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Discussion » Questions » Human Behavior » A survivor of a recent tragedy claims someone (implying God) was looking out for him. Does that mean those who died didn't?

A survivor of a recent tragedy claims someone (implying God) was looking out for him. Does that mean those who died didn't?

Why is that the go-to for so many people? To suggest that divine intervention spared their lives when others died? Wouldn't the inverse be true as well? i.e. If God was looking out for you, why didn't God save the person next to you too?

Posted - May 9


  • 7137
    I used to think there was something similar. Perhaps not "God," but some kind of consciousness or awareness that joined people. I've had similar experiences too. But, there is a scientific explanation for it. It's our subconscious picking up cues. 

    That said, I like the way you approached this. It's a little more tangible than operating on belief alone and, as far as I know, science can't wholly refute your claim either. Food for thought. 
      May 9, 2019 3:56 PM MDT

  • 22147
    i would think god would save everyone and not just one person
      May 9, 2019 4:37 PM MDT

  • 862
    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
    Romans 14:8- For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 

    All our days are numbered, this can be seen by one person that may survive a major accident and another who may die in a minor one. This doesn't mean I do not get upset, or angry, I'm certainly far from that because I don't want to lose people who I love, and are close to me and do not like apparent injustice "Why them, they were such good people," I'm far from perfect, even when the bible says 1 Thessalonians 4:14 - For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

    Maybe he didn't attribute the death of another because it would appear insensitive, or simply because people are self centred "He saved me!"

    Or perhaps in thanking God, Christians are accepting Gods will, showing humility and so preventing themselves from being divided in mind and heart, and giving into idolatry.  I didn't understand that idolatry wasn't just about statues and false gods, it was about other people, even self idolatry, because it leads to a matter of the heart—pride, self-centeredness, greed, gluttony, a love for possessions and ultimately rebellion against God.  

    Only God knows the heart, and so knows the motive, much of the time we are unaware and it is this that gets us into trouble. Luke 16:15 And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.
      May 9, 2019 5:08 PM MDT

  • 4309
    How can anything be seen by the person who dies in an accident? That person is dead.
      May 9, 2019 5:50 PM MDT

  • 862

    The question isn't regarding the attitude of the man that died in the accident, it is regarding the one that didn't. The question asked why the one that did survive state that God saved him.

    This post was edited by kjames at May 10, 2019 4:18 AM MDT
      May 10, 2019 4:17 AM MDT

  • 4309
    "this can be seen by...another (person) who may die in a minor one."

    You still haven't answered the question of how anything can be seen by anyone who dies in an accident. Either that or you did a poor job constructing the statement and didn't say what you meant.
      May 10, 2019 9:59 AM MDT

  • 862
    I'm speaking from our perspective Stu, "All our days are numbered, this can be seen by (the scenario of) one person that may survive a major accident and another who may die in a minor one. I hope that clarity helps clear things up.
      May 10, 2019 10:33 AM MDT

  • 3211
    Every word of your post is based on a grand presumption: God is.
    Presumption that serves a high functioning confirmation bias: God is great/merciful/omniscient/eternal/infallible/etc.

    As Shakespeare said, “Satan could quote scripture for his purpose“. This post was edited by Don Barzini at May 9, 2019 8:28 PM MDT
      May 9, 2019 6:25 PM MDT

  • 862
    The question was regards to a person who believes in God.  My answer is in reference as to why he would respond that way as a person who was an atheist for many years, but am not now.  As an atheist I was fully aware that we would all walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will all die, some will die in a minor accident and some will escape death in a major one.   What would be the purpose of me answering from an atheist perspective? Would that answer the question that Just Asking was referring to from a believers perspective? 

    And yes I do believe God exists, from purely an experience not from anything I can give to you or really put into any adequate words, it wasn't a grand presumption for me, it was the most humbling experience I've had, and the most beautiful. It is something you'd have to experience for yourself.

    The bible gives you teachings, the New Testament teachings are regarding the inner self, the battle within, but you cannot take outside actions and put them inside you, all people can do is practice them in the hope that it will make them a better person, but the real transformation, as in anything comes from within, the mystics knew that an unknown world exists outside the boundaries of sense, hence the evidence cannot be given to you by the means in which you demand it. The Spirit of man, entangled amidst material things, for which God is behind. 

    Mystics are the explorers of the spiritual world, with no right to deny validity to their discoveries, merely because others lack the opportunity or courage necessary. Purification here is the gate of knowledge, come with minds cleared of prejudice and convention, and taking the visible world for granted, under the assumption that science is real and metaphysics is not.

    Mark 4:11 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables,

    Ephesians 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.

    Romans 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,

    1 Cor 2:7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;

    Ephesians 3:4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

    Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

    Colossians 1:27  to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    This post was edited by kjames at May 10, 2019 4:51 AM MDT
      May 10, 2019 4:43 AM MDT

  • 3211
    I don’t see JA’s question as limiting responses from only a believer’s perspective. As such, my own reply was wholly secular and remained relevant. 

    I cannot speak to whatever processes that rendered your unique experiences to a set-aside of critical faculties, but the attachment of Bible “teachings” to them, seemingly after the fact since you claimed to have been atheist prior, rings of the confirmation bias I described.

    In other words, the lack of another explanation for these feelings raised a default mindset of “God did it”. Perhaps even because, somewhere deep down, you really want this to be so. But whatever the case, this ideology now works for you. 

    If you were any kind of atheist, you’d have realized how many flawed, frequently contradictory and improbable claims reside in the Bible, requiring the repeated calls to abandon intellect and reason in favor of “just believing” out of hand, regardless of the obvious fallacies inherent in doing so. Sorry, this is something I as an educated, well-read, independent thinker personally cannot abide.  
    Given the hard reality that is available to our examination every day, against the absence of any corroboration for God in the 40+ years I have been looking for it, these tendencies toward the metaphysical are pallid assertions at best.   

