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Monday, 21 February 2011

The case for God?

I believe in God.
Not quite in the bearded man I was told to believe in since I was born. Not quite in the omnipotent punisher who will whip you to death (emotionally at least) until you repent.
I believe in one God not designed by religion.

So what God might that be? What is God without religion, one might ask? The God I believe in has always been there. And they (referring to God while avoiding gender matters) didn't wake up one day and thought, "let's have a set of rules, a code of conduct for these unruly humans on earth. Let’s give them religion!"
Those rules were made by men for men in a time when perhaps such rules were indeed necessary, when religion was a means to an end: control. What I don't understand is why one is seen, by most religious people, as the Devil if he or she doesn’t believe in those rules, even though we inherently adhere to most of them on a moral level anyway. For instance, do I need God to tell me it's wrong to kill or steal? Do I need to remind myself that if I do kill I get punished and therefore I shouldn’t do it? It is a very strange world. I do not quite understand why a basic set of moral values can only work if there's an almighty power that threatens to kill you if you don't obey. Is that still working today?

I do not doubt that once upon a time religion had its value. Once upon a time humankind needed that kind of fear in order to behave and not turn the world into Hell (one may argue that even with religion still alive and kicking today, we have turned our world into Hell anyway).
What about today though? People do kill and steal without fears. Does religion perhaps deter a good majority from stealing and killing? I do not think so. I believe that people who act responsibly do so independently of their religious believes, if any. Therefore isn't it time we declare religion defunct? Isn't it time we move on? Do we still need such God to remind us not to do evil? To some, killing is their calling, it's what God tells them to do, and I'm not just talking about terrorism (I won't even go there). I think it's time to say that religion has had its time, pardon the pun. I strongly believe that everything which is man-made either has an expiry date and dies, or evolves into something better (and in the process the old ways die). I don't see that happening to religion. We see the occasional pretense, a camouflage for change, but nothing more.

If mankind desires to move on - at least some of us do - we need to shake off the debris of the past, we need to make changes, improve ourselves. Isn't the quest of humankind to always thrive to achieve something better? Is that wrong I ask?
If something doesn't evolve and doesn’t change into something better, if it is stagnant and has had its time, why do we keep looking back, holding on to a rope that is half torn?
Yes, I hear you; some of us still need to hold on. And that's fine. I'm just a bit concerned about what might happen when the rope is torn to shreds and millions of people will fall all at once. Or perhaps the divine rope to heaven will never break? Not until the end of time at least, if there's such thing? I don't particularly care about that.
I believe that God is a Greater Order that ensures I fit within a plan; whether that plan is orderly or purely coincidental I do not know and doesn't bother me. Does it matter? What matters to me is that there's an order in things. And if anyone needs proof of the existence of such Greater Order, all they need to do is look up at the stars. Glance at the immensity of the universe and you will no doubt see the perfection you're looking for; perfection in the enlightenment form, perfection such as Heaven if that's what you believe in.

We tend to give different names to the same things and then argue about their differences. We really should look a little beyond apparent differences and perhaps we might discover the real beauty of things.

When I had this article in my head this morning (under the shower; does hot water stimulate the brain I wonder), I had much more to say in my mind. Now it's all gone unfortunately - the mystery of old age and memory loss! Nevertheless I'd like to end this stream of thoughts with a question: do we need to believe in something in order to continuously improve ourselves? And if so, what is it you believe in?