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hominid's avatar

What criteria does god use when he decides to intervene?

Asked by hominid (7337points) February 26th, 2014

- According to the UN World Food Programme, 3.1 children die each year due to hunger and malnutrition.
– In 2011, an earthquake off the coast of Japan caused a tsunami that killed 15,884 people.
– In 2004, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean resulted in a tsunami that killed between 184,167 and 230,273 people in 15 countries.
– In 2010 an earthquake hit Haiti, resulting in the death of at least 92,000 people.

But god is credited with saving a bus driver’s life, or helping the Miami Heat win a basketball game. If god intervenes, how does he choose when to intervene. Should we be grateful that god intervened to help the Red Sox win or saved someone’s life in the context of the sampling of death and suffering that is provided above?

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48 Answers

Seek's avatar

If something happens that doesn’t suck, God did it.

If something happens that kinda sucks, Satan did it/humans have free will.

ragingloli's avatar

All of the credit, none of the blame.

ucme's avatar

I think God created Earth to watch us fuck, came on everyone but Noah & since then he’s been asleep.

flutherother's avatar

If God obeyed criteria He wouldn’t be God. But you could ask what criteria man uses when he decides to intervene.

Cruiser's avatar

God did not save that man’s life…a really thick book did that so happened to be the Bible. Man made that Bible even wrote all the words in that book. So in a sense man save that bus drivers life just as IMHO that man can help those starving children and man can start using their smarts a little better and realize that building a nuclear reactor in a fault zone is not a good idea as well as that living in shacks where earthquake are known to happen or along a coastal area prone to hurricanes and tidal waves is similarly not the best of plans.

God supposedly made man in his image and worked hard to give man a brain and compassion…a lot of problems could be solved and avoided if man put his grey matter to work.

hominid's avatar

@flutherother: “If God obeyed criteria He wouldn’t be God.”

You don’t “obey” criteria. Let me rephrase this. When analyzing the accumulation of god’s interventions, do we see any patterns? Can we make generalizations about who he saves and why?

@flutherother: “But you could ask what criteria man uses when he decides to intervene.”

Sure. We do. All the time. Not relevant to the question, however.

Khajuria9's avatar

Depends upon what you define as God.

flutherother's avatar

@hominid God moves in a mysterious way apparently.

hominid's avatar

@Khajuria9: “Depends upon what you define as God.”

For sake of this discussion, I’m limiting it to the Christian god. That’s the god that I am most familiar with here in the U.S., and the one that seems to be the most active in the lives of many people here.

Khajuria9's avatar

Beliefs are something we must be careful to choose. I don’t think that your US god is any living entity, albeit, many people strongly believe it is.

hominid's avatar

@Cruiser: “So in a sense man save that bus drivers life just as IMHO that man can help those starving children and man can start using their smarts a little better and realize that building a nuclear reactor in a fault zone is not a good idea as well as that living in shacks where earthquake are known to happen or along a coastal area prone to hurricanes and tidal waves is similarly not the best of plans.”

So, god saved the bus driver because he knows that this man will lead to the reduction in future suffering by being a leader in convincing people to not live near the ocean, live near a fault line, or be born into a country that is suffering from war, drought, and famine? Are we to draw any conclusions about this man? Are we about to see great things from him?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I think you win a few and you loose a few. Hit and miss, you know. Fate, luck – not a magic guy in the sky.

kevbo's avatar

This is all just a lava lamp of consciousness manifesting and unmanifesting, but consciousness itself never perishes or is saved. It simply is. You point to so called tragedies, miracles and god as if they are separate things, but they are all only concepts believed in. You believe you are you seeing these phenomena. Realizing that you are the seer, the seen, and the seeing brings resolution to this kind of question.

Cruiser's avatar

@hominid I said man as in everyman.

That bus driver is alive by sheer luck. Again had this man used his grey matter a I suggested and thought to himself….hmmmm…it’s 5:30 am and I am a white guy in a very bad part of town…maybe it would be smart to radio the bus garage and sit here in the bus and wait for some help to arrive.

kritiper's avatar

The randomness would indicate that there is no God and that any and all “interventions” are just coincidence.

hominid's avatar

@kevbo: “Realizing that you are the seer, the seen, and the seeing brings resolution to this kind of question.”

At least one person understands this. Translation?

downtide's avatar

It’s my experience that God never did anything that couldn’t equally have happened by chance or by human intervention. That’s why he never cured an amputee.

ragingloli's avatar

But one day, humans will.

dxs's avatar

@hominid Grammatical note: when referring to the specific being, the g in God gets capitalized.

hominid's avatar

^ Noted. Thanks.

downtide's avatar

@ragingloli I believe so too, and from that day onwards, God will start doing it too.

The_Lord_thy_God's avatar

My criteria is usually profit prophet based. Or if the woman praying is really hot. Otherwise it’s just a flip of the coin.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah. I mean, why didn’t he make is so that poor girl from Springfield wasn’t where she was that day?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Perhaps her death will lead others to God. The reasons don’t matter if you live for Christ and by His rules. You have to trust and take it on faith that there is a purpose that we can’t always know.

