Musings

As I delved deeper and deeper into the idea of an all-powerful, all-knowing benevolence that doesn’t just guide us but also comprises us, a funny thing happened to me:  I became agnostic (I don’t believe one way or another in the existence of a higher power).

Because I realized if such a force exists and its benevolence is indeed without limits, it will love me whether I believe in it or not.  I don’t need to waste my energy arguing its case, or trying to prove its existence (it is, after all, all-powerful and all-knowing, so why should I waste time bleating about it or worshipping it?  If it exists, it’s already incomparably powerful and inalienably evident.  It doesn’t need me to defend or evangelize it.)

I simply need to do the best I can with what’s in front of me, and be as kind as possible to those around me.  All that higher pay-grade stuff has been taken care of.

And if it doesn’t exist, well hell—doing the best I can with what’s in front of me and being kind to those around me covers all the concerns that I want to address.

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19 thoughts on “Musings

  1. Somewhat of a fatalist point of view to believe that one can control everything without interference from the “supernatural.” It means you have to create your own way to cope with how insignificant and powerless any one human being can be. It also loses access to communities and counselor who can be very secular and real. It may also seal off the unconscious knowledge many tap by prayer and meditation. And what do you think it may do to your ability to have unconditional love for another person. So much unknown and unknowable.

    Becoming Mr. Spock while believing in intuition could be a struggle. The agnostic is right, no one really knows why we exist, or how the world and society work. Those looming questions are the foundation for every philosophy, and there are many.

    Belief in God(s) has been a part of being in a human society (extended family) way back to the caves. Frightened, confounded, hopeful, joyful were fueled by forces beyond understanding. That faith has helped countless people to survive and withstand terrible losses and celebrate marvelous blessings. Superstitions controlled our worst instincts and promoted beneficial self-control. Blessings and curses ruled our ancestors and mapped out our social contracts.

    So, first, faith has great power among people. To discount these beliefs, is to lose important communications channels and, a chance to tap into a giant influence in society.

    Right now, I think you have “herd immunity.” Enough people are controlled and inspired by God that our social order can stand to be separated from religion. Unfortunately some people, inspired by God believe they need to kill and die to satisfy their deity.

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    • I don’t think my conclusion leads to the idea I could control everything without supernatural influence, it actually honors both the idea that God might exist, or it might not. If it does exist and comprises me, then I’ll honor the clues that I (it?) left in front of me. If it doesn’t, then I’ll still do that out of practicality. So if I saw effective results propagate from beliefs in the supernatural, counselors or communities, then I would follow those clues, either because God left them for me (I left them for myself) or simply because I see them to be practical. I actually think the idea of logic as construed through Spock isn’t reductive, as the consistent use of intuition could be seen as the use of inductive logic. If someone continually gets something wrong on intuition, then no one should listen to them. But if Kirk continually gets a positive result through the use of intuition, I’d say that’s a positive use of inductive logic. When Spock says “that’s not logical” I believe he’s arguing that it’s not deductively logical, which is fine, but Kirk is still being logical if he’s following his intuition and garnering a positive result (as I understand it anyway). Whew! You made a lot of points…not sure if I addressed em all but I hope so. 🙂

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  2. A paper that studied the competition for adherents between religious and irreligious segments of modern secular societies, applying techniques from dynamical systems and perturbation theory to analyze a theoretical framework for the growth and decline of those competing social groups, showed the growth of religious non-affiliation. People claiming no religious affiliation constitute the fastest growing religious minority in many countries throughout the world ( The_Synthetic_Theory of Science, Humankind and Religion p. 129).

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  3. Reblogged this on It's Alex Oliver and commented:
    I am similar to this in that I don’t normally feel I have to worry about making a higher power approve of me – because that’s a given. But I like the possibility of having a relationship with it. It loves me? Maybe sometimes I want to chat, or say I’m grateful, or rant at someone who cares about what a shitty day I’ve had and sometimes get good advice back. So Christianity is still pretty value-added for me in that respect.

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    • I start going a slightly different route…what if I’m a component of the higher power, and so is everyone? Then the question for me becomes: How do I embrace that? And then once I started adding in the additional factors of unlimited benevolence and omnipotence, I came to the conclusion that I should just stick with the basics: enjoy the moment, be nice to folks, and appreciate what’s in front of me, because that’s the situation that I (as the higher power) chose for myself. And then I realized that if the higher power exists, then it doesn’t matter if I believe in it; I should just do those basics. And then I realized if it doesn’t exist, those basics make sense on a practical level, so once again, I should just do them. 🙂

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    • In the long term, I agree. And I think at the mystical core of all religions, one actually encounters the paradoxical instruction to abandon that particular “path” and figure things out for oneself. But I’m not so sure about the short-term…many people seem to benefit from a stronger guiding hand in the beginning. In the parlance of the military or business, I’d say that this equates to the initial micromanagement of basic training that serves as a needed quality-check before allowing troops to step up and exercise decentralized command. In the end, decentralized command is optimal, but in the beginning, it can be disastrous without ensuring that the basics—which allow folks to handle chaos and stress—aren’t in place.

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