Thinking about God, Morality, and the Iraq War
1. Mankind has attained the gift of intelligence, and so he is a part of the universe that knows of itself. If he/she should be truly intelligent, man/woman-kind will understand that his/her perception of the universe will be colored by the very act of his/her being within a particular culture, and his/her individual experience, and thus may not be accurate. Such alteration will also occur when perceiving the thought of other men, and/or most tragically, when perceiving God.
2. Being a moral person and believing in God do not necessarily create the same results. First, because they are two different things, and may act in conjunction with one another or independently. Second, because a belief in God does not necessarily lead to a moral life. Why is that? Most definitions of morality are based in conducting a virtuous life, and few of us would include harming others, and/or animal life or harming the earth itself as virtuous. More often than not, religion and/or God are used as an excuse to defend all of the - not so virtuous - actions listed above, including the current war in Iraq.
3. At the same time, immoral actions are similar to evil actions. Why? While I know that the universe and God exist within and without my person, I also know that evil exists within and without. Why? Because, when I misuse my perception of the universe and/or God to defend actions that will harm any part of this earth and/or any being on it, sapient or not, I am acting in a manner that most of mankind would agree is both evil and immoral.
4. Thus, I also know that evil and immorality coexist when any other person uses his/her perception of the universe and/or God in defense of harmful actions to this earth or any/ all things on it. I know that evil is just as recognizable as immorality.
5. These four thoughts seem redundant because they are connected. They may also seem to operate independently of an actual God, who exists in the universe. In part that is because I believe one cannot separate God from the universe. It is also because I am trying to think in a way that allows me to separate religion from spirituality because religion is so often used as an excuse to do damage to others, to life in general, and to the earth. I do not think religion is evil. However, I do believe that mankind uses incorrect perception of God and the universe to drive immoral religious acts and war.
6. I also know that a mortal and fallible being such as myself cannot know God completely. For, who am I, that God would choose me to be the vessel of his desires, so I will guard against immoral omnipotent thoughts concerning God’s wishes for mankind and/or this earth. However, I believe that God would have me lead a moral life. Therefore it is not difficult to know when my own behavior is ungodly.
7. As corollary to the above, I will also hold in great suspicion any man or woman who claims to speak personally with God, or who says that he/she knows exactly what God intends for us. I believe such a person to be immoral and evil. That is why the people of Judea in the Roman Empire asked Jesus of Nazareth to produce miracles to prove his claim to devine origin.
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