Monday, January 14, 2008

Th-eism, Ath-eism, Trans-eism

 I guess you could call it a rant of sorts. Definitely fits that description. It's also my intake on the atheism/theism debate that's going on in our culture right now, and a heartfelt attempt to dig little integral bits from the ideological wreckage that's going on between both sides. I wrote this after watching a debate between Hitchens and D'Souza. No matter how this fight will turn out, I think we need a call for integralists to start offering, if only subtly, a 'third' way of sorts.Posing a question to everyone: Should I attempt to host a 'debate' at my university, in which an integral "side" (hehe) would also be represented? What do you think?

Q: The Universe is too perfect, too intricately constructed to simply just "appear" out of nowhere. Where do you, a non-believer, think it came from?

A: Why are you so sure that the absence my reason is the presence of yours? Are you sure that your interpretation is correct? Couldn't it be man's attempt to interpret the apparent void we came from? The mythic god in the bible is no different than the mythic deities of Ancient greece, in that they were both imagined to explain spiritual experiences and the world.  Emerging from a patriarchal civilization and thus bearing such royal names such as "King of Kings," "Lord of Lords," with such honorary titles and reverence are common in Judeo-Christian culture. This made monarchal society reflected in their own view of the universe, kingly, divine and monotheistic. Is it any wonder that a culture ruled by a single, dominant male figure who is the king of all the realm, divinely appointed, would create a religion which also has a monarchy on top? This is not some ultimate truth, but a reflection of monarchal worldview. Other cultures of the east, north, south, shamanic, oriental - have dramatically different worldviews and their religious beliefs were effected in a dramatically different way.

If we must pose the question: What did all this come from, then? If not from God?

I would ask to first define which interpretation of God you have?

A monotheistic, biblical deity?
A non-dual, "Big-Mind?"
"Suchness?"
"Noumenon?"
"Witness?"
"Great Spirit?"
"Brahman?"
"Void?"

What interpretation, what level? What depth? To answer you directly,

I denounce the reality of the mythical, Biblical God
I reject the atheist vs. theist war of ideologies
I embrace the possibility of spirituality, but only question the interpretation of it by religious groups.

We attempt to understand the divine, but we interpret it depending on our own background and conditioning. Can we appreciate this? Can we sort through, beyond the boundaries of conditioning, to touch the divine without claiming it for our culture? 

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