Why I Believe God Exists Part 4 : The Regularity Of Nature

I feel compelled to start off this post with a bit of a disclaimer. It seems that people reading my series here seem to do it with the idea in their minds as they read that I am trying to prove that God exists. This is despite the fact that I have said numerous times in both my posts and comments that I do not believe it is possible to prove that God exists for a myriad of reasons. The best for which we can hope is to find evidence that suggests or points to God’s existence. That is my goal. To show the pieces of evidence that I feel are personally significant to my belief in the existence of God. It is not enough for me to just believe God exists because the Bible says that God created it all and existed before it all, for if God does not exist, then the Bible is just a nice story. God has to exist outside of the Bible in order for me to even begin to believe that the Bible may be part of his revelation to humanity.

I also want to again state that the evidence which I am presenting in this series also does in no way point to the God of Christianity. Arriving at that point is an entirely different set of arguments which I do plan to present down the road. At best, the evidence that I am discussing points to a stance of theism as opposed to atheism. Yes, I am a Christian and have reasons for that (which I will get to down the road as stated above), but this series of posts is not in any way an attempt to convert or evangelize anyone towards belief in the Christian view of God. I am simply putting forth my journey and how I got here. If it helps or challenges someone along the way, that is enough.

And finally (this is a long disclaimer), if there are any athesits reading this series, I am not attempting to convert you either. I fully realize that all of these pieces of evidence can rationally be read in another light, and I value your reading and appreciate the difference of opinion that you bring to the table. I welcome the healthy debate that may arise and hope that we can, in the end, learn a bit more truth from each other.

Now for the heart of the post….( It may be that my friend John (titfortat) might possibly find this post especially interesting as I believe it may be in line with his “format” ideas).

I will open this section with a quote from Einstein (what an amazing thing to be known to all of mankind essentially by only your last name). I am currently reading a book by Antony Flew, There Is A God, in which he lays out how he came to a place of theism from staunch atheism. On page 102 he quotes Einstein, “Every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.” Flew takes this quote from a work by Max Jammer called Einstein and Religion. Jammer was a personal friend of Einstein and believes and puts forth rather convincingly in this work that while Einstein did not believe in a personal god, he did believe in a “superior mind.” That belief was significantly impacted by the regularity of nature.

Antony Flew explains his view very eloquently, through many quotes from giants such as Paul Davies, Freeman Dyson, John Polkinghorne, Charles Darwin, and Richard Swinburne among others. Science has, through rigorous process, been at the work of uncracking the laws that govern the universe. Well from where did those laws themselves come? Atheists claim that these laws and universe are ultimately absurd, that their existence is reasonless. Ultimately, I find that explanation lacking. Oder exists everywhere and science cannot prove why it is there. And I like what Paul Davies has said, “There must be an unchanging rational ground in which the logical, orderly nature of the universe is rooted” (as quoted from Davies’ work God For The 21st Century by Flew on page 111 of There Is A God).

Tim Keller in The Reason For God adds a bit to this argument. His focus is more on the philosphical side. He emphasizes the observations that secular philosophers such as David Hume and Betrand Russell have made. The philosphers were, “…troubled by the fact that we haven’t got the slighest idea of why nature-regularity is happening now, and moreover, we haven’t the slighest rational justification for assuming it will continue tomorrow. If someone would say, ‘Well the future has always been like the past in the past,’ Hume and Russel reply that you are assuming the very thing you are trying to establish. To put it another way, science cannot prove the continued regularity of nature, it can only take it on faith” (Page 132 of The Reason For God).

I will close with a quote from Paul Davies as documented by Flew on page 107 of the above referenced work: “In his Templeton address, Paul Davies makes the point that ‘science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.’ Nobody asks where the laws of physics come from, but ‘even the most atheistic scientist accpets as an act of faith the existence of a lawlike order in nature that is at least in part comprehensible to us.'”

I think that sums up my take on this evidence pretty well.

