Wednesday, 19 November, 2003

Thoughts on the nature of God

To me, spirituality consists of a search for Order, and an acceptance of my inability to fully grasp that Order.  Science, even practical science, is the search for that Order and, in my mind, The Creator.  Isn't that what religion is all about?  The personal search for God and the acceptance that you probably can't fully understand his/her/its true nature?

Or is religion really what I was taught as a boy?  Is it really all about rules, prohibitions, and required rituals?  If so, which rituals are correct?  Ask 100 people and get 100 different answers.  There's a disconnect here that I can't reconcile with any teachings with which I am familiar.  If there is a God who expects us to live a certain way, wouldn't He make those rules abundantly clear to us, with no possibility of misinterpretation?  To do otherwise is stacking the deck against us, setting us up to fail.  Each religion teaches that it is the way, and yet if there is only one God, then only one of those religions can possibly be right.

However I might try, I can't believe that The Creator would be so purposefully cruel as to give us free will and then expect us to follow a set of rules that is not clearly defined.  If that is in fact the nature of God, then I certainly don't want to spend eternity in His presence!

And yet, if God is the kind and logical being that I hope He is, then the existence of free will and the lack of clearly defined rules should lead me to the extreme existentialist view:  nothing matters.  That, too, is a doctrine that I can't embrace.