Jul
29

Where Was God on 9/11: Part 2

By

Thanks to everyone who weighed-in on this emotional and controversial topic. So here we go again! This is my video response to your comments. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about this!     Steve Siebold ( 3:19 )

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Comments

  1. Joe says:

    If no-one can really know and if you don’t know then maybe you should listen to someone who does. The Bible is the only history book that is totally reliable…the God of the bible can answer your questions. You will need faith but it’s better than the blind faith of believing in yourself. Ask yourself this: Have you ever made even one mistake? If yes, then you aren’t 100% perfect…therefore your thinking can and does make mistakes. This seems much more logical then…we’ll we can believe. What if YOUR belief is wrong. Everyone having their own belief is not very logical. The only way it can be logical is if you start with the presupposition that everyone can be right. But remember, you just said no-one can know. So your attempt to be logical proves you own ill-logic.
    Here’s a good article entitled: Can Any Good Come From This?
    http://www.jameswknox.org/pdf/tracts/CanAnyGoodComeFromThis.pdf

    • Steve says:

      Joe,
      Thanks for your comment. The breakdown in your logic is referring to the Bible as a history book. The Bible is a book of faith, not history.
      I would also challenge your logic when you say believing in yourself is blind faith. Without self-belief and self-reliance, the world as we know it would not exist. I agree with you that anyone’s belief’s could be wrong, but no one know’s what happens when you die. That’s a emotionless, objective fact. And thats my point.

      Your thoughts?

  2. frankie says:

    god is and was on HIS throne

  3. I like what you say, Steve, about mixing it and the inability to look at beliefs critically. Last night I listened to Art Williams speak to a Primerica assembly this year – an hour speech – and you know Art is 100% passion driven focus driven results driven no excuse driven. Just Do It:)

    Thanks:)

    Mike

  4. Mental toughness and critical thinking can fit any template of beliefs and not be confined to one way of thinking. They have mostly to do with solving life problems and achieving great success which is driven by a consuming vison that creates passion.

    Religious and non religious people are capable of mental toughness and critical thinking and achieving great success.

    Mike

    • Steve says:

      Thats well said and technically accurate, Mike. The problem is when people mix emotion with logic, which is why I find religion such a fascinating discussion. Some of the smartest people I know cannot seem to think critically when it comes to this subject, and it creates chaos. Thanks as always for taking the critical view on this post.

  5. Frank says:

    In1969 Woody Allen a self professed agnostic interviewed Pastor Billy Graham. At one point during the interview Graham was asked by a member of the TV audience; has he ever seen one of Woody Allen’s movies, the reverend Graham indicated that he had not. Woody then said if you, Reverend Graham would go to see one of Allen’s movies, He Woody would go to a revival service. Open to each others point of view. Change of heart probably not, but at the very minimum an opportunity for dialog

    • Steve says:

      Frank,
      Thanks for sharing this story. It’s a great example of opening up a dialog between opposing viewpoints, which is rare in America when it comes to religion.

  6. Carlos Ruiz says:

    Hey Steve!

    I agree with you that many people use spiritual principles and hide behind them for to not have to confront the real problem. IM WITH YOU ON THAT!!!
    Im excited about your book and i have been loggin in reading your stuff faithfully everyday for a year and listening to your Cd and if one thing I know is you would want this blog to have its commentators say what they believe right? After all we could be doin other things so we might aswell put our point of view and see what people think. OK OK OK heres what I believe… You did great on die FAT or get TOUGH cause you interview the FIT, in 177 Secrets cause you interviewed the World Class, but if you have not interview the spiritual people of this world that are successful yet, then you should postpone your book until it is trully complete and it will not be only your most controversial but BEST book ever. if you have not done that then i say DONT get it out yet, you are making a BIG mistake!
    Hope it comes out great Steve! Do the research dont just publish it in a rush, I believe with proper research you may be just the person to do a book that will impact people in a positive way!

    • Steve says:

      Carlos,
      Thanks for your comments. I’ve actually interviewed hundreds of religious leaders, as well as agnostics and athiests. The bottom line is this: None of them can prove they’re right. No one knows what happens when you die. All the research has done for me is prove that no one knows. The athiests like to claim intellectual superiority and expose the holes in religious theory. The faithful like to beat thier chests and jump up and down to prove their right. The fact is neither side has any more information than the other. None of us will know what happens when we die until we die. Thats unemotional objective reality.

  7. Carlos Ruiz says:

    Hey Steve!

