Msg: 719 Date: 17 Dec 89 10:48:00
From: Paul Seymour Area: Amateur Theology Echo
To: Tom Posey
Subj: Re: Belief systems: an example
In a message to Whoever <12-13-89 09:48> Tom Posey wrote:
> Before I begin with this, I should state that this is ONE
> person's INTERPETATION of observed "phenomena" and
> literature/belief systems.
> 1) There is ONE Deity.
> 2) This Deity may manifest in any number of ways, as It
> To some, this Deity manifests as a Triune of
> Female/Male/Holy Fool
> To others, It manifests as Female: Maiden/Mother/Crone
> To others, It manifests as Male: Father/Youth/Advisor
> To others, It manifests as Neuter: Fool/Chaos/Adversary
> To others, It manifests as Father/Son/Holy Spirit
> To others, It is simply there.
> 3) This Deity is honored in any number of ways.
> 4) The Message remains the same.
> 5) The Deity remains the same, no matter how It is named.
> 6) Differences in Religion are man-made. The Deity, alone.
> knows who "follow the Message" and who do not.
> Any human person who sets themselves up as the Arbiter of
> who is "right" and who is "wrong" in matters of religious
> belief is setting themselves up as the Deity. This is stupid.
> 7) There is no proof, scientific or otherwise, that the
> Deity exists.
> So what?
I would add:
8) There is no proof, scientific or otherwiae, that the
Deity DOES NOT exist.
In answer to the "So what?" I would say simply that you have made a
demonstration of the idea that Atheism is just as much a religious system as
any devoted To Deity (in any form).
The next question is what is "proof"? I would submit that "proof",
for most instances boils down to the answer to the question "Does it work?".
Since most religious systems work for their participants and fulfill
their needs, then that alone is "proof" enough for them, and arguing the
validity of said system with that individual is an exercise in futility.
Peter Berger, an eminint Sociologist and Catholic Theologian wrote a
very thought-provoking book by the title of "The Sacred Canopy". Berger
theorizes that all religions provide a psycho-social funtion of serving as a
"sacred canopy" that people use to shelter themselves from Chaos (real or
percieved), and that this is a necessary function in human society; i.e.
human beings have a need to "make sense" of what is easily perceived as a
"chaotic" universe, else they are overwhelmed with a sense of being
powerless and futility and cannot function....Sort of an ultimate
psycho-social "depressive" state... Perhaps this provides an insight to the
FULL statement of Karl Marx's "Opiate of the people" piece that is so often
only partially quoted, or quoted out of context?
Blessed Be, and May we always meet on the Level, Live by the
Plumb, and Part on the Square..... -Paul-
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