2009 Jan 1

written by Sherri Joubert

Have a watch of the following video and ask yourself what you think. Then I’ll tell you what I think.

The conclusions in this video are laughable. It’s a really bad argument. Just because you can’t explain something that fits your own religious upbringing doesn’t mean there isn’t another logical explanation for it, and it doesn’t make the whole concept of God imaginary. It means you don’t have enough information or knowledge to explain it. You can’t conclude something is imaginary because you can’t explain it. That is called magical thinking.

My World View

My world view is that of a chemist. I have studied chemistry, physics, a lot of mathematics and biological sciences. I have also studied a lot of literature, arts and social sciences. I have read and continue to read the Bible as literature and to be able to mess with other people by quoting it, but I don’t read it as a book that should be relied upon as any hint of fact whatsoever. It does have a great deal of wisdom woven within the bull-pucky, but you have to wade through that to find it. It’s why I like the New Testament better; less bull-pucky, more wisdom and an overarching commandment to love.

My beliefs about God are most strongly influenced by the science of quantum physics, specifically, the Grand Unified Field Theory of the Superstring developed by Dr. John Hagelin. Please see the video linked to in my previous post: Dr. John Hagelin, Grand Unified Field Theory and World Peace.

If that’s too technical for your interests, you can get the gist in the movie What The Bleep Do We Know:

Dr. Hagelin developed Einstein’s coveted theory of everything. Einstein knew it existed, but he couldn’t do the research on it, and he never figured out the equation for it. The research to prove Grand Unified Field Theory required huge cyclotrons, smashing pieces of atoms, and bombarding them with other subatomic particles to find out what is down there. After physicists spent lifetimes of research on quantum physics, Dr. Hagelin was able to finally shed the necessary light on what was at the very bottom of the matter issue. The very bottom of the matter pyramid, with particles getting smaller and smaller until they turn into particles of light (photons) and finally, under photons, there is no matter, there is energy, simplicity and unity. In other words, at the most basic level, everything is one. Matter is energy. Energy is matter. You are me. I am you. We are all connected.

Grand Unified Field Theory goes on to instruct us in all other areas of life. Consciousness is energy. My consciousness can effect your consciousness because we are all one on the most basic level of existence. On the most fundamental level, the energy or life force within each of us is all connected. We each embody the quantum superposition of that most basic energy. In religion, we call it a soul. I also call a soul the superposition of God in each of us. He is everywhere, in everyone, all the time, but not in the way we were all taught in Sunday school and church.

I do not buy the simplistic notion that God is imaginary. God is not what the Bible teaches us for sure, but He is not imaginary in the least. He is the most powerful force in each human being on Earth and every being throughout our universe and the many other universes that must exist. On top of being within us (as our souls and as the love we feel for ourselves, others and our world, also known as a conscience), he gave us a natural curiosity, the ability to learn without bound and free will. These are our most important attributes. We contain God within us, we are sentient beings (conscious, aware of our consciousness, and endowed with conscience and love), we can learn endlessly and we have free will to explore anything and everything we choose to explore. We can also choose not to explore. There’s that free will thing and conscience in action.

God is ubiquitous, but he is not a micro-manager. He is not a planet manager or even a universe manager. He created us through the huge, long, convoluted process of the big bang to be the creators of our own existence. He provided the raw materials and the spark. We are left to do as we will with them while God is off busying Himself with creating other really big things we can’t even begin to conceive of. We are part of a system that is so huge and complex we can barely begin to grasp it, let alone fully understand it. That we now have a theory (and a mathematical formula, too) is just the beginning of a new direction for humanity, Earth, and the universe(s).

I don’t believe God answers prayers. When we pray, especially along with other people, we turn on the energy of our souls in a collective fashion to help change our reality. We create our reality, and therefore, we have the power to change our reality. Prayer is a way to connect our life force to our physical beings. Ancient peoples, before our religions, believed in meditation. Prayer, as most people practice it today, is misguided meditation. Instead of praying for specific things, we must become quiet and allow our souls to connect with the fundamental energy of the universe and expand our own capabilities so we become the reality we desire. We must strive to become the answers to our own prayers.

