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    • The Question of God

      Since the beginning of man there was some effort to explain the origin and purpose of man in trying to find his relationship in this complex world and beyond. When man could not apprehend or reason things that were not answered by logic and reason he devised a supernatural strategy; thus religion took form. Each group or community came up with their concept of God and the creation origin of man. A good question here is which creation story is the true story? Every culture has its own version of a creation story some of those cultures precede all present popular versions. No has absolute proof of what is the truth as to what or how man made his appearance in the planet. Science is not an absolute truth about origins in any life form and religion does not have absolute proof as well.Speculation; intelligent or otherwise is still speculation, but other terms are used to disguise the act of speculation words such as theories, conjecture,hypothesis. There are a volume of beliefs given by thousands of theorists that offer their specific version of how man originated and/or his purpose, there is no universal consensus. If we are to use linear time to establish the first or early belief systems, you could ask the question; whom did prehistoric man worship?  How did they worship? Was there a unified belief in a deity and if so what form or name was used? We need to realize that all forms of worship are culturally based and influenced by the physical environment people find themselves living in. Simply said; the analogy, metaphor, symbol or emblem used to convey the attributes and/or the identity a deity and its mode of worship would use the elements found within their physical environment. A community of desert dwellers would have a different process and elements than that of a community of Arctic dwellers. All groups strived to develop a system of belief that would bring about civil order, law, group identity, spiritual distinction, relational affiliation with Deity(s) the debate rages in regards to the development of a system of beliefs. Was it
      supernaturally given or was it a product of a man created process to bring unity and a common purpose. Since there is no single source from oral or written history to tell us what is the original and true source; that leaves us with a myriad of theories or explanations. Man is unique in his propensity to worship in one form or another, no other creature on earth displays that need or desire. Man in his intent to exercise power, dominance, and influence in his environment will use his cultural traditions, mores, and beliefs in order to distinguish himself from other groups. The groups then sought to preserve their belief system in a written, oral, or visual format. These records were
      regarded as holy records of Gods dialogue with man via spirit entities, prophets, religious leaders most commonly in book and art forms. Usually claiming or cultivating a selective status with divine entity(s) and embracing some manner of elite relationship.

      Within that context there is a constant introduction of new or revised belief systems in all cultures and/or societies causing ever widening competitive  and separation of systems of belief and their
      related worship  modes and in the process an identity label was attached to the adherents of their specific  group. All groups are socially driven and the dynamics of that are also in constant change due to the social and political interactions of the individuals within the group. Largely influenced by the claims of its leaders to have been selected to represent, give, instruct in some manner
      divine revelation, enlightenment, or principles.

      Religious texts are not literal historical sources. They reflect the ideas, the ideologies of their writer(s) and historical context in which they were written. The religious text can be viewed also as a viewpoint about the concepts of origin within the cultural context. All religious texts are written by man against the background of his immediate environment and therefore are a subjective process flawed by the limitation and biases of the writers of the holy texts.  One hasto consider;
      God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist, or any known religious system. All of those are human conceived inventions; which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. The purpose of all holy texts is to point man to an understanding God and the relationship to the entire creation realm.

      Holy texts are not to be interpreted as fully literal but are to be understood metaphorical and/or allegorical  in their intent and interpretations, they contain elements of history, legends , myths, traditions, philosophies recorded by men whom are writing from their point of view and prone to control the narrative to further their personal or  groups agenda. It is historically y demonstrated that religions have become power systems that have been used to create and engage in conflict of the worst kind against divergent belief systems. And by virtue of the power they create amongst it adherents invariably leads to corruption to some degree. Power struggles always lead to conflict it chooses exclusivity as its foundation of truth.

      Consider these thoughts with a mind of contemplation,potentiality,illuminatiom.

       

       

       

    • Basically, you are saying that in your view if there is a God, He has not communicated His will to humanity.

