Friday, April 17, 2009


This is why it's impossible for me to reconcile the god of the Bible with the world as I know it. If anyone can explain, I'd be happy to hear it.



egomosperficio said...

oh, let me help you with that, sid.

it's simple; you see, that little child was born already deserving hell because he was "in adam," and therefore is to be punished for adam's abominable behaviour in the garden [according to paul]. therefore, since he is born already under the judgment of a holy god, any aspect of his existence, however hellish it may be, is simply him getting what he deserves. in fact, he deserves worse because, no matter how absolutely shitty his life is, he still has access to aspects of god's common grace, like oxygen and sunlight.

makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Each time I see this picture, it breaks my heart. A human child dying while a vulture waits.

Jesus said "Suffer the little children" and they do; he knew that the children always had the worst of it and always would.

He said: Feed the hungry, heal the sick, teach the ignorant and comfort the afflicted. We could do all of that.

But most choose to live under a predatory system where 'Beggar thy brother" is the rule; and the few and well connected regularly plunder the rest of us to amass fortunes that allow them control our government.

The anaconda slithers from one nest egg to the next devouring all; and still the ignorant and the violent defend the profit system even as it destroys them. They seek only their opportunity to slither and plunder.

We see the faithful worship in crystal temples, receiving the word from ministers who live like kings. In the name of Jesus.

God may have his purpose, but this evil picture is the result of human ignorance, indifference, pride and greed.

Eugene In San Diego

egomosperficio said...

that's a bit of a cop-out, eugene.

what about kids being crushed by falling buildings when the earth's plates shift?

and what, pray tell,is god's purpose in standing by and doing nothing for this child?

what's that word that comes to mind. . . oh, right


thanks for nothing, yahweh, jesus, allah, et al.

Anonymous said...

egomosperficio said...

that's a bit of a cop-out, eugene.

Whether that cause or power we commonly call God has, or had, a purpose, in creating the universe, or if the observable universe is something that just happened is beside the point.

War and natural disasters have always been with us and will continue to be with us. Asking why these things happen is meaningless.

Here and now, there is money, food and material available to alleviate the abject misery in that image.

If God isn't going to do anything, or isn't there at all, who is left except us?

Eugene In San Diego

Anonymous said...

Thought Y'all believed in evolution... another 20 billion years and Buzzard's will be flyin jets and writin novels... I struggle with this question too..but its more like why do real assholes like the Ayatollah Khomeni, Mao, Stalin, Castro, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy live to be old as fuck, then he doles out the Neuroblastomas to 4 year olds...


Kathleen in CA said...

Stalin and Jimmy Carter? In the same,there's a connection I would never have imagined.

Anonymous said...

"Stalin and Jimmy Carter? In the same,there's a connection I would never have imagined."

True--one of them was at least a strong leader and not an idiot. Hint: not Carter.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't blame God for this kids situation...I would blame the islamic leaders of that country.


Sid Schwab said...

Steve: I'd say that's letting god off the hook, wouldn't you? First of all, I don't know who the leaders are, or what country it is. I do know that many African nations have been suffering from drought for decades. And if god is such that he won't bring rain and will let babies die because their leaders, let's say, haven't converted to Christianity, then he's a pretty bitter god. What did that kid do to deserve it? It's not unlike, I guess, the whole idea that since Adam sinned every generation for ever and ever is a sinner and deserves whatever evil happens to him if he doesn't convert.

That's a very nasty view of god, I'd say. I'd think we'd demand better of him. It's exactly my point, which you seem to have confirmed: looking at the world, I can't accept that god is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving. Whatever he is, it ain't that. You can't put that kid and the Christian view of god on the same planet.

But that's just me, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Thats right, Blame God... what about the guy taking the picture?!?!?!? Why doesn't he help the kid for cryin out loud???... Yeah, I know, God made the guy takin the picture too... or, maybe, God made the Buzzards, and he lets Buzzy Buzzard win one every once in awhile...

I. N. Esher said...

"First of all, I don't know who the leaders are, or what country it is."

Denmark, maybe? France? Ireland?

The countries where this happens are run by evil people who hoard their resources and abscond with international aid. Maybe you should blame them?

"Suffer the children" Check the lexicon--language changes.

Sid Schwab said...

Fair enough. All I'm saying is it bespeaks a powerless or indifferent god. Especially since, as we know, the scene in that picture happens thousands of times daily, all across the planet.

