If God is Spirit, then the spiritual is the true reality. “Let the dead bury the dead” seems to imply that what we accept as life is nothing of the sort. I prefer a New Testament that is stripped of theological explanations. Jesus was hardest on the Pharisees, the most observant Jews of His day.
I believe in God but also disbelieve in every god that atheists disbelieve in. Every god based on some theology is akin to an idol, an attempt to cram the Spirit into the limitations of the mind of man.
A wise man, or maybe just a fool, once postulated that living the physical life was akin to acting in a movie. I just hope for a pleasant little role rather than having a short lived role in a nasty Tarantino grind house flick.
Comment by Freddie Sykes — December 15, 2012 @ 8:45 am
I usually say: There must be a heaven, because without heaven, there can’t be a hell for those who so richly deserve it,
I’m an atheist, but I shurasell believe in “evil.”
No, not in the “Satan” sense. I don’t think evil needs to be centralized or supernatural — it seems to me to be all too natural. What we see is perfectly explainable by evil individuals acting alone or in groups.
And, no, I’m not talking about evil as men’s weakness, stupidity, ignorance, cussedness, or general jackassery but the sometimes vile, insidious, psycho-sociopathic evil of some biological humans.
Nature, itself, doesn’t need any help to appear evil — it’s tryin’ to kill us 24/7 with total dispassion.
I’ll skip over the notion that a monotheistic deity responsible for both good and evil would be a hard sell as worship-worthy (although I see no reason why that duality couldn’t actually be true or, actually, more likely … or why, on the other hand, a supernatural source of good and evil should even be necessary).
As for hope …
wellp, still have that.
Comment by DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!) — December 15, 2012 @ 10:28 am
Agree with Doug. I believe that human beings, the most intelligent animals of Darwinian evolution, have the mental capacity to be “angels” or “devils” in their short life times on our Blue Marble.
All of written history essentially boils down to conflict (…major and minor…) between humans who chose one or the other.
I also believe that in geologic time (Claire likes this description…) humans are still just “Monkeys with car keys”!
AND, as some smart Economist one said, ” RELIGION IS A REGRETTABLE NECESSITY TO SOCIAL ORDER.” True words in my opinion.
I believe we might have the mental intelligence to get along with our species, but, our *NATURE* gets in the way!!! That Nature is still the “Kill or be killed”
drive that millions of years of struggle—–got us to the top of the fucking food
I know a nother thing: KISP is filled with “Angels”, which is why I fucking love to escape here every day!
Comment by Colonel Jerry USMC — December 15, 2012 @ 11:51 am
^ The question, to my mind, is not whether religion provides a social good (it does/can) but whether it is based on the underlying truth of existence. Given the unlikelihood of establishing that for a fact one way or the other, and given the variations in the sectarian opinions out there, and given that others’ personal religions are none of my business, I support demonstrably good moral tenets (e.g. the Judeo-Christian ethic) as “means,” not “ends.” That way, I’m not tempted to force others to agree with my ends.
(What? Oh, yeah, I’ll defend my right to pursue my ends, though — if necessary, with extreme prejudice.)
Comment by DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!) — December 15, 2012 @ 1:50 pm
God doesn’t get involved nearly as much as people think. There is no grand plan for your life except to find Him and follow to your best ability. I despise the religious nuts who will look at this and say “God’s will” and leave it at that. NO IT WASN’T YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!!! It wasn’t anyone’s will but that of the shooter. And all those great things that happen to you??? Thank God for the ability, but you did them. He didn’t put the answers in your head or say “ok, this time I’ll answer and the nice thing will happen”. It doesn’t work like that. He puts you down here and expects you to do your best. THAT is His plan. To say otherwise is to say He gave that gun to that kid and said “have at it”. No way. No how.
Comment by Chris in NC — December 15, 2012 @ 2:01 pm
Those of us who study The Bible a bit know that the evil one, Satan, is known as the great accuser. All the way back to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and ever since.
So, as we look at the standard MO of the Democratic Party, we clearly see than their number one method of destroying their conservative opposition, is to make false accusations, knowing that their willing minions in the so called “news” media, will parrot whatever they say.
Who really controls the Democratic Party?
I rest my case.
Comment by JoeBandMember™ — December 15, 2012 @ 9:58 pm
Thanks, and you put succinctly both the comfort of the faithful and the dilemma of the anti-religionists. The existence of evil requires the existence of a balancing force, so acknowledging that evil as such actually acknowledges the existence of God (or something similar, whether you call it that or not).
I shared this on my FB page, attributed of course.
Comment by C Sherman — December 16, 2012 @ 9:25 pm
COL Jerry: “AND, as some smart Economist one said, ” RELIGION IS A REGRETTABLE NECESSITY TO SOCIAL ORDER.”
I’m usually underwhelmed when economists speak of religion – or when clerics speak of economics. “Shoemaker, stick to your last” is my advice.
Even that other great philosopher, Marx, thought of religion as the opiate of the people.