      In Arkansas, there is a state park which has a diamond mine. My late wife and I one time spent a few hours seeing if we could find a diamond. We picked up many rocks but did not find one. Yet there are people who find diamonds there.

      Your statement that all religious texts are the products of men is the equivalent of saying that because there are so many rocks in that diamond mine that are not diamonds that therefore there are no diamonds there.

      My view is that if there are hundreds of false religious texts that does not mean that there is no text that is truly "God breathed". Also if there are hundreds of false religious beliefs which have sprung up from one religious compilation that does not mean that there is none of those religious beliefs that is true.

    • You wrote:

      All religious texts are written by man against the background of his immediate environment and therefore are a subjective process flawed by the limitation and biases of the writers of the holy texts.

      You did not say that there might be an exception. You stated that as a universal fact.

      Don't come back and say that you left the question open to discussion when the fact is that you closed the door and locked it.

    • We will not agree on what has been said or understood and neither one of us is going to change our perspectives. You have every right to your views and I to mine. One main reason I do not see any one source of religion as being the absolute truth and every single source was modeled after the cultural,social and geographical environment of the writers. How ever I do admire the zeal and commitment of any individuals faith and to their correspondending belief system. For I have seen the power of the dynamics of belief in many cultures with or without the concept of an interpersonal deity.( nontheism religions) , You and I are not going to change what has been unchanged for a very long time. I am certain that you have touched lives with your faith and that is a testimony to your faith.

    • Thanks , I appreciate you taking time to voice your opinion. I was and still considering cancelling my participation in CAKE ( and other platforms) mainly because I grow extremely weary of attempting to have viable and alternate dialogue with individuals about the subject of religion. My goal if I had to define it would be simply to consider the beliefs of others as a result of their life influences. Considering their culture, heritage,education, human interactons, etc. In order to determine how that affects and shapes their belief systems. And the honoring that choice as long as the core principles stand for the dynamics of goodwill towards our fellow man. You have been a refreshing breath in a scorching,suffocating, ambiance. Thanks

    • Thanks, I value and appreciate your comment. You have caused me to consider that there are folks that can and will consider alternate stream of though and beliefs. And to keep in mind that no one has perfect and absolute knowledge and therefore no "one:" has the absolute answer because it is imperfect beings that are shaping the dialogue. Thanks for taking time and energy to share your words.

    • You got shut down pretty quickly in this conversation, and I thought it was a shame. A misunderstanding and overreaction.

      But all your points are valid. We can't prove the veracity of any of the ancient origin stories. And like you said, each was communicated by humans, prone to mistakes and misunderstanding, from varied environments and experiences. So which one is true? Or rather, are any true?

      I was raised in the Mormon church, but I'm no longer associated with them. There is a lot of elitism in the church regarding being "the only true church" and it tends to breed a sense of superiority among the members. I'm really not religious anymore and stepping away from that has made it easier for me to appreciate differences in culture and their influence on beliefs - not just religious beliefs, but social as well. It has honestly made life more enjoyable for me. I don't really believe in a divine presence, despite a strong belief in one previously. Ironically, my appreciation for nature is deeper now than ever. In a way, nature has sort of become god to me, if you want to call it that. We're all just organisms trying to live our lives, but ultimately we are subject to nature from beginning to end. It's a closed system. And I like it that way.

    • Thank you for sharing your spiritual journey,the world is a better place for it. A point of light now exists because you dared to question the status quo and beyond. It is no small task to walk away from an established family and religious culture, the back lash is brutal! It requires a herculian fortitude to stay the course and come out of that with a renewed mind and spirit that fills you with freedom and joy and acceptance and appreciation of diversity. The decision(s) in your journey has separated you from the preconditioned collective. There will be no ticker parade for you in the streets of Religiosity. How ever there will be those that will say "thank you" for having the courage to illuminate an alternative path and it gives them energy and hope,knowing another point of light is out there to aid them in their quest.