Blind To Reality

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A Deep Conversation

I was chatting with a friend of mine who is religious.  Not religious in the orthodox, hard-line type of way but believed there is a God that created the world, praying to God to achieve a specific outcome actually works and that there is a heaven and hell in the afterlife.  She believes these things with absolute certainty and refused to even admit that there is a possibility that none of it was true.  What she told me her denomination was is irrelevant – the criteria I listed above apply to just about every religion out there.

I am agnostic.  I am proud to admit that I do not know or have the answers to the big questions surrounding humanity and our beginning.  Part of being human is the unknown however the critical need for us to have the answers is completely understandable.  There are many historical artifacts and writings (the Bible or Quran for example) that many believe are writings from a God or by men filled with the ‘power of God’ or both.  These same believers often pick and choose what is considered relevant or applicable in modern day life.  This is mainly because these writings were in fact written by humans, for humans.  They are riddled with hypocrisy, contradiction and in many instances, absolute nonsensical instruction. 

The Chicken, Or The Egg?

To say that a God created us poses the question:  how did God get there? or who created god?  Well, according to my friend, God just ‘always was’.  I’m sorry, what?  God was just always there?  What an insightful explanation.  Many other believers in God will tell you that God has a plan for everyone’s life.  Ok, let’s say that is true and I got angry one day and murdered my neighbor in cold blood.  Was that God’s plan?  No – the explanation from believers is that God gave us all free will.  So, if I understand this correctly, God is controlling the outcome but so do we.  Sounds like a contradiction as that same God is touted as all-knowing, omnipotent and the one who is, well, running shit. 

There are a lot of preventable and unnecessary things that happen on planet Earth.  Abuse, theft, cheating, torture, starvation, mutilation, bombings, war, murder etc. – well you get the picture.  Would an all-loving creator of something as magnificent as our planet and human life allow such things to occur?  Certainly not if you are a believer.  It is humans at fault.  Free will, remember? Ironically, when something good happens, a lot of people thank God first. Or if a coincidence that prevents a death or has a good outcome, it’s a miracle from God.

I Pray For $1,000,000,000

Another interesting part of our conversation revolved around prayer.  She claimed that she prayed for someone’s safety while they were driving in a storm.  That person made it home safe and sound and my friend gave all the credit to the prayer she made to God.  She refused to admit that it could have possibly been a coincidence and that even if she didn’t pray, her friend would have arrived home in one piece anyways.  I asked her about prayers that do not get answered the way she would have wanted.  The answer I received was that “it’s God’s plan not to answer my prayer”.  Interesting.  I thought to myself that if she prayed for an end to world hunger tomorrow and it didn’t happen, would that excuse hold any weight?  God would then be allowing the tremendous and vile suffering of millions of men, women and children, all for some plan that no one knows about.

There wasn’t much to talk about when it came to heaven or hell.  Apparently God will judge us when we die and decide where we go.  I asked why, if God is the creator and most powerful, did he not just eliminate hell altogether.  Why punish the evil in the afterlife when he has the power to do so in real life?  And just where exactly is heaven and hell?  These were questions she admitted she could not answer and while I admired her honesty on that, I looked at her with incredulity that she just blindly believes it.

The Santa “Clause”

Santa Claus is not real just because I say he is.  He is not any more alive just because I have faith that he brings children gifts every 25th of December.  Many historical writings talk of him and I do not read and hold them to be completely true and accurate.  It is difficult to understand why an intelligent person, such as my friend, would choose to entertain this same way of thinking when it comes to something as significant and far-reaching as God, Prayer and heaven and hell. Like I said before, I am Agnostic.  I am humble enough to admit that I do not know the answers and inquisitive enough to try and find them.  As it stands, all of this rests on the balance of probabilities.  The question of whether there is a God ranks very low on that probability list.  As much so as the Big Bang Theory.  I genuinely feel sorry for people who are too arrogant to admit that their belief in an invisible being that allows so much death and destruction on his own creation and the story behind it, could possibly not be true.  That arrogance will not benefit you but only blind you to reality.

