Following up on some admittedly snarky observations from my last post with commentary from my book Life Will Answer:
One of the many problems mankind demonstrates in attributing the origins of our universe and guidance in our everyday lives to a Supreme Being is that we’ve made It so petty that It has emotional needs which must be fulfilled (by us, its distinctly inferior creation—setting up its own collection of fulfillment problems); It has to be obeyed or else; It actually expresses preferences about who wins athletic competitions; cares deeply about your golf game; flips coins in deciding about healing illnesses; is bothered by who one’s bedmate might be; deems it best that rich white guys get tax breaks at our expense; helps one competitor over another with business presentations, or otherwise actively—and by all accounts quite arbitrarily—involves Itself in the myriad and mundane of our lives (while at the same moment presumably directing the formation of galaxies and governing the laws of quantum physics in Its spare time).
If this God/Allah is as magnificent as Its followers claim, wouldn’t It already know that It is pretty damned spectacular, and thus probably wouldn’t need the constant adulation—especially from supplicants who seem curiously judgmental and narrow-minded? Might It be “above” the day-to-day considerations and needs we all find so breathtakingly vital?
How insecure must this Deity be if Its grandest desire is that everyone must worship and obey It … or else? (“Above all else, please be sure to constantly let Me know how wonderful I am.” Really?) Something crying out for that much attention doesn’t strike me as all that superior to the rest of us, so why waste our time? Let’s look for Something/Someone better.
Selectively attributing god-like and then human-like traits to this Entity is certainly convenient, but if you are cherry-picking, then how valid are your propositions to begin with? Either Allah/God/Whatever is supremely above human pettiness and thus does not “need” adulation or anything at all, or It’s not Supreme; and if not, then why are we relying on It?
Even more distressing, we act as if this Source actually wants us to ridicule, condemn, judge, ostracize, and even kill others who harbor different beliefs or live different lifestyles than It supposedly tolerates. Did It not create those possibilities also? And if It is creating them, then why are we condemning anything?
And if It didn’t create those possibilities, then Who or What did? Hellllooo….The knee-jerk answer: “God has given man free will to choose” loses some of its steam when apparently we get to choose only certain things at certain times by certain groups of us as directed by certain others only. Puts a different spin on the whole notion of “free will” doesn’t it?
What makes other groups so special/different that they would have been singled out for the opportunity for “salvation”—especially given how idiotic and narrow-minded their choices and behaviors and beliefs have been? This is what a “loving” and beneficent Source expects and/or demands? Seriously? And what is the measure by which the “Right” Deity is determined?
An honest debate about these and related points—coupled with a willingness to actually listen and respect the contrasting perspectives—might be a revelation for us all…
~ My Photo: sunrise at Long Beach, Rockport, MA – 08.22.05 ©
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In 2014, I published an eBook entitled Life Will Answer. It’s an exploration of life, religion, and the tenuous connection one has with the other—at least as has been defined to date by the various theologies of past and present-day believers.
I don’t pretend to be a religious scholar. I am at best a casual observer of some religion-based behaviors, but given that I have also authored a book discussing those matters, perhaps that makes me more than a casual observer.
A fundamental point of the book is that Life has been established to honor and answer the choices each and all of us make—whatever they are and however they may be judged by the standards and guidelines we as a society have established. I do not accept the notion that there is a God or another Deity of choice offering wildly arbitrary thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, or that this Deity has edicts we’re free to abide by or not (although if we don’t there will be hell to pay).
I wrote that book on the premise that there is more to this life than the narrow-minded, conflicting, and occasionally dangerous notions various religions offer. Given the large number of them each claiming passionate followers, it’s absurd for any collection of humans to insist that their Deity assures them It is the One and Only. Countless Peers and their own loyal adherents take issue with that.
Every day we are witness to the absurdities—and too often, the atrocities—committed in the name of some Deity or another by adherents convinced that they and they alone are privy to the guidance and dictates of that One and Only. There is little room, if any, for reason, logic, or rational thought. The absence of an intelligent component guiding their beliefs and conduct—replaced as it as by fears and justifications untethered from reality—carries its own set of consequences.
Are we really to believe that we’re all commanded or obliged to above all else obey and honor and worship one Supreme Being [among many]? How stultifying! This Magnificence is so needy and weak that It needs us to do things to satisfy It? Hello!? How did It manage to survive all those billions of years without us?!
Magical thinking is not a shield to the inevitable harm which results when irrational and mindless behaviors collide with reason and fact. We have some choices to make, and a future to concern ourselves with.
Re-establishing this blog is my own contribution to wiser problem-solving than what seems to be the norm. Too many are in position where their delusions carry heavy and needless consequences to all of us.