Friday, August 15, 2008

A Response to "God as a Metaphor"

(NOTE: This is a cut and paste respone of mine from another blog regarding "proving God" and God as metaphor. It's a "lunch time" idea in that, I threw it out in haste, but somewhere in it theres some meat happening. I'm throwing it out here so I can spend some time thinking about it.)

Regarding the post: “You Just Can’t Do It”

my point is really, what isn't metaphorical? Is anything at all?

Let me spin it this way:
whats the difference between the world today, and the world 2000 years ago? What I would like to suggest is, nothing; everything “out there” is the same. The only difference is the way we talk about it. Whether angels push the planets around or gravity pushes the planets around, our experience of the planets moving is the same. Gravity in this case, is every bit as much a “ghost” as angels are. 1000 years ago, we couldn’t *test* for angels, the idea to do so was likely not even there. Then Newton came along with calculus, (just another way of speaking about the world) and defined the motion of the planets as a set of relationships. The only thing that changed [again], is the words, not reality. There is no right and wrong way of talking about reality, there is what works in talking about reality.

What I’m saying is that, Christianity is nothing more then a way of talking about reality. It isn’t right and it isn’t wrong, you judge it according to it’s usefulness. Of course relative to scientific language it’s “greek”. But that doesn’t mean that one is right and the other is wrong, because it’s two different ways of talking about things. The problem is however, science uses it’s techniques to critique religion; religion in turn sees this as an attack, then proceeds to defend itself on the same ground that it was attacked on (that being scientific grounds). In this case it’s transforming religious language into something it isn’t, in other words, it’s not scientific.

It’s not scientific to suggest that the world was created as it was in the genesis account. On the other hand, to people 2000 years ago it was perfectly plausible that creation happened in just this way. But, and this is a big but for me, is that even the point of the genesis account? Because again the only thing that changes is the way we talk about reality, so what’s important is the meaning of the account. In other words, the wise men that scrolled the bible (just as the wise men that scrolled Buddhism or any other religious text), were not conveying a scientific message, they were conveying a HUMAN message. What they wrote pertains to the human condition, it pertains to our relationships with each other, and with that which is unknown. Whether one would like to believe it or not, the bible speaks pretty accurately about human nature, from Moses, all the way down to Christ. The real test of Christianity is not whether or not any of these things are real in some objective sense, but whether they speak to the subjective nature of mankind in all is imperfections and whether or not being “Christ-like” has value to that condition. Or for that matter emulating Buddha, or Mohamed, or any other figure. Belief in Christ in this way, is not belief in objectivity, but belief in the idea that Christ represents and the idea of what he did and what that represents; whether real or not, what does it mean?

Christianity, as it is becoming in Rays [Comfort] eyes, is a complete abomination to be sure. I feel he misses the point entirely and because of this and his sort of defense, it creates an obvious turn towards atheism. That’s not to say there is a God per se’, I feel on occasions that atheists believe in “nothing” just as much as theists do. The difference is, the theist has a binding tradition, but tend to have a dogmatic view of it… But that’s another topic entirely.

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