Why bother asking, “Do you believe in God?”
First of all, the question is incomplete and that leads to incomplete answers…
So often we’ll place someone into one of three groups—believer, atheist, or agnostic—then go no further…
…though there’s so much those labels don’t tell us.
What is the god of the believer? How does he define it?
What possible realities is the atheist willing to consider?
As for the term “agnostic”…I think there are many different varieties of agnostic.
I know we can’t avoid such labeling in this society. What’s frustrating to me is how the label, once applied, usually ends the question, ends the thought process.
In any case…
…I don’t think the question—The God Question—is so important these days.
I think our new mythology actually has larger questions to answer.
No matter where you sit on this globe, I think you’d agree that our world is shifting wildly on its axis. The idea that a butterfly batting its wings in the South Pacific can create a storm in the North Atlantic is no longer a fanciful theory.
A whole new set of problems has landed in our laps…
We are forced to look at war differently.
We are forced to look at our environment differently.
We are forced to look at international relations differently.
We are forced to look at issues of survival differently.
We are forced to consider the human psyche differently.
We are forced to consider how all of the above considerations can not be considered separately.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to inquire about God. I’m not saying it’s useless…
But whether or not we believe in a god—or gods—wouldn’t seem to have that much bearing on how we answer the above questions…
…questions that must be answered soon.
© 2011, Michael R. Patton