    I would like to take the time to answer the question from my point of view “where was God in 911?”
    I think the underlying question is, if there is a God why did he allow 9/11?
    Well Steve my response may sound bias because I am a Christian man but I think my answer may be something you have never heard before and using logical thinking void of emotion I believe it to be the right answer.
    I will have to reference something in the Bible to explain this but not to give a religious point of view but a logical answer to the nature of this thing we call “GOD” Before you read on and maybe you believe different religions just listen to this for a little cause it is void of emotion and logical to understand even if I wasnt a Christian.
    In the book of Genesis it said that God created a man and gave him dominion over the earth to RULE. And God also gave him free will. You’re probably familiar with that right? Ok now heres the critical question to describe the nature of God if you believe in God ok.
    God is not a man that he should lie so if God said that man has dominion over the earth and he didnt stop Adam and Eve from sinning in the garden, then the critical thinking question is, “why would you think he would stop 9/11?” Here’s another question, “if God would had intervened in the garden wouldn’t He had lied to Adam and Eve when he said he gave man dominion?”
    So God was in the same place he was when Adam and Eve sinned, when other tragedies have happened, the answer>>> God was keeping His Word.

    Love your stuff Steve! Hope this message was thought provoking!!!

  8. Annie says:

    Mike,

    Well yes, there is a qualitative difference, however I was thinking more along the lines of giving a problem or question one’s best shot, regardless of IQ. There are plenty of above average IQ’s out there, that wouldn’t put in the time or energy to research an answer. And plenty of average to low IQ’s who would give it thier best shot. I think if you use your own “IQ” to the best purpose you can, you’ll come out way ahead of a smarty pants who doesn’t bother. :o)

  9. I understand what you say and it makes sense, Annie, and I understand that if a high IQ critical thinker and a low IQ non critical thinker arrive at the same conclusion there is a qualitative difference in their approach and ability.

    Mike

  10. annie says:

    Ok Mike, I will give you that “scholars that have studied theological questions from thousands of perspectives” can justify an “I don’t know” answer. They have earned that right.
    I would argue, however, that most people who say “I don’t know” to a question like this are just dodging critical thinking. They look at it as a hot button question, ultimately unanswerable, so they say “I don’t know”, instead of puzzling it out, researching the question, and coming to that conclusion.

    I suppose one could accuse me of over thinking and hair splitting “I don’t knows”. LOL. I guess I am. That’s what I do every day, as a SAHM, homeschooling mom. I separate the real “I don’t knows” from the fake ones.

    BTW, at my house at least, most of the “I don’t knows”, are “I don’t want to spend the time doing the work, so “I don’t know”, not “I have studied this question from 10 different perspectives, and the consensus is “I don’t know”, therefore my conclusion is “I don’t know”. Of course, I know my stuudents pretty well. So perhaps it is unfair of me to assign motive to folks with whom I am not aquainted . I do know, from personal experience, that having an opinion on tough issues, and allowing it to change over time, generally serves a person better than a blanket “I don’t know,” because it makes one think and keep thinking, and growing, and hopefully becoming a better person in the process.

    Have a good Monday!

  11. Leonard Wills says:

    Steve,
    Only the believers will be rewarded with eternal life. You can’t get into heaven thinking “I don’t know, but it could be it’s true”. The belief itself is what’s rewarded with eternal life. So the agnostics may be the real critical thinkers but they are doomed when it comes to eternity.

    Now to your question. God was where He always is during 9/11. It’s the same as when someone gets murdered or killed in an accident or any other crime or human error tragedy. When God created man He gave us free will. He expects us to use that free will to benefit of each other but many men choose to use it against one another and for evil. These men are motivated by the devil who also has a powerful hold over many men. So although God allows us to use our free will anyway we want to, He will judge both the living and the dead on that fateful day we refer to as judgment day. So those terrorists that brought down the WTC might be enjoying their 19 virgins right now but when the judgement day comes they will burn in eternal fire.

    • Steve says:

      Leonard,
      Under your theory that only believers are rewarded with eternal life, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson would be excluded as atheists. Does this really make any sense? These two people did more for the world than many people combined. Would an all powerful being really care if they conformed to religious dogma?

  12. Pam says:

    I believe that God permits disasters to promote a greater good. After 9/11 there more people going to church, considerable less abortions, people acting nice to each other and their families, praying, trying to live His will more than EVER before. It was a HUGE wake-up call for people to try to live His will. God wants EVERYONE to go to heaven. I think we’ll be surprised who we might see when we get there.

    • Steve says:

      Pam,
      What kind of a God would allow innocent people to jump out of windows in the World Trade Center? What kind of a God would allow six million jews to be exterminated in the Holocaust? Are these atrocities really for the greater good?

  13. Steve,

    Thanks for hosting this format your wonderfull.

    Have you ever considered that the bible is a historically verifiable book. Its more historically verifiable than many pieces of literature we accept as authentic like Homers Iliad. There are literally thousands of manuscripts which authenticate the Bible the Iliad only has hundreds of manuscripts to verify it. Did you know that the Dead sea scrolls match up exactly with the bible we have today? Did you know that if you took the writings of the early church fathers they have quoted 98% of the bible in their writings so we can reconstruct almost the entire bible from their writings and when we do we find that it has not changed.

