Saturday, January 12, 2013

On the Case For God and Religion: God is transcendent and can't be defined

Bonita has been reading The Case for God  by Karen Armstrong, a book passed on to me by my colleague Anita at work. A premise of the book, my wife Bonita said (I have yet to be able to sit with the book), is that the way in which man defines God has changed and evolved historically, and the criteria for belief has also changed over time. making it harder for some to believe. Richard Dawkins and  Sam Harris are reactionaries to the fundamentalist interpretations. Someone who really understands religion defends religion from the human impulse of reducing scripture to the mundane. God is transcendent and can't be defined. -gw

Alas that humanity is completely submerged in imitations and unrealities, notwithstanding that the truth of divine religion has ever remained the same. Superstitions have obscured the fundamental reality, the world is darkened, and the light of religion is not apparent. This darkness is conducive to differences and dissensions; rites and dogmas are many and various; therefore, discord has arisen among the religious systems, whereas religion is for the unification of mankind. True religion is the source of love and agreement amongst men, the cause of the development of praiseworthy qualities, but the people are holding to the counterfeit and imitation, negligent of the reality which unifies, so they are bereft and deprived of the radiance of religion. They follow superstitions inherited from their fathers and ancestors. To such an extent has this prevailed that they have taken away the heavenly light of divine truth and sit in the darkness of imitations and imaginations. That which was meant to be conducive to life has become the cause of death; that which should have been an evidence of knowledge is now a proof of ignorance; that which was a factor in the sublimity of human nature has proved to be its degradation. Therefore, the realm of the religionist has gradually narrowed and darkened, and the sphere of the materialist has widened and advanced; for the religionist has held to imitation and counterfeit, neglecting and discarding holiness and the sacred reality of religion. When the sun sets, it is the time for bats to fly. They come forth because they are creatures of the night. When the lights of religion become darkened, the materialists appear. They are the bats of night. The decline of religion is their time of activity; they seek the shadows when the world is darkened and clouds have spread over it.
The Promulgation of Universal Peace by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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