@Eric - RE: "give a man cancer and then take it away" - instead of that, why not give the man the CURE for cancer --?
Jerod, assuming your stories are true, and I have no way of knowing that they are, in highly emotional situations, it is Human to attribute supernatural causes to natural, random events.
Why do you think that is?
It makes one feel special and that life is more mysterious and exciting than it actually is.
Most kids grow up believing in supernatural powers, like the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and of course a whole lot of fictional beings and superheros on Saturday mornings. It used to be other gods that people believed in, even as adults. There were sun gods and moon gods before we learned about planets and moons, and there were gods in the sky that did all kinds of incredible things.
Before science, people had no other way to explain how things happened, other than by imagining supernatural powers. And we're not even talking yet about leaders who pushed and used people's beliefs in supernatural powers to rule over them.
I hear people say constantly "everything happens for a reason", as if it's supposed to profoundly explain something that is otherwise unexplainable. It's been like this for thousands of years, until science alone started to unravel the secrets of the universe and life. Science now achieves things that people of the past would have thought was pure magic or divinity, yet most people today just take it for granted, and don't even feel the need to understand any of it.
It's a whole lot easier to assume Goddidit than it is to actually learn about the vast complexities of the universe and life.
Papi - Neil DeGrasse Tyson said, "God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance, that gets smaller and smaller as time goes on."
Words to live by --
Arch, nice quote.
The more of Neil I see, the more I like.
You premise is that faith is beneficial. It simply isn't, it keeps people in the dark and gives them false hope. A simple quote I think is really relevant: 'Good men will do good things, bad men will do bad things, but it takes religion to make good men do bad things'.
Even if god did exist, and revealed himself with evidence, I'm sure it would do a whole lot more for mankind than blind faith is doing at the minute!
Carl Sagan answers for you.
Great video, Gene - let's make it available for everyone!
I tend my garden and our family is surrounded by forest. There is hardly a day when my wonder is not touched by an observation, a pattern, a relationship.
I apply what I know about soil chemistry to help our plants grow a little better. I watch for changes in plant behavior/symptoms to gage responses to my decisions.
I sometimes feel the awareness of the 'sacred' wash over me, but then come back to a deep awareness of complexity. The scientist and the philosopher in me often touch each other at points along a days arc.
While I do not believe that a 'god' is involved, I do wonder if the 'grin' of diety remains. Historical Theist assertions as hardly more than childish musings before our specie's maturity. Their ideas 'point towards', but do not grasp. A scientist might see further and probe deeper, but the endeaver still remains a reach not a perfect grasp.
My loyalty is to the sciences, but I think I understand the theist pursuit. I have to thank them for many of our hangups, metaphors, icons, art, passions, and sometimes good questions.
What a healthy attitude!