    Steve there are over 366 fulfilled prophecies in the bible about God. Prophecy alone is proof 100% of Gods existence. And we don’t need any more or should I say we shouldn’t need any more than having something written down hundreds or thousands of years in advance of happening. Like Cyrus taking over Jerusalem and Daniel showing King Cyrus where his name was written thousands of years earlier as being the one who would take it over. Cyrus himself was astonished at the accuracy.

    The main Prophecies I am referring to here are about God himself. There are 366 specific to God himself. If you had only 8 Prophecies Steve 8 things that were told in advance of happening and were fulfilled the chances of all 8 happening are very very small. For instance these chances are the same as taking the entire state of Texas since you are in Texas I know this is the example to use. If you were to fill the entire state of Texas 2 feet deep with silver coins. Then you were to take one of the coins and put a red dot of paint on it let it dry and mix it in randomly some how into that state of Texas. Somewhere in that 2 feet deep coin filled State of Texas. Then you were to put a blindfold on and get dropped off somewhere randomly in the state of Texas. You reach down into that pile of coins and you pull out the silver coin that has that red spot on it the first try. That’s the same odds of only 8 prophecies of God being fulfilled at the same time. We have 366 so that makes it clear that we do have 100% Prof positive that God exists. We have the more sure word of Prophecy because its even more sure than any eyewitness testimony since we have a written record of it that can be compared with History to verify its accuracy.

    What we are left with is 66 books written by 40 authors who did not even know each other written over 2000 years on 7 different continents without one single contradiction. Steve that’s clear that the Bible is a message from outside our time domain of extra terrestrial origin. That’s very very clear for anyone who takes the time to do the serious study and verify it for themselves.

    If you are interested in learning more I would love to speak with you about it. Don’t listen to the nay Sayer’s Steve the Nay Sayer’s have one thing in common they never do their homework so I know your a very hard worker and you do your homework. I know this because you coached me in the Mental Toughness college and the Bill Gove speech worship in Chicago and even Dawn in the fat looser program. You both definitely do your homework so I am sure I am not surprising you with this writing.

    I think you will go public with this information in your book because you said you wanted it to be controversial. Well this is really really really controversial because as you stated in your video the general public holds the opinion you explained that no one can know for sure about the existence of God. Well guess what if you were to write a book that pointed out the clear and undeniable Prof of Gods Existence. You would be in a class unto your own because no one has the guts to do that. They would be too worried they would piss off someone and not sell enough books.

    Thanks for this format Steve

    Warmest Regards,
    Clement Lisitski

    Examples taken from Chuck Missler Learn the bible in 24 hours http://www.khouse.org or view book online at

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Go37x8MPmckC&lpg=PA157&ots=b_yQw-0Hl4&dq=chuck%20missler%20fill%20up%20the%20state%20of%20texas%202%20feet%20deep%20with%20silver%20coins&pg=PA157#v=onepage&q&f=false

    • Steve says:

      Clem,
      Thanks for your reply. There’s only one question that needs to be answered about the Bible, and the rest is detail. The question is, was it really inspired by God? The people who wrote the Bible did thier research through hearsay, which is not actual research. The authors also had a lot to gain. Their market was a poor, uneducated, ignorant populous who starving for the promise of salvation, and you can convince a ignorant and desparate person of almost anything. Even the highest level religious leaders I’ve interviewed agree on this. This was not a tough sell. When people WANT to believe something so badly they will believe almost anything. The manipulation of Christ’s message is criminal, but the masses don’t know the difference between the man and the myth. Anyone can write a book and say it’s inspired by God because no one can prove it’s not. Saying it’s beyond our comprehension isn’t good enough for science. If scientists approached their studies through this line of thought with everything we’d still all be living in the dark ages. But when it comes to religion, the proof is non-existent. There’s far more evidence that disproves it, but this is not a message the masses want to hear. Who really wants to believe that this life is all we have? I don’t. At the same time it’s a little naive to ignore the facts and fall in the emotional manipulation and scare tactics of people like Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell. People like this have been manipulating the masses for money and power for centuries. All this being said, the fact is no one knows what happens when you die because no one can prove it, and thats what I was trying to say about critical thinking.

  14. Mark Call says:

    Steve, I’m a little disapponted in you. While it may be true that the existence God cannot be proved or disproved by non-spirtual means, I think you miss the point entirely.

    I am not ashamed to say that I owe everything I am and have to that God who created me. I am also not afraid (although a bit ashamed) to say that I am way short of my potential on this earth. I believe in scripture, I believe in prophets. I know that God still speaks to man today just as He did in Biblical times. I know that we will all live forever. How? I’ve asked. And I’ve received an answer.

