Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Arrogance and Belief
Is the arrogance of an atheist any less great than that of an Xian?
What is the difference between an Xian trying to convert someone to Xianity and an atheist doing the same?
Both sides have both created a God in their own image, but for entirely different reasons.
Monday, August 15, 2011
I have been giving a lot of time and thought these days to my own ego and sense of worth. It seems that we all strive to strike a balance between who we think we are, who we project ourselves as, and who we actually are. The closer the first two are to the third idea, the centered our personality becomes.
I am, of course, assuming I know what I am talking about. But as I write this, I can sense the three aspects of my ego (read: personality) working their way into this post.
Now - on to religion. The proper belief and adherence to xianity hinges on the surrender of ego. This would mean dropping any assumption of what the individual thinks they know of their gtod and meditating on what they cannot comprehend. God is meant to be beyond good and evil - to assume that 'god is good' to to assume that one knows god, who is by definition unknowable. So I would assume that praying to god to win a contest or 'give me strength' is a rather heretic view of God.
Now, I believe in God, but I am neither xian, Jew, Muslim, or any other believer type. I believe that God exists only because I recognize that I cannot possibly know everything (but I know what I know what I know.) I don't believe that God loves me or those things to which I prefer. Neither does God dislike those things I feel are to be disliked. God is, in effect, the unknowable. God is not knowledge per se - God is the act of learning and gaining knowledge. To that respect, there is no deity that need be acknowledged.
Okay - rant over!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Problem with Hitchens
Listening to the two of them debate is like listening to a political debate between Democrats and Republicans - pointless and needlessly cutthroat.
So, in listening to Hitchens rant on about religion being evil, I could imagine the xian responses to his arguments, and how unconvincing they would be to his. Hitchens uses religion as the backdrop to all the evils of the world, which isn't correct. Given the theme of his chapter, I would argue that God, to quote Concrete Blonde, is more like a bullet. And everyone knows that bullets don't kill people, people kill people! Just as basing murder on the teachings of the three plus monotheistic religions is self serving at its most basic, so too is blaming religion for all the ills of the world.
People are self serving - that is, there is no such thing as a purely selfless act. Whatever action a person takes, it is in that person's best interest. Otherwise, there would be no reason to take the action. In this sense, acts of violence, goodwill, malice, and charity are all equal. Religion isn't an evil - it's just a means to explore the subconscious self.
The problem isn't religion per se - of the major religions, none of them would condone the actions of their participants as they explain in their doctrines. Individuals, on the other hand, are self serving and often bend religion to their own interests. Religion is meant to be approached without ego. Of course, man is an animal that struggles with the boundaries of ego and the self. Of course, when the ego is used to project God onto others, the trouble really begins.
We can see the same issues with ego and atheism. Hitchens has described God (and as far as the book goes, religion in general) as 'the great wrong.' He doesn't separate the core religion from the worst aspects of its followers. And because of that, he comes off as hypocritical and self-righteous. As such, I doubt that I'll be reading this book.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
The meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything
Now, suppose that the Tree of Knowledge has nothing to do with knowing what is good and what is evil. Rather, it is to know the true nature of God. Then the parable would make more sense:
To admit that God exists is to say that God is not real.Simply, to say that there is knowledge of God is to confess no knowledge of God. To confess that there is no God is to acknowledge God. God cannot exist if we believe He is real, though if we believe He is real, He cannot exist.
To say that God does not exist is to admit that God is real.
It's too early in the morning to be challenging anyone's belief in God (and I'm truly not interested in doing so - it's a conversation that often goes nowhere on the best of days.) I do, however, feels this makes perfect sense in that the mythos of the Garden of Eden is like any other creation parable. The Tree of Knowledge is meant to be man's access to the Knowledge of God, rather than the 'good and evil'. Otherwise, the story becomes little more than a bedtime story, lacking the point of reflection that a creation myth is intended to provide.