Thursday, January 05, 2006

Does God Give A Shit?

Before we can ask whether God cares about you, me, or anyone else, we should probably determine whether God exists or not. Well, due to limitations in religion (or, Judeo-Christian religion) we can do no such thing as God's existence must be taken on faith. I'm using the European paradigm of religions because 1) that's what I'm most familiar with and 2) most of the crap I hear about God doing something for people comes from the fundy Christian sects. So, let's assume that God exists (whatever God may be). Does he intervene in our daily lives?

This is question is inspired by Mike the Mad Biologist's problem with athletes thanking God (which came while he was praising PZ Myers for his take on God and the West Virginia miner story):

"I realize that many religious people think God directly intervenes in daily events, but I think that's just silly religion (an aside: on a less serious note, I've wondered the same thing about athletes. If you lost, does that mean Jesus wanted you to miss that tackle?)."

If you were under the impression that I was going to philosophize as to whether God gives a shit about you and me, I apologize for misleading you. I just wanted to pose the question and use the words "God" and "shit" in the same sentence. The same thing could have been accomplished by asking whether God takes a shit. You see, I don't even think God exists, so I feel foolish working under the assumption that he does in order to ask whether he cares. Or she cares. Or it cares. Whatever.

Anyway, the real motivation was to point out the foolishness of thinking you won the big game because God was pulling for your team (if you can imagine the classic image of God sitting on his couch with a beer in one hand, a remote control in the other, and a bowl of popcorn in front of him yelling at Mrs. God to shut the hell up, there's less than two minutes left, and the Packers are driving down the field).

As I was walking out of the Rose Bowl last night (yes, I was at the game, and I don't feel like talking about it . . . yet, but there may be a more detailed post in a couple of days after I have had a chance to mull everything over in my head), I happened to be next to a couple of really tall dudes. One of them looked remarkably like former NBA player Sean Rooks. Given that there aren't that many 6'10" guys in the world, I am fairly comfortable assuming that it was, in fact, Mr. Rooks. There were two other tall guys with Rooks, neither of which I recognized.

One of the other tall guys said something along the lines of, "Both USC and Texas were praying hard for a win, I guess the people in Texas just prayed harder." Some girl who was near us, less than half of the size of Rooks and his tall friends, turned around to agree with the tall dude. I shuttered. Anyone who has ever been to the Rose Bowl knows that the stadium is surrounded by Christians hawking their “God loves you, and if you don’t love him back he’s going to make you suffer forever” message along with the largest density of Jews for Jesus on Earth. The giant Christian signage already had me bitching about proselytizers, and then this comment sent me over the edge.

Apparently, the outcome of the game had nothing to do with the fact that Vince Young has super human strength and speed, the mental discipline to avoid mistakes, and has worked his ass off (along with the rest of his teammates) to earn a National Championship. Nope. Maybe Reggie Bush’s ill advised lateral was an act of God -- something beyond Bush’s control. Or Vince Young’s knee touched the ground on Texas’ first touchdown, but the TV in the replay booth suddenly stopped working because God’s got a few C-notes running on the game. All of this happened because the people in the lone star state convinced God to wear a burnt orange #10 jersey. What a douche bag (the tall dude, not Vince Young or God). If I put a shit load of effort into something, I want to be getting the credit for it, not my imaginary super friend.


At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some girl who was near us, less than half of the size of Rooks and his tall friends, turned around to agree with the tall dude. I shuttered.M

You shuttered what? Your house? I think you meant to say shuddered.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger RPM said...

No, I literally found the nearest house and replaced the covers over the windows. Just kidding. It appears the anonymous poster has discovered my inability to distinguish between homonyms.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Razib said...

Well, due to limitations in religion (or, Judeo-Christian religion) we can do no such thing as God's existence must be taken on faith.

i agree, but roman catholics would differ because they believe that summa theologia shows that god's existence can be proven via reason.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Jenna said...

For the Roman Catholic viewpoint, I'm sure that if a person goes to enough philosophy & logic classes or asks several different (objectively minded) philosophy professors on Summa Theologia, or read some books on the counterarguments of Summa Theologia, that god's existence is not proven via reason. :)

The whole thing about faith is that you put your blinders on first then try to prove that the blinders are true.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Goddam Liberal said...

Now I understand why gawd lets so many people die in tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes and mining disasters. He's too busy answering the prayers of sports fans.


Post a Comment

<< Home