Issue Date: August 27, 2007
Can't Understand God's Will?
I hope Michele Kosciusko Bremer can explain "the record of God's loving relationship with people" to the citizens of Iraq, Darfur, Niger, or even the 12 million people killed by the Nazis between 1940 and 1945 (C&EN, June 25, page 5). Perhaps these people, or the millions killed in Cambodia by Pol Pot were not really God's "our kind of people"—as we like to explain our own prejudices—so they don't really count.
More people have been killed during the past two millennia than ever before in the name of various monotheistic gods, from Jesus to Allah to the heretics of the Middle Ages, ad infinitum. I realize that those who want to believe will do so regardless of anything science has to say or show. When pushed, they will use the many mistranslations of suspect copies of the original text of various parts of the Bible to justify and even "prove" their positions.
What bothers me is when people tell me and anybody else who doesn't believe as they do what we should believe and want to force others to eliminate from the public discourse anything that they consider inappropriate. That applies to most fundamentalist sects—Christian, Jewish, or Muslim. I also love the explanation for the above-mentioned horrors: To wit, we as mere humans can never understand God's will or method. That is the biggest cop out of all.
The only thing I pray for is to be protected from people who know "the truth" and are willing to kill me in order to persuade me of it.
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