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About Religion, Faith, Science, and Proofs
By Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright © 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
If you believe in religion, then you must be blind.
If you do not believe in God, then you must be a fool.
If you believe in humanity, then you will see God.
If you don't believe in anything, then what's the point of life?
Do you see the universe around you?
Then, enough said! This is all the proof one needs.
Proof of what, you ask?
Now, that is a wise question!
Is the Exodus an historical event? Did the plagues that struck Egypt ever really happen, as Biblically recorded? These are indeed valid questions. In spite of centuries of investigation, archeology, and debate, there is no absolute, empirical, irrefutable evidence that anything in the episode of the Exodus is literal, undeniable historical fact.
Whatever evidence one wishes to put forward as proof of the Bible stories, other will contest the validity, and relevance of such so-called proofs, dismissing them entirely. Ultimately, we are left with a story that ends with a question mark (?), not an exclamation point (!).
Did the Exodus ever really occur? Is this really a question? Without absolute proof to either confirm or deny, whatever answer to this question that one offers is simply a matter of opinion, and opinions, are a matter of faith.
Isn't religion supposed to be about faith, and not about history? Does it really matter if one's cherished religious beliefs are based in a literal rendition of history, or in a more symbolic expression of elements within the human spirit?
Is religion about history, or is religion about belief. Then again, is religion really about God, or is it really about humanity? Ah! The answer to this last question may make many religious people very uncomfortable. Then again, since when is faith ever supposed to be a comfortable experience? Comforting, yes! Comfortable, no!
One who wishes to rely on proofs to validate what one believes will never find enough proofs to prove anything. Knowledge is simply limited, that's the truth of it. What is knowledge today may become discredited, and proven incorrect tomorrow. Knowledge evolves, it never stands on a plateau unmoved.
Religion teaches us that God created the universe. Is there any proof of this? No! Yet, why do we need to ask for, or look for, proof? Is not the universe grandiose on its own?
If we believe that God created the universe, and that the universe expresses God's handiwork, then should not a detailed study of God's handiwork reveal to us something about God?
The study of the universe is called science. Science studies the laws of nature, therefore, science, more than any other religion, should be able to reveal to us the truths of the laws of nature, and therefore, give us insights into the great Law Giver, Himself. Science should be the greatest, most authoritative religion of them all. Why is it not?
Science should not seek to prove anything. Science should seek to explore nature, and see how it works. Science does accomplish this. Yet, science is knowledge, and knowledge is always limited. Science, therefore, is not definitive knowledge, but a never-ending open book. Science leads to where the empirical study of nature directs it. To deny the revelations of science is to deny the handiwork of the Creator. Isn't such a denial, a denial of the Creator, Himself?
Granted, science, does not, and will not have all the answers, but the answers it does provide are testable and verifiable truths about nature, at least until they are disproved by higher, more valid and more established, tested experimentation. Science seeks to test, and explore, the natural way, not proclaim it as doctrine. Science is the best avenue to discovering the hidden and secret Hand of God.
If science is what brings us closer to God, then what role does religion play in all this?
First, let us define religion. Religion is a set of beliefs that offer a picture of the universe, from a specific point of view. Religion becomes the definer of morality, as well as objective truth. As such, a religion by definition, declares itself to be The Way.
Of course, the problem is that we have so many competing, and contradictory religions. One discounts the other, contradicts it, and denies not only its authenticity, but also denies it any moral validity. As such, religions, as the doctrines and theologies of humanity, have been warring with each other since the dawn of time.
Religions proclaim themselves as absolute truths. Yet, the one testable, and absolute truth about religions is that none of them can ever be proven to be absolutely, objectively true. Religion is not a matter of fact, and has never been such. Religion is a matter of faith, and has always been such.
Religion is what we believe, it is not what we can prove.
We cannot prove anything that the Bible says is historical, any more than the members of other religions can prove theirs. We are very well able to show evidence of some kind that suggests historicity. And indeed, just because there is a lack of verifiable evidence to validate religious historicity, does not mean that such history does not (did not) exist. The lack of evidence means just that, it means that it cannot be proven. And thus, we have faith, and thus we have religion.
What religion talks about God cannot be proved or disproved. All we have is faith. So, let it be. We cannot talk about God, for God is in Heaven. Let God talk for Himself.
What religion talks about humanity, here on Earth, this can indeed be put to the test. We here on Earth can talk about our humanity, and our fellow human beings. So, let us do so with the highest regard for one another, with mutual respect, honor and dignity.
Let religion be about humanity, and how best we can serve, and support one another, regardless of our different faiths and beliefs. We are all humanity, any other definitions and descriptions only divide us.
Being human is what unites us. If nature works together as some grand composite whole, then humanity should learn from this, and emulate it. Humanity too should learn to act as a composite whole, with each acting for the good of others, and the whole. In this way, the good of the individual is never missed or overlooked.
When we serve as our brother's keeper, then we keep, safeguard and protect our brother/sister, providing for them, as we would ourselves. When I do this, and you do this, when we all do this, this is the greatest expression of religious faith, and religious action.
Can this way be proven to be the best? Maybe or maybe not! But at least this faith, faith in our humanity, is one worth having!
Religions, because they proclaim such bold, and unprovable statements about the very nature of reality, cause much division and strife, especially with those of competing vision. As such, literal interpretations of religion are harmful to all humanity. Those who believe in literal religion, and use its literalness to cause strife and division with others unlike oneself, are blind to what the true human essence of religion is supposed to be about.
Those who cannot, or will not, see a Higher Hand underlying existence, are essentially closing their eyes to this higher reality. They impose blindness upon themselves. They are no better than the religious, whom they condemn. Indeed, those unwilling to see are the same, whether they are unwilling to see God, or whether they are unwilling to see God outside of their own preconceived notions of Him.
For those who see nothing, then what is life all about? It is this lack of vision, which has led to the hopelessness, and sense of loss, that envelops so many lost souls today.
The universe around us reveals the existence of higher realities all the time. All we need to do is to look, and explore. While we may not learn all the answers to all our questions, nevertheless we will learn many new things. And each of these new things teach us more about the true reality, and reveal to us more and more about hidden God.
Learning, therefore, is the true path to God.
The Written Works of Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright (C) 1997 - 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.