Author Topic: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"  (Read 4247 times)

Keith Maitland

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"I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« on: November 22, 2015, 04:22:24 AM »
News item:

JUSTIN WELBY has admitted that the terrorist attacks in Paris had made him doubt the presence of God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was left asking why the attacks happened and where God was when the militant jihadis struck.

He said he reacted with ‘profound sadness’ at the events, particularly as he and his wife had lived in Paris when he was an oil executive.

Asked if these attacks had caused him to doubt where God was, he said: ‘Oh gosh, yes,’ and admitted it put a 'chink in his armour’.

Appearing on Songs Of Praise, which will be broadcast on BBC 1 this evening, he said: ‘Saturday morning, I was out and as I was walking I was praying and saying: "God, why - why is this happening?"

“Where are you in all this?” And then engaging and talking to God. Yes, I doubt.’

But he added that he nevertheless had faith that God was alongside people in their suffering and pain.

When asked what his reaction was to the attacks on the French capital, he said: ‘Like everyone else - first shock and horror and then a profound sadness. And, in my family’s case, that is added to because my wife and I lived in Paris for five years.’

But he warned against a knee-jerk military response, saying: ‘Two injustices do not make justice.

‘If we start randomly killing those who have not done wrong, that is not going to provide solutions. So governments have to be the means of justice.’

The Archbishop first admitted last year that there were times when he questioned whether God existed.

Leonard James

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2015, 06:01:04 AM »
News item:

JUSTIN WELBY has admitted that the terrorist attacks in Paris had made him doubt the presence of God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was left asking why the attacks happened and where God was when the militant jihadis struck.

He said he reacted with ‘profound sadness’ at the events, particularly as he and his wife had lived in Paris when he was an oil executive.

Asked if these attacks had caused him to doubt where God was, he said: ‘Oh gosh, yes,’ and admitted it put a 'chink in his armour’.

Appearing on Songs Of Praise, which will be broadcast on BBC 1 this evening, he said: ‘Saturday morning, I was out and as I was walking I was praying and saying: "God, why - why is this happening?"

“Where are you in all this?” And then engaging and talking to God. Yes, I doubt.’

But he added that he nevertheless had faith that God was alongside people in their suffering and pain.

When asked what his reaction was to the attacks on the French capital, he said: ‘Like everyone else - first shock and horror and then a profound sadness. And, in my family’s case, that is added to because my wife and I lived in Paris for five years.’

But he warned against a knee-jerk military response, saying: ‘Two injustices do not make justice.

‘If we start randomly killing those who have not done wrong, that is not going to provide solutions. So governments have to be the means of justice.’

The Archbishop first admitted last year that there were times when he questioned whether God existed.

It is encouraging to note that even in the most indoctrinated people, common sense still has the power to surface sometimes.

Sriram

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2015, 06:39:23 AM »


God is a very general word. Lot depends on what you mean by it.

If we believe in a personal guardian angel who is duty bound to protect us and ensure that we live the longest possible lives with maximum comfort possible and without any pain or loss....then it is true that our experiences in the world are at variance with this belief.

God is not a holiday resort manager.

Floo

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2015, 08:22:35 AM »
Doubt is GOOD, certainty BAD where religion is concerned!
“The wise recognise their failings and laugh at their idiosyncrasies” RJG

torridon

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2015, 08:52:33 AM »

JUSTIN WELBY has admitted that the terrorist attacks in Paris had made him doubt the presence of God.


Why would anyone doubt the existence of god because of the Paris attacks ?  It suggests that the Bosnian massacre, the Irish potato famine, the Nazi holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Asian tsunami, these were all consistent with a god-in-charge universe but the Paris attacks were not somehow. I don't see anything qualitatively different; maybe Mr Welby ought to read more history.

Hope

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2015, 08:55:59 AM »
It is encouraging to note that even in the most indoctrinated people, common sense still has the power to surface sometimes.
Can't speak for people of other religions and belief-systems, and I can't speak for all Christians, but doubt is - in my view - an integral part of faith. Furthermore, this is a principle that gos far beyond the confines of religious faith.
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Hope

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2015, 09:00:57 AM »
Why would anyone doubt the existence of god because of the Paris attacks ?  It suggests that the Bosnian massacre, the Irish potato famine, the Nazi holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Asian tsunami, these were all consistent with a god-in-charge universe but the Paris attacks were not somehow. I don't see anything qualitatively different; maybe Mr Welby ought to read more history.
Perhaps he expressed doubt at the time of the Bosnian massacre, the Rwandan genocide and the Asian tsunami, torri.  He just wasn't in as high-profile a role at those times.  I doubt he was in a position to doubt during the Irish potato famine and the Nazi holocaust.

Regarding the 'god-in-charge' bit, if I understand the situation correctly, President Hollande was 'in charge' at the time of the Paris attacks; are you suggesting that last week's attacks mean that he isn't/wasn't?
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Hope

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2015, 09:01:54 AM »
Doubt is GOOD, certainty BAD where religion is concerned!
May I slightly amend that sentence, Floo, and replace 'religion' with the word 'life'?
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Floo

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2015, 09:21:56 AM »
May I slightly amend that sentence, Floo, and replace 'religion' with the word 'life'?

No you may not, I was talking about religion, not life in general.
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Private Frazer

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2015, 09:26:31 AM »
It is encouraging to note that even in the most indoctrinated people, common sense still has the power to surface sometimes.
Let us hope the that it reaches you soon,Len.

Floo

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2015, 09:30:17 AM »
Let us hope the that it reaches you soon,Len.

