Friday, 30 January 2015

Theological musings

Warning: rants to follow.

1) Picture if you will, the following scenario. A man meets a woman; they fall madly in love and are married. The marriage lasts twenty years, after which time the woman contracts leukaemia and dies. Over time, the man grieves, recovers, and learns to love again. He meets another woman, is married, and the marriage lasts twenty years, at the end of which time both the man and his new wife are killed in an automobile accident.

The man, and both his current and former wife are good Christians, and just so happen to be members of the one religious sect out of the many thousands ever to have existed, that got it exactly right. They all end up in heaven, and they all rendezvous there after the accident.

My question is this: which wife does the man spend eternity with? Since polygamy is not permitted, does he have to choose? Do the women maybe have to fight over him? Of course, this scenario is equally confusing with former husbands. Do you have an answer?

2) I once heard someone say, nothing is impossible through god. I am curious as to how this could be, and am reminded of a question someone else once asked: can god create a rock which is too heavy for himself to lift? Because everything is possible for god, the answer ought to be yes. But then we would have to deal with a rock which it is impossible for god to lift, which is not able to happen because it would violate the ‘nothing is impossible rule’. Don’t it make your head spin?

3) Here’s something odd. Matthew 19:21 (KJV): Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Howcome all the Christians I know are so rich? And I’m not talking Bill Gates rich, but rich relative to, say, certain people in Africa or South-East Asia. Why do these people own anything at all? Doesn’t that seems strange to you, that they ignore the words of the man while professing to live life according to his rules? Odd, no? Shit, if it truly is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, then all the Christians I know are hell bound.

4) Here’s something else. Matthew 5:39 (KJV): But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. I guess that’s the war on terror done then. And the army. All we should really have left is atheists in foxholes, and yet somehow the violence goes on. Have these people not read their own bible? Or do they just ignore the parts they don’t like? (Incidentally, there are many parts which deserve ignoring, in my opinion. The parts about stoning your children to death if they cuss you, about owning and correct treatment of slaves, about slaughtering enemy tribes and leaving alive only the virgin girls - kept as prizes no less. Warms the heart, right?)

5) One thing that bugs me (apart from the other things I’ve already mentioned, and loads that I haven’t) is the arrogance, the false humility. The idea that you can believe your way of interpreting things is correct and everyone else’s is wrong, brooking no argument. The idea that the creator of the whole universe (the incomprehensibly vast universe) talks to you in your head and changes his (presumably perfect) plans based on your petty needs and wishes. The assumption there is nothing else to believe in, beyond this invisible sky man. The assertion or implication that those who do not share these views are misguided or, in extreme cases, sub human.

For myself, I can’t see how a belief in the urgencies of this life is so wrong. I can’t understand how insisting that we get things right in the here and now, and show compassion for people who need it now instead of deferring it until they’re dead, is the wrong attitude. I believe in humanity, even if I sometimes am ashamed of it. If we truly accept that the best we have is each other, and that all we have a guarantee of is this one and only life, we become much more concerned with making the world a better place, instead of acting in the interests of another one which we really know nothing about and have no guarantees of.

But that’s just me.

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