I often avoid writing on religious issues unless I’m poo-poo-ing atheism, or, to be less ineloquent, unless I’m pointing out some sort of flaw with the atheist, non-doctrine. And I say this because, as an atheist, I feel more of a right to be critical.
But then I got to thinking: I don’t give a shit about what I am. I’m not even really an atheist, I identify with no-thing.
It is time. It is time to write a post on religion.
So here it is.
There are many things that I don’t understand about religion, generally. And there are many reasons that have fuelled my disconnection from religious ties. There is one thing (of many) that particularly confuses me though, and that has to do with the notion of …
Fulfilling God’s will.
Now, the reason that this particular element of religiosity confuses me is, to put it simply, and I suppose rather brutally, because of this:
Unless you are God, how on earth could you claim to understand His will?
Okay, so, first of all, one would assume, at least one peering through a non-religious lens, that the first place someone would turn in pursuit of guidance for living by God’s will is the bible.
The bible is seen by many as the how-to guide for life that should be referenced whenever your actions or thought patterns are thrown into personal disrepute. And yes, I’m sure that not everyone would agree with me on this, but keep in mind that I’m speaking with a non-religious megaphone, so it’s only one perspective, and a very non-religious perspective at that.
Though, having said this … the bible was man-made. It’s not a book that escaped God’s personal bookcase and fell down to planet earth for we humans to peruse. It’s not a slice of divinity, written directly from God’s fingers – assuming He has fingers – that is logically infallible and necessarily deserving of puritanic worship.
No. It is a book created by humans, for humans, outlining various interpretations that are, to be honest, usually contradicting in nature, which do no more than attempt to depict the laws and rules of the heavenly masters pulling the strings high above. This makes fulfilling the will of God a subjective matter, and, by consequence, means that the bible can only take you so far until you will inevitably require your own noggin for guidance.
From my experience, this is the next aspect where people entangle themselves in a line of logic that makes no sense to me:
Subjectivity as a means of “feeling” that you’re living out God’s will.
First of all, subjective feelings are misleading. If you’ve been raised a homophobe, your feeling’s are naturally going to tell you that gay’s are bad. Mmmkay. This will in turn mean that justifying this “feeling” with reference to your bible – Luscivious or something – is made much easier. I just feel that homosexuality is wrong, and, well, what do you know, according to the bible, I’m right. We can’t both be wrong? Can we?
Well yes, yes you can. There are many factors that are going to contribute to the way you “feel”. Measuring the extent to which that you believe, according to your own subjectively derived opinion, that you are fulfilling the will of God based on your very human emotions, I don’t think, in my not so very humble opinion, is a very accurate measure. Feelings, after all, are about as transient as the weather. One minute they’re swimming in your conscious spot light, the next minute they’re buried somewhere, deep within your unconscious brain-ism.
To claim that “feeling good” equates to assurance that you are fulfilling the will of of God, leaves the door wide open for people to seek self-gratification, and then claim that they are merely fulfilling the will of God.
I hate gay people, I feel good when I’m speaking condescendingly of them, thus, I’m on the right path. NOTE: this is not supposed to represent a drawn out analysis, merely to point out a crack in the overall wall.
Not very Godly, folks.
Here is where my main apprehension stems:
The philosophical inconsistency with the premise asserting that there’s a path, a holy path, if you will, that leads to the fulfilment of God’s will.
If God’s omnipotent and omniscient, isn’t everything then, by equation, God’s will? As in, if it’s happening or if it has happened or if it will happen, then is it not God’s will?
I mean, he’s the one pulling the strings, why would anyone claim to suggest that someone is or isn’t living God’s will, when He created everything and everyone? When He knows everything? When this is His earth? His ballpark. His game.
Isn’t everything, the way that it is or is not, God’s will? How is it possible for a mere mortal to determine whether or not they have fulfilled the will of God?
Isn’t that what judgment day is for? Why do we then, think it is appropriate to point the finger and judge, ourselves and others, based on our limited cognisable knowledge of what God’s will is, or is supposed to be?
If God is in and of everything, then how can we assert that His will is separable from what is, currently, and all inclusively?
I’m not sorry if I’ve offended anyone, though, rest assured that I have not intentionally sought to.
And, just FYI, I will leave the topic of free will for another day. So I encourage you to refrain from mentioning the God gave us free will to choose our own path, or, the right path, argument.
I would love to hear your opinions, especially if you’re religiously affiliated.
Humans-are-limited-by-their-selves. Though sometimes, those limits are gratuitous.