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19 responses to “Why I Believe God Exists Part 4 : The Regularity Of Nature

  1. Doug

    As I read your stuff, I keep wondering? Why the need for evidence, is your life and the lives around you not evidence enough to point to some kind of creator. The fact seems to be that it will always remain a mystery while we inhabit the human form. My take on scripture of all faiths is that they mostly are trying to find evidence of how to make our lives more cohesive. Now unfortunately the different faiths are tribal in nature. I think wholeness comes when we are able to incorporate them all without the need to think we know which one is the “right” one. I do notice one thing though, whatever made it all, made sure duality was part of it. And like any good mystery we need to keep finding clues to how it all plays out.

  2. John. I am not sure why I need evidence. I think it is because I just want to make sure that there is a solid foundation for what I think and believe. Otherwise, why not just pick something. I mean believing that little green men live on the moon and control all our actions via video games would have just as much merit as belief in God if I didn’t have some sort of evidence on which to base my belief.

    It is interesting to me that in your statement you ask why I need evidence but then in the same sentence cite some of your evidence. I too believe that my life and the lives around me are very solid evidence of a creator. In fact, this idea expands on my post because the regularity of nature and the physical laws of nature predispose the universe toward the creation of life and consciousness.

    I totally agree with you that there is value in incorporating the truth found in all the various faiths. And I do not mean to leave you with the idea that my Christianity is the “right” one. I am in the process of re-thinking and re-examining some of that actually. At a minimum, I can say that I believe it to be destructive for me to insist that someone else’s faith is wrong while mine is right. Furthermore, it is destructive for me to come across as tolerant and establish a relationship all with the hope of “converting” them someday. I believe my task is to love and accept and offer grace and collect truth wherever I can find it.

  3. Just a little disclaimer on my part as well: I’m enjoying the conversation here. I’m not offended by anything nor is any comment or question I’m making in response an attack or attempt to convince anyone of anything! “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” James Thurber

    My take would be if believing little green men live on the moon brings meaning to your life and doesn’t cause you to destroy the world around you, then believe in little green men. Not to insult your religion, but from my POV that isn’t a whole lot different than believing in all the claims about Jesus and I imagine from an atheists POV no different than believing any of the stories about God from Torah. They’re all kind of far-fetched when you think about it.

    I’m not sure if it’s possible to know God outside of a sacred text. How do you even know to think about God unless you’ve been conditioned to do so? That is always my thought when people claim to just want God and not religion. How do they know whatever they call God is even God if not for the teachings of some religion?

    Now if they claim to want a creator and not religion, then yes, I could see that. Our tradition teaches that Abraham pondered the nature of the sun, moon and stars and came to believe there was something greater; at which point God revealed God to Abraham. (Sorry for the strange wording but I refuse to use male terminology for God.) But, would belief in a creator necessarily make one believe in the God of Torah? The God of the NT? I don’t think so. How about you?

    Are you looking for proof of God or proof of your conception of God? For me this isn’t a concern so I’m curious about your search as well. Torah begins with the assumption of God’s existence and for myself I go back and forth a bit about the whole God question.

    John, I don’t think we are supposed to have one big religious glob. Tribalism doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The 12 tribes managed to work together for the common good, for the most part not killing each other off! We’re all such different people with different personalities and needs. For me, I want community first and God more off to the side, I want logic, intellectualism, practicality, tradition. Other people are mystics and don’t need community but instead want closeness to God, some people want simplicity, solitude, some people need Jesus because they want God to relate to them, some need Jesus because they think there’s no other way to God. Likely there are countless examples that could be given.

    I think religions are all made by humans to meet the need for connections to each other and to that creator. None of them are right, only right for certain people, and none of them are wrong, only wrong for certain people. I think just as I am allowed to have my children living in my house with me rather than being raised in a commune by everyone, so we each should be allowed our own religions rather than trying to lump them all together. It doesn’t mean mine is better, just that mine is mine. Perhaps we just need to figure out a way to live with a sense of privacy for our families, yet with a sense of connection to the families around us.

