metaphysics. There has been no argument, simply smug assertions. I know you believe what you’re saying, and probably can’t help you with that. But it’s ludicrous of you to demand protection from insults, when you keep saying silly things.

  22. 6000 there are plenty facts in Christianity and in the bible. I know from reading your comments and responses on many places that you refuse to believe these and that to you everything from archaeological digs to down right photo evidence would be brushed off as fantasy.

    All I asked was if you could try respect other peoples beliefs. Obviously that is impossible for you because what you claim is fact I see as insult.

    Calling myself or my grandmother incoherent as an example, You seem to believe this is fact whilst I know this is an insult.

    Anyway enough of this “ludicrous” blog entry.

  23. Sean > I know you believe it, but that doesn’t mean I have to.
    I could tell you that I believe that the sky is polka dot green, but I wouldn’t expect you to believe such silliness.
    So please, recognise that some people may have different beliefs to you.

    P.S. Insults can be facts, too. In fact, I find they work a whole lot better when they are.

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