How Will God Justify Himself?

How Will God Justify Himself?

The author of the passage “Is Atheism a Specifically Western Phenomenon?” starts with this question asked by Adam Garfinkle and then concludes that yes, atheism came out of Judaeo-Christian context. Then he explains later that to be more precise atheism occurs in Abrahamic religions. This word atheism makes less sense in non-Abrahamic environments.

Another important question related to Garfinkle’s question is that, the author Peter Burger mentions, “How can God, believed to be both all-powerful and morally perfect, permit the suffering and the evil afflicting humanity?” People need to know how God will defend his permission for the chaos in this world if God is omnipotent or how could people believe God exist but leave all beings suffering. If God choose people who can be saved, what is the criterion? Nobody gives the answer, as Burger says in the passage, people did not question the way of God, but just worshipped his overpowering majesty.

Personally I am more interested in the way of Buddhism and Hinduism which have the “most rational theodicy”. People do not thank anyone but themselves for their fortune because it was not other people but themselves who give them fortune. Everything they get, good or bad, is the result of their past and an accumulation of what they have done. Buddha is more like a teacher who helps Buddhists get out of samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth and their endless guilt, and finally find the ultimate happiness. Since God in Buddhism only teach people the way of redemption and people save themselves in the way, there are fewer conflicts between God’s behavior and what we think God is like, the word atheism is less meaningful here.

According to Burger’s opinion, Buddhism and Hinduism teach him the vastness of time. In the story he talked about with an interviewer, things always change and through the years or centuries, they will become what they was again, as ants was Gods and they will be Gods again.

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One thought on “How Will God Justify Himself?

  1. Hi there!

    Interesting topic you chose to write about, although, I hardly think 500 words would suffice!
    I think that it make sense that atheism arose out of Abramic religions; it seems to me that those religious identify God closer to a human identity, which would make it easier to try and reason/question His ways.
    On the other hand, Buddhism and Hinduism are vastly complex concepts! It would be impossible by far to further categorize them then saying that they are not Abramic. Having grown up in a Hindu household, I remember my mom telling me that God is in me, and everyone around me when I found out that the shrines in the temples weren’t ACTUALLY God…a hard concept to grasp at 7. But the idea stuck with me. It’s difficult to deny that life is an amazing essence, incomparable with anything else, in which case, how can you deny God in this context?
    Again, I’m rambling, but I have a lot of thoughts about what we’re talking about with ‘God’, because I don’t deny the existence of a higher being, but if there is a higher being, how can one narrow down the definition of it, humanizing it, to the point where we have assigned the gender (Him), of this higher being?

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