September 6, 2018 at 12:55 am #161646Disability and Faith
It seems to me that most people dealing with severe disability tend to believe in a higher power, given the great difficulties we face each day. This is understandable. I can see where faith can bring comfort and strength. Even as an atheist I can understand this. That being said, I’m wondering if there are any other nonbelievers out there like myself who are also dealing with Muscular Dystrophy. Am I alone? I would love to hear from anyone who shares my view. I also welcome feedback from believers as well when it comes to the topic of disability and faith.September 6, 2018 at 12:05 pm #161658Reply To: Disability and Faith
Many with MD would have asked the question “Why me?”. If there is a god of some form why did he/she/it invent a nasty condition such as this . So in that you are not alone. But to be an atheist on the basis of that alone would be wrong. I saw many amazing, indeed almost miraculous things when I worked in health care, but I would never say that because of that there is a god/higher power controlling everything in the universe. Believers have a faith, sadly one to which I am not party, that does not mean that I do not recognise that there may well be things that influence our lives that we do not understand or even know about. For example what triggered the big bang? Why? Why at that moment? For what reason? So for me I am keeping my options open. What I will not do is get involved with the ‘god industry’ which bear no relationship to reality. Let us learn as we go through our life, from the experiences we face and overcome and find comfort wherever we can. For me today that was morphine, cannabis and a warm cat on my knee. How did he know I needed that? We have much to learn about the universe before we can say if there is a higher power or not. I know what I believe though, but it is only belief .
So many love songs, so little love.September 8, 2018 at 1:29 am #161743Reply To: Disability and Faith
You make some very good points. To use the whole “why me” victim mentality as a basis for not believing in God would be faulty thinking indeed. I would hope that like me others have many reasons for not believing that transcend mere personal experience. I actually look at the suffering of all of humanity. I am especially struck by how both believers and nonbelievers alike suffer disease, bad circumstances and accidents equally. It doesn’t seem to make a difference what you believe or how you behave. Life just seems to happen with no apparent sense of justice. Justice seeming to be a purely artificial and human-made thing. I would not blame the evil men do on anyone but humanity itself. I would not necessarily expect a God to intervene in human affairs even if he or she existed. It’s my understanding that from the moment humanity partook of the tree of knowledge they were expelled from Eden and left to their own devices. It’s disease that particularly gets me. I see young children battling aggressive cancer and it makes me think that there’s either a cruel God or no God. That’s just one of my reasons for not believing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t claim to have all the answers. There is much that we do not know and that includes The Big Bang that you mentioned. No one knows what caused that and to ask why is one of the most fascinating and possibly most unanswerable questions ever asked. You mention not getting involved in the so-called “God Industry”. I agree. If there is a god, which is possible, it is certainly not the god written of or conceived by the human mind. Surely a being that created time and light itself would be well beyond human comprehension. The word is not the thing. You are absolutely correct and put it so well when you say we should live, learn, fight and take comfort wherever we can. I know I do and it’s really all any of us can do.September 8, 2018 at 11:40 am #161746Reply To: Disability and Faith
One thing I should add is that you did not ask the question about the afterlife. I do believe in that as I have seen many ‘ghosts’. Indeed we have one resident in our house although at the moment I think she has moved to one of my children’s residences as she sometimes does. For me, afterlife, or our state of being after this one, is a viable option and could well be explained by science one day. If indeed I join this afterlife I do trust I will not carry the burden of pain and immobility with me. WOuld seem to be a really hard outcome for eternity, however long that may be.
