God on Facebook

I don’t post a lot of heavy stuff on my blog, but I did have an interesting Facebook conversation yesterday that I wanted to share for anyone interested. It started when a friend of mine posted something about the existence of God. I refer to the people below by the first initial only, so M is the one who made the original post. And of course “Me” is yours truly.

M
: When you say somethings going wrong in your life people automatically tell you that “God” can help you get through it… They never actually do something themselves. No one does. It’s all about “Him” and they haven’t even seen or heard from him…
It’s like me saying Hey look you guise the tooth fairy will help you get through this rough patch in your life….. What if he won’t? What if no one really gave a crap about you or anything you’re going through?
Simply what if

S
: The entire god concept is just a coping mechanism for people who want to believe that there is a divine ever-vigilant father figure in the sky to watch over them. It’s up to us, not a god, to get through our life’s struggles and desires.

M: It’s as if we’re playing the sims in real life…

J: Hey i believe in God but i think we put in an effort so will he He help them whom help thier selfs.

S: J, when we help ourselves, we reap what we sow. Why is there any reason to believe that there is a divine dictator watching over us and expecting that? There’s not. It’s a security blanket, an unnecessary one.

M: Yeah I fully agree with S

P: God isn’t a Wizard nor a genie. It’s not that he grants you wishes and what you please. i ain’t gonna preach but God doesn’t do things for you completely. Just one thing, He opens the doors and you have the choice to go through them.

J: Maybe to you, but if it helps me get though the day so be it. I’ve believed in God for years and everytime i fully pray and ask him it comes my way. SO i’ll keep believin’ and ya’ll keep doin whatever it is ya’ll do. Have a good day.

S: P, we open our own doors. Life is a series of choices and decision that we, and we alone, make. Any and all opportunities are results of mere cause and effect. As cold as that sounds, the universe does not owe you purpose or reason. We have as much ‘reason’ for existing as a mountain does. You wouldn’t ask “why does that mountain exist?”, it’s just silly. We can explain how it exists through study and through scientific exploration. The only why is the result of time’s flow.
J, there are people in the world who believe wholeheartedly that there is a giant diamond buried in their backyard. They gather every Sunday to worship this diamond. There is no proof the diamond exists, because digging it up would be to encroach upon the divine. But the thought of this diamond helps people get through life; it helps them be happy. They state that they wouldn’t want to live in a world where there wasn’t a huge diamond buried in their backyard. And so they pray to the diamond to give them happiness and purpose. Just the thought of the diamond opens doors in their life. These people are living the cliche “ignorance is bliss”. Why do you really believe what you do? Because it makes you happy and content? Many things can help you feel this way; I wholeheartedly recommend finding one that does not demote your personal integrity to a life of servile, mental slavery.

S: When you god-lovers understand why you reject the gods of thousands of other religions, only then will you understand why we reject yours. We are the architects of our own lives. No god-concept will ever have power over that; it is merely a comforting idea, and I respect that, but gods were created to help our race through its infancy. It’s time to grow out of it and start thinking for ourselves. smile

Me: M, this is something a lot of people question and I’m glad you posted this. You guys have some good discussion going, which is awesome. I think discussing religion is always better than throwing out criticisms without bothering to hear other views. … So here’s my two cents: One reason I went to seminary is because I wanted to know WHY I believed what I believed. Did I just believe in God because my parents did or because that’s what the pastor said? And how do I know what I believe is right? Not only did seminary help me understand other religions and hear or read from people of different faiths, but it made my belief in God rock solid. We have SO much evidence for the existence of God that there’s no way my Facebook post is going to do it justice, but here are just two examples: 1 – Creation itself. How did all this get here? How is the universe so complex that even the tiniest difference in the Earth’s position would make life here impossible? Maybe there was a Big Bang, but how did THAT happen? Where did the particles that created the Big Bang come from? Something doesn’t come from nothing, so why couldn’t an all-powerful Being have created it? And 2 – Christ, who was God in human flesh. It’s not just the Bible that tells us He was real (if you don’t believe the Bible, that means nothing), but even historical records, non-Christian sources and eyewitness accounts preserved in thousands of manuscripts testify to His presence and His divinity. Christ is different from other religious teachers because He is the only one who died for us, defeated death and lives today.
Believing in God does give me peace, yes, but that’s not why I believe in Him. I believe in Him because there’s evidence. Science does not discredit God’s existence, but supports it. … One of the greatest things about God, though, is that He didn’t create us to be His slaves. He created us with minds and free will so we can choose. We can make decisions on our own. And we can accept God or reject Him. (Some people question why a supposedly loving God would send us to hell if we reject Him, but I think that’s the most loving thing He can do. He’s not forcing us to spend eternity in His presence; He’s giving us eternity without Him if that’s what we choose.)
This is getting long, but the existence of God is such an important topic. Yes, there is an element of faith, but it’s not blind faith; we can support it with reason. And on a more personal note, I’ve seen how different my life is with and without God, and although I thought I had more freedom without Him, I was sorely mistaken. No, being a Christian isn’t all fuzzy kittens and rainbows, but it’s a real relationship with Christ that has brought me absolute joy and freedom even in the tough times. I will always be imperfect, but I know I’m forgiven for all the things I’ve done wrong, that God loves me beyond comprehension and that He won’t leave me. He promises to be with me in the good times and bad, and I’ve personally witnessed that. I think we are all drawn to God, or at least the idea of Him, but it’s how we respond that makes the difference. When we sincerely seek Him, we find Him.
Thanks again for posting, and you know the writer is going to have problems with brevity. smile🙂

H: I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and here is just a thought, you can’t see the air you breathe but you BELIEVE it will be there when you take a breath. I cant see my GOD but i BELIEVE he is with me at all times. I hope that for the ones who aren’t saved would look into the BIBLE and JESUS a little more and open your mind and heart before your time on this side of eternity is over.

