Saturday, August 31, 2013
As I paged through social media today, I came across a post with the accompanying photo, and the caption "God is good". Of course such a statement could be debated to a stalemate for any number of reasons. According to the Bible, God has quite a temper. He killed every human on earth, save a few family members of Noah. Yet, supposedly he created us, and is somehow responsible for every good thing that happens in our lives. And apparently he answers prayers. Sometimes.
Forget good or bad. I'd rather debate such an existence at all.
Millions are starving and dying every year, in rich and poor countries. That fact alone flies in the face of such an existence, to say nothing of disease. To assign credit for the before/after difference in the lives of the humans in the photo, one would also need to ascribe blame for the starvation of tens of millions, both in the past and today.
It's all hard to imagine for those of us who depend on evidence for guidance.
On the other hand, it requires no imagination at all to believe that our species has evolved a very unique and special feature - a conscience. We are social. Communal. We care about each other in a way few other species have shown to be capable of. We even live in cities, just to make it easier to help each other and to be helped. We invent and create for the many, not the few.
Today, we are making great strides toward feeding the hungry. Transporting food is becoming cheaper and easier. Advances in agriculture have given us the ability to grow more food on the same acreage.
Further, more people are exposed to the atrocities of starvation and disease today than ever before, via the prolific Internet. Today, those who care enough to act are exposed regularly to the information they need to motivate them. And they act.
God isn't good. Humans are.
What a great thing. Finally, people are starting to realize that the message "let go and let God" is an excuse to do nothing. "Praise God" robs credit from those who are due. Our advancement has nothing to do with a God. It has everything to do with the proliferation of Humanism. It's all on us.