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LETTER: How can some claim to know what God's desires are?

It’s funny that some claim to know what God wants.

God, they say, is the creator of everything. He alone designed this expansive, elegant universe.

Certainly the force that created the atomic structure and fashioned the conditions for life must be incredibly transcendent, they say.

So why do many who proclaim the supremacy of God often in the same breath degrade Him by claiming to understand his desires and motives?

We’re just a speck of the stardust scattered across the universe. We’re barely even a blip on the celestial radar. It is ludicrous to assert that God spends time brooding over worldly affairs, and there is no evidence to support this assertion.

With good intentions, people often pray for the safety and success of soldiers at war. But what sort of righteous, loving God endorses the annihilation of His “greatest” creation? And despite these prayers, death and loss are still a very real part of war. Doesn’t this suggest that maybe God isn’t listening to the selfish longings we direct at him?

Americans, who are usually more privileged than the rest of the world’s denizens, constantly ask God for more blessings. We always want more money, better health and greater comfort, and who wouldn’t? When those wishes for continued prosperity become a reality, many are quick to cite the hand of God as the catalyst.

But is a hand that favors those who already have so much really worthy of our praise and adoration?

The political sphere is brimming with rhetoric about what God does and does not want. God, supposedly, doesn’t want gay marriage. God, supposedly, thinks homosexuality is unnatural.

If God floats through the heavens fuming because two gay people are in love, then God is as silly as the people making such narrow-minded claims. An entity so supreme that it defies any coherent explanation ought to have bigger fish to fry.

In taking even the most cursory glance at the world we inhabit, one can see that if God exists, He is morally bankrupt, incompetent or just isn’t that concerned about us.

So please, if you’re ever inclined to say you know what God wants, or if you feel like you understand his motives, look around. If you’re being honest, you’ll realize you don’t know as much as you think.


Darnell Gardner Jr.

Dogma-Free Society, CMU’s atheist and agnostic student organization