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George R.R. Martin’s view of religion is quite like mine

July 21, 2011

In a recent interview with EW, George R.R. Martin says this about his belief in god:

And as for the gods, I’ve never been satisfied by any of the answers that are given. If there really is a benevolent loving god, why is the world full of rape and torture? Why do we even have pain? I was taught pain is to let us know when our body is breaking down. Well, why couldn’t we have a light? Like a dashboard light? If Chevrolet could come up with that, why couldn’t God? Why is agony a good way to handle things?

That about sums it up folks.

Also, be sure check out my own thoughts on Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Gabriel permalink
    October 21, 2011 11:33 am

    I’ve seen atheists put forth better arguments. This is quite pathetic in this day and age. God doesn’t exist because humans do bad things? Didn’t God say in The Old Testament “Thou Shall Not Murder, Steal, Lie or cheat with thy neighbor’s wife?” He did. It was also said that rapists should be put to death along with murderers. I couldn’t care about what people think about the rest of The Bible. They have no excuses NOT to obey these commands because if they did, the world would be a better place.

    God is not to blame for the actions of man. We have free-will. We are to blame for our actions and some people like George R.R. Martin just can’t accept that humanity is evil (not God). While we are advancing our pathetic little technology, society is going down the drain as this proves:

    Now what did The Bible say about helping others? Ever heard of The Good Samaritan parable by Jesus? In that parable, people walk by a Jew who was robbed and left for dead. In fact, Jewish people walk by him and it took a Samaritan (who the Jews hated at that time) to save him. Jesus was teaching against racism and saying that you should never hate a entire race or nation for the actions of a few. He was also teaching that we should help another person when we see them injured (this sounds simple enough but you’d be surprised how many humans don’t even give a damn about others).

    So The Bible tells us to help others, yet society left a man to die and God is to blame? God has sent his prophets to teach us, it’s not his fault that many refused to listen and then he sent his Son – the high angel Jesus – to teach us and we still haven’t listened and yet you blame God?

    And then people have the nerve to call God evil because of the people he killed. Maybe he killed those people in The Bible because they were just as evil and uncaring as today’s generation. Did that ever occur to you? When Jesus told the Good Samaritan parable, it was obvious that such a thing was happening in that time and the fact that it still happens today (with people walking by and not helping others), only shows that NOTHING has changed from 2,000 years ago. THAT’S BAD. This also shows that Jesus’ words are still as relevant as they 2,000 years back.

    At the end, I don’t care if you refuse to believe in God. You have no excuses not to obey the 5 commandments of being good to your fellow man and you have no excuses not to obey the words of Jesus which taught about helping others and forgiving others.

    People can call religion evil if they want but It was a Muslim who greeted me when I went to college. Everyone else didn’t even give a damn about me. He was the only one who came up to me and shook my hand and befriended me.

    Yes, there are bad people professing to be of a religion but all major religions teach about love. If you murder, you’re not part of a religion. You’re just following your own evil desires.

    People can say that religion needs to die but they are wrong. It needs to grow (billions professing to be religious but not following said religion aren’t really adherents). We need order. Religion may be old but it’s about joining society together. We need it. End of story.


    • October 27, 2011 3:59 pm

      Thanks for the reply Gabriel, I appreciate all points of view. This one, however, is one I don’t think we’re going to come to any consensus on though. You seem much too far away from where I’m coming from rationally for us to be able to even agree to disagree.

      A few points though:

      1. The Bible is an internally inconsistent document. God tells his people not to kill, but then he instructs them to. Why should anyone listen to someone who can’t even make up their mind on such a simple question?

      2. Using a single example of anything is not a good way to illustrate a larger point. Society is falling apart as demonstrated by one incident in New York? Don’t all the other times where strangers do stop to help each other count for anything?

      3. “If you murder, you’re not part of a religion. You’re just following your own evil desires.” This is what religious people tell themselves to feel better about the fact that some parts of the Bible and the Koran DO actually encourage violence. If you don’t adhere to those parts that’s wonderful, but I would submit that this is because your morality is based on societal norms like everyone else rather that any religious belief. If you believe the Bible is truly God’s word, than shouldn’t you be killing gay people and stoning adulterers? If not, why?

      Thanks again.


      • February 3, 2013 2:08 am

        > “If you believe the Bible is truly God’s word, than shouldn’t you be killing gay people and stoning adulterers? If not, why?”

        Sorry, but your criticism is not based on what actually the Bible is, but what do you Believe it is, and you are wrong because the fact the Bible mentions something about killing gays doesn’t mean God is ok with that, but ancient hebrews were.

        The Bible doesn’t promote those bad things, in fact the Bible is just a record of many things people did, and one of those things is what we believe is the word of God. However, the fact the Bible includes violence, murder, and so on doesn’t mean that God approves them, but in fact they are mentioned there for condemnation.

        If you are interested on a more rational point of view of the Bible, I recommend you to watch William Lane Craig books.


      • Veronica permalink
        March 16, 2014 8:48 pm

        ‘If you don’t adhere to those parts that’s wonderful, but I would submit that this is because your morality is based on societal norms like everyone else rather that any religious belief. If you believe the Bible is truly God’s word, than shouldn’t you be killing gay people and stoning adulterers? If not, why?’

