First, I wish my mom, affectionately known as Pudding, Happy Birthday on June Third. Second I would like to issue a disclaimer and indemnify myself from any judgment as I will make none or request none. Finally, I would like to offer ten questions for your consideration.
In the privacy of our own minds, it should not be taboo to contemplate perspectives that will strengthen and perhaps clarify our beliefs or explore other’s point of view against our own. It is more like a premise for debate or forgive the term but devil’s advocate.
The context for the premise in which the final answer is deemed correct according to whatever you choose is you cannot be wrong, at least by my standards and the design of the questions. Under this structure, I will pose ten questions, and you will answer them and be the judge of your answers to make whatever determinations you choose.
But first, riddle me this, you have an Atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other religious denomination or designation you would like to substitute for these. The riddle at the end that has a correct answer is, what do they all have in common? Let us begin.
One. Many religions faithfully practiced now and in the past, which the followers have steadfastly proclaimed for their salvation and guidance. Complicating matters within these various religions, there are many more factions or sects with perhaps slightly different teachings and observances.
Most of them and their followers staunchly forbid the worship of another God before them or beside them as being false idols or false teachings. If this is true, then which of the many religions is worshipping the one God, and why are they correct and all others incorrect? Other than it being your religion, of course, but what is the reason why? Who is right?
Two. The God of these many different religions is worshipped according to that particular religion, beliefs, and traditions. So if there is one God, why are there so many different beliefs and faiths, or is it unlikely that everyone can’t be wrong with only one getting it right? Why are there so many saviors from God born of a virgin mother and crucified?
Examine the concept of God mysteriously entering a virgin’s bedroom in the midnight hour impregnating her. There was no indication of consent instead depicted as a mind-altered state not able to resist. Would God take liberties in a serial fashion? Imagine God shockingly appearing as a supernatural entity fornicating with virgins for a holy reason. This resembles incubus activity and deception, although for a holy cause.
Virgin mothers were allegedly impregnated by spirits, visions, the wind, white elephants, and other forms giving birth to saviors and messengers from God such as Jesus, Chrishna, Buddha, Mithras, and others allegedly long before Christ was conceived.
How authentic is the claim that other saviors have been crucified before Christ? How many virgins did God need to impregnate and messengers to be crucified? Would that make Jesus not the only begotten son but have many equally divine siblings? Was God promiscuous in spreading his holiness?
Three. Does the Priest, Ministers, Preachers, or Rabbis conduct resemble the teachings and doctrines they proclaim? Principles including discipline, obedience, celibacy, poverty, humility, compassion, or do they practice deviations from the word they were called to spread? Do they make allowances for others to deviate from the scriptures and accept clear violations of the word? Are they Christ-like, Prophet Muhammad-like, or Buddha-like, etc., in their actions?
Four. Are miracles divine acts, alchemy, magic, or some other godlike or extraterrestrial manifestation? Can the descriptions of these acts or miracles be characterized under interchangeable definitions from opposing beliefs to describe them?
Is God a way to conceptualize and quantify what we can’t explain or provide a structure where we can transfer responsibility for our actions or fate? Does God encourage our need to follow as opposed to our willingness to lead? Are we obedient because of fear or desire to do right? Do we crave the love of God or fear the wrath of being smitten?
Five. Suppose we believe divine acts which are beyond our understanding and defy logic, science, or explanation are attributed to “God” or a higher being with unlimited power to command wonders and blessing as well as wrath. Would it be too far-fetched to believe in an extraterrestrial being of superior knowledge and power that resides in the heavens? Is there a difference, and why or how?
Feats both that are unearthly or divine have to be attributed to some being or deity, but what about earthly and common acts? If favorable, God is responsible, but if unfavorable, is it nothing but the devil or the adversary at work? On the other hand, is God at work at all times, good and bad, to bless or punish with no rhyme or reason, just our acceptance of his divine will?
Six. Are our beliefs reflected in our actions, or are our actions a true reflection of our beliefs or thoughts? Is it do as I say not as I do or by our deeds so are we known? Are our beliefs are reflected in our actions or our free will to commit so many sinful acts? If we have the free will to sin or disobey, don’t we also have the will not to sin and be obedient? Perhaps, what you thinketh so are your actions, but does that make us flawed or hypocrites to our beliefs? Is falling short of the grace of God different from being disobedient?
Seven. Do we seek solace in the gift of the message or the skillful tongue of the messenger? Are they a crusader for their belief of the message or themselves as the messenger delivering the message? Are we? Remember, few are chosen. If the word is constantly coming from the same book, then why is the silver tongue of the purveyor of the word what we base our fellowship on? Is it entertaining our spirit, flesh, or something else that sometimes the messenger matters more than the message? Do you believe in religion or God, can you tell the difference?
Eight. If current practices are handed down from ancient times, what methods and manner of worship were determined to be a tradition or determined to be pagan rituals by who and why? Were some religious traditions discarded and some pagan rituals embraced and still practiced today?
What of the many religious or biblical books that were not included in the Bible or religious teachings? Why not Enoch, who was said to have walked with God and had mysteries revealed to him? Who edited the accounts of God’s word? Was it Constantine? Like God gave his word directly to Moses, did he also give it directly to the many others who proclaim it is the word of God they present? Were they working on the honor system? Are we?
Nine. Did you choose your religion, or was it chosen for you by inheritance from our family who embraced it before us and passed it down? Do we believe because we choose to believe or because we were taught to believe? Are we religious or spiritual, and is there a difference? Can they co-exist?
Would our beliefs still be the same if we were indoctrinated differently? If we switched religions, would our old belief have been wrong, even believing it wholeheartedly like our new belief?
Ten. Is God a deity or being, or could God be a place or destination? What if God is a destination, then what would that resemble? Is God a figment of our mind and imagination or truly omnipresent and everlasting? Either way, whatever we did, we would do in the literal presence of God, wouldn’t we?
Would God exist if humanity did not? Do other life forms or nature worship God somehow? Do we have to exist for God to exist because can something exist without knowledge of its existence? By that standard, how do we know that God exists without knowledge just on faith? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise if there is no one to hear it?
This makes me wonder if it is more important to believe or more important what you believe in. Have you seen a vehicle speeding and darting in and out of traffic only to end up at the same traffic light down the road as us? We arrive at the same destination but by different methods.
Could it be that someone’s belief that guides them to a principled and fruitful life is just as valid as someone else’s belief that guides them to the same end? Could belief be a hidden bridge between the subconscious mind and the conscious mind?
Respect their belief as you respect yours because if we all have faith and believe in the abstract without concrete proof, who is wrong. That is why it is called faith because we believe not by sight or proof. So seek out your own confirmation knowing that no one can claim you chose the wrong belief for yourself.
With that said, let me ask you these questions. God was in the beginning, but what is the origin of God as a singular deity with unlimited powers, and how was that power amassed to have dominion? Also, how does the science of the big bang theory and single-cell organism’s evolution reconcile itself to the God version of creation?
Why does God demand to be worshipped and obeyed, ruling out God’s vanity, of course? Are there others, could there be universally speaking? Is that dominion over earth or all that exists in every universe and dimension which would indeed extend God’s power?
Wouldn’t God transcend gender or human form if this is the case, but what form would God be recognized as, or would it be by his word alone? Even as we worship faithfully, how will we recognize God if presented before us? Truth be told, what would we accept as proof?
The answer to the riddle about what the various believers have in common is they all believe in something, even if it is nothing in the atheist case.
Thurston K. Atlas
Creating A Buzz