Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Is there a God ? - What governs our lives?

My parents must have been of the cautious kind. Because, contrary to custom, I was not baptized when I landed over here. Thus I remained in neutral gear till about fourteen. As I am born in Berlin, it was natural to become a Protestant, as was everybody else around me.

Thus I asked to get "communion" like all the others and then it came out I had never been baptized. So I was baptized on Saturday and got communion on Easter Sunday, between 13 and 14 years of age.

Then something strange happened. Right as I was sitting there in church during the communion service and I fell out with religion. "What am I doing here?" I asked myself. "There is nothing, fair chance it is all a kind of hogwash".

Since then, I was always interested in the subject though I never talked about it. First time someone mentioned the riddle of human destiny to me was by reading Somerset Maugham's novel "Of Human Bondage".

Regarding religion, no need to defend the idea of evolution. These firmly established facts are now under attack from the creationists, most of them but not all coming from the United States. Can't help thinking that creationism is linked to a hidden political agenda and has nothing to do with the search for truth. So, let's forget about this. I'll file "creationism" next to the "Flat Earth Society".

Everything around us - ourselves included - evolve in accordance with this iron law of evolution. But it should be said not the fittest and the strongest survive - as Darwin thought - but those that are best adopted to circumstances. You take shameful advantage of the situation and you have a fair chance to thrive. SO LET'S BE FLEXIBLE.

Unfortunately - as I see it - that's not the only law. There is another one and it is called chance. You do all the right stuff, you are strongest and best adopted and then bam! The roof is falling on your head.

These random happenings occur all the time. You can be born rich, intelligent and in good health and you can be born poor, not very bright and with a defect in your genes. And so it goes on till we are dead. We all know this in our hearts but I suppose we don't like to admit it as a fact of life.

Thus our longing for a good, benevolent God who who gives us a helping hand, from time to time and set matters straight for us.

As Plato the Greek philosopher said 2500 years ago: "Be kind, for everybody you meet is fighting a hard battle".

We desperately ask for a happy end, Hollywood style. Thus the idea of a paradise, a perpetual happy end to look forward to after all that shit during life. By the way, it is typical for our Western outlook that paradise is very much on the agenda among the faithful but nobody talks about hell and purgatory any more...................

Laudate Dominum omnes gentes;
Laudate eum, omnes populi.
Quoniam confirmata est
Super nos misericordia ejus,
Et veritas Domini manet in aeternum.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper.
Et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Does that mean everybody should try to become a cat and all the others are mice, just good to be devoured if they can't help it? Some people seem to think this and try to live it out. But this Law of Chance I mentioned here above is truly democratic and preys upon everybody, high and low. Look at Bernie Maddoff, the mad dog of shares and charities.............

To finish this long story, here are a few lines of the poem "On the devine" from
Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Let man be noble,
Generous and good
For that alone
Distinguishes him
From all the living
beings we know
Let the noble man
Be generous and good,
Tirelessly achieving
What is just and useful

(here, the entire poem in English and in German)

Last not least: without religion, we all would have missed Händel's Messiah and Mozart's "Laudate Dominum", those Gothic cathedrals standing nearly everywhere in Europe as well as some truly outstanding humans, the first one coming to my mind is Jesus himself. That should not be forgotten.


  1. ahh Georg,
    forever the stirring the pot.
    What is religion?
    What is God?
    Why and Why and why?
    Do you ever marvel at the human brain that looks to the heavens and asks WHY?
    and then so desperately tries to make an answer?
    One that works? that fits for all?
    It is the beauty of the condition, and wether or not it is God or chance, The sheer grandeur of simply living, makes it well worth the ride.

  2. Hi Georg, good to see that you have spoken on this subject again.
    I really don't know if there really is something called a Law of Chance. Even the great Einstein had said something about God not playing dice with the world.

    As we had discussed earlier, religion is made by man for all worldly reasons that have to do with power alone. But that does not automatically mean that there is no one else out there. People have physically experienced the power and effect of more evolved beings to whom they can "tune in" and draw energy from. And this is not a myth. Had it been so, this belief in some sort of "God" would not have sustained for so long.

