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So here’s something that caught my eye. For my American followers, this is the story of a young football (soccer) player named Fabrice Muamba, who had a heart attack on the pitch a few days ago, but is now recovering well. A friend of mine, Charlie, pointed something out to me after seeing this story, and it struck me as decidedly odd. So, Muamba claims that god helped him to get better after his heart attack… But surely this was after god gave a healthy, young, fit athlete a heart attack in the first place.

It’s funny how that happens. Religious people often give praise to their deity for helping them recover from some tragedy or illness, but then who do they think caused said tragedy or illness in the first place? If god made them well; who made them sick?

There are many, (well, innumerable) aspects of religion that I can’t for the life of me understand, but this general idea has to be near the top. It’s like when people pray for the survivors of an earthquake who are still trapped in the rubble. It seems like there would be such a proverbial elephant in the church.

“Dear lord, please guide those still trapped into the safe hands of the blessed rescue workers, and give peace to the families that have lost loved ones. And please guide the souls of the dead to the kingdom of heaven. Oh, and by the way… What the fuck was that!?

It’s a really odd duality that they think this god, who theoretically controls everything, can be praised for what is essentially a small silver lining in an otherwise massive grey cloud that who else but him, being that he controls everything, could have caused. Sure, Fabrice Muamba has survived his cardiac arrest, and grateful he should be for that, but all the doctors have said is that after “a length recovery process“, they were hopeful that “a normal life is within the spectrum of possibility”.

Within the spectrum of possibility“? That’s the best he has? If he believes that god controls everything, his illness as well as his recovery, it really doesn’t sound like he’s got a whole lot to be thankful for. I hope he doesn’t feel that way, and I hope his religion gives him strength in what is, I’m sure, a very difficult time, what with his career and life as he knows it being over; but to say that he feels that god “didn’t let [him] down” is certainly a somewhat short sighted opinion.

I understand the premise of “the lord works in mysterious ways” and similar nonsense, but seriously… How does one reconcile the thanks they give for surviving a tragedy, with the fact that, by definition, he must have caused it?

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Join the conversation! 17 Comments

  1. If God did bad things to good people, he would not be God, would he? He would be Satan.

    Reply
    • I’m not sure which side of the fence you’re on with that comment. Did god not make Satan? If god can control everything, why has he not is simply made Satan not exist anymore, or if he controls *everything*, then presumably he controls Satan’s actions…

      Reply
      • I am not extremely well versed in the subject but I do know that, at least according to the Christian faith, evil (Satan) was not created by God. Evil is not a substance in itself, evil is simply the absence of good.

        Reply
      • I am not extremely well versed in the subject but I do know that, according to the Christian faith, God did not create evil (Satan). Evil is not a substance in itself, it’s not something God or anyone else creates,evil is just the absence of good.

        Reply
        • No, according to the Christian faith, God did indeed create Satan. He also created a free will for Satan. I agree that evil is not a substance…Satan decided not to do good..hence evil came into being…

          Reply
          • According to the story, Satan only decided that he wouldn’t bow down to humans, as he could only give worship to god himself. So god bizarrely forges an entire horrific prison universe for Satan and his sympathisers. Little bit over the top, perhaps? And saying that evil is an act without the guidance of god, is saying that everything I, as an atheist, do is evil. I’m not offended, don’t worry… But both good and evil can completely exist independently of the influence of any all powerful deity or corrupted fallen angels…

            Reply
            • You make a good point about evil and good existing independently. But Ezekial tells the story of satan’s rebellion. I guess that if God wants to create a creation to act as a prison, then He can. I don’t feel like it is a prison to be here on earth, but again, that is just my own opinion. The bible, which I imagine holds no real authority to you, says Hell was created for satan and his sympathizers, not earth.
              I apologize if you thought I was saying you were evil. Of course I don’t think that. lol..I’m just not academic enough to have deep conversations about my religion…The bible is my go-to reference, and my life is my proof..both things seem woefully inadequate to atheist and agnostic people. I appreciate you answering, though. It is a very interesting topic..

              – Bird

              Reply
      • Because He gave everyone free will–including Satan. Good questions, though.

        Reply
  2. Felix, your blog entry is thought-provoking. Basically, a person who believes in and worships a deity should credit the god for everything that happens with equal amounts of gratitude/blame. A Christian football player should praise Jesus for the losses and injuries as well as for the victories and good health. However, those who promote positive mental attitudinal thinking tend to give greater credit and louder/stronger praise toward their favourite deity when the outcome of events favours them. Everyone loves a winner, so the saying goes. How many “mentally healthy” people pray for bad things to happen to them all the time? I’ve found it’s best to give the religious their belief structures as long as their lifestyles do not interfere with mine, no matter how different. Success is a relative scale. For some, the tiniest prayer that is answered (“God, please have someone smile at me today”) can make all of us better, regardless of Deist/atheist habits.

    Reply
  3. I thought Satan was some Angel dude that got chucked out of heaven for partying to much. then again, maybe I’ve been watching too much Buffy……..

    Reply
    • Apparently so. He refused to bow down to the humans, and said only god himself was worth worshiping. Not really that big an insult. So for his love, he was cast into hell. Nice. But there are just so many plot holes! Why did god not just make him not exist? Why construct this bizarre prison universe?

      (P.S. Spike was my favourite…)

      Reply
  4. God didn’t completely destroy Satan because he wanted him to repent and come back into the folds. He also would have had to have a full on war so it was easier to banish him. But then he can’t be too angry if he sends humans to be punished by Satan when he is perfectly capable of punishing humans himself. You know, Noah’s Ark, turning people into pillars of salt. Anyway, most Christians find it blasphemous to blame God for their problems and like to say it’s the Devil. Even though that contradicts whats in the Bible as many lament being punished by God and ask God for forgiveness. Psalms has a lot of that in there.

    Reply
    • I love the quote below because it draws attention to god’s nasty sense of humour. why diod he keep satan around? to tempt us? why does he feel the need to tempt us? because he’s insecure?

      John Milton: Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time. Look but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, don’t swallow. Ahaha. And while you’re jumpin’ from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He’s laughin’ His sick, fuckin’ ass off! He’s a tight-ass! He’s a SADIST! He’s an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!
      from Devil’s Advocate

      Reply
  5. You know what always perplexed me? When I ask the question of why god is creating natural disasters where hundreds of lives are taken, religious people respond “It was their time to go” or “God needed them.” Ok, but by that same logic, no miracle was performed in that certain lives were spared, since it was simply NOT their time to go. Religious people have to answer to that…Annoying.

    Reply

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About Felix O'Shea

Felix is a guy who isn't actually a writer, but calls himself one when he wants to try to impress gullible people.

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My Thoughts on Religion and Philosophy

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