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Thank God - Comments

aball's Avatar Comment 1 by aball

Judging by the location of the crash (Bolivia) and the name of the survivor, he probably comes from one of those deeply catholic latin american nations. Catholicism 101 and belief in Christ our saviour are drilled into the skulls of these people from a very young age. So there is nothing surprising about this story. I don't believe the guy is a fool, he's just been brainwashed.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:15:02 UTC | #869622

wolfhoundGrowl's Avatar Comment 2 by wolfhoundGrowl

Yeah, these things only makes sense if God's a bastard playing games with pawns, in which case I'll do without him thankyou very much.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:27:38 UTC | #869627

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 3 by Laurie Fraser

The other eight must have been atheists, Richard. Q.E.D.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:39:30 UTC | #869630

Jay G's Avatar Comment 4 by Jay G

Penny-ante stuff!! How about people who thanked God they survived the 9/11 attacks? Your questions take on additional urgency when the numbers of dead are in the thousands.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:44:17 UTC | #869632

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 5 by AtheistEgbert

That's a little harsh. I don't think this guy is causing widespread harm or enslaving millions of minds, he's a victim of a plane crash. Wrong target this time, Prof. Dawkins.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:45:13 UTC | #869634

scotsman2010's Avatar Comment 6 by scotsman2010

"God who, he presumably must have believed, allowed the plane crash to happen in the first place and allowed his eight fellow passengers to die."

It's amazing how religionists always seem to overlook this aspect of a disaster or tragedy Richard!

You're quite right to highlight such clear examples of incongruous thinking.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:04:41 UTC | #869642

Jayhennem's Avatar Comment 7 by Jayhennem

It is truly sad how such people think.. I had a conversation with a brainwashed Christian about a similar situation.. What if my plane crashes and everybody dies and i end up hungry and thirsty in shark infested waters.. will i turn to god and ask for help? How truly moronic that is in reality.. Why did "God" put me in that situation? Why did he let everybody else die, or even killed them? Why would i turn to God and put my life in his hands or even just use him as a pacifier in such a situation? It makes no sense to me, i almost died 2 times and in both situations i was too busy with myself and what is going on around me to even spend a single second thinking about God! And I will always stand behind this statement: Every second spent on a prayer is a lost second. Yes it is easy for gullible stupid humans to flee into imaginary worlds and blame everything on some Ultimate Authority and ask him for guidance and forgiveness or even use him as a friend who will never let you down or alone in this world.. no matter what happens he is waiting for you on the other side and he will "make it right, here or in the afterlife". I am disgusted and shocked by that way of thinking.. not only doesn't it bring anything but is highly contraproductive.. even harmful in many cases. But let me stop complaining about that.. what i really can't live with is the mentality of such people, he survived such an extreme situation.. instead of feeling bad for the others who died, instead of thanking the ones who put their life on the line and worked hard to save him, he thanks his imaginary friend!! That is even worse than a prayer before eating.. a really cruel and idiotic tradition if you ask me, you sit down, thank "God" for the food that other people had to provide for you, thank him for watching over you instead of thanking the people who risk their lives shielding you from crime and terror, thanking him for the wealth that "He" gave you, instead of thanking yourself and especially the people in poor countries who work their butt off to make it easier for you to enjoy.. thanking "God", who you believe is killing even little children with disease and violence, who made everything around you hostile to life, for your health, instead of thanking modern medicine and people who spend their whole life looking for ways to prolong your life and make it more comfortable.. but later when you turn on your TV you demonise the people in poor countries merely for having asome other belief.. or for other idiotic reasons.. demonise and ridicule science if it goes against your ancient superstitious completely idiotic belief system.. while at same time you enjoy every bit of it when it is beneficial to you.. I am disgusted by so much ignorance and hipocrisy.. brain washing of people, using them as pawns in religious wars and extorting them in the name of the "Holy imaginary, arrogant, jealous, angry, inhumane, attention and love- seeking, tantrum throwing, totalitarian Control Freak" who won't even leave you alone after you die.. It is really difficult to throw off the religious brain amputation and shackles.. too difficult for reason alone to do it quickly.. most believers reject reality in favor of their dream worlds.. stick to their implanted pseudo morality instead to use their own, often much better moral compass and live as humans.. with other humans.. instead to be religious first and human after that.. if at all.. After thinking about such things thoroughly for many years and after taking many gods and many religions into consideration.. looking at them from many different angles, I realized I can enjoy my life and don't need God and his bestsellers for anything, but i wish others would at least take the alternative into consideration... It is really saddening that they can't even imagine to look at the world without God.. and they think if they abandon their ridiculous belief, they are doomed forever.. basically it is like a really really bad habit.. I call it "holy smoking". They think if they stop "smoking the holy cigarette", it will hunt them down and make them smoke it in pain for all eternity.. but I babbled enough.. just to answer Mr. Dawkins' question.. although i am sure he doesn't need my answer.

