The Rockin Johnny B

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Me and Religion

I have been asked several times to say something about religion.  Am I a believer?  Well, kinda.  I'm not a believer in religion per se.  I believe there is a power greater than myself, but I'm not going so far as to call that power by a name.  To me the naming of such a power trivializes it.

In my days as a Philosophy Major, I quizzed myself extensively regarding this issue.  Is there, or is there not a god?  And if so, who or what is h/she?  Did God create man or visa versa?  I pondered these issues as I also pondered my Mormon upbringing.  The more I pondered, the more confusing it got.  There are many arguments for and against the existence of God and some of them are pretty logical.  For instance, in the plus column, there's this goodie:  you can put all the parts to a vacuum cleaner in a closet and it won't assemble itself.  Seems pretty logical right?  That's one of the arguments in favor for there being a Creator...someone to put the universe [similarly the human race] together and that someone was God.  The opposing view is that comparing God to a Vacuum Cleaner engineer is ridiculous and not worth debating.  There are many such arguments regarding this issue and the more you get into it the more you begin to realize there is only one reason that you can believe ...

FAITH.  A five letter word that drives skeptics crazy.  Faith is indescribable and undefinable.  If you've got it, you can't defend it...logically.  If you don't have it, the same holds true.  I have faith that my car will start when I get in it.  I have no proof that it will.  I just have faith that the darned thing will start.  But what if it doesn't?  What then happens to my faith?  Is it shaken?  Yes.  It definitely is shaken and the same holds true when a God-believer witnesses some heinous crime or natural disaster.  How can you justify a benevolent God allowing such a thing to happen and saying "It's just God's Will" doesn't cut it.  You cannot know God's will...because h/she's a God forgodsake!  How can you possibly understand His/Her will?  It's like a poor person trying to understand the thoughts of a rich man.  While you may have some things in common with a rich man, you cannot possibly understand his thoughts concerning finances.  To the rich man, money is no object...something which a poor man cannot conceive.

For me, religion is a personal bias.  You either think your religion is viable or you don't.  To be a Mormon, for instance, you must believe Joseph Smith is a prophet, if you don't you can be a Mormon...or at least not a very good one.  If you are a Catholic, you must believe you cannot actually talk to God person to person, but must have an interceder like the mother Mary to talk for you.  If you are Muslim, you have to believe Mohammed was a prophet, if you don't, well .... you get the picture.

I wasn't a good Mormon...perhaps not a Mormon at all.  I simply did not and can not look at Joseph Smith and say that kid is/was a prophet of any kind.  Research has shown that both he and his father were con men in the 1830s.  They would go around to farmers saying they could devine gold on their property and for a fee they would dig it up for the farmer.  Then they would dig some holes, find no gold and take off with the farmer's money.  Knowing that and then thinking about the so-called "Golden Tablets" which nobody has ever seen that ol' JS dug up and then translated into the Book of Mormon, well, sounds like a con to me, a brilliant one as it turns out, but a con nonetheless.

So, I guess we could safely say I'm an agnostic:  Definition: agnostic, a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

This is not to say I don't believe there is a Power out there that controls the universe, I just don't know what it is.  My dinky mind cannot wrap itself around the concept of GOD.

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