I’m assuming you at least watched “What the Bleep Do We Know” and understand it from a secular point of view. If not, well, all the following will either fly over your head, or just infuriate you about my obvious lack of proper respect for the Bible and the word of God over which a lot of fundamentalist Jews and Christians would attack me.

With all that in mind, I will address the 10 questions asked in the video.

Question 1 – Why won’t God heal amputees?

I argue that God does heal amputees to the best ability of modern medical science. Scientists, engineers, physical therapists, doctors, and other medical, engineering and technology professionals have developed state-of-the-art prosthetic devices that greatly aid amputees today. New strides are made all the time in better technology solutions for amputees.

As scientists delve deeper into research into genetic engineering and cloning, and into technology solutions for amputees and those needing new organs, replacement limbs and organs will one day be normal medical practice.

We are able to practice modern medicine and make new inroads into further understanding because we are endowed with the natural curiosity and ability to learn infinitely, and we embody God’s love for our fellow humans enough to want to help them, solve their problems and take care of them.

Meditation on this issue should be guided toward making us stronger and making everyone who works with amputees smarter and better able to find new solutions to fix these problems. We develop new technologies all the time and we as a society have come together to collectively help those who need it instead of shutting our amputees away and ignoring them the way we used to. Are we done? Hell no. But we haven’t quit working on it, and we will work on it until we have the end all and be all solution of growing or building replacements and installing them on/in people like putting a new transmission into a car.

Miracles in general happen every day as well. Have you visited a local emergency department or trauma center and seen what is being done to save lives? I call modern medicine one of God’s miracles in today’s world. As Jesus called upon his Father to heal the sick and raise the dead, doctors are God’s hands today to heal the sick and literally raise some of the dead. Have you ever seen a code team restart a heart? If that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what one might be.

Question 2 – Why are there so many starving people in our world?

This is even more simple to answer using my world view than the amputee question. A lot of humans with their lack of education, free will, immersion in fundamentalist religious beliefs, racial and ethnic hatred and lack of desire to help their fellow humans have not decided to end hunger on this planet.

When enough of us choose to end hunger and do what it takes to end hunger, hunger will end. There are a lot more people who are starving than who are amputees. It will take a much bigger part of the world population to decide that hunger must end and start working on it together to make hunger end. We can end hunger if enough of us choose to do so. Enough of us haven’t chosen to make hunger end and that is why there are so many starving people in our world.

The phrase “choose to care” is particularly relevant. Having free will and self-determination also gives us the ability to do evil, or at least not-too-much good, in our world. We are our brothers’ keepers, and until we take responsibility for the world as well as for ourselves, things like hunger will continue because we in effect choose to let it continue.

The loving, caring God we want to believe will save these starving people is us, and we aren’t filled with enough love to change this reality yet. We still have a lot of growing up to do in the loving and caring department as a species.

Question 3 – Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible?

God doesn’t demand all those deaths and He didn’t write the Bible. Men wrote the Bible and men decided which ancient writings were eventually put into the book we call the Bible today. The Bible isn’t just one book. The Bible contains different texts depending on which religious denomination you believe. All the rules in the Bible were social norms at the time they were practiced and written down. They generally have very little to do with our modern world and society.

We no longer kill people for the vast majority of the death sentence offenses in the Bible, and we believe that punishment to be way beyond harsh and cruel.

Question 4 – Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?

See the answer to question 3. God didn’t write the Bible. The men who did write the Bible were not scientists and there was nothing even akin to science 6000 years ago or even 1700 years ago when the first official canon was assembled.

