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damn_registrars's Journal: Where is your god now? 16

Journal by damn_registrars
I am agnostic. This probably doesn't surprise many people who read much of anything I have written here. Yesterday I was hit with news that leaves me to wonder how anyone could be convinced in the existence of a benevolent higher power.

I have a great-uncle who is in his 70s (brother of one of my grandmothers). About 2-3 years ago his wife died suddenly of inoperable cancer. From diagnosis to 6 feet under was about 2 months at the most, she was always healthy before that and she went in to the doctor because she was feeling tired for no clear reason. She was one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

And he is as well. He has been a farmer all his life, also doing woodworking on the side in a small mill he has built on the family farm. He loves showing local kids how both the farm and the mill work; he has cut wood for the area for a long time and helped to build more than a couple houses.

After his first wife (to whom he had been married for almost 50 years) passed away, the family was shook up. But he deserved to be as happy as he always made everyone else; he eventually met up with a widowed woman his age who he had gone to primary school with so-many-years-ago. The two of them dated and eventually decided to marry; they both knew that they were getting old enough that time wasn't on their side anyways.

Then a few weeks ago that was confirmed for his second wife.

She was recently diagnosed with cancer as well. By the time a surgeon specializing in that part of the body was available the primary care doctor suggested instead it was time for a family meeting.

Really, if there is a god, why would that god decide to punish my great-uncle like this? He cares for his family and his community. He doesn't smoke or gamble. One of his adult children is involved with ministry work in a former 2nd-world country.
This discussion was created by damn_registrars (1103043) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Where is your god now?

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  • We live in a fallen world, and bad things happen due to this fact.
    • Please elaborate:

      We live in a fallen world

      I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you saying that because he lives in a country where gay marriage is recognized, he is being punished by god?

      The country he lives in has some of (if not the) most stable financial institutions in the world - rated even better than the Swiss. His country takes care of the poor and the infirm. They tend to their part of the world with sensibility and respect.

      Are you saying because they believe in equality amongst men and women that god wants them

      • Are you saying that because he lives in a country where gay marriage is recognized, he is being punished by god?

        Not even close, and I'm almost afraid to ask about the logical hoops you had to jump through to reach that particular conclusion...

        How serious are you about wanting the full explanation? I'm more than a little concern I'd be wasting my time by trying to explain it to you, since you are prone to just arguing with specific conclusions and not actually paying attention.

        I'll reiterate: When Ad
        • Maybe if god didn't want the fruit to be eaten, he shouldn't have put the tree right in the middle of Eden. He should have put it on a far away mountain top, and instead of making it (apparently) appear edible, he should have made it look gross and smell like Rafflesia. Or he could have not created this super-fruit in the first place.

          Also, punishing people for something their ancestors did is a really jerky idea. Also also, the whole point is that before they ate it they didn't know good from evil, so how c

        • by cml4524 (1520403)

          Which brings up a whole host of other problems. I'm not Adam or Eve, why am I being punished? Punishing a million years of generations for what the first one did seems pretty wicked.

          Plus, isn't it God's fault they ate the apple anyway? Not only did He create the serpent that tricked them - in other words, it's his fault there's evil, not ours - he also created people to be prone to evil. And why would He put a forbidden tree with edible fruit on it right in the middle of a garden full of other edible fruits

        • Not even close

          When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, Sin entered the World. From there, bad stuff happens.

          So you are saying that a myth about unknown people, in an unknown location, at an unknown time, involving unknown food, is the root of all our problems today?

          But wasn't the new testament all about forgiveness? I thought we were told that a specific other person from more recent history died so that our sins would be forgiven...

          How serious are you about wanting the full explanation

          I'm interested in your explanation if you feel you have one. Though frankly if you want to rely on a vengeful angry god it would make just as much sense to blame it on gay marri

  • There is a whole book which explains this, Job.

    Being a Christian is not about making your life easier or getting every thing you wish. The health and wealth sorts of Christianity of the last decades televangelists is hardly an accurate example.

    God allows afflictions in your life to refine and shape you. Sometimes to break you and draw you to your knees so that you acknowledge his lordship. Other times we simply cannot see God's motivations or understand the whole plan.

    Sadly, at some point everyone's body

    • There is a whole book which explains this, Job.

      I don't know. I don't find the idea that God is just letting Satan fuck with people, just to prove a point, very comforting at all.

      • I find another book to be much more insightful on these issues: Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert Heinlein

    • Being a Christian is not about making your life easier or getting every thing you wish

      I apologize if I created the impression that I thought that to be the case. That was not my intent.

      Sometimes to break you and draw you to your knees so that you acknowledge his lordship. Other times we simply cannot see God's motivations or understand the whole plan.

      I don't see how one could see the punishment of a kind old man who has been good to his family and his community and then deduce that their is a plan - or a god - at all.

      Sadly, at some point everyone's body will fail and they will pass from this life

      Clearly nobody is immortal. Certainly my uncle was aware when he married his second wife that neither of them had all that much time left. But if god took the first one, and then brought him to the second one, why would he so quickly tak

      • He was blessed with not one but two loving wives who lived out their days as normal for humans. If you look at it that way, he was blessed, not cursed or abandoned. And in turn, both of those women were blessed with a loving caring husband for as long as they lived here. All of them might have had it worse, being lonely and not having another caring human around them.

        And yes, there is grief on this material plane, but according to Christian doctrine, in the next stage of life, which is in the spiritual real

    • >Sometimes to break you and draw you to your knees so that you acknowledge his lordship.

      Wait, not only does ask for your worship (he is all-knowing and all-powerful, why does he need you to worship him? Sounds like he has self-esteem issues.), he actually beats you up until you do it? Sounds more like the mafia than god.

      • by cml4524 (1520403)

        Actually, the bible says as much. He explicitly claims in several spots that He's both vain and cruel and the book is full of examples of horrific butchery perpetuated out of spite or as punishment for very minor infractions.

        He also feels bad about things sometimes too. Really, he acts like us but with Dr. Manhattan's power. When we get cut off we flip the bird, lay on the horn and tailgate the perpetrator. If somebody cuts God off, though, he chokes the entire region's newborn population in their sleep in

  • Really, if there is a god, why would that god decide to punish my great-uncle like this? He cares for his family and his community.

    I imagine you probably already know this, but your talking about "The Problem of Evil", on which there is a huge body of work.

    If you're unaware, or a reader is unaware, the question is basically this:

    Given two starting assumptions (which are two assumptions made by the majority of denominations of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam):

    1. God is omnipotent - there is nothing He canno

    • In the end, you can discuss it to the ends of the Earth with as many people as you want, and as many scholars as you can find, but the only answer you'll ever come up with is the one you decide on for yourself.

      Bing! You win a cookie!

      Your statement pretty much hit the purpose of this journal entry on the head. Everyone needs to decide that for themselves (I even stated at the beginning that I am agnostic), I was just wondering how believers could see a situation like this and believe there to be some sort of benevolent higher power.

      But in the end, if it somehow makes them feel better, they are welcomed to it.

  • by nizo (81281) *

    On the upside your great aunt didn't suffer for a long time; going quickly is a blessing for her.

    Still, I personally feel that while there may be a higher power, I seriously doubt it is concerned one wit about us.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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