Belief and Doubt
I have now written my review of the film Silence, see blog 797. I mention it again because I just read an inverview with Liam Neeson where he talks about the film. In it he finally is asked about his faith, “I think my faith in a god gets stronger and then sometimes it gets absolutely shattered. I do doubt, all the time. I guess the doubt is very much hand in glove with my faith, you know."
A while ago I wrote a blog about faith (760), also in conjunction with this movie, and - as I said then - I hope watching Silence will shed a light on the issue of faith; the point being, that I just can’t come at faith (the religious kind). My question always is, why would one have faith in a gospel that is based on untruths, lies and delusions?
Here’s the thing: When considering religions we are confronted with a dichotomy ... on the one hand we have beliefs & faith. On the other hand we have reality & facts. And - it seems - the two never shall meet.
So, the faithful believe in God, but at times they are tortured by devastating, shat-tering doubt. Which is understandable, because every now and then it must dawn on a believer that - without any proof of his/her existence - there probably is no God.
In fact, the entire Judeo-Christian belief system - the Abrahamic religions - is founded on entirely incomprehensible nonsense … if one goes to the trouble of thinking this thing through thoroughly.
The facts are: There is no God (if there was a God we would know about it). Nobody ever was born of a virgin, walked on water or performed any other miracle (to think: The system of Catholic saints is build on the delusion they performed miracles); nobody ever arose from the dead. But the faithful believe this stuff.
They will say, “oh, we don’t deal in ‘facts’ ... we concern ourselves with faith only.” The capacity for thinking things through thoroughly is dis-engaged. The refuge for the faithful is their belief, facts are denied a look in, logic is thrown to the wind and that's where the issue is left hanging in the air. If you can’t have faith, if you lost your faith, you're on your own, with torturous, devastating “absolutely shattering doubt.”
But why? Why oh why burden yourself with that doubt? Is there an alternative to religious dogmas? Where doubt is taken out of the equation? I would like to suggest a revolution: REVOLUTION NOW … nothing less. All that is required is for the authorities (secular and religious) to accept the bleeding obvious:
There is no God.
But there are myriad ways to believe in a god-like energy.
There, I’ve said it …
and any belief in whatever god-like energy one comes up with is OK, as long -
and this is hugely important - as long as these two conditions are ful-filled: The
belief must be tolerant and peaceful; so, proselytizing is not allowed and
neither is cutting the heads off those who can’t be converted.
Readers may be
aware, I have written a book on these issues en.light.en.ment ... see also my blog 787 The Power of Belief, and my essays GOD 2, GOD 4
It should go without saying, there are dozens, if not hundreds of beliefs in the world. Fair enough, I have no beef with any of them (conditions apply, see above). But this they unfortunately all have in common: They think their belief is the only true belief and everybody else’s is delusional.
Does it ever occur to a believer they are viewed in the same light by other believers? As delusional? And that in fact it is true? Of course it does … hence the doubt thing.
Here is a truth I would like to point out: I have reason to believe that actually many a “true believer” in any religion is in fact an atheist, does not really believe (in God). This applies all the way to the top … it includes many a clergy. They are likely to have their own personal, spiritual beliefs. And they happily stay in the congregation they call their own, because of the comforts their community provides, and because of the theatrics … the candles, the incense, the opulent costumes & lovely music etc.
There is - of course -
not much wrong with that. Except, it is dishonest. I wish for a REVOLUTION NOW
(T-shirt available soon), where reality is taken into account, where facts are
treated with respect and where all beliefs are tolerated. It's not by
accident I talk about revolution, I am imbued with the thinking of J. Krishnamurti ...
he is adamant, the world needs a psychological
revolution ... NOW.
However, what I am talking about here is syncretism. Google the term ... you'll find syncretism is the devil incarnate for established religions. Religious professionals - priest, prophets and popes - hate the idea, because it threatens their job security.
But that's another story altogether, for another blog; I have started it already!
Then there's the question of ethics ... do religions provide us with an ethical frame-work? I leave it to the person best qualified to explain, Richard Dawkins ...
Moving right along, I
would like to refer to this video. In the context of education, here is an
instructor who instructs religious teachers, who then are let loose on our children in
public schools; this is scary stuff ...