Men 6000 years ago were very aware of the ancient religions, cultures, and practices of societies that co-existed with them or existed directly before them. We know that texts were written long before the Jews came into being, and that before writing of any kind, there were long traditions of passing down stories for generations orally.

There was also a staunch practice of revisionism going on from the very first things that were ever written down. From the beginning of written communication, there has been destruction of those writings. Stone tablets and obelisks were broken up to destroy other men’s written ideas, and books have been burned since the time words and pictures were recorded on materials that could be destroyed by fire.

Man evolved before man’s understanding of science evolved. When we don’t understand something, we make up a story to explain it somehow. When others want to steer our thinking, they impose their stories upon others and make any other story into a lie. For reference, review the Catholic Church’s rather recent acceptance of Galileo’s notion that the Earth revolves around the sun. What was believed by men who believed they were backed by God and what is the truth are two entirely different things.

It’s another demonstration that God didn’t set things up the way many would like to believe He did as it is described in the Bible. He is busy way away from here, and we are in charge of our part of the system, for better or for worse.

Question 5 – Why is God such a huge proponent of slavery in the Bible?

Again, God didn’t write the Bible. Slavery was a part of the society of the men who wrote the Bible, so slavery was okay.

We know now that slavery is not okay, and no matter what the Bible says, slavery is not tolerated in the modern world. When we find out about slavery still present in the world, we try to wipe it out.

Question 6 – Why do bad things happen to good people?

God isn’t close by directing good to come to one person and bad to come to another. Good happens to everyone and bad happens to everyone at the same rates. We, with all that free will, make our own decisions and shape our own realities. Since we have the creative power to shape reality, we often shape realities that we would prefer not to have. We aren’t too great with our creative powers yet, so we often take actions, have beliefs and carry myths that mislead us into making wrong-headed decisions that can have huge or small consequences. Consequences can be as small as stubbing your toe or as huge as causing the deaths of thousands of people at once or starting unprovoked wars with sovereign countries.

Wrong-headed choices can effect us without our conscious permission, but not without our subconscious acceptance. We would consciously choose not to be shot in a gang war on the street, but since we accept subconsciously that gun fire by random other people could kill us, if we are shot at, we could be killed. If we accept that another country could bomb us, we accept that bombs can fall from the sky by another people’s will and kill us. Therefore, we can be killed by the bombing of us by others. If we choose for that not to happen and stop believing that these kinds of bad things can happen to us without our acceptance, we can prevent the actions of others from harming us. (This is in the video presentation by Dr. Hagelin).

We also choose how we perceive the reality we create. Some people are walking, negative, self-fulfilling prophecies. Others take the bad in stride with the good, or when given lemons make lemonade. It all comes down to our own beliefs and choices. If we believe we will fail, we most certainly will make the choices that cause us to fail. If we believe we will succeed, we most certainly will make the choices that will cause us to succeed.

Question 7 – Why didn’t any of Jesus’ miracles in the Bible leave behind any evidence

Jesus’ miracles were not evidence-based miracles. Healing the sick and raising the dead, turning water into wine, and fish and bread into enough food to feed hundreds are not miracles that would leave physical evidence behind. These miracles would be witnessed by other people and either eventually recorded or forgotten. Jesus’ miracles were witnessed by people who were there, and then eventually written down by people who didn’t actually witness the miracles.

The Roman historian, Flavius Josephus, recorded notes about Jesus in his writings. We have the notes of one historian of the time of Jesus who recorded that He actually existed.

Whether He was the son of God is a belief based on faith. One thing that faith is not supposed to require is proof. If something requires proof, it is not an article of faith. Faith by definition requires no proof.

Does this make God imaginary? No.

Question 8 – How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you?

If my world view is correct, Jesus is a part of all of us so there is no need for Him to appear to us. He is already present. Those who don’t sense His presence are unenlightened and need to spend a lot more time meditating on the whole issue of God, spirituality, religion and faith.

