EppsNet Archive: God

The Blindness and the Wretchedness of Man

8 May 2017 /
Blaise Pascal

When I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and, as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death, and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island, and should awake without knowing where he is, and without means of escape. And thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. I see other persons around me in conditions of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them, and seen some pleasing objects, have given and attached themselves to them. For my own part, I have not been able to attach myself to them, and, considering how strongly it appears that there is something else than what I see, I have examined whether this God has not left some sign of Himself.

— Pascal, Pensées

A Question for Michelangelo

5 Apr 2017 /

In the fresco The Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel, we all fix our gaze on the finger that gives Adam life, but who is that naked girl God is casually yet lovingly caressing with his other hand?

The Creation of Adam


I’d Like to Believe in the Existence of a Loving God . . .

11 Mar 2017 /
Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglican Church

. . . but I can’t. The quality of evidence is very poor.

Do you believe in ghosts, fortune tellers, psychics, werewolves, vampires, astrology, alien visitations . . .?

I don’t believe in any of those things, but they’re all out there and a lot of people do believe in a lot of things for which the quality of evidence is very poor.

Do you believe that a cow jumped over the moon? I remember reading about it but the quality of evidence is very poor. It seems to be just another made-up story . . .


One Thing I Think We Can All Agree Upon

19 Jan 2017 /
Hillary Clinton

Thank God Almighty this woman is not going to be the next president of the United States.

Even if you don’t like Trump, even if you don’t believe in God, thank God Almighty this woman is not going to be the next president of the United States.


Another Reason I Don’t Believe in God

9 Dec 2016 /
Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Catholic writer and Trappist monk at Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky.

His inspirational quotes turn up on Facebook and elsewhere. (I saw the above quote on Facebook this week.)

It’s a beautiful quote, I have to say that.

Do you know how Thomas Merton died? If you find Merton inspirational, it may be better not to know how he died.

He was electrocuted by an electric fan. He stepped out of a bath and was electrocuted by a fan.

I can’t help thinking about that when I read quotes like the above.

Dear Lord, I know you will lead me by the right road . . .

— Yep no problem Tom, got you covered.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTT!

— Oops, watch out for that fan.

I don’t want to ruin it for you if you like Merton . . . but if you believe in this kind of a heavenly arrangement, you’ve got to believe God is one heck of a practical joker.


Praying for Sleeping Bags

23 Oct 2016 /
Praying to the Madonna of the Rosary, by Carav...

Praying to the Madonna of the Rosary, by Caravaggio, 1606-1607

I was having a conversation with someone last night about the efficacy of prayer . . .

“Prayers are always answered,” I was informed, “but sometimes the answer is no, or not right now.”

What’s the point of the prayer if God is going to do whatever he wants to do anyway? Your results would be just as good if you offered prayers to me. Some of your prayers would be answered and some wouldn’t.

Has anyone done a study on this? A control group wants things but doesn’t pray for them, a second group prays to God for what they want, and a third group prays to a random entity — me, or maybe a shopping cart.

Would there be any difference in results between the groups? I’m going to say no.

It’s also hard to assess the efficacy of prayer because people never pray for anything tangible . . .

My son as a kid went on a camping trip with a church group where they wound up short of sleeping bags. I asked him did the church leaders pray for more sleeping bags and he said no.

People will pray for so-and-so to recover from brain surgery but they won’t pray for more sleeping bags.

The brain surgery patient being prayed for is going to recover or not. If not, that gets filed under “sometimes the answer is no.”

But everyone knows damn well that praying for more sleeping bags is not going to work.


God Bless Us, Every One

16 Oct 2016 /
Daniel's Prayer

I saw a Facebook status update this weekend asking for prayers for anyone with family problems, health struggles, job issues or worries of any kind who just need to know that someone cares.

The deal is that you have to copy and paste the status to your own Facebook page.

Full disclosure: I don’t believe in God or prayer, although I do believe that a lot of people need to know that someone cares about them.

That being said, depending on how lost I feel at any given time, I’m willing to try things even though I’m pretty certain that they’re not going to work. But I have not tried prayer.

Why would I need to post something on Facebook to indicate that I prayed for you? Because prayer is not a real thing that’s going to produce a tangible result in the world. So you have to tell people that you did it, otherwise they would never know.

Also, if you believe in God, don’t you believe that God is in control of things being the way they are? If you have struggles, as we all do, do you believe that the struggles were given to you by God? If I leave a sack of flaming dog shit on your porch, do you think I’m going to come over and stomp it out for you?

Do you believe that God says to himself, “I’m going to hit this person with a series of devastating blows, but if he asks me to ease up a little, I will”?

It seems perverse to me.


When Was That? I Missed It.

7 Aug 2016 /

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

— Romans 8:28

Jesus at Gethsemane

19 Jun 2016 /

For those not familiar with the story: Jesus knows he’s going to die. He prays to God for help in the garden of Gethsemane, at the Mount of Olives. But there is no answer.

