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Archive for the ‘Taoism’ Category

At its molten core, the current science versus religion debate is compromised, it seems to me, by category error.  This is a recipe for mutual misunderstandings.  It’s most obviously revealed when periodically each side is forced into a ‘time out’ moment and has to say, “It depends on what you mean by…”  This tentative statement becomes critical when eventually we all arrive at that ultimate question, “Does God exist?” (more…)

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My recent reading is bringing home to me what I should have realised long ago; that successive attempts to ‘define God’ or ‘prove’ that God exists, or do the opposite, are pursued only by people whose mindsets are steeped in the materialism and individualism typical of Western culture.  Were it not for the rise of radical Islam since 2001, this essentially sterile debate would have run out years ago, for want of fuel and under pressure from new concerns and ideas. (more…)

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In recent posts, I’ve thought aloud about the human need to believe in something, anything: some architecture of hidden meaning which reveals itself only fitfully.  Above all, we are driven by our desperate search for explanations for all that we experience in life. What does it all mean?  Why do we suffer?  How can we lead a good life? (more…)

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On balance, I believe, the great world religions have been a force for good in the world.  Their contribution to the development of human society has been immense because in many ways they have carried out their mission.  That mission has been to provide and propagate explanations for those most basic questions asked in every age: what does it all mean?  who are we?  are we alone? how can we interact with an imperfect world? (more…)

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The greatest Virtue is to follow Tao and Tao alone.
The Tao is elusive and intangible.
Oh, it is intangible and elusive, and yet within is image.
Oh, it is elusive and intangible, and yet within it is form.
Oh, it is dim and dark, and yet within is essence.
The essence is very real, and therein lies faith.
From the very beginning until now its name has never been forgotten.
Thus I perceive the creation.
How do I know the ways of creation?
Because of this.

Lao Tsu.  Tao Te Ching; tr Gia-Fu Feng and J English. 1972 ch21

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The argument so far: whatever we, as believer or non-believer alike, refer to as “God” is subject to the God Paradox. This is the paradox that, to be truly ‘godlike’, anything we label as such must necessarily be outside our human frame of reference.  That is the only frame available to us.  Within that frame we can say that either something ‘is’ or it is not.  So the “God” concept is, in our terms or in any terms meaningful to us, literally non-existent. (more…)

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