We’re here to serve His purposes, not our own, and her family are Christians as far as I know, so they’ll accept that.

downtide's avatar

So… God kills the innocent in order to win more recruits? That’s harsh, I think.

ragingloli's avatar

It is also repulsive and evil.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If I was a Christian and it was my kid, I wouldn’t be a Christan any more @KNOWITALL. I hate that more than anything else…that God allows children to be abused maimed and raped all for the Glory of God.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@all I know you don’t accept it and that’s okay, but that’s how it is. One life for many is not an unusual concept. Christians believe we go to a better place where there’s no more pain, too, so you celebrate her new life with the Lord as you grieve for your loss.

This can’t be news to you guys, come on.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We know what the argument is, but it makes me sick to my stomach. I better get off this question because I’m getting upset.

ragingloli's avatar

That reminds me of an analogy that AronRa once brought up.
Imagine your child died and some random bloke comes up to you and says that she went away with Peter Pan and lives with him in neverland where she will stay a child forever.
Would that comfort you? Or would that actually infuriate you?

Pachy's avatar

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Shakespeare, “Julius Caesar”

Darth_Algar's avatar

The guy scoring the game-winning touchdown has a televised platform from which to glorify God to the millions. Thus God helps him win that game. The kid dying of starvation in the middle of Africa has no such platform, so tough shit.

filmfann's avatar

Definition of “the height of arrogance”: To believe one knows the mind of God.

basstrom188's avatar

It’s all down to sin. Bad things will continue to happen until we all repent. What utter trollop! We all know its the shape shifting lizards trying to reduce our numbers so that it is easier to control us in their Club of Rome zero growth economy.

kevbo's avatar

@hominid, you say “I, @hominid, see these things that are separate from me, and I ascribe certain meanings to them. I am a person in the world and these are facts.”

If you look deeper (and it takes a change in perspective), you may see that there is another you that observes all of the above happening, but is not involved with or attached to the activity.

If the former version of you is found to be false because the latter version is true, then identifying with the true version also dispels the projections of the former you. The seer (you), seen (catastrophes), and seeing (the meanings ascribed) are enveloped in and witnessed by the latter you and are found to be only a succession of projections believed in.

To a part of your original question, “how do we make sense of God’s pattern of intervention?” Consider all the concepts at play. There’s a separate you and me, a separate God, separate tragedies and miracles and a separate pattern to be discerned or dismissed. Instead, what if all of this is just a play of consciousness? (The purpose of which is to drive one to self-realization.) Consider the folly of assuming God intervenes on certain occasions and not others. Easily, the idea splits groups between those who believe in certain interventions and the skeptics. What if, however, God actually manifested every moment and every experience for the sake of teaching transcendence? Further, what if our conventional idea of God was also a mistake of separateness, and instead we came to realize that we are all, so to speak, the fingertips of God, believing mistakenly that the other fingertips are separate from us and that we are somehow unconnected to God’s hands. What would be the meaning of all the terrible deaths and destruction, if all of these tragedies and sometimes good experiences were purposely played out before us?

hominid's avatar

^ Thanks for your attempt at explaining. I don’t understand any of it, however.

kevbo's avatar

No worries. I’m not an expert (yet) at explaining, and it generally takes a lot of repetition for it to sink in. It runs contrary to the conditioning of most people, and requires removing some blind spots to get it.

ETpro's avatar

God doesn’t have a pattern of intervention because there is no intervening God. If God intervened in cause and effect on Earth, that is something science could observe. We do not see it happen. We do notice that every church spire is equipped with a lightning rod ever since Benjamin Franklin invented the device. Thanks to that very human intervention, church spires don’t any longer get blown to smithereens or set ablaze when God aims at a miserable sinner but misfires and hits his on house of worship.

If god answered prayers, that is something else science could observe. Double and triple blind studies have shown either no effect or a negative correlation from prayer for speedy recovery. As Einstein correctly observed, “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”

cookieman's avatar

Coin flip?

jca's avatar

Those who believe in God will justify and those who don’t believe in God will be cynical.

hominid's avatar

@jcacynical? I think you meant to say skeptical, right? Also, do you have an answer to the question?

@cookieman – When are you going to change your avatar to a chocolate chip cookie with walnuts? C’mon.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think @jca gave a valid answer in the context of the discussion that’s been going on.

hominid's avatar

^ Oh. Sorry. I thought it was in response to the OP. I’ll go back and find the context.

Coloma's avatar

Quite frankly “God” has nothing to do with it. If this magical “God” really did listen to his creations pleas, well…he/she/it would not have created me as a human to begin with. “God” would have known that I really wanted to be born a pampered pet that belonged to somebody like me. haha Shit…I’d have settled for being an Ameoba in a puddle, no pressure, just floating, floating…

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ Always wanted to be goose, that one did.

cookieman's avatar

@hominid: I really need to. I prefer them that way.

Kardamom's avatar

When all of us kids are making too much noise that he can’t enjoy his marathon viewing of Downton Abbey or Walking Dead, whichever one he likes, I can’t always remember.

The_Lord_thy_God's avatar

I have both on Heavenly Blu-ray, so make all the noise thou wish.

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