Author: Tin-Kay Goh
Date: 05-01-12 14:26
Lea, you do not need to follow any one religion wholesale. Accept what is good for you and reject what is inappropriate. You have free will and you can make your own decisions. Do not follow anyone or any group by pleasing them against your instinct and conscience.
Respect your parents and ancestors, and in our and their short lifespans make your parents happy. This will please any God, for no God can make you forsake your parents for an Unknown. When born again zealots demolished their ancestral and deity altars, they are blind to the pain they caused in their parents and relatives who have felt assured of peace with appeasing the same ancestors and deities for generations. Doing a respectful gesture, as advised by FM Liew, for any entity, even by burning some incense to please your parents, is a rank higher than pleasing one's priest or pastor.
Taking Christianity as an example, I question why God is masculine. Why can't women become priests in the Catholic faith? Why can't God be single rather than three in one? Are we the only creature with reason, and the rest of the world subservient to us, because God created us in "His Image".
While in a Catholic missionary school I had to swallow a lot without question. We had to go to the chapel at 5am to recite without true understanding Thomas Aquinas words in Latin
Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
We had to say the prayer to our Father who art jn Heaven, as well as Hail Mary full of grace. How could Mary conceive Jesus as a Virgin? There has never been any Human Parthenogenesis reported in history since the purported Mary's Virgin Birth. For readers who are Catholics and Christians, please do not be offended because I am only espousing theological questions. I am in no way wanting to convert or reconvert anyone. Pardon me for my soliloquy.
How infallible are the Three Councils in Hippo, or St. Augustine (who grappled with the thoughts of Socrates and Plato) or Thomas Aquinas (who added Aristotle and Roman philosophical logic to Augustine thoughts)? To Catholic theologians, Man is considered the only animal who can think, and yet today we know that monkeys, hippos and octopuses can think. (ah, Descartes should discuss with Zhaungzi about existence). I can related the interesting observations on these animals, but it will make this post too long. The closest "reason" to explain God by Thomas Aquinas is actually relating God to Nature. Everything else that he called reason is based on false premises eg the world and human body have such amazing "designs" so there must be a Creator.
As SL Lee had said, we must stand by scientific facts. Even what we view as factual today may be heresy tomorrow, but that scientific exercise is still the best yardstick to follow. At least we have numeral certainty and some exactitude in correlation. (BTW the shortness distance between two geographical places is not a straight line because it is actually an arc on the globe.) When religious people talk of truth, they do not mean "factual" truth. They imply godliness and goodness.
It is for the very fact that we cannot prove there is a God that I nowadays refrain from involving myself in too many discussions with people who have fixed mindset about God. We must respect and leave God to people who, just on mere faith, accept God. Generally speaking, these people who have God "on their side" have more motivation and a better code of conduct. The only fault is that too often they bar those outside their church from the gate of Heaven. Frankly, I would prefer to go to Hell and enjoy the company of John Kennedy, Voltaire and Casanova than sit in Heaven listening to the diatribe of a partly demented Pope blessing with shaky hands.