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« Did He who made the lamb? | Main | "The concept of neighbor is universalized" »

March 19, 2006


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As a child I believed that I spoke with God, and once an experience of mine in asking God to show me how to get down from a tree which I did figure out was the subject of a sermon at a church on Easter Sunday. The title of the sermon was "God rolled the stone away." Some 78 or 79 years later I am not a believer as I was as a child, but I do believe that the accumulated experience of thousands of years of human experience are bound up in the teachings of religion. For humans to live in peace and contentment they must recognize the need for a moral code, and in the pure faith of the great religions of both the East and the West are to be found such understandings. Unfortunately certain humans who demand power and recognition for themselves often use religious beliefs to corrupt their way to power. Nonetheless, moral codes are needed for a successful society, and saying they don't matter is the road to oblivion.

"When we find reliable ways to make human beings more loving..." Make them...? We who?

Thanks for that one!

"We must find ways of meeting our emotional needs that do not require the abject embrace of the preposterous. We must learn to invoke the power of ritual and to mark those transitions in every human life that demand profundity -- birth, marriage, death, etc. -- without lying to ourselves about the nature of reality."

And therein lies the dilemma of the "modern" thinker - we shudder at the notion of a higher power and label derisively as "preposterous", yet almost simultaneously find ourself mourning the lack of "ritual", tradition, etc.

This is the reason why so many self-styled intellectuals seek out "quaint" things, places, traditions, things etc from other (non Christian of course) cultures that bespeak of a kind community and closeness that these refugees find so sorely lacking in the ultra-logical and "enlightened" world created (some would say "inflicted") by them and their forerunners.

The really silly thing about all of this is that this rejection of religion is normally predicated on the shakiest of grounds - narcisstic Hollywood types and quackademics typically cite things like the holocaust as "proof" that God does not exist, without considering the fact that their rigid proven/disproven world model DOES NOT ALLOW FOR THE CONCEPT OF FAITH. PERIOD. Faith is impossible if you "know" of the existence of the divine, and if you could count on a miracle - actually know in advance that it would happen - then presto you have KNOWLEDGE of the divine, which in turn precludes the possibility of FAITH, which in turn would allow people to embrace religion as a practical matter, which defeats the whole purpose of religion, i.e. that it requires one to make decisions based on codes that are bigger than just your immediate situation.

In other words religion - and not science - is the only way for entire cultures to not just exist but to co-exist, and to do so in a manner that is not gray, dreary, mechanical and devoid of all color or feeling.

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