    I also know that God has provided other tools for one’s self improvement. I believe that you are one of those tools that God has provided for me to help with my self improvement. I’ve found that everything you say in your 177 Secrets book to square with my spiritual and religious upbringing. Even the part about questioning one’s religious beliefs. How can one gain a spiritual testimony unless one asks questions? Whether you think so or not, I believe you have been inspired by God to help people. I hope you are grateful for that.

    Critical thinking? I find that critical thinking can and should involve God. He wants us to achieve our fullest potential in all things. He wants to take responsibility for our lives and our actions. That is the only way we can become like Him. I’ve found your teachings as a tool to help me achieve my fullest potential, and in shifting the responsibility for my life and what I achieve and don’t achieve away from parents, bosses and others, and on to myself where it truly belongs.

    After all, after this life is done, God will not just ask me what I’ve been taught. He will ask me what I’ve done with what I’ve been taught. He will ask me if I’ve sought out knowledge and wisdom and acted on it.

    • Steve says:

      Mark,
      I’m sorry you’re disapointed in me, but if you know my work at all, you would expect me to challenge anything that has not been proven. So here’s my question for you: If you believe God speaks to you, why doesn’t he speak to me? Why would he only speak to certain people? God is a belief that has not been proven, which means the only critical thought that can surround it is not knowing. I’m glad the 177 book is aligned with your beliefs, but God did not inspire the book. 20 years of research inspired it. The foundation of God and man-made religion is emotion, and emotion and critical thinking are diametrically opposed. The statements you made in your comment come directly from a book written by men who never met Christ and never spoke to God. How can you be so absolutely certain they are accurate? I’m not saying they’re not, because I can’t prove they’re not. But you can’t prove they are true, either. Once you admit that it gives the argument credibility. The problem is many religious people are so emotional that they can’t separate what they want to believe from what they can actually prove, which is why the agnostics and athiests are gaining ground. They are now the largest minorty group in America. I don’t know if they are right or wrong, but they tend to be more educated and technically accurate than their religious counterparts. The days of following blindly are coming to an end. We don’t do it in any other area of society outside of religion, and the younger generation is demanding evidence before turning their lives over to the Church. It’s a healthy trend that I hope will continue. The question is, can man made religion stand up to the scrutiny?

  15. I don’t know is a cop out answer? I don’t know is a better answer than all the made up answers posturing as TheAnswer when conjecture is no more critical thinking than I don’t know.

    “I don’t know” opens up possibility exploration and critical and creative thinking, mental toughness and everything that happens when the door is not closed with an absolute.

    None of what I just posted is to make an argument for any point of view other than being critical of “I don’t know” isn’t necessarly the result of critical thinking.

    “It is easier to say, “I don’t know” than it is to answer a question, every time. I would argue tha most folks who made a serious study would form an opinion that reflects critical thinking better than, “I don’t know”. — Annie

    Annie, I know scholars who have studied theological questions from thousands of perspectives and still arrive at “I don’t know” or “We can’t know” or “It’s a mystery.” Likewise, others arrive at as you say “opinions” which you think might reflect a higher order of critical thinking.

    That would imply scholar A arriving at “I don’t know” is less critical in thinking than scholar B who arrives as some complex or simple statement of opinion with all the complexity of theology making it appear absolutely correct – in some eyes.

    Mike

  16. lavera Amaning says:

    I am fully persuaded that my book, i writing, is inspired by our Creator, is not only needed, but over due, One of the things that some people need to understand is that the saying “the truth is true to you, but a fact is true to everyone whether they believe its true or not” is a bigger problem than most people think, when lack what it really is saying. Example: how are you believing in God on one end and wishing for something else on the other?
    Your questions and all of the comments are needed to hear, thanks for an opportunity to express a few of mind.

  17. Annie says:

    I don’t believe the agnostics have this one. They just cop out with the “I don’t know” answer. That’s fine, but it doesn’t require critical thinking. Religious folks could answer the question in much the same way.

    There is no answer, to the unthinkable. I would argue that things just as horrifying as 9/11 was to our country, happen on a regular basis all around the world. Certainly, many hundreds of thousands of people experience a personal tragedy (for them their own ” 9/11″) daily . If that person is religious, they would still question God, and ask where He was, during their personal conflagration, possible even more so, than someone who did not believe. A devout person will come up with the answer eventually, that God is where he says He is, here, among us, helping us recover daily through others. (Think of the response of the Amish after that horrifying school slaughter). A person whose faith is shaky, will either run toward their faith, or away from it. A person who had no faith, may get it, (think of all those full-up churches after 9/11) or say it is the reason they don’t believe. A person who didn’t know (agnostic) will continue not knowing, because they haven’t tried to find an answer that satisfies them.

