Sunday Morning Musings: I remember being asked one time about making choices, at least the choices that have an either/or response. When I couldn’t decide I was asked to flip a coin and told afterward that the answer was not in the coin but in the feeling that occurred when I saw the result of the coin toss. The inner feeling, or as some might say my “gut reaction”, indicated my choice, or at least what I hoped would be the result.
As I mentioned, this is a good idea as long as the choice requires an either/or response. But what happens when the choice isn’t that simple? Questions get asked that don’t have a response that is so easy or is often followed with a “but”. For example: Do you believe in the Bible? My response would not simply be yes. I do believe in the Bible, but whose understanding of it, whose interpretation? Or, do I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. Again my answer would be “yes, but…” or even better to use my improv skills would be to say “yes, and…” There is not a simple answer to these or similar questions.
I was surprised to hear our Governor General commenting about the either/or essence she felt existed between science and religion. I will admit that for some even today, the two are like oil and vinegar. Yet, my experience with oil and vinegar holds true for science and religion. They go together well as long as they are mixed properly and not left to divide. I believe in creation, only not as it has been and often still is taught. New life is created every moment of every day. The scientist (at least some) would say that is true but might add that it doesn’t mean that God is behind it all.
Again, what we create is an either/or situation. If God creates the heavens and the earth, then God makes both good and bad alike. And, of course, that means that every bad that happens is a result of God’s will. Evil exists because God chose or chooses to allow these things to happen (wars, shootings, terrorism, poverty, hunger…) On the other hand, if there is no God, then it is easier to explain these things just as fate.
My experience has taught me that life isn’t that simple. It has also taught me to be respectful of those who have different views. But wouldn’t it be easier if I just spoke my mind? Then I could simply say that s/he is wrong, I have the right answers and if you don’t believe me, well then tough. Wouldn’t it be easier not to have to think any more about right and wrong, about truth and untruth, about science and religion? All we have to do is believe the “so-called” experts, right?
My experience has also taught me that one for Four Noble Truths of Buddhism: Life is Difficult is also very true and that means that life isn’t always simple. It doesn’t mean we don’t have choices to make, rather it means we need to think about our choices and not always leave the thinking to someone else. We have to value ourselves and our choices and our differences. Yes, and we must always be respectful and loving and compassion.