Re: The Unknown God (was: Conciliatory moves...)
|Date:||Wednesday, May 3, 2000, 0:28|
John Cowan <jcowan@...> wrote:
>Well, I suppose I will add myself to the list. I am an agnostic, as
>I have said before. I adopt Larry Niven's definition: "One who does not know
>whether or not there is a God, and does not believe you do either."
It's a good one, if maybe a bit cynical (i. e. something you
know is true, in a broad sense, but which many people will endlessly
argue with you about, with self- and cross-referenced arguments --
which they could avoid by simply stating "I believe differently").
I'm an agnostic too. I was raised Catholic, though for the best
part of my life neither my family nor I were really involved.
Even then I had some doubts; when my family turned decidedly
to religion, I saw many things in depth, and decided I could not
name myself a true Christian of any kind, as most people I know
do, if asked. At some point during the last two or three years
I decided I didn't want to adhere to any closed set of beliefs
unless I truly believed in all of them, which hasn't happened
to me since.
This probably sounded like an excuse, I know; I really don't know
what could have happened if my life had been different, though
I'm sure some questionings would have arised, that nothing but
faith could have replied to. I respect those who have faith,
but I can't restrain myself to have faith only in things decreed
by humans with unknown intentions in the far past, or any other
I believe what I see, that there's an ordered universe around
me, that nothing and no-one within it may have conceived or created,
and that I can't understand, but fills me with marvel and a sense
you can maybe call a kind of faith: the (unjustifiable) sense that
everything falls into place at due time, and that each particle
of dust has a meaning. I'm not sure whether it is inside it
(inside everything), or comes from outside, or co-is (is together)
with it. If It decided to talk to me some time (which I believe
It can, given all the above), I guess I'd be glad. But it will
surely be an uncommunicable experience. Which is why I can't
believe people who said they have experienced it, at least not
always. When I do (since I'm not a reasoning machine) it makes
me glad too -- because It managed to make me believe. Unfortunately,
that doesn't happen a lot.
"... When all men on earth think, day and night, about the
Zahir, which one will be a dream and which one a reality?"
Jorge Luis Borges, _The Zahir_