Friday, July 27, 2012

God as a Rubick's Cube

What exactly is the definition of a “Bad Religion” or a “Good Religion”?

I’ve given this a lot of thought as I’ve been asked to read and report on a book by Ross Douthat called “Bad Religion”.  His premise is, like so many others:  not this religion; that one and here’s why.  His particular reiteration of this mental aerobics is this version of Christianity not that one and why.

What human characteristic do we project onto our religions that compel them to quest for such certainty when ambiguity is clearly right at our finger tips? 

The history of religion is a stream of cyclically right and then wrong ideas, people and groups.  As the background changes around it, religion changes, but either considerably lagging or leading the scenery.  We hearken back or hope forward based on reason, “logic” and evidence, all the while missing the point entirely.

The whole conversation is so ludicrous that it’s teetering on boring. Good religion avoids quest for definition and focuses on meaning.  Any such religion would be badgered by the establishment to conform to convention and stake out statements of belief.  This religion would be laughed at and jeered for simultaneously believing in nothing and believing in anything or everything.  This religion would be criticized for prizing ethics over morals, or the opposite, depending on the background.  Over time, human nature will take control and the pain of isolation will cause this hypothetical good religion to slip back into convention and become another in the string of boring bad religions.

Just because the great mystery exists doesn’t mean that we should strive to solve it.  God ain’t a Rubik’s Cube.

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