Addictinginfo.org (which I only look at for interesting topics to pursue elsewhere because it’s not a news site, but a opinion-vomit site) posts a video with Stephen Fry’s answer to a question about what he would say to God if he met Him at the pearly gates. Fry’s answer was sophomoric and, thus, disappointing; and the Facebook comments that followed were mostly typical, uncritical talking points.
Here is my contribution to that thread:
I think that there is as much evidence for a god as there is for any other stuff postulated and theorized by scientists. But that was not Fry’s point, as much as I think it not a worthy answer coming from such an intellect.
The fact of there being insects and cancer that strike children is not evidence that the creator is either crazy or maniacal. The problem is that we humans are part of the nature of this planet and we have manufactured a magical barrier based on what we fancy is our specialness in the creator’s eyes.
In Genesis, it speaks of being created in god’s image (which originally was neither male nor female), so right there, we attribute unto ourselves a status over nature. Then there is taking “dominion” over all the earth, and right there is the manufactured, delusional barrier, the schism between us and nature. It’s BS, and for a god to encourage this or not discourage or not course-correct does not characterize a god worth following.
Where I have a problem with the creator is that It (leaving out the gender identity) allows us to presume knowledge of It, Its will, etc.; and our characterization of it without correction or guidance to me is malpractice or negligence. You can’t say you’re an all-loving god and then sanction and command genocide, infanticide, and all the other -cides rife in the bible. That’s where the crazy and maniacal comes in. If you read & accept all the bible, you have to come away thinking that this Being is schizophrenic, bipolar, and self-absorbed.
I, like Fry, will have nothing to do with It nor Its followers.
It’s not a matter of seeing past the savageness of nature to pursue a spiritual path — something I believe is possible indeed and attempt to pursue. It is a matter of the hate, tribalism, murder, subjugation, etc. pursued by its followers in Its name KNOWING as It must that humans are selfish and the perversion of Its plan inevitable without guideposts that delineate where Its will ends and ours begins.
Now that I’ve read all the other comments ….
Extrapolating that cancer is a result of man’s “rebellion against God” is an empty substitute for critically evaluating the assumptions. Man was living in a “perfect” paradise with animals that all had to eat; and that seems to also suggest immortality for all because that’s what perfection is.
Cancer is an evil that has to be caused by man, including the stresses that we bring upon ourselves, because we have not submitted our will (and, therefore, worries) to Him. There was no death in nature — and lions were also herbivores with meat-tearing fangs and claws? So when man fell from grace, instantaneously death existed for all creation as a “corruption” of nature, and many herbivores became carnivores, and our cells began to decay, and suddenly there were viruses, and we were susceptible to bacteria?
IN THE BEGINNING, God made, not a circle of life, but flat line of life … because He could? Or, He knew nature would change and had all the pieces already in place for nature as a whole to be instantaneously savage as soon as man pulled the trigger.
I like the idea of “agnosticism.” To me, “not knowing” is liberating because it allows for Godward trajectory by making mistakes and without presuming creeds; whereas the monotheistic approach is dogma, rules, specific ways of thinking that creates Us/Them. Agnosticism allows for humility over the surety manufactured by the faith that what you think must also be what the Creator thinks.
Sure there is spirituality in Christianity, but it is buried deep and nearly wholly inaccessible to its practitioners. There is much spiritual truth in the bible that I find exciting, which truth is not part of christianism.
Additionally, I don’t think that free will requires the non-existence of guideposts: knowing where the Divine will stops and your arrogance in extending its will begins. Guideposts do not force your will to comply, but instead present you options that, if you choose consistently, will facilitate your spiritual journey toward a spiritual Being. But those guideposts, to be such, have to be recognizable to non-spiritual beings.
The journey toward the Divine is a spiritual one; but we live in a material world. Having the “eyes to see” presumes way too much a-priori knowledge and skill! Most humans don’t even know what “spiritual” means apart from physical rituals and prescribed habits of thinking.
Understanding how that works requires instruction by the knowing, not reformatting presumptions to justify our current level of “spirutal attainment.” Why would the Divine establish a system It must know so few would be able to grok, no less put into practice? It’s like setting us up to generally fail.
We put into place rules and strictures and tribal biases that we ascribe to the Divine Will as proxies for spiritual perspective and Godward trajectory. It’s an arrogant and destructive delusion. “Faith” goes past faith that the Divine cares and becomes faith that “I’m right.” Faith that the Creator will intervene to show me where I’m off is part of our trust in It. But the light of truth that is supposed to expose evil is filtered by unchecked perversions of righteousness; and the guidepost that says “by the way, what you think is righteous, ain’t” isn’t accessible to the yearning-for-righteousness masses.
Free will is being able to choose. But choose what? It takes more than “choosing to want to”; it takes being able to recognize a guidepost and choosing to honor it, given guideposts and a god for whom our spirituality is truly a goal.
I actually suspect that there is more than one god out there with competing interests, and we humans conflate the two. Hence the appearance of Divine schizophrenia.