Religiöse Argumente widerlegt, 3: “Von Gott gerettet” – AXP – Deutsche UT, English subs

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R: Matthew in New Orleans. How are you? M: Oh, hey, how are you all doing?
R: Hey, I’m good, how are you? M: I’m pretty good.
I was calling because … M: I’m a theist, I believe in god. I was in the military,
I was in the Marines for 8 years. I was deployed overseas and some of the things that
I’ve experienced over there and some things that I’ve seen led me to believe that for me
to come home without a scratch on me, I mean, what more can it be
than god watching over me because, you know, I would pray
before I would go out there to do anything and he brought me back home. But at the same time, I question that because there were other people
that prayed just like me that didn’t make it back. So, it’s things like that
that make me wonder but it’s confusing because
I know god has a plan for everybody. It made me wonder what his plan is but apparently he has
some type of plan for me because I was able to make it home. M: So, how do I …
R: Can I ask you something? R: And I’m asking actually
from a position of ignorance because I’m not in the military
and don’t follow it very carefully. R: But do you have any concept of what is the rate at which
military members get killed or injured in their entire term of duty. R: Is it closer to 20, 50 or 80 percent?
M: In their entire term of duty? M: That’s a good question.
I wouldn’t know that. M: I could just talk about
when I was overseas. M: We’d lose a couple of guys.
R: A couple of guys. Out of how many? M: One is enough but, you know … R: Yeah, of course,
every human life lost is a tragedy. R: But, I mean, a couple of guys
lost out of how many? M: I don’t have a good bid. M: I would say within my …
it was more than 80, or more. R: 80. So, that is a rate of,
I would guess, a bit less than 2 percent
of people actually died. R: How many of the people you served with
would you say, got injured? M: Quite a few, I would say, if it
did have 80, I’ll say maybe about 15 … M: … to 20.
R: 15. So, that’s … maybe 20 percent R: of them got injured. R: So, if you’re in Iraq or … I’m sorry, you didn’t say
where you were stationed. M: Yes, Iraq.
R: Right. R: But if you are away
on active military duty, you have roughly an 80 percent chance of living and coming home
with no injuries, is that right? M: If you put it that way, I guess. R: So, I wouldn’t necessarily
attribute that to special plan for you. R: I would say, a 20 percent chance
of serious injury is not nothing, and good for you for
coming home without injury, but I also wouldn’t consider it a good
case for special protection for you. M: So, what I’m saying is,
I’ve been in situations to where if I would have probably moved
one inch to the right or to the left, that could have been the end of me. R: Wouldn’t that be also true of …
M: I feel also during those times … R: lots of people?
M: it was like an intervention. M: Like something told me
or something stopped me from doing this particular thing
that would have ended my life. M: So, I’m like, you know,
is that just chance? It’s hard to think that it’s just chance because, you know, like I said,
I’m questioning things at this point in my life right now. So, I’m like, what more can it be? I’ve lived my entire life
believing in god, I feel as though I’ve gotten
to this point in my life because of his blessings. And going through those things,
right now I’m a police officer, so I get some hairy
situations in that job, too. And for some reason, I’m still here. All these things that
I’m going through, I’m still here. What more, I mean, am I just that lucky? P: Matthew, hi, this is Phil here. P: I just have one point to make. As Russell said, I’m glad to hear
that you returned home safe and sound and thank you for your service. But you were saying that
the fact that you returned and without a scratch that means that god had a plan for you. But you saying that, what
does that say about that 20 percent who didn’t get as lucky as you
to be able to make it back, either at all or without injury? M: And that’s the part that troubles me. M: Because there were people
over there, praying just like me. And it makes me wonder, like why is he showing me — why is he showing me favour over this guy because this guy may have been
a better person than me. But he allows this guy
to die right here, but allow me to go home for some reason. So, when I see things like that, I’m like, there must be
some type of plan for me. M: At the same time it makes me think what part of god’s plan made sense? What was god’s plan for this guy to die? R: I understand why you think that
for a couple of reasons. R: It’s cultural and people tell you
that there is a god and he is looking out for people. And the other thing is
that if it turns out that the all-powerful creator
of the universe has a special plan for you, that makes you feel pretty special, right? R: And so, I can understand
why it feels good and you want to think
that it’s not just luck. But I mean, if you look at the numbers, it’s really not even
all that amazing of luck. I’m sure that lots and lots of people have close shaves in their life. I mean, when I was young
and a stupid teenager who wasn’t that good at driving, I drove on some icy roads
on a very steep mountain path and I kind of skidded for a while and then came to a stop
without driving off a cliff. Which is lucky, but it didn’t make
me feel like I got rescued. It just meant things
could have gone another way but fortunately they didn’t. And as much as you might
not want to think so, it could just be statistics. M: I understand where you’re coming from.
