By Monty firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, I read the story about "A Shaggy God Story." It was forwarded to me by a friend who said he loved reading it. It was good. But I sent him some feedback which, in the spirit of discussion and growth, I think you should publish on your site as an editorial. I think you'll find it well-thought out and positive in its approach.
I know you sense something, but WHAT, we're never supposed to get there. Yes, this site nailed some things that we're likely to believe. Likely to assume. Likely to see. We are led to believe these things. But humans have been down this mental road so many times. And I believe it's time to break out of this rut once and for all. It's time to confront this short-sighted logic.
The idea that God would perform a miracle for someone to prove his existence-- secretly lifting a pencil from its cup, for instance-- is childish. I did the same thing when I was ten. But our paths diverged from there. To lift a pencil off the desk would be contrary to the laws of this universe. These are not laws that God cannot break. They are the equivalent of speech. To me, it is not the possibility of a temporary suspension of God's laws which would prove His existence, but the continuous, dependable expression of those laws which does. The most incredible sunset I ever saw-- while on mushrooms-- is proof of that existence. Action, reaction. Cause, result. Mathmatics. Quantum physics. Indeed, I find the way the world works more cause for belief in the existence of God than some random miracle. Without meaning to sound trite, I believe we're living in a constant miracle. The expression of those laws-- and I dare say, the artistic expression-- is what keeps me coming back for more.
I agree that the "Shaggy God Story" wasn't all angry and negative, but I hesitate to assign it additional credence because of the absence of those values. Because his account is not angry and negative one cannot discount its misguided, "God must be proven or else" logic. You yourself have said that the devil was made up by humans, and yet, looking back on all our discussions in the past-- Lewis Caroll's "Ant Hillary" analogy comes to mind, that of ants forming a 'gestalt' consciousness-- I can see that you somehow sense that the existence of these beings lie just beyond the bounds of human comprehension. That's the "God" you're hinting about. Not "the god I was raised to believe in."
The same tired arguments pop up on this Web page. Children with their heads blown off in an explosion. The Holocaust, the historic suffering of the world. So when you say that we made the devil up to cover up the abuses of humans, I agree ("In fact, if you told me God broke the cookie jar..."). But the same logic applies in God's case, too. And the abuses of humans against other humans dose not negate God's existence whatsoever. When we discuss the history of earth, we do not discuss God's history. God does not have a history of abuse and hatred. Man does.
I find it ironic that the same democratic freedoms people fight so doggedly for-- freedom of speech, freedom of choice-- is somehow intended to apply to our universe but not in God's. It does. The freedom I have to go buy a gun and blow an innocent person's brains out is the same decision-making power I use to decide whether or not I believe in God. How does the fact that God does not intervene for our protection-- against our will-- prove that God does not exist? It only proves that God has the same kind of respect-- an ultimate respect, in a way, since every day it means the difference between life or death-- for our laws that we do. Live free or die? God hears and abides by OUR rules. Not the other way 'round.
With God's constant intervention providing complete safety from harm, our lives would be a fascist hell. How can we define the ideal world? A world where when we jump off a cliff no harm comes to us? A world where terroroist bombs do NOT decapitate innocent children? Or is it a world where even the evil intent to kill-- which is the source of bombs which decapitate innocent children-- does not exist? With that mind control, can we not also ask that God control our negative thoughts, to provide only positive, self-affirming thoughts? If so, how can we ask a God to control our thoughts? Who defines what is positive? Where is the self, anyway? This is the ultimate in fascism. God is not a fascist.
Therefore we choose. And bombs are built. Kittens, puppies, parents and children, all die. All in the name of freedom. Complete freedom.
I believe in God. I know God. I am part of Him.