20 SEC READ: Barbers don’t exist

A man went to trim his hair and beard. As always happens, he and the barber chatted about this and that, until – commenting on a newspaper article about street kids – the barber stated:

– As you can see, this tragedy shows that God doesn’t exist. Don’t you read the papers? So many people suffer, abandoned children, there’s so much crime. If God existed, there wouldn’t be so much suffering.

– You know something? Barbers don’t exist.

– What do you mean, don’t exist? I’m here, and I’m a barber.

– They don’t exist! – insisted the man. – Because if they did, there wouldn’t be people with such longs beards and such tangled hair.

– I can guarantee that barbers do exist. But these people never come in here.

– Exactly! So, in answer to your question, God exists, too. It just so happens that people don’t go to Him. If they did, they would be more giving, and there wouldn’t be so much misery in the world.


  1. witheld says:

    well i am not author or someone who can write thousand words to prove a point…but one simple point i need to make out here..

    The imp qt. is not whether “God exists or not..” whether”u believe it or not.. ”
    the imp part is.. if we assume that he exists in our life.. then y such atrocities r there in everyone’s life…. and y it is expected / enforced…. that if u need to get rid of ur problems.. pls visit to Church / Masjid / Temple etc… in order to bribe him bow him show ur helplessness that withou him.. u r puppet n piece of shit… and then get ur work done..
    if he exists and is the creator of so called Universe…. then he should be also held responsible for making this earth.filthy with all kinds of ppl around who make ur life more miserable n next to hell.. needless to talk about natural calamity which God showers/pours on us from time to time n comes as disguised for making us realize.. that funny God is on some run…

    In the name of so called GOD.. Amen

  2. blog says:

    May be this blogs best blog yet

  3. Bridge says:

    I believe that God is not a puppet master..
    God is the source of love that we are born from.
    The suffering in the world is evidence of our state of conciousness.
    It is our responsibility to work within and let go without.
    Let your light shine.
    Thank you.

  4. cheryl field says:

    God is a gentleman, never forceing Himself upon us but only responding to our invitation…(which has been extended to all mankind via the cross). ♥ I once heard that Athiests do not believe in God and the reply was that God does not believe in Athiests. ♥

    1. witheld says:

      Innocence n ignorance.. which one suits d best.. less said seems more powerful.. :)

  5. Izvel says:

    For the ones who have an explanation to the reason why god allows People to suffer, whether it is to To teach them a lesson or because he has a plan etc… All these statements are just close minded excuses
    To support a very ironic and distasteful story of a being
    In which you feel you can rely on because of fear and mental weekness
    Because of the lack of awareness to the fact that each individual
    Has the capability to accept that we are in control of our lives.

  6. sajid says:

    What a simple answer to the one of the most debated question in the history of the human beings, i like the wisdom behind handling the matter that even a common man can understand this.

  7. lyniel says:

    Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.

  8. Vrushali says:


  9. K.H. Lee says:

    Not only helping in reality, but helping in soul.
    Reminding Jesus. Long times ago in Jesus’s era, judan wating for salvation.
    But when the Jesus came, people are don’t believe
    As people’s eyes, he was son of the carpenter, not salvation
    But he died by cross and long times later, many people believe jesus is the salvation.
    Why? He was came for forgive and love all people, not for judgement.
    This time, the God fall in sad cause of world happens(terror, war, holocaust etc.)
    He want to love all whenever evil, poor

  10. ciro santos(españa) says:

    dios nos dio el libre albedrio,eso esplica por que el ser humano sufre,,,,nos dejaron decidir ,y hemos decidido,,,,,,ahora unas personas se enrriquecen a costa de otras,cosas universales como la tierra o el agua estan en manos de unos pocos, y cobran dinero por ellas,ya sean gobiernos o personas,en cualquier pais de la tierra sucede igual,gobiernos o personas son dueñas de todo aquello que puso dios para todos,pronto pagaremos por el aire que respiramos ,y muchos moriran ,por no tener dinero

  11. farah says:

    well, in islam god make ppl suffer and blessed only to test them ,many of ur books have idias similar to islam

    1. abdullah says:

      do not be confuse between what god said and what people did by his name.

