Sunday, February 26, 2006

He said, "My way is better than your way"

Sometimes I wonder about the state of religion in the world and the people who try to prove it or disprove it. My buddy Nate was eating lunch with me the other day when he started talking about a book he had just recently come across in a bookstore. The author, a devout atheist had decided through logic he could disprove any person’s logic that there was a God and therefore disprove religion. This is wrong in so many ways.

I can grant the author, whoever he is, that there are a lot of people in the world that believe in a religion and when asked why they believe, can’t give a good reason for their beliefs and that after a careful analysis of the argument, one can find flaws pretty easy. That does not mean a lot though. Did this author interview everyone? Did he even interview anyone with an in depth knowledge of religion? Actually, it does not matter.

Confucius once said when asked about religion that he had not even mastered all the ways of Earth so why even consider Heaven. But since his day, we have come along way, I can order a pizza and have it delivered to my house, I can fly in an airplane in the clouds, I can even talk to people on the other side of the world. To a person like Confucius or one of his contemporaries, this all might seem god like and maybe means we should start to think about religion a little more but in reality we all know these are simple things.

But for all we can do and have accomplished in the last few thousand years, we still have some very basic, let me say extremely extremely basic things we don’t know. We don’t know how big the universe is and in fact we are even not sure what it is made up. Sure, we got an idea, atoms or quarks or gluons but the theories about these are changing and will continue to dramatically change in the next few years.

We don’t even know how people came to be, in Kansas where I live they are debating evolution verses creationism and that is a whole nother story but I am talking mainly about our DNA, is it mapped out yet? The scientist say it is but really only a few genes have been identified and linked to actual traits. There is still a long way to go to find out which gene where actually makes this or that happen.

And the rough history of human development is still being mapped. We know that people came out of Africa, that people migrated here and there but the whole picture is still quite a bit unclear and is changing every day. Some interesting work is being done with the genographic project but its final results are still years away.

So I can go on but I am not, my point being is, we as people still don’t know much more than Confucius. We are still discussing who we are and what the world is made up of. After we get these basics down, we will be able to devote more time to what we will be after this world and where the other world is and is made up of. Until then, of course some pseudo-intellectual is going to be able to disprove a faithful’s claim on divine knowledge but this does not mean such a person is entirely wrong.

At the same time, who are these people going around, knocking on my door, telling me that they know for sure what the other world is about. I ask them how they know? They heard it from a girl, who heard it from a guy, who heard it from somebody else type of story does not fly with me. And at the same time really leaves openings for the atheist above to blow holes in their arguments.

I do believe in something though but my experiences are all personal. I can witness to someone else, I can tell them all I have learnt and know but in the end all my knowledge and experience about religious experience is all subjective. It is hard for me to physically, tangibly, give anybody any kind of evidence in a spiritual world other than my word. Why? Because it is a spiritual world. If it was a part of this world the evidence would be obvious. The person I was trying to explain all this too could just see my evidence and be convinced but the spiritual world can’t by any methods be gathered into a jar and put on display for all to see in today’s times.

The spiritual world is an “other” world, if it was a “here” world it would not be that big of a deal. So for each person to really know about the spiritual world, they just have to experience it, themselves. Seeing or experiencing is believing and it is that simple. So for me, I have a hard time trying to take some bodies word for something like religion when they can’t show it to me but they can’t show it to me because I don’t believe. It is a catch 22 that catches everyone at some point and for the atheist that writes his book, is ultimately his vindication. But I believe that this might not always be the case. How? Why? I am not sure but I hope for an easier answer and less controversy surrounding one of the big questions in life.

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