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What About the Failures? October 19, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

You simply cannot have it both ways. For almost every miracle, there is a failure, or more often, massive failure. When a bus goes over a cliff, and a single person survives, God gets the credit for the miracle. But why does God not also get the blame for the other deaths? The moment you give credit to God for a miracle, you are by default stating that God is also responsible for the tragedy as well. Even the Chilean miner accident had tragedy.

Sure, all of the miners were saved – thanks to the rescuers, and everyone else involved. But a miracle from God? Are you kidding me? Someone even claimed that God was the 34th person in the mine along with the miners! Seriously? What was he doing down there? If God’s miracle saved the miners, why were they stuck in the mine for more than two solid months? How much more incompetent can the creator of the universe actually be? And how is the collapse not the fault of God in the first place?

Anyway, it sure gets old hearing about all of the miracles of God, while conveniently ignoring the disaster that required the miracle in the first place! It’s disgusting. And many people do this without giving it a second thought. God, they say, was the reason that there were survivors in a particular disaster. But simultaneously, God certainly is not to blame for the tragedy and untimely and horrific deaths of the rest of the group. And no one seems to notice, nor care. The last thing on the mind of miracle thumpers is the fact that the miracle was even necessary.

I suppose that if California ever experiences a massive earthquake, one that has long been feared and seems as likely as all of the prior earthquakes, God will get all of the miracle credits, while perhaps hundreds of thousands will surely die as the ground swallows them whole, or perhaps a large chunk of the coast crumbles into the pacific, forever reshaping the coast line. But who will actually blame God for the disaster? Did God create the earth, and all of it’s natural disasters? There are certainly plenty of Christians who have no problem blaming tsunamis and earthquakes on sinners. I guess we’ll never know for sure, since God is conspicuously absent from modern times (assuming you believe he physically interacted with ancient humans some 2,000 years ago and earlier.)

As one who is quite certain that many modern humans are simply unable to abandon imaginary gods, I have to say that I am wholly unimpressed by miracle claims where credit is given to God. This god, who is also given full credit for actually creating the entire universe, and everything in it, is apparently incapable of managing the world, and the universe in such a way as to allow his beloved humans to live without fear of getting buried alive by a volcano, or be drowned on an otherwise beautiful beach by the sudden appearance of a tsunami. There is even a ready made excuse for such ineptness – free will! That’s right – free will is the reason that suffering is allowed by God.

Yeah, I tried to understand that one, and I was left with the same bewildered feeling. Pathetic.



1. Noel - December 19, 2010

Hello Jet, I originally found your comments from another blog, so I decided to check yours. Very interesting. I consider myself a reflective Christian; reflecting meaning that I continue to think and contemplate on a more accurate and holistic meaning of what Life is really about, and Christian because I continue to believe that Jesus is the primary example of what Life should be. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading this particular blog, and while doing so, I kept asking myself, how can we possibly recognize a miracle if a disaster (or anything that is not desirable) does not occur first? How can we recognize light if we don’t know about darkness (and vice versa)? I appreciate you writing that Christians don’t tend to blame God for disasters, because I think the same way. Israel, Jonah, and Moses questioned and fought with God and they still remained famous characters in the Bible. I believe that our relationship with God should be genuine enough to include praising Him for miracles, as well as blaming and questioning him for the disasters. But at the end, I cannot escape the notion that God created the very reason that I use in my brain to try to understand the universe, including God (which is outside space and time). So, after arguing, blaming, and trying to deny God, I ultimately realize that I cannot compare my limited knowledge to His, and can only have faith. Can a cartoon character understand the cartoonist? This is how I think about it. God bless.

jetson - December 19, 2010

I appreciate your thoughts on this. I would ask that you consider that what you are really saying, is that we are not to question God’s ways, or, we are not to try and understand certain things? Is that correct?

My only problem with this is that it appears that God is potentially selecting who lives and dies, or who is injured or not. And from where I stand, it seems about as random as if there were no God at all?

You might have given up on questioning God’s motives, but if he is real, we should all be asking the same questions. Why save one person, when you could have saved them all? Or why cure someone of cancer, but ignore the prayers of amputees?

In the end, I simply cannot stand back and give God any credit for wonderful miracles, when many of those wonderful miracles only exist at the expense of some of the most horrible tragedies.

It would indeed be a wonderful miracle if God provided food for every singel starving human, all at the same time. But for some reason, God chooses not to do this. So we have to do it ourselves, and sadly, we can only do so much. Too many children die of starvation, while God helps single prayers all over the place – not a great track record if you ask me.

