Monday, May 07, 2007

God is Imaginary

Discovered a series of web sites designed to debunk the christian faith. The doorway I found was the video below entitled "God is imaginary".

The author follows a series of convoluted and contrived arguments to reach the conclusion "God is imaginary". Having followed his discussions (I say 'his' because it is a male voice in the video), I can only say that I agree. If we talk of a God whose only response to prayer is "Yes", "No" or "wait", we are not talking about the God of the Bible, who is far more than a repository for wishes and who exhibits a strong history of independence. Granted, the author is relying on quotes from, and a number of scientific studies about prayer to back up his arguments. Yet the author fails to address the greater complexities of God's action throughout scriptures: calling people from one place to another, giving guidance, direction, even commands which come completely 'out of the frame' of a simple Yes/No/Wait paradigm. A conception of God so limited is not the god of the bible, nor the God of the Christian (or Jewish, or Islamic) faith, and I am happy to agree that such a god is imaginary. I am also happy to admit that there are christians who hold to such a notion of God... but since when has an idea been responsible for those who believe in it? In fact, I would be happy for the author to continue to debunk such absolute notions of God (which is not to say that there are no times when the simple answer to a prayer is either yes, no, or wait.)

Of course, the problem with scientific studies on prayer is that there is no way to guarantee that the control group is completely without prayer. And often assessments of the relative merit of outcomes implies that to be healthy is better than to be ill, to be perfect physically is to be better regarded than a person with some physical limitations (which of course diminishes some of the greats of history), and that suffering is always completely without merit or value.

And that's not to mention the response of a colleague who indicated that his wife could well respond yes/no/wait but cannot be equated with a jug of milk.

In the end, the pejorative claims "you are a smart person" allows me to see through the smokescreen which purports to be conclusive argument.

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