    Doug, just out of curiosity since this is one of those loaded words which may have many meanings depending on who is using it, what do you mean when you say you offer grace? (Remember, no attacking from me, just curious as to your meaning and how this would be done.)

  4. Science and Atheism

    Science is different from religion. It does not pretend that it knows everything. There are even now deep questions about the origins of the universe that we don’t have answers to now though it is possible we may be able to answer some of them in the future.

    But the inability of science to provide answers to these questions does not prove that religious faith, tradition, or an ancient holy text has the ability to answer them. Science cannot prove that God does not exist, but this in no way establishes that God exists. There are millions of things whose lack of existence cannot be established.

    The philosopher Bertrand Russel had an analogy. Imagine that there is a teapot in orbit around the sun. It is impossible to prove that the teapot does not exist because it is too small to be detected by our telescopes. Nobody but a crazy person would say “Well, I’m prepared to believe in the teapot because I cannot establish that it doesn’t exist.” This means that maybe we have to be technically agnostics, but really we are all atheists about teapots with orbits around the sun.

    But now let us suppose that everybody in our society including our teachers and the sages of our tribes all had faith in a teapot that orbits the sun. Let us also suppose that stories of the teapot have come down to us for many generations as one of the traditions of our own society and there are ancient holy texts about the teapot. In this case people would say that a person who did not believe in the teapot is eccentric or mad.

    There are infinite numbers of things like celestial teapots whose lack of existence we are unable to establish. There are fairies, for example, and there are unicorns and goblins. We cannot prove that any of these creatures of the imagination do not exist in reality. But we don’t believe they exist, just as we don’t believe that the gods of the Scandinavians, for example, have any true existence.

    We are all atheists about almost all of the gods created by societies in the past. Some of us, however, take the ultimate step of believing that the god of the Jews and the Christians, like the gods of the Greeks and the Egyptians, also do not exist.

  5. Yael. Thanks for the well thought out response. I will address your points and questions. I will also attempt to speak of God without using male terminology. My wife would agree with you for the most part on this, and I certainly understand from where you come in that passion.

    I agree with your quote by James Thurber as I have come to realize the reward is almost always in the journey itself rather than in the destination.

    I also agree that claims about God, whether they be from the Torah or the New Testament or Greek Mythology or Buddhism or Hinduism or Islam or whatever, do seem a bit far-fetched. And I think that is one of the reasons why I personally need to have evidence. Now maybe what I am really searching for is evidence to support what I already believe. Maybe I am not “following the evidence wherever it leads” as the motto from the Socratic Club so eloquently puts forth. That is a noble idea but in actuality is very difficult and maybe impossible to do fully because of the bias each one of us brings to the table. One of the blogs I check often is http://www.nakedpastor.com. His post from 12/9 was inspired by a quote from the Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber (I do not know anything about him to this point. Maybe you can educate me a bit. I am curious about him now based on this quote.) “The two spiritual powers of gnosis and magic, masquerading under the cloak of religion, threaten more than any other powers the insight into the religious reality… the tribes of Jacob could only become Israel by disentangling themselves from both gnosis and magic.” I am not sure from where this quote originates, but it is attributed to Martin Buber. I would like to dig a bit deeper into it, but on the surface it says to me that it is dangerous to think I have God all figured out and then assign to God all sorts of things under the name of religion. I have prayed to God for the last decade that God would help me know God as God wants me to know God, not how some denominational or systematic theological doctrine tells me to know God. There are all sorts of things that “religion” tells me to believe that seem magical and off base. If they are off base, then I want to discard that belief. So I search for evidence and try to follow where it leads so that I am not creating some magical image of God which is idolatry.

