A while ago at work I overheard a couple of coworkers talking about The Secret, a silly bit of pseudoscience that claims that any intentions you “put out into the universe” will somehow attract whatever it is you intend. For example, if you “put it out into the universe” that you want a new car, eventually you’ll get one. It’s a dumb idea, I know. Our thoughts don’t actually affect reality outside of what they lead us to do.
But there’s a dark side to this kind of belief. You see, according to The Secret, everything that happens is the result of our intentions. Sure, when we get that big bonus at work, it’s a sign of the power of our intentions. But when a tsunami hits and kills us and hundreds of thousands of others, it’s really just because not one of those hundreds of thousands of people really wanted to be safe from tsunamis – or, worse, that more of them wanted to die in a tsunami than wanted to be kept safe. In other words, as soon as you get outside of this sappy, fluffy, happy-go-lucky, upper-middle-class, first world life, The Secret starts becoming horrifying. Everything bad that happens is either because of too many people wanting it to happen or not enough people wanting it not to happen.
With The Secret, though, at least we can only blame ourselves. If the so-called Law of Attraction were true, we could do something about it.
When you believe in an omnipotent god that you call perfectly good, you’re in an even worse situation. Because you’re stuck believing in a being that is capable of literally anything, but which (for whatever reason) still decides to take a course of action that engenders massive amounts of suffering. An omnipotent being could, of course, achieve its goals through any means it decides to use. So if it achieves its goals through means that require human suffering, the only logical conclusion is that it prefers human suffering to the absence thereof.
And we’re absolutely unable to make the situation any better.
I’ve seen Christians extol the virtues of their god by talking about how everyone feels God’s love in their lives. Tell that to the African boy that just starved to death, in agony and terror, because a parasitic worm burrowed its way into his large intestine and siphoned off all the nutrients from the tiny amount of food he managed to scavenge. Tell him that it happened because your god loves us all equally and doesn’t wish for us to suffer. Yes, clearly your happy-clappy scripture is a comfort to people who aren’t as pampered and privileged as you are in a rich first world country.
If you believe in an omnipotent god, and you believe that everything which happens is a part of that god’s plan, you worship a monster. There’s no other way to put it.
In about an hour, it’ll be May 21, 2011 (locally), and yet another doomsayer prophet will have failed to make good.
But take heart, believers: it’s supposedly going to happen at 6PM local time! Jesus still has 19 hours to get around to this time zone. And just in case he does come back, I’m prepared for the post-apocalyptic hellscape that the world is sure to become…
Golf club: nice reach; good for zombies. I think there will be zombies…
It’s already 6PM in some parts of the world, but there’s nothing on the news yet about the promised “great earthquake unlike any the world has ever seen before.” Typical liberal media.
EDIT: http://www.familyradio.com/ is down. SURPRIIIIIISE.
EDIT 2: Apparently it’s being DDoS’d. Guess that makes sense.
EDIT 3: That Facebook group is now completely gone. No surprise there – can’t leave any pesky evidence of the false prophecy laying around!
The Schenectady Daily Gazette occasionally has a column by Carl Strock called “The View From Here.” It’s often inflammatory and a bit mixed-up on the various flavors of Christianity, but his column from today was pretty interesting. If you’re a Gazette subscriber, you can read it here, but everybody else who doesn’t want to shell out a few bucks to read it is out of luck. Fortunately, I have a physical copy of the Gazette on hand, so I’ll quote rather liberally from it…