One Designer–One Design
After a recent discussion, I realized the need to address one of the most dominant human dichotomies: religion vs. all other areas. Many people are under the belief that religion is not to be subject to the same critical thinking applied to all other matters. For example, a person will fully agree that surgery should not be performed on his or her body, unless by a well trained surgeon. The rationale expressed is that since the body has intricate and precise laws, only comprehended after years of training; an ordinary person who performs surgery is ignorant of said laws, and will most definitely kill the patient. This same thinking is applied by all people, everywhere, whether we discuss medicine, science, math, or any other matter.
The reason for this view, is based on the observed truth that the universe functions in line with laws and principles. For example, NASA will not send a manned spaceship to the sun, assuming it will not be hot by the time it arrives: the sun's laws are not assumed to cease. Farmers too will not come out with a statement that "apples are poisonous on Wednesdays", since this too denies known facts, that laws governing plant life are constant.
But when we come to religion, or spirituality, many people accept and opine ideas that have no reasoning behind them. Why does this contradiction exist? Why do people demand rigorous credentials and proof for doctors, lawyers and accountants, for their children's teachers and their stockbrokers...but such meticulous concern is absent when it comes to the area of religion? Is this because there are no laws governing religion? Some people view religion as the area of life where "we can believe what we want". They also suggest, "there is no right and wrong in religion". Let's first define "religion".
Religion refers to "a set of laws and beliefs regarding God's will for man". The first problem with those who feel "there's no right and wrong in religion", is that they contradict the very definition of "religion". Feeling there is no right or wrong, they admit their belief could not be God-given. They mean to say this, "Even if my beliefs are NOT God-given, there is no wrong in this belief". This opinion admits that what they believe is not necessarily God's word. Therefore, they are not following God. This must be clear to you: if you have no proof that what you follow is God-given, then you may be actually violating God's desire for you. All this points us towards the need to include reasoning in our religious choices as well. For without reasoning, we do not know if we follow or abandon God's true will for mankind. (And on that note, since there exists only one mankind, there must exist only one religion.)
Furthermore, people would not say "any operation anyone wants to perform on me is OK". This is obviously unacceptable due to the reality of the deadly results that come from careless mutilation. (There's a key word: "results") But they do say "people should believe what they want".
So why do people use reasoning when it comes to schooling, finances and health, but in connection with religion, reason is tossed out the window? Here are some of my thoughts for this dichotomy:
Why reason is abandoned in religious choices:
1. People don't desire confining and restricting laws.
2. People dislike a Master, a Being that makes rules.
3. People do not see the drastic results of living with foolish religious beliefs.
4. People do not want to learn they are wrong, or that movements are wrong, especially if they cherish the movement, and its adherents and leaders.
If reason would be applied to religious choices, a person would have to face all the above. So they abandon reason, for a "higher" good: their egos. However, there is in fact much good in following restricting laws if they improve us. If we follow our Master, does He not know better? And although we see no direct "results" on Earth from religious choices, does this mean there are no repercussions? And cannot movements – regardless of size or popularity – have it all wrong?
Ego is the driving force for the dichotomy we mentioned. This teaches us that people are not truly rational, but they are so, only when is serves their egotistical goals. The ego again is why people follow reason in matters of health and wealth...it's not necessarily rationality. The underlying motivational force in man appears to be his or her ego. It is then so vital that we realize this, so our future decisions are not motivated to defend our egos or our accepted beliefs. But if we want to know what is true and false, what is really good or bad for us, then we must not seek anything but truth itself. And we are going to be wrong...many times! But that's great...for when we are wrong, here too we learn something new!
Now, returning to math, science and other laws...didn't we omit one? I refer to psychology. Any rational person admits that there is not only a design in the universe, its creations and laws, but also in man, and his inner workings...i.e., our emotions and our intellects.
We clearly see happy and unhappy people, and with 100% consistency, certain phenomena gladden our hearts, while others depress us and make us miserable, and cry. We see certain people so immersed and elated in their intellectual studies that they forget to eat...while others are millionaires, never cease working, and never enjoy life. Bottom line is, man too has a design. And if we use reason, we will determine what will make us happy. It appears we have debunked the credo of "people should believe whatever they want".
Just as in all other areas there exists a design, religion too is based on a design...human design, and also demands reasonable arguments that uncover what is truly God's word, and what is not. And if we study His one religion, we will arrive at new insights that make sense to our minds, just like the insights we find in science and math, that are so logical and pleasing to how we think. We will be as firm in our Judaism as in proven natural laws, and we will finally find that sensibility we've yearned for, that resonates in our souls. We will then be able to cast off that insecure, baseless belief or blind faith lifestyle that always left us empty inside. We will be fully content in what we finally see is 100% provable, and enlightening. Yesterday, a friend Jordan and I discussed a few areas in philosophy. He commented, "Once you see the reasoning behind Judaism, it's hard to go back to the blind faith and emotional trend others follow in religion."
There is one Designer of all that exists, from science, math and astronomoy...to planets, plants, animals and man. That design, that blueprint...is a system of "reason". All that exists, follows laws. And in all areas, man enjoys his life when he complies with the universe's laws. It is therefore wise that we study human design, and human history, so as to determine how we work, what will make us most happy, and which religion God truly gave.
The wisest men taught that this Designer designed our beautiful eternity if we follow Him, and "following Him" means following reality, that which our minds tell us is truth...not the baseless beliefs we manufacture in our hearts or hear from others. If however we ignore these proven truths and "believe whatever we want", these men also taught of the tremendous loss we will suffer.
This is worth looking into...rationally.