If we had to start all over again...
Tom McMahon emailed me overnight to say he'd run out of puff and hadn't been able to prepare a commentary for today. I confess I feel a bit the same way myself and have also decided to take the day off from preparing a commentary to attend to some administrative tasks. I'm still mulling though on the questions I posed in the forum yesterday [LINK] about what would happen if the whole Jesus story just turned out to be "legend"? (It's a sign of how vigorous the discussion is on our forum that that string is now on page two of the main index page.)
My gut sense is that despite all our advances in knowledge, humankind continues to seek some mindframe or paradigm partly at the moral level but others as well that help us make sense of life. If Jesus, or any of the other great prophets and deities didn't exist in history, we'd invent some new Jesus figure — or a Muhammad, Confucius or whatever. So much of how our lives are organised today comes out of an assumption that there is some "power" or "God" above each of us, and above the most powerful people in our world.
I pose these questions within the context of the now rapid decline in esteem for the institution and its institutional leaders. The statistics tell the story: the vast majority of educated people in the Western world have ceased listening and participating in institutionalised religion. Nearly 90% of the congregation of the Catholic Church are now alienated from the religion they were baptized into. Perhaps the educated world will reach the point where it does have to "start again" with this whole business of religious belief, theology and these big questions as to whether we are accountable to some "higher power", and how?
So much of our discussion these days is a discussion out of frustration at how our religious leaders and so called "experts" seem to have "lost the plot", appeasing the insecure, feathering their own nests, or trying to prop up beliefs and ideas that the vast majority of people simply do not believe anymore. Let's turn from that for a while and consider these two questions: (i) can a human society exist without a notion of "God"? And (ii), if we answer that in the negative, what are the essential roles we need this notion of "God" for?
<What if we had to start all over again, what would be our concept of God?>
Wishing you a great day wherever you happen to be ... in life and in our world.
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