Seth Andrews has been through the mill as it comes to dealing with those who insist that their faith in a deity is not just valid but necessary to their lives and to all lives. Having dealt with that gauntlet and come out the other side an atheist, he has a clear vision of how believers see things ... and how mistaken they are. Because of that, Seth has occasionally gone on rants on his podcast, venting about how crazy these thought processes appear to anyone who bothers to think about them.
I mention those rants because the following is a bit like them. In it, Seth calls out the illogic and the poorly conceived thoughts entertained by the believing and dismantles them with the skill of a surgeon. He notes that as much as whatever deity they worship can heal the cancer or the infection, that same god is responsible for that malady's existence in the first place.
I give you Seth Andrews: "The God of Cancer." Enjoy.
Another great presentation by Seth.
He does have a talent for focusing his rants into hard facts and supporting graphics, doesn't he?
Yes, Seth brings it all together in a nice package. A clear and concise message. Great graphics. Just the right amount of snark and irony. Captivating storytelling.
Thanks, Loren! A great one, and to be shared.
Loren, this remarkable video clearly reveals the foolishness of religious people and how they respond to the challenges facing each one of us. Seth presents the issues in ways that expose the fallacies of peoples' thinking and he does it in a way that surely gets through their religion filter. His examples hit home with me as you can imagine. Cancer somehow brings out the worst in people who have never had the disease. Oh yes, the "god answers prayers" claim is so flip that it was funny. Also, the old canard, "I'll pray for you!". I'd respond that if they wanted to be useful they could volunteer in the chemo room taking care of all those throwing up or those who bend over in excruciating pain until they can get their next dose of painkillers. Or they could contribute money to the research fund where they try to find the cause of cancer. Talk about cheap religion! He revealed 8.2 million will die this year from cancer"
I especially like the way Seth uses statistics, i.e. how many babies die in a day and where was god in those deaths?
I'm so glad you got to meet Seth at the Reason Rally! Your reporting brought the event to life for me.
Seth is so right on, but preaching to the choir is easy. Getting the people who need to watch this is nye impossible. They don't want their fantasies disturbed. He uses well-organized graphics and facts to solidify his talking points. Seth also points out how much money we could save if Christians just followed scripture and waited for God to cure them (one of my favorites). If I were God, I'd be pissed that my people went behind my back and purchased insurance when I've already promised them whatever thewy ask that I will provide. I don't even bother pointing out to Christians the incongruity of an all-powerful all-knowing and all-loving God being helpless or uncaring when it comes to the people he is supposed to love yet allows a terrible disease like cancer to continue unchecked. All the scripture pointed out should be familiar to all Christians. I know it is to me. God should be able to see ahead to know what will happen in any eventuality, not just cancer. Earthquakes, forest fires, tsunamis, volcano eruptions, mass killings and wars. These things should not happen to have all power and the ability to change things. All can be said is either God is powerless or vengeful and a blackmailer. Yet, his followers and fans make excuses for him. If a person loses one eye it is often said to thank god that they didn't lose the other. When a person dies it is God's will and now that person is in a better place because the Lord works in mysterious ways. When in reality it appears he doesn't work at all which is the same as not existing. When a person recovers from a grievous sickness or injury it's all glory to God, forgetting the doctors and scientists that made it possible. Even if they are acknowledged it is done so as if they are god's apprentices. Of course, it is useless to try to explain the point that God is either noncaring, vengeful or powerless. Seth is right on in all the things he mentions and he puts the facts forward using Biblical scripture to show the weakness and incongruity of Christians giving a pass to God when help doesn't come.
Time stamp 5:40 And if you are a believer in god who eventually sees this presentation on the internet, I would like you to hang with me even through the more difficult parts of this conversation, because I'm going to end in a destination that you may not expect.
I'm not certain that Seth is just "speaking to the choir" at all. This isn't the first time Seth has directed comments at believers during a speech or other similar address. My sense is that he's never lost sight of where he came from, especially owing to the extremely difficult relationship he has with his parents. I suspect this is one reason why he remains so soft-spoken a great deal of the time – because he hopes believers WILL listen and that his message will register with some small fraction of them.
I perceived Seth being a little irritated with David Silverman during his interview about "firebrand" atheism. I could be reading something into Seth's attitude, what do you think?
I'd have to listen again (and I may), but Seth is very much a live-and-let-live guy. I also think he recognizes the necessity of the kind of firebrand atheism which Silverman brings to the table. That Seth himself isn't about that style is okay with him and I suspect okay with David, too, because David also realizes that not every atheist can be a firebrand.
Ultimately, I think it's all good.
Jeez, he gives me shivers!