    It is easier to say, “I don’t know” than it is to answer a question, every time. I would argue tha most folks who made a serious study would form an opinion that reflects critical thinking better than, “I don’t know”.

    • Steve says:

      Annie,
      As a critical thinking expert I will tell you that answering “I don’t know” to something no one can answer with any assurance is the only critical thinking answer. Belief has nothing to do with fact. Fact is based in logic and belief is based in emotion. No one has died and come back to life and said ‘this is what happens when you die’. No matter how desparately we want to believe, claiming to know the unknowable is self-delusion. The only honest and accurate answer is “I don’t know”.

  18. Lindit' Hopson says:

    Steve,

    What a fascinating opportunity to put forth your opinion/belief/thought–thanks!

    It doesn’t seem to me that you need to be a “believer” or a “non-believer” to understand that NO ONE knows where God is. We may wish we did (or maybe wish we didn’t), but those who think they do are delusional.

    (It’s hot here too!)
    Thanks again,
    Lindit’ Hopson

    • Steve says:

      Lindit’,

      I agree 100%. You can be the greatest believer or most ardent athiest. It doesn’t have anything to do with claiming to know the unknowable. Isn’t it interesting how emotion clouds judgement?

  19. Before Steve or anyone else gets to Ken, “how that works” is it volids critical thinking and in fits of or sustained passion, faith drives people to as great an effort as critical thinking, maybe more.

    Done:)

    Mike

  20. London says:

    Steve, have you been working out? You’re looking yoked in the shoulders young man.

    Moving on…The agnostics, if framed with critical thinking, the answer “I don’t know” is no answer. It takes less thought or streching of one’s mind to say, “I don’t know”.

    Dr. Bruce Lipton in his book Biology of Belief explains the ‘area’ where God is. Check it out. My answer remains the same. God it exactly where God was when Part I was blogged. (In your mind’s eye)

    Maybe, it’d be best to get on the same page of the definition of God first? A person, empty space, a belief. Until you have common ground on what God is…you’ll be hard pressed to have any form of agreement between blog responders, nations with diff. religions, etc.

    AND maybe that’s exactly what you want…diffferences. It make for great media coverage. Just be aware of your safety, Steve. Not everyone’s rational…and there are emotional people who carry firearms. Don’t be scared, just aware.

    I believe, critical thinking wise, God is within. If 60 trillion cells, in my body, can get along…run my digestive system, immune system, central nervous system and others…God starts from INSIDE, not OUTSIDE, not in a book, on a cross, or in a picture. God is, in the end, the oringinal SOURCE, the beginning. Wherever your beginning is…there lies your ‘God’.

    And only through eyes of love, not fear, will you then be able to see any form of God. I love this world we live in…it’s the best time to be alive, right here, right now.

    Critical thinking question(s) for everyone. When you laid down last night, did you go to sleep in the body you dreamed of? If not, why not?

    London
    http://www.londonporter.com
    “Mr. Seven Million Smiles 2 Serve”

    • Steve says:

      London,
      Bruce Lipton is a smart guy. I’m a big fan of his work. But the reality is he doesn’t have any more information about God than anyone else. These are nice theories, none of which can be proven. Thats why ‘I don’t know’ is the only accurate answer…because no one does know. Anything that can’t be proven requires the meaningful suspension of disbelief, which is the antithesis of critical thinking. None of this means anything you or Bruce Lipton is saying is right or wrong, it simply means no one knows. Thats the essence of critical thinking. Once you remove emotion from the equation you’re left with what is and what can be proven. Everything else is rooted in wishful thinking and emotion.

  21. Okay Steve. You truly are an athlete that loves to compete. So if you’re just looking for folks to spar with you on the literary tennis court, this is fun. Let me preface my remarks with a vow of good sportmanship and may the best man win. You know I like you. Alright, my serve.

    Will all due respect Brother Steve, your premise is without foundation leading to conjecture. This is about a fruitful as attending the playoffs of tic-tac-toe. But if your intention is to root out the elements of critical thinking, which is what I think you’re doing here, then let’s put critical thinking on trial on this topic.

    Your declarative statement, “None of us really knows,” and “No one else does either,” are without sound merit and is not based on logical critical thinking or fact–they’re assumptions. Inaccurate ones at that. How do you know, what other people “know?” You don’t! I know of no one who does. To prove or disprove the existence or activities of Diety or his whereabouts or intentions smacks of lack of clear perspective on the matter. The existence of things real or unreal beyond the scope of our five senses is clearly individual subjectivity. These issues can’t be proven from one person to the next but that does not prove they aren’t real, either.

