Skip to comments.Why do I hate God so much? I respond to that question
Posted on 08/27/2010 9:14:30 PM PDT by hiho hiho
Let me start out by saying I'm an atheist. Am I absolutely sure there is no God, no supreme being looking over us? No, of course not. Contrary to some opinions, that doesn't make me agnostic. I hold the possibility of God to be so remote as to be inconsequential, but I don't for a moment think I possess all knowledge on the matter.
I would also add that I am a hopeful atheist, not only confident in my lack of belief, but assured that it is ultimately the belief system most in the world will come to. When we as a society cast off our gods, we can finally grow up as a sentient species.
So, do I hate God, when I don't even believe in him? Yes, absolutely - I despise the idea of God as described by religion. Call him Yaweh, Allah, or any other title you wish to ascribe. The idea of God is just as vile as any actual existence. And if he is a real being, my hatred becomes all the more justified.
But hate is such a strong word, you might say - yes indeed. Why do I feel so strongly?
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words...
The caption below the picture attached to the article explains the scene, but here it is again. A young boy, dying from famine, is trying to crawl to a UN food station about a kilometer away. He isn't going to make it, and a vulture is stalking him.
Fundamentalists of all stripes will attest to the power of prayer, to the power of an intercessory God to move in the lives of people when called upon.
Did this boy not pray? We don't know - did he perhaps pray to the wrong God? Did no one in the world pray for hungry children?
Can not the God who parts seas, destroys the world through flood, raises the dead, and professes to be creator of all we see manage to feed a starving boy? If he can, and doesn't, he is despicable. If he can't, he is a fraud.
As the photo caption says, the picture won a Pulitzer Prize. Shortly after winning, the photographer committed suicide. It's not known exactly why - although guilt over the boy in the photo seems a likely explanation.
I'm also reminded of a story told by an elderly Ukrainian woman about losing her son during Stalin's forced famine on the people of Ukraine in the 1930s.
The Babushka speaks about having to look her dying son in the eye, and tell him no, he couldn't have the beet root. She had to choose to give it to her healthier child in the hopes of survival. Her son's eyes dimmed, and he faded away.
She was in all likelihood Orthodox, and probably prayed daily - to no avail.
Now I know all the arguments that will be brought out in defense of the deity. "God works in mysterious ways," and "we can't know the mind of God," or maybe "God had a higher purpose for them." We would never try to excuse the same type of behavior from a fellow person, why are some so willing to give God a pass?
If God could claim to have created everything and then sat back, allowed events to flow as the might, that still wouldn't absolve him, but it could be at least a viable argument.
But that's not what God or those who follow him claim. God is seen as an active participant in the world, answering prayers and interceding on behalf of the faithful. And that belief is also contemptible.
When the faithful claim miracles on their behalf, they are elevating themselves above the less fortunate. They are, in essence, claiming a right to divine intervention for everything from traffic to sports. The trivial in their life suddenly becomes more important than a young child dying from cancer or hunger or war.
When a person says "God answered my prayer," I automatically dismiss whatever comes next. I know they are wrong. And I would argue it's even worse if they are right. If God will allow himself to be troubled to clear traffic ahead of someone running late, to help a person on a test, or cure a cold, he by default makes himself responsible for all of the unanswered prayers.
And some of them he chooses to ignore indict him as either pathetic ideal or wretched overlord. When Tony Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts, said they won the Superbowl by doing it "the Lord's way," I wanted to climb into the television set and punch him in the face. Celebrities and the wealthy who claim to owe their success to God are saying "look at me, I'm important to God."
When someone like Glenn Beck tells you his rally is divine providence, he is telling you his movement is God's working in our lives. Yet the same God cannot alleviate the suffering of a dying child.
The desire we all hold for meaning in life can explain why so many people are drawn to religion. Easy answers to those questions that once seemed impossible to know. I am by no means indicting all people who are religious.
On the contrary, some are fine individuals. It's their belief system that is flawed and ultimately evil. Good people can be very wrong. I once struggled to find meaning in faith. I can say, without hesitation, that my decision to leave it behind was one of the most liberating of my life.
And of course just liberating yourself from the heavy yoke of religion doesn't mean you will be a better person. But at least you will understand that our society and how it treats the least among us says something very strong about us. The religious right likes to say we would be lawless, killing, raping, etc, with no regard for consequences.
