God, Thanks, and Thanksgiving

As expected, God is getting thanked this Thanksgiving. Friends of mine on Facebook are posting things like

God has blessed each and everyone [sic] of us with so much! let's be thankful for all that we have and pray for those who are less fortunate. Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

[sic] "hAppy thAnksgivinq tO All-- I Am thAnkfuL 4 my faMily & friends+ma boo&Just siMply 4 bein alive and havinq all da things I have,nd wat I don't thanks tO God" [/sic]

Happy thanksgiving to everyone. I have never felt so blessed in my life. I thank God for my job, my health, and friends like u. Most of all I thank God for blessing me with a family of my own!
I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving, and thank the Lord for all that is provided to me, my family and friends. God Bless you all

I can be a grammar Nazi at times, for sure, but have been more of a descriptivist after progressing in my "The English Language" course. I still don't understand why people type like the person in quote two. I thought that typing like this died out with twelve year old girls using AOL. I feel that people who type like that greatly discredit anything they say.

Anyway, it annoys me when people thank God for everything and totally overlook all human efforts. This happens quite often when people have successful surgeries, attain great jobs, or are generally very successful. What's God got to do with it (got to do with it, got to do with it)? Theists also often overlook all of the evil and suffering and only focus on the good. When was the last time you heard something like, "Thank God for giving us this day where little girls will be raped and Haitians will die of cholera!" For more discussion on the Problem of Evil, check out my previous posts like this one.

Consider Joe. Joe has a family, a nice house, a nice car, a great job, and a great wife. He went to college for eight years, worked for a corporation as an accountant for ten years, and recently received a huge promotion at work. He recently found a way to cut expenses for his entire workplace by 15% and was able to raise profits by 30%. Joe's really successful.

Consider Jack. Jack dropped out of high school and is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Joe can't hold a job for more than one month, has no family members who care about him, and lives in an abandoned building. Joe gets food by picking through restaurant dumpsters at the end of the night. Jack's not successful at all.

Joe's efforts are the result of his hard work, determination, and intelligence. Joe studied hard to get where he is today and manages his money really well. Is God to thank for this success? If we remove Joe's effort from the picture, he may be in Jack's tattered shoes. We can explain Joe's efforts without evoking God at all. The first comment doesn't make much sense because the commenter says that God blesses everyone, but then goes on to say that people are less fortunate. Does God play favorites? Does God neglect to bless some people? If so, why?

Can we really thank God for friends and jobs? Although there is a good deal of randomness regarding who we're friends with (we live in a certain area, we met certain people at certain times, etc), we choose to remain friends with people and we seek out friends.

Theists are quick to thank God for everything, but when you ask them why they believe in a god, they throw up smokescreens, delete comments, object to the questions being raised, etc just like the students did after the Islam discussion. Of course not all theists do this, but so many do.

I'm thankful that there's no good reason to believe in the Christian god. Life is much better without an eternal supervisor who apparently loves humans, but will condemn them to an eternal torture for not believing in him, blaspheming the Holy Spirit, disagreeing with him, etc. It's nice that I can live life without worrying about whether or not my actions will transgress the Christian god. I can be a good person without God and fare just fine. It's intellectually liberating to think for myself, question everything, and doubt.