This morning over my morning tea I found myself reading a three page spread in the web edition of the New York Times about Richard Dawkins new book, The God Delusion.
What follows is a sort of mental diarrhea that will most likely make little sense and cause you a headache.
Dawkins takes every available opportunity to state how evil religion is. He goes so far as to say he suspects "there are very few atheists in prison." He provides no statistics or other evidence for this claim. The author also rationalizes that though Hitler and Stalin were both atheists, that their lack of religion was not a factor in driving their brutality.
Hmm... this statement seems ridiculous to me. Let me just put myself in the shoes of someone who has lost the belief in God and harbors hate towards other people.
If I wanted to destroy a lot of people the idea of there being no Creator would suit that - maybe even justify it in the mind of a delusional, insane person. Hell, it may even lead to the insanity in the first place. Without a god to see and judge your actions you may think you can take all sorts of liberty with human life. Why bother holding back your murderous impulses if no one will punish you for it? Now, I don't believe in the whole punishment thing in the traditional sense. I believe in Karma - which can be a real bitch for those folks who get off on hurting others.
Also, if I had spent my entire life believing in something, even devoting myself to it as in Stalin's case (a onetime Orthodox seminarian), I would be pretty pissed off to one day figure out that I had been lied to and had wasted my time on something fictional.
Are you there God?
I've been there, you know. I've been in that spot in the brain that causes doubt in all things not physical. I've been "Little Miss Doubty-Pants" and "The Queen of Rational Thought" before. If you asked me to explain how I got over it, I couldn't tell you. I'm not sure I ever closed the door on those thoughts, but I still believe in something greater. I don't care if it makes me a sheep in the eyes of Atheists, Secular Humanists, or Bob the grocery store clerk.
One day I thought to myself, "What if when we die we just break down into the planet and there is no consciousness?" That's the single most terrifying thought my brain has ever come up with. I can't say that I have completely reconciled this idea within myself. It still creeps in there every now and again when I least expect it, but I don't obsess over it.
One of the things I keep coming back to is the reality of cyclical transformation. Nothing is ever created or destroyed. All things simply change from one thing to another. All that exists now has always existed. This means that everything is God/dess if God/dess is the source. But, into what form do we get to be transformed? Is it as biodegradable waste or a spiritual, consciousness-having entity?
If the soul exists than it can not cease to exist. So, I guess the question is - how do we prove the human soul exists? Does it live in the brain? Does it die when the body dies? Is the brain the source of consciousness?
I believe in the Goddess and Nature. I don't know the answers, despite how many times I've tried to manifest them in my cerebral cortex. I only have faith and personal truth. That's just going to have to be enough. Will it matter if I'm wrong?
Labels: Misc. Commentary, Misc. News