    “I’m not sure if it’s possible to know God outside of a sacred text. How do you even know to think about God unless you’ve been conditioned to do so? ” (Yael). My post on common morality is the answer to this question for me. I think that humanity has an innate sense that there is a creator responsible for all this. I don’t need the Bible or Torah or Koran or Book of Mormon to tell me that God is there. Humanity senses it. I like what you say about Abraham pondering nature and determining that there is a God. That is how it is for me. Now that does not lead to the God of Judaism or Christianity. As I have said in my post, it just leads to theism. To path to Judaism or Christianity or Islam or Greek Mythology branches off from there.

    “Are you looking for proof of God or proof of your conception of God?” (Yael). I very well may be, and I recognize this. My take on it is this….I was raised in a fairly fundamentalist Christian denomination based on a very systematic theology. I began to see lots of holes in it as I got into my 30’s (and am now 40 as of 10 days ago). While I have been willing to question just about everything I have thought about Christianity, I have not seen the need to abandon a belief in God or a belief in Christ as God. I guess to this point I feel like that is a line that I do not yet feel compelled to cross. I do plan, on this journey of self-examination of my beliefs, down the road to investigate why I believe Christianity instead of Judaism or Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism etc.

    “I think religions are all made by humans to meet the need for connections to each other and to that creator. None of them are right, only right for certain people, and none of them are wrong, only wrong for certain people.” (Yael). I don’t think I am as far down this path as you, but I am coming to a place where I can see this as true. This is very pertinent to our discussion on societyvs. I think my opinion still is somewhat about my own beliefs and finding a way to include others in that. But I want to be validating to your faith and the beliefs of others. I confess that I still have a ways to go down this path. Thanks for helping me see from a different perspective as you did on societyvs.

    “Doug, just out of curiosity since this is one of those loaded words which may have many meanings depending on who is using it, what do you mean when you say you offer grace?” (Yael). I have to alert you that my answer will be very Christian sounding as that is where it is based so beware. I do not intend to speak against anything you may believe in what follows. Grace to me is the opposite of shame. I have come out of a religious system that basically controlled people with shame and guilt. I don’t see Christ operating that way. If I believe that God has fully revealed who God is and what God’s character is in Christ, then my task as a Christian is all about being what Christ was all about. I see Christ as accepting not rejecting. As validating not shaming. As including not excluding. The only group of people that Christ had harsh words for were those who thought they had God all figured out and used religion as a means to exhibit power and control. Grace to me is the opposite of that.

  6. “Science cannot prove that God does not exist, but this in no way establishes that God exists. There are millions of things whose lack of existence cannot be established.” (hkyson). I agree completely. What I am saying is that for me, when I look at the available evidence, I see it as pointing to the existence of a God. That is all.

    “In this case people would say that a person who did not believe in the teapot is eccentric or mad.” (hkyson)
    “We are all atheists about almost all of the gods created by societies in the past. Some of us, however, take the ultimate step of believing that the god of the Jews and the Christians, like the gods of the Greeks and the Egyptians, also do not exist.” (hkyson)
    But I am not saying that someone is mad for not believing in God altogether or for not believing in the same God of which I believe. I understand that it is rational to look at the same evidence and read it in a very different light which leads someone to an atheistic position. I respect that. And I see your point that we are all atheists about most of the Gods that have been recognized throughout humanity. I have never thought of that. But I am at least open to the idea that maybe the same God has revealed himself to different people and different cultures in different ways. For the total atheist who has, as you say, taken the “ultimate step,” I am not sure how this idea plays other than that I can see how, as Peter Rollins puts forth in “How Not To Speak of God,” that finding God is actually in the questioning.

    Thanks for checking me out.

  7. good post, but i’m still (like the others) confused at your motivation. but it is a good post on the melding of science and religion. as T4T said way back when “religion and science went looking for answers and both came up short.”

