About God and the world


Michael = Who is like God?

In German, the sentence "talking about God and the world" means talking about nothing specific. So "God and the world" is a synonym for "nothing specific". It is impossible to make a definite statement about God. One of my teachers once said: "you could just as well try to pin custard to the wall". It is interesting and sometimes scary as well how the world treats this unknown named God.

Here are some of my pictures, dedicated to other peoples' thoughts:

About God and the world - BILD, german newspaper, "Great God, stand by us!"

"Great God, stand by us!"
(BILD, German newspaper, on 12th of September 2001)

"God is great!"
(cheering Palestinians on 11th/12th of September 2001)

"Kill without thinking about the property of the ones you will kill. You are doing this for God. Your last words should be that there is no god besides Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet. You will feel the airplane stopping and starting again. This is the hour of your meeting with God. Angels are calling out your name!"
(That's how the airplane hijackers were instructed to lead the hijacked airplanes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.)

"Stab, beat, strangle to death whoever can. If you lose your life in doing so, blessed are you; you can never attain to a more blessed death. For you die in obedience to the divine word and command"
(Martin Luther)

"Now the house was full of men and women. [...] Then Samson called to the LORD and said, 'O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be avenged upon the Philistines for one of my two eyes.' And Samson grasped the two middle pillars upon which the house rested, and he leaned his weight upon them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. And Samson said, 'Let me die with the Philistines.' Then he bowed with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people that were in it. So the dead whom he slew at his death were more than those whom he had slain during his life."
(The Bible, Judges 16, 29-30)

"Since man has taken it upon themselves to give God a tongue, everybody has Him speak how and what they want him to speak"

"Truth is not a property exclusive to only one holy scripture. What people need nowadays is not a single religion but mutual respect and and tolerance of all religious groups."
(Mahatma Gandhi)

About God and the world - crucifix

"I would join America's hymns with pleasure, if they would only sing ‘God bless the world’ instead of the ever present ‘God bless America’."

(Dietmar Kinder in a SPIEGEL-letter to the editor)

"The less superstition the less fanaticism, the less fanaticism the less fate."

"Much of what people do is done in the name of God. Irishmen blow each other up in his name. Arabs blow themselves up in his name. Imams and ayatollahs oppress women in his name. Celibate popes and priests mess up people's sex lives in his name. Jewish shohets cut live animals' throats in his name. The achievements of religion in past history - bloody crusades, torturing inquisitions, mass-murdering conquistadors, culture-destroying missionaries, legally enforced resistance to each new piece of scientific truth until the last possible moment - are even more impressive. And what has it all been in aid of? I believe it is becoming increasingly clear that the answer is absolutely nothing at all. There is no reason for believing that any sort of gods exist and quite good reason for believing that they do not exist and never have. It has all been a gigantic waste of time and a waste of life. It would be a joke of cosmic proportions if it weren't so tragic."
(Richard Dawkins)

"Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false. "
(Bertrand Russell)

"The human mind is weak. More than 3 out of 4 are born as slaves to the most absurd fanaticism. For fear of Satan and hell they get blind and curse the sage who wants to enlighten them. The heap of our race is stupid and evil. I am searching in vain for that image of God, which - according to theologians - is supposed to be found within man."
(Frederick the Great in a letter to Voltaire)

About God and the world - crucifixes and Madonnas in Lourdes

"I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god"
(The Bible, Isaiah 44, 6)

About God and the world - praying muslims in a mosque

"Lâ ilâha illa allahou, Mohamadou Rassoulou Allahi - There is no God but Allah, and Mohamed is his prophet. "
(the Qur'an)

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
(Stephen Roberts)

"Believing in a difference between faith and superstition is the greatest superstition ever."
(Karl-Heinz Deschner)

About God and the world - inscription on Berlin Wall: "God is dead"
"God is dead"

"Gods die too, if nobody believes in them anymore."
(Jean Paul Sartre)

"I have been in outer space plenty of times", the cosmonaut boasted. "But I have neither met God nor any angels" - "And I have performed so many surgeries on intelligent brains", answered the brain researcher, "but I haven't found a single thought anywhere"
(taken from "Sofie's world")

"Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car."
(Albert Schweitzer)

"We do know what God is, just as well as a beetle knows what a human is."
(Ulrich Zwingli)

"If dogs could talk about God, they would
describe Him as a particularly large dog."


