Questions no religion can answer

from the Minneapolis peace garden. Pic by Diana Rajchel
from the Minneapolis peace garden. Pic by Diana Rajchel

I am a religious person. Have no doubt of that. But I’m also well aware, and have made my peace with NOT having the answers to these questions:

  1. Why is there suffering in the world?
  2. Is there evil? Why do people do evil?
  3. Do we really have free will? How does fate play out with free will?
  4. Is there really fate?
  5. How on earth can you choose to see all these random things as having an intelligence behind them?
  6. Why do bad things happen to good people?
  7. Why me?

I’m sure there are a few others, but these are the ones I think religious people across all practices here. And I’m well aware these questions are usually asked in pain and anger, and with a few very angry atheists I’ve dealt with years before, with a certain amount of malicious glee to mask the pain.

Most religions answer all these with “faith,” as though faith itself were enough of an answer. And this gets interpreted as “if I believe hard enough, I will be rewarded.”

Remember, I am very religious if in a very nontraditional way. So I offer this definition of faith to explain my attitude towards the divine, especially with the crap sandwich I’ve had for this year:

Faith is living free from expectations of God.

That’s it. I believe in God, a God, Gods (whatever YOU can understand best because few can see through my eyes.) I just don’t expect anything from my God(s.) And just as I trust God to be God, I believe that God trusts me to do whatever I’m supposed to do in the cartoon machine of life.

How this leads to how I can be a priestess is another discussion for a time when I get it myself.

Comments

  1. davea0511

    The fascinating thing about these questions is that for many people even the most sensible answers, no matter how logical, aren’t good enough. It’s as if they’re looking for something they’re confident either doesn’t exist, or they aren’t supposed to know the answer, or understand it. There’s the concept that life is a test, and how one lives it is the answer to the test, and that if the answers to these questions were out in the open then it would kind of like be cheating … like having an answer-key to help you along the path of life.

    I don’t subscribe to any of those theories myself, except that maybe life is a test, but regardless whether it is or not, I also believe that these questions are not new and so there are a wide palate of answers out there that go beyond the “just have faith” response. It’s up to each of us to not give up in the search to the answers and find those that satisfy us. I like Robert Lawrence Kuhn’s unbiased approach in his “Closer to Truth” series where he relentlessly asks himself: “what is closer to truth”, looking in every corner, never giving up. Sometimes he says “___ seems closer to truth”, and sometimes not. The the point is that he gets closer to truth, however slowly, by not giving up, and by looking and asking (not by inventing). That, I believe is the key.

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