Mark Twain—and Christianity

Watched the PBS documentary on Mark Twain, and it was excellent. It's a two-part show, part of the American Lives series by Ken Burns.

Toward the end, I cried. The hardship that brilliant man suffered.

One thing that stuck out to me was his faith in a Christian god, and how it fell away after his daughter and wife both died. Later a second daughter of his would go on to die before him.

It seems to be a common phenomenon that people who believe in a Christian god believe that if you do right by your god, whatever that means—going to church, praying, tithing, confession, following the ten commandments—then god will do right by you. And then, when hardship happens and things don't work out, people lose faith in god.

I'm not an expert on Christianity, but it seems like Christianity is a bit confused.

I happen to believe that if you work with Life, then Life will indeed be nice to you. But, there are never any guarantees. And if you work with Life with the expectation that it be good to you, you're doing it wrong. The bigger point is to learn to accept and be okay with everything, like in the story of the Chinese farmer.

It sounds like the steps that Christianity will have you take actually don't work, empirically, which is, you know, a bit of a bummer.

Maybe look elsewhere when the data don't support the beliefs?


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