Friday, 25 February 2011

Old Church, Old Hat?

By the age of nineteen, my budding intellect had already decided that God was a figment of man’s imagination, but, as it turned out, a powerful figment; in my view, a very exceptional piece of imagination. My budding scientific and engineering education reinforced this agnostic feeling, but, because I was brought up as a regular church goer from the earliest age until I left school at the age of seventeen, I know that deep down I have a kind of belief that cannot be erased. In my budding dotage, that kind of belief is now founded on an understanding of man’s ultimate fallibility and frailty and evidenced by the failure of human endeavour everywhere you look. This may sound very gloomy and negative, but it isn’t intended that way; on the contrary.
I hold a very strong feeling about the value of church in our communities. They are symbolically the last bastion, the writing through the stick of life’s rock, of family, community and the nation. They represent a foundation and an anchor in stormy times, whether for religious devotion or simply to reinforce community spirit and togetherness, it matters not, as long as thy are maintained and used. I believe that the development of the established church and of all world religions over the millennia of the existence of homo sapiens, has come from a human need, borne by political instability, pestilence, plague and all sorts of stuff not experienced since WW2. The drift away from the church and its community is, I believe, attributable, in today's society, to ‘enlightenment’ of the material age and an age where our physical health and life expectancy has increased almost exponentially over the last 100 years; the population of the world has double in my own lifetime. So we have developed a selfish, almost arrogant expectancy of health and wealth and, at the same time, a denial of the need for a God, who has become intellectually unfashionable. What will it take to get us together again: a cataclysmic world crisis?

(This post was originally my response in a comment to a post by Kona Macphee at her blog site, 'That Elusive Clarity', but because of the subject and of the fact that this thought process has preoccupied me philosophically throughout my adult life, I thought it worthy of inclusion here as a post in its own right).

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