2. Noel - December 19, 2010

Jetson, I think we can question God’s ways and still be Christians. The same way that we can then accept the fact that we cannot understand everything, and therefore accept our limitations. A child can question me for not letting him eat a piece of candy that only I know and understand will make him sick. The child can cry and even call me unjust and cruel. I believe we do the same when God chooses to save some and not others. It is natural. I also believe that if God gives us everything we want, would there be any motivation to seek Him? I cannot conclude that God does not exist simply because He does not meet my human standards. Take Care.

jetson - December 19, 2010

Ah, but we are not children, are we! We are capable of critical thinking, and reason. And when we choose to sit back and say that we simply cannot understand God’s ways, all we are doing is giving up – because we actually know better within our own lives. We would never let our child starve to death at the expense of feeding another – that sort of thing is unheard of in modern human society.

If humans can empathize and cry, and be very saddened by the plight of hungry children, why can’t God?

3. bradley - December 22, 2010

Wow I like the child with candy analogy a lot Noel. The child crying about us being cruel and unjust would obviously go on to say that when he/she grows up he would do it with so much more righteousness and make comments like… “because we actually know better within our own lives. We would never let OUR child *go without candy all day long* at the expense of pleasing the doctors – that sort of thing is unheard of *around the merry-go-round*”

Merry Christmas Noel and Jetson!!

jetson - December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas Bradley!

I can say those things because God is not real, and does not affect how I act or behave among my peers. If I’m wrong about God, then I can only conclude that God might not think I was all that great of a person, to which I would be nothing less than baffled by.

You call it righteousness, because you can’t question your God. I call it moral behavior because there is no God, and it is the best I can do as a human. If all that I am missing is a belief in God, I’d rather be called righteous by a believer who is afraid of his god.

4. Noel - December 22, 2010

Hello Jetson, compared to our earthly children, we are grown up. But compared to what is there to be known about the universe , we are actually very underdeveloped. I don’t feel I am in any position to put God under a microscope and then conclude that because He does not do things the way I would (feed everyone at once), He does not exist. The more I empty myself from my own egocentric tendency to conclude such a thing based on my own limited understanding, the more room I make for God to manifest in my life. I don’t think I am giving up when I give God the credit for the unexplainable, but a sincere and honest step of realization that there is still a lot to learn, but in the mean time, all I am actually able to do is trust. Have a Merry Christmas!

jetson - December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas to you too Noel!

So, you would feed everyone if you could? Do you consider that being egocentric, or is that only when you compare your actions to your god?

Would you expect God to feed everyone, or were you simply saying that it is just not for you to understand, or guess at?

5. Noel - December 22, 2010

Jetson, sorry about the misunderstanding. When I said egocentric, I meant if I conclude that God does not exist simply because He does not do things my way. I don’t expect God to do anything, I hope that God does certain things. But I believe He knows more than I do, which is why I rest in Him and continue to seek Him. Peace.

6. bradley - December 23, 2010


Why would you feed everyone? I mean, I know that seems like a dumb question, but… If you acquired enough personal wealth to feed the entire world’s current population for the rest of their lives, would that cure starvation? Would everyone on Earth be “on the same page” of ensuring everyone was fed? What type of circumstance would you need to create in order for everyone on Earth to have food?

jetson - December 23, 2010

If I were a god, I would make the world such that starvation was never a problem. The starvation of people, especially children, in this world is what I consider unnecessary suffering. If God created everything as we see it, then why couldn’t God create a world of beings that required no food at all?

As far as I can tell, the God you worship made this world so that the suffering and starvation of millions is necessary. Either that, or it is all man’s fault because of original sin, etc.

7. bradley - December 23, 2010

So you would make a world where people didn’t need to eat at all? We could all be like plants or something. That sounds awesome. We wouldn’t have to worry about starvation or sin… or thought at all, really. You would be quite the righteous benevolent dictator.

Did I take it too far? Would your creation need to eat?

Jetson - December 23, 2010

Take a deep breath, and read my reply again!

Starvation in our world is a REAL problem for millions of humans, do you agree? If so, is God in any way involved in this particular problem, and if so, how?

If God created humans, then was he not fully aware that some of them would die of starvation, or do you blame that on humans completely?

If God is real, why has he not answered the very genuine prayers of many of the worlds starving people, as well as the prayers of many well meaning Christians who also pray for the starving children?

If human starvation does not bother you, and/or if your God is not to blame, nor bothered enough to answer these prayers, then you must be posting here just because you don’t like atheists challenging your beliefs?

Please, school me on this…

8. bradley - December 23, 2010

I’m not certain that starvation DOES bother God. I’ll have to spend a little time reading some scripture. I like to think it does, but think about the trees. Do we weep for the seedlings that starve for sunlight under the canopy of a prosperous white oak, or the shrubs that thirst to death living within its greedy root system? I don’t.

