Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world


I did two posts recently called After Gay Marriage and More About What’s Out There. Both left loose ends. The GM thing started by seeking for the sociological purpose of religion and postulating that it was originally an attempt to make the tribe do the things that were good for it by establishing rules and giving them divine authority. You can then argue that God is a man-made construct meeting the needs of different tribes (or nations) in a way that suits their circumsatnces. Or you can say that God exists, and inspired the relevant elders or wise men. Some religions later developed the belief that their faith was exportable, and valid for all humans at all times – unchangeable and for ever. GOD said it once, and that’s final! If you believe that then you have real trouble as times and circumstances change. So, does GOD change his mind? The fact that he said different things to different people in the first place suggests that he is adaptable..

Has he ever changed his mind? Yes. Judaism of The Old Testament was amended by the New Testament. Deuteronomy was dumped in favour of Christianity. So the idea of perpetual adherence to out-dated practices does not stand up. You can’t take the view that what God said to a certain group at a certain time must be observed by everbody, everywhere, always. That view has caused a lot of trouble historically, and does so today when globalisation means people of one culture living within another, and bringing their practices with them. The rules that were ‘right’ for a small homogenous group come under scrutiny when the homogenous quality has been lost. It then becomes very difficult to create a culture that is acceptable to all. Enthusiasts for a united Europe are trying to create a homogenous group, but have a long way to go.

So how should people brought up in one tradition (the Christian one in my case) conduct themselves when some aspects appear outdated and other traditions also claim divine origin? The best answer I can find has two parts. One – examine my own faith critically, seeking to distinguish between what seems like universal truth and what seems like human addition. Two – listen to other people carefully and engage in constructive argument with them. Perhaps that contributes to identifying ‘what is good for the tribe’ in an age when the tribe is going global.


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