Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Examined Christian Faith 'Law of Human Nature' 1.1 - What is Christianity

What is Christianity?  How to explain what I am about to undertake?  Or even why I am doing so?  Where most of those who believe as I do see no need to explore the questions, no reason to  ponder the deep underlying currents that drive our beliefs;  I am compelled to do otherwise.  I do not fully understand the reasons myself, so I doubt that I can explain it to you.  It is just something I must do.  I must understand why I believe what I believe, because if I do not understand the basis of my faith, how can I be the witness that I am called to be?  I am probably the least qualified person I know to attempt such an undertaking, and I do not suppose that I will answer every question that others may have.  Just the ones I have, the ones that connects all of the dots in my heart and mind.  Just the ones that explain why and what I believe to be the truth. 

I believe that this is an exercise that everyone needs to undertake in their life; to paraphrase Socrates’ "The unexamined life is not worth living."  into “The unexamined faith is not faith at all”, for when the first sign of trouble, hardship, or opposition comes, and it will; faith unexamined is faith abandoned.  Oh you may appear to return to it at a later point, but inside, where it matters most, you know the truth, that your faith is only your faith as long as it gives you what you want. 

How long will this take, “only my father knows”.  

Part 1.1  Laws. 

It seems to me that there are two laws that govern our world, ‘the law of nature’ and ‘the law of human nature’.  Some may think they are the same, but I would disagree.  The ‘law of nature’ means things like gravity, heredity, biology, chemistry, etc., while the ‘law of human nature’ is really the law of right and wrong.  It is the ‘law of human nature’ where I begin my pursuit.  The reason is actually quite simple, all creatures, all matter including man, must obey the ‘law of nature’.  That a rock or a man could choose to obey the law of gravity or choose not to, is not an option. However a person may choose to either obey the ‘law of human nature’ or not.

To visualize this, all one has to do is imagine a body supported in mid air, if you remove the support, the body has no option about falling, be it a rock or a human; the law of nature is shared by all things.  However the ‘law of human nature’ is peculiar only to humans.  We can either choose to obey it, or not to.  But it is a law that is not shared with any other thing on earth, no animals, no plants, or any inorganic thing.  It applies to humankind, and humankind alone. 

What is the ‘law of human nature’?  It is the law of decent behavior, of right and wrong.  One may deny that the law exist, that there is no real right and wrong, but the person who says this will soon prove themselves to be blind or mistaken.  For while he may use that excuse when he breaks a promise to you, if you try to break on to him, he will be screaming the loudest that it is unfair.  The simple act of arguing with someone is in itself proof of this law, because to quarrel with someone means that you are attempting to show that they are wrong, if there is not some sort of agreement about what is right and wrong, then there would be no  point in arguing.

It does not matter what society, what culture, or what time period you look at, the same core belief of morality exist. Compare the Romans, Egyptians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks, or the Waodani, they all held the same essential belief of right and wrong.  Yes, there will be differences between the details, as in how many wives a man may have, but they all agree you do not take another man’s wife; the core tenant of right and wrong has existed in all of them.  

Try to imagine a country where it is admirable to betray your friends, to steal from others is praised, where lying is a good thing, where murder is exalted,   Countries and cultures may have different views in regard to what people should be unselfish towards (family, friends, co-workers, countrymen, or everyone) but they have always agreed that you should not put yourself before others.  That the selfish man is the most detested man. 

It seems that there is no option other then to accept that there is in fact a real Right and Wrong, and none of us are very good at keeping the ‘law of human nature’.  Maybe I should simply say that at least no one I know is; because like it or not, this year, or this month and much more likely today, we failed to practice  the type of behavior we expect from others.  When it is pointed out to me  (even if only by my own conscience) I myself have come up with thousands of excuses as to why I failed.  It does not matter if it is a good excuse (not very often), rather that they offer more proof at how deeply we believe in ‘the law of human nature’.  If we did not believe in a real right and wrong, there would be no reason why I would need to make an excuse.   

The truth is that the law of human nature is pressing on us so much at all times, that we cannot bear to admit that we are breaking it, so rather than fact the fact, we attempt to shift the blame.  Yet it occurs to me that it is only for our poor behavior, our rotten actions, our short temper, our sins (if you care to use the word) that we delegate the responsibility to something or someone else. 

All clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in is based on these two points. 

  1. Human beings all over the earth, regardless of time, place, or culture have this idea that they should behave in a certain manner, and try as we may to deny it, we cannot shake it. 
  2. That none of us in fact behave in the way we think we should.  All of us know the ‘Law of Human Nature" and none of us keep it.  

If you are so inclined, a good place to begin your examination of what you believe may be The Reason for God

No comments:

Post a Comment