Friday, November 05, 2004

In Search of a Monotheist Synthesis

Lately, I've been taking the studying of religious texts and praying rather seriously. I have found myself in the company of a wife who is equally inclined to do so (meaning she didn't do so before this, either), and have come to the conclusion that just because one can't be absolutely sure about anything in this area, that doesn't mean one can't behave in a way concordant to that which one is reasonably sure of. After all, engineers successfully used Newton's Laws for centuries, and that didn't turn out to be any sort of Absolute Truth. It was just True Enough For Our Purposes. And I think the existence of a One True God is reasonable enough to act according to.

The upshot of this is that I'll be blogging about religion, as well as politics, in this space. I may even stop blogging about games, which I am starting to think a bit fruitless. This isn't my old Weekly Ramble. So this space will likely take a more serious tone.

The thing is, I have never trusted any Organization of Men to be the sole possessor of the Truth and the People of God. I look around, and I see many people proclaiming the worship of God, people from all over the world, many with different historical backgrounds. I'm talking about Jews, Christians and Muslims, Zoroastrians, Stoics, possibly Brahman Hindus (forgive my ignorance), Sikhs, and so on. I look at the traditions and texts of these peoples, and see similarities. I see decent people in all these groups, and I see really cruel and evil people in all these groups. I can't believe that, for example, God loves all who call those Christians, no matter what they do and think, but hates all who call themselves Muslims, no matter what they do and think, or vice versa, or Protestants and Catholics, or Jews and Everybody Else, or anything like this. The very idea goes against the very core of my being.

I also can't believe that, outside that group of people descended from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, that the whole world was without any road to "Holiness" (whatever that means), before news of Jesus reached them. I see forms of Monotheism which have sprung up throughout the world and have had features similar to "Judeo-Christianity;" why can these not have been God's way of reaching out to other people? Shall we condemn Others simply because they are not Us? Shall we place the Cult of Nation over the Worship of God?

All this could well be based upon my own ignorance. Seeing surface similarities, I am inclined to lump them together as different people from different places and times, all honestly seeking God. Perhaps I could be wrong. I intend to deal with that ignorance. In the future, I'll be blogging about my experiences studying various religious texts. At present, I am working on the Qur'an.

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