April 6, 2007

The Right To Be Confused

I'm participating in Blog Against Theocracy. For instructions, click on picture or the link.

I don't know if this qualifies, but this is what the voices in my head forced me to write.

One Man's Confusion, Clarified

Ask me "Do you believe in God?", and I will respond; "Define 'God'".

If your definition of God is the popular Judeo/Christian/Islamic interpretations, defined and explained in the Bibles known as Tanakh, Koran, Old Testament or New Testament, then my answer is "NO", I know that God does not exist, literally. I am a Bible God atheist. Well, not exactly. Yes, I'm spiritually confused, like most people I've ever met.

God is not found in books, or from men telling me their definition of God.

The "Bibles", translated from language to language, and rewritten to conform to modern society, have their origins in the books of Moses, the Torah, the "Pentateuch" or "Chumash", the first five books of the Old Testament. These books were written in Hebrew and are to be read in Hebrew. According to the books, God said not to change anything, not even the smallest "iota" , a small dot in the Hebrew text. Then why did we do that? The translations from Hebrew to Greek, then from Greek to English have changed the meaning and teachings of much of those writings. There is no way to conform to those writing, literally, when we don't even know much about the original writing.

Then what is my "definition of God"?

There is beauty, mystery, and power within our universe. This is God.

There is a spirit within all of us, outside our thoughts, that connects all life in the universe. Life not only of animals, but of plants, ecosystems, planets, the universe, and whatever is beyond that. This is God.

There is something more than what we know, or can ever know, with our limited intelligence. It is so simple, that humans cannot understand it. This is God.

It doesn't mean the "Bibles" are untrue. I believe the books were originally created to be a symbolic, metaphoric explanation of what man cannot explain. God does exist. For each person, God is different, personal, and cannot be defined the same from one person to another. I do not worship a God, but I have faith that something exists. I worship life, that is a true gift from God.

I have said before, we are eternal, only if we see ourselves as part of the whole, the one, the universe. We are made from this debris, and we will eventually return this material back to the planet or universe, to be used again.

Evolution is true, scientists and churches have recognised that evolution and faith are compatible as long as you don't interpret the Bibles literally.

The study of DNA provides a link to us and all life on the planet. Can this be God's way? Yes.

Morality, religious conservatives say, comes from these "Bibles". I have seen morality from other animals. Morality is not a learned philosophy, it is an instinct. No amount of religous study can give a man higher morals. A mother's love, the willingness to put others lives ahead of your own, the selfless love that causes animals to do things for no other reason than it's the right thing to do. I have seen it.

The conflicts caused by religious conservatives are not based on morality, they are based on selfish pride. Morality is a trait of life, not taught from a book.

Attaching yourself to literal interpretations is not wise, nor necessary, for a believer. There is much compelling scientific evidence pointing to the ancient age our planet and the relation of all living things, linked by evolution and genetics. St. Augustine of Hippo, from the fourth century, also had similar interpretations of theological literature.

We need to study and learn about God's creation. Science gives us clues and faith fills in the gaps, between what we know and what we don't understand or will never know.

Now, are you still confused about what I believe? Yeah, me too.

How can we use interpretations of ancient folklore to rule people and create laws when there are many different ways to interpret those texts, either literally or symbolicly. Religious Liberty is the only choice of "civilized" society? To revert back to the ignorance and prejudice of governments which rule people on the basis of beliefs and ancient writings, instead of ethics or morality, would be like cutting away the brain God gave for us reason, logic, and wisdom.

Another Link: First Freedom First
Scientist Believer: Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D
Rabbi Gellman: Is God Real?


angry ballerina said...

"We are made from this debris, and we will eventual return this material back to the planet or universe, to be used again."

I like that. This reminded me of the Desiderata.

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

Angry - Yes. I read Desiderata to remind me of the gifts of ouor life.

"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

Pam said...

nick - this is an amazing and well-written post. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to read about others' complicated views on religion and spirituality, rather than just the "it's because i have faith" bullshit answers.

Thorne said...

Thank you for this very personal expression for Blog Against Theocracy I'm trying to visit and read every site, because I believe that we are each important!! Kudos!

BBC said...

"Define 'God'"

Man is God in evolution. Not that you can see that being as you are a bunch of monkeys with dogs that you value more than other humans.

I mean other monkeys.

And yes, you have lost your mind, they took it away from you as they raised you with all the stupid things they taught you.

And you haven't gotten it back.

Blueberry said...

Spiritually confused is a good thing! It means you're still asking questions and thinking. Not all who wander are lost.

Nancy aka BSB said...

Proud of being a monkey who loves my dogs a hell of a lot more than most humans I share this big old earth with!

Who knows THE truth, nobody! end of story.

Hey, I can leave a comment even if I don't have a blogger account, well what do you know, for a monkey I'm not too bad! LOL


BBC said...

Spiritually confused is a stupid thing, something for monkeys.

Evil Spock said...

Damn you Nick. You're making Evil Spock look bad because I haven't gotten my Blog Against Theocracy up yet. Working on it though!

DivaJood said...

Nick, I kind of like "Good Orderly Direction" as a definition of God.

Good post!