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But does it _matter_? - Ed's journal
But does it _matter_?
Following on from a previous post about the nature of God being an unprovable one, I've sort of remembered where I was going with it.

If you accept that by definition you cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, then the next questions is "How much does that matter?"

I mean, if we accept the notion that you cannot prove the existence (or lack) of God, because that's part of the definition (Even the rather famous Dawkins 'side of bus' includes the word 'probably') - then... surely all the things in the name of God as similarly built on the same foundation - a notion that you cannot ever entirely prove or disprove, and have to take as faith.

So when you have assorted holy books - lets take the Ten Commandments - are the Ten Commandments increased or decreased in value, if God does or doesn't exist? I mean, is it the 'Because God Says So' that makes those useful rules to live by?

What about some of the more esoteric doctrines that have been incorporated into religion? Contentious ones perhaps being rejection of pork for health reasons, or condemnation of homosexuality. I'm afraid I'm not well enough read to be able to argue the strength of these assertions, so I'll just dig up Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (King James version)

I'm not going to argue it overly, but I hope you can see where I'm coming from? Mostly that the rules laid out in various religious books can and should stand or fall by their own merits - in many ways treating them as literally 'the word of God' is ... actually worse than being agnostic about the possiblity, because it leads to the danger that you're being mislead. I mean - there was no chapter 'Jesus' in the Bible, and everything written about him was from different perspectives, and incorporating different human biases.

So... well, I guess my question is this - if you assume that the question of 'Is there a God' is fundamentally impossible to prove, how can you use that notion as a basis for a set of doctrines and dogmas that we call a 'religion'?

I mean, surely you have to treat holy books the same as all the rest - read them, apply your critical faculties, and pick and choose the wisdom that seems to fit best. The fact that it was Bill and Ted that said "Be excellent to each other" doesn't really devalue it.

So... basically I'd put it to you that it doesn't actually matter what your feelings about the question of 'Does God Exist?' question is - regardless of what you believe about it, you can't then use that as a foundation to build a teetering edifice, without... essentially disregarding it in the first place, and starting over anyway - there's wisdom in the Bible, sure enough. Same too the other holy books of other faiths, and ... hell, there's wisdom in Pirates of the Carribean, Bill and Ted's Excellent adventure, and Dune.

And none of it can be directly ascribed to God, any more than were I to make the assertion now - don't trust a book, just because it's old. Test every edict in there for rationality and sanity, and see if you don't end up in the same place - believers and disbelievers alike.
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