Friday, May 31, 2013

Dan Sheetz's Sinai Statement

We know that humans have ten fingers, we know that 12+3 is 15 and we know that a full grown male walrus in the Pacific can weigh up to 3,700 lbs. We know a lot. Everything that we know is something that was proven. The proven facts we hold in our minds can be used to answer many of life's questions. Nevertheless, there are some questions that we can not answer with our knowledge. These questions are ones that the world's greatest minds have quarreled with since they were first posed millennia ago. Under this category fall questions like, "What is the meaning of life?", "How was the universe created?", "How did everything we see today come to be?" as well as thousands of other existential inquiries. For a large majority of the people on Earth, the answer to many of these questions is religion and more specifically, "God".

To me, there isn't a God. What I mean by that is I don't think that there's an enormous, bearded caucasian man in the sky wearing white robes and granting wishes. I think that God is an answer, a common denominator that people use to solve the questions in life. How did time begin? Scientists can't prove their answers so the answer is, God. How did humans come to be? There's no absolute, indubitable evidence supporting evolution and so, many people say, God did it. I don't think "God did it," however when you say something like that, people often say, then what's the answer? And frankly, I don't know. The way I see it, why do we need to answer these questions? Are we so greedy that we have to know the answer to every question? My answer for the big questions in life is God didn't do it all, but I don't know who or what did.

The reason that I don't think that God, in the conventional sense, is real is the fact that so many bad things happen to good people. Why would ‘God’ do that? Why would God, an autonomous, divine being who supposedly loves all humans, make or allow so much suffering? I look at events like the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the Sandy Hook shooting, and I think, how can this be part of  ‘God’s plan.’ What I am saying is I don’t think that there’s an all-knowing, all-powerful being living in the clouds making miracles and hearing prayers. Maybe I’m wrong and that’s exactly what God is. Maybe God isn’t a thing but rather an idea, maybe God is the love that people feel between one another. When one looks around in nature throughout the world, there is eerie ubiquitous divinity in the pure beauty of landscapes. Point is, I don’t know for sure about anything, much less the answer to the age-old inquiry of the presence of a god. I just don’t know but it’s struggling with these unanswerable questions of life and divinity, even if that means disagreeing with some aspects of  Torah, that is the true essence of our faith.

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