    RadioLab is my new addiction.. wonderful stories about new findings in science and how they can impact our view of life… check out the following for good starters:

    Choice: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2008/11/14

    Morality: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2006/04/28

  8. “good post, but i’m still (like the others) confused at your motivation.” (Luke)

    So somebody is going to have to explain to me why everyone seems to be confused at my motivation. I am confused as to why you all are confused. Have I not stated my motivation? You all keep using the words “proof” or “prove” in your comments when I am not trying to prove anything, certainly not the existence of God, and have stated such. My motivation, although I am not certain that I can make it more clear, is to put down why I believe there is a God, and it is as much for my own benefit as it is for the benefit of others. I have been in the process of re-examining my beliefs and feel that I want to have it documented somewhere much like a journal. So I am writing about it as I feel compelled to do so. Some have questioned (Josh from decon for one and most recently Yael in her comments above) that it is interesting that I am looking for evidence for God from outside the bible. Well I think the opposite is interesting. How could you not look for evidence for God outside the bible? The bible is no more proof that God exists than “Horton Hears A Who” is evidence that Horton exists. I don’t see how it is possible to believe the bible unless first I believe God exists and then I believe that Constantine and his buds way back there got in right when they put the canon together. So I am laying it out from the beginning because I need to do it. Is that motivation not clear. My question for the group is this: how can one start anywhere else? And maybe in the end I am trying to convince myself that Christianity is real. In fact I will admit that. I have questioned that and have wondered and sometimes I have held onto it because I don’t have any convincing evidence that something else is more true. But even if there is this motivation also there, why is that confusing to everyone?

    Just so everyone is clear here, my tone in the rant above is that of ever-so-slightly-ticked-off that I can’t get my point across all the while with a smile on my face because I am enjoying being challenged.

  9. Hey, in my world, however you are is cool, so long as you don’t have that negative spillover into my space!!!! 8)

    My questions were not directed at you personally so much as just philosophical wonderings on my part. Although I am not on any quest such as yours, I think about some of these same things.

    BTW, Martin Buber is quite renowned. ‘I and Thou’ was his greatest work. Personally, I’ve only read bits and pieces from his works so I couldn’t tell you much from my POV.

    I would like to dig a bit deeper into it, but on the surface it says to me that it is dangerous to think I have God all figured out and then assign to God all sorts of things under the name of religion

    That’s why I try to stay away from all definitive statements about God. God might be good, God might be not good. I leave open all possibilities. I leave open the possibility that there is no God at all and we merely wish there was. I don’t really hold to that view, but I also don’t reject it. I have only been truly God wrestling for three years at the most, not a long time. Who knows what the future brings in this endeavor? I’m very comfortable pondering the most heretical of ideas. In my mind there is no heresy, only honesty and dishonesty. I’m not worried about God getting mad. Why would I spend time with a thin-skinned God anyway?

    I have also made a line I will not cross. I have made my choices and I will stick to my choices. Even if someone were to prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt there was no God, not one word of Torah was true, I’d still keep living my life just like I do now. Torah is whatever it is, God is whatever God is, and I am who I am. None of these need to be fixed as one particular thing; in fact I prefer that they not. That may just be a glob of nothing to some people, but oh well, if they came and lived my life they would find out it’s very real, just not at all dogmatic.

    I disagree, respectfully of course, with the picture painted of Jewish religion in the NT since history doesn’t back up much of it at all. I have studied and will continue to study this period extensively. Jewish and non-Jewish writers alike agree, Judaism was given a bad rap in the effort to promote a new religion in its place. Which brings up another question I have pondered: Is it possible for Christianity to have validity without castigating Judaism in the process? Because I read statements such as the one you made, dropped out there so casually as being totally factual, yet are they? Must they be? What would happen to Christianity if they weren’t? See, in my world, Pharisee is not a slur, far from it. BTW, I started my Wisdom of Our Ancestors in order to introduce these men by name and by what they taught. Anyway, I hope you don’t read this as me going berserk. Perhaps after we have interacted further we will not longer feel the need to disclaim so much, but better safe than sorry for the moment, especially for unknown readers. Anyway, I understand the point you are making, I just feel kind of sad sometimes that the sages so esteemed in my world are ever the poster boys for bad behavior in yours. The joys of inter-faith dialogue….from both sides.

