God’s Not Dead, Chapter 2 – Faith and Reason Aren’t Enemies (pt18)
FAITH AND REASON AREN’T ENEMIES
The picture is painted that believers must be sheltered from any opposing views and just”quit asking questions.”
Umm, no, I don’t think that is the picture painted by any atheist; exactly the opposite in fact. I want people to ask more questions.
The author continues by telling of Joe Marlin speaking about his ‘militant’ atheism, “especially when someone would ‘thank God’ for something”. I can actually agree with this guy’s point but he continues where I do not. I micro-rage when someone thanks their god for something but not because “they were giving God the credit for something a person had actually done”, it was because they would only give their god credit for the good that happened. The bad things are the result of man while all the good are the result of god.
Mr. Marlin recounts his doubting his doubts (hello Elder Uchtdorf, didn’t think you’d make it into this series of posts) and coming to accept the god claim.
Reason actually led me to God not away from Him.
Again, I must say that reason and logic only lead to accurate conclusions when the basis for the arguments are true. Remember the analogy of the kid believing in Santa.
When something happens that we don’t understand, suggesting the occurrence is simply “God’s mysterious ways” is not abandoning reason and blindly accepting everything in the name of faith.
Well, yes, it actually is. Many factors lead to that conclusion (“blindly accepting”) including only accepting the good results as “god’s mysterious ways” or not looking for or not accepting a natural explanation over ‘god did it’. The author continues by telling a story of a drunk driver and how that is man’s fault because someone was “careless and illegally” driving a car while impaired, claiming “the death of an innocent family was the result”. If just one person is alive after that car accident “god’s mysterious ways” saved them but no mention of “god’s mysterious ways” in the death of the other members nor allowing the drunk driver.
But the real question is, why did God let that happen? Couldn’t He have stopped it? We hear of stories of divine intervention, so why didn’t it happen in this case? When we appeal to mystery, we are simply acknowledging that there are many things we don’t know.
This is so strange that the author thinks that its ok to let some things be unexplained and mysterious and that it is simply “acknowledging that there are many things we don’t know”, but when something good happens it can be so easily explained by “God’s mysterious ways” and it isn’t “blindly accepting everything in the name of faith.” To me this is a contradiction I don’t understand how this isn’t considered ‘counting the hits and ignoring the misses.’
I was once in a discussion with a lady when I brought up how strange it was that she counted herself in god’s graces for having so much and going out to eat with her mom while there were so many in Africa and even in our own country who had none. I asked her where was god for them. She didn’t say she was a better person than they were, she didn’t claim they had done wrong, she flatly and bluntly said we simply don’t have to think about them. This is sadly how I see many believers, they simply don’t think about those other people. It isn’t as harsh a position as my acquaintance, it is more, simply, ignorance.
Many times the real mystery is in grasping the motivations of people who do the things they do.
If god can make a good thing happen, he is intervening into the world. It is contradictory to say that he lets the bad things happen because he doesn’t want to intervene into the actions of man. Confirmation bias is a thing we all struggle with, knowingly or unknowingly.