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View Diary: Hey Pat, the last time I checked I haven't murdered, raped or stolen from anyone (81 comments)

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  •  It's people like Pat Robertson that have (22+ / 0-)

    Kgirl doubting the existence of God. (She's going through Coming-of-Age at our UU church so she is thinking a lot about what she believes.) She wonders "Why the little boy in hospital Room 100 is cured of cancer but the boy in Room 200 dies. Both parents love their kid, both prayed, why would one live and they other has to die? If there is a God, both of those boys would live and those people who hate everyone, the ones that hate gay people and black people -- those are the ones that a god would let die. Not innocent children. If there was a God, those people would all be dead because a god would never want his planet littered with haters."

    If there is a Heaven, Pat Robertson won't be there. I don't see how your husband will ever be able to talk sense to him...

    First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

    by theKgirls on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:30:47 AM PDT

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    •  Yep (9+ / 0-)

      It's pretty difficult to believe in God in a world where Pat (either one) can safely walk outdoors without an array of lightning rods that make a NORAD radar installation look like a string of tinsil.

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:32:53 PM PDT

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    •  theKgirls, one thing I'd recommend reading (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theKgirls, commonmass

      is C.S. Lewis The Efficacy of Prayer. It's one of the best discussions of the issue I've ever found. Like you, I am unsure what I believe, but I am a great fan of critical thinking.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:33:21 PM PDT

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      •  Y'see (7+ / 0-)

        I'd call that typical Lewis Christian propaganda. Have Kgirl read it, sure, but make sure she follows up with some Dawkins or Hitchens. Or, at the very least, George Carlin's routine where he talks about getting his prayers to God and prayers to Joe Pesci answered at the same rate :D

        "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

        by ChurchofBruce on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:58:30 PM PDT

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        •  Lots of very intelligent people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti, sfbob

          misunderstand the purpose of prayer.

          What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

          by commonmass on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:54:00 PM PDT

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          •  God answers all prayers........ (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mmacdDE, sfbob

            Sometimes, the answer is, "No."

            Not out of spite or anger, but out of inifinite knowledge of what we need, as opposed to what we want.

            Is that close to what you mean?

            Hugs,
            Marti

            We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

            by The Marti on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:04:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why does god "need" people to suffer? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              swampyankee, theKgirls, The Marti

              I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I just can't understand it. God couldn't come up with any other way?

              When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

              by PhillyJeff on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:59:11 PM PDT

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              •  God doesnt' "need" people to suffer. This is (0+ / 0-)

                where free will comes into play.

                We make choices, which have consequences.  Sure, God could make it all better, but what would we learn?  

                And no, you didn't seem insensitive.  Not at all.  These are questions we all wrestle with.  I've found a few answers that make sense and work for me.  But I don't have all the answers, not by a long chalk!  It's a constant learning experience, this crazy little thing called Life.

                Marti

                We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

                by The Marti on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:27:35 AM PDT

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                •  I don't think free will solves anything (0+ / 0-)

                  When people are miraculously saved, people see it as god's work. But when horrible things happen, it's due to free will. God gets credit for all of the good things, but none of the bad.

                  The other problem I think of is that if humans can intervene and mess with god's plan, how do we know that god's plan is actually good? There could be an evil god that wants suffering to happen, but our free will actually causes good things to happen. I don't know why that scenario would be less plausible than a good god, other than we wouldn't want it to be the case.

                  When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                  by PhillyJeff on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:03:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  I'd written this whole long thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theKgirls

      explaining how I handle just the sorts of questions Kgirl is asking. It seemed a bit...oh...pretentious or sententious or something like that. There is a way to do it though. The short version is that nothing that occurs in the world is personal.

      Let me illustrate just a bit. When I lost my partner, some 20 years ago, I found it helpful to say, somewhat ironically but not entirely that he "died at me." In a sense I really did believe that; and at the same time I knew perfectly well that his death was not aimed at me (after all other people experienced his loss, not just me); neither God nor the universe nor the Flying Spaghetti Monster had it in for me personally.

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