    Recently I attended one of your workshops and you were there when one attendee announced the debut of his speaking career is based on his after-life experience wherein he claims he saw God and that God told him his life was not done and he was being sent back. This was an astute man of considerable educational attainment and appeared to be one of sound reason and logic. Could any of us in that room disprove what he experienced? I couldn’t. Nor am I dumb enough to try. Who could? It is reasonable to assume that he experienced something during his brief departure from this life, but as to what it was, what was true or not, cannot be put on trial.

    For the sake of argumentative reasoning, let’s assume for a moment that the Bible is established fact and the account of the events of Christ and His ministry are of factual record. Just go with me on this for a minute. Did the miracles He performed, i.e., healing the sick, made the lame to walk, raised the dead, offer substantial EVIDENCE to satisfy the burden of proof of His claims to be the Son of God? Not to those who wanted Him dead!

    So to engage your followers in a debate of the burdens to analyze the veracities of proving aspects of Diety smacks of a faulty premise and a volley of conjecture that has no merit of real critical thinking in my view. But, with respect to people who “see” or experience “something” that gives them life-altering perspective so powerful to have them defend what they know to the death–THAT is what should be given careful analytical evaluation. What is really happening in these events that makes people so driven to their convictions? There’s a pivotal question for you!

    If you could answer the question satisfying the burden of proof within the scope of the senses of the reality of God or any other Diety, the religions of the world would merge into one and you would become the annointed leader of the SSN Evangelical Network. I might add that I’d be front center every Sunday morning to hear your sermons. The fact that so many religions espouse competitive convictions about who’s right and who’s wrong about God is a clear indication the answer for that proof has yet to be found.

    To make claims based on one’s convictions and testimony and beliefs or tenets is to risk being dogmatic in the arena of debate. This is about personal conviction, and preference. People of various religions claim to be receiving answers to their prayers, and the God of their religion. These people are experiencing something. Just as I said before, people have dreams and there is no fundamental basis I know of to prove/disprove they are happening, anymore than I can prove to you what the taste of sugar is if you haven’t had it. How would you tell Napoleon Hill that there is no proof of benefit from his recommendations to rely on Infinite Intelligence? Or telling Brian Tracy that his views on God are useless? Or how about the invalidity of Og Mandino’s tenth scroll admonishing us to pray? Futile debate.

    What I think would be more sound as an element of critical thinking is to delve into the spectrum of perspective and debate how that works. There, my friend, is where I think you’ll find some intriguing answers. Also, I think I would jump at the chance to partner with you in being the new Siskel & Ebert!

    Glad to hear your voice is back on the blog I listened to. Or did you record this before we saw you in Utah? Say hi to your bride and we’ll see you soon.

    Ken

    • Steve says:

      Ken,
      Thanks for your comments. I always appreciate our sparring sessions. Here’s how I back up the claim that know one knows or can prove the existence of God. Because I can’t prove his existence and you and no one else has any greater access than me to this information. If you actually knew, I would know because you don’t possess powers that I don’t possess. Thats objective reality. Napoleon Hill and others have and had their own beliefs but still never for a second of their lives had more access to information you and I don’t have. That’s a solid premise. The difference is logic vs. emotion. People don’t only want to believe, they NEED to believe. They’re terrified to die and religion eases their fear. It’s the easiest product in the world to sell. I don’t think you would disagree with that. That doesn’t mean that it’s not true, but anyone who doesn’t approach organized religion with substantial scepticism is naive. On another note, it was great seeing you in SLC. It was also terrific meeting your wife. If we don’t talk before, good luck with the wedding!

  22. Lisa Gough says:

    I completely agree with you Steve.
    Great topic!

  23. This was my closing post on pt 1 it fits here too: “God is a mystery to me so I don’t know where – if where has any meaning in our sense of where – God was when 9/11 happened. I don’t have a theological answer.”

    That’s my agnostic answer and it’s as complex as it gets.

    Ironically, not knowing and residing in “mystery” is at the heart of many religious and spiritual beliefs and teaching which doesn’t negate an idea of a power – called God – beyond understanding.

    And yet it doesn’t have to affirm either.

    I’m comfortable living in not knowing and I don’t think everyone or most people is comfortable living in not knowing.

    Mike

  24. Marja Fletchall says:

    God had nothing to do with 9/11, or the Oklahoma shooting, any hurricane, or etc.
    9/11 and other hanous acts all stem from ignorance, hatred, greed, and wanting to blame others instead of trying to change to world around us for the betterment of all. Unforunately for humans and our economics nature will do what what nature has always done.
    I’m a Christian and I’m not afraid to share that fact with anyone. If your veiws are different than mine, your entitled to that. I’m willing to listen to you and work along side you; respecting your feelings as long as you respect mine.
    This Bible bashing Butch will get us no where. It has more to due with values and ethics than your religion or lack there of.
    Until we work together to put an end to greed, ingornace, hatred, and self interest we will get no where.

