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No Standing?

Some interesting thoughts on whether or not one can, or should be able to, sue God.


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Andrea Harris wrote:

Well, the privately-owned mortgage company I worked for back in the 80s refused to lend to churches or any other kind of religious building because "you can't foreclose on God."

Mike Puckett wrote:

Well first, God isn't an American citizen and second, I dispute the whole 'Act of God' premise the suit was based on.

Just because God does not actively chose to prevent a natural disaster does not make him culpable.

Bob wrote:

Just because God does not actively chose to prevent a natural disaster does not make him culpable.

That depends. God as conceived of by Spinoza (and, apparently, Einstein) would be culpable.

Rand, the title of this post made me literally laugh out loud.

mike shupp wrote:

The court's reasoning seems flawed. Granted, God couldn't be tracked down and handled the legal papers, but God is omniscient (according to long standing belief), so God should be aware of his legal situation at all times.

Consequently, the suit ought to go forward....


Bob Hawkins wrote:

Dude. "Sovereign immunity."

ken anthony wrote:

Fellas, God IS on trial. That's one interpretation of the bible, that it is testimony to God's right to be in charge. Satan is the plaintiff. He is accusing God of not having the right to rule. We are all witnesses to the case.

Since there can be no jury, the fact have to work themselves out to be undeniable. This is one of the reasons that Jehovah's Witnesses call themselves such.

Now if Obama wins this election it would provide evidence that Marx was right and that all democracies would eventually degenerate into socialism which has already been proven to be a failed system. If this is true, it means democracy follows a long list of other types of governments that have proven not to be sustainable for the good of the people. Eventually you reach the conclusion that people are not really capable of governing themselves for their own good.

The counter argument would then be just as invalid for capitalism and free markets (which I certainly believe in) as it is for socialism... that the right people haven't tried it.

I admit my argument is weak, but the main point that is solid is that GOD IS ALREADY ON TRIAL.

Many people think the trial is over and God lost. They are mistaken.

memomachine wrote:


If you can sue God, then by definition God exists.

In which case all good Christians should forcibly convert their heathen neighbors to the worship of the One True God.


Sooooo ... still wannna sue God?


Brock wrote:

I'm pretty sure this was wrongly reasoned. God exists in all places, and is aware of all things, so the mere existence of the relevant papers is good service upon Him. Further proof is not required.

Several other arguments which normally apply to natural disaster suits also fail. Force Majeur is an inappropriate reason for dismissal, as that is based on the theory that certain events are beyond the control of the parties to the case, and of course nothing is beyond God's control. The theory of impossibility also fails because contracts cannot be made with God. Contracts require a meeting of the minds, and of course no one can know the mind of God.

That said, I agree with the outcome if not the reasoning. Contract is impossible, and there are no statutory rights, so we're left with Tort. And under Tort law it is well established, by centuries of precedent, that no one may collect damages following an "act of God" without a specific indemnity of strict liability from the defendant, and while God does offer an indemnity promising to make you whole, the stated reward is not denominated in dollars and sense nor can it be levied upon by a Court. Further, an injunction is simply unlikely to be obeyed. So the case fails for lack of redressability.

Carl Pham wrote:

I don't see anything wrong with suing God (the Christian version). What distinguishes Him from less deities, e.g. the Greco-Roman or Hindu pantheons, is that he (at least in his New Testament incarnation) has the self-esteem not to be offended by lese majeste. He's not likely to respond contrarily to the suit, blast you with a thunderbolt for your presumption.

Indeed, men of faith tell me that their prayers sometimes consist of railing against him, cursing him, reviling him. Nevertheless, they say he answers, and the answers are instructive. Why not? Sometimes all my 2-year-old has to say to me boils down to I hate you you're so mean, but he still looks to me for an answer, for wisdom to understand a frustrating and bewildering world, and I do my best to give it to him.

If I were the judge, I would have allowed the suit. People say it would take up the Court's precious time, but my observation is that the Court's time is not rationally allocated anyway, that it spends huge amounts on trivial things, and conversely skimps where it should not.

I would be curious how the plaintiff intended to proceed. Would he call witnesses? Ask for a jury? If he did get a jury, would the jury vote to convict? It would be interesting being seated on that jury.

And if the guy wins, I would issue the injunction. Why not? It can't do any harm, and, you never know, if God is really listening, it's a prayer like any other, and it's said that he answers all prayers.

Anonymous wrote:

contracts cannot be made with God

I take exception to that point. He establishes them with people and with nations. They aren't necessarily acknowledged.

no one can know the mind of God

Not in totality, but "this means everlasting life, there taking in knowledge of you, the only true god, and of the one whom you sent forth" John 17:3

Knowledge which is more than expressed thoughts, to be sure, but still involving the mind of God.

Carl, I really enjoy the expression of your point of view. Miracle on 34th street anyone? The Natalie Wood version of course. No, I did not just compare God to Santa. Sheesh.

Now I'm thinking about how hot Natalie became and how sad that she's gone. The mind wanders...

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on October 17, 2008 11:56 AM.

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