Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Faith, Beliefs, Miracles, and God

I've spoken with a lot of people on the topic of religion and I've noticed a distrubing concept. I was just as guilty of it too.

People have a certain belief and, naturally, they think their belief is correct. As they go about their lives, they say their prayers and once in a while, something good happens to them. They take this small stroke of good luck as a sign from god that their belief is true.

Can you see the flaw in this thinking?

As you go about your life, eventually something good will happen to you. Everyone experiences good times and bad times. The good times reinforce your belief and the bad times are god's "refiners fire". But to take this event, give god credit for it, and believe that it only happened because of your belief is just stupid.

I know a Mormon girl who was recently waiting for some money from the government. She relayed to me how she's been waiting for it for a long time. Well, she finally prayed and promised god that the very first thing she would do with it is pay her tithing. Guess what! It showed up the very next day! Now she thinks that she is so in touch with god because this happened and that it only confirms that all her beliefs are correct.

But it actually confirms nothing.

The money was from who? The government. It would have come anyway. In fact, I'm sure that the entire time she's been waiting for the money she's been praying that it will arrive. Well, it arrived when it arrived and now she thinks that this great miracle has taken place.

I wish I could say that only this one lady thinks like that, but nearly everyone I've ever talked to bases the strength of their belief on some event that happened. It would have happened anyway! But no one is willing to admit that. They all want to think their god did it because they have the correct belief.

So if that's the case, why do good things happen to apostates? Isn't god supposed to make their lives as miserable as possible so they will humble themselves and come back? Yes, in the scriptures and in rumors, but in real life an apostate gets exact equal treatment from "god". Nothing bad happens to them that wouldn't have happened anyway. Nothing good happens that wouldn't have happened anyway.

I wish that more people could open their eyes and see the amazing absence of "god".


Anonymous said...

I many cases I find that you are correct. People the are religious just tend to attribute common chance to the supernatural; but what about the flip side of that coin? when a woman prays to go for money to make it through the next month and someone just drops $1k in her mail box because God told him she needed help? that's a bit too strong of a correlation to just throw up to chance. In your case you must decide that either these stories are lies or exagerated truths to the point of being lies, or that there is at least some supernatural force at work. You don't even have to admit it's "God" or elves helping out.

Mormon411 said...

That's a great question and I've wondered that very thing. They could all be nothing more than fancy coincidences. Or a supernatural power of some kind could be involved, at least in some of them. I wish I knew. I really do. Hell, it could even be the Christian god.

But I need to ask myself, even if some miraculous event was actually from some type of supernatural being or power, does that prove the Christian god is responsible? In fact, since there are so many gods in different religions, how do we know which one is responsible? None of them seem to be very anxious to take the credit.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe in the Law of Attraction as seen in 'The Secret.' If I tell myself my needs are met and I have everything I want, then I attract the things I need. If I say that I have nothing and my life sucks, well then I don't attract any of the good things in life. It's quantum physics behind the belief. I've tried it and it seems to work. I think it explains prayer and 'blessings.'