    Being challenged is OK, just hope you don’t think you’re being hammered. :O Thanks for your response. Your quest is a great one. Perhaps more than truth you are searching for honesty? Sometimes I think that is what I’m looking for as well, just not necessarily from God. I’m putting up a blog on a very Jewish way of knowing. Inspiring conversation here.

  10. Yael. I enjoy your points. Thanks for the conversation. I know that your questions are not personally directed at me, and I don’t take them in that manner. I want you and anyone on my blog to be able to say anything you want and challenge what I have to say in any way you feel compelled. In response to your response….

    “Because I read statements such as the one you made, dropped out there so casually as being totally factual, yet are they?” (Yael). I am curious to which statement you are referring? The one I originally made on societyvs or one that I have made above? Can you clarify and enlighten me?

    Also, I want to say that I have no ill thoughts or will towards Judaism at all. In fact, I think it is a very deep and profound thing for which I have much respect. I do have a Jewish friend with whom I work and recently supported her and her temple in a community meal that they do every year. I think it is great. I have tremendous respect for Jewish people including yourself and agree with you that a tremendously bad rap has been unfairly laid on you as a whole. I am sorry that you have had to go through that, but am glad that you seem so tough.

  11. aaahhh! see where i get confused is when someone constantly says that “i’m not doing this” and then i read into it that they are.. this is my problem (and a few others on here) and we need deep therapy to work these out… as for me, i blame my dad ;-)

    i love the “Horton Hears a Who” metaphor. freak’n brilliant and i’m stealing it and acting like i came up with it! hahaha! a benefit of blogging my seminary friends don’t have, stealing other’s ideas! yay!

    rawk dood, thanks for the patiences and grace in your responce. i see clearly now the rain is gone.

  12. Luke,
    Whenever someone says they can see clearly now the rain is gone I’m reminded of that clip on Shrek where they did the American Idol spoof. I think it was three blind mice singing? My younger son got such a kick out of it.

    Doug,
    Sorry. Hey, I knew what I was talking about so I don’t know why you didn’t know, too! Here was the sentence of which I spoke.

    The only group of people that Christ had harsh words for were those who thought they had God all figured out and used religion as a means to exhibit power and control.

    Although I probably should have just let it go since it’s off topic. It’s hard to explain I suppose. I know you have no ill thoguhts towards us. If I thought you did I wouldn’t be here.

    You’re a doctor so of course you have a Jewish friend! I would expect no less. In every hospital, no matter how remote, there have to be Jewish doctors. I think it’s the law! My oldest son wants to be a doctor, although I think he’d make a better lawyer. My younger son wants to break tradition in that he’s not interested in being either a doctor or lawyer. Can you imagine? :)

  13. hey Yael,

    there are a lot of crappy things said about the Jews in the Gospel and the history of the Church does little to quell your fears. thanks to John and Paul there’s a lot of things done in the name of Christ to your people. i think the Canon seeks to end supersessinist ideas, which is pretty hard cause they are inherent in the text. so thanks for making us aware of it. if you don’t say “ouch” we won’t know.

    i really like the idea of Jesus calling people out who think they have God figured out… the problem now is the followers of Jesus think the same thing. something to always be aware of. rawk out!

  14. Luke. I’m not sure what I did to give you your “aha,” but congrats on it. Feel free to steal my “Horton” analogy. It is very good :). I agree with you that followers of Jesus today think the same thing, that they have God all figured out. In fact, I think that is one of the fuels behind me venturing and “following the evidence wherever it leads.” My Christianity and the community I was in had become a joke in my opinion, maybe even idolatrous, worshiping the same old idea of Jesus and salvation and just rehashing the same old crap year after year in one giant circle. It was oppressive. I had to discover something real. Thanks for hanging in there with me, and thanks for helping me on my journey. All 4 of you (Joshua, John, Luke, and Yael have been an continue to be awesome.

