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The moral bankruptcy of claiming to be blessed

May 26, 2011

Sam Harris notes in this video that when something good happens to Christians, like feeling the spirit while praying or seeing some positive change in their life, we’re told that God is good. But when nine million children die every year before they reach the age of 5 (that’s 24,000 children a day, a thousand an hour, 17 every minute) in agony and through no fault of their own, we’re told that this is all part of God’s plan.

It’s not only tiresome when otherwise intelligent people speak this way, Harris says, it is morally reprehensible. This kind of faith is the height of narcissism. Given the misery that is being imposed on some helpless child at this moment, this kind of faith is obscene. To think in this way is to fail to care sufficiently about the welfare of other human beings.

I thought the video was relevant to post here given Harris’s comments on parents and children. Watch it:

To feel gratitude is psychologically healthy, but let’s give credit where credit is due. I often cringe when I hear people say how blessed they are, because the implication is that others who are less fortunate have somehow failed to find God’s favor.

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