EppsNet Archive: God

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Paul Epps

Sometimes when I taste the delicious acai berry, I put down my gun and give thanks to a nonexistent God.

He Is Therefore Responsible For All of It

 

The world, we are told, was made by a God who is both good and omnipotent. Before He created the world, He foresaw all the pain and misery it would contain; He is therefore responsible for all of it. It is useless to argue that the pain in the world is due to sin. In the first place, this is not true; it is not sin that causes rivers to overflow their banks or volcanoes to erupt. But even if it were true, it would make no difference. If I were going to beget a child knowing that the child was going to be a homicidal maniac, I should be responsible for his crimes. If God knew in advance the sins of which man would be guilty, He was clearly responsible for all the consequences of those sins when He decided to create man. The usual Christian argument is that… Read more →

God Hates Children?

 

“God hates children.” For a moment Viking Man is too lost in his reverie to have heard, but then he turns to the other man. “Can’t say I ever thought of it that way, vicar.” “God is always killing children in the Bible, or threatening to,” says Vikar. “He kills His own child.” Viking Man nods slowly. “That’s a hell of an observation,” he says. — Steve Erickson, Zeroville Read more →

I Think I Could Turn and Live With Animals

 

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth. — Walt Whitman Read more →

The Natural Law Argument for God

 

The whole idea that natural laws imply a lawgiver is due to a confusion between natural and human laws. Human laws are behests commanding you to behave a certain way, in which way you may choose to behave, or you may choose not to behave; but natural laws are a description of how things do in fact behave, and being a mere description of what they in fact do, you cannot argue that there must be somebody who told them to do that, because even supposing that there were, you are then faced with the question “Why did God issue just those natural laws and no others?” If you say that he did it simply from his own good pleasure, and without any reason, you then find that there is something which is not subject to law, and so your train of natural law is interrupted. If you say, as… Read more →

Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

 

Then Christ says, “The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth,” and he goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often. . . . I must say that I think all this doctrine, that hell-fire is a punishment for sin, is a doctrine of cruelty. It is a doctrine that put cruelty into the world and gave the world generations of cruel torture, and the Christ of the Gospels, if you could take Him as his chroniclers represent… Read more →

Could Right and Wrong Exist Without God?

 

Kant, as I say, invented a new moral argument for the existence of God . . . One form is to say that there would be no right or wrong unless God existed. I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not: that is another question. The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, you are in this situation: Is that difference due to God’s fiat or is it not? If it is due to God’s fiat, then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong… Read more →

Whence Then is Evil?

 

EPICURUS’s old questions are yet unanswered. Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil? — David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion Read more →

What Really Moves People to Believe in God

 

What really moves people to believe in God is not any intellectual argument at all. Most people believe in God because they have been taught to do so from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason. Then I think that the next most powerful reason is the wish for safety, a sort of feeling thath there is a big brother who will look after you. That plays a very profound part in influencing people’s desire for a belief in God. — Bertrand Russell, “Why I Am Not a Christian” Read more →

Is Christmas a Joyous Day? (A Movie Review)

 

SPOILERS AHEAD! The central character in this movie is a Buddhist monk who has achieved immortality, he looks about 50 but he no longer ages. There is, however, a prophecy that a girl born in the same town that he was born in, but 100 years later, will kill him. [SPOILERS START HERE] So for the last 14 years, he has had his disciples locate and murder every girl born in that city in the year 1999. In most cases, the bodies were disposed of so the cases were treated as missing persons, or in some cases, as accidents. (As I write this, it does seem like the police should have been able to connect the dots a little sooner.) When you see it in a movie like this, it seems grotesque and inhuman that a religious leader would order a mass murder of children in order to preserve his… Read more →

Another Reason I’m Not a Christian

 

One of my nieces had a seizure, was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a brain tumor. The last report I heard was that one doctor thought the situation was very dire, while another thought since she had no history of seizures, the prognosis was not so bad. We don’t know yet. This woman is a good person, religious person, faithful churchgoer . . . why do things like this happen if the world was created by a good, omnipotent God? As a purification for sin? In that case, why am I not the one getting a brain tumor? I haven’t been to a church in decades. It’s another reason I’m not able to believe in God. You have to spend too much time finding excuses for pain and misery in this suffering world. Read more →

God Cannot Feel Disappointment or Pain

 

“Your god must feel a bit disappointed,” Doctor Colin said, “when he looks at this world of his.” “When you were a boy they can’t have taught you theology very well. God cannot feel disappointment or pain.” “Perhaps that’s why I don’t care to believe in him.” — Graham Greene, _A Burnt-Out Case_ Read more →

Just Like Santa

 

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. — Proverbs 15:3 Read more →

The Silence is the Voice of God

 

Our path is worn our feet are poorly shod We lift up our prayer against the odds And fear the silence is the voice of God, of God, of God And we cry Hallelujah, Hallelujah, we cry Hallelujah It is the heart that kills us in the end Just one more old broken bone that cannot mend As it was now and ever shall be amen, amen, amen — Emmylou Harris, “The Pearl” Read more →

We Giveth But We Also Taketh Away, Just Like God

 

“As driving behaviors evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic, XYZ Insurance Company is working to reduce auto rates in every state. The national average for those rate reductions is 11%, saving customers a total of approximately $2.2 billion. “‘Current driving data and claims experience show a considerable decline in miles driven and fewer accidents,’ said XYZ Senior Vice President Kristyn Cook-Turner. ‘As a result, we’re looking for ways to continue supporting our customers while we monitor and adjust to trends.’ “‘On the flip side, we’ve also noticed that a lot more of our customers are getting sick and dying,’ Cook-Turner continued, ‘so we’ll be correspondingly increasing premiums for health and life insurance.’ “‘You win a few, you lose a few.’” Read more →

My Soul

 

Oh feed to the golden fish his egg Where he floats in his captive bowl, To the cat his kind from the womb born blind, And to the Lord my soul. — Stevie Smith, “My Soul” Read more →

Praying for Protection

 

Texas state lawmaker calls for ‘praying for protection’ instead of gun reform in wake of mass shooting CNN Let me ask you: what is “gun reform”? Why would it be better than prayer for preventing mass shootings? Pray for protection and if you get shot, take comfort in knowing it was God’s will. Can I get an amen? Read more →

Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash

 

  To honor Johnny Cash on his birthday (Feb 26, 1932), I played this video for my students this morning. Fortunately, God didn’t cut any of them down before the end of class, but sooner or later . . . Read more →

God’s Silence

 

“But just think of Gethsemane, Vicar. Christ’s disciples fell asleep. They hadn’t understood the meaning of the last supper, or anything. And when the servants of the law appeared, they ran away. And Peter denied him. Christ had known his disciples for three years. They’d lived together day in and day out — but they never grasped what he meant. They abandoned him, to the last man. And he was left alone. That must have been painful. Realizing that no one understands. To be abandoned when you need someone to rely on — that must be excruciatingly painful. But the worse was yet to come. When Jesus was nailed to the cross — and hung there in torment — he cried out — ‘God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?’ He cried out as loud as he could. He thought that his heavenly father had abandoned him. He believed… Read more →

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