  25. Daniel Herman says:

    Where was God on 9/11, Part 2? The same answer to the Question, where was God on 9/11, Part 1? “Because of HIS Will, Truth, and Wisdom not MAN’S Will, Truth or Wisdom, he was with each and every one of us, not only during this tragedy but “always”. Man with HIS Ego and Pride will always argue for SELF, including the merits of his own Critical Thinking. The greater question is…Where was Man on 9/11? “I can assure you because of our Ego and Pride, we were not where we should have been on 9/11, or at any time, because “We Seek First To Serve Self”, and “God Seeks First To Serve Us”. Therefore; the ultimate Critical Thinking Question is this…”Not where God was on 9/11, or even where Man was on 9/11, but rather Whom Do We (Man) Serve? We all have to Serve somebody. Maybe one day in our Critical Thinking, we will not only ask the right questions, but having asked those questions, we will start relying upon God’s Will, Truth, and Wisdom, not Our Will, Truth, or Wisdom. I wish well on your journey toward Absolute not Relative Truth.

    Daniel Herman, M.M.
    Management Consultant
    Cheyenne, WY
    DanielLHerman@aol.com

  26. As I commented on Steve’s original post: “There are forces in our world that are beyond the scope of my measly human comprehension.” That said, there’s a quote I’ve heard, attributed to Henry Ford, that says, “If you believe you can or you believe you can’t… you’re right.”

    We live on a plane of duality where as soon as something is defined as true, it’s opposite is created and it’s immediately seen as being false as well.

    There are very few absolutes on this planet… things that are a one way fact all the time. Those of you who say you know G-d or have some proof of exsistence have only what the filtering action of your beliefs allow you to accept; what’s comfortable and feels right for YOU.

    I’ve heard Steve,on more than one occasion, say that a truth is true for you, but a fact is true for everyone whether you believe it’s true or not. That’s a good critical thinking rule of thumb. So what you say is true about G-d extends only to the boundary of your own skin. There’s NO WAY you can prove G-d as a fact for everyone.

    If you believe in G-d or you don’t believe in G-d… you’re right. Other than that, nothing you say has much validity for the rest of the world.

  27. Archie Landreman says:

    Steve, have you read a book entitled ” A Course in Miracles”? I think that you would find it very interesting. It is not religious but it is spiritual in nature. It is also written from a psychological reference. The wisdom and insights into our human nature are amazing to me. I would suggest reading this just to be able to gain this perspective. I think it is useful and practical knowledge to anyone and it is not necessary to profess certain beliefs. It is necessary to read the book in it’s entirety though as to just skim parts of it would be meaningless. Thanks for the question and the opportunity to comment.

  28. Mike Jacobi says:

    Steve,
    Critical thinking tells you somebody/something created this universe, otherwise it could not exist.
    Critical thinking also tells you that formal religions and their practices are created by humans.
    Critical thinking and experience have shown, that humans are much more powerful than they are willing to admit. “Miracles” (unexplained changes in behavior and healing of serious illnesses) happen on a regular basis. Was that absolute World Class laser sharp focus, or divine intervention? Critical thinking cannot answer this, but to underestimate the power of the human mind and spirit is not logical. Unfortunately in the past, humans have misused their mind’s powers to a point that they are now afraid to acknowledge, what they can achieve.

  29. You say no one knows Steve, but I know. God is a living God. Clearly you are seeking and most times people in your position either don’t recognize that or resist it. I will be praying for your heart and mind to be opened.

  30. Madeleine Williams says:

    Steve,

    You mentioned that you hope God exists because you would love to live forever. It’s easy Steve. All you have to do is ask. Trust me He will help you to understand. No matter what way you cut it or try to cut it, if you don’t believe, you will not exist in his Kingdom when he returns for His believers. It’s a free gift Steve. take it, it’s the best gift you will ever receive. There is no better gift than eternal life. “World class thinking goes by faith in Jesus Christ”

  31. Ray says:

    Oh yes, it is all about evidence and facts. We don’t always have to see something to know it exists.

    We don’t see wind, but it is there, the effects of wind show it is there. We don’t actually see electricity but see the result. We don’t on the surface, so to speak see oxygen but thankfully it is there.

    One has to want to look into evidence, results. Evident demonstration of something not beheld.

  32. Ray says:

    World Class Thinking on a question like; “Where was God on 9/11?” starts with a world class determination to be three things in the pursuit of an answer. Yes a pursuit. The three things, attitudes, mind set, what ever you want to call it, in finding the answer that absolutely must be applied are; HUNGER, HONESTY, and HUMBLENESS.

    HUNGER, a desire to actually want the the truth no matter where it leads. To listen to an explanation in it’s entirety. To get all the details before making an emotional decision. Really be sure you comprehend the reasoning and facts of the explanation.