  12. Aldo Saavedra says:

    Good Afternoon, well i have seen lots of people who do believe in god, and they suffer from many things , such as illnes , poberty , violence and more… this is why i wonder , god if exists , why does god allows these happens ? im from Peru.

    1. Uridissie says:

      As a believer, I believe that most of the sufferings that men encounter are consequences.
      Consequences of their action or consequences of the action of others. God gives humans enough freedom and does not interfere always. This is why we have prayer. So that we can ask from Him.
      In the Bible it says:
      “Matthew 7:8 (KJV): For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

    2. Mary Gomes says:

      I will try to answer your question Aldo, according to the Eastern-Orthodox Christian tradition. Suffering is a part of this present world and we all have to go through it at some point in our lives, some more than others. If we believe in God and follow his instructions, this will make us spiritually stronger to cope and get through the suffering and pain. It is the Afterlife that we should worry about as this present life, with all its trials and tribulations, can help in our salvation into the afterlife. God loves us and wants us all to be saved, so we can turn to Him for help- that is why he gave us free will and does not force Himself upon us. May God have mercy on our souls.

  13. Jenn says:

    Cool! I love this story. :) Thank you for sharing this, Sir Coelho.


  14. ansh says:

    i do agree that god exists. and i agree to this also that tragedies do happen because it is also part of god’s plan we are made to suffer so that we can realize the truth and reality of life.

  15. V. says:

    Suffering is about learning. Lets call him God, he never leaves us, he gives us lessons. You say cruel way to teach, but people are such creatures, they sometimes need this suffering to better understand happiness and what the happiness is about. Than there were arguments about all saving religion. We should respect different traditions, but the only thing that save human is their heart, their believe in good, and love for self and other people. Finally, a lesson i took from this story: we should search for God in our hearts, in our love, in people, dont look up in heaven blaming him for suffers, he is just not there;
    p.s. I thank You Coelho, for words, truths and lessons (in books and here) that all people know, just need a reminder.

  16. Duje says:

    so tell me Paulo …
    do you belive in God

  17. Nausheen says:

    God exists…….if we all start going 2wards him….if we all start helping the humanity….God wil exist in u by those little deeds of humanity:)

  18. Vamp says:

    that’s just Naive…we can see Barbers,there’s a solid evidence they exist
    unlike God,,what’s the solid evidence of his existence :) ?

    mamta nanda <well written response ,thank you!

    1. Nahla Mohamed says:

      The world u live in is the solid evidence, the fact that u urself r created is a solid evidence
      Everything around u is a solid evidence, u just need to take a very deep look :)

    2. ALM says:

      do u see pain ! if u do ,then why do you beleive in something u dont see!?

    3. Rana says:

      pain is a feeling .. duh -_-‘

    4. ARmiL says:

      you are referring to the conventional god of religion my friend. your language is a badge of want of appreciation of god’s nature. solid evidence proving the existence of the source of life is undeniably ubiquitous & pervasive.

    5. Gabriela says:

      The solid evidence that He exists is your existence ! :)

  19. Patrycja says:

    God exists! God is not dead!

  20. naveli says:

    hi paulo…if god gives to those who ask for and barber shaves who ask for it…then what’s the difference between them?

    1. ALM says:

      there is no difference ,they both give what you ask , isnt that what we need !?

    2. Rana says:

      god gives you way more than a haircut !
      if .. it existed.

  21. Flying Spaghetti Monster ftw says:

    OK, I have some questions about this article:

    Firstly, if those who love God are protected by him, then why do religious people still suffer? In fact, studies have shown that rates of poverty tend to be higher in countries where religion is more common (though this does not necessarily imply a directly causal link): http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/stats-on-human-rights/statistics-on-religion/

    Secondly, why should those who have not had the opportunity to learn about or be converted to the religion in question (and I am still not sure which that is) be made to suffer by a loving God for their ignorance?

