Friday, April 30, 2010

Playing God - Religion

One of my friends pointed out a most glaring omission from my list of ways that we play God.  Sometimes the things right under your nose are the hardest things to see.

My omission: religion.  By definition religion is man’s attempt to reach God.  Around the world are many systems designed to understand interpret and direct our path to God. It is when these systems actually replace God that our religion becomes playing God.

On a systemic level this is often seen when a religious group demands adherence to itself over and above a commitment to God. This is easiest to see in cults but is pervasive in every religion on earth.
I grew up in an evangelical church and for some strange reason I thought that everyone who did not attend my church was not really following God.  This may have been naivety on the part of a young boy, but I think it points to some unspoken thoughts that were generated by that particular religious system
In our search for truth using religion as its sole source puts us in reliance to that system and forces us to limit what truth may be in its entirety.

In a personal way we can see people who use religion as the standard for truth.  It is easy to place our own interpretation of the scriptures as the truth.  I have seen this often, even in my own life, and I am regularly disturbed by the damage that arrogance, self-righteousness and dogmatic rhetoric inflicts on people, in the name of Christian faith, love and discipline.

Knowing that I am right puts me in a place where I often do the most damage to others.

So how does using religion for our own self-protection or self-promotion help us to play God?  It puts truth in a box, limiting truth to the parameters that we give our religion.  It makes us dependant on man’s interpretation of who God is and not into a relationship with Jesus.  It puts the form of religion above real truth.  It builds a safe controlled world that neglects to let dependence on God step outside that box. 
It fails to let us see truth as it really is, replacing it with a false sense of wisdom and knowledge.  It makes us feel we can control what truth is and we are the masters of truth when in reality it is truth that is the master of all that is true.

In our search for truth even religion does not replace truth. Religion may be based on truth, but truth is not based on religion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Playing God -Scientific Method

As I have mentioned before, any search for truth needs to start with the self-recognition of fallibility.  We must stop playing God before we can see truth.  Last blog I wrote briefly about Relativity. This blog I want to write about using Scientific Method to play God.

Scientific Method is all about proving the facts and as such has its own merits in a hunt for truth.  It uses the empirical method to divide truth from fiction.  With science we know that molecules and atoms form the basic elements of everything on the planet.

However, Scientific Method is limited to what we can see, hear, touch, feel, and taste.  We can expand the value of our 5 senses with a multitude of equations, machines, tools, formulas, etc.  By doing so, we have accumulated an incredibly huge amount of facts and knowledge.

Even with all the knowledge we acquire how much does mankind really know?  Who can estimate how much more there is to learn?  It seems as if we still have an infinite number of inventions that need to be made.

So if we consider all we don’t know and compare it to what we do know, it seems to me that mankind has a very small grasp on what is truth.  The ratio of know to what-could-be-known would look like .000001/1,000,000,000,000 or smaller. 

If there is an infinite amount of information mankind lacks why would we base truth on what we know?  Science is fallible because it lacks all the facts needed to determine truth.

Science plays at God when we use it as the final judge to determine what is real and what is false.

Where do let you let science decide what truth is? 

How often has it let you down? 

Where do you let your 5 senses determine your course of action? 

Where do you put Science above God?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Truth and Playing God - Relativism

Truth and Playing God
Last blog I wrote “I am not God.”  A no brainer if I ever heard one.

Yet, I am convinced we all are earnestly and fervently trying to usurp His authority in our lives.  We all want to be God.

The entire human race does this in more than one way or another.  We do this several ways, both corporately and individually.

Corporately, we try to be God by using Relativism, Scientific Method, Reason, and Atheism to name a few.
Relativism is a search for truth using the times, the culture, the sub-culture, and “common” morals to determine what we consider to be truth. This makes truth a subject to our culture, and the times we live in.

By definition truth is an absolute and not dependant on external forces to form it.  The culture and times do not determine truth.  Truth determines how we live in our times and culture.

Basically, Relativism is a consensus of thought that determines truth.  If we agree that something is true then it must be true.

This is silly. As if we could change the direction water flows by agreeing that the truth of gravity is actually a lie.  The way we think about gravity does not change its natural law.  We could not travel to outer space simply by suspending altering our belief in gravity.  Consensus that suspends the law of gravity does not change how we are stuck to this planet.

Truth stands alone and is not dependant on anything to prove it.