So many love songs, so little love.September 10, 2018 at 8:24 pm #161797Reply To: Disability and Faith
Life after death may be one area I’m willing to be a tad more open about. I’ve definitely thought about it quite a bit and have determined that if there is an afterlife then it seems more likely that we would carry our emotional state. That is, unless we get our proverbial stuff together and find peace in this life, we will carry the burden of our negative emotions with us for all time. I must admit that I’m not basing this on anything rational or logical. It’s merely a hunch. However, if there is an afterlife and it contains everyone who has ever lived then it will be a crowded and confusing place. It will be full of not only good people but all the bad people that ever lived too. If this is true, then I certainly hope there is no afterlife at all. I certainly wouldn’t want to live there. I also question which creatures on this planet have souls. What’s the cutoff point? If we have souls then do chimps? Many people, such as myself, hold dogs in very high regard. Do they have souls? Pigs are as smart as dogs but they are regarded much more widely as food. Can you imagine the cacophony of noise from all the pigs that ever lived and were slaughtered that must fill every corner of the aforementioned afterlife? Do insects have souls? I guess at that point one would have to come up with the criteria to determine which life forms have some sort of eternal essence. I know it seems like I might be over-thinking it but, since the natural world has rules that govern it, then it follows that the supernatural realm has rules too and it’s only fair that it stands up to the same scrutiny. I tend to think that all organisms are purely material and finite in lifespan and that none have a place in eternity. At the end of the day no one living knows for sure. There’s really only one way to find out.September 11, 2018 at 6:31 pm #161865Reply To: Disability and Faith
Indeed there is only one way to find out, and at the age I am I am closer than most. I believe every living thing has not so much a soul but a presence in the energy of the universe. That may be hard for carnivores to agree too but just take a small look at how chickens behave when they are together. I have some that I watch each day. Love, compassion, fear, protection, every human emotion is present. Every human type of interaction is present. Now look at every other animal on the planet and you will begin to see that they all can have souls, and all contribute to the energy of the universe. An energy which binds every living thing together. The universe is a big place and can accommodate all the creatures from our earth, and all the other earths out there. We are no where near clever enough to understand what really is out there. perhaps one day, we may understand a little more.
So many love songs, so little love.September 16, 2018 at 1:10 am #162092Reply To: Disability and Faith
It appears as if I have been thinking three dimensionally. Your view is much more expansive and it’s one I could stand to give closer inspection to. It never occurred to me that these supposed spirits could migrate out into the universe. It’s certainly some interesting food for thought. I agree that there is a hubris among humanity that seems to say that we’re the most intelligent species on the planet and are also the only ones capable of love. That’s awfully presumptuous, isn’t it? There’s so much we don’t understand about dolphins for instance or whales for that matter. They may be every bit as intelligent and capable of love as we are. It’s so true that there is much that we could not comprehend. My thinking three dimensionally is a perfect example to support that argument. Indeed there is a force that binds us. It makes one sound a bit like Yoda when one talks in this way but there is a great wisdom to this kind of thinking and there’s actually a science to the idea that everything has cohesion and stability. It occurred to me the other day that it is very possible that there is a creator being but I am pretty sure that the one spoken of and written of, the one who cares who has sex with whom, the one who cares what we eat or how we pray or even IF we pray doesn’t exist. But the God written of is two dimensional and to try and describe a being like that would be impossible. In short, if an intelligent designer exists, it would be ineffable. Again, that’s just my humble take. As you indicate, it’s important to keep one’s options open.September 16, 2018 at 12:32 pm #162094Reply To: Disability and Faith
We must keep our options open and widen our minds too. We are still far too primitive to understand much about the wider universe. Much our beliefs and religions come from texts written thousands of years ago. Written by people who did not understand the physic behind rain, or genetics or many other things. Whilst interesting to read they were written for a different audience, that needed different explanations from what we know now. Picture Jesus arriving today for example and then wonder about what would be written to explain his miracles. Thats assuming he would be let out of the asylum!
In some respects it will be interesting to see what comes next, juts so long as its pain free.
So many love songs, so little love.September 17, 2018 at 11:50 am #162144Reply To: Disability and Faith
Let me perhaps place a thought in your mind. Why do you, or I or anyone else, look out at the world from our own bodies. Why do we recognise “ourself” as an independent entity? Why was it you that was put in your body, and not say me? I firmly believe that a person inside a body is not a random act.
So many love songs, so little love.April 10, 2019 at 6:44 am #176988Reply To: Disability and Faith
I am a Pantheist. I see everything as one. If a god exists then it is in existence itself. Looking at the at the wonder of the natural wonder, not just of this planet but the whole universe, I see something much greater than myself. I do not believe in an anthropomorphic deity, I believe that God is the universe and everything that it contains.
How does this help me cope with being disabled?
My disability is the result of a process; mutation. Without mutation we would not have evolution. Some mutations are beneficial. Some mutations are injurious. Most mutations do not appear to do very much at all. The important point for me is that my disability is a consequence of a process that I can understand, not a judgement from an invisible deity. It is not a question of ‘why me?’ but ‘why did this mutation in particular arise?”.
I was originally raised as a Christian and was largely filled with anger, frustration, and even self-loathing. Discovering Pantheism changed my outlook on life to something much more positive. I have experienced more contentment since. There is something bigger than me; the universe. I may be a small part of it but I am also a very necessary part or else I would not exist. I find that thought very inspiring.
I'm in the black, can't see or be seen!Peter C WhitakerParticipantPosts: 0Joined: 03/04/2019
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