Immortals

I don't consider myself to be a Christian though I know a fair amount of theology due to my studies in philosophy--which often deals with religion now and almost always did back centuries ago. Nor do I consider myself an atheist since they also are characterized by having faith--though they often deny it. I would describe myself more as a skeptical agnostic.

That said, I find a lot of the recriminations and rationalizations concerning religion and the recent natural and manmade disasters here in the USA and abroad odd at best. Frequently comments to the tune of "how could God let this happen" are heard. Has a person asking that question been asleep all their life? Disasters have always been with us, if your faith is affected by them--then you've not done much deep thinking about faith and religion before. What Kierkegaard referred to as "the leap of faith" shouldn't be done lightly but it seems that most people do it without any thought at all.

For anyone in those circumstances--having their faith shook--I offer you an alternative. And this alternative side steps many of the difficulties of Christian belief with regard to tragedy. Perhaps you should believe in a system of gods like the Greeks had. Their pantheon of gods were fickle but powerful beings that would reward and punish humans on whim--often in a madcap and wry fashion. Doesn't that seem to explain life here on Earth a lot more accurately than an omniscient and omnipotent God who is all good?

Your house burns down after lightning hits it, you rebuild and a tornado strikes it down. Your neighbor the crack dealer doesn't have a problem either time. Sounds more like you pissed off Hera and she's toying with you than the actions of a benevolent God.

Every time you see something that just strikes you as unfair or incredibly peculiar--think about the possibility of a host of minor gods up there just playing with us. If nothing else, it'll make you wonder about issues of faith, luck, reward, and sacrifice.

Comments

Jean-Luc Picard said…
Interesting thoughts to think about.

Michele sent me here.
Aginoth said…
Hi Utenzi,

Michelle kind of sent me, but this is mainly a reciprocal visit from my blog...thanks for popping by.

I do like your blog, and look forward to trawling your archive.

May i suggest you take a look at a couple of blogs on my blogroll with your interest in Philosophy...Cyberkitten and Simply Put (Q)

Blogrolled you btw.
phoenix said…
I am like you in many ways... I am a bit agnostic if you will as well. I believe there is a higher power... but not so sure where it goes from there.

Hi from Michele!
Aginoth said…
Agnostics 'r' us, keep an open mind just in case He/She/it/they do exist. ;o)
Stacie said…
Hi Utenzi! Glad your ankle is getting better. I have always been fascinated by the different Gods of other religions..the greek gods we had to read about in school, but also the different Native American Gods. Its great reading. I will be back. Stacie
Connor Wilson said…
Every year my son Dylan and I have been building our Halloween animatronic display. This year we added 12 new figures and my wife had been making the clothes etc. but then I clued in that Halloween Costumes were the ideal solution - ya, ok I'm slow but...This year is really cool because we've done an HP Lovecraft display that I'm sure he'd appreciate but I'm not so sure he'd approve of this - The Necronomicon - Is it just me or is that just plain goofy ? Anyway, everybody is doing their own Haunted House thing now but hey - it's fun and if you've got kids I really suggest you try it yourself if you haven't already. It's a nice change from the usual Christmas Lights routine and a lot of scaaarrry fun. Happy Halloween everybody.
Captain Typho said…
Not only are the old gods among us, they host TV shows as well.

Sent here by Michele!
Pearl said…
Hi Michele sent me
I don't know why people stop thinking and wring their hands repeating others and bring god into things as the fallguy. Human nature is odd, reliable fodder for satire at least.
Teresa said…
I don't see that wondering why a crowd of gods would cause disaster would be any different than wondering why one supreme God -- such as in Christianity -- would be responsible for such tragedy. I don't believe God is messing with us. It's the "free will" aspect of religion that does us in. We have the choice of living in a torado or hurricane zone as well as living in a city that is below sea level or on the edge of a cliff on fault line.

While I don't think that God is responsible for all things good or bad, a part of me believes that there is a plan, that predestination exists. And if a person believes that, then asking why God does things is pointless; you just have to except that it's done.
kenju said…
Good night, Utenzi! Michele sent me this time.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
utenzi said…
Hmm. A few more spam notices than usual this past weekend. I think I'll turn off the "anonymous" posting feature on Blogger for a while.
No_Newz said…
Michele is not the boss of me! I came here of my own free will. :)
Lois Lane
Holly said…
Hi, Michele sent me! This is such an insightful posting. ]

I struggle with my own faith daily. I do consider myself a Christian, but NOT of the evangelical flavor. Evangelicals piss me off and are one of the main reasons I struggle with my own faith.

It is the evangelicals that live rigidly by "the word" (as they interpret it), and tend to blame things like natural disasters on sinners and non-believers. They give Christians, in general, a bad name, in my opinion.

That withstanding though, I need my faith so much, especially since becoming a Mom. I think the typical evangelical would say I am not a "true" Christian in their definition of one though.
utenzi said…
Lois, I was by your place a few hours ago but that haloscan situation rebuffed me! I love Malcolm in the Middle, btw.

Holly, I suspect if I had kids I'd really need somethng or someone to pray to. The old saw that there's no atheists in a foxhole should come in second place to rearing kids! That's where you really need divine help.
Claire said…
I'm completely fascinated with the Greek mythology and their host of God's. I managed to learn quite a lot while I lived there but can't resist sticking my head in a book whenever I find a new one!

You're right though they worked towards pleasing all gods. If something went wrong they weren't working hard enough for that particular God, it was much more about living a full and well-rounded life.
Diane Mandy said…
Being Greek myself and baptized with the Greek name Artemis (after the goddess of the moon and hunting), I can say with absolute certainty that you probably don't want to go with anything the Greeks came up with... I mean really, have you ever tried Retsina, a god awful wine made from pine sap that even Dionysus wouldn't touch... Although I must say, Greek myths read like the best ever soap operas ever written... Hera was Zeus' wife and also his sister... very entertaining stuff to be sure.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
utenzi said…
Diane, I do understand what you mean but there's a lot about Greece that is good. Obviously there's huge potential for beauty there. :-D And I have had a number of bottles of resinated wine there. I went to Greece with a bunch of friends when I was in college--we bicycled around Crete and the mainland for a bit over a month. We'd often get a few bottles of something local and cheap and I admit there was an odd taste to them. LOL

Claire, I didn't remember that you'd been over in Greece. I have to work on that memory thing. I love the mythology, like Diane said above--it was quite the soap opera!
I_Wonder said…
What's your opinion of the Deist solution in which God created the universe and set it in motion but does not control it -- much like a watch maker who builds and winds a watch and then goes on a trip?

A few years ago there was a book entitled (I think) "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People". If memory serves me the author says God is powerless to stop natural tragedies.
utenzi said…
Good question. The founders of the US were mostly Deists and it's a good approach for reconciling personal freedom of action and moral choices with an all powerful creator.
Lora said…
Have you ever read "Why Bad Things happen to Good People?" Excellent book!

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