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Quest for Sense

A little perspective on religion.

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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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Tags: religion, society
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  1. Mike C's Avatar
    Couldn't agree more Dave. Very few people are argued into the Kingdom of God! One understands that strong views are held by many people about their faith. They are quick to defend their standpoint and many are vigorous in their attempts to evangelise ... but a gentle approach and a genuine attempt at trying to understand the other person's point of view goes a long way to having a really fruitful discussion.
  2. Blurock's Avatar
    I agree that religion and faith is private and should be kept that way. We can never force any one to believe as we do. Many wars have been fought and so many people have been killed in the name of religion. The reason is that we try to justify our actions or inaction with religion. Religion is often twisted to serve our own selfish nature.

    If one is really religious and has a real relationship with God, it will show by your actions. We do not have to tell everyone. One has to also respect the religion and belief of other people, although you may not agree with them at all.
  3. Jade's Avatar
    I seem to agree with both Mike C and Blurock. they do have great points. I remember watching Prometheus (it's a movie going back to the very beginning of the late 80's/early 90's movie Alien with Segourney Weaver as leading actress). I couldn't help but wonder if we were perhaps formed by aliens. The movie is based on where they leave earth and travel to another planet where scientists go on a mission to discover where humans came from and if there was perhaps another life form that created us. It goes against all religions perhaps (I am a Christian by the way). BUT as I said I couldn't help but wonder if we were maybe formed by aliens. There are lots of unanswered questions, I know I have them, and I am sure most people do about their own religion no matter what it is. That is my main question, 'where did we come from?' The bible tells us it was God, but was it really God? I look at most religions today, and most of them have evolved into today's modern society. I remember sitting one night at a cell group meeting, and someone mentioned aliens, and other life forms on planets. I remember sitting in my seat cringing with the fear that my pastor was going to lash out at him, but he didn't surprisingly. We discussed it for almost 30minutes before going onto our actual cell group schedule.

    As a Christian, I believe the word of God, don't get me wrong, I read the bible attend church etc but some questions that I have asked my pastor and others cannot answer for me. Some of the things in the bible that I have questioned, are left unanswered.
  4. Darkangelyaya's Avatar
    I respect anybody's belief system who respects mine.
    Somehow, though, certain religions feel the insane urge to force themselves on others in order to grow their numbers. Does the number of followers a religion has prove its validity?
    Most of us have been given the power to reason. That, combined with a good dose of gut feel, will always lead you in the right direction.
    Unfortunately, most of us are also lazy. It is just easier to follow an established (socially acceptable) dogma / religion / way of life / belief system, than it is to pave the way and forge your own.
    As an example: In my life, if I had to buy into the generally accepted belief that stage 3 to 4 breastcancer is only curable by cut/poison/burn/death (surgery/chemo/radiation/death), I would've celebrated, this month, my 14 month anniversary of receiving my harp/bass guitar/wings/horns.
    I look at the way you treat people, animals, nature. That tells me everything I need to know about your god/gods.
    There is always another way.
    Never stop looking for your own piece of peace.