Do you really pray for your team?

Bob is looking forward to the big game. He has prayed every night for them to win the championship. He goes to the stadium with his friends and they take a beer down to their seats. The game is great, with the suspense high to the last minute.

Joe is an avid fan for his team. He prays for their victory all the way to the stadium. He meets his friends and they are held at the edge of their seats until the last minutes of play. With a score during overtime, Joe’s team wins. They are ecstatic!

Walking out of the stadium, Bob and his friends are disappointed.They yell obscenities to the fans of the winning team. A fight is barely avoided.

Did God intervene?

You pray for your team to win. What does god do? Does he change his plan and have your team win? Does god ever change his plans? What if another fan prayed for his team, does god choose? On what basis does he choose? Wouldn’t he have chosen the same without your prayer?

What can prayer mean?


Is pure evil just insanity? Except for the faithful…

Bob mugs an old lady to steal her purse. That’s evil. He is hungry and finds it easier to steal than to work. He puts his well-being before that of the old lady.

Joe buys a new TV. That’s nice. He prefers to spend his money on himself, instead of helping others that are more in need than he is. He puts his well-being before that of starving children in Africa.

There is a line somewhere beyond which you are bad

We all pretty much agree that there is a line somewhere between being bad and being acceptably selfish. If Bob had found the purse and not given it back, it wouldn’t have been as bad.

So, what is pure evil?

Doing bad things for personal gain is not pure evil. It’s bad, but its more a question of degree. You do not hurt for no reason. You want more for less work and believe another’s pain is worth less than your pleasure. We are all like that, if only by omission.

We know children are starving, but we still buy that flat screen TV. Our pleasure is worth more than their pain. Each of us draws a line where we justify our actions so as to be a good person. Society draws that line also. Even the mafia boss helps his family and people close to him.

When hurting becomes pure pleasure, with no other gain, is it pure evil? Or does it become a mental disease. If real evil is just crazy, then it is not really evil.

The only ones that harm for abstract pleasure and that are not considered crazy are the religious extremists.

Do you believe in evil?


Did god, as Jesus, plan to have himself nailed to a cross?

Jesus, as god, elaborates a complicated plan to forgive us. Somehow god, as Jesus, is nailed to a cross and dies in agony. Of course, god, as Jesus, does not really feel pain or die. But it does get the message across. To convince the world, he needs the drama. The betrayal by Judas is especially powerful, he plays an important part in the show. This was the best way for Jesus, as god, to forgive us our sins.

I always feel sorry for Judas, he, not god, made the ultimate sacrifice for the plan to succeed. Without him, we might never have recognised Jesus as our saviour. Too bad he never gets the recognition he deserves.

So, what’s the point? Why go through all this theatre to forgive mankind? If god wanted to forgive mankind, why didn’t he just do it?

More than this ineffable forgiveness, the point seems more to have been to trick people into believing in him. Is that really how god works? If it was all a show, all manipulation, nothing was sincere, what is the message? The end justifies the means? Is that his teaching?


Why does god hate amputees?

Helping people in Africa, Bob contracts the deadly Ebola virus. His wife and friends pray for him. And he heals. He is back to his healthy state.

Joe is on the job and a girder falls and pins him to the ground. There is nothing the doctors can do, he loses his right arm. His wife and friends pray for him. And nothing. Joe talks with friends, his spiritual leader, looks up miraculous healing online. He can find no trace of an amputee that was healed. Joe wonders why god hates amputees?

If god heals cancer and Ebola, why does he not heal amputees? How hard can it be to regrow a limb here or there? Reptiles can do it.

People believe that god answers prayers and heals people. There are numerous accounts of miraculous healing, including of the most terrible diseases. Why does he only heal « invisible » diseases, not more obvious ones? Why not accident victims?

Said no doctor ever

Is it better to die when your soul is at its best?

Bob is a carefree child. He doesn’t think much and gets into a lot of trouble. He isn’t really bad, but he always makes pranks. He doesn’t realise that everyone does not find them as funny as he does. Bob is hit by a car. The clerk at the pearly gates goes through his history of mischief and adds up the good, the bad, and the inconsiderate. Bob is lucky, he gets in.


As a teenager, Bob gets caught up with the wrong crowd. He becomes a hardened criminal, hurting many people. After shooting a store manager and assistant, the police gun him. Bob takes the express elevator down to hell.


Bob ends up in jail for an armed robbery that turned bad. His prison sentence makes him think. He gets counselling and reads a lot. He regrets his actions and sincerely apologizes to the families of his victims. When he gets out, he is a new man, a concerned citizen, he helps his community. When he dies, St Peter praises Bob’s atonement and greats him in heaven.

The soul is our essence, the intelligent agent puppeteering our body and mind. It is who we are, our identity, our memory, our character, our feelings. It is supposedly the immortal self, the connection with god.

Who we are changes with time and events. We are not the same person as we were as a kid. Life events change us, we grow and develop. Or we are victim of trauma and stumble and struggle. A brain tumour can change one’s personality, erase one’s memories. Our body is a strong part of our self image and an accident can change our outlook, if not our personality.

Which “us” is our soul? Do you want to live for all eternity with who you are today? The best favour someone could do to you is to kill you when you are the sanest, strongest, happiest, most innocent. Just as well choose the soul you will get to keep.

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