Another explanation is the notion that if Jesus is God, God is off doing other things and is not available at our beck and call to appear to us whenever we want Him to. This reminds me of the child who continuously calls “mommy, mommy, mommy, etc.” until he gets your attention. When he finally has your attention, he doesn’t really want you, he just wants to make sure you’re there. Are we as adult human beings really that immature? “Jesus, I want you to appear to me as soon as possible and if you don’t I’ll…what?…hold my breathe till I turn blue and pass out?”.

Question 9 – Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?

The sacrament of Communion is a symbolic ritual that Jesus was supposed to have first performed with his disciples by having them eat bread as a symbol of His body and drink wine as a symbol of His blood. It has always been symbolic, never real. It is a symbol of one’s faith that Jesus died for our sins, and when we take part in Holy Communion, we are taking part in a symbolic ritual that we remember His sacrifice to save us, if that is what we believe.

Much of religion is symbolic. If we take all the symbolism out of religion, we take away religion.

Drinking blood and eating human flesh would have been Jewish taboos back then just as those acts are mostly taboo today. It was symbolic that he was a man (flesh and blood) who was also divine.

Does this make God imaginary? No.

Question 10 – Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians?

God doesn’t bless marriages because He isn’t here micro-managing people on Earth. Those who call themselves Christians are no more His creation than those of other faiths or those of no faith at all. God doesn’t “seal the deal”.

Since people aren’t so great yet at creating our own reality, when we mix another person up in that reality, it gets even harder to do things right. We make poor choices of who to marry and commit our lives to long-term as often as we make other poor choices. We don’t choose our life partners for the right reasons half the time and since we screw that up so badly, half the time we get divorced as a result.

When marriages were arranged and wives were property, there were far fewer divorces because wives had no rights and husbands were not allowed by society to abandon wives. They could stone them to death, but they couldn’t abandon them. When marriage wasn’t seen as being an equal partnership with someone you love and have a real relationship with, divorce wasn’t necessary. You married because everyone married. You had no choice, male of female. Your parents also did a much better job of picking your spouse for you because they didn’t pick based on some fuzzy feeling. They picked on practical issues like family values held in very tightly woven communities and social standing equal to or better than their own. Everyone believed the same things so there were no value conflicts and no problems. Women and children were property, so they had no say-so. The men made all the decisions and wives and children did what they were told or else they were beaten or sent off to live with relatives. Marriage was a social construct that permitted humans a better chance of survival.

When the whole arranged marriage thing went by the wayside and women gained equal rights under the law, divorce rates started reflecting the probability of making a poor choice of a spouse.

What would make marriages more successful is teaching people how to choose the right mate based on values and problem solving skills. We would stay married at a greater rate if we were taught to make better choices. It’s the same for same-sex couples. Whether you are choosing an opposite sex spouse or same sex spouse, your choice has to be based on more than a feeling. Good relationships require some basic common foundations on which to build a life together. Love and commitment take work and diligence like anything else in life worth doing or having. Love doesn’t just happen and keep happening with no real work and commitment on the part of each partner.

Conclusion

God is neither what the Bible nor our religions teach us, nor is He imaginary. He is something else completely. Because the above 10 questions cannot be answered by our religious beliefs in a logical manner does not lead to the conclusion that God is imaginary. To conclude that is a very poor argument and lacks a basis in facts and hard data. Just because the one explanation we have been taught is obviously wrong does not lead to the conclusion that there is no other conclusion except God must be imaginary.

Just because you can’t explain something logically doesn’t make it false. It means you don’t have enough information or knowledge to explain it.

God isn’t the creator we create from our own teachings and constructs. God is not the being we create in our image of Him. He is greater and more powerful than we can even begin to imagine. God is far beyond our present development as humans to grasp His greatness, and we are only beginning to see that as a possibility.

The Bible can be completely wrong and God can still very much exist at the same time.

What are your thoughts? Please leave us a comment to discuss the subject.

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