Saturday, March 11, 2006

Why doesn't God fight his own battles?

Three news events over the last couple of months - the fight by Intelligent Design advocates in the USA to include Intelligent Design in school curricula; the Islamic demonstrations caused by cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed; and the recent religious riots between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, where over 100 people have reportedly been killed - have inspired me to wonder: why doesn’t God fight his own battles?

These three events, including others, are the result of believers fighting for the morals and standards supposedly put into place by their respective deities. I watch all these confrontations, and I wonder: why do the followers of a specific deity have to always do the fighting? If God, Allah, Jesus, or any other kind of deity is offended by what the secular world is doing, why doesn't that deity stand up and make its own voice heard concerning such issues? Why do Muslim fundamentalists need to offer rewards for the assassination of Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, when omnipotent Allah can easily do the act himself? If Jesus is so offended by The Da Vinci Code, why doesn’t he make an appearance to air his own views? If Jehovah was truly disgusted by South Africa’s recent decision to allow gay marriage, why didn’t he himself make arguments in front of the Constitutional Court? Why do followers have to do all the fighting, and all the speaking, for God?

To me it seems – if these deities exist at all – that they are sitting back, while they let their own followers do all the fighting, all the damage, and experience all the pain. Is it not like the king who holes himself inside his safe castle, while he sends his subjects into dangerous battle? Of course, the other possibility could be that these deities are not really concerned about what happens on earth regarding their rules and precepts – their followers are causing needless fuss. Maybe the deities do care, but as I’ve heard some Christians say, judgment will be reserved for the afterlife. If a deity is fully responsible for judgment, then why do followers have to worry about defending anything at all? Surely God can look after himself.

11 comments:

Stardust1954 said...

This is exactly my thinking about this! I have asked this question, rhetorically, very often and only get the lame response "it is not our business to question god's will" or "god requires us to do his bidding" followed by "and it is not up to us to question god's will." I have never had a christian even look as if they are thinking about the question before they respond.

Also, I always bring up the question, "if it is such a life or death matter that we all know this message of salvation and the "correct" message, why does an all powerful god rely on flawed and imperfect humans to pass a long this all -important message? If it was a matter of life and death as christians say it is, why doesn't this god provide a clear and simple message directly? It is because there is no such entity.

Mohammed Is A Woman, Peace Be Upon Her said...

Lovers of Islam Unite! - Pancakes for Mohammed, peace be upon Her

Keep your calendars open for Sunday, March 18th, at 11 AM for the first annual Pancakes for Mohammed, peace be upon Her, Sunday Pancake Fundraiser at Dennys. This is a great way to raise money for our Islam saving cause while eating great pancakes. And remember, “Hold the sausage please!”

For those of us who are trying to convince our Muslim brothers and sisters about the true gender of the Prophet, peace be upon Her, come out and speak up and bring a few shekels to donate. Also, be sure and bring your best drawing of the Prophet, peace be upon Her. I propose that each group vote on the best depiction of the Prophet, peace be upon Her and pay for the winning artist to eat for free.

Now remember, drawing the Prophet with a bomb on Her head has already been done, so please, choose something else.

http://mohammedpeacebeuponherisawoman.blogspot.com/

eddie(F) said...

You are so right Kevin - he is a either a whip or doesn't exist. The real axis of evil is the Abrahamic relions, each fighting to prove their holy text as the only inerrant written word of a God.
Ugh

P3T3RK3Y5 said...

excellent post.

(uh, is that really a solicitation for more images of Mohammed? but this time as a woman? oh my...)

which brings us to an interesting point: i think the problem with religions, specifically the abrahamic ones is a dependancy on "the facts" or "believing the right thing" to the exclusion the way those facts play out in day to day life.

if you say youre a religion of peace - be peaceful. if your sposta turn the other check - don't retalitate. if you say your a religion that looks out or the poor - don't spend/consume so much celebrating your holiday.

we deists wage war over our beliefs, like those facts or beliefs are more important than the carnage or hyprocrosies left behind.

i guess my point is - we've made it about beliefs - but I don't think it's really about that.

Albert Einstein said, "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind".

personal relationship with that God or not - this is a much better place from which to begin.

Cori said...

Kevin gives two alternatives: either 'the deities' are sitting back to allow their followers to fight their battles, or they are unconcerned about events on the earth. Are there not other alternatives? The followers (as P3T3RK3Y5 suggests) have got the battle wrong, for example. The deities may be intimately interested in events on the earth but far less interested in these rather bizarre battles their followers choose to fight in their gross misunderstanding of the deities they are following. That alternative seems to make the most sense to me.

Kevin Parry said...

Hi Cori

I agree with Cori that I only gave two alternatives in the article, and didn't sufficiently explore the possibility that the followers are the ones who have gotten it wrong. Thank you Cori for pointing this out.

Kevin

Kevin Parry said...

Hi P3T3RK3Y5

Thank you again for your thought provoking comments. I agree fully with you that the cause could be due to followers putting the 'facts' of their belief above all else, including love for others. Could this be a symptom of fundamentalism? Is fundamentalism the problem, not religion per se?

Kevin

R10B said...

Kevin,

I saw your post over at Jewish Atheist and I posted the following response there, I have repeated it here for your convenience, if not edification.

This question opens up a great big can of worms. If you look at, for example, three divine projects, 1) ruling life on earth, 2) communication of God's Word to Man, and 3) building the Kingdom of God, it seems God has chosen to make mankind his co-workers even if that made the whole process "messy."

So even though God could fight his own battles it's possible that he has chosen another way.

Kevin Parry said...

Hi R10b

Thank you for your comment. It is possible that God has chosen another way, but I wonder if that way is worth all the ‘mess’. The terrorists who flew the planes into the World Trade Centre believed that they were fighting God’s battles; the anti-abortionist activists who bomb clinics claim that they were instructed by God; creationists claim that they are fighting to uphold the ‘truth’ of God’s Word by watering down science in the classroom. The problem is that each of these groups think that they are right – there is no accountability. If I were a king, and all my followers were running amuck, it would be my responsibility to set things straight, and to keep those followers in check.

Kevin

r10b said...

Kevin,

If by "running amuck" you mean that these people are confounding God's plan by slapping the "God" label on their evil deeds, then I can see why God would be pressed to intervene. If you consider all the evil in the world as an indication that God has lost his grip on the situation then God is just the "wizard" behind the curtain, ultimately powerless. I guess that is a rational conclusion but by no means the only one.

On the other hand throughout Scripture it's plain that God will "set things straight" in his time.

Anonymous said...

if god is holy what did happen between god and satan now if he's aforgive us for our sin but no one is prefect we all make mistake just like adam did but god knew he was going to what he did when he ate the forbidden fruit so if he knows that we going to mess up then we should all go to hell if thats the cause cause there are to much suffering in this wicked world of his there's nothin we can do bout it cause no one knows where we are going when we die cause as we may try to do good is thas enough for our father god