Does God Help?
I don't know how far back I was thinking about this, but it came to mind once again as I spoke to my father, who was addicted to marijuana for 27 years. It took everything away from him, including his family (myself, my sister, and my mother). He says a higher power must have helped him through these times and caused him to stop (4 years clean this December; wahoo!) But let me pose this question. Why on earth would God help my father of all people, who is almost as unreligious as they come, and not help the millions of starving and suffering severely each day to pray to him?
This may not be a striking thought to most, but is it so hard to believe God doesn't really help anybody at all? Why must everybody turn to God for the reason they were helped? I truly believe it is mind over matter. Is it that hard to believe that you thought you could do something so badly, and THOUGHT you had God's support, and then did it, without actually getting any help from God? People underestimate themselves too much. People think, I KNOW a higher power helped me through this and that. But if a higher power helped you through these trivial things, then why not the millions dying each day? Does God not hear these people? Is there no help for them?
Don't underestimate yourself. Your mind is a powerful thing, and you can do things by yourself believe it or not. God doesn't need to have a hand in things for you to accomplish a lot of goals. But it is nice to think so. It's much easier to place a label on the things we cannot explain or that seemed impossible as having a divine intervention.
"No cool quote yet. But I'll think of one soon."
The definition of Placebo is the same as the definition for Faith as far as I can See
Your dad was in a program based on the Alcholics Anonymus (AA) approach that insists that you have to draw on a "higher power" to overcome your addiction. This is the prevailing treatment approach these days. However, their is another approach that is more in line with your thinking, that a person can draw on their own inner resources of get over an addiction. The method is called Rational Recovery (RR) and was developed by a man named Jack Trimpe. He believes that the AA approach is ineffectual for many people and down right damaging for others. RR is not as well known as AA, but is getting wider acceptance in recent years.
I believe there is a higher power. I don't use the word god to label it.
Larc, I've appreciated your posts. Just curious, are you a psych student or..?
It's hard to say exactly WHEN God helps and when he doesn't in this mixed-up world.
I would venture that in a situation like your father's, BELIEF in a higher power can help overcome a personal struggle, when such a struggle is not impossible. The thought that "someone is watching over us" is a psychological (perhaps spiritual) lift to many.
The difference with those who are starving, diseased and dying is that their struggle basically IS impossible to overcome. No amount of positive thoughts or psychology can change the system which brought them to their sad condition.
I think you are in good company with many of the rational thinkers on this board.
I used to believe in a higher power, but one day I decided to stop praying. I found that my life went just as well as before. I realized that I was just talking to myself through all those years of praying - mentally psyching myself up for success. My main experiment was my first public talk - I didn't even pray right before my talk like I had for so many talks before. As it turned out, it was one of my best talks ever - no need for a higher power there.
As you said before, it doesn't make sense that god would answer one prayer by providing a Cadillac as a service car, but not answer the prayers of starving children accross the globe.
Enjoyed your posts,
its quite easy to say WHY..it s as uffering question ...one generally looking for an argument.
I am not being critical of your beliefs, just wonder if in the beginning man was created... he lacked nothing............has god done anything to increase his plight. or has man increased his own plight.....the example of the starving children is hard to ignore.......though,.there is enough food to feed these children though isnt there?
I heard a story once about a jewish guy in a Nazi camp during the gasings......they would make them watch as their compadres were being exterminated......(terrible term.Ididnt even like it when I typed it).....so one day two guys are watching their brothers in heritage and one runs back to the barracks and is found praying tp God by the other....so the second guy says "how can you thank god at a time like this"...he responded.."I am thanking him , that I could never do that to another human being........"
If we remember whose ball it is,that we play the game with , it helps with the perspective, not always, but sometimes.......
We are ALL connected , if we live and have life in us....... its that damn energy thing again...where we came from and such......
we will always be safe as long as we Keep this connection in mind, ......
There is more to life than just this NO -thing we look out of!
Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it.
You asked about my background. I have been hesitant to state my credentials for the past four months that I have been here. I would rather let my comments live or die here based on their validity, not on my titles. However, Wayne and mensa163 decided to pull rank recently, which got me steamed. You can read about my background on the thread called "Why" on page 2.
I guess it comes down to our perspective on life. In my case, I see (human) life progressing in an age of enlightenment unmatched by any other time in history. People are living longer, better lives due to scientific progress. There are definitely problems that need to be solved - there always will be, but I don't think praying is going to solve them. Hard work, industriousness, imagination, creativity - these are some of the human qualities that improve life.
Depending on your point of view, you could say that praying saved the Jews who survived the concentration camps, or you could say it was the hard work and determination of the allied forces. I guess it's hard to prove one way or another.
One thing to remember is that I'm not blaming god for anything. Since I don't believe in god, there is no way that I can put any blame upon him for the suffering that goes on in the world. To me it would be like blaming Santa Claus for the starving children. I don't think that placing blame is all that constructive, though. We need some creative, practical ideas to ease much of the suffering in the world.