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Posted by Aurino Souza on September 28, 2001 12:17:59 UTC


I'm not trying to convince you that belief in God necessarily makes sense, far from it. I once posted (not here) a very interesting piece of writing from Swedenborg in which he describes an argument between angels and devils. Swedenborg was a mystic who had visions of heaven and hell, but he was also a very lucid and sensible guy so I'm not sure whether he meant that literally or alegorically. I personally couldn't care less, a good idea is always a good idea no matter how it's expressed.

In any case, the story essentially goes like this: the angels of heaven invite the demons from hell to show that all the beauty of heaven necessarily implies that a God exists. The demons say that the angels only believe in God because they have never seen hell. The angels reply that your life is what you make of it, that God has made heaven and hell, and gave you the freedom to choose where to dwell.

I'm on the angels' side. I think believing in God is and will always be a matter of personal choice, a metaphorical interpretation of the mystery that is existence, an imperfect attempt to fully see that which cannot even be glimpsed. So if you choose to dwell in hell, then God doesn't exist for you. If you get a glimpse of heaven, you may still be unconvinced. If God himself appears in front of you and performs a miracle, you may still be unconvinced. Nothing in the world can make you believe in God if you're not willing to. At the same time, nothing in the world can make you a skeptic against your will. When heaven is your home, you just take God for granted.

Perhaps my last post only added to the semantic confusion. I hope this one makes it even worse (smiling). Here's my final word:

I believe in God for two reasons. First, because I've made a deliberate choice to dwell in heaven every single day of my life. Second, because heaven looks a lot more beautiful when you interpret it as the result of a divine will.

It's like listening to Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, a piece of heavenly music. You can interpret it as a bunch of sounds which serve some ultimately meaningless biological need. Or you can interpret it as the creation of a man who was inspired by the divine order of the universe. I prefer the latter interpretation not because there's a greater-than-zero chance that it is true, but simply because it makes the music sound incredibly more beautiful.

I know, I blew it. Sorry, can't help being myself :)

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