In the Garden, everything was provided. I can’t find anything about starvation there. It wasn’t until Man began embracing his humanity that we find starvation. Is God capable of providing for all mankind? I believe so. Does Man choose to live in starvation? I believe so.

What more do you want from God? He tried to line us up, single-file, with signs all around saying “I will feed you”… and some people just say, “No thanks, I’m better at feeding myself”. Then the wannabe Gods start rambling incessantly at how pathetic My God is.

I wish you WOULD challenge my faith. However, I post here because you amuse me. Oh, Jetson, if only you could control what everyone else thought, eh? It’s so comical because you’re always griping about the Christians trying to suppress individuality and freedom and whatnot. Those are the things you seem to detest most!!!

Oh, if only everyone thought like you, ya? I hate that there is starvation in the world. Boy… if God had just left us as dust, there wouldn’t be any unnecessary suffering. Rocks aren’t starved for anything… except Life.

Thanks for the riveting introspective and thought provoking analysis of theological intricacies.

Jetson - December 23, 2010


I can see that you are trying your best to represent Christianity. And I suppose that makes you feel better about yourself. If believing in God keeps you whole, and makes you happy, I want nothing less than for you to keep that belief and faith going – all the way to heaven.

My blogs are written mostly for myself, as well as for anyone who is interested in the perspective of a person who knows that all gods are imaginary. As you can see by my stats, no one reads this blog, so my blasphemy and outrageousness are largely invisible to the world.

In the end, you believe that your god is the one true god, that can do no wrong, and that only wants the best for his loving humans. But sadly, as you have reminded me, humans cannot possibly live up to your gods expectations, therefore, we are all doomed to sin and suffering. And for the believers, well, only God knows which of those will do what it takes to make it to his kingdom…I’m sure you think you’re one of them. Good for you, and I do hope that you make it.

In the mean time, I think it might be best if you concern yourself with reading scripture, and thumbing your nose up with your morally superior attitude, and leave the plight of the less fortunate humans to people who care about them more than some invisible deity from ancient times.

I’m sure Jesus is rather proud of how you share his word, as you traverse the internet telling at least a couple of atheists how self-righteous we are, and reminding everyone how they fall short of the glory of your god. Without that sort of evangelism, religion just wouldn’t be as much fun, now would it?

Keep up the good works, and add some more faith to hedge your bets!

9. bradley - December 24, 2010

Your cynicism and sarcasm won’t go unrewarded. 😀

I don’t have to think my God does no wrong. I can question and get pissed off, lose faith and repent… its a relationship. Like any good marriage, we won’t get along all the time. I don’t think it would be a very good marriage with my wife if either of us stayed silent while the other run all over us. I see my relationship with God the same way.

I can pray and say “I really hate when you let people starve!!” And He can say, “Well, I really hate when you’re rude to my other children… for that you are going to have to toss and turn all night in ‘timeout'”.

But… with all the kicking and screaming and bitching and moaning we can do about all of the “injustices” and “cruelty” we consider God demonstrating… somewhere along the way we have to just sit down and think, “Welp, that’s just the way it is”. Sometimes the good guys die young, the children starve, the liars and cheaters become millionaires, and the log reindeer you spend hours and hour and hours carving for some friends for Christmas because you don’t have enough money to buy them a gift break in the car ride over to deliver them.

We can either accept God with all of his “flaws”, while he accepts me with all of my flaws… or we wind up divorcing ourselves from the Truth. But, divorce doesn’t make it unTrue… it just means we choose to follow earthly wisdom… sounds wretched… like hydrogen bombs over Hiroshima. The truth is still there, Men are evil… but now we have an extra unpleasant situation on our hands.

Anyway… cheers. Snuggle those you love this holiday. Tis the season for some cocoa.


jetson - December 24, 2010

Thanks for the respectful reply, and I apologize if I came off too sarcastic.

As for the reindeer log, well, I can only say that if you ever cut off the trunk of a Christmas tree, and then decide to make it into a candle holder, be warned that it is generally filled with enough sap to make the project far messier and difficult than it should be!

In your reply, I cannot argue with anything you described, but what I can say is that the entire scenario sounds exactly like there is no god to even worry about! Ah, these darned atheists, why can’t they just see it your way!

10. bradley - December 24, 2010

Fair enough… but sadly, I need all the help I can get!!! I do a fantastic job of of making a mess of things when I live like there’s no God. Good luck to you with THAT! 😀

Hah! With your candle story, I get the feeling you know exactly what I went through.

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