No God? Or All God?

photography,sunset,clouds,Colorado River, Toroweap

“The familiar stark divide between people of religion and without religion is too crude. Many millions of people who count themselves atheists have convictions and experiences very like and just as profound as those that believers count as religious. They say that though they do not believe in a “personal” god, they nevertheless believe in a “force” in the universe “greater than we are.” They feel an inescapable responsibility to live their lives well, with due respect for the lives of others; they take pride in a life they think well lived and suffer sometimes inconsolable regret at a life they think, in retrospect, wasted. They find the Grand Canyon not just arresting but breathtakingly and eerily wonderful. They are not simply interested in the latest discoveries about the vast universe but enthralled by them. These are not, for them, just a matter of immediate sensuous and otherwise inexplicable response. They express a conviction that the force and wonder they sense are real, just as real as planets or pain, that moral truth and natural wonder do not simply evoke awe but call for it.”

~ Ronald Dworkin


Ron Dworkin died on February 14, 2013.  He was an American Philosopher and scholar of Constitutional Law.  Before he died, he sent The New York Review of Books the text of his new Book, Religion Without God, which will be published later this year.  Dworkin was born in 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island.  He studied at Harvard University and at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar .


Source: The New York Review of Books. Image Source: Katy

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Comments

  1. This is just one man’s opinion, but I think the people who say they are “spiritual”, but do not go to church, is at least partly due to the fact they don not “feel” like going to church and it is easier to deal with all the “thou and thou shalt nots” if you are not reminded of them on a regular basis. It is easier to be vague…I try to help people as opposed to, “every Saturday I help at the homeless shelter with the men’s group from my church”

    Thus, many have created their own religion….the first church of what’s happening now.

    I know it is not always that simple, but sometimes….it is….RJV

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  2. This is beautifully expressed, David. Thx for the heads up….

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  3. I am far too ignorant to opine on organized religion v. individual faith. I believe though that having a connection with something larger than one’s self, an awareness that there is something indescribable and incredible about how we are who we are, where we are, the magic of the Grand Canyon or the power of prayer – to who or whatever – is humble spirituality. And in my little world – I respect it all.

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  4. I’m with that great guy who said “Love is my religion”… 🙂 And to me, it’s all about awareness and respect and acknowledgement, of all that goes on around us…all of the beauty and the interconnectedness.

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  5. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    I think I just read this 5 times (on a roll today, I am). I’m screaming YES inside. I wouldn’t have 20 years ago.
    I believe that the “personal god” has been pummeled and pigeon-holed and reduced by so many (well-intentioned or not) that it’s no wonder organized religions are unattractive to so many. We (Christians, in my case) are too quick to judge anyone not adhering to our small view of God and what we think are the “requirements.” I like to think I’m moving beyond that – to Something much bigger and grander and hopefully truer – a truth that, along with natural wonder, calls for awe.

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  6. It is only natural for men to feel small considering the expanse and power of the universe. The pull of earth’s gravity keeps us from soaring in the air as birds do, We lack the speed of most animals and their raw power. Even the lowly ant has a lifting capacity per body size and weight than the strongest human on the planet. How are we not to feel small? When one sees a small piece of space debris explode with the relative power of a massive nuclear weapon and understands that we are in the midst of a galactic shooting range.how can one not feel helpless. We have so much technology and yet we tremble at earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes and so on because our technology is no match for the multitude of violence that commonly threaten our existence. And yet, here we are! Are we here because of some God or are we here as replacements for previous extinctions that somehow changed the genetic codes of all or most living things? Are we supposed to govern ourselves under Nature’s Law or the God of Nature, or a divine being who seems to act more like a terrifying child who enjoys pulling the wings off of flies so he can watch them die as they wander aimlessly bound to earth? Religion tells me one thing, but life and science tell me something far different. Each of us has a choice to make in this regard. We can either make it on blind faith and superstition, or we can make it based on what we see, what we feel, what we otherwise experience in the way of feeling divine love or raw violence that has no regard for age, sex, race, species, or extinction itself. We can accept that pain and suffering is love or we can choose to love and cause the least amount of pain possible as we do. Which choice do you find to be the most godly?

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  7. Reblogged this on Wholeheartedness.

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  8. When you look at the wonder and beauty of a newborn child and that of nature, how can you NOT believe in a “higher power”–whatever you call it?

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  9. I’ve personally experienced the damage, the hurt and broken relationships that “in the name of God” can cause, It took me a long time to realize that religion is very different from faith and a belief in God.

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  10. I read somewhere “if the only prayer you say in your life is “thank you”, that is enough”. Maybe it is that simple.

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  11. Why stop at the Grand Canyon?

    I agree with Spinoza in the view that, if it exists, it is a part of what is regarded as God. That would include the chair you are sitting on, the house your chair is contained within, the earth the house was built upon, the solar system Earth is a part of and on to the infinite Universe. Nothing within this universe is NOT God and that means us and all of life as well, no matter what planet it may develop upon.

    One cannot even separate God from an atom.

    Because we are all aware of God through our senses, can tell right from wrong or good from bad, it is our duty, by using our intelligence, to be diligent custodians of all that exists within the harsh reality of Nature (including ourselves).

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