Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Shelter of the World

“If you were an atheist, Birbal,” the Emperor challenged his first minister, “what would you say to the true believers of all the great religions of the world?” Birbal was a devout Brahmin from Trivikrampur, but he answered unhesitatingly, “I would say to them that in my opinion they were all atheists as well; I merely believe in one god less than each of them.” “How so?” the Emperor asked. “All true believers have good reasons for disbelieving in every god except their own,” said Birbal. “And so it is they who, between them, give me all the reasons for believing in none.”
Salman Rushdie, The Shelter of the World

2 Comments:

Anonymous Fievel Chuchem said...

The only way to conclude G-d's existence is through inference/inductive reasoning.

You feel an anxiety and emptiness. The idea of G-d fills it, and causes you to feel satiated.

The thing/feeling that fills it, that wipes away the anxiety, exists because something filled the emptiness. That something is what you call "G-d".

Does it prove G-d exists? No. That can't be proven. But, it's much like the experience of fresh love. We are ecstatic that we've found someone that fills that void in us - thus, we are convinced we are in love. We call the substance that fills the void "love". Can you prove love? Touch it?

No. The minute you try to touch it it becomes less and disappears or changes into something else less wonderous, that no longer fills the void.

That's the conundrum of G-d, love and all instincts of the heart.

March 02, 2008 10:00 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

"You feel an anxiety and emptiness. The idea of G-d fills it, and causes you to feel satiated."

Does it really do that for you? Cuz man, it really doesn't do that for me.

Why does everyone assume that G-d fulfills something, and this is the reason for faith? Truly realizing that G-d is everything - which means that He is horror and ugliness and evil as well as the good and the beautiful - when one truly comprehends this, the concept of G-d is not exactly what is called reassuring. Knowing that this G-d may have a plan, but that ultimately existence is futile nevertheless, is not a comforting feeling. I appreciate that it's easy to assume people believe in G-d for the warmth and fuzziness bc that makes people who don't believe in G-d feel intellectually superior, but as someone who believes, and whose belief affords her absolutely no feelings of warmth or fuzziness, I have to take issue with the concept, even if you didn't quite mean it that way.

March 03, 2008 4:17 AM  

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