M: But what if he doesn’t exist?

Me: Why don’t you think He exists, M?

M: I never said he did or didn’t but what if we waste all of this time believing and hoping for a greater power only to be let down when we die.. Seems like a lot of Saturdays that could of been spent with the ones we care about the most

Me: Yes, that would be a letdown, and I have another friend who says the same thing. But what if you do seek God and find Him? Wouldn’t it be better to try so you know? It would also be a huge letdown to come to the end of life and realize He does exist but now it’s too late. … I think it’s great that you’re asking the questions; a lot of people don’t want to think about it.

S: Tiffany: The law of conservation of energy states that no energy is created nor destroyed, it merely changes form. A zero-energy universe theory states that the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero. That is the only kind of universe that could come from nothing, assuming such a zero-energy universe is, already, nothing.[6][7] Such a universe needs to be flat, a state which does not contradict current observations that the Universe is flat with a 0.5% margin of error.[8] Our universe did, technically, come from nothing.
I concede to the fact that science has many gaps that still need to be filled in to complete our understanding of the universe, but there is no reason to fill those gaps in with a god(s) simply because of the human desire for instant understanding. We don’t have the answers yet, but someday, we will, and the evidence is building up against a divine creator. Other than a lack of full understanding, do you have any factual data that supports a god?
H, explain to me how belief, without evidence, is beneficial to the human race.
I can give you an example of how it’s detrimental: Those airline hijackers that made a suicide dive into the world trade centers, remember them? They were men of perfect faith, faith without evidence. Their god ordered them to commit atrocities in his name, as he isn’t even as horrible as the judeo-christian god.
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
After reading your bible, how can you even want to associate with such a god?

Me: If our universe contains mass, space and time, it must have been created by a causal agent that transcends mass, space and time. … And the hijackers who crashed into the Trade Center did not believe in the God I’m speaking of, the God of the Bible. It’s tragic that they and thousands of others lost their lives that way. … I’m not sure where some of the adjectives you mentioned come from, but the God of the OT is often misunderstood. If you read the OT, you see a God who is merciful, giving people multiple opportunities to do what’s right, a God who provides clothing, shelter and food for His people in the desert, a God who upholds justice and doesn’t put up with evil, and a God who forgives and forgives and forgives. The Bible does indeed say He is jealous, but jealous in the sense that He is protective of His people and loves us so much that He yearns for us to love Him, too — not because He needs it, but because of His bond with us. I had questions about the “vindictive” God I thought was portrayed in the OT until I read it for myself, twice.

S: Tiffany: By your logic, if something that transcends mass, space, and time created the universe, something must have also created that entity, being as it is over greater complexity than the universe itself. And something must have also created that entity, by your logic. Where does that loop end? That’s what we call circular logic, and it does not work.
“It must have been…” is a gap-filler. It isn’t evidence; it is opinion.
Your god, their god, and all other gods are all relevant to my point. They all demand blind faith, and that faith leads to actions without a solid base in evidence. These acts can and have become more malevolent and heinous than most things any sane human being would ever do without this blind faith.

Me: You’re right, S, circular logic doesn’t work. You would have to have an infinite regress of gods or some other entity, and that doesn’t work. When I say God, I’m talking about the omnipotent God who was not created but who has always existed. He is transcendent, unlimited. … I have to disagree that all gods are the same, though. The God of the Bible doesn’t demand blind faith, and I gave reasons for that in an earlier post. … It sounds like the issue you are taking is more about some of the atrocities credited to religion. Yes, religion has been at the center of countless conflicts, wars, killings, crimes against humanity, etc. But that’s not because of God. That’s because of people, some who are rebelling against God or who have a serious misconception or definition of God. That is not how God intended us to act.

S: “That is not how God intended us to act.” is one religions interpretation of god’s will. Most religions disagree with each other, and that leads to these atrocities. But let’s get back to your point. The type of god you describe in incapable of existing and also has no proof of existing. If you disagree with this statement, show me your proof. I’ve read through every religious doctrine, and I’ve seen none. Perhaps you found something I missed? If so, please share it. smile🙂

*********
The conversation continued for a while after that, but I didn’t post anything else because he didn’t seem to be open to my arguments. I wish I had asked S to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I didn’t think of it until today. I think I can guess his answer anyway. At least it didn’t get nasty.
I also sent M a message today (not a public post) saying that I enjoyed the challenging discussion and that I’m always open if he wants to discuss it further.
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One thought on “God on Facebook

  1. Wow! I sure hope whoever those people were, especially that one, that somehow God will open his eyes to the truth. It is so scary seeing people with such unbelief – and usually there is a lot of anger somewhere in their life that causes them to harden their hearts and decide to become that way. Something must have happened for them to be so angry and call God such horrible names. I will pray for S and also for M whoever they are. You responded very well with much confidence by the way – I am so thankful (AWANA – “a workman approved, that needed not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of God.” But you know, those people don’t know it but it is the Holy Spirit drawing them to Him because He loves them. He is the Good Shepherd looking for His sheep. That is why they are questioning and reading a bunch of stuff. God made each of us with a deep inner need in our soul to have that relationship with our Creator. That is what is missing in their lives and they just don’t know it. But God is using you and maybe others to plant seeds so one day they will come to know Him as their Savior. We need to really pray for them. Love, Mom

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