    Of course, I could be totally wrong.

  3. Salut georg!!!
    wahou!!! tu te lance dans la philosophie?
    je suis tout à fait d'accord avec toi bien que la traduction pour internet laisse quelques incompréhensions.
    En tous cas merci pour pour la muisique.
    mais dis donc je croyais que LOLY POP était une chanteuse de rock'n roll.
    Tu m'en apprends des choses!
    A très bientôt george.
    Au fait! je serai dans le cantal entre le 11 et le 15 mai.
    si tu veux passer avec Elisabeth te gène pas!!!!

  4. Hallo Georg,
    You really can't be boring even if you try to! ;o)

    I think that was really good for you that you learned to question what is taught by religion so quickly. I wish I hadn't wasted as many years of my teen life being religious. Time is really too precious for it.

    And how apt your choice of video clip, too. I guess... in a way, it is fair that life is non-discriminative in its unfairness to everyone. But some unfairness hurts more than others, and the premature loss of Lucia Popp is one of those.

    Thanks for another thought-provoking read!

    Smorgy :o)

  5. bonjour georg! haven't been around much and the google reader is probably full- interesting post as always- makes one think. i understand most folks' need for some sort of spirituality. it seems to be a human thing dating back to our beginnings. i don't subscribe to the organized religions- christianity, islam, judaism, hindusim, any other ism... mainly because i see them as organized to accomplish two things- control the masses and suck up money. at least that's been my experience here in the states. one could argue the catholic church from its inception followed- and follows- the same course today.

    i sincerely hope that religion goes the way of the dinosaurs- and extincts itself.

  6. Thank you all of you.

    To Sorrow

    "The sheer grandeur of simply living"
    yes, let's make the most of it. Therefore I said let's be flexible, in mind and body.

    To Vinod

    This is sure, I cannot prove what I say. You impressed me deeply some months ago, when you said: "For the Gods, Earth is a playground". Somehow, this is a religious counterpart to my Law of Chance.
    You are right again when saying religion seems to accompany the humans for thousands of years.

    Pour Vincent

    Tu as du mérite de faire traduire tout ce bazar. C'est la philosophie du piéton, terre à terre et pratique.
    Pour ta visite, je t'envoie un émail. Pour le moment, nous partons deux jours à Cahors. Juste comme ça.

    To Smorg

    Hallo music lover! Here in Europe, religion is somehow a sideline. It cannot be compared to the USA. So it is easy to be lukewarm during many years and then decide to bail out completely.

    Yes, Lucia Popp left us too early, same for Mozart, on the other hand, I am still around though I have never done anything outstanding.

    To Betmo

    I love your idea that religion may extinct itself like the dinos. You could make a very hilarious article about the subject. Suck up money: true again. If you wish to create a start-up without having much money,
    a new religion might be the very best choice. But you need to be a great talker like.....????


  7. hi my dear controversial herr Georg

    great post, and as Sorrow says, you do love to stir the pot :)

    now, i do believe in GOD, but mine is a GOD that actually created the Bing-Bang theory and goes along with the Evolution theory, he's a God that created creation, therefore you can call my God: Mother Nature, or whatever name you want to give it, but I do hate Atheist that want to deny the existence of such a force that created life the way we know it... I don't think of my God as a Human-alike creature, I think of him/her/it as a spark of life who started it 'all'...

    I feel that Atheist are just confused semantically idiots that are afraid of the word God...

