Thoughts while running

A couple of years ago I found myself listening to Sean Hannity, when the man began talking about why God exists. “I look at the sunset,” he said, “and I think, ‘There’s no way something this beautiful is an accident.”

I can understand Hannity’s point, because not only is he dumb and simple, but he’s been conditioned to be dumb and simple. That’s your proof of God? The beauty of the sun?

Truth is, on some planets a bloody sock is just as beautiful as the sun. As is a mound of fly-infested shit. In fact, I’m convinced a bunch of residents on Planet Hoskenpowell are gathered around a mound of shit right now, basking in its splendor and tasting its richness. “I know God exists,” one of them is saying, “because of this mound of shit …”

We’ve all been conditioned. Which is fine and groovy, but undeniable. I just took a run, for example. The leaves are now changing colors at a crazy pace, and I passed this one that was bursting with orange and green and red and yellow. “Spectacular!” I thought to myself. But is it really spectacular, or have I been told so many times about it’s splendor that I ust accept it. And, if that colors of that tree blow my mind, why don’t the colors of a box of Fruit Loops? They’re nearly identical.

This also happens in politics—all the time. We hear a candidate say something with enough frequency, we begin accepting—and repeating—his language. Immigrants are ruining the country. Immigrants are great. Taxes bad. Taxes good. We are sheep, bred to follow and adhere.


7 thoughts on “Thoughts while running”

  1. It’s horribly cliche, but it is true: Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. What we think of something is determined by our perspective, and if we let our perspectives be shaped by others, then yeah, we’ll think like they think.

    The colors in leaves are beautiful. I don’t know many people who would disagree with that. The colors of a sunset are beautiful. Few people would disagree with that, too.

    But there are people who are color blind who can’t appreciate them the same way. There are people who are actually blind, too. Since they don’t see things the way you or I see them, they don’t find them beautiful the way we might.

    But they find other things beautiful. What they find beautiful is shaped by what they can or cannot see.

    I don’t like Sean Hannity. But I see where he’s coming from, at least in regards to the sunsets. They are beautiful, and it is difficult to believe that they happened by accident.

    I don’t like bad things, like baby teething, or mounds of shit that smell like, well, mounds of shit. But that doesn’t discount God. I don’t think he created sunsets solely for the sake of beauty, same as I don’t think he created mounds of shit for the sake of smelling like mounds of shit. If God’s real–and I believe He is–then how can I, or anyone, expect to understand why everything that exists exists? If He’s God, then of course He’s got reasons we, as humans, can’t grasp.

    One thing I have learned: humanity gets things wrong a lot. Sometimes these things lead to pain for others. Who knows what’s gone wrong over the course of evolution that’s changed how humanity was originally created.

    I am rambling like crazy, so I’ll stop before this becomes a Russian novel.

    – Brandon

    P.S. I don’t always know why I believe in God. I wish I always had good, sound, logically airtight reasons. But I don’t. I don’t even believe all of the Bible. But you’re right, Jeff. We are bred to follow. I choose to follow God. A lot of bad has been done in His name. There are lots of corrupt men out there, and have been forever. God’s been smeared left and right, and never worse than by his own followers. But I believe that He is, above all, Love, and things we interpret as not loving are things we simply can’t understand. And I’ve had to become OK with not understanding. That’s the hardest part. The mystery.

  2. So you’d rather believe in Planet Hoskenpowell than believe in God? There are plenty of intellectual reasons why God exists, but most often an individual denies God for moral reasons (I.e. Not wanting to live under an objectice form of morality). I could tell you 100 reasons why I think God exists and you will want 101 every time. Its easy to call someone dumb because they believe in God, but honestly I think its grossly unfair. Take your pile of poop illustration. What you’re implying is that things are subjective in different cultures. Its easy to say that, but when your favorite Uncle Fred gets eaten by a cannibalistic tribe while he is on vacation, would you say “that’s ok, because the tribe felt eating him was beautiful”?? Some people would rather believe in purple martians who snort marshmallows and refuse to believe in the possibility of a higher being. Why is that?

  3. I find it hilarious when people posit the non-existence of God with the same certainty as the believers posit the existence of God. It is all belief and not knowledge. Until we die, we are all just whistling in the dark.

  4. Regardless of whether or not you believe in God, I’m sure we can all agree that God’s place in this debate should be argued by someone better than Sean Hannity. The message stands no chance with this particular messenger.

  5. @Dave Gregorio: I find it hilarious that believers in a god ignore the FACT that there is no empirical evidence that a god exists. For atheists, reality trumps belief.

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