Thursday, 12 July 2007

Faith, Belief, Religion and stuff

Today I shall be posting something that not all might accept and can potentially offend the living hell out of some... but the recent happenings at Seven's made me think, and as we all know, my thoughts can be twisted, controversial and repulsive to the mainstream population wanting to live in ignorance.

If anyone asked me, I'd consider myself a religious person. However, I hardly pray and go to church. Some people say that you can't be a religious person without being a practising person, in those moments I am reminded of Tartuffe by Molière. I don't have a cross or anything that would show I follow a certain faith but I always carry with me the icon of Saint Christopher, and yet, most people don't even know I have it. I don't like to show off my faith, not because I am ashamed of it, I'll tell anyone that I'm orthodox if they either ask or make a false assumption but I don't find it important to make others know what is the religion I follow. It's a personal thing, so I see little point in proclaiming it to the whole wide world on every occasion. That being said, I don't mind talking about it if people are willing to listen.

People who know me are most likely aware of me not liking Catholicism. This dislike comes from how John Paul II (Jan Paweł II) was seen in Poland, which is a highly Catholic country. For those of you who don't know, Orthodoxia doesn't have a Pope or any similar figure, the head of the church is Jesus, though we do have bishops who take care of specific areas. The problem with the Pope is that dogmatically he is not only the head of the church, but also the one who rules in stead of Christ. The Trinity dictates that God is Christ and Christ is God. Those two facts put together mean that the Pope is Divine, which is against the First Commandment. All would be well if not for the fact how true this applied to the Polish community where I was raised. No matter how much people denied it, it seemed they worshipped John Paul II more than anything else. There was one incident after his death where a congregation wanted a new priest because their current one threw out the Pope's image when people were praying to him... I personally think the priest had the right to do just that because the Pope is not the centre of Christianity.

Another thing is atheism, which is the belief in the non-existence of God (term used for simplicity's sake). I have encountered people who felt it insulting to call atheism a belief, which was quite awkward for me as I wasn't insulted by them thinking me a human (my opinion towards humanity is quite low). I suspect that such people think they know there is no God, yet I don't see how this can be true. Not just because I believe otherwise, but rather that I see a misconception of knowledge versus belief. In the film Constantine (2005), Gabriel told Constantine that in order to go to heaven he needs to believe in God. Constantine, enraged, said that he does, to which Gabriel had to point out he knows God exists as opposed to believing. Atheists have no greater knowledge of God than people of faith, so their knowledge is in actuality a belief.

Humans have the inherent tendency to believe, what that belief is can be anything, from a simple belief that you locked your door although you might not remember it for sure to believing in your spouse's faithfulness even when they go on trips without telling you why. As such, I cannot see how an atheist could be a person of no-belief, as that would deem such a person less human.

Having said that, I don't have enough experience with other religions to make a statement, neither would I say the things I write are true (they are just mad ramblings!). I don't even base an opinion depending on someone's belief, I am in equal measure friends and enemies with Catholics and Atheists alike...

Last thing I would like to say is how some people try to show how the concept of God doesn't follow logic. Since God is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnieverything, there can be very paradoxical questions derived from those notions. Then again, I don't see how anyone could expect God to follow the same rules as humanity. After all, none of us expects ants to have the same dress-code and table manners as human society, yet we can't accept the same for a being which is supposed to be higher than us just like ants are below. If God was to follow the same rules as people, he wouldn't be a God but a human just like everyone else. A simple solution for this is the fact that the aforementioned rules aren't just for humans but are universal, every object and being follows them as long as they are in this world. Which in turn would mean that God has a physical body and inhabits the same universe as we do, basically, that would mean we were created by an alien... that however would clash with the omnipresence. Religions tend to follow the concept of God's insubstantial nature and we don't know what rules are governing such a state. Saying that only certain rules would apply to God, brings the question of which rules are those and what criteria have to be taken into consideration.

The 9th Doctor said in Parting of the Ways (2) that absorbing the Time Vortex would change a Time Lord into a God and as seen in Last of the Time Lords, Time Lords can create paradoxes, so God shouldn't have a problem with it...

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