Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(807)

Jan 30, 2013

As I get older, I am getting busier and busier, even to the point of still working as a consultant at age 74. I haven’t read your book yet but seeing the comment from an old friend, Anneliese Stricker, had prompted me to put it on the list for my next visit to Readings.

I had a fairly strict Christian upbringing, with many members of the clergy in the extended family. I had a lot of trouble with the concepts of the religion. As a child, I could not even recognize the nature of the problems, let alone articulate them. I did try asking questions but got slapped down (sometimes physically) for the asking. On the rare occasions that I got an answer, it invariably heightened my confusion because there always seemed to be contradictions of logic embodied in the answer. Since contradictions of logic abounded in the core teachings, there was no elucidation to be had anywhere.

What worked against me was that I had been brought up to respect my elders. I was given clearly to understand that they were wise and all knowing and that I was the complete opposite. This, coupled with a very low self esteem, simply exacerbated the matter. It was obvious to me that I was very unintelligent because I was unable to comprehend the great truths espoused by the religious teaching.

Once an adult, I put this aside, where it resided in some far corner of my mind and still troubled me. Pressures of earning a living and staying in a job were enough to keep me occupied, so it wasn’t until middle age that the questions resurfaced. Then a whole lot of things became obvious. There were thousands of 'one true gods’ around the place. And they had several things in common.

The first was that not one of these one true gods was visible. Their respective adherents all claim that they do exist, but not on the temporal plane. Really? How very convenient!

The next was that the claimed existence, and hence a host of laws, was the province of a cadres of shamans, priests and similar, invariably male, most of whom claimed a hot line to their particular deity and all of whom claimed to be the absolute authority in the interpretation of the dictates of their particular deity. Really? All these immutable truths were available only through mortals? How convenient!

The deities, all of whom are all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, all love and all compassion, never seem to be able to avert calamities befalling their faithful followers in general and being murdered by rival religions in particular. One must wonder at the deities who allow the total subjugation of women and the sexual abuse of children. Since they do nothing to prevent it and since they are all-seeing etc, then if follows that they must condone it.

One must also wonder about the fact that their respective great truths are so very far from self-evident that it needs mortals to explain them.

The totality of al this is that no one can prove anything – nothing – nothing whatsoever. Until such time that I can see even the remotest glimmer of evidence, even circumstantial evidence, to prove the claims of any of the many god claimants, I remain a thorough sceptic.

Les Harris

Australia
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