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Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Aman Singh, May 15, 2009.
Something for brain storming... taken elsewhere from internet...
When I have read about the history of religion it's different to what we practice today. People have changed things to suit them and frequently interpret the bible in the way that they want. Some use it to control others etc. Shouldn't we accept that there is a God - but not remain tied to how and what other people think we should be doing to appease him? (that is if you're a believer of course.(quote)
Answer of the question lies in the above quote. As long as religions are used as toys to play games, they have nothing to offer. However, when suddenly an instinct within pursues the Creator of all visible world, it goes through turbulence of questions that come into mind to decipher the purpose of life. Yes, what others think becomes immaterial if one is connected to the Creator, its very personal. In this situation one becomes sure what he/she believes in and the prayer coming out of such mind becomes a way of connecting with the God one starts adoring and loving. This is the way I feel in context of the questioned asked in the article.
Its easy. If I do only that which my religious beliefs allow and encourage and avoid those things that harm myself or others and if I live my life as though my beliefs are correct, than what will be the result of such actions? If I live my life as if there is no Ik On Kar what will be the results of such actions? Consequently, I have lived a better life living as if Ik On Kar is the creator and ruler than if I lived my life for myself. There is only good in what happens when life is lived for Ik On Kar. When you have deep faith and trust in Ik On Kar, than you know that the temporary existence is relative and the eternal existence is absolute. So, by developing a relative relationship to the relative and an absolute relationship to the absolute we reap what we sow (Karma) and we fulfill our duty to Ik On Kar and Man (Dharma).
Why not ask the nonbeliever to prove that God does not exist? Be careful. It is impossible to prove a negative. What evidence would nonbelievers, who are greedy for evidence, use to demonstrate the non-existence of anything?
Sort of a manifesto
1. Belief in God by “universal assent” has continued as an unbroken tradition throughout history. However nonbelievers will often substitute scientific theories for the reality of a Divine presence. To their disadvantage, science itself forces them to continually change their theories of creation and their notions of principles that bind creation together. Doesn’t this suggest that nonbelievers are missing a reliable way to question the existence of God, and lack a dependable argument to counter the believers? Science is full of historical mistakes about the nature of creation. Would nonbelievers begin to take some responsibility for their centuries of confusion?
2. Nonbelievers continually demand proof of God, as if believers must prove the rationality of their own belief, and also prove that they are not being silly. Belief in God is no more or less ridiculous than belief in other invisible constructs that nonbelievers believe in. For example nonbelievers believe they have minds, that we all have minds. Do believers ever ask them to prove it?
3. Belief in God evolves from the basic assumption that creation is orderly and has a purpose and a direction. Belief in God does not evolve from inferences made from patterns found in objective phenomena or statistical tests of evidence of God. When Guru Nanak says, There is One Creator whose identity is Truth, he is stating a fundamental assumption. He is not reporting on the outcome of a scientific study.
4. Nonbelievers forget that “proofs” based on tests of evidence are never proved completely, and are always open to revision when new evidence is discovered. So nonbelievers are not protected from criticisms coming from the believers.
5. The idea of the Divine, God, is a shared assumption across cultures. Across religious traditions people disagree about who and what God is. However, the very fact that they agree on the concept of God but disagree on the specifics of description suggests that for believers God is a fundamental assumption. Or in the words of Thomas Acquinas, God is a common idea, and not the name of Someone.
6. In other words the believer makes use of faith. In part his faith enables him to accept the truth of a Divine Presence who is the source of discoveries about the universe that have not yet been revealed. Why? The human mind is limited in its ability to comprehend many aspects of the natural universe at any one point in time. The human mind also is capable of understanding the same puzzling aspects of the natural universe at some time in the future. In other words, the mind can discover what God has made, but the mind also accepts that some parts of the natural order remain mysterious even when they are perceived to be orderly or to have a purpose. If some mysteries of His creation will eventually be understood then it is reasonable to assume that believers can come to know God by using their faith as well as their reason.
Believers also see no need to defeat the adversary nonbeliever in an argument. If knowledge of God comes through God’s grace, then bitter encounters could actually stand in the way of a nonbeliver accepting the gift of faith.
Just some thoughts along the way.... apologies to the nonbelievers. Some of the ideas above are my own. Others are my interpretation of an article, Why the Burden of Proof is on the Atheist by Ralph McInerny.