Saturday: 08.July.2006

Faith & Reason, with Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers has a new show called Faith & Reason .. two things difficult to reconcile, like Jews & Palestinians, good & evil .. which, I guess, is why he chose them.

I remember, while growing up, teachers telling us that we needed to use our brains to question things people told us, and not accept something as fact merely because somebody claimed it was true .. no matter *who* was doing the proclaiming.

"Anyone who accepts things blindly," we were told, "is wasting their mind." [Powers of reason]

Then, in Sunday school class, we were told that we needed to have faith, and that, "without faith, it is impossible to please God," and not to question things we were told.

continued

I found it difficult to reconcile the two (conflicting approaches). I even asked my folks about it. I forget their response, but it was, let's say, less than satisfying.

Of course, I spent five days a week in academic school, and only one hour a week in Sunday school, so my skeptical, analytical side won out.

But the religious teachers held a bigger threat over our heads: that of displeasing God, and perhaps even eternal damnation...

...while academic teachers would claim we were merely being unwise, foolish. So the scales are more balanced than they might otherwise seem. And consider that little kids don't yet possess the skills to deal with such weighty issues. Heck, many adults don't (which is why Bill has a stream of experts to help us analyze the issue).

I've seen a few episodes of Bill's new show. Found it interesting. He even interviews some atheists. Ironically, every atheist I know is a surprisingly ethical person .. far more ethical than many (certainly not all) church folk, such as Ken Lay.

I *will* say however, that the most loving people I have ever known (personally) are Christians, with strong religious beliefs. The point I'm trying to make is that atheists aren't the amoral monsters some would have you believe.

The there's that verse in Isaiah: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD..." So it sounds like God wants us to use our reason.

Anyway, I thought it rather bold of Bill to take on such a challenge, trying to reconcile two universes that couldn't be further apart.

Speaking of the Bill Moyers show, I noticed they feature an episode with (the writer) Salman Rushdie. My buddy, the Dog, mentioned how he recently did a little electrical contracting work at the home of Mr. Rushdie.

Dog said Salman was extraordinarily nice. "Normally a superintendent shows you around the property," the Dog said, "but Salman himself answered the door and showed me around. His wife is gorgeous."





Posted by Rad at July 8, 2006 09:28 PM

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