Based on biblical description, he certainly has the power to overrule those despots, yes? But he doesn't. So which is it? Powerless, indifferent, non-existent, or not at all like the god of the Bible.

Spiny Norman said...

"Thats right, Blame God... what about the guy taking the picture?!?!?!?"

That's called "bearing witness," Frank. Blaming the messenger is a classical sign of profound stupidity, going back (at least) to Aristophenes.

Anonymous said...

Many will have seen this old saw from Epicurus, but it's apt nevertheless:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

--Sam Spade

I. N. Esher said...


I can gently say that you can't assume there's no God because he's not the way you think he'd be.

As for the Bible, you haven't read it carefully. God is presented in all limited human understanding. Sometimes he kicks butt and takes names, sometimes he seems overly patient. Just because you think he should be a different God doesn't mean he's not there.

btw--the photog is not a messenger. He's there and can help or not.

Sid Schwab said...

You're still not getting what I'm saying: I'm not saying he should be one way or the other. I'm saying that based on what we see, he's NOT what the Bible claims. Fine with me. Just not consistent with the Christian view, without bending one's brain into pretzels. Which is, of course, what people do every day: claiming the Bible is inerrant, while ignoring much of what it requires.

I have no dog in the fight. I'm not saying god ought to be one way or the other. I just find it impossible to reconcile certain biblical views of him with what we observe every day, and I've yet to see any explanation that doesn't require a sort of mental gymnastics that is self-contradictory and inconsistent. All-powerful, all-knowing: free will. Not consistent. Loving, and perfect creator who made us imperfect and subject to eternal damnation. Not consistent. Punishing all of mankind forever and ever for the supposed sin of one guy, but he loves us: not consistent.

That's all I'm saying. I think there are some things the truth of which can only be seen from the outside.

I. N. Esher said...

"certain biblical views "

And all I'm saying is you have to read the Bible and take what you assume are others' views.

scalpel said...

I'm not a Christian, but it still annoys me to see Christianity misrepresented by atheists. I don't recall the Bible ever promising that God would make life on earth wonderful for everyone, even the innocent. It promises salvation in the afterlife to believers.

Again, I have irreconcilable differences with that religion myself, but seeing an example of an unfortunate human tragedy doesn't add to them.

Life isn't fair. We have religious (or in some cases, cough, political) beliefs to try to reconcile the unfairness of the world as it is with how we think it should be. We'll all find out the answer eventually, or not.

Sid Schwab said...

I don't disagree, scalpel (nice to hear from you, by the way). But I don't think this is a misrepresentation. I'm just saying it's impossible to reconcile what we know about life with some biblical views of god. Namely that he is all knowing, all powerful, and loving. That's all I'm saying. Could he exist? Could. But it takes all sorts of contradictory manipulations to say that he exists and is those other things. If he exists, he simply can't be "all powerful" AND "all knowing" AND "loving." That's all I'm saying. A small, and a huge point.

scalpel said...

Whether God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving or not, your picture does not refute those claims. After all, he famously let his own son die by crucifixion, so letting a random child die of starvation (or even at the beak of a hungry vulture) is not inconsistent with Biblical history or teachings.

Again, it's the comforting afterlife that's the promise of Christianity and most other religions, and you can either believe in it or not. Suffering on earth is a given either way, and in no way disproves anything about the Christian God.

Sid Schwab said...

Of course we'll never get anywhere with such arguments...

God didn't let his son die. He knew (because he's all knowing) that he'd be resurrected in three days; so the whole thing seems like a massive guilt trip laid on humanity. But that's just me.

As to suffering being a part of life: it most certainly is. But assuming god set up all the rules, it didn't have to be that way (or is it because Adam ate an apple and cursed us all for all eternity?) Especially since it's some sort of brief way-station to heaven/hell forever and ever. Doesn't that strike you as strange? Putting man on earth, making him imperfect, setting up a bunch a rules knowing that billions would, in their god-created imperfection, be unable to follow them, thus guaranteeing eternal punishment; while a bunch of others get rewarded for a trillion bazillion gazillion years? If he's okay with the trillion bazillion part, why the micro-second test? It's like you have a kid who, when he's two, throws a tantrum in the supermarket and you use that as the basis for locking him in your basement for the rest of his life. Except that it's way worse than that.

I'm not saying that's not how it is; just that if it is (and that seems to be what Christians think) then the guy in charge is hardly the good guy they claim. Child abuser, more like.

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