Monday, January 17, 2011

Conversation with a Theist.

The 'existence' of gods - Beliefnet

You might consider God as a way to rebel against the idea that we are just mindless organisms whose only thought is to build wealth and reproduce.

Since I never bought into this religious concept I have no need to rebel. Reproduction and wealth are results not goals of living. I inherited an active and intelligent mind to think with, and I was encouraged to use it effectively to improve the welfare of my chosen society, beginning with family of course, but extending in ever expanding circles to include all those with similar goals. Some of the things I did created wealth, or at least enough to provide for my family, and in the course of events I found another person with an active intelligent mind to share the adventure of trying to produce and care for a couple of more people with active, intelligent educated minds.

Frankly God would have been a distraction all along the way that I never found a need for.
How do we get to connect with whatever this "something" is? What makes us uniquely human? Secular responses might be developing a connection to community, seeing beyond ourselves to put others first, or expressions of our creativity in our art, music etc. Interestingly, this is exactly what belief in God facilitates... seeing beyond yourself, community, and creativity. Belief provides a construct -- a organizational framework and common language -- to examine and express this "something else" and reject the utilitarian version of reality.
Sorry, I am missing something here. I have no problems at all connecting to my chosen society, and putting that society as primary, I frankly do not see how God does anything but divide society into little belief pools, that frankly can't see beyond the doors of the church. And when they do get beyond those doors they seem to want to drag others behind those doors.

My society is limited to those who can think about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and who they are doing it for. There is nothing necessarily utilitarian about this society, and therefore nothing that I need the help of God to reject. In fact it is the rejecting part of God that gives me the biggest problems. Why do I need God to reject anything. If it is worth while and beneficial to the society it will be obvious to all reasonable members of the society, if not no one will pursue it.

But, if you've never come home at 3 AM after a long day and thought "what's the purpose of all of this?" then I think you've escaped something most people feel from time to time.
I would suggest if you have then your God has failed you. That is, not kept you out of something that perhaps you shouldn't have been in. I have pulled my share of late nights, some of which I will admit were lessons in what not to do. But the purpose was clear: Don't do this again, idiot!" And if somebody was hurt, I had to drag myself out of bed to do what I could to repair the damage. Sometimes the purpose of life is cleaning up the mess. I have yet to find a God that was much good at cleaning up messes.

I respect those Christians who can think and explain what they believe, what they are doing and why.

So do I. They fit very well into the thoughtful, purposeful society that I consider my own. In fact one of my favorite excuses for arriving home at 3am is having been arguing with a Jesuit, or a Jew about God. The purpose being that we all know more about God.

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