Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Friday 7 September 2012

The Big Questions

Continued from previous blog:

The first homo sapiens wrongly distinguished the two parts of the universe as light and dark, goodness and evil,  right and wrong and other characterisations available to the wise men at the time. (It was the earliest realisation of the rule of two. See here) Unfortunately, the ideas were seized by the priest classes who saw the potential of creating an imaginary heaven and hell scenario which suited their purpose of controlling the masses at a time when mankind was forming the first cities. The relics of those early beginnings are seen and felt in the religions of today.
Because people knew no better, the ideas of the priestly classes were largely unchallenged because much of what they said pertained to an unknowable life beyond the grave. Religious people and those of faith whilst probably acknowledging that science is changing how people see the world, still refuse to answer the questions set as long ago as the Old Testament character, Job. They still will not address the question that God, himself, could not answer and that was why there was so much distress in the world. God's response to Job was to give him a list of all his creations and challenged the earthling to do better.

A blogger who styles himself, 'His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer', recently wrote of the disgraceful abuse of children by clergy in the Church of England diocese of Chichester. See:
He wrote: 'An interim report by the Archbishop of Canterbury's office talks of the 'abiding hurt and damage' caused by 'an appalling history' of 'dysfunctional' local safeguarding measures, which had fallen 'woefully short' for two decades.'
He added: 'It is appalling, damning, and utterly inexcusable.' He might have been talking about similar acts of gross indecency in all the other major religions.
His blog received 111 comments, of which mine was number 2. I simply asked where God was when all this was going on? Not one of the other 109 comments attempted to answer this simple question, a question asked of their God by the Jewish prisoners held in Auschwitz. In a trial they found that Yahweh was guilty of negligence for allowing their suffering. I have no knowledge if any of the prisoners decided that as a result of the verdict, God should be abandoned as they were.
The point is; why do the faithful avoid asking these big questions? Why does an omnipotent and caring God allow so much suffering on earth? Why does he visit disasters on earth such as the South East Asia tsunami, the earthquakes and Hurricanes of Haiti to annhialate women and innocent children? It is almost the fiftieth anniversary of Aberfan, the disaster that first made me seriously doubt there was a God. At the time the Church would have told the bereaved mothers and fathers that God needed more angels but as these poor people look back on their lives, empty of their children, their grandchildren and possibly, by now, great grandchildren it will be little comfort. Where was God's mercy at this time of great suffering by those left behind? Tell me that you followers of hopeless dreams; believers in the impossible ambition of everlasting life. If God cannot give peace on earth to all men what is the point in Him at all? Why, when women and children are dying by the thousands all around them, do Syrians bow down and pray five times a day to a God that is clearly not listening. It was the same in Iraq, Egypt and Libya.

Many of the faithful are, these days, having doubts and challenging  the more difficult areas of their religion. The transubstantiation and resurrection, for example. I hope that eventually these people will be able to appreciate a spiritual side to Human Beings that does not involve a creator with all the trappings of 'Messiahs' and 'Day of Reckonings', for example. Why do I say this?  Because I fervently believe that the Churches have a role to play in society, addressing all those ineffable traits of man's spirituality. Who should lead the mourning at the passing of the heroic and famous, such as Princess Diana, and the commemoration of the fallen at the Cenotaph? Who should lead the nation at the Coronation of Kings and Queens. In these difficult, austere times we need spiritual leadership to promote charity before mammon, compassion before greed without colouring the argument with religious waffle and ideological claptrap.

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