P: Matthew. P: I was just about to say,
but it also … P: The people that served
with you, alongside you, people that are still there now and those that
are just getting into it … Just this morning I was
at the Lackland Air Force base at the Atheist Humanist meeting where we have a large field
of religious beliefs in that portion. But you saying that, you
are attributing this to your god, your specific one that you believe in. But a lot of people that you serve with
don’t believe in any deity at all. They may believe in
different deity or deities, depending on what’s going on. In the meeting I was just in,
we’ve had people that were followers of the Norse religion,
we had pagans or Wiccans, like it’s really there but …
R: There’re definitely Muslims in the army. R: Captain Khan, whose death
was highly visible. M: So, what you’re saying is …
P: You have all those different … M: … even though I was saying
that it’s my god, people that have other religions
may believe in something else and they may say, it was my god.
P: How are we supposed to differentiate P: which deity had their hand in the pot, how are we supposed to know which one actually granted you
the favour in your appeal, how are we supposed to discern
which belief was correct and which deity or deities said came in to intervene for
your particular situation? M: That’s why I called
because staying here in New Orleans, in the South basically, I don’t have … I can talk to people
that believe in god all day. They tell me, I hear
the same things from them, they reassure me and stuff like that. And it brings me comfort when I hear those things coming from them. I don’t, hardly ever
get to speak to somebody that has a different point of view. That’s why I called because
I wanted some more insight on other possibilities
because I have a lot of questions. And I don’t get a lot of answers. The answers that I’m getting, it feels like they are
telling me these things because that’s what
they are programmed to say. I wanted something
that was a more realistic answer from somebody that doesn’t
believe the same thing that they believe. R: Yeah, and …
M: That’s why I called because … R: I mean …
M: This is real confusing to me. R: Right. I know it may feel
a little bit like we’re picking on you. But that’s a big part of the reason
why we do the show is that a lot of times
people just are steeped in a culture where everything is attributed
to supernatural causes and they don’t have a lot of opportunity
to talk about the other side. And even though
for some people it’s frightening to give up on the idea
that there is some cosmic being who’s looking out for them — there are a lot of problems
with that world view — even though a lot of people think that they would have no hope
and no reason to live without this idea of god grounding them, well, a lot of people find,
who sort of drift away from their faith, is that it’s actually kind of a relief to not assume that they are
under the constant eye of this cosmic book-keeper who’s got inscrutable reasons for, let’s say, killing their
best friends, on purpose. P: And I understand
where you’re coming from as far as being in an environment where everyone kind of believes the same. And so you receive kind of
the same reinforcement if you ask the question. I grew up religious and
everyone around me, my both sides of the family, even though we went to
different churches, they were still believers. And so, when you ask a deeper question, why did so-and-so pass away,
they were so young, why did they have to go now,
then it was kind of the same answer, you know, god had a plan for them and that was a part of his plan,
you just have to trust and make sure that you
hold on to your faith, those were the answers that I received. And when I went to university, I was in an engineering
programme originally, and all of a sudden I was exposed to a lot of different individuals who hold vastly different beliefs
than I had, growing up. I knew that they existed
but never to this degree. And so you befriend people and you start to hear about
their religious symbols and their traditions and their foods,
which were delicious in a lot of cases. But that diversity
really opened up my mind into there’s a lot of people
that believe a lot of different things. And like Hinduism,
it was vastly different than anything that
I was exposed to, growing up. And so, that kind of led my questioning initially, when I got there,
to kind of pursue why my particular belief system
was the true and correct one. And what about theirs? Theirs is so different that …
we couldn’t both be true, essentially. So how was I going to decide P: which one is going to be correct.
M: I’ve always questioned stuff like that, M: about different religions,
and I would hear things like, oh, it’s just people,
we all worship the same god, people have just
different ways of doing it. M: That’s what I’m always told. M: I understand everything
that you are saying but you know what makes it hard is basically the fact
that I’ve lived my entire life believing in this one god and then, for me to even fathom or think that he may not even exist,
it makes me wonder, like, what’s going on my life, why are these things happening to me
just by random chance? M: It’s hard to think of a life without it but I understand everything
that you’re saying because this is why I have questions because at the same time,
if there was such a god that was so good and he’s letting all these
good things happen to me, why does he let bad things
happen to other people? Why doesn’t he just have
good things happen to everybody? M: So, I just … I don’t …
R: It’s hard for a lot of people I know. R: I’ve talked to people
who were, in their former life, full-on Pentecostal ministers,
the actual heads of organizations that did stuff like speaking in tongues. Their entire livelihood
and their whole social foundation was based on them being able
to say on a regular basis that they were confident
and certain that that god existed and that he had a thorough plan for the lives of each and
every person in their congregation that they knew. And some of those people, when they moved away
from their belief in god, they experienced a serious
identity crisis and had a hard time because basically
their whole social network was based around these religious beliefs. I don’t want to downplay
how difficult that is but I do want to say … — I’m not trying
to convert you or anything but if the time should come where you feel doubt
and concern about this, there are organizations like
the Clergy Project that people can connect to,
for former clergy members to discuss their anxieties
around their loss of faith. And there are things like … R: What is the hotline?