Our LJ is one of the guys with the most common sense on this forum, you would indeed be fortunate if you had a quarter as much of that commodity as him!
“The wise recognise their failings and laugh at their idiosyncrasies” RJG

Hope

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2015, 09:31:41 AM »
No you may not, I was talking about religion, not life in general.
Whereas I'm suggesting that, as religion is one element of life, with other elements being science, sporting ability, entertainment, education, health, politics, etc., common sense is something that is common to all such elements - not confined to one.
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Private Frazer

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2015, 09:31:51 AM »
Doubt is GOOD, certainty BAD where religion is concerned!
Not really. Although if Welby found he could no longer believe he should step aside.
Just like I expect Richard Dawkins to.

Hope

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2015, 09:32:53 AM »
Our LJ is one of the guys with the most common sense on this forum, you would indeed be fortunate if you had a quarter as much of that commodity as him!
But, as with the post that OS quotes, he is sometimes lax in the application of that common sense, Floo.
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Hope

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2015, 09:35:20 AM »
Not really. Although if Welby found he could no longer believe he should step aside.
Just like I expect Richard Dawkins to.
OS, as I've mentioned before, doubt is part and parcel of life; religious (and non-religious) beliefs are also part of life, so one would expect that doubt would have an impact on those parts as well.  After all, for a sizeable number of people, their religious faith came about as a result of doubt!!
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torridon

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2015, 09:44:12 AM »
Perhaps he expressed doubt at the time of the Bosnian massacre, the Rwandan genocide and the Asian tsunami, torri.  He just wasn't in as high-profile a role at those times.  I doubt he was in a position to doubt during the Irish potato famine and the Nazi holocaust.

Regarding the 'god-in-charge' bit, if I understand the situation correctly, President Hollande was 'in charge' at the time of the Paris attacks; are you suggesting that last week's attacks mean that he isn't/wasn't?

Maybe it was in the nature of a 'reality check' for him

I think you overrate the power M. Hollande has at his disposal; its not like he can create universes out of thin air merely by an act of willpower.

Bubbles

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2015, 09:47:21 AM »
Why would anyone doubt the existence of god because of the Paris attacks ?  It suggests that the Bosnian massacre, the Irish potato famine, the Nazi holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Asian tsunami, these were all consistent with a god-in-charge universe but the Paris attacks were not somehow. I don't see anything qualitatively different; maybe Mr Welby ought to read more history.

I've got to admit that was my initial reaction too.

I remember reading an article where a reporter lost his faith.

He was covering the rescue of some children who were being flown to safety.

The plane had an accident on takeoff and all 150 children were killed.

I understood him, more than Mr Welby.

Seeing that happen must be horrendous especially as it had left with such hope, and as they were being rescued in the first place, what loving Christian God would do that?

But I think most of us know children get hurt, like in the holocaust, and many people try and reason it.

But to experience it must be awful  :(


I think people just hang on to the idea that there will be justice ............. Especially for those things they are unable to make better or change.

It helps them move forward in life.

It's very easy to become bitter.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 09:59:24 AM by Rose »

Rhiannon

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2015, 10:07:12 AM »
Welby first voiced doubts about his faith in relation to the death of his baby daughter in a car accident. I'm pretty sure that happened in Paris. It doesn't seem illogical to a person of faith, who has some kind of belief in God's care for us as individuals, to question why person x was at the theatre and not person y. And it's a tacit admission on his part that God allows evil to exist, and that is a hard one to get your head around when believing in the God of Love.

Private Frazer

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2015, 10:13:22 AM »
Maybe it was in the nature of a 'reality check' for him

I think you overrate the power M. Hollande has at his disposal; its not like he can create universes out of thin air merely by an act of willpower.

I'm sorry to remind you but there is also a lot of traffic going the other way with people seeking comfort.

Bubbles

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2015, 10:28:46 AM »
Welby first voiced doubts about his faith in relation to the death of his baby daughter in a car accident. I'm pretty sure that happened in Paris. It doesn't seem illogical to a person of faith, who has some kind of belief in God's care for us as individuals, to question why person x was at the theatre and not person y. And it's a tacit admission on his part that God allows evil to exist, and that is a hard one to get your head around when believing in the God of Love.

I suppose one way of coming at it is to think everyone has their time when they die, it effect if a bullet has your name on it, it's time to go.

I suppose if you believe you are then reunited with deceased  loved ones and it's just a matter of time before the rest join you, that could sort of explain it.

If you believe it only matters to us while we are living as we are and on death you get a different perspective.

Perhaps that could work as an idea.  ???
 :-\

« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 10:30:34 AM by Rose »

Rhiannon

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2015, 10:33:06 AM »
God's perfect plan for each of us you mean? Difficult to argue that doesn't then make God a bastard.

Shaker

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2015, 10:42:35 AM »
OS, as I've mentioned before, doubt is part and parcel of life; religious (and non-religious) beliefs are also part of life, so one would expect that doubt would have an impact on those parts as well.  After all, for a sizeable number of people, their religious faith came about as a result of doubt!!
You seem to have a different definition of doubt to many of the rest of us.
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Private Frazer

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2015, 10:55:28 AM »
You seem to have a different definition of doubt to many of the rest of us.
Argumentum ad populum.

Shaker

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2015, 11:03:49 AM »
I work hard so that my cats can have a better life.

Floo

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Re: "I Doubted God After The Paris Attacks"
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2015, 11:39:13 AM »
OS, as I've mentioned before, doubt is part and parcel of life; religious (and non-religious) beliefs are also part of life, so one would expect that doubt would have an impact on those parts as well.  After all, for a sizeable number of people, their religious faith came about as a result of doubt!!

Whereas my lack of faith came about because of doubt, when it became overwhelming.
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