    Yael. Thanks for clarifying. I will say that I do not put that sentence out there with any thought behind it that Jesus was talking to Jews. For some reason, I don’t read the NT with any negative idea of the Jewish nation hidden behind my reading at all. It just doesn’t occur to me. I have never thought of the Jewish community as bad or evil or anything of that nature. And I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way if it can be taken as such (you have for sure woken me up to the idea that some of the things I say can be all about me and my faith even when I don’t consider them in that manner so I am a bit hesitant to say anything at times for fear of unintentionally offending).

  15. Don’t worry about offending. Hitting sore spots is a hazard we all face when we begin to converse with people online. I could be having a bad day and say I wish I’d never had kids, not knowing someone reading wanted badly to have children and never could. Someone else could say they have to get going because their mother is supposed to call and I might cry reading that because I would love to have my mother call just one more time. I mean, it happens. We’re just people and we can’t know all these things until we inadvertently stumble onto them or someone clues us in.

    It’s OK to say you never realized because then I can tell you, I know what you mean. My father was a minister who preached from these books, his sermons were mostly very stern, what’s wrong with everyone, yet I don’t remember him ever saying anything bad about Jews. I grew up with a very positive view of Jews, which is one of the reasons I was so irritated at the pastor at my father’s funeral or spoke about how ‘The Jews’ did this and that. For all his faults, my father just wasn’t like that and it irked me that this sermon by which people were to remember him was so not him. (And we’ll leave all the rest for some other day or never.)

    So, let me point out something to you that I found amusing when it was pointed out to me. In our texts the bad guys are the Hittites, the Ammorites, the Perazites and Jebusites. I was listening to a professor of religion teaching a class at shul one day when he pointed out that whatever era it was he was teaching about, I’ve totally forgotten, these groups had long since disappeared from the face of the earth, yet our text still used them as our bad guys! Nice for us they’re not around to protest their maligning! So, perhaps it’s the same thing with your texts, with the problem being, however, that we’re still around to complain. On my side of the fence the fervent love to point out who is Amalek today, on your side they like to point out who is a Pharisee. Rabbi has spoken several times about the need to see Amalek not as a person but as an idea to fight against. Perhaps that is how my father saw the Pharisees, perhaps that is how you see them as well. Except that they were real people. Our founding fathers in a way which makes it still smart a bit to read.

    Anyway, please don’t feel constrained about talking to me. I’m fine. Our discussions give me much to think about as well. Thanks for listening without getting mad. Sometimes we just need someone we can talk to in order to be able to let go of things that bother us. I can tell you, hey, what you said sucks, and you can say, you know, I never thought about it but I can see why you say that, and then I can say it’s OK, sometimes things I say suck, too. Then it’s not such a big deal personally and can become something else. Is there a way for us to eliminate from our religious traditions the need to have that bad guy for comparisons? Back to my question from Jason’s blog. Is it possible to have good without bad?

    And I think I have gone far afield from talking about your God quest! Sorry…..

    Luke,
    Thanks. We’re headed in the same direction I think, well, within our own traditions of course.

  16. freestyle: congrats on breaking out of the Matrix. people can show you the door, but you have to walk through it and walk through it you did! but like anything, people will fight to the death to stay in their Matrix cause it’s comfortable and predictable.

    welcome to the real ;-)

    yay for Yael! yay for the sheer joy of being! follow the evidence to where it leads! brilliant!

  17. I think Im starting to miss the Fundie talk ;(, this just seems too nice, wheres the conflict, arrggggg Im so confused

  18. John T is a crap-face! discuss amongst yourselves!

  19. Well, John, you know all the good places to go duke it out so shove off and have at!

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