P: Recovering from Religion. R: Yeah, Recovering from Religion
has a hotline for people … M: Organizations that help people that are going through
a spell of not-believing? R: Yeah. And they are very
good organizations R: But I can’t say that they
will reassure you that a god exists. If you are trying
to hold on to your faith, then these might not be the people
that you want to talk to. R: But I personally …
M: … to hold on to it. M: … I don’t have … I’m black, so … I’ve seen a predominantly black community. So, the fact that to even fathom
being an atheist at any point of my life, I could imagine the ridicule
that I would get from that. R: Sure.
M: Which is why, M: when I have some of these questions,
I don’t ask certain people because I know what the outcome
of that’s going to be. So it’s almost like,
even if you did want to get a way out, it’s almost like you’re trapped into it. Because if you would speak
about that to anybody, they’d be like, ‘How could you
possibly not believe in god? How could you possibly
question his motives? Everything god does
is for a reason, everything is a plan and you just have to have faith
and believe in that.’ That’s what I’m always told and I’m actually getting tired
of that answer, and to be honest with you, at this point in my life I don’t know
what to believe anymore. I’m stuck. Right now,
if I did believe in god at this point, I’m not really liking him that much. Right now, I’m just really confused about what’s the next step that I should do,
where do I go from here? R: You’re dealing with
two separate issues. R: One of them is,
does a god really exist or not? There’s no way that we can give you
an easy answer to that. But the other issue
that you’re probably dealing with is that in your social sphere —
I’m not going to sugarcoat this — religious people, some of them,
can be cruel and it can be very difficult. I’ve spoken to kids whose
parents basically disowned them and kicked them out of the house. That’s an extreme case,
it doesn’t happen all the time. M: That would have definitely
been the case for me. R: But on the other hand, there are probably a lot
of people in your life, maybe, that you didn’t know also have doubts. And you’d be surprised
at how often I have heard that somebody who is afraid
to tell their wife, for instance, that they don’t believe anymore, got the answer,
‘I’m really glad you said that because I’ve been hiding
from you that I have doubts.’ So, that kind of thing does happen. And I mentioned a minute ago
the hotline project, which you can actually look up at recoveringfromreligion.org/hotline-project or if you just look up
‘recovering from religion’ or google ‘hotline project atheist’. You can probably find it pretty easily. And we only have
a 1.5 hour show every week, so we can’t counsel you for a long time. M: Thank you all for answering my call. M: You gave me a lot to think about,
really helped me out. Maybe I’ll be able to call again
and give you an update of where I’ll be at the next point. R: I would love that and I hope you do. And whatever conclusion you come to, I hope that you find peace
and satisfaction in where your life goes. P: And I understand
where you’re coming from, Matthew, on that side of not being able
to talk to anyone in your close familiar circle,
your friends circle. There’s a lot of backlash that can come. M: Definitely.
P: Just the way that I grew up and the way that religion
was exposed to me and how those around me
expressed themselves about their religion, it was just … unfathomable
for me to even contemplate or going to an aunt or an uncle to say, ‘Oh, so this is what I’m thinking now. I’m not really in a part of
the Christian portion anymore’. Even when I went spiritual,
but non-religious, that aspect, I had one conversation
with one person in my family and that was the one person
that I knew — we’ve always been close, and so they would be
more willing to hear me out without the judgement
that other people around me would have. And so, if you’re trying
to find someone outside that circle, like Russell said, I would
strongly recommend the Recovering from Religion
hotline project because they do have counsellors
and a lot of trained individuals on there that help with people
that are just doubting beliefs, they’re not trying to convert you
or do anything in particular but just hear you out
and give you someone to talk to and someone that shares
a different perspective than those that you might find around you. So you can get a fresh insight with someone on
a one-on-one personal level. That’s a little more personal
than going to the Interweb for this kind of thing.
M: I’ll definitely do that. P: I wish you luck, Matthew,
in your search and just good luck to you. R: Really appreciate your call.
M: Thank you. M: Great talking to you guys.
R: You, too. Bye.

 

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