By Jim Earl
After reading umpteen letters written by both local and distant writers of apparently deep faith about the tragedy of Virginia Tech, I decided it was time for a view from one without this mysterious faith. I am dumbstruck by some of the statements from these people of deep faith. According to almost all of these writers, faith is the best thing anyone could ever possess, because it's just so much better than common sense or logic. Whatever life has to offer, including tragedies beyond measure, these writers want all of us to believe that without faith we don't have anything to help us cope.
Well, let me assure you that faith is not a requirement to cope with tragedy. Millions of human beings live full and fruitful lives without any religious faith. I happen to count myself among those millions. I live my life with logic and reason, and I assure you, as one who has lived on both sides of the "god" debate, life is indeed good on this side. Of course, this tragedy has hurt me beyond words. I ache for the victims and their extended families. I wouldn't be human if I didn't feel their pain. We surely don't need faith to feel the intense sadness and wish we could magically make it all disappear. The writers depend of their deep faith to do that. That flies in the face of an all-powerful deity that seemingly does nothing to prevent evil acts. But he is able to help his victims get over what he fails to prevent. Odd way of thinking, in my opinion, but apparently, that's how faith works.
This deeply rooted faith, or blind faith, intensely bothers me. Let me explain.
We are all see the dreadful effects of blind faith on a daily basis. Suicide bombers must have this type of faith or they wouldn't be able to carry out their last act for their "god" and glory. Not only that, but these hideous acts drive others to follow suit. Blind faith seems to have a clouding effect of logic and reasoning on such an individual. When someone has faith deep enough to dismiss whatever happens in life as a "gods" will, then those individuals are in serious need of help.
Many of the writers have made statements such as: "This tragedy has helped me in my faith." Say what? You have the luxury of believing in an all-powerful, all good, all everything "god", and you are asking for his help in getting past this tragedy? Where is the logic in that? If I were audacious enough to believe in a god, he would surely have to demonstrate his omnipotence beyond any doubt to me. After all, that's what a "god" is supposed to be. Most Americans believe in such a deity, and follow him without question. However, to claim a tragedy such as those mentioned would help to deepen your faith shows me that there is a serious problem recognizing the need for logic and reason. Remember, I was once playing the same game. Even as a young Christian, I wondered what "god" was doing while Hitler was burning his victims. Later, I wondered what "god" was doing while priests and pastors had their way with their young victims. Likewise, when the powerful hurricane hit New Orleans and people died praying for their "gods" delivery from the rising waters, I again wondered what was their "god" doing that was more important than saving their lives. I did notice
that the people who had an ax in their attics were able to survive. That was logic in action. It finally became clear to me that there is a definite problem with evil and an all-powerful "god." After much reading and intense research, my faith vanished, never to return. I haven't missed it one iota. In fact, I am very proud of the fact that I prefer logic and reason instead of faith and prayer.
Some of the writers even quote verses to help ease the pain. I haven't seen anyone quote Isaiah 45:7. Look it up to see where evil comes from, as stated in the source of your faith.
Some of you are probably wondering by now what the question part of the heading is all about. Well, my question is this: If a god is unable to stop hideous acts from happening, and humanity has certainly had its share lately, is such a god worthy of worship? Now of course, this question is for believers only, as non-believers already have their answer. This is a question that needs answering, but I doubt seriously if believers can answer it in a logical way. However, please try anyway. I would be happy to hear from anyone about this matter, either pro or con.
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Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)