Today's fortune: God will help you overcome any hardship.
Now we come to the essential question, maybe the most important question posed on this blog, maybe the most important question of all.
Not whether I believe god will help me overcome any hardship. But, do I believe in god?
The simple answer is... there is no simple answer.
But maybe there is. Do I believe in the god presented in the pages of the Holy Bible? The god presented by the Catholic Church or any of the hundreds of offshoots of the Christian Church?
Do I believe in the god or gods presented by any other organized religion throughout the history of time?
Also - no.
But that doesn't mean I don't believe in god. To the contrary, I do believe that a god of some sort, or rather a force that helped organize the universe, is possible.
I'm a fan of a version of the "Watchmaker Analogy," used by proponents of Intelligent Design: if you dump all the components of a watch - the springs, dials, gears, case, crystal, etc. - into a paper bag, and you shake that paper bag, eventually, over the course of billions of years, you may be able to reach into the bag and pull out a fully-constructed and functioning watch. But, then again, it also might not work unless you stop every once in a while and tinker, inserting a screw here, a gear there.
Maybe there's an intelligent designer. Maybe there isn't. I have no idea. And really, anybody who believes they do know for certain what god is like is bound to be dead wrong. If the Christian god is real - if there is a god up there who answers some prayers and ignores others, who would be able to prevent bad things from happening to good people but chooses not to - I don't want to know him.
That's what bothers me about organized religion: the arrogance of it. The thought that humans can picture what god is like, what "heaven" and "hell" are like. If god exists, there's no way our tiny human brains could ever fathom what he, she or it is really like.
And to the question of whether god will help me overcome any hardship? I don't think so. If anything, "god" helped create us in such a way so we can overcome hardships on our own.
Of course, I could be wrong. In which case I've pretty much paved my road to hell. But I'm okay with that. At least I paved it myself.