Of Religion

November 14, 2006

Two sources have inspired me this post: 1- my friendship with a retired American cleric and a discussion that is going on in Respect Discussion group :

http://groups.msn.com/Respectpoliticalparty
My American friend is somebody who has frequently made me think on the true task religion has in the lives of people. How people can even kill for their faith and how faith has many times been used by interested people with ends different to what the real motivation of faith must be. He is somebody I look up to for inspiration. A true pater familias with his dear wife and grown-up children who in all make up one of the really typical American families. But he is a human cleric. I always tell him he is a man of God and I feel from thousands of kilometres away that he blushes because his modesty does prevent him from being overly proud. Bob must be reading this post because he is a friend’s friend and always worried how we are doing in life, although I for one sometimes forget that he is one I should always be attentive to.

Going back to that discussion in Respect (link above) two friends of mine, one Christian the other Muslim, are discussing aspects of each one’s religion and their respective beliefs.

In my opinion a religion is not debatable. A religion is a compendium of all the various steps men have gathered to form the essence of that faith, but the faith in itself cannot be explained. Either you believe or you do not believe. Faith is something inherent to each individual and each individual in each religion believes in a way that is not precisely the same way the person next to him on the same pew of the same church believes. The human mind is so complicated that the only explanation I can find to design it is that it must have been created by a supreme being that we all have coincided along the years to call God. Scientist in the XXI century who have been able with their brains to devise tools that take man to the outer space and even different planets, have not been yet capable of describing how really their brains work .

How can we in our infinitesimal presence in the universe can pretend that we know God, much less how can we pretend that God is existing in our image, someone resembling us?.

We are nothing but a heap of bones, flesh, veins, blood and waste that in a given number of years will be inexistent, because Nature so determines following, I infer, the instructions given by God in His wisdom.

But I do not know it, I just believe it.

Jose+++

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21 Responses to “Of Religion”

  1. I regret I thought how to link here, but it didn’t come out as I thought. So will you please “copy and paste” the Respect link. I keep studying and will soon find how it works here with links.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Jose+++

  2. That’s the link to Respect Discussion.

  3. Richard said

    I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience, rather than human beings having a spiritual experience…

    Hat-tip : Tielhard de Chardin

  4. An interesting thought which cannot be confirmed, Richard. But it is quite plausible, because how can we explain our course of thoughts, our behaviours or moods, what is there inside ourselves that enable us behave as we do? We know that clots in our circulation system produce the death of organs, as a stoppage of blood irrigation in our brain produces our definite death. But everything going well, why can we use that same brain for all our bodily needs?

    There are so many unanswered questions regarding the human being. On the other hand we are so insignificant that it is not surprising we cannot get to the truth of our existence.

  5. Richard said

    The world is a very strange place (inner and outer), so the truth about such a world must be even more strange.

    My “spiritual being” theory “cannot be confirmed”, as you say Jose – and neither can yours. Neither are “plausible”. Our unending quest is to seek the least implausible explanation of the “reality” we find ourselves in.

    Whenever I meet someone who appears a ‘know-all’, political or religious, and thinks they have all the answers, I find myself repelled and offended – which makes me quite difficult to live with myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. christianzionismexposed said

    Hi Jose,

    As usual, your comments are well thought out and wise, like this one:

    “…faith in itself cannot be explained. Either you believe or you do not believe.”

    May I give a scriptural definition of faith:
    “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    What is not available to you that is available to me to have faith (or vice versa)? Does culture or upbringing affect faith or lack of faith? How does faith come about or grow?

    What if someone really longs to know about God (for those who do, as you, believe there is a God) and seeks a relationship with Him? Would He turn us away or make it impossible to know Him?

    These are questions I would like to hear your input on.

    Thank you.

  7. christianzionismexposed said

    Jose said: (Don’t know how to use the HTML’s here….blush)

    “discussing aspects of each oneโ€™s religion and their respective beliefs.

    In my opinion a religion is not debatable. ”

    I’m glad you said we were ‘discussing’ and not ‘debating’. Even so, it’s very difficult to discuss unless absolute respect is shown from both sides toward the other’s faith/belief.

    Religion can be very cruel when it is not coming from a place of care and love for others. Look what has happened in Iraq where religious leaders in the U.S. supported warmongering as being something ‘godly’. Look what Israelis do in the name of religion. And, yes, what terrorists (of any ilk) do in the name of religion.

    Sometimes I believe the best things (and people) with the most potential for good are the things that the most wicked try to kidnap and sabotage.

  8. Indeed, CZE, absolute respect is imperative in religion, as it is in all other orders of our daily life. But with faith principles nobody can play and much less use them in wars and criminal actions.