"Does religion manufacture fools, or do fools gravitate towards religion?" Sadly, both.. religion manifactures fools by brain washing and threats and empty promises.. often violence and isolation and fools and manipulable sheep gravitate towards religions.. they can't imagine to live their lives by being their own boss, taking responsibility for their own actions and see life through the lense of "reality", it is much easier to have a ready-made-friend-group under "Justicio the Father of All" than to be simply an evolved animal surrounded by other animals, to enjoy your life the best you can and look to make it comfortable and meaningful for yourself and for others.. coexisting with other humans or simply with nature. But if humanity manages to push back religions, such people would be encouraged to be humans living in reality and taking this life more serious and important.. or at least not be discouraged to live like that by religious INHUMANITY.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:16:40 UTC | #869650

Graxan's Avatar Comment 8 by Graxan

The answer surely must be both. The religious people I encounter tend towards the less intelligent end of the spectrum, and I say this unapologetically. I don't assign specific blame for their behaviour but the phenonemon surely is self explanitory, especially where cultural religious indoctrination occurs. The point where a person gets on their knees and thanks God is surely a sign that they've reached a point mentally where they are unable to grasp the sequence of events rationally or are unable to explain how they have survived, so they assign the outcome to a magical source. Maintaining a 'present' mind takes effort, something that many people are either unable or ill-equiped by their education to do.

@ Comment 5

One's circumstances don't excuse wrong thinking - not anymore. The fact that the man was unlucky to be in such a situation but isn't a theological dictator doesn't mean his action was correct. He was still behaving foolishly, even if such behaviour is perfectly understandable given the circumstances.

My personal worry is that in fighting the causes of illogic and religious thinking, we may get so far but we will encounter at some point an impenetrable biological barrier - intelligence.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:18:23 UTC | #869651

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 9 by DavidMcC

I'm reminded of last year's Chilean mine disaster, in which the rescued miners thanked god more than their rescuers.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:22:01 UTC | #869654

Simon Templar's Avatar Comment 10 by Simon Templar

It is truly sad how such people think

That's all that needs saying !!!

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:22:27 UTC | #869655

Egon Voolavon's Avatar Comment 11 by Egon Voolavon

Not sure about the bloody arrow thing. How much blood did he drain from himself, what size of an arrow was it, plus ants would be all over it like a rash. So it wouldn't be a bloody arrow it would be a Anti-arrow. I think he has kept alive eating parts of the dead passengers, or fishing. Why was he drinking his own piss when there was a river, that's just flipping kinky that is.

Anywho all praise to 'Mary of Gulpsomepissi'

All the Best

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:24:23 UTC | #869656

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 12 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 5 by AtheistEgbert

That's a little harsh. I don't think this guy is causing widespread harm or enslaving millions of minds, he's a victim of a plane crash. Wrong target this time, Prof. Dawkins.

