okay, over at Unreasonable Faith there’s a discussion going on which started out with the guy giving believers “your chance to convince us atheists there is a God. Pitch your best case for why we should believe in a deity”. i normally agree with atheists a lot more than i do with “christians”, but i couldn’t resist, especially since mine is a somewhat unique position (which i will explain more fully in a minute) to which few, if any, other people subscribe – which is just fine with me.
although, as i said, i tend to agree with athiests a lot more than i do with most “believers”, ultimately, i am a “believer” myself, and everything that i have experienced to this day only drives home to me that my way of thinking is the correct one for me, if for no other person. i know that a God exists, and that He (for lack of a better term) has three defining characteristics: the God that i worship is infinite, unchanging and eternal. ultimately, the God in Whom i beleve can be described as existing beyond “normal logic” because of the fact that in order to meet the criteria of being infinite, unchanging and eternal, God would have to be able to do what seem to us like impossible things, for example being in multiple places at the same time, or being both right and wrong, or both black and white, at the same time, without having to worry about whether or not one thing conflicts with the other. if what you call “god” is unable to exhibit these three qualities then, to me you are not referring to the God that i know to exist.
i realise that this puts me in the category of “mystics” (some might say “crazy people”, i’ll deal with them in a minute) who say that God exists beyond normal understanding, and without some sort of “mystical experience” you’ll never understand what i am talking about, but i’m not the only one to believe this way, and from what i’ve been able to see, the ones who believed the way i do had significant hardships, but were a great deal happier overall than people who went along with the herd, whether athiest or “christian”.
i look at my life as depicted in this story, called When the Waters Changed
Once upon a time, Khidr, the Teacher of Moses, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all the water in the world which had not been specially horded, would disappear. It would then be renewed, with different water which, when consumed, would drive men mad.
Only one man listened to the meaning of this advice. He collected water and went to a secure place where he stored it, and waited for the water to change its character.
On the appointed date, the streams stopped running, the wells went dry, and the man who had listened, seeing this happening, went to his retreat and drank his preserved water.
When he saw, from his security, the waterfalls again beginning to flow, this man descended among the other sons of men. He found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before; yet they seemed to have no memory of having changed, or being warned that it would happen. When he tried to talk to them, he realised that they thought that he was mad, and they showed hostility or compassion, not understanding.
At first he drank none of the new water, but went back to his concealment, to draw on his supplies, every day. Finally, however, he took the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a different way from everyone else. He drank the new water, and became like the rest. Then he forgot all about his own store of special water, and his fellows began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity.
eventually, i’ll run out of my special store of water, and be forced to drink the water everyone else is drinking. then, presumably, i will give up thinking like a crazy person and start thinking like everyone else.
if that happens, please kill me.
happy new year.