    Thirdly, what proof is there that believers in whichever God you refer to are more charitable than the rest of the global population?

    Any answers to these questions would be much appreciated

    1. ALM says:

      we suffer because we care,as a matter of fact, dont a persone loves his own sons! then y do they make him suffer!?
      and who told u that ignorance in god`s religeon make sufferness!its the oppositte .
      there is one god , and charity is not by how much u give,its about how much the giving means to you.

    2. Nahla Mohamed says:

      firstly, cause this is not the world of being fair, this is unfair world, or else why a women get pregnant and suffer and the men don’t, this world isn’t the one that lasts, but fairness applies on the day of judgment when we receive paradise the suffering people will forget everything about suffering and enjoy paradise forever and the people who aren’t suffering now will receive hell in the end and will pay for their actions.
      Secondly, u have thousands of chances to look into the right religion (and the religion in question is Islam) unless u live in the jungle cause god said in quraan that we don’t send punishment unless he sends a messenger and u consider me now as that and just look into islam and u’ll find the answers u’re looking for.
      Thirdly, because when everybody practices islam right according to allah and will succeed into pushing awy satan the world definitely will be a better place and there will be no theives, no murderers and no rapers and the worls will be a better place
      just look into islam and I guarantee that u’ll find the answer and I welcome any questions u have about the religion just contact me at [email protected]

    3. zoe says:

      My question is are you fighting for people to believe in God? Yes. So am I Mohamed. My aim is not to make them Christians cuz I am a Christian. my aim is for somebody to find God in their heart. Even within my religion I find false Christians. I met this lady who said that it doen’t matter if she steals/sins cause Jesus takes all our sins away. My question is to her are you christian or are you Christ-like? The minute you make yourself feel special because you in a religion makes you arrogant. And even the quraan speaks about how bad arrogance is. Read the bible and the quaraan with an open heart when you do.

    4. Akingobus says:

      The word GOD does not mean the creator of those who will never xperience hardship. Looking at, for example, from christian perspective, the bible never comforted anybody wth fictional and empty hope. No! It clearly states: in this world shall be tribulation. It also says it shall be a time of Jacob’s trouble but he shall be delivered from it. You then ask, WHEN and WHY NOT NOW? The fact remains that God has created heaven and earth. We are here like student in an examination hall – which is never easy. You must strive to pass. A teacher is no evil by setting questions. Further, if this earth is interesting then there’ll be no heaven. So, at last, he want you to pass through this world to a better place. He did not say earth is better but heaven. This world is temporal and place of constant examination (trial). This’s the truth that no litigant can debate

    5. ibrahim says:

      Good questions, im glad you asked. Although I am only a student of religion and not an authority, yet I will try an answer to the best of my ability based on what ever little i have learnt;
      Poverty is indeed widespread in areas where people tend to be more religious. Middle East Indian Subcontinent, Africa etc. Poverty has exsisted since the dawn of time. The west came out of it relatively easy, while the east is still strugling to come out of it. Generall seen, from a religious perspectve, the more difficult the times the more closer we humans are to God. (Human nature?) In happy times we tend to look away from God( strange human nature)!

      God does not make people suffer for ignorance. Ignorance is a curse indeed. We humans have what is called basic intellect. We do question our bieng, we do question so many things. It is this inquisitiveness that shud prompt us to study religion/s with an open and unprejudiced mind, before we come to any conclusion. I have myself, and would recommend others too, to take time out and first, frisk through and then take a detailed study of (at least) the three main religions..I can assure you that many questions will be answered. And when that happens you must choose a book that is most convincing to you, For me and many others it has been the Quran. It summs up what ever the previous books have said, in a very eloquent, practical and realistic way.
      When you read a religious book, and decide to adhere to its basic tenents, you will play a majore role in making this world a better place. You would be a good human bieng, and you be kind and tolerant to all those around you. You would become an example for many to follow. Its automatic and you will see yourself as having achieved eternal bliss. Its an amazing, and rewarding experience.

    6. X meeting point says:

      I am not well versed on it either,Currently i am not in possession of a Quran but I can feel a strong curring going through.I think it’s auto
      matic. Yes the knowledge of 3 religions is highly re commanded. It gives you a kind of discipline that you keep on all your life. Timing out is an option there are different ways to look at it really. It is just a matter of choice once again.I can see, now that I am detached, your point on the rewarding xperience as well.
      There is a band called (Human nature).It’s a good name.Anything to do with nature is good. We ought to think more about it I think.
      Thank you Ibrahim.

    7. ibrahim says:

      I did not understand when you said timing out is an option”..and “I can see, now that I am detached’…(from what?)..just curious..:-)

  22. doc says:

    For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened “-BIBLE

    1. Jill says:

      Sorry, but this is not true. Just because you ask and believe, it doesnt necessarily mean you recieve.

    2. zoe says:

      If you only ask for the sake of getting you shall not receive. With God you need to be consistent and talk to Him even when you don’t need something from Him.

    3. Rana says:

      this reminds me of “the secret” somehow .. :\

    4. augu says:

      YES doc is true; if you ask in faith you surely receive not the material you asked.. but a ‘loving NO’ or a ‘loving YES’ and a blessed state of knowledge to accept them both in joy…

  23. Zoe says:

    It’s amazing how we think that God leaves us but instead we leave him. Compassion and loving one another is the key to life. If there were no suffering there would be no compassion. I do think there is a difference to feeling sorry and being compassionate. When you feeling sorry you put yourself above somebody. When you have compassion you are equal.

  24. April says:

    Simple but true.Instead of complaining about miseries and going away from God, we should walk towards to him

    1. Luis says:

      Hey Pat, esa es la plena, la gente se queja y no visita al Flaco!. asi como se visita a los amigos you should go to his house and visit him mor frecuently. He is always there for us. I love Jesus!

  25. mamta nanda says:

    His logic doesn’t work because god is supposedly omnipotent, all powerful and omnibenevolent but barbers aren’t magic people who cut every1s hair in the world but god is supposed to spread goodness, help people etc. Also god is supposed to be kind and forgiving to people but in the Bible he kills thousands of people and condemns people to eternity in hell and the devil who is supposed to be evil only kills 5 or 6. Also if god only gives to people who come to him then why would the original person come to him or even know he existed. And even if people came to him how does that make any difference to him, if he’s all powerful peoples belief can’t do anything to him so why does he need it. That doesn’t seem very omnibenevolent if you only give to people who give to you.
    (This comment is from my 12 year old son.)

    1. Shantanu Nanoty says:

      @ Mamta Nanda :- I agree with you… If He is really what He is( I mean omnipresent, all-powerful and impartial), then He won’t need any prayers or followers. If He needs that, how come He is all-powerful n impartial?? And if he is not, then why should I worship Him for qualities He does not posses?

    2. ALM says:

      @shantanu nanoty: if you have a son,why do u give him your life if you even dont need him ?its the same reason he created us…

    3. Zoe says:

      I ask one thing why is it that the ” true believers” “the chosen ones” that God saved from the Egypt were the ones that betrayed Jesus.
      If you love somebody and you knew that the person you love will betray you why Save them in the first place?God can see the future but still did that. Why? Why does somebody try to teach a street kid a skill when he/she knows that the street kid might one day pull a knife out. Why does that brave person put himself in danger? For hope, for love, for faith? Yes. I would rather be surrounded by street kids and teach them a skill then be amongst the rich and learn nothing about giving from the heart, receiving from the heart, love.

    4. Nahla Mohamed says:

      okay, I’ll answer that
      first who do u believe god is????
      god isn’t Jesus and god created people who turned against him and after doing so they killed each other by the aid of Satan.
      God isn’t supposed to be nothing, cause he already provided us with everything we need, a complete shape, health and etc….
      we’re supposed to be thankful to God and god help those who r thankful to him, and god also already spread goodness but then came satan and talked men into turning to evil people cause satan is the enemy of god.
      and about about the last part,originally god created people smart so when u take a deep look about things around u’ll realize the existence of a power that created all that and that’s god and even by logic whenever there’s bad there’s good and that is also god
      and yeah it makes a huge difference when a person comes back to god cause we’re his creatures and allah would like us to follow him (imagine urself inventing a robot that suddenly turns against u, how would u feel then ????) same thing
      and may god guides u back in his way

    5. ALM says:

      god give you shelter ,food, love, happieness …etc
      he give u more than what u deserve!he spreads the goodness in the world,he is kind ,and forgiving.
      in the bible he kills the people that harm ,betray, kill… so that the good people live in peace, and the devil made the bad people be bad and kill,betray,harm…so whom do u think now is the best ?
      and yes he`s all powerfull and people cant do anything to him,and he doesnt need us ! but he created us … so there`s one reason for what he did ! the reason is that he`s the good that no one can be !

    6. ibrahim says:

      It is norma for a twelve year old to ask such questions, but if an Adult is near by, I would expect her/him to give him an educated answer, to the kid! First the barbers “example” is just that an ” example”!! so fr heavens sake do not missunderstand!! Another point to understand is that we humans have been blessed with certain powers, the power to think, the power to see, the power to understand, the power to believe…! We are told to live our lives according to certain values, as humans it is important to adhere to a set of values in order to successfully carry on with our everyday lives. Our particular religions provides us with so much guidance, so much goodness, to which we sometime become blind! We start questioning God, and unnessarilly doubting God…I would request you to read your own holy book, or find a holy book,and read it with an open mind, think….out of the box, and see the goodness! the next stage would be to adopt the goodness…and you will be on your way! i can imagine a world with good hindus, good cristians good muslims…because all religions are good, they teach us to be good human biengs, to love one another, to be kind, to spread love, to be good human biengs, to work hard, to be good parents, good children, good neighbours, tolerance and peace….

    7. augu says:

      1. you gave your son the freedom to speak out what was in his mind and to comment upon the story.. and it was because you were a gentle mother who respects your son’s freedom. IN THE SAME WAY GOD IS A GENTLE FATHER WHO RESPECTS THE FREEDOM of each and everyone of his creatures.
      2. your son used his freedom and it hurt the feelings of someone(here the feelings of those who believe in the Bible). IN THE SAME WAY WHEN I USE MY FREEDOM IN A NON GENTLE WAY it cause sufferings to everyone in the world
      3. By using our freedom your son caused suffering.. I also caused suffering.. . IN THE SAME WAY HUMAN BEINGS including me and your son ARE THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING IN THE WORLD except in the case of natural calamities and for other nature caused sufferings. (god being the father of the nature has given the freedom for the nature too )
      4. What I conclud here is that Gentle ways of using our freedom will reduce suffering in the world.. reduce wars..reduce family breakups..reduce unwanted hurtings.. reduce unfair use of material goods….THUS THE WORLD WILL BECOME A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN.. will bring peace in our hearts; will bring peace in our sorroundings, in our families, in our societies,and in our nations..etc
      Lit a lamp instead of cursing the darkness…

  26. Sara says:


  27. gienah says:

    yes, people do tend to dismiss thing as something that does not exist so fast without even thinking twice.

  28. Maryon says:

    I wish to proove the existence of God. That is my legend.

    1. Nahla Mohamed says:

      so work on it
      don’t u see the world around u, don’t see the Earth, the space and the sees and the skies they’re all a prove that God exists
      look at urself in the mirror how did u get there, how were u born and how did u grow up, it’s all god work and all these are more than enough signs of his existence

    2. Ranzan says:

      Try these: Big Bang, Evolution, Abiogenesis. More intellectually satisfying, less suspension of disbelief.

    3. ananthnag says:

      who u want to prove the God’s existence for…every individual got his own idea for God…some believe and some just don’t believe the way the believers’ believe..and moreover they shift…there is no single disbeliever…people just change…do u believe by the way??

  29. Rohit says:

    perfectly said Mr Coelho..it so happens that majority of us just relax on our couches and just complaint ..we hardly ever try to seek the real god by submitting ourselves for a good cause