Consider for a moment the concept of God from a scientific point of view.
Political note: I use “He” “himself” etc… not to disparage women, but because it’s the traditional way of saying it. Also, if that’s the first thing in this piece that annoys you, I submit you have larger issues.
If there is a God, how would he work? If you mentally strong enough to open your mind to the idea of a supreme being, then you must acknowledge that they would have control of all the forces in the universe. Gravity, Electromagnetism, Radiation, Atomic Bonds… all of it.
Many scientific atheists enjoy pointing out how miracles can be explained by understood scientific phenomenon. What once seemed impossible, in the light of new discovery becomes common place, or at the very least explainable.
So here is my first question, If God controls all the forces of the universe. Why use anything else, and why would God need anything else? When a scientist finds a scientific explanation of a miracle, it in-no-way disproves the miracle, it only demonstrates the advancement of man in his understanding God and how he did it.
Another reason the bible (in specific) is so misunderstood is because of translations from language to language. For instance, Go back to the garden of Eden. When read in Hebrew, the story’s a bit different from what I was taught in Sunday school.
Adam was told, “Do not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge.” He then told Eve, “Do not touch the tree.” not an exact transmission… kind of like the child’s game of telephone. If, as Jewish midrash explains, the serpent tricked her into touching it, she believed she was already doomed, so eating of it seemed like a case of, “What have I got to lose?” So the fall was the fault of both man and woman, not just woman alone.
Not so misogynistic after all? Is it? Now that instance is also the basis of my postulate:
God CAN do ANYTHING, but he WONT do SOME THINGS because they are against the rules he himself set.
Once cast out, Adam and Eve had the power of free will, and all the consequences that go with it…
God understands and embraces the concept of Law, after all he knows and understands all of them, he kept his word, and stuck to the law. Mankind gained free will and all that implies, most important, freedom of choice. To choose good or evil, to choose right or wrong, to choose life or death. Choice has consequences, and that was also part of the deal.
If God didn’t abide by his own laws, he would be no different that the rich daddy who buys his kid a fancy sports car and they when the kid runs someone over in it, he uses the same money to get them off the hook. Wouldn’t be much of a God if he broke his own laws like a corrupt politician now would he?
God wants us to survive and prosper, as would any human who creates something, but once Adam and Eve made their choice, God’s hands were tied by his (or her) own laws.
Now no matter what you call the supreme being. God, Alla, Oden, Ra, Zeus, etc… it’s still the same idea, and whether God operates alone or with children, or friends, or minions, the concept is still the same.
The only difference is, the books written about God, and since they were all written by people, and as with anything written by people, they are filled with politics and agendas. Some much more than others, but I think all of them suffer from it to some degree or another.
Now of course, some holy books, like some scientific theories are better than others.
The only way to judge such works is by looking at them in their original languages and seeing how close they stick to known absolutes of human interaction, and laws of the universe, and just like scientific papers, but remember, holy books were not written under a specific set of rules and conditions like scientific papers. There were no such rules when most of these were written, so bear that in mind.
Of course to do any of this you must first acknowledge that there are absolutes of human interaction.
IE Good and Evil.
Something many (if not most) are loath to do today. They call it moral equivalence, but it is simply a case of people not wanting to face the fact that some of the things they do are wrong, so they created this philosophy to give themselves a “get out of jail free” card.
Laws of the universe are mostly accepted as is by scientists, for instance its hard to argue with gravity. Everyone who does keeps falling down, but I’ve noticed that in the last few decades something decidedly insidious has raised it’s head in the Scientific community.
Scientist who wish to turn theories into laws without properly vetting them. Sort of the scientific equivalent of Dogma.
Instead of testing and experimentation, they spread the theories through the media as if they are proven fact. Then produce stilted and skewed studies that align with political movements, and count on popular support and outcry to make their theories into d-facto laws. You see this In a multitude of subjects today if you have the honesty to look.
Many religions do the same. They claim things as absolutes of human interaction, that are in fact only political and agenda based ideas and theories. Some of these have fallen by the wayside as man advanced, such as:
Slavery is a good idea.
Women are the property of men.
Killing non-believers is a good idea.
Killing the innocent is excusable if it furthers the cause of a faith.
Priests must be shielded from the consequences of their actions…
But these, and other likewise ridiculous theories are still actively and publicly advocated and defended by some faiths. I submit these are the faiths you should look askance at.
If a religion allows one of these without avocation, it may simply be trying to keep people in the temples, and deal with it “In house” in which case you might consider condemning only the specific practice, not the entire religion.
However, if any faith openly and publicly says this is still correct, it’s a good sign that specific religion is a mess.
And don’t think for a second Science is innocent of this. Just look at some of the ideas science has put forward as good over the years.
Lobotomy is a humane practice.
Killing a child 3 months prior to birth, is morally superior to 3 months after birth.
There are more, but you get the idea. The point being, that science, like religion is not perfect.
Now I will admit some personal bias here when I say that one general faith seems a lot closer than any other according to observable evidence, but as I said, that’s just me, your mileage may vary.
As it so happens, that’s also the religion that the US Constitution was based upon, and anyone who says the Constitution was not based in religion obviously hasn’t read it. Only had it explained to them by people expert in twisting the truth to fit their agenda, or already indoctrinated in such nonsense. There are over 100 biblical references in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution alone…
And before you go there, The fact that people believe this requires no conspiracy at all.
All it requires is an audience willing to believe what they hear. Who would not be willing to believe that there was no real eternal consequences for their actions? It makes life easier, and lets face it, most people are lazy by nature, so it’s an easy sell. People are incline to believe anything that benefits or protects them. They want to believe the things that benefit them, and fear makes them believe the things they “think” will protect them.
Religion is no more insane that some areas of science, but currently science has a better press agent. Lets face facts, hope is a universal need among people, wither it’s ever realized is not the issue. Hope is necessary for man to stand and move forward, for without hope, why bother stepping out your own door? Why risk anything without hope of a good outcome? Science is handy for projections, but frankly is kind of sucks at generating hope.
Just saying… and HAPPY EASTER, and GOD (whichever you worship) BLESS.