What do you think?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just testing a way to make money using my blog.  Mostly doing this for fun and if  I ever make anything more than $25.00 I will be pleased.

This looks like an interesting book.  Maybe someday I will read it

Truth Recognizes Personal Fallibility

The truth is I am not God. Yep, contrary to my deepest desires I cannot be the arbitrator of all that is considered truth. Nor can I accurately discern lies from truth with complete accuracy. My judgement is impaired because I cannot see every angle or know all the facts needed to make perfect choices
In fact, even if I can be intellectually cognisant of the facts my decision making faculties are also defective. Decisions are not made on the basis of knowledge alone. Emotions, desires, fears and thoughts are part of many considerations that determine decisions. And all of these elements are not pure in form in a human being. Our defects are pervasive to all aspects of who we are.

Therefore, all truth that I consider must be held with an open hand. I cannot consider what I believe to be true to be the final word in what is truth. Truth cannot be determined by what I alone know.
Since I cannot be an accurate purveyor of truth, I need to rely on external help to determine truth. I am dependent on a separate source or sources to determine truth.

My fallibility feels very uncomfortable. I very much want to be the master of my universe. I want to be independent and self-sufficient. Depending on others to make my world more the way I want it to be will always leave me disappointed. And I hate being disappointed and worse, loathe being disappointing.
Why can’t I be God? If I was I could make my world much more to my liking.

This desire to be God is the most selfish desire that I have. I want to be God so that I can always feel good and never feel bad.

Recognising my desire to be God and my subsequent fallibility are essential if I am going to be able to understand truth. I fight both these things because in confronting them I feel out of control. And I like being in control; I am less likely to get hurt.

Where is your struggle to be God taking you?

Mistakes Can Draw Out the Truth

Sometimes I wreck things so bad that I am sure irreparable relational damage has been done. Like, last night my son came home 10 minutes late and I hyper-overreacted in a detrimental and hurtful way.
I can explain it but am incapable of justifying it. I was sad, angry and depressed. My negative emotions were in a high state of agitation because of something that didn’t go the way I hoped it would earlier in the day. I made a poor choice and took my anger out on my children.
Now the shame and embarrassment overwhelm me and I find it hard to live with myself. I wish I could leave me.
Mistakes like this are all too common for me. I am a storm that often shipwrecks those whom I love the most.
The upside of mistakes of this nature are difficult to see, but are there if I search diligently.
The truth is that I am fallible and susceptible to making many mistakes. I have often believed a lie that says that I am capable of making an infinite number of perfect choices and that no one will get hurt by my actions.
The truth is that I am not perfect. I am lost and despite my most hopeful and positive intentions I will make mistakes that hurt others. I don’t want to be this way and it’s not fate that stops me, it’s my lack of divinity that is the cause of my delinquency.
The truth is, I am not God. To know this is often essential in finding the truth.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Referencing Truth

I once knew a man named Wes, who’s last name was Ted. I had to bail him out of jail because he was a-wes-ted.

This is a bad joke reflecting my sense of humour, or lack thereof, to start the day. My kids know my wit and will apply its label to any pun by saying, “that’s a dad thing to say.”

To know truth we must be able to recognize it as easily as my children recognise my jokes. The converse is also true; in order to recognize it we must know truth. My kids need to understand humour in order to think my jokes funny. OK, about me being funny, that may or may not be true.

So how so we start? We need a reference point, some baseline that lets us know where we are, so we can move in a direction that points to the truth.

There is a tree that stands alone on the prairie of Manitoba. It stands tall beside the Trans-Canada highway almost exactly halfway between Brandon and Winnipeg. One hundred kilometres to Brandon and 100 kilometres back to the ‘Peg. I text my friend almost every time I pass it, often using a corny riddle to explain my location. “X L Ent” and “Treemendous” are just two of a plethora of identities I have given this spot and I am trying to send a new identity every time.

When I am heading west this tree signifies an unofficial beginning trip. The next delivery will be many miles down the road and I can settle in to enjoy the drive. If I have forgotten something I am well past returning for it, unless what I have forgotten is my mind and then I can only how that it returns to me on its own.

When I am heading east the big tree means that I am almost home. I am only about 2 hours from the house and for a trucker who has been out on the road these last two hours are oft times the longest two hours of my trip.

So we need a tree of truth, planted in our soul to determine if we are heading to or moving away from the truth. Hey, wasn’t there a tree mentioned in the Bible? Was it the tree of truth? Hmmm....

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