What About Children Without Hands?

I’m pretty sensitive to the fact that some of my beliefs brush up rather harshly against some of the beliefs of a few people who probably read me from time to time, and so I’m reluctant at times to post on certain topics. Or, really, one topic: Religion. It’s not that I’m in any way ashamed of my beliefs; I just don’t want to hurt the feelings of anybody close to me whose feelings would be hurt by some of my opinions. This post could possibly hurt feelings. Fair warning.

The following letter to the editor appeared in an area newspaper (one that I actually used to be a copy editor and layout guy for):

It is beyond my understanding that anyone with just the slightest intelligence could believe that there is no creator of all things. I would think that such a person would be too embarrassed to reveal such stupidity.

Let’s look at a few things. The person who invented the camera for example, truly did a marvelous job. A mechanism that with its lenses and shutter could capture a picture of an object. Man is praised for his ability to create such a marvelous thing. All the work involved to figure it out and build it. But with the human eye, well it just happened.

I was in Townsend a while back and saw some paintings from one of the local artists. The details in the picture would captivate any one. It took lots of thought and imagination to paint such a fine picture. Did it just happen or did someone design it?

Computers are a very great invention. The human brain has devised a wonderful electronic one. But the human brain? Well it just happened.

Even in nature it is so amazing with all its diversity and complexity. How is it a humming bird does what he does? It is so much different from other birds. All the birds are different from each other. You would think somewhere along the line since they just happened that some birds would be a little mixed up. How is it possible that a little acorn becomes a mighty oak? All the branches, twigs, leaves all came from the DNA that was in the little acorn seed. All the different varieties of trees just happened? All grasses, weeds which differ so much, they were never designed, they all just happened. What ignorance! Lets think for a moment of the little insignificant watermelon seed. It goes into the ground, dies, and out from it is a huge vine and the vine produces a watermelon which has a green cover, a white rhine and a red inside full of water for man’s enjoyment. Same with corn and all seeds.

Have you ever wondered why it is that all the fruits and vegetables are just the right size for humans to eat? An apple or carrot can be so easily held in the hand. Why isn’t there a few potatoes or oranges as big as houses? All the things we eat are just right in size for our consumption. Just happened huh?

All you folks who say there is no creator who made all these things are showing off absolute stupidity. Your problem is that you don’t want to have to answer to your maker so are free to do whatever you like.

Kinda reminds me of the fellow who went to his medicine cabinet and picked out a product that read, “Poison.” But he didn’t believe it would kill him so he drank it and he died. It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe something. What matters is that truth is truth and regardless of what you believe, truth will stand. You who don’t believe in a creator with whom you must give an answer to one day. That doesn’t change the truth. Not only will you answer to him but every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”

Aside from the fact that the speaker’s letter isn’t very Christian in its approach to those he’s criticizing (he must not have read Matthew 5:22, which says that anybody calling somebody a fool is in danger of hellfire), he’s simply got his facts wrong. Nobody on my side of the fence suggests that the human brain “just happened.” In fact, it took years and years of minor random changes and natural selection for the useful changes for the human brain to evolve to its current pretty darned nifty state. In my opinion, this is much more complexly beautiful than the notion that the human brain was created with a zap and an incantation by any god. But that’s just one flaw with his argument. This letter really struck a nerve with me, and so I drafted my own and sent it off the the editor of the paper that published this gentleman’s tirade. The text of mine follows:

In a letter entitled “Believing is choice” published on Feb. 18, the writer expresses his astonishment that anyone could believe that all the wonderful things of this earth could have come about without the work of a divine hand. His argument seems to be that great things cannot happen spontaneously; there must be a designer, and (by extension) the greater and more complex the item in question, the greater its support for the existence a creator must be. The obvious question, then, is how great a being must exist to have created so great a god. And how great a being to have created that god. And so on. The argument simply doesn’t hold together when you remove the convenient assumption that God Himself has no creator, which assumption undermines the foundation of the whole argument, rendering it not only unsound but utterly absurd.

The writer notes as further proof of a grand design that fruits and vegetables are the perfect size for human beings to hold in their hands and eat. But what about watermelons, which are too large for my mouth? What about cocoanuts, which are rough on the teeth? Why, if the divine plan is so well-thought-out, do edible animals flee when we hunt them rather than falling onto our plates fully cooked and seasoned upon the first hint of our hunger? I once tried to eat a sperm whale in one bite and was unable to manage it in spite of God’s perfect design. Why do our joints wear out and why are we so susceptible to the illnesses inflicted upon us by tiny microbes? Why do our teeth have to fall out and regrow when we’re young rather than growing with us like the rest of our bodies? Why do we need glasses and hearing aids? Why is it possible for us to swim but not to fly? Why are babies born with holes in their hearts and with twins attached to them at the head and missing the hands God designed carrots and oranges to be held so easily in? Are these children God’s rough drafts? Is God not so perfect after all?

A more plausible answer seems to me to be that they’re not the rough drafts of some halfwit god but are products of an unfeeling mechanistic natural process. Anyone who would worship the careless and haphazard (or just plain cruel) god represented by the facts the letter-writer leaves out quite possibly deserves whatever that god decides tomorrow to inflict upon him.

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