        –Wrong. As a Christian I don’t do those things, not because of societal norms. But because I have no wish to hurt others and make others suffer. That’s the new ‘nature’ (ie. want to) that was placed inside me. Further in doing harm or mistreating others makes me little better than an animal. For your information, before I became a serious Christian almost 20 years ago and grew with God. I frankly didn’t care about how I treated others. If people were hurt or offended because I was harsh or patronizing to them. I was of the view that they should ‘grow up’.

        I also find Mr. Martin’s views rather perplexing for an author who couches his books in reality. I was rather disapointed by how he essentially turned ADWD as a soap box for his atheist views.


    • Goodness permalink
      June 21, 2013 4:54 pm

      Gabriel; With history it can get confusing depending upon whom is reading or telling the story. What most people forget are the extreme basic’s ‘The 10 Commandments’ some people just don’t want to believe them because they don’t want to follow them.

      In Turn they dismiss the whole subject(The Bible) we can all find flaws in something if we look hard enough nobody is perfect nor will they ever be-God knew this-He gave us Jesus to cover/forgive us of our flaws.

      God Bless all always seek the goodness and one day you will find it!


  2. Gabriel permalink
    October 21, 2011 11:36 am


    God couldn’t hold our hand forever. We need to learn from our own mistakes and he has finally let go of our hand. Everything that a human does is on themselves and it’s not God’s fault.


  3. Tiago permalink
    October 26, 2011 6:03 pm

    Gabriel, if the humunity is evil, not God, why God permits the evil? Why did he creat humunity and the evil? Why does he save people in pain and suffering?
    Religions dont talk about love always. And the part of hell and all theses stuffs? Everything you do you go to hell. You dont have freedom if you are christian! Free-Will is a fucking christian lie! Freedon is the opportunity to take a different road and not be punished for this act! The Bible says that God gives you the chance of choosing your way, but it is a lie. If You dont choose the way he wants, you go to hell! Where is the Free-will???
    The Bible is non-sense!!!!
    (Sorry for my bad english, It is not my native language)


    • October 27, 2011 4:01 pm

      Thanks for the reply. You make some very good points. And don’t worry about your English. I can’t speak any other language at all, so you’re way ahead of me in that regard.


  4. James Burch permalink
    November 1, 2011 8:51 pm

    God created man with freewill. God designed the individual souls of angels and men to excell through him. The universe exists with certain laws, on any plane of existence, even Heaven. Satin and those who followed him when he defied God to follow their own way or ways defied in Heaven. No place is perfect, even angels can disagree and war. He allows freewill because it is necessary.Their ways are not eternal without power over others, without God. God is perfect and eternal. Satin and his followers left Heaven by their own, and use what means they have for power and existence. Men are easily influenced to follow themselves, to follow demons, to stray from God. Freewill is necessary by universal law. God is omnibenevolent, but he must allow freewill. God is omnipotent, but to change freewill of souls is against universal law. God is omniscient, including knowing freewill must be. The design of the universe is perfect. God is perfect. We are not, or we would not be. Not even Heaven is perfect, but God is.


  5. Rob permalink
    January 2, 2012 5:23 pm

    1) God, as described in the Bible*, must have three qualities to exist: He must be wholly good, omnipotent (all powerful) and omnipresent (all knowing).
    2) Evil exists.
    3) If God is omnipresent, he must know that evil exists.
    4) if God is omnipotent, he must allow evil to exist.
    5) if God knows that evil exists and allows it to exist, he must not be entirely good.
    6) if God is not entirely good, he is not God as described in the Bible.*

    *Note the important words “as described in the Bible.”

    Martin’s response is decidedly Agnostic, not Atheist. There are very important distinctions. He is not saying at all that God does not exist. Far from it. He is saying he is not satisfied with God as described in the Bible. That could mean any number of things. Personally, I hope to find out one day that he’s an actual Atheist.


    • January 4, 2012 11:14 am

      Thanks for the comment, Rob. In the same EW interview Martin says this:

      “I suppose I’m a lapsed Catholic. You would consider me an atheist or agnostic. I find religion and spirituality fascinating. I would like to believe this isn’t the end and there’s something more, but I can’t convince the rational part of me that that makes any sense whatsoever.”

      I take that to mean he’s an atheist who just hasn’t fully committed to calling himself one. But that’s just my personal opinion.


  6. Michael permalink
    September 13, 2012 4:08 pm

    For the record, it might be helpful to note that the command to not “kill,” is actually more literally translated “murder” from the original Hebrew. The idea is more of “Do not put them to death without cause.” The difference is obvious: It allows for concepts such as the “just war theory” and the like. More specifically, God’s command to kill the Canaanites, was in response to centuries of wickedness, that including the sacrificing of their sons and daughters to idols. As God told Abraham long before the event in Genesis 15:16: “”Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.” God was in effect saying that they would not be punished for their evil until they had plenty of opportunity to turn from it, and towards him. From that point of view, it would have been justifiable for him to use some army, or natural force to exact punishment on them at that point in time, but in his grace and mercy he chose not to.

