Thanking God for your good fortune is the ultimate conceit

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Thunderdog, May 9, 2007.

  1. Some time ago, I started a similar thread ("There but for the grace of God go I.") In that thread, I considered that idiom to be self-indulgent and arrogant, and not nearly as humble as it might first appear.

    Recently, I heard someone give a victory speech. He thanked God for his good fortune. It immediately reminded me of other such instances where, in an apparent and misguided attempt at humility, the speaker thanked God for the turn of events. Even Thanksgiving comes to mind.

    It is deep and utter bullshit.

    Consider the implications. If the victor invokes the name of God into his victory, what does that imply? It strongly suggests that not only did the person succeed because he was better than his opponent, but also because God apparently favored him. This is a double insult to the loser, since he was not only beaten by his mortal opponent, but also is relatively out of favor with God by implication. Therefore, I find such comments to be both audacious and smug.

    Rather than assuming that they are sitting at the right hand of God by such unwitting remarks, would it not be more humble and respectful to thanks one's lucky stars for any random element that led to his success?

    Similarly with Thanksgiving. When you help yourself to another slice of turkey and thank God for the bounty He has given you, consider what you are inadvertently saying about all of the hungry and disease-ravaged people in the world. By definition, attributing your good fortune to God implies that all of the unfortunate people have fallen out of His favor relative to you. Not only are you healthy and full, you are implicitly also "better" than all of those who are suffering. After all, God smiled upon you, not them.

    Don't insult those less fortunate than you by thanking God for your good fortune.
  2. Nothing exists in a vacuum.

    If you don't have God in your life, well then whether you like it or not, you're the devils friend.
  3. fhl


    What a sorry spectacle.
  4. I guess thunder never thought about the fact that he was denigrating those whose "lucky stars" weren't on their side. Or the folks whose "random events" didn't go in their favor. Why is it that they are supposed to be ok with that?

    Going beyond the bs, I think we all know that this guy doesn't thank anything or anybody when events go in his favor. He, of course, thinks that he alone is responsible for his good fortune. Which brings us to the real point here. He apparently thinks that feeling good about the good work that you have done is "true humility".
  5. I am constantly amazed at why people think they can understand God's purpose and will. The "How dare He" attitudes. At this stage of our scientific and cultural knowledge, we still know next to nothing.

    You either believe (have faith) or you don't. If you believe, you can never successfully argue or prove the existence of God to others, so attempting to do so leaves you frustrated. If you don't believe, people are incapable of grasping infinite concepts, so arguments to the contrary will never prove anything.

    Over all, we are a lot less than the fleas arguing over ownership and purpose of the dog...
  6. "("There but for the grace of God go I.")"

    On the flip side. Everyone who suffers misfortune begs "Why me?"

    No one who has a fortunate circumstance asks "Why me?"
  7. jem


    Obviously everyone prays differently.

    Patton said -

    The General left the window, and again seated himself at his desk, leaned back in his swivel chair, toying with a long lead pencil between his index fingers.

    Chaplain, I am a strong believer in Prayer. There are three ways that men get what they want; by planning, by working, and by Praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning, or thinking. Then you must have well-trained troops to carry it out: that's working. But between the plan and the operation there is always an unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. It is the reaction of the actors to the ordeal when it actually comes. Some people call that getting the breaks; I call it God. God has His part, or margin in everything, That's where prayer comes in. Up to now, in the Third Army, God has been very good to us. We have never retreated; we have suffered no defeats, no famine, no epidemics. This is because a lot of people back home are praying for us. We were lucky in Africa, in Sicily, and in Italy. Simply because people prayed. But we have to pray for ourselves, too. A good soldier is not made merely by making him think and work. There is something in every soldier that goes deeper than thinking or working--it's his "guts." It is something that he has built in there: it is a world of truth and power that is higher than himself. Great living is not all output of thought and work. A man has to have intake as well. I don't know what you it, but I call it Religion, Prayer, or God

    However, I think many victors thank God for the chance to be in position to win and give him the glory for making something of a poor vessel.

    I do not think i have ever seen a winner in a sporting contest say I won because God loves me and you suck. As for war i defer to Patton.
  8. Recognizing good fortune that is not specifically the result of your own effort or that of others on your behalf is to recognize that you were lucky. Period. There is no purer or more humble observation. Anything else ascribes a certain importance or superiority to you. Recognizing luck for what it is is impersonal. It does not insult the one who lost or is less fortunate beyond the defeat or the misfortune. Thanking God does.

    I recognize that I am fortunate to be living in an environment that is not war ravaged or poverty stricken. I recognize that I am fortunate to be in good health. There is an element of control when it comes to health, but there is also a sizeable element that is out of our control. Thus far, I have been lucky for the most part for these reasons. I appreciate my good luck and I am grateful to the people who have helped me when I needed it. However, for you to assume that God had a hand in it on your behalf, that He has chosen to bestow upon you what He has apparently deprived others is the epitome of self-indulgence, self-importance and arrogance.

    It is just my opinion, but if you do not agree with that characterization, then I don't think you read what I wrote in my first post.
  9. If someone does not even have a conceptual comprehension of God's purpose or will, then how can that person know what he should or should not be grateful for? That can potentially be like thanking your chess opponent for giving you a pawn as you unwittingly walk into a mate-in-three trap. If you don't understand what's going on, how can you know what to be thankful for?
  10. Certainly not in those words. But that is the unvarnished implication -- the logic that follows: "I am grateful for this momentous victory, and I thank God for my good fortune." (Because He helped me more than He helped my opponent. He chose me. I am the Chosen One. I bask in God's glory from this victory while my opponent does not. It was God's will that I should win. Why else would I thank God for this victory?)

    What is unsaid speaks just as loudly. You just have to listen for it.

    Plenty of lottery winners also thank God for their luck. Yes, God pays special favor to lottery players. I did not win the last time I played because I was less deserving.
    #10     May 9, 2007