I don't think it was the individual that was being "attacked" rather than the foolish idea as an example of how blinkered people can be. People don't think past their own salvation to question the reason why they had to be saved in the first place...and they are idiots, I know this attitude rubs some here up the left, but I can't help it, no matter how clever an individual is in other walks of life, when it comes to religious and supernatural beliefs, they are deluded idiots and I reserve the right to call them out as such.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:29:03 UTC | #869657

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 13 by Richard Dawkins

I must admit I wouldn't have used such harsh words if I'd thought there was any chance that he would read them.
Richard

Comment 12 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 5 by AtheistEgbert

That's a little harsh. I don't think this guy is causing widespread harm or enslaving millions of minds, he's a victim of a plane crash. Wrong target this time, Prof. Dawkins.

I don't think it was the individual that was being "attacked" rather than the foolish idea as an example of how blinkered people can be. People don't think past their own salvation to question the reason why they had to be saved in the first place...and they are idiots, I know this attitude rubs some here up the left, but I can't help it, no matter how clever an individual is in other walks of life, when it comes to religious and supernatural beliefs, they are deluded idiots and I reserve the right to call them out as such.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:48:30 UTC | #869663

lboraz's Avatar Comment 14 by lboraz

maybe god thought the other 8 people deserved paradise sooner than the survivor. Why deny them such a prize? Carpe Diem! he must have thought, I'll grab their souls now and grant them a nice eternal after life. I'll leave the other one alive so he can witness my benevolence and bring to me even more souls!

A perfect Plan! (with all the meaning we can give to the word plan)

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:59:11 UTC | #869668

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 15 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 14 by lboraz

Even more reason not to thank God IMO.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:03:50 UTC | #869671

Simon Templar's Avatar Comment 16 by Simon Templar

I must admit I wouldn't have used such harsh words if I'd thought there was any chance that he would read them.

It gets worse !!

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:05:00 UTC | #869672

foundationist's Avatar Comment 17 by foundationist

Well, I don´t think the behaviour is that odd. When you have been in a difficult or dangerous situation and then manage to get out of it, the one major emotion you feel will be relieve and happiness. It´s of course irrational, because you fail to take into account the fact that you got into the bad situation in the first place, but in this moment you just feel overwhelmingly happy and lucky. If you are religious, these are the moments you thank god. It´s illogical, but psychologically sound and normal behaviour.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:13:32 UTC | #869677

Jayhennem's Avatar Comment 18 by Jayhennem

Comment 14 by lboraz :

maybe god thought the other 8 people deserved paradise sooner than the survivor. Why deny them such a prize? Carpe Diem! he must have thought, I'll grab their souls now and grant them a nice eternal after life. I'll leave the other one alive so he can witness my benevolence and bring to me even more souls!

A perfect Plan! (with all the meaning we can give to the word plan)

Maybe, maybe or probably not, it is not reasonable to assume such things without evidence supporting it.. or extraordinary evidence supporting such extravagant and irrational claims. In my opinion, even if there is/was some supernatural creator, he could as well be dead by now, and if not, why would he go down to earth and interfere in our stupid meaningless affairs? If you have an ant farm, do you take one of the ants to tell it to make the others worship you by making it write some idiotic book and threaten them into submission and kill and terrorize the ones who don't do it anyway? Do you really need them to do your work if you control their world with omnipotence anyway? And if you do, doesn't it make you a slave driver more than the loving caring figure that religious people like to see? If God just wants me to love him and believe in him and do what he says, he could use his omniscience and omnipotence and give me a GOOD reason to do so, other than this sick world loaded with violence and hatred.. and mislead people.. other than some ancient books which a rationally thinking brain can only declare to be completely idiotic fruits of imagination of ancient people who had no clue about the world.. and a way to mesmerize gullible illiterate uneducated fellow humans into blind submission and stupidity and ignorance.. which over millenia through brainwashing spread like an unstoppable virus where education and reality is being rejected so they can stay "sick"

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:21:16 UTC | #869679

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 19 by QuestioningKat

Hopefully, after his initial reaction, he thanked the people who helped him. Don't know, but it's amazing how some people think other people are merely puppets of God with no skill or abilities. Give credit where credit is due.

I'd probably do something similar just out of relief, then thank the people involved. I'd like to think that to some people it's just difficult to look someone in the eye, say thank you so much, and hug the person. They anonymously thank God instead because people have a hard time acknowledging each other.

What drives me nuts is when people think that creativity or artistic skill is tapping into the spiritual realm or channeling God or something. God did it if it's beautiful. Never mind the ugly or controversial art.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:30:19 UTC | #869681

BenS's Avatar Comment 20 by BenS

Comment 12 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 5 by AtheistEgbert

That's a little harsh. I don't think this guy is causing widespread harm or enslaving millions of minds, he's a victim of a plane crash. Wrong target this time, Prof. Dawkins.

I don't think it was the individual that was being "attacked" rather than the foolish idea as an example of how blinkered people can be. People don't think past their own salvation to question the reason why they had to be saved in the first place...and they are idiots, I know this attitude rubs some here up the left, but I can't help it, no matter how clever an individual is in other walks of life, when it comes to religious and supernatural beliefs, they are deluded idiots and I reserve the right to call them out as such.

I think both the ridiculous notion that 'god' is to thank for this and the clown who actually thanks him should be liberally painted with the idiocy brush.

My sister's young child was in hospital some time ago and it really was touch and go - and after a valiant battle by trained professionals the little one pulled through. Unbelievably, some god bothering American relative immediately posted on the Facebook update (as that's how information travels these days) a load of blithering nonsense about thanking God and how everyone's prayers were answered.

Thanking God? Really? Don't thank the parents who looked after the other kids so my sister could spend time with her daughter in hospital. Don't thank the medical professionals for their dedicated years of training and the hours they spent patching up the child. Don't thank the admin staff who made sure everyone had the right notes, the right drugs were issued and the right actions were taken. Don't thank the utterly invisible researchers and engineers and quality assurance people who designed, built and tested the machinery that kept the kid alive when just 30 years ago we'd have been picking a burial spot. Don't thank the myriad people, both seen and unseen, who all contributed in some way to saving the life of the child.

Don't thank them. Thank God.

Believe me, seeing this slack-brained stupidity up close is really quite vexing.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:40:34 UTC | #869683

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 21 by justinesaracen

I think there are several factors operating here. First is simply the expression of "Oh, thank God!" which seems to spring spontaneously to the lips when one has escaped disaster by a hair. I am a militant, strident, argumentative non-accommodating atheist, and I still say it unconsciously now and again (such as when my missing budgie turned up in the attic).

Assuming he was actually thinking about a personal god, there is also that 'abused child' syndrome, where even after a child is beaten by a parent, he still runs to the parent for comfort -- the reason, of course, the (presumed) lack of anyone else to run to.

And the third is simply indoctrination. If he had a typical Bolivian Catholic childhood , he would have had no other 'vocabulary' with which to interpret the circumstances of his own survival in the face of the deaths of the others: no reference points to consider blind chance (that the universe is full of), the place he was sitting in the plane, his ratio of body fat that would keep him from emaciation or that would pad him from grave injury -- and so forth.

In less life-threatening circumstances, thanking god seems more obnoxious to me. A few years ago, a woman who won a music award held it up before the audience (and implicitly before the losers) and said 'I know god wanted me to have this. He has something special in mind for me." That's when I had an urge to shout "Arrogant asshole" at the television.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:55:54 UTC | #869686

robaylesbury's Avatar Comment 22 by robaylesbury

Religion does make bright and capable people believe some rather peculiar things, and often defend them to the death. But I won't refer to all people of faith as fools as this seems to me to focus on only a part of who they are. As people we're multi-dimensional and we have many facets to our personality. Religion is a part of some people, but not the be all and end all. They are invariably richer, deeper, and more complicated. True, the more that religion permeates a person the more they become subject to increasingly odd perspectives, but hardly any of the believers I know have gone that far down the rabbit warren. So for once I'm going to be a bit charitable. Don't get too used to it.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:20:00 UTC | #869699

Anvil's Avatar Comment 23 by Anvil

Esuther, I recall Terry Waite (an educated middle class white male - and a hostage in Beirut for 5 years - early '87 to '91?) upon his release and return to the UK.