Published by Daniel Nelson

I'm a freelance writer for hire. Sometimes I talk too much so writing provides a quieter avenue for my ramblings. Email me, I'd love to read what you think! danielnelson@thearbitraryblog.com

2 thoughts on “Blind To Reality

  1. Hey, there. Thanks for the article and an opportunity to share. I understand, as best as I can, the topic. I remember this question from a young person, who wondered just as you, who created He Who created everything else. I understand that there has to be a beginning: a starting point, and He Who began creation, Who started everything, had to have no beginning. For to say that everything was created by something is to believe you can back track forever, and I can see the problem with that. For in a cause and effect relationship, where one thing causes the next, there has to be a starting point. And the beginning is a place of no previous. **That we have difficulty imagining this, as I see it, just means I’m not able to fully understand. But that also means I’m not god. And I don’t want to be. I would much rather follow my Father, praying for His guidance for I certainly need Him.
    So, someone asks, how can that be. Again, I can “see” it but probably do a poor job of explaining, though I’ll do my best. You see, time is a created thing. Studying some, I learned that time is a relationship to things in motion. Well, prior to the universe, there was no motion. All was now. Prior to time created, all was now. So, there was no before and after until creation began. You see, there is existence outside time and space. **Now, I admit, I have difficulty wrapping my mortal brain around this, but I can “see” this.
    Regarding prayer, I do believe prayers are answered. But I would hope a prayer, that wasn’t beneficial, nor served an ultimate good, and some that are just wrong, would not be granted. Let’s say, someone prayed that a neighbor, they didn’t like, would lose their career and become homeless. Well, that neighbor has a family. I would then believe, that if the prayer was not given, that good prevailed. If I understand the bible correctly, then I would hope that prayers would be prayers of honest caring, that if the prayer is one that doesn’t harm decent people, or if others might be affected in the negative. You can see the point. Looking to do what is right, looking to our Father for guidance, then in times of difficulty, praying….
    Then, there are more difficult situations, as when one loses a loved one to an accident or disease. That’s very difficult. But someone once gave one possibility in one situation. What if, a decent man, say in war time, jumped on a grenade to save his fellow men. We would hope the decent man would be safe, that the grenade didn’t go off, but his “sacrifice” or compassion affected his fellows in ways that caused them to love even more. And for the rest of their lives, they appreciated what their friend did, then set an example that inspired others. *I don’t know why things happen, but I can see this perspective. Aren’t we all appreciative, as in 9-11, when fire fighters risked their lives to help others, many knowing they probably wouldn’t make it, but they had no choice, for they loved others more?
    Okay, one more thing. I’ve heard this before, and I think C.S. Lewis can answer the query better than I. I too have had difficulty with this, but I also understand why bad things happen, even to good people. We were not created as automatons. Whether you or I agree, I suppose, our Father could have created us doing what is right every step of the way, then there would be nothing but peace. I think, in such a case, we would be automatons. I wonder if we even would be aware or alive. I wonder if we would be like the rest of creation, living by instinct, unable to make any decisions of our own.
    The first two human beings, who were truly alive, who were self-aware but also aware of their Father, had the living ability to make decisions. They could contemplate. They could do this or that. They weren’t like animals following their DNA alone. The first pair were told to leave one tree alone. They were told not to seek after “knowledge,” but to live by faith. They were happy. They had no want. They were living in peace. And they could have had children who also would have been born in peace.
    But they chose to doubt and become gods in their own eyes. I believe, this was a choice all of us would have made in the same circumstances, but it’s also a choice we continue to make in this life.
    But what are the consequences of “choosing” not to listen to what we know is right in our hearts? (Or, what are the consequences in not seeking the One Who created you? I don’t know.). If you choose not to look both ways before crossing the road, you might get hit by a car. If you choose not to save money, be responsible, when times are tough, you might find yourself homeless. If you choose not to get to know another person well, to understand whether they make good decisions or not, whether that person is truly caring, what are the results in marriage? And with billions of people all over the world choosing not to follow what they know is right in their hearts, that can only magnify to problems. And good people live in the same world with all the rest. And those who know what is right in their hearts have the responsibility to raise their kids with what they understand, but also to correct others (who don’t listen) and live by example. So, if kids aren’t taught right and wrong, because the parents haven’t lived lives of responsibility, what happens with future generations?
    But C.S. Lewis said it better. He was an atheist. He also wondered why there was so much bad in the world. He wondered why people do wrong things. But, since he was a searching soul, would follow the rabbit down the trail of reason, he also realized something was shining. How was it he knew the difference between right and wrong? How did he know the world was not as it should be? In this, among other realizations, he knew that we were all created. He knew God is good and created him. For there must be an ultimate good for us to realize. Our understanding is a gift. We understand nothing without Him.
    An atheist, as he explained and I saw, is a person who uses the understanding we’re all born with to cut the tree limb he’s/she’s sitting on. The only way we have any understanding at all is because we’re given the understanding. But it’s okay, I believe, to wonder. It’s okay to ponder. It’s okay to have questions. In the bible, Job asks many questions. Others have too. So, many Christians who have many of the same questions pray. I think we’re to have a relationship with our Father, that He wants us to want what’s right, to ponder, to wonder, and to ask. For He is the source of our being.
    All the best.

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