26 responses to “the god delusion?”

  1. eric

    hi,

    i think the use of destruction/construction as the construct around which to understand or attempt to define God is as weak as using Hurricane Katrina/the Fire Hydrant to understand the significance of water. in essence, one cannot prove the vitality of water by ascribing to it values that are not intrinsic to it – derived values so to speak. rhetorically speaking, can water be destructive? and can it be useful? is it, as a consequence of its inconsistency, a delusion and therefore inconsequential? only one without the intellectual capacity to understand that h2o is vital for life sees it that way.

    as it is with God. is He the loving Father who gives wholeness and meaning to your parents and their marriage? is He also the maker of a universe that is decaying into chaos? The answer to both these seemingly paradoxical realities is in the affirmative. as it was for water. does that make Him insignificant and thus not one to be reckoned with? only one without the spiritual capacity to understand that He is necessary for life can see Him that way.

  2. Rani

    (my comment is only [well, mostly] on the marriage bit in your post)

    I *love the way you described your parents' marriage – the commitment and love truly *are inspiring. And your choice of a pic was good too :)

    Most people I know attribute a successful marriage (mostly) to a shared religious faith, and while I don't disagree, I finally think it boils down to shared *values and principles*. You can share the same faith, but if some of 'em values are just too divergent, *then I think we have trouble brewing. And yet (akin to a 'good-God-bad-God' dichotomy [aack, heresy!]) I have also seen how it *is a shared faith that often helps bridge differing values. Having said that, I still *refuse to accept that people of different faiths cannot share the same values (yes, there are people who think like that, and I know you know that).

    Oh, on the God bit — can't help but say, I *do believe there is a God and I *do believe He is a good god….I just think most of the destruction has come (please note, I said *most) through us, and *our flawed understanding of "how god would've liked it".

  3. JMJ

    Hey Baruk–nice photo!

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I talked to your dad a lot about these very issues when he was here. Loved our time with him and your mom; ended too soon, quite frankly. Anna, especially, was very sad to see them go and often asks about them.

    Of course, I would classify myself in the "would-be-saver-of-your-soul", but I do admire the honesty with which you search after faith. Keep searching.

    Jaby

  4. blinddayze

    off-topic.. i now know how to properly use the words delusion and illusion.. .."some" folks say Mother Teresa MIGHT have well been an atheist for the later part of her life…

  5. ku2

    Interesting. While I’m not exactly what convention would dictate as a born-again Christian destined for the Pearly Gates, there has always been this intrinsic unshakable belief that God is with me, which has been a huge source of comfort for me many a time. Maybe religion IS really the opiate of the masses but what counts is faith- be it in God, science, transcendentalism, nature etc. And by faith I dont mean the kind that is rammed down our throats as a do or die option. Like youve said, we believe-therefore it is so.

    Beautiful story+ pic of your parents. And your story runs parallel to theirs and reinforces the whole theory- that what keeps people together is shared faith, belief and values- be it religious or not.

  6. ku2

    Hehe, I guess I might have sounded a little more anti-organised religion than I actually am. Reality's actually pretty tame- Im not a very regular church-goer though I do make the occasional appearance. I deny that Im a born-again Chrtistian because even if I'm not doing anything technically "bad", I know, and God knows, He is not my numero uno right now. Ive never gone for Gospel campings, never danced in church. That said, I do believe in Him, and I read my Bible every night (am on my 3rd reading now). So, not much coping needed :) Just the occasional laugh when someone "vei"s me or tells me to go to church.

  7. Zualteii

    Love your thoughts on your parents. Your dad taught me briefly at college and even in that all too brief time I could sense he'd have made a superb professor. Your mum, what can I say about her, she's an inspiration even online. So knowing how well-respected and inspiring they both are, it must be tougher than I can even imagine being their offspring, with people's expectations et al. I won't argue with you on the issue of God or your perception of Him but curiously, I know quite a few offspring of deeply committed Christians who've turned the antitheses of their parents in their beliefs and choice of lifestyle.

  8. Robb

    Kia ora Baruk,
    Excellent post and great discussion. I have been married 17 years to a woman I barely knew when she fell pregnant ( well, she didn't fall pregnant), and I ended up here in Aotearoa. We are together through hard work and belief in each other I guess as neither of us are religous – at least in an organized sense. However, having found the mountains here something was awoke within me deeply connected to nature, a sense of flow and belonging. Since I am not smart enough to understand all that, and I also reject the notion of organized religion I just accept it for what it is when I am out there, and slowly try to incorporate those feelings into my life out here. Kia kaha my friend.
    Cheers,
    Robb

  9. Ta'

    i doubt if faith gives comfort or fulfilment, every faith and no-faith included makes demands of a person to go beyond what is comfortable and fulfilling (if we can find a consensus on what comfort and fulfillment mean to each of us), this whole doctrine of serenity is a 21st century construct, saints have been known to be tortured and driven to extremist proportions

    somehow beliving (or not believing) for comfort and fulfilment sounds like a psycho-emotive benchmark at which you sell your soul like you would settle for any other path if it gave you the same psychological fix

    without trying to sound masochistic i think our paths of faith (and no faith) are best taken on for no gain and even for loss; for it's own sake despite repercussions

    as creatures of trade and barter we like to hang on our little idealogical carrots more than what can be expected of a motivational device- and i wonder if it is the lame inadequates of the carrots that causes God to be seen as a delusion – why if non-belief gave you peace of mind, can i not say that non-belief too can be delusional not to mention the scientific process and it's (unbiased, ha!) pitchmen

    About Mother Teresa being an Atheist, i really think society is being silly trying to put people in categorized slots, i get called everything from Atheist to Fundamental Christian, i call myself a dissenting evangelical which does not mean that one label fits every moment of my life,

    why, most self-labeled theists are preaching atheism when their preaching or living falls short of each other, which it does in the case of whatever moral/spiritual position one holds- i can be sure i know non believers who express and feel and express a deep gratitude (can i say worship?) to an unknown that they probably do not define

    i believe that most people's choice of atheism is itself an embracing of the unknown – i tend to feel that it would be disrespectful to over analyze another person's soul, especially when there are so many inconsistencies in my own

    i think what we believe is always a debate between what we want to believe and what we think we cannot believe, and faith is never a simplistic resolving of those tensions

  10. Ta'

    you mean you saw the line beginning with "i doubt if faith gives comfort or fulfilment,"

    to be

    to be a statement on the nature of faith itself, and not so much on the nature of mine?

    i wonder, how! Cheers!

  11. Gauri Gharpure

    that is a lovely photo, a post in itself. i have come to believe that our faith pulls us on, and religion is a ready tool to instill faith in us, without which we would be quite at a loss. (i still cannot imagine/understand how atheists function). so, it boils down to faith and not religion in the long run.. i am afraid i am not quite clear, thinking aloud..

    also, i am sorry i lost track of your posts after you moved here. have added this blog to the reading list and should be more regular now..

  12. Sam

    I seriously disagree with Baruk. What my wife and I have in common is not a religion. It is the God who has created us and sustains us. Belief does not make God relevant if God does not exist. Unbelief does not make God irrelevamt either. God is TRUE and ever present whether one believes or not. We humans cannot make or unmake God.

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