Greetings Everyone, This is the podcast “Close to the Bone.” My name is Carl Vreeland.
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This is episode #35, entitled, Is God a Crutch?
I love the sciences. Whether it be the neurosciences, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, psychiatry, metaphysics, or philosophy, I love them all. I love the how and why of it, the discoveries, speculations, and theories. And I love the medical world, and I am no doubt grateful for all the lives it has saved.
Indeed, I love science. But there’s more to life than science, proof, facts, and scientific truths. There’s more to life than planets, stars, and black holes. And there’s more to us than cells, veins, arteries, organs, bones, and skin. There is our consciousness, self-awareness, and humanness. And there is the human condition; birth, death, love, and conflict. And we are subject to fear, anxiety, anger, aging, and illness. Again, I love science. And if not for science, I wouldn’t technically know about my nervous system and the cosmos. Still, we are emotional and spiritual beings, not just intellectual beings. We experience joy and pain. And whatever the neurology behind the joy and pain might be, and however much knowledge and understanding of the mechanics of our bodies and consciousness we might learn, science will never aid us in overcoming loss and heartbreak, not entirely anyway. We are not automatons, we are sentient beings. We are spiritual beings. And science will never be a substitute for human connection and divine connection.
Now before I go on about the Divine or God, and religion and spiritually, let me say that I understand the take on religion from modern atheists such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and the late Christopher Hitchens. And I largely agree with them on how they view religion. Religion has caused plenty of dispute and strife. It has been the source of suffering for the gay community, it has been problematic in the passing of pro-abortion rights, and it has been stifling the progress of stem cell research. And to add to this, Dawkins particularly points out that religion, unlike science, is not evidence-based, and that a belief in God is nothing more than a delusional state of being.
If I may be so bold, I think Dawkins and the others overlook the great importance of religion and God. I know they have an agenda, and perhaps this is why they are so adamant about ridding of religion full stop. But there are other intellectuals who feel differently. Jordan Peterson is but one example. His message is clear about religion; the religious-based stories and mythologies are vital to the well-being of humans. Not unlike Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Albert Einstein, Dr. Peterson views God, religion, and spirituality as a part of our hard wiring, if you will. And that the stories, parables, and myths are not so much a divine gift, but a way to the divine, to our true nature, to wholeness.
Dr. Peterson has said on several occasions, when asked if he believes in God, “I act as if God exists.” Well, what does this mean exactly? My guess is he’s succinctly saying that none of us know whether or not God exists, but acting as though He does is helpful to us and our fellows. And that following the myths, ideas, lessons, and ethics, and processing them, which is suggested in many religious writings, and of course taking action, will lead us into living a healthy and balanced life, and aid us in getting along with one another. More than that, they can guide us into creating a heaven on earth, rather than a hell.
Sometime ago, I realized that believing in God doesn’t help anyone. Indeed, faith without works
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