If it is true that in the sacred Garden of the Scriptures,
The Son of Man said what we see reported;
Mute, blind and deaf to the cry of all creatures,
If Heaven abandons us like an aborted world,
The just will oppose disdain to this absence,
And will answer from now on with only cold silence
The eternal silence of the Divinity.

Jesus at Gethsemane


God Asks a Question

15 Jun 2016 /

Following the Orlando shootings, a Connecticut congressman says this:

I fire the question right back at God: “You’re God. What did you do?”

Now he may say that he gives us tools to help ourselves, and failing to use them defies his wisdom. But he’s God. He knows when he gives us the tools that we’re not going to use them. And then he tries to pin the blame on us?

No, there’s no wriggling out of it, in my view . . .


Praying for Startups

31 May 2016 /

A new Meetup group called Praying for Startups sent me the following email:

Are you involved in a startup? Are you a Christian?

Meet fellow Christians from all walks of the entrepreneurial eco-sphere, as we share and pray for our teams and the startup community, both locally and abroad.

I’d be interested to see some numbers on the correlation between prayer and startup success. I suspect there isn’t any. Also the relative efficacy of prayers to a Christian God vs. Allah, Buddha, Satan, Zeus and all other supernatural beings.


A Picture of God

24 May 2016 /

A little girl was in a drawing lesson. She was six, and she was at the back, drawing, and the teacher said this girl hardly ever paid attention, and in this drawing lesson, she did. The teacher was fascinated. She went over to her, and she said, “What are you drawing?” And the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” And the teacher said, “But nobody knows what God looks like.” And the girl said, “They will, in a minute.”


See You in Hell

15 May 2016 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Along with pleas for money, almost 100 percent of the cardboard signs I see being held by people on freeway off-ramps and the like include the phrase “God Bless You.”

There seems to be a correlation between belief in God and begging for money on off-ramps. Notice that you never see Satanists begging for money.

Why don’t they pray for the money? Maybe they did pray and God told them to make a cardboard sign?

I tell my acolytes if they need money, learn to code.

See you in Hell . . .


A Wing and a Prayer

1 May 2016 /
English: "Daniel's Prayer" (1865) by...

I noticed walking to Starbucks this morning that my right knee was making a snapping noise every time I took a step. No pain, just a snapping noise. So I prayed to God to make the snapping noise stop — and it did!

But then it started up again a few minutes later. 🙁

It turns out that the noise wasn’t coming from my right knee, it was coming from the right pocket of my sweatpants, where my house key was bouncing against my phone.


Mysterious Ways

11 Mar 2016 /

And it came to pass after these things, that God tested Abraham and said unto him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Behold, here I am.” And He said, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”

— Genesis 22:1-2
 

‘Schizophrenic’ nanny SMILES in Russian court after claiming ‘Allah ordered her’ to decapitate four-year-old girl and walk Moscow streets brandishing the child’s severed headDaily Mail Online

 

India: 400 men cut off their testicles to ‘get closer to God’ following advice from ‘guru’International Business Times

God seems to enjoy the occasional game of Supernatural Simon Says:

Cut off your testicles.

Cut off your own fookin testicles, mate.

God says cut off your testicles.

Oh . . .

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh


A New Use for Churches

13 Dec 2015 /
Church

Granting the existence of God, a house dedicated to Him naturally follows. He is all-important; it is fit that man should take some notice of Him. But why praise and flatter Him for His unspeakable cruelties? Why forget so supinely His failures to remedy the easily remediable? Why, indeed, devote the churches entirely to worship? Why not give them over, now and then, to justifiable indignation meetings?

— H.L. Mencken

See You in Hell: San Bernardino Edition

6 Dec 2015 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

It’s hard to believe in a God who meddles in people’s lives . . .

"We are a city full of hopeful optimists, who are still here and who will stay here because we believe God has something…

Posted by Los Angeles Times on Friday, December 4, 2015

God has something great planned for San Bernardino! Unfortunately his plan included murdering 14 people, but with that being said, he’s got something great up his sleeve for everyone who’s still alive!

Oh the inhumanity! God works in mysterious ways and so do I.

See you in Hell . . .


God: “I Gave Him a Sign”

30 Oct 2015 /
Death by Freeway Sign

I hope I don’t die some cartoonish death like skiing into a tree or being launched out of my car and flattened against a freeway sign. It’s funny when it happens to other people though.

The only thing funnier would be if he’d left a spread-eagle person-shaped hole in the sign and then died when he hit a second sign.

When reached for comment, God said, “I gave him a sign.”


The Tweet of God

29 Sep 2015 /

God

I’m your dope-ass divinity
Trollin’ with My trinity
Droppin’ top tweets in your immediate vicinity
Flingin’ fly phrases from the fringes of infinity.

God
Tags: ,

Mysterious Ways

15 Apr 2015 /

Headline

Family killed

Whenever I see headlines like this I wonder why God couldn’t find an atheist family to drop a concrete slab on. The infant, whose shirt appears to say KING JESUS, was also killed.


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