    This post was edited by Don Barzini at May 10, 2019 8:26 AM MDT
      May 10, 2019 6:28 AM MDT

  • 862

    I didn't try to limit your response, from what I can see you replied to the question from an atheist perspective without question from me.  You questioned my reply, and I respectfully responded to that.

    I was an atheist, and I am sure as an atheist you have read Darwin and Dawkins, and also scripture just like I did. Biblical scripture was not the only thing I quoted in my reply.

    I didn’t lose my critical faculties, it wasn’t confirmation bias, and it was unexpected.

    As such, I came to understand why the Mystic, the Saint, often escape the material world for solace, they want to stay in the eternal, that which exists beyond the self, but they are verbally criticised by those people who do not understand; people attack that which they do not know, because for those people, the world what they see; is for them the only truth. When the world is limited to senses, the world lapses into a calculating machine, each man is trapped in his perception of the world, what you describe as hard reality.

    As an atheist, I had spent many years debating Christians, thinking they were brainwashed and that I would be freeing them from their mind-set, like I had first felt free when I became an atheist, I thought I was helping them to see the truth.  I then practiced awareness for many years, not only because it was a helpful tool, but because I felt it bias of me to scrutinise religious belief, without examining such things as scientific ideas, or my own thoughts.  I wasn't looking for God, I was looking for truth.

    So as I have said, I no longer read the bible like you, like I did as an atheist when I ridiculed it for the flawed, frequent and contradictory improbable claims that were an insult to my logical and reasoning mind. I now realise the truth of the mystery is there. As an atheist I too believed I was an independent thinker. Most mystic writings are a finger pointing to the truth, they write this way for fear that descriptions will prevent you from experiencing it, and not because they are deceptive or nuts.

    Throughout history we meet persons in the east and the west; in the ancient, mediaeval, and modern worlds, their one passion appears to be the prosecution of a certain spiritual and intangible quest: the finding of a “way out” or a “way back” to some desirable state in which alone they can satisfy their craving for absolute truth. Their experience, therefore, forms a body of evidence, curiously self-consistent and often mutually explanatory, which must be taken into account, yet is overlooked. But if we may trust the reports of the mystics — and they are reports given with a strange accent of certainty and good faith — they have succeeded where all these others have failed, in establishing immediate communication between the spirit of man, entangled as they declare amongst material things, and that “only Reality,” that immaterial and final Being, which some philosophers call the Absolute, and most theologians call God.

      May 10, 2019 7:43 PM MDT

  • 3211
    First, allow me to be appreciative of the thought you put into your response.  That said, I found it curious you thought to include quoting scripture to me, since you probably know: a) I‘m familiar with it, and b) proselytizing carries no weight with me.  

    You say each man is trapped in his perceptions of the world, which may be true for some, but given the example of the two of us evolving our perceptions by way of gaining insight, it can be argued we can consciously determine what the basis of our perceptions are.

    In addition to being a proponent of reason, I’m a voracious student of history, KJ, and the historical record assures me of the derivative ignorance that pervades man’s God-beliefs, and the faulty, often backward and even wicked pretenses they are built upon. 
    There is literally nothing mystical about the attributing of conditions and events not fully understood (or verified) by those lacking the tools, to intangible entities even less understood. It creates an illusion of authority, while peddling credulity. 
    The Bible is (as are the Quran, the Vedas, & the Talmud) clearly a work of, for, and by men, strewn with errors, intolerance and spurious claims, and is left ripe for interpretation, in fact demands it, and given the varying contexts from which all interpretations arise, it all but assures everyone is mistaken about some part of it. That then provides for clergy (mystics, what have you) to shape the narrative, ... as often to their own benefit as not. 

    I respect that you have found your path, KJ, but for me, it lacks the substance necessary to stake my world view on.  
      May 10, 2019 11:07 PM MDT

  • 2863
    imagine being so vain you think god saved you while he let others die LOL 
      May 9, 2019 5:36 PM MDT

  • 5320
    It is less vanity than the sudden clarity that we creatures may actually have a real responsibility to be, to become, or to do something.
      May 10, 2019 7:55 AM MDT

  • 3211
    Something on the order of 9 million children under the age of 5 die EVERY YEAR. Accidents, disease, starvation, wars, abuse, disasters.
    Are we to assume childhood mortality of this sort and scale is part of some God’s plan? Odds are, at least some of their parents were devout and prayed mightily to [their] God to spare the stricken child from death, but ultimately in vain. Are their prayers meaningless, did they not pray enough or did they just pray to the wrong God?
    Given this is a typical annual tally, is this a deity worth anyone’s praise? Does prayer or praise even make any difference? 

    When a tornado destroys a town, lives, homes and livelihoods are lost, yet someone named Cletus (now homeless and jobless) is standing amid the ruins and the still-warm remains of his neighbors, telling a news camera that, “God saved me”, but failed (or refused?) to save all those others; is this someone we can hold up as credible? Didn’t God make the storm? 

    Perhaps like you JA, I find this sort of wishful romanticizing as frustratingly Ovine as humans can be. There is no evidentiary basis to assert it. 
    But what do I, a godless heathen, know.... This post was edited by Don Barzini at May 10, 2019 7:58 AM MDT
      May 9, 2019 6:11 PM MDT

  • 5554
    Its a matter of being continually thankful to God. Now it can be known if God personally spared him but being appreciative that he was spared he thanks God.  Of course that is rather a no-brainer.  The challenge comes in thanking God for our hardships as well!
      May 9, 2019 7:08 PM MDT