- Religion and Philosophy
Giving Credit to God
Normally I wouldn't do another hub this soon after my last but I was inspired to do so by a hub by a hubber called bobbirich. The hub, in general, is about what God gives people, gifts like health, food and a job for instance. The hub does mention supernatural gifts such as the Holy Spirit and God visiting people to better get to know them (or something like that) but I want to focus on the idea that food, health and a job are gifts from God. I won't really be addressing the hub directly, merely the idea that it is based around, the idea of giving credit or thanks to God for good things in your life. You can visit the link below to read the hub, please also read the comments as they will be more relevant to this hub:
Although this hub was inspired by the one linked above this idea has been kicking around in my head since Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time when many religious folks give thanks to God for putting food on the table and for anything else they want to give credit to God for. The other thing that goes with Thanksgiving is Football and I, as an atheist, find it nauseating how often NFL athletes give credit to an invisible man in the sky for their performance on the field.
Credit AND Blame
The primary issue I have with giving credit to God for things like food, a job, or good health is the double-standard when bad things come along. I've known a great many Christians and none of them ever blame God directly for their problems. Why is it God's doing when you are healthy and the fault of someone else when you get sick? If God is truly all powerful and loves you and is watching out for you at all times than doesn't he have to drop the ball in order for bad things to happen to you? Not according to bobbirich who lays the blame for sickness squarely on the shoulders of MAN.
"Homelessness, sickness and starvation come from man's separation from God..."
Of course I could argue that man's separation from God was God's doing as he's the one who decided to banish and curse Adam and Eve instead of forgiving them. We'll set that aside to go back to that double-standard. Apparently if you manage to get enough food to eat you need to give credit to God but the moment your belly is aching it's your fault... Anyone else see a problem with this? Why are we giving God all the credit but none of the blame when he's ALL POWERFUL.
Obviously I don't actually believe God is to blame for sickness, homelessness or starvation but that's exactly my point, he shouldn't get credit for the opposites either. Health, shelter, food, these are all factors in the world that human kind helps control. There's no God affecting them. We can draw lines of cause and effect, if someone comes in contact with certain germs they will get sick. If a bank forecloses they lose their house. If a doctor works on them they could gain health back. If they get a better job they could get their house back. God is nowhere in either situation, whether it gets worse or better.
There simply isn't any evidence that a God is involved in any of this stuff. If a person is working hard to provide for their family or naturally has a strong immune system why should God get the credit? All of this, every ounce of it, is superstitious nonsense. Even way back when I was a Christian I saw through this farce. People will find order in anything, they will find patterns in things. Whether you're giving credit to fate, destiny, luck, your astrological sign or God is irrelevant.
God Did Not Create YOU
This is a sort of tangent here that we have to go off on. In the brief comment exchange I had with bobbirich mention was made of the idea that God created her. This is another thing that God gets credit for that literally makes me sick. God created you? No he didn't. God is NOT your parents. Your parents created you and chances are they were doing something God didn't approve of when they did. Your parents deserve ALL the credit for the fact you are alive. We've monitored the process, science and medicine have studied in depth every facet of the process from conception to birth and beyond. We know how it works, there is no mystery or magic to child birth and there is, as far as we can tell, no God involved. A pregnant woman can now get a 4D ultrasound and thus far I've never heard anyone report seeing God in the womb forming the child. Even if I, for a moment, accept the idea that God created the first humans it doesn't change the indisputable fact that TODAY the process is automated and perfectly natural.
The fact of the matter is that unless he's got a secret Frankenstein lab he hasn't told us about God did not create you personally.
Bill Hicks talks about Creationism
Athletes, Tragedies and Disease
We've all seen after game interviews with athletes giving credit to God. To me there is nothing more annoying than someone with talent and skill pretending to be humble by giving credit to the boogeyman. Sure it might seem arrogant to some if the athletes gave credit to themselves but hey, if they actually worked hard and practiced hard and played hard I see nothing wrong with them getting the credit for their own accomplishments.
Another thing I've seen far too much of is celebrities, music artists and such giving credit to God. More talented people giving credit to God. This is also tantamount to suggesting that God helped you out with your work. Those late night song writing sessions with Yahweh must have paid off because you're finally taking home a Grammy. Gimme a break and give credit where credit is due.
Also, God did not help your team win the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup or the World Series.
Have you seen someone who got into a bad situation and gives thanks to God for getting out? Perhaps they've survived a harrowing near crash aboard a plane, or a car wreck or been kidnapped by rebels in some third world country and managed to be rescued. There are television shows all over where you can hear stuff like this about how it was by the "grace of God" that they survived. Never once do these people seem to question why God allowed them to get into the situation in the first place. Is this just an empty-headed traditional response or do these people really think that God had something to do with their survival?
Ever heard of someone giving credit to God when they recover from cancer? It happens all the time, people thanking God for healing them of cancer even though they've received high-tech modern medical care. I know if I was a doctor or nurse I'd feel utterly insulted if you thanked an unseen supernatural being alongside of those who worked tirelessly to help you recover.
Credit Where Credit is due
To conclude I think it is important that we stop this nonsensical and silly trend of giving credit to supernatural forces for natural events. Okay sure if something truly miraculous happens than fine give credit to the supernatural - but for normal mundane things that have explanations give credit where credit is due.
When you get better thank your immune system, thank your doctors, thank medical science, thank the manufacturers of your medicine. When you manage to put food on the table or get a new job pat yourself on the back. For athletic achievements you can thank your parents for passing on good genetics, perhaps thank your coaches and give some credit to yourself as well. And finally when Thanksgiving rolls around again be sure to thank those who really made the meal possible. The people who cooked the food, the people who bought the food, the store that sold the food, the farmers and corporations that produced the food.
Give credit where credit is due.