The Concept of God is the Source Of Tragedy
"I have been asked hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer, totally, even to my own satisfaction."
--- Reverand Billy Graham
Friday September 14, 2001, Noon, Washington National Cathedral. WETA 90.9FM. A RealPlayer recording is available at www.decisiontoday.org about 2 minutes and 50 seconds in.
Why does God allow suffering? This question has puzzled philosophers through the ages, but as with all paradoxes, The most likely answer is simple:
There is no god.
The horrible destruction of the people in the twin towers, the pentagon and a square field was, in addition to the grave injustice of the displacement of the Palestinians, caused by people with minds warped by a concept of "god". The atrocity was probably done in the name of god, just as the crusades were caused by exactly the same thing, so the predominant religion of the USA is guilty of the same kind of atrocity. It took 500 years for them to apologize, but after such a time an apology is worse than meaningless. The mess in the middle east is caused by religious fervor.
It is time for humanity to grow up, to dispense with the illusion that there is a being guiding us. Nothing in any of the sciences indicates such a being. As a molecular biologist, I can say that repeatable experimental evidence shows that nothing in the way living beings work indicates any external guidance whatsoever. Far to the contrary. Instead we have the stark beauty of the universe.
To live in peace we must be kind and hold each other. We must love each other as we love ourselves. We must take the lessons of religions and dispense with the mythology.
- The absence of gods does not mean we should be unkind.
- The absence of gods does not mean that we should hurt one another.
- In the absence of gods we ourselves must finally take responsibility for peace on the planet.
In the end we must remove "In God We Trust" from the coins of the United States. First and most fundamentally, it is a lie since there is no 'god'. Second and more practically, it is illegal because it combines religion and state. We must also revise the Pledge of Allegence, since we are not 'one nation under god'. That phrase does not represent everybody, and many have avoided saying it in classrooms and in public to avoid lying. These symbols are an affront to all who are patriotic to the United States of America but do not believe in myths. If we are to be a country that allows freedom of religion, which is another way of saying freedom from oppression, then these symbols must be removed because they are repressive.
The greatest tragedy is humanity's holding onto the myth of gods, as these make many people feel rightious against others and feel that they have the right to destroy another or to force their beliefs upon another.
2001 Sep 24: Putative fax from Osama bin-Laden: "We ask God to make us defeat the infidels and the oppressors and to crush the new Jewish-Christian crusader campaign on the land of Pakistan and Afghanistan." Two points:
- God thinking is leading them to war with us.
- By not separating church and state the United States plays into their hands. Public figures should not mention 'god'.
2001 October 7: CNN George Bush statement: "The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waiver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail. Thank you. May God continue to bless America."
2001 October 7: CNN Tony Blair statement: "This atrocity was an attack on us all, on people of all faiths and people of none." I agree with him and am glad to see that he is inclusive of all the people on the planet.
2001 October 7: CNN Osama bin Laden statement: "Thanks to God, he who God guides will never lose. And I believe that there's only one God. And I declare I believe there's no prophet but Mohammed. This is America, God has sent one of the attacks by God and has attacked one of its best buildings. And this is America filled with fear from the north to south and east to west, thank God. ... And when God has guided a bunch of Muslims to be at the forefront and destroyed America, a big destruction, I wish God would lift their position."
2001 October 7:
Logic shows that they can't both be right at the same time, but they could both be wrong. If there were no god, we would be united.
- Osama claims that there is one god. Indeed all religions declare this.
- Bush claims that god is on the American side. Again, all religions declare this.
origin: 2001 September 14
updated: 2001 October 7