If you are a Christian, the goal here is to help you to see the world through rational eyes for just a moment.
For this exercise we will use an example that comes from the newspaper column called “God Squad”. Keep in mind that this is a religious column that is carried in hundreds of newspapers around the world:
A reader writes to the God Squad with the following question:
I’m having a hard time keeping my faith. I was raised a Christian, yet we didn’t attend church regularly. I consider myself blessed, yet I’m having trouble accepting that God had anything to do with it.
I can seemingly explain my good fortune by a combination of science and hard work. I very much want to believe and have God be a daily part of my life, but my heart doesn’t feel the same way. Can you help?
Almost Godless in Florida
Here is how the God Squad begins the answer to this question:
Let’s begin with what you doubt. You doubt that God has had anything to do with your success; that it all can be explained by science and hard work. Fine. You’re responsible for giving yourself the intelligence you possess. You’re responsible for keeping you free of fatal diseases, fatal injuries and debilitating accidents. You’re responsible for being born into a family that could love you and help you on your path to success. You make the sun rise and the rain fall so you have food to eat. You are responsible for all the goodness and bounty that’s sustained you and enabled you to prosper.
And you haven’t been able to give thanks to God for any of the blessings you did not create but from which you’ve prospered.
The problem you have seems mislabeled. You’re not suffering from a loss of faith but a loss of gratitude. Somehow, you have to open your eyes to all the factors in your life that you did not create. Whether you decide to call these factors blessings, and whether you attribute them to God or not is not important in the early steps of your journey.
This is a classic Christian theme: Give thanks to God for all blessings. To put it another way, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” Specifically the God Squad lists these items as blessings from God:
– freedom from fatal diseases
– freedom from fatal injuries
– freedom from debilitating accidents
– birth into a family that could love you and help you on your path to success
– sun rises
– food to eat
– all the goodness and bounty thatâ€™s sustained you and enabled you to prosper
Here is the God Squad’s proposition: everything good in your life is a blessing caused by God. You should give thanks to God for all of the blessings that he has bestowed upon you. The God Squad states this directly a bit later in the piece: “God is the object of our thankfulness for all our blessings.”
Here is where rationality comes in. According to the God Squad, God is the cause of all blessings. There is no reason to thank God if he is not the cause. Therefore, all the people who live in an unblessed state – the thirty thousand children who will die of starvation today, for example, or the thousands who will die of cancer, or the billions who live in stark, abject poverty – must of necessity be in those situations because God has cursed them. If you happen to live in Ethiopia and starve to death today, it has to be because God has failed to bless you.
In other words, God curses everyone who is suffering on earth. The suffering must come from God’s withholding of his blessings of health, food, rain, etc. Meanwhile, over in the United States, God blessed Bill Gates with another billion dollars today, and Bill should be grateful to God for that since God made it happen.
When you think about it rationally, you cannot escape this obvious problem. If we are supposed to thank God because he is the cause of all blessings, then it means that the lack of blessings (starvation, cancer, poverty, etc.) is caused by God as well. And this means that God is the most twisted, capricious, biased, despicable creature in the universe. 30,000 innocent children will starve to death today specifically because God withheld blessings from them.
Rational thinking forces reality upon you. God cannot get credit for all blessings unless we also blame him for lack of said blessings. The God squad gives this specific example: “You make the sun rise and the rain fall so you have food to eat.” If God gets the credit for making the sun rise and the rain fall, then that automatically means that God gets the blame for the opposite. Everywhere the rain is not falling, the starvation and death caused by drought is specifically caused by God. And that makes God a murderous, satanic demon of the highest order.
The God Squad states this problem explicitly:
How can you do that? I suggest you start by serving a meal to a homeless person, preferably a child. Look at that kid and think about the life lottery that put you on the serving side and that child on the receiving side of the soup kitchen line.
Perhaps that will be the moment when you fall to your knees and say, ”There but for the grace of God go I.” Science and hard work don’t explain why that child is hungry and you are full.
If it is the Grace of God that causes one to have plenty, then it is the curse of God that causes the other to be homeless. And having an invisible being in the sky that capriciously blesses some while cursing others is the plot of a horror movie, not something to worship.
If you are a Christian, chances are that you will now use your delusion to come up with some explanation for why God blesses some and curses others. Or you will try to recharacterize the curse that God must obviously be causing if he were to exist. Or you will simply not think about it to avoid reality. Unfortunately, that does not change reality. If God gets credit for blessings, then he also gets the blame for all the death, disease and torture caused by lack of blessings.
To any person who does does take the time to think about it rationally, reality becomes obvious in just a few minutes. God is imaginary. There is no being in the sky causing blessings, nor curses.
If you are a Christian and you would like to begin thinking rationally rather than delusionally, this web site can help: