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The only reason I miss having a god around is that now there's no one to blame.


When I stopped believing it was a relief. Before that I thought God must be a real asshole, going by the evidence of my eyes and ears. Better no god than that one.

Btw, Lance, did the projector work?



This is how I know there is a God.

From my own photography, I understand the nature and physics of light, colour, reflection and refraction. You've seen my photos, so you know what I mean.

I see a rose, and I photograph it employing science and technology, physics, engineering and computer chips. The rose was grown after generations of biologic and genetic manipulation, with agricultural science thrown in for good measure. I stand at this precise spot because I know which angle the light is coming from and I prefer to include this proportion in the picture. I set a shutter speed, aperture and ISO in order to find the most precise translation of the idea in my head.

Science provides the pmechanics, but only God can provide the beauty. That's my gospel, and all I need to know about the world to know that there must be a God.


I don't know there is a God. I gave up the belief of my childhood, because the God of my childhood wasn't a God I could believe in. But at some point, I chose to have faith again. For me, it's not about heaven (don't know if it exists, don't really care), and it's not a defense against fear. It is a defense against loneliness and despair, and having been in the depths of severe depression, I decided that I could use all the defenses I could find against both. So I choose to have faith. I don't believe that God will protect me from anything, but I choose to have faith that I won't have to be alone, even if I feel alone.

I don't have to answer any of the big theological questions. I just choose to have faith that I'm not alone. You can argue that it's not real; I'd argue that as long as I choose to have faith in it, it's real enough.

food doctor

Holy week Blogging, Gotta love it! Every religion is right and every religion is wrong. One galaxy with a billion planets. A billion galaxies to surround our tiny galaxy. The human brain can not understand God as the brain of a smaller animal on our planet can't understand a human being.God created everything and is watching.My money is on God and let it roll... Enjoy the show and let me know how it ends, or begins for that matter!

Rebecca Clayton

Two points:

1. It amazes me that Francis Collins has been successful at NIH AND openly Christian. I worked on the fringes of NIH during the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, and being "out of the Christian closet" was about as dangerous to one's career as being out of the gay closet would have been at the Pentagon. It was OK to be Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist because that was assumed to be embracing one's ethnicity rather than believing in God.

Collins is a really nice human being (I met him a couple of times, briefly) and a successful political creature. Also, he's from here in Appalachia, and taken all together, this is not the typical CV of your high-ranking government scientist. He's no theologian, and I don't necessarily agree with him, but I really admire him for saying what he thinks on a taboo subject.

2. Why is it bad to believe something that makes you feel better? Is feeling good a sure sign that something is not true? Would it be OK to believe in God if you're sure he's going to throw you in the burning pit of Hell because of something you can't help? I'm not trying to be a wisegal, I'm just wonderin', since you brought it up.


Since I believe God is in ALL things you did hear His voice this morning... it was in those birds.

velvet goldmine

Food Doctor, Your analogy captures it for me. Depending on our belief systems, we may be like ants comically denying the presence of the very humans who are watching them in an ant farm, or, alternatively like ants comically believing that the scarecrow in the field will prevent home base from being washed out in the next flood. Or we may be like ants who believe in something greater...and are right.

A contemporary version of this Twilight Zone idea, albeit with slugs instead of ants.

Lance Mannion

Rebecca Clayton: Why is it bad to believe something that makes you feel better? Is feeling good a sure sign that something is not true?

Not at all. But I don't want to believe just to feel better. I don't want to get religion as an opiate of the Mannion. It's probably neurotic of me, but at this point I'd rather not believe than believe but be worried all the time that I was simply kidding myself.

That's interesting about the culture at the NIH, and disappointing.

fooddoc, that sounds like an invitation to come back to haunt you when I'm gone. I'm cool with that, as long as you promise that when my ghost wakes you up for a chat at four in the morning you'll offer to make coffee.

Lance Mannion

muddy, I've been meaning to write you. The projector has been on a long, strange journey. It's finishing up another leg this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

food doctor

it'll have to be decafe i need my rest

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