Skip to content

A Trust Fit for the World

2022-12-09

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/10/04

Some short thoughts on the contexts for religion in Canada. Something of a gentle and friendly call for consideration of some aspects of theology in practical terms. My local context in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, is steeped in Christian theology and religion with the good and bad coming from adherence and lack of adherence to the Gospel, whether proper interpretation or not. People bring much individual conceptual baggage to the reading of their Scriptures. It’s a culture engulfed by some of the sub-culture of fundamentalist Evangelical Christianity with Trinity Western University. It’s a community, as with many others in the country, somewhat engulfed in the ideas of Creationism and Intelligent Design with particular orientations of focused eyes on purported holy scripture and the suggestion, nay assertion, of an Almighty Creator & Sustainer Father God of the Heavens and the Earth.

An individual who rises from death after a capital punishment in crucifixion. People believe this transcendent creature has plans for us, for individual human beings. In short, a community of faith, of belief in supernatural acts, with effects on individual choices of the shoulds or oughts for one’s entire life. The question: What if one denies this assertion, as increasingly millions of Americans and millions of Canadians reject it?

The expectations of choices for life become more open, less constrained, and, to those individual rejectors, probably less prone to magical thinking and errors in judgment about important questions in life. Apply this famous statement of Epicurus to the case of the torment and torture of a newborn infant or of a young child by a sadistic human, Epicurus said, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

He directed attention to contradictions in supposed attributes of God. I direct your attention to the real world in which the tortures and torments happen regularly to the infants and children, wholly innocent, around the globe, by the millions. Meanwhile, God, or the gods, sit silent over the prayers and tears of the parents, or wails of agony and murders of the sinless young. Either indifference or absence seems like the conclusion to the assertion of the gods as defined. Without that particular God of the Bible, for example, what happens to the plans one placed one’s highest hopes? A trust in the self-contradictory or non-existent seems not much of a worthwhile trust in the end, again, to millions.

This leads into thoughts on personal choice and the future.

People with the aforementioned assertion act as told, or thought to be told, as written in the Bible and interpreted by, typically, a local pastor, preacher, or minister on Sundays, even an academic theologian (an ordinary, fallible human being, often a man). People without the assertion act as guided by contingencies of biology, individual psychological dynamics, and the cultural milieu of upbringing, as we both speak and write in English here, and make choices more independently and apart from supernatural or magical acts.

One doesn’t pray one’s way out of a problem, as prayer doesn’t or isn’t assumed to work in this view. Similarly, one isn’t divinely commanded top-down what to do in life. They choose without higher orders, bottom-up, and face the consequences positive and negative, as they come.

There is no governor anywhere; that’s a trust more fit for the world.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: