Posted by Oracle
Critical Thinker posted a link to this video on Facebook yesterday. It runs about 34 minutes, but you can get the general idea within the first five. Go ahead and take a look. I’ll wait…
I come from a devout Catholic background. Deviation from Church teachings were not accepted in my family. Heck, they still aren’t, but they’re almost tolerated in order to keep the peace, such as it is. My questions drove my mother nuts. I will always remember our conversation about Ghandi. It went something like this:
Me: Mom, I keep thinking about people like Ghandi. He was good, right?
Me: Well, if someone is good like that, how could God send him to Hell for not believing in Jesus?
Mom: Because Jesus died for our sins. Without Jesus, Heaven wouldn’t be open to anyone. If you don’t believe in Jesus, you can’t get in.
Me: But it’s not Ghandi’s fault he didn’t believe in Jesus. He lived in another country where they have different beliefs. It’s not fair to keep him out of Heaven if he didn’t know better.
Mom (getting annoyed): He was introduced to Christ and refused. If you are introduced to Jesus and don’t accept him, you can’t go to Heaven.
Me (getting a little upset): What about all those native tribes in the middle of rain forests? They never heard of Jesus. Why would they listen to missionaries? And what if they never met anyone who told them about Jesus?
Mom (getting really annoyed): If they never met anyone who told them about Jesus, then it’s not their fault. But if they ever met a missionary or someone who told them that Jesus died for our sins and that God is the One True God, they better accept the Truth.
(It’s not verbatim, but hey, it’s been two decades since we had this discussion.)
Neither of us was happy with this conversation. I never could accept that a loving god would turn away good–and I mean truly compassionate, caring, giving good–people just because they had different beliefs. This was the point at which I decided most religions must have some validity to them, that their god or gods spoke to them in ways they understood. I learned to keep quiet about this belief.
Over the years, I have vacillated between this overall “God wears many faces for many people” ideology to “maybe there are no gods” to “maybe there are many deities” to “who the heck knows?!” Is there such a thing as deity?And if so, is it one or many? Does s/he/they care?
In the video, the constant line is that there is no empirical evidence to the existence of deity. Another common theme not just among the elite thinkers, but among “common man” is that if there was a loving god, there wouldn’t be so much misery in the world. The faithful respond by saying misery is a result of decisions made from free will. Make that Free Will. They often insist that misery is caused not by a loving god, but by the devil, or that said loving god allows things to happen to test faith.
It seems to me that faith would be better ensured by an extension of divine good will. In other words, blatant miracles. Sure, there appear to be miracles every day, but they are inevitably explained in scientific terms.
To which a person might say: There has to be something more than this!
And to which I might respond: Yes, why not?
I prefer to believe that there is more to life than pure physics and science. Just think: A couple hundred years ago, my laptop would have appeared to be a gift from the gods. Science and technology had few terms that could approach how this miracle of modern tech functions (albeit slowly at times). Therefore it would have been a divine–or demonic–device.
Much of mythology and religion has functioned to explain why things happen. Now that we have science, with all its empirical evidence to support it, we have new stories to form the whys of the world into understandable nuggets.
But is there such a thing as the divine?
Without that solid evidence, there may never be an answer. Theories, yes. Answers, no. Perhaps, as science advances, such evidence will come to the fore. Or if there is god or a group of gods, a corporal appearance will quell disbelief. Then again, if godly characters suddenly appeared and performed miraculous achievements, I think humanity is geared more toward believing such creatures to be alien or extra dimensional beings. Doesn’t that say something right there?
In other posts, I’ll write about research being conducted on related subjects. It is possible some of our questions may be answered–or at least given hints–by ground-breaking experiments.
In the meantime, relish every moment of life, for every moment of the day has the universe to offer.