A little perspective on religion.
by, 27-Aug-12 at 10:20 AM (10441 Views)
Last night I watched a jumbo jet flying through the night sky on its way to land at King Shaka International Airport.
All you could see was a cluster of lights moving across the night sky at pace. And there was that unmistakable distant roar of the jet engines I'm sure most of us are so familiar with.
What would someone sitting in a field next to the camp fire gazing at the stars have thought of such a sight and sound just 200 years ago, let alone 2000 years ago?
If you had no knowledge that such a thing existed, never seen an aircraft before, or seen an airport; no concept of jet powered flight, electric light - you simply had no context to identify what it was - what would you think?
How would you describe it?
What inspired me to link such a thought to religion is this discussion on Christian public holidays. So often when I read religious discussion my main impression is that the most vocal protaganists seem to miss what I find obvious - and it's not much different in that particular discussion either.
Just 200 years ago what would you think of a person who you saw a month ago near blind with cataracts, and between then and now those cataracts had been removed by laser surgery, complete with cornia adjustments so that he/she had perfect vision, and now you met this same person who has miraculous perfect vision?
How would Revelations have been written if the audience that heard the message of many amazing and wondrous things from the prophet / son of God / spectacularly enlightened person for those times (depending on your belief) had our current "modern day" context?
How would the citizens of the world from 2000 years ago percieve you if you were to tell them of today's world?
It would take no more than showing them a touch screen cellphone and explaining what you can do with it to blow their minds. Now imagine you didn't have that cellphone with you and you could only describe it and what it can do. What would they put down in text to try to pass on what you had said?
How will the citizens of earth just 200 years hence perceive our musings of today?
What will be their context?
I'm not here to destroy anyone's faith in a higher power (or higher powers). But I would point out that absolute blind faith in text written just 200 years ago would seem inadvisable, let alone those written 2000 years ago.
My only suggestion to those who would debate matters of religion is beware of dogma.
And for those who would go to war over matters of religion... I can only pray that you get a little perspective in time to stop the needless slaughter.
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