    I was raised Catholic, and from Catholicism I accept many "rituals" and the 10 commandments 'cause I feel they respect the laws of a respectful morality, but apart from that I don't follow the precepts of the Catholic church...

    worth mentioning I don't believe in after-life salvation, heaven or hell, I believe those stages we live here in Earth every single day...

    but to confess, i feel that any religion that follows their sacred scriptures "strictly" cannot be called but stupid...

    the Bible, The Koran, the Vedas, etc. I feel they are wonderful works of literature and guidance that were created NOT to be followed "literally", I think they contain wonderful "METAPHORICAL" lessons

    who cannot interpret Adan & Eve as the planets and the Sun? who cannot think of God as father Sun, etc.? People just lack heart, imagination, and souls... I feel is rather IGNORANT to follow 'holy' books without a more open-minded interpretation

    also I do feel is a waste of time to stop and think and try to demonstrate the existence or nonexistence of GOD with science as many so-called Atheist do...

    after all, who can explain the beginning of the Universe? and the formation of a Galaxy or a star? not even the most advanced scientist can and yes! i do believe in that your law of chance, embedded in our nature, or even so, the development of furry monkeys into naked creatures with computers that try to explain the existence of it all??

    a waste of time indeed! we rather, as Sorrow says, have to enjoy!

    my idea of God is to seat around to contemplate singing birds, beautiful landscapes, and his/her/it true magic comes every morning when the sun comes out and when at nights fades out...

    i do believe in a God that contains nature and life in itself, and that who is not marveled by these daily events, or cannot cry to a sublime masterpiece as music, sound, visuals, and so on, sure has NO faith, and NO hope!

  8. I thought we were in Hell? ; (

    Like you, although my family had me going to our local Baptist church, I was around 9-10 yrs old before it all made sense to me.

    And through the years have seen friends and family subscribe to the ever after.

    Somehow, if you can't make it right here for yourself and others, chances are you can't make it work anywhere else.

    Besides, those that say they are the most religious, seem to be the ones who don't like others, don't want to share, have to have it all, etc, etc.

    Very strange.

    Yikes, I forgot, Bon Jour Mr. G!

  9. Cahors! juste comme ça!!!!
    j'y crois pas!! cahors n'est pas une ville juste comme ça!!
    c'est un pays de la bonne bouffe et des bonnes gens.
    vous avez du vous y plaire.
    dis moi!
    j'ai laissé des commentaires (certains en anglais) pertinent chez Tazeen mais elle ne m'a jamais répondu et ne les a même pas fait paraître.
    c'est quoi? je ne suis pas digne?
    si tu as une réponse?
    bises à Elisabeth et cordialement à toi.

  10. To Berenice
    You certainly have a temperament of fire. I cannot say what makes a confirmed licensed atheist but I cannot help thinking that what you wrote and what I wrote is not so very different.

    To Coffee
    There is frequently a big difference between what some religious people do and what they preach. There should be an eleventh Commandment against hypocrisy.

    Pour Vincent
    Déjà répondu, mon vieux.


  11. Je ne vais pas essayer de parler de religion, c'est un sujet qui a "hanté" toute ma vie et c'est un peu à cause de tout ça que je me suis tournée vers la philosophie avec l'aide d'une religieuse hors du commun.
    Par contre j'aime beaucoup les chants et la musique.
    bonne journée

  12. Hallo Viviane,

    J'aurais bien aimé d'en savoir un peu plus. Tu me laisses en quelque sorte sur la faim. Tu es trop discrète, malheureusement.

    La musique et les arts religieux ne constituent évidemment pas une preuvent de l'existence de Mr. Big mais elles peuvent être tellement belles......... J'ai donc voulu montrer que toute chose peut avoir un coté poisitif voir divin.


  13. Interesting post. I am wondering what it was you heard or felt that made you drop out of religion.

    I don't question the existence of God (I know He exists), but's complicated, personal and to a certain degree, inexplicable.

    I find myself attracted to spiritual people rather than religious folks. Someone who is honest, flawed and searching is just perfect in my book! :)

  14. To Scarlet

    Welcome here, thanks for commenting.

    As to your question, nothing very dramatic. I think my faith just withered away, somehow like a drop of water on a hot plate.

    I understand very well what you mean by making the difference between religious and spiritual people. You are right, there is a fundamental difference.