    HONESTY, regardless of one’s current belief, mindset, conception, religious or not background, when presented with an explanation differing from yours, you must be willing (hungry) and honest in the assessment of the offered explanation. It may take more that a minute so be willing to have a few sit downs together.

    HUMILITY, when the new explanation is in the process and or fully laid out one must be humble enough to accept what the facts show. Humble enough to say what I have heard, or currently believe is not true.

    So here is your challenge; But first you must ask yourself and answer with absolute truthfulness, if you have doggedly applied all the three H’s to the suggestion below. Being told an answer isn’t ever as powerful as one that sincerely seeks, truth.

    Go ask one of Jehovah’s Witnesses what the answer is. Don’t assume I am one of them because you are already making judgement and may already be at jeopardy of applying the three H’s.

  33. kelly says:

    I totally agree with this blog post. There is a difference between knowing and believing. In the words of Timothy Leary, “To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself.” It seems the masses will go with the flow, and I can never get a straight, logical answer from any christian I’ve ever talked to but they always seem have an answer…..It’s OK to say “I don’t know”.

  34. Scott Richardson says:

    But you can KNOW there is a god, Steve. All it takes is an understanding that I can’t live life successfully on my own. I need spiritual help. And when I asked for it, I got it. In my case, the root was alcoholism and food and drug addiction. I couldn’t muster the power to overcome them. But when I asked God for help, the force lent me the power and continues to do so on a daily basis. Proof, though personal, but proof nonetheless. I would be dead without it.

  35. Cea Clearly says:

    Respectfully I would like to disagree with you in that EVERYONE who believes that there is a higher power than themselves KNOWS there is a “God”. There are two kinds of people. Those who serve themselves (ego/mind/brain) and those who serve spirit (heart/love/joy/light). God gives us free choice to do as we wish however we are also accountable for those choices which by virtue of inescapable universal laws have consequences. America is in trouble because an overwhelming majority of is residents (not all of which are citizens) let’s call it “society” is self absorbed and only interested in self gratification (hence the obesity problem). Last week on my radio show I highlighted Switzerland (who is also AAA rated and in no danger of losing that rating). They are a patriotic christian nation who refuses to seperate church and state (and gladly uses tax money to support churches). I also highlighed a quote from Joseph Stalin. “America is like a healthy body and it’s resistance is threefold: It’s patriotism, it’s morality and it’s spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas America will collapse from within.”

    Feel free to listen to the show Mondays 12noon at http://www.w4cy.com

    Check out the website http://www.betterwaysforbetterdays.com for the quote of the week. This week from John F. Kennedy. It is appropriate for your topic.

  36. Butch Phelps says:

    I see your point. It works the same with patriotism. Once we put the emotion into it, we lose sight of anything, or anyone, that may drift off course. If I were a person trying to take over a people in our country, I would wear a flag pin and carry a bible so they could clearly see I believe the way they do, or do I? The pin and Bible are symbols of ideals some of our citizens have, that’s all. Our biggest fear as an American is to be called unpatiotic and unchristian-like. Why? It pulls on our emotion. Who uses it the most? Politicians and TV news use it as a way to recruit followers. The problems of today are nothing but the result of people running on emotions and not critical thinking. If they used critical thinking, most news shows would go broke and most politicians would be out of job.
    I love the term,”God Fearing man.” Most Americans think that is a compliment, but when you look at the words, Why would anyone fear God, unless thay have done something wrong.We need to challenge everything and accept nothing. Our leaders have lied to us and are nothing more than foxes in lamb’s wool.

  37. Bud says:

    Very simple answer to a simple question:

    On 9/11/2001, God was in exactly the same place He was on 9/10/2001 and 9/12/2001 and any other day you may select.

    He was wherever you believe he was and He was doing whatever you believe He was doing.

    In short, you get to create and believe your own truth.

    And you get to act on your belief.

    And you are responsible for your own actions.

    So…where were you on 9/11/2001?

  38. Mark says:

    Hi Steve,

    This is my first post on your website. In regard “agnostics”…

    There is only one thing I know to be absolutely true in my life…there must be a Creator of this amazing universe we live in. The incredible complexity of mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS (just to name a few), could never happen by random processes To believe this all happened by random chance rather than by design would require faith for which I would I have to discount common sense completely.

    Please don’t confuse this with “religion”. Religion is the big mystery to me. The fact that our Creator chose to be completely ambiguous in regard to religion simply baffles me.

    That being said, the fact that our Creator operates in a way I do not understand or agree with in my finite mind by no means mandates we do not have a Creator.

    So to say the “agnostics have it right” in regard to anything doesn’t add up to me because they do not acknowledge an eternal Creator behind the infinite complexity we see in our universe.