A very beautiful video by Brandon Fibbs.
As a Christian, I believed this life was temporary, a sort of proving ground in which we made ourselves worthy of an eternity spent with god in paradise. As an atheist, however, I have a very different perspective. This is the only life you and I will ever have. This one. Right here. Right now. Make it extraordinary!
Over on reddit, a user took a screen grab of some comments from FOX News. We all know what we’re getting into just by visiting FOX News and we should know the types of responses the comments lead to, but this, I felt, warranted my attention.
First, let’s keep in mind that the only rational person in this conversation is a member of the US Air Force. FOX News, and its viewers constantly harp on how we should blindly “support our troops.” I guess they only support them if they do and say what matches up with the FOX ideology.
Let’s break down some of the rather dubious claims from these people.
God wasn’t there that day.
This is the last comment on the screen grab. If God wasn’t there, where was he? If he’s supposed to be omnipresent, was he just sitting by watching? What kind of God just sits there watching because, as some commenters above said, people didn’t pray to him? Seriously? These are the people that God created and loves so much, yet he can’t protect them from one crazy person with a gun? Was God’s schedule so full that day that he couldn’t make it? Did he get stuck in celestial traffic? Or was he off giving AIDS to innocent babies in Africa?
It seems to me that, when Elijah mocked Ba’al’s followers for Ba’al not being there to help them in I Kings 18:27, he was stating that Ba’al was a god that didn’t notice what was happening to his followers. The same could be said of the Christian god that day in Newtown.
God was removed from the schools.
So your all-powerful god is taken out of schools by a little piece of paper that says he can’t go there? Just how powerful is he? And, for the record, he wasn’t removed from schools. Every single person in a school is allowed to pray in school. They can bring their religious texts to school to read them during study hall. What is not allowed is for officials in the school (administrators, staff, teachers) to lead prayers or endorse religion. Read the relevant case law and understand what actually was decided in court instead of assuming whatever FOX News or your minister told you was true.
More could have died.
These people are saying that the god that they choose to follow is willing to let 26 innocent people be killed just to prove a point that he could have let more die. Who wants to follow such a spiteful god?
The major problem for these people is that their religion is so entwined within their lives that they cannot see any other way to explain a horrific event such as what happened in Newtown. These people do not reflect on their faith. They take it at face value, never questioning its tenets and must rely on cognitive dissonance to explain away how these events occur. If they question these acts of violence, then, because they have relied upon an imaginary being to keep them safe, they would realize that they aren’t as safe as they are under the watchful umbrella of a supposedly omnipresent, omnipotent god.
This is clearly evidenced throughout the comments in the fact that one person says God protects us, while the next says he doesn’t, while yet another says we have free will. God doesn’t do anything, and stop blaming God for the bad stuff because he does good stuff too. When these people are confronted with reality, they grasp at straws for meaning and start regurgitating the things they’ve read or been told by a minister. They can’t actually think for themselves to come to a rational conclusion.
God gave us free will.
Let’s set aside the fact that God didn’t want to give us free will. We have the devil to thank for that, but why should facts get in the way of your argument? What you’re saying is that God gave man free will and that he knew, in advance, that man would turn against him. God knew that he could exact a punishment against man for going against his will, so it’s now okay to shoot and kill people in movie theaters, at the mall, and little children in schools. Your god isn’t someone most people would want to follow.
If they took the time to educate themselves, they would discover this quote attributed to Epicurus:
Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?
The problem of evil in religion is one that is not going to go away. Philosophers have discussed it for centuries. If you accept that God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent and that evil exists, you create an inconsistency. You cannot have evil if the other two are true.
God is also said to be omniscient and gave man free will. Because God knew in advance that evil would exist, he had to create a place of punishment (hell) for those who committed evil acts. Therefore, God could not also be omnibenevolent if he is willing to send us to a place of eternal torment for something he knew was going to happen as soon as he gave man free will.
Unfortunately, those that make these types of comments, whether it be on FOX News websites or elsewhere, do not research or educate themselves as to why evil exists, nor do they desire to learn why their entire belief system is inaccurate. If their god can take credit for the good things, it must do so for the bad as well.
It would better if there was a god that did intervene upon his creation and save them from the harm of others, but there has never been a deity that has. If their god can sit idly by while genocides occur, women are raped and killed, and little, innocent children are wiped from the face of the planet, then that god is worth nothing and is not worthy of following.