“GOD” — Again!

I have had much to say lately about the subject of religion and “God”. I am getting closer to my final word on the subject. I am mainly writing all this on the subject of religion because I am in a crisis situation regarding a death in the family. Sympathetic folks always say something like, “Believe me, you will be with her again in a better place.” AS comfort to the aggrieved.

I have come to the conclusion that I am not an “atheist”, as my thoughtful expressions would have one believe. I thought I was, but I have come to a refinement as I examine it more closely. I am not one without a thesis (since that is what the word literally means); hence, not an atheist. Close, maybe, and perhaps in the eyes of others. It probably doesn’t matter to any on-looker, but it may to my family. To codify a religious belief, the belief must have a struggle with the universal quandry of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and falsehood, personified to make it more real and immediate, threatening with whips and scorns, or rewards of eternal life and paradise. The organizers must have a system of rewards and punishments to properly “condition” those who come to them for help with personal anguish. And life certainly has mountains of that anguish to climb in the ordeals of living!

The original organizers, over two millenia of the gradual accretion of codes and ritual and excavations and cathedrals and artifacts, have the majesty and systematic organization and indoctrination of the young down to a catechism, the book summarizing the principles of the religion, written as questions and answers for inculcation of the young. They have had their dissenters, breaking off into a new organization over some differences, and that was good for those dissenters to get away from the monopoly which looked like a good thing, and so there was the whole business opened up for all types of new organizing principles.

Therefore, when I reason to my own end, I realize I am not an “a-theist”, without a thesis. Any “thesis” about religion is an unprovable proposition. The ultimate appeal is to “belief”, devotion to that belief on pain of, whatever will discourage more free-thinking. The very thing that must be organized is such a way of thinking that people will feel “belief” to be factual, real, consequential, urgent truth, with an “or else-ness”. The organizers find that personification of characters in a grand struggle is dramatic, and the organizers eminently resort to pageantry and drama. At one time, the drama was burning heretics on a square downtown. At another, the organizers sent whole armies on crusades against the heresies threatening their organization.

There is still today the incipient warfare divided between a more populist politics and a way of crusading religious life.

Here in the United States today, the organizers have been tamed somewhat, by a lawful hands-off freedom of belief.

I am not one without a belief. I have a thesis, my unproved and unprovable statement of my point of view based on a lifetime of observation, the empirical “data” of my a posteriori perceptions of what I can state are the facts of my observations, the way people behave. If there is that higher power of a deity, to which believers must attribute some sort of miracle, which stands as evidence of the intervention of that deity into everyday life, then I have not seen anything but theatre. Most everyday uses of that word miracle are for such events as the “miracle on the Hudson”. To me, the miracle was widely reported as such but it only came down to everything going according to plan. The survival had been practiced and anticipated in the manufacture of the airplane and the training of th crew.

In a previous essay, I stated my thesis, which was not total disbelief. It was my belief that God, if it is a “he” or “father”, if it was the “creator of the universe”, is a tantalizing object of righteous, religious organizers of beliefs to offer some admirable goodness activities, and it has a “hands-off” or “laissez-faire” policy of operation and is not a part of everyday life, listening to prayers and answering prayers of those in trouble. Such beliefs have some power to motivate extraordinary exertions for good ends, no doubt.

I am not an atheist, one without a thesis. But my thesis views any higher power, or deity, as having no part in controlling nor intervening in human life on Earth. Good things can come out of prayer. That cannot disprove my thesis.

Look up the word “agnostic” please. Perhaps that is a better fit, meaning, a person who claims that he cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist). That means, a fence sitter, doesn’t it. I say it again, if God “exists”, I do not know where it is, or how to prove it. Its policy is “laissez-faire” as far as Earthlings go. Any church must have a difficult time with the concept of the “miracle”. They are nice to have, in order to give its believers that confidently strong feeling that God is near and imminent and available and will, on occasion, actually play, openly, some material and specific part in the individual human’s life. One church must have specific proof of that provable, demonstrable intervention in human affairs. That would create a “saint”. Otherwise, the church might just have to adopt the suggested “laissez-faire” policy to be the plan of action of the deity, “hands off”. Belief is good. But do not expect the deity to play a part in your private affairs, for which you are solely responsible. Any reckoning will take place, according to your belief, at another time and place.

You might say that I am treating the concept of God as an enterprise, an organization constituting a business venture in the name of God. You might say that your tithe is a religious tax. And the profits go to —, oh, you contemplate that a bit.

Just say that I am a “Doubting Thomas”. I read that part of the story. I might consider Thomas to be the first prominent scientist. He had the scientists’ basic skepticism. He wanted to be shown the evidence that would support the claim. It was Jesus who rebuked him for his scientific bent. Thomas said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails…I will not believe.” Later, Jesus said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20, 26-29) Jesus had to prove it before Thomas would believe it. Of course, Jesus was speaking in an age and a culture that had not developed the basic operating principles of scientific proofs for producing reliable knowledge. Thomas was not appreciated for what he stood for. That age was to be far into the future for those times.

Am I bound for HELL?

Post Script (4-4-13): What is truly my God? What do I worship? Classical melody and harmony of music I associate with that beauty in my spouse. She is still evocative of the beauties of classic and classy classical music, a warm and sunny day of light breezes, the company of family who are stars, contemplation of a great work for the betterment of human life (as in the book I am trying to write). What I worship comes to tears in those associations. I am lonely. I was a loner before I married. Now, a loner again. Your God does not look like me nor I Him. The closest I can come to a God-form is the scientific and artistic expressions of magnificent intelligence. That breaks down to shards of God in many places, and I can see trashy attempts that fail. As in people who let themselves go, for one example, in appearance and short-cut deeds of the ungovernable. Right now, I am specializing in my gaze on politicians.

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    • (1) I have no other social media, none of it but this. (2) I get that “brain dead” a lot. I explain some cases as people not writing in their native language, which would explain some of the problem of diction. I am wholly inclined to understand and tolerate. Others, as I keep saying when I have responded to that comment elsewhere, are not careful with the grammar of English. It seems to me that the informality of web-talk gives alicense to write like fugitives from their old ogre English teachers, so they write slop with a vengeance! On the web, anything goes, they believe. I cannot forgive that. They are not brain dead; their brain takes a long vacation from responsibility. Then, too, they want to fit in with all the others who have a fear of putting on airs for fear of ostracism. OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I will now select and copy this and save it for the next one who say that thing about brain-dead contributors. WHOOPEE! Now I never have to type this out ever again. Just select and paste. AH-h-h-h-h–yes! sHOULD HAVE DONE THIS LONG AGO! (3) Also, I think there is some secret message being included in some comments about “Brussels”. Anyone know what it is? The phrase shows up occasionally like an imbedded secret message to others of which I am innocent. I always erase it. (Zu Ende)

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    • Yes. A blog is like a puppy you have to feed and groom each day. Depends on how popular yours is. People will write comments and you must accept or reject them, or answer any questions they have. Also, keep writing as often as you have ideas to contribute. You could become a slave to the continuation of the blog over time. Then there is the “spam”, or unwanted responses. Very frustrating. Learn some basic HTML. Get a small reference book on it so you can machine-talk as the need may arise. There is such a thing as “SEO” that you should learn in order to get the public to find you. I ignored that aspect and many people wrote comments that I should use that for getting my content picked up by GOOGLE. I get plenty of traffic, enough for me. I am content. But they make it sound like I could have much more traffic if I would do some things in the content to catch the eye of the scavengers such as GOOGLE. Remember, SEO. Happy blogging! [JFD]

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