The voice in Herman Cain’s head

Apparently God told Republican candidate Herman Cain to run for president. The fact that this is likely to have zero impact on his chances, illustrates well the idea that believers don’t really believe as sincerely as they claim to, as I discussed in this post some time ago.

If Christians really believed that God encouraged Herman Cain to run, they’d hand him the nomination tomorrow, and cancel all the Republican primaries. Why get in the way of God’s will, right? The fact that no one is driven to such action is evidence enough that they don’t believe Cain’s claim.

So what, exactly, would it take to convince people that God had really spoken to you? As far as I can tell, the only time this works is in cults. A charismatic leader, using every manipulative trick in the con artist’s book, convinces a band of gullible followers that God is guiding his every decision.

Even the Catholic Church, whose Pope claims to have a special line to God, is not particularly effective at convincing its followers that this line is real. Take for instance a recent survey that shows how unimportant Papal opinions are in the lives of most Catholics.

Even believers, then, are skeptical that God can really talk inside people’s heads, even if they’re not willing to admit it. And how can you blame them? Cain is not the only Republican nominee who claims to have God’s backing (see Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry), so either God is having trouble deciding, or the candidates are speaking rubbish.

The real truth seems to be that believers only take seriously the voices in their own heads, not in the heads of anyone else.

In other words, like most people, they tend to value their own opinions above everyone else’s.

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3 Responses to The voice in Herman Cain’s head

  1. It’s not that we don’t believe that God told Cain to run; that isn’t the case at all.

    No matter what is going on between Cain and God, that’s their business. We each have our own “stuff” going on with God and His will in our lives, along with what He wants *us* to do. This trumps what’s going on with God in Cain’s mind.

    A lot of people felt they were led by God. Were they? Only they and God really know.

  2. By the way…I have yet to meet a “friendly atheist.” If you are this, I’m really pleased to meet you 😉

  3. kpharri says:

    Warrioress: I think if you met me in person, you’d find me to be very friendly! But I cannot deny that I sometimes get a little hot under the collar at certain things to do with religion 🙂

    Concerning Herman Cain: I agree that whatever goes on with God in someone’s head is their business, except they don’t always see it that way! Often they feel that God is asking them to affect other people in significant ways, in which case it ceases to be a private affair. Hence the very public battles about issues such as gay marriage and abortion.

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