    There is of course a fundamental question here: If God exists, and he created everything, does he not have a right to punish his creation when it rebels against him and engages in behavior that he considers morally wicked? It is logically and morally consistent within a biblical worldview to hold that he does. If you disagree, on what grounds? It is likely based on the societal norms that you yourself hold. Yet, if God does exist, how can any of us take a so-called higher moral ground over him? Are any of us really in the position to know the ultimate good in every situation?

    Obviously, you and I are committed to fundamentally different worldviews, and I don’t expect my response to, by itself, change yours. That said, a biblical worldview, properly developed and held, is consistent within itself. The only question I would pose to you: “Is yours?”


  7. March 27, 2013 11:48 pm

    Even with a check engine light on, the motor is still burning up…
    What will elicit a faster response if your hand is too close to a fire and your flesh is burning….excruciating pain or a red “check arm” light.


    • March 28, 2013 10:28 pm

      I think the point was that if God choose to do it that way, the “check arm light” would be entirely enough to keep us from permanent harm. That would be the whole point of the light, as is the point of pain now. The “check arm light” would be enough because God made it enough. There would be no need for pain at all if God didn’t want there to be pain, right? So why is there? Thanks for the comment!


  8. Brenden Bell permalink
    June 14, 2013 9:42 pm

    I never post on these, but this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. We always rail against God for alllowing evil and throwing that in His face as proof of his non-existence, or at least as an excuse for us to not have to worship him.

    But we NEVER question, where does good come from? From human thought and evolution? Really? Because without order, it seems like humans will take any opportunity to fear and destroy each other, yes even including religious people. Why do people choose to do good things? Where does THIS impulse come from?

    When people look at anything, they see what they want to see or what they fear to see, not the truth. The same goes for The Bible. The Bible never PROMOTES violence in the manner that you are suggesting (violence does occur, but it’s obivous that it is allowed and not ideal, and always a last resort), and the New Testament clearly explains why we do not abide by the law of the old testament anymore. You also need to understand that most of the Old Testament is written as a history, not a theological document. Most of the theological text is found in the New testament. Paul explains that the purpose of the law was to show humanity the evil in their hearts. God knew people could never fulfill the letter of the law, but that was the point of the law. To reveal the impulses in us that are evil, and lead us into humbly accepting God’s grace as a gift, not as something that we deserve for being an awesome human…because no one is.

    The gospel; can be summed up this simply:
    Man is irreprably evil and God loves him and wants him to come to him. This is the ENTIRE message of the Bible.

    If you read the Bible, or heck even go with life with an incorrect view of God (tyrant, vain, etc) that is the only God you will ever see or experience. But that is not the true image of God. Jesus is the true image of God. Period.


  9. Brenden Bell permalink
    June 14, 2013 10:03 pm

    These comments are all very interesting.

    Rob, I like the proof format you are going with here, but I feel that this is a jump in logic:
    “5) if God knows that evil exists and allows it to exist, he must not be entirely good.”
    – Why is this the case? I think you need to clearly and logically explain and prove what is “good” and what is “evil” before you can conclude that something is not good because they allow evil.

    The Hebrew idea of evil was actually non-exisitent. The word translated as evil in the Old Testament is literally means “not good.” The idea of evil as a separate entity and embodied in the Devil and demons developed in the intertestimental (the time of history in the Hebrew people that took place between the Old and New testament) period and was influenced by the Hebrews’ captivity in Persia.

    It’s cool to talk about this stuff, thanks for posting this Michael. It’s also cool to hear Mr. Martin’s beliefs explained a bit; it’s been hard for me to beg them down, as a huge fan of the T.V. show. His worldview feels almost nihilistic, but the show isn’t over yet; I’m sure it’ll move into some form of humanism based on this blurb.


    • October 2, 2016 11:15 pm

      While not the most religious, I thought this response to God was pretty rudimentary for an atheist argument.

      Without bad, it’s impossible to understand what good is.


  10. Goodness permalink
    June 21, 2013 4:38 pm

    What does the Lord require of you?” your response will be “To do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” “Love me and yourself and others like I have loved you.” Deuteronomy 6: 5 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your strength.” And Leviticus 19: 18 says, “love your neighbor as yourself.” And God added a few specifics: Don’t murder, don’t lie, don’t steal, be faithful to your husband or wife, don’t be jealous of your neighbors and want what they have. All pretty obvious requirements for good relationships.
    And God added a little reminder to this covenant. Leviticus 6: 12 says it this way: “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

    God said once you get to the promised land and begin to enjoy a life of freedom and the abundance of that land, don’t forget me and our relationship and the things you need to do to maintain our relationship.

    When you are free and safe and fat and happy, remember me. God knew that the Hebrew people would again and again forget their covenant.

    10 Commandments is all wow how easy we forget: history 101 ppl


  11. John permalink
    December 30, 2013 6:10 pm

    God Creates Dinosaurs, God Destroys Dinosaurs. God Creates Man, Man Destroy God, Man Creates Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs Eat Man, Women Inherit The Earth

    Liked by 1 person

  12. September 9, 2017 12:46 pm

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.


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