Another bright Monday morning and engaging column by John Peel (Herald, Feb. 4). I had no idea the Durango Skeptics and Atheists group was meeting, but I get it. There are many natural impulses to congregate and share, to affiliate and confirm one another and are apparently built in necessities of mankind. The only questions are how and where this ultimately leads.
I made peace long ago around science being the how and religion being the why. I learned over time that everyone has a God-shaped void in his or her person. From the beginning, man has responded to this void/need and created some colorful rituals/belief systems/images. Some have resulted in religions over the millenniums, and a few have prevailed. Absent a grounded belief system, people will try to fill that void with all manner of material things and distractions. It doesn’t work, and people find this out for themselves.
“Human potential realized” is a truly wonderful notion but would suggest that “realization,” seen from and through a religious perspective, is by magnitudes better. By better I mean more fulfilling. The whole organized religion thing takes time, focus and patience. The world is a busy place, distractions are unbelievable (and growing), and time is eaten up, and focus gets lost. Sometimes it’s just hard work.
The closing paragraph describes “leaping,” “exhilaration,” “liberation.” These are pretty close descriptions of many of the religious experiences that people of faith seek and experience. Sounds like these are good, committed people whose personal values run parallel to much of what organized religion is or is supposed to be.
My closing comment is, while all is well that ends well, a person can improve that end game and benefit themselves and others more in the process through faith. We are engaged in the humble pursuit of looking for better questions and seeking the better answers. Humility seems like a good place to start.