Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Red or Blue or Both?

One of my friends at Special Olympics tells me, every time I see her, that she believes in God. He seems to be a large part of her life. Brian once lived with a man named Kenny who also had a very strong relationship with his faith and with God. He too had mental disabilities and this seemed to make faith a lot easier for him. Now, before anyone gets all worked up, I am not saying that people who believe in God are lacking their faculties. I'm merely saying that for some people the world is a simple place and living forever in heaven requires nothing but a little faith and some bible camp sing-a-longs.

This got me thinking. If I could just believe, if I could take some kind of pill and just believe in God and heaven and eternal life, would I take it? And if I had a child who was able to believe in those things would I be doing them a favour by encouraging it? If I were to have a little Kenny would it be kind of me to teach him all about God and how much He loves him and allow him to have a life of blissful faith? Or is it a disservice? Would I explain away a serious illness by invoking demons or "bad air"? Probably not. Brian believes that people only feel a religious void when faith is lost. If you are raised as an atheist, he doubts that you would ever long for more explanation or for religious experience. I'm not so sure about this. People created religions to fill a void which must have pre-existed religion in the first place.

Having said that, maybe it's merely having a construct to use in the world and it doesn't require a supernatural component at all. Maybe being told from day one that we are biological creatures who die but become part of the larger universe is enough to stem the human desire for more. Maybe, information will one day replace faith in that archaic brain of ours.


Alli said...

Interesting stream of consiousness, Caroline. Aaron and I have pondered the same things...

Matt Russell said...

Hey Caroline, Interesting read. I love reading about people's discussions of religion. Do you really think all those who believe in religion have archaic brains? How will we find information for what happens after death? to a spirit? you definitely got my mind whirring with thought. cheers

Amy said...

So, I'm reading a book right now called "The End of Faith- Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason." Basically the gist, which I tend to agree with, is that faith and religion have no place in an educated society, and as we continue to learn more about the world around us, it should become more and more obsolete. In fact, it needs to so we don't continue to kill each other over our separate claims over nonsense. I do agree with this on an intellectual level, but there's still something in me that struggles with abandoning religion and God, because I was brought up Catholic too and it's so engrained!

I should call you guys sometime soon too - long overdue.
Amy Vanko