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The Greatest Litterary Accomplishment Of All Time...

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Posted by Mark on June 4, 2003 17:40:47 UTC

Have you ever read a line in a book or poem and as you proclaimed, "Wow! This is some deep sh!*," you were forced to set the book or poem down and mentally elaborate more deeply on what you just read?

I do it all the time with science books, I did it even more with Dante's Divine Comedy, but I must say I did it every couple of minutes or so with The Bible. If there were any story that plays with your mind, it's the story of the unfolding of a relationship between a human race and a being so magnificent and powerful we can't even be in his presence or see him ("for you shall surely die if you were to lay eyes upon him"). This being created a vast universe and filled it with all types of mysteries. The messages throughout the Bible are deep, a bit scary (you feel like Neo eating the red (or was it blue?) pill in that once you read it you can't go back to ignorance of God and his law; now you can either accept it or outright reject it, but you can never again claim the comfort of ignorance), and you can't help but struggle with the question of, "is this stuff real or just great fiction?".

But who's to say the Bible is not just another genius accomplishment of a race that discovered the atom, is capable of space travel, manipulating genes, is currently making progress in unraveling the mystery of quantum computing, created entire worlds in literary fiction (we all know well of unicorns, fairies, leprechauns, cyborgs, etc., as if they actually existed), made great strides in mathematical and theoretical discoveries...

Some may believe that "the word of God" is a higher truth coming straight from the mind of the sovereign Lord and God Almighty. What a great accomplishment! The author (OK authors) did a great job on this book. Just as Shakespeare was great with metaphors, symbolism, and allegories... Matthew, John, Peter, Solomon, etc., were even better.

But maybe the universe is a cold, uncaring, unbiased, unconscious (on the grand scale, not on the level of human), mathematical machine. Perhaps there is no "half empty/half full" except that we apply that interpretation to life. Perhaps there is no "right and wrong, good and evil" other than what we see and feel as good and bad (for example when you steal something you may feel "bad" about it, but then again some people don't. We could have just been taught to "feel bad" by society and our parents, but that doesn't mean there is a higher realm of being (outside of humanity) that defines right and wrong.)

If there were a universal concept of good and evil, then why are the restrictions and boundaries from culture to culture so muddied and ambiguous? It's OK to be homosexual in America, but in such n such country you'd get stoned to death, or it's OK to have five wives in one culture, but that's "bad" in ours. We have Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, etc., and different concepts of "right and wrong" throughout each. Although all may agree that the unprovoked taking of a life is "wrong", or the taking of property from an unwilling owner is "wrong", it appears somewhat that "good and evil" are nothing more than literary constructs created by talented and artistic authors. Just as we made up unicorns and leprechauns, we made up God; except the difference between unicorns and God is that the concept of God actually has a practical use in human society.

So perhaps all your options are false. There is no half empty/full in the universe unless you want to see it that way. In fact, the universe IS whatever you want it to be: perfect, flawed, good, evil, balanced ... all of these are literary constructs; you're free to use your imagination as you wish. It seems the only thing we can't argue is the presence of mathematical order in the universe. Other than that, there is no good or evil, and God does not interfere except when authors and storytellers so wish him to...

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