Dec 26, 2012

"God, Why?" .... Maureen Dowd Ponders. I've Got Some Thoughts on This...

“Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent.        Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent.        Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?” 

(David Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion; 1779).

Maureen Dowd in her NYT op-ed [link] today, 12/26/12, ponders about God's role, and she demonstrates how reasonable, intelligent persons surrender the tools they use every day--the logical, rational approach to reality--and surrender to ignorance. With God, yes, everything is possible, accept anything, and I mean anything, without evidence or reason!

If we behaved with depraved indifference we wouldn't consider it moral, especially if we had the power to save innocents from harm. Yet, the supreme being gets a pass on this. Ah, maybe He knows something we don't, is often the reply. Really? But we are rendering judgment and praise for him when something goes well. 

Millions of children die every year before the reach the age of five. They're not old enough to understand sin or to do anything that deserves the death penalty. That God knows how they'll turn out in the future precludes free will. If we're made defective by the designer, then we have to prove ourselves to him through free choice, it doesn't make sense why children should die before they actually exercise their free will. Even babies die every day. No need to go farther than the nearest children's hospital to witness little ones dying of cancer and other horrible afflictions. Is this the morality of a God?

Most humans practice religion because they were born into it and it's a way to belong, be part of the community's norms and culture. But, to have faith it means abdication, surrender, ignorance, and fear. Fear has a paralyzing effect and can distort reality. The more fearful a person is the less likely to act calmly and to exercise reason.  Being nice to a bully in hopes that he won't hurt you. Be in terror and do it often, you may end up loving him! He beats me, but he loves me, that's why I stick around....

What's even more incredible is that societies have organized themselves on unproven, incredible stories, and they have gone to great lengths to enforce conformity by uncountable violent ways. It's Xmas as I'm writing this. By the way, the "X" is from the original Greek and it's not another attack on Xmas as some super-sensitive ignoramuses suggest. [link]   I enjoy the holidays and I don't need religion to do so. Actually, the celebrations around the winter solstice go back before Christianity, while Xmas wasn't really celebrated by the Church until it decided to co-opt this holiday from the pagans! Obviously, Jesus was not born on December 25th.

Speaking of Jesus--the light, as in the first light of the solstice--how do you explain the triadic notion? That the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are all manifestation of the same God. Well, then God sacrificed himself [in a very gruesome way, and whose death device we hang around our necks] to himself to save humans from the sin a couple defectively-designed humans (Adam & Eve) committed long time ago! In other words, we're told that we're born with original sin, a curse really, and we have to pay for the sins of others; so in order for this curse to be lifted we have to accept God Jesus as our Savior.  Sounds like a scam to me.

Humans have been reacting to the darkness, the harsh life, the threats to the species' survival by making up stories, that there's a force who protects us, and if we pay the high price of servility, there are heavenly rewards! Any rudimentary application of logic destroys these stories but most people refuse to do it. Smart, educated, affluent people that have excelled in many endeavors choose willful ignorance when it comes to the question of God. It's fear that prevents them.  

It's fear of punishment, it's fear of missing on the afterlife, it's fear that the "designer" put in us. Yet, like when Prometheus stole the fire from the Gods, some of us have discovered another seed in us: to ask questions, to use logic, to seek the truth even if it's sometimes painful. Maybe God put in us the seed of his own destruction! 

I do not need to prove that I exist, because this would require evidence and thus will destroy faith. Without faith, I'm nothing!   God (allegedly)