Terry stepped off the plane and, after kissing the greasy tarmac like it was some kind of green and pleasant land - which to him I'm sure it was - held out his arms to the worlds press and said (from my pitiful memory)

"At last, my prayers have been answered!"

I remember at the time thinking: 'Five years, Terry! Five fucking years, mate! What kind of prayer answering service does your god have?'

Let's face it, back then, you could get a hip operation on the NHS faster than that! Fucks sake, let's be honest here, you could get British Gas 'round faster than that!

Anvil.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:21:52 UTC | #869700

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 24 by MilitantNonStampCollector

Well said BenS. And if God does exist, he is laughing his head off at all of this stupid thanking.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:24:58 UTC | #869702

morris1000's Avatar Comment 25 by morris1000

Yes, and conversely aren't people silly for blaming a god for all the bad things that happen to them? People aren't pawns of a god, they're pawns of nature and other people's power games.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:31:23 UTC | #869709

Graxan's Avatar Comment 26 by Graxan

Just to add a tidbit:

To quote Alec Guinness in the famous old documentary 'Star Wars', "Who's the bigger fool, the fool or the fool who follows him?"

Seems to be pretty good wisdom to me.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:55:07 UTC | #869722

Jeremy Nel's Avatar Comment 27 by Jeremy Nel

For what it's worth, it DOESN'T help your hydration status to drink your own urine, if you were already dehydrated when that urine was made. A dehydrated person's urine is EXTREMELY concentrated (technically: up to 1200 mOsmol/L), and drinking this urine is merely ingesting again what the body was trying to rid itself of - with NO net gain of water. In addition, drinking a fluid this concentrated (hypertonic) will actually increase the thirst sensation. It's not smart, and it's NOT recommended by reputable survival guides.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:55:37 UTC | #869723

Phen's Avatar Comment 28 by Phen

Well I think for most, if not all religious people, the existence of god is fact and anyone he chooses to save from an accident is lucky, or 'chosen' to do his work or whatever. Similarly, when people find out I'm an atheist the first question I'm asked is "Why don't I believe in god?". To you and me that's a bizarre question similar to "Why don't you believe platform 9 3/4 exists?", but in reality it only goes to show how they take it as undeniable fact that this god fella exists. Still, surely the rescuers deserve at least some credit?

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:59:29 UTC | #869728

thebaldgit's Avatar Comment 29 by thebaldgit

There is no doubt that this person undoubtedly thinks that his beloved invisible friend is the reason that he is alive today and that if you were to question him as to why he did not thank the real rescuers then he would say that his god organised these people to save him. If any of the other people who died had any idea that they were doomed i wonder how many were equally convinced that they were going to be saved.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 13:08:00 UTC | #869735

A. R's Avatar Comment 30 by A. R

I have to agree with the other commentators that Religion produces fools (through the indoctrination of children) and by ruining the minds of adults, and that individuals with what we may call limited cognitive facilities tend to gravitate toward religion as an "explanation" of their world, in spite of the ridiculous and usually contradictory nature of the "explanation," and the presence of a much better method of revealing truth (science). I tend to think of the "physicians" of the middle ages, who were required to take as much theology as medicine at university in reflection of the primitive belief that some form of religious magic would be a more effective "cure" for the Black Death than proper sanitation, and isolation. Perhaps if the Roman Catholic Church hadn't essentially killed scientific thought in the early first century AD, physicians would have been treating the Plague with doxycylcine instead of Flagellation and prayer. Thus, I must argue that religion is capable of repressing rational thought, as opposed to simply preventing it.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 13:14:12 UTC | #869738