  15. Hello, Georg!
    Thank you for stopping in and commenting at Lisa Allender Writes.
    Wanted to catch up with your posts, so i'm reading them in the order in which you published them.
    This post is touching and tender and poignnt to me.
    I "was finished" with any notion of God for over 17 years(just after my Yia-Yia(Greek for grandmother) died suddenly in 1987, just after I turned 30). However, I had a "re-awakening" to Faith--God, and yes--Christ, after several seemingly "inexplicable" and connected events occured. I have little doubt(I won't say "no" doubt, because all possibilities exist in a scientific, rational world--and, like you-- that is the one I subscribe to!I would never doubt science--Evolution is absolute, of course. )that God exists, and I think religion CAN help people(organized religions tend to organize benefits for people, bring attention to those who need help, raise lots of money for the poorest of the poor, volunteer at shelters to feed the homeless, etc.), but as I often say: Religion is only as kind as the people weilding the POWER. So, I joined Pax Christi(a Progressive Peace & Social Justice group, begun by French nuns after WWII, to work towards preventing war, and alleviating suffering) some years ago--we protest war, we volunteer at shelters, feed the hungry, etc. We also pray for strength--maybe the act of meditating in a group does it; maybe it's what we call God. I truly don't know. But it appears to be a calming, kind thing that we do for each other, an act(prayer) that we feel better after having done it.
    Jesus Christ taught love, inclusion, generosity, forgiveness. So did many other religious leaders--Mohammed, The Buddha, Abraham-- If we keep these qualities in mind(and practice them!) then whether one believes in God or not, it's a better world--and the one we're in RIGHT NOW, matters alot.
    I pray there is a heaven, but if this is all there is, it's PLENTY!
    I completely agree with you on music--and many other forms of art--many seem to be inspired by love of God.
    It is extremely important that all of us utilize our creative side(you, dear Georg, are already doing so--and I think what you do, in wriing your blog, is very important! Tres'Bien!)
    I have a saying I came up with:
    "If God created us in His image, then we are 'Created to be Creative' ."
    Have a beautiful day! ;)

  16. That should read, in the fourth sentence:

  17. Hi George and the rest,

    The only reason you folks don't believe in God or His Son Jesus Christ id because God has not called you unto His Son yet. He may yet and when He does you will not only know God but you will be experiencing a life with Him moment by moment but until then you will remain in the condition you are in. Sorry to be so blunt but I've been where you are now but you have not been where I am as of yet. I believe that your day is yet to come. " No one comes unto Me unless My Father in heaven draws ( drags) him". " Unless a man hates his life, he will not come unto Me". Jesus' words. Once God brings you to a point of the prodigal He will turn you around and bring you home.

  18. Hi Clarence,

    Thanks for passing by and giving your opinion. You are right, "He has not yet called me".

    It should be said that religious people cannot be convinced to the contrary through logic only. For an non-believer like me it takes some time to integrate this fact.

    I may stress, I have nothing at all against religious people unless they are aggressive, money grabbing and trying to establish their own creed as a monopoly. That is the downside of religion through the centuries. Maybe you agree to that.


  19. reading the old comments, i thought i share with you this little old poem, about religion, and a small duck, lovely words!

    The Duck
    ~Donald Babcock

    Now we're ready to look at something pretty special. It's a duck, riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf. No it isn't a gull. A gull always has a raucous touch about him. This is some sort of duck, and he cuddles in the swells.

    He isn't cold, and he is thinking things over. There is a big heaving in the Atlantic, and he is a part of it.

    He looks a bit like a mandarin, or the Lord Buddha meditating under the Bo tree.

    But he has hardly enough above the eyes to be a philosopher. He has poise, however, which is what philosophers must have.

    He can rest while the Atlantic heaves, because he rests in the Atlantic.

    Probably he doesn't know how large the ocean is. And neither do you. But he realizes it.

    And what does he do, I ask you? He sits down in it! He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity — which it is. He has made himself a part of the boundless by easing himself into just where it touches him.

    I like the duck. He doesn't know much, but he's got religion.

  20. Dear Berenice,

    What a splendid little story. Such a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing it, you are a credit to every blogger.

    I swear by God that's true (as an atheist).

    Cheerio, Berenice,