No 'Supreme Power'
Prevented Suicide
Or Death Of Infant
Betty Fanek

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "betty fanek"
Subject: Re: 1Q
Date: September 28, 2001 5:19 AM

This is cool! My grandparents lived in Beirut and Egypt and Saudi and spent time in Jordan during the three decades following World War II. I can still remember all the slide shows of that beautiful country, and hope it is still as beautiful as it was during the 1950s.

I can feel that you now appreciate this as your one chance to ever live, and that you are full of life today. I suffer from a medical condition that makes me have suicidal ideations almost every day, but since these are just hallucinations, of a sort, I have studied and learned how to deal with it when this happens. It's not me who wants to die, it's just my mind playing tricks on me.

Some of us get lucky. Very lucky. I have heard of people whose parachutes did not open but they lived to tell about it.

Others of us are not so lucky. My little brother contracted a disease that prevented his brain from developing. He was taken from our family by the State of California by the time he was two years old, and we know from how this disease progresses that he did not make it to his sixth year. He never learned how to talk, and I never got to grow up having my little brother with me. I had to live with watching my Mother transform from a bubbly, laughing, playful, girlish young lady to a shell-shocked, withdrawn, very skeptical woman, too protective of her only remaining child to let me see her cry. I have had to live with the realization that this was my little brother's only chance to ever live. And he never got to live at all.

If I were a God, no mother would ever have to bury her child. Perhaps I would not be able to create a world without death, but if I had to create death in order for life to be, the youngsters would bury their aged and fulfilled parents. No parents would ever bury their child. This is how things would be if I were the Creator and if there were no way for me to create life without there also being death.

This would be more important to me than if humans loved me. This would be more important to me than if humans had absolute free will to commit evil. I cannot imagine a parent having to bury a child, but most human parents who have ever lived have had to do this. Only recently, and only in some Western countries, has freedom from this become relatively rare.

But if this Universe were the product of a quantum fluctuation which became the Big Bang, and if life evolved as the natural selection of random mutations, we could expect some of us to get very, very lucky and others of us to lose our only grasp for life and there be nothing we could do or say about it. Noted African-British zoologist Richard Dawkins said, "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." Nothing else explains the fact that my little baby brother, because of nothing that he did at all and nothing that we did either -- that anybody did or didn't do -- never got to experience his one-and-only chance to live.

If anybody can explain to me why I should believe that a God exists, I am willing to listen. However, anybody who tries must tell me what happened to my brother, what discussion went down behind this decision. They must explain why a powerful and caring God would create our little family just to destroy us like this. But since this happened, I have had no reason to believe that a God even exists -- especially when I keep hearing about parachutists who get "miraculously" rescued from playful jumps out of airplanes.

Again, I thank you for sharing with me your zeal for life. To live is so rare. I will attach and send to you a written work by Richard Dawkins and another that a friend of mine sent to me last week.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.