Questioning the God Question


 

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
dreaming steps

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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