About God and the world - "Good God, where have you been?"
"Good God, where have you been?"
(about the murder of Ulrike, a 14 year-old girl)

"Oh Lord, we were looking for you in all the ruins and shell craters, every night. We were calling out your name, Lord! We were screaming for you, crying, swearing! Where have you been, Lord?"
(Wolfgang Borchert in "The Man Outside")

"God gets all the gratitude for the good things so it would be just fair blaming Him for the bad things as well."
(Allan Carr)

"On the day that I originally wrote this paragraph, the newspapers were filled with one of those heartrending disasters, the tragic crash of a busload of children. Not for the first time, clerics were in paroxysms over the theological question, in the words of The Sunday Telegraph, 'How can you believe in a loving, all-powerful God who allows such a tragedy?'. The paper went on to quote one priest: 'The simple answer is that we do not know why there should be a God who lets these awful things happen. But the horror of the crash, to a Christian, confirms the fact that we live in a world of real values: positive and negative. If the universe was just electrons, there would be no problem of evil or suffering.'
On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference."
(Richard Dawkins)

"There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is- in our country particularly and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree- it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime--the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of today, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor his Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled."
(Mark Twain)


"A God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell--mouths mercy, and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules and foregiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!"
(Mark Twain)

"Is God willing to prevent evil but not able?
Then he is impotent.
Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"

(David Hume)

"God gives us the nuts, but we have to crack them open ourselves"
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
(Steven Weinberg)

About God and the world - Jesus Christ - the path, the truth , the existence
"Jesus Christ - the path - the truth - the existence"

"But there is no God who could bring you delight. ... it is just the other way round: There is so much beauty in two independent and free people coming together, who take responsibility for themselves. None of them is a burden for the other one. None of them tries to pass the buck to the other one. ... The more you are separated and aware of the fact that you are one, and that she is one - the higher the possibility of a great encounter of two onenesses, of two purities, of two individuals. Forget about words like destiny, Providence, Kismet, God... "
(Osho - From the False to the Truth)

About God and the world - "I came here to judge on the whole world!", says Jesus Christ.
"I came here to judge on the whole world! Says Jesus Christ"

"Neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts (homosexuals), nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God."
(The Bible, 1. Corinthians 6, 9 + 10)

About God and the world "Satan" - inscription on one of the towers of Cologne Cathedral

"Hell may be a location with an unfavourable climate, but society down there might be interesting."
(Oscar Wilde)

"A god who invented hell is the only one who deserves ending up there"
(Karlheinz Deschner)

About God and the world - Nature

"There is perfection in Nature, so that you can see it is an image of God. And there is imperfection in Nature so that you can see it is only an image of God."
(Blaise Pascal)

"I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it."
(Shug Avery in the movie "The Color Purple")

About God and the world - "Well, I believe that electricity is yellow."
Power supplier's ad: "I believe that electricity is yellow."

"We were absolutely determined to marry, but there was a religious conflict: She was atheist and I am agnostic. So which religion should influence the education of our children?"

(Woody Allen)

About God and the world - old man looking out of the window

"Nier Dieu, c'est se priver de l'unique intérêt que présente la mort." (Those who do not believe in God voluntarily do without the only sense death could ever offer.)
(Sascha Guitry)

"My young son asked me what happens after we die. I told him we get buried under a bunch of dirt and worms eat our bodies. I guess I should have told him the truth - that most of us go to Hell and burn eternally - but I didn't want to upset him."

About God and the world - wall insription "think!"
"Think!" (inscription on the Berlin Wall)

"God has no place within school walls just as facts have no place within organized religion!"

"The sailor does not pray for wind,
he learns to sail."
(Gustaf Lindborg)

"The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying. It does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity."
(Carl Sagan)

"What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary."
(Stephen W. Hawking)

"It has again brought home to me quite clearly how wrong it is to use God as a stopgap for the incompleteness of our knowledge; because by doing so we are constantly pushing away the limits of knowledge – and at the same time God. We should find God in what we do know, not in what we don't; not in outstanding problems, but in those we have already solved. This is true not only for the relation between Christianity and science, but also for wider human problems such as guilt, suffering, and death. It is possible nowadays to find answers to these problems which leave God right out of the picture. It just isn't true to say that Christianity alone has the answers. Once more, God cannot be used as a stopgap. We must not wait until we are at the end of our tether: he must be found at the center of life: in life, and not only in death; in health and vigor, and not only in suffering; in activity, and not only in sin."
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

About God and the world - tinnitus infusions

"We'll do another 5 infusions. If they don't work, everything else lies in the lap of the gods."
(Audiologist about my tinnitus in april 2000)