I beg to differ. I think when we leave behind dogma we can find within ourselves the capacity to work to lift all. Regardless of what Beck and company say, it's very much about collective salvation. For as long as one suffers needlessly, we are all the lesser for it.
I've been told I will be sorry one day, that "every knee shall bow, every tongue confess." Maybe I will succumb to some unimaginable torture and do just that. If I am wrong, and there is a God, I hope I have the strength to express my true feelings.
Yes, that is typical of most Athiests. There is an abundance of well thought out apologetics they could read to at least get an intelligent and well reasoned argument for the existence of God and the Truth of Christianity, but they prefer to wallow in ignorance, either too lazy to study or too arrogant and cocksure of themselves to get a different point of view, or, most likely, too afraid to find their long held belief is founded on sand.
.. and there is a God...
... I hope I have the strength to express my true feelings.
You will have eternity to continue screaming at God.
I’d have set the camera on a tripod or other support, used the time delay shutter release and get a picture of me carrying the child to help.
Are there any atheist with some depth of thought or scholarship in the basics of the subject.
This reads like self-absorbed, teenage angst, like they all seem to.
I have the impression that the person who wrote this article, and people who believe similarly, have never potty-trained a child or have never spent much time around children at all. Children get so worked up about the silliest things, they’ll scream and rage over something that is objectively inconsequential but if they’d just cooperate and move on everyone would be so much happier.
Come on kiddo, I know you think mommy poisoned the broccoli and that if you let daddy buckle that seat belt you’re going to die. I know the teacher eats all the kids on the first day of school, if the puppy licks you your hand will fall off, there are monsters under the bed and thunder is the sound of the sky falling.
The fear is real and so is the pain and anguish fear causes. Who knows, maybe the food on your plate is making your insides bleed, I thought it was just lasagna. Maybe the things on your legs are a million spider bites, I thought they were just pants.
But if you’ll put those pants on, eat the lasagna and broccoli and let me buckle your seat belt we’ll go get ice cream.
He! That’s personal pronoun abuse. Self-obsession and atheism go together like stink and a monkey.
>> Jeff Musall: “Did this boy not pray? We don’t know - did he perhaps pray to the wrong God? Did no one in the world pray for hungry children? “
Okay then Jeff, how does the absence of God make this situation better?
One can not leave dogma behind. One can only trade one dogma for another. As thinking beings we must have a core set of beliefs in order to make sense of our world. Only the insane have no dogma.
As he professes to be an Atheist his use of the word salvation is rather odd. He uses it in a moral tone. However morality is necessarily an individual responsibility. Although societies/cultures may share moral values the practice of those moral values are necessarily an individual act for free persons. In a free society one chooses to either accept and practice the moral values of society or to ignore them and live life amorally to one degree or another.
His last sentence here kind of parallels Jesus statement that What so ever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me but makes it a collective responsibility. But his example of the starving boy points out the failure of the collective approach to charity. Despite that hulking mammoth of charity food distribution known as the UN the child dies of hunger only a kilometer away from life saving food. The photographer made the individual choice not to extend charity to the child and remain the aloof reporter and not become part of the story. He is part of the failure of collective charity. He did not feel the pressing need of individual action because in collective charity the individual has been relieved of individual responsibility.
In a free society, in a society where people are free to make their own moral choices, charity can not be forcibly extracted from citizens of that society. In a free society the individual is responsible to his own conscience to extend charity to those he sees in need. And as a consequence those receiving the largess of that charity feel the responsibility to reciprocate that charity when they are able.
This is in essence the message of Christ; salvation is a free choice. You can except the free gift of salvation or reject it.
“The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.” So, yes, this guy is a fool, and yes, someday his knee will bow and his tongue will confess. However, it will then be too late for him to repent and acknowledge God.
What a pity!
What is it about journalists that they feel they must remain impartial observers (unless a Democrat is running for office) above the fray of life?
Not less than ten let's hope.
I think you are getting the poster confused with the author. New here?
Actually, I may be one of the few who *didn’t* confuse the author with the poster.
It was but a bit of word play, combining the poster’s name and the author’s rant.
Anal retentive, here?
I included Hiho in my post to you and was talking more directly to him.
Of course you understand salvation.
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