January 31, 2012

Did God only talk to 1 of 2 pastors?

Did the message to 1 get garbled? Was only 1 listening?

I'm normally not like Gnu Atheists, taking cheap potshots at organized religion. But, per this interesting substory within last week's Florida traffic accident tragic pile-up, this is one time to partially set aside those rules.

For the omnipotent god of conservative Christians, of course, the only answer is that "god is inscrutable." Really? Well, as I have said before, then such a god causes psychological pain to his creatures, at least those who would like to believe in some higher order in the universe, but can't blindly accept "inscrutable."

And, contra Gnu Atheists, but contra stereotyped conservative Christian beliefs, there are people who at times wish such psychological comforts existed, but not on terms of blind faith. To use human parenting language, children have blind faith in a parent only to the point in their maturity in learning what non-blind levels of trust are, and are to be offered.

That said, non-literalist Christianity hasn't, for people in the pews, figured out a way beyond this, at least for thinking people in the pews who would still like some sort of "higher order." If this order, power, or divinity is less than omnipotent, while we might yearn for it/him/her to do something, how much can actually be expected?

In short, without endorsing ideas of "progress," in the modern social world, many people who are willing to think these things are at least 16 years old, psychologically. We're old enough to see that, if there is any "higher order," it may not be that much above our heads, and that alleged "answers" for these issues aren't, either.

But, many of us also aren't social Darwinist Gnu Atheists, either. We reject the idea that it's "weak" to feel the need for religious solace (or solace of support/comfort groups in general). And, yes, Gnu Atheists, "name it and claim it" New Agers, and success gospel Christians are all social Darwinists, or the psychological equivalents thereof.

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