Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Does God Work People Like Puppets To Make Them Do Good?
I write about my experiences with homelessness on Squidoo. On one page I bit back the pain and horror of the experience and wrote about how an amazingly brave and compassionate homeless man rescued me after I was raped and assaulted. Someone chose to use this knowledge to come to my main page on atheism and to use it to evangelize. I see this as evangelism because the comment did not appear on the page with the story about this amazing man, but on an unrelated page of mine about atheism. The person brushed off the actual man's role in saving me and brushed off his very existence, dehumanizing him, by saying he was an angel from God. He wasn't. Justus was a man, a human being who risked his freedom to bring a bleeding delirious girl to the hospital.
I think it is dehumanizing to give God credit for everything good people do and to, on the flip side, give all credit for any bad things people do to the people who did them. It's a statement asserting that humans can never do good, only evil. It demeans the sacrifice, compassion and humanity of people who choose to do good things.
I think that humans are responsible for both good and bad. I don't think that God controls people like puppets to make them do good. I suspect that even if I thought God were real, I wouldn't believe humans were not capable of good on their own. Why would they be worth saving if they weren't? Why would something that is only evil unless possessed by God something worthy of saving or even allowing to live?