Sunday, October 18, 2009
The "TED" series of talks is one of my favorites; always thought-provoking, always enlightening in some way. This one reflects much of what I've tried to convey, in my posts on religion, as to why the idea of an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving god makes no sense. The difference is that in this video the ideas are wrestled by a man of the cloth, with a soothing voice and a British accent (which, in my mind anyway, always denotes intelligence.)
That a man of faith struggles so openly and deeply is touching. I like it, even though, in the end, what he concludes -- which is eminently sensible -- requires no faith at all, and yet he needs to call it a sort of faith. What he concludes -- that there is a center of spirituality in all of us and that if we relate to each other from that center we'd be better off -- is perfect; and perfectly absent the need to invoke some sort of sky person to live it. Having thought hard about the contradictions inherent in the biblical view of god, he comes to the only thoughtful conclusion: it makes no sense. He even repeats a thing I've said in both of my blogs: if that's the way god is, I want no part of him.
But, as do I, he concludes that while there are things we can't know, we do know we are capable of love and reason and pain and that acting toward one another and the world in acknowledgment of that ought to be enough. Why addle it all up with a bunch of contradictory rules and beliefs that make no sense, and add nothing to that basic truth, that inarguable basis for dealing with one another?
Perhaps the Vicar wouldn't approve of my synthesis of his talk. If not, it wouldn't be by much that we disagree.