The musing this week is going to be a multi-part musing that may take several weeks to “muddle” through, but trust me; it will be, well worth your time. Now keep this in mind. Even if you disagree with what I write, the mere fact you have read it, ponder it and drew some conclusions says it will always be with you, and you came through the process on your own. See? There is an upside. So all I ask is keep an open mind, and maybe we both will arrive at the same place.
Now If God exists, no amount of your disbelief will make God disappear. If God does not exist no matter how hard you believe will not make God real.
The struggle with answering the questions about God existence or nonexistence comes from ones starting point. And here is the nature of the problem with explaining the issue and the debate among friends: Does God Exist?
The God question seems to be a question more pondered by “believers” than non-believers at various stages of one’s life. For most believers and I am going universal here and say pick any religion you want, and let’s deal with the “supreme being” for that religion. For most believers, I would guess the vast majority; we are “cradle believers.” That can be an issue. for the majority of the “cradle,” believers have not come to “know the supreme being.” They accept their upbringing and their education about who that supreme being is to them and the writings associated with the religion, its history, and people’s personal “faith” experiences. So to answer the “God question” we need to step back in time pre-religion and pre-theology. Why? Because “theology” is what we know about the God we say we believe in and “religion” is what do to demonstrate what we believe. Answering the “God Question” with a sense of know-how and conviction of experience, it must come from ourselves and not be what our ancestors, parents, Sunday school teachers, Temple teachers, etc., have shared with us as we were on the path towards adulthood. Think of what you have learned from all your teachers, parents, relatives, ministers, and begin to think of all that know how as your starting foundation. A foundation that needs checking. Now and then like any other foundation in life we discover cracks. Where are the cracks? As an adult, you might have said to yourself, “what difference does it make? or Why should I care?” or my all-time favorite, “I am going to die anyway, I will find out then.”
Belief in God or no belief in God matters because your own experiences become interwoven as the basis for your belief system. Whether you “believe” or don’t “believe” you do believe. We find ourself expressing that belief based on the experiences that drew us to a conclusion. What I hope to accomplish in the series of musings, is to have all of us arrive at making our own choices freely, knowing the factors that contribute to the thinking processes, identifying the alternatives, and the reality thereof. Now think about this: If there is only one alternative, is there a free choice in the belief? As an adult do we have a grasp on what influences, prejudices, reality, facts, and distortions have impacted our thinking? How can we know whether we are correct in what we believe? Does being a believer in God have relevance in our daily life? Should it? Why? What difference does a God make or the lack of a God make in our lives? What is the difference in us as human beings and what is the difference it makes? As an adult do we accept or reject God existence based on what was taught us in Sunday School when we were in grade school? Or is it based on our discovery as an adult? Do you ever test out your beliefs or ideas with others? Have you ever shared your views one way or the other with those who hold opposite beliefs as you?
Now in preparation for next week answer these questions for yourself:
- What is your current belief regarding the existence of God?
- Can we as a human being come to know one way or the other regarding whether God exists?
- If he does exist how do we know what he is like? Or is it not essential to know?