39 years ago today, my sisters and myself were involved in an automobile wreck in which our AMC Gremlin was hit by a train. The AMC Gremlin was a nice economic vehicle in those days. However; our AMC Gremlin did not stand up well against train collisions. Good enough however to allow all four occupants to live to tell the tale, even now so many years later.
Now, there are those who are privy to the circumstances of that incident who say that “someone was watching over us that day”. I say that if “someone was watching over us that day”, then the train never would have hit us in the first place.
You see, I do not believe in the providence of God.
Nor do I believe in the protection of God.
Nor do I believe in the punishment of God.
What I believe in is the existence of a universe of natural principles which is completely indifferent to the well being of anyone and everyone.
I believe in the suffering of an empty stomach.
I believe in the suffering of the person who is homeless.
I believe in the suffering of the maimed and the mutilated who suffer the effects of national wars.
I believe in the effects of suffering.
I also believe that whatever happens in terms of the natural universe simply happens.
If the train hits your car so as to kill you, then that happens.
If the tree falls on the unsuspecting child and kills the tot on the spot, then that happens.
If the baby is born with Cancer, and lives a short and miserable life of suffering and premature decay before experiencing the release of death; then that happens.
Frankly, it seems to me that if there is a god (or gods); then she, he, or they; have left us on our own.
And so we exist; and so we co-exist.
On our own.
Which means that we of humanity are responsible.
We are responsible for anything within our control.
And if we opt to sublet that responsibility to our personal conception of an interactive, all powerful deity, then we fail ourselves, and we fail humanity.
If we simply trust god to feed the hungry, then the hungry will continue to suffer.
If we simply trust god to shelter the homeless, then the homeless will continue to suffer.
If we simply trust god to care for the ill, then the sick will continue to suffer.
Anything that will be accomplished, will be accomplished through us.
Pray to your god if you must, but limit your trust to what she, he, or they may do through us.
For the fact is, that faith without works is useless.
Even the Bible says so: James 2:14-17
So whether you be a spiritual Christian, a diligent Muslim, a peaceable Hindu, or even a cynical Atheist like myself; realize this:
If we of humanity do not trust in and act upon our natural sense of kindness and compassion; then it does not matter whether your god exists or not.
Because any efforts to alleviate suffering; will be done through the efforts of humanity.
With or without “god”.