This irrational world

It strains logic to believe in an all-powerful being

Is the giraffe random or the product of intelligent design?

Is the giraffe random or the product of intelligent design?

Bob Schmidt is a longtime journalist and SN&R contributor

If, as is contended in Genesis, God made man “in our image, after our likeness,” did God look like Lucy, or some other primitive African cave dweller?

If God “made the stars,” as Genesis also contends, God made an abundance. Astronomers have concluded that there are at least 50 billion—billion—galaxies in space, each with billions—billions—of stars, many of those with planets. What would be the point of such excess if those creatures supposedly created in God’s image are confined to one planet, rotating around just one of those stars?

If God created the universe, where was it when it did that?

Those are questions nonbelievers say justify their nonbelief. There are more reasons.

This irrational world, with its viruses and microbes and electrons and protons and snails and cockroaches and crabs and giraffes and rats and reptiles and centipedes and whales and jellyfish and the incredible variety of life forms in the ocean deep and mosquitoes and eagles and redwoods and roses and poison ivy and earthquakes and cancer and people who kill is not, I think, the product of intelligent design.

I do not believe there is a god.

I could be wrong, of course, but if I am, I don’t worry that I’ll be punished by a supreme being for my disbelief. I’ve tried to live my life by the golden rule—do unto others as you would have others do unto you—and I think that for the most part I’ve succeeded. And I don’t litter.

I believe a supreme being, if there is one, would give more weight to how one’s life has been lived than to blind, unreasoning faith, particularly exercised by someone who pays attention to religion one day a week and is a bigot or dishonest the other days.

I understand that logic is simply an abstract when it comes to faith, because all through history there has apparently been a need for people to believe in a superior being, or superior beings, and so, in the world of reality, that historical fact makes any argument based on logic, however intellectually valid, inconsequential. People with faith have no need or interest in logic as it applies to their faith.

Faith—that there is a creator, that there is a design, that there is a purpose, that such character traits as goodness, honesty and compassion are preferable to actions that inflict harm and will be rewarded—is admirable, if illogical.

I was sent to Sunday school as a child, and I paid attention, and I really tried to find a basis for the faith that so many people have, but it never ever made sense to me. It strained logic to rationalize the existence of a perfect, all-powerful, all-good god with the existence of evil.

Why is it, for example, if there is a perfect, all-powerful, all-good god, that some babies die?