    “What is not available to you that is available to me to have faith (or vice versa)? Does culture or upbringing affect faith or lack of faith? How does faith come about or grow?”

    My opinion is that culture does effectively affect faith. Any culture- be it Amazonic, African, European, American, etc – and of course upbringing is closely related to culture in the essential meaning of the word. Let’s suppose, though, that someone has been living alone in an isolated place. That someone will build up his/her own culture and consequently his/her own faith.

    “What if someone really longs to know about God (for those who do, as you, believe there is a God) and seeks a relationship with Him? Would He turn us away or make it impossible to know Him?”

    This is a more complicated question to answer. I am convinced that I cannot connect with God, mind you I respect those who can, but not those who say they can when the fact is the contrary. Real faith is not so simple. By saying one has faith it does not follow that that is true. Acting in accordance with every one’s faith is what really shows the credibility of that particular faith.

    As in everything in this life an image – in this case the image of faith – is worth 1,000 words, or something to that effect.

  9. Richard,

    “Whenever I meet someone who appears a โ€˜know-allโ€™, political or religious, and thinks they have all the answers, I find myself repelled and offended – which makes me quite difficult to live with myself :)”

    The last sentence gives a tacit description of your humility. And by being humble we learn more than those who are not.

  10. christianzionismexposed said

    Thank you, Jose. Apt as always.

    As you perhaps have seen, our discussion continues. For what reason, I’m not sure. It just seems it should for now? Maybe we can both enlarge our faith and our boundaries and come away from the discussion more rounded and more tolerant, if nothing else.

  11. christianzionismexposed said

    Thank you, Jose. Apt as always.

    As you perhaps have seen, our discussion continues. For what reason, I’m not sure. It just seems it should for now? Maybe we can both enlarge our faith and our boundaries and come away from the discussion more rounded and more tolerant, if nothing else. (I’m talking about the Respect board threads.)

    May your blog grow and prosper!

  12. Yes, CZE, I know. And I like your way in that discussion, but everything has an end, hasn’t it?

  13. christianzionismexposed said

    LOL Jose. I just found this on Google looking for something there. And the discussion continues with Tab. I don’t know which of us will finally want to stop. Actually, I am thankful to Tab because he has brought up things I hadn’t even thought of and makes me examine my own belief system and why I believe as I do, and surely that’s not a bad thing. As for those who take the tiem to read the discussion though, it must require patience, tolerance and an answer afterwards. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. christianzionismexposed said

    I meant an aspirin afterwards. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Must be bedtime.

  15. Jose said

    As you know I’m very cautious in discussions about religion, but in the particular case of your discussion with Tab I’m afraid I am not at the necessary level to put in any contribution. Both of you, each on your respective side, are no doubt formidable antagonists.

  16. christianzionismexposed said

    Tab, this is a link I should have saved (your site). Forgive me, I’m adding it now. I’m sure you know much more than Tab and I put together about many things. It just so happens that even as a very, very young person, I sensed I was getting a twist on the Bible, especially after my year at a well known Baptist-oriented Bible college and decided to study for myself; so it’s become my largest nonwork-related activity in my ‘spare time’.

    I honestly don’t want to be an antagonist, though it appears I am, and honestly I’m concerned about making Tab stressed out, but to just let comments go by that really mean something to my own faith, and let them pass unchallenged, doesnt’ seem to make sense.

    Today I asked him what his goals for the discussion are as they seem unclear to me; I’m seeing several potential goals and maybe his response will clear it up.

    My big area of interest is the marriage of politics and religion, because that is what will affect everyone. No one, at this point (with rare exception) is being forced to submit to or believe in anyone else’s religion or faith/belief system. But several religions (almost all the majors) seem to have leanings in or direct agenda in that direction.

    For atheists and agnostics, I would think this is just as sinister as it is to someone who is a believer in some type of faith system but yet values free choice, which is God given.

  17. christianzionismexposed said

    Oops…I called you Tab, Jose! ๐Ÿ™‚ Can you forgive me? He’s a nice man so it wasn’t an insult! LOL I’ve got to try to navigate your blog and catch up. Things have been getting away lately.

  18. Jose said

    Oh, my God, CZE, I’m not worth it, indeed.

  19. christianzionismexposed said

    The discussion is now officially ended with Tab. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Maybe because of what I read from you here, Jose? At least, it probably contributed to the decision.

    Thank you. I tend to be annoyingly persistent when something is important to me. It sometimes takes blunt force trauma to the psyche to stop it and get the dog off the bone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Jose said

    LOL. You’re incredible, indeed. You are really determined and never get tired when you know you’re on solid ground.

    Carry on, dear CZE.

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