Sunday, December 27, 2009


I came across a reference to Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, and later read that he arrived at an interesting conclusion, which appears near the beginning of his book The Essence of Christianity, in Chapter 4, pages 52 and 53:
Who then is our Saviour and Redeemer? God or Love? Love; for God as God has not saved us, but Love, which transcends the difference between the divine and human personality. As God has renounced himself out of love, so we, out of love, should renounce God; for if we do not sacrifice God to love, we sacrifice love to God, and in spite of the predicate of love, we have the God—the evil being—of religious fanaticism.
Years ago I renounced religion when my attempts to defend Christianity against a growing sense of personal integrity had been strained to the breaking point. I found that all that mattered in religious faith was love. So here I agree with Feuerbach - all actions must reflect the value of love, no harmful actions should be committed in the name of unsupportable belief. Though to many this sounds like heresy, to me it is the fulfillment of the ethical impulse guided by faith, and virtually axiomatic.

In other news, I have replaced my "To do" list with a "Will I do?" list, which better acknowledges the uncertain outcome of my intentions. The future is full of irresistible questions.

Some people explain their religious faith as founded upon a personal relationship with God which, of course, one must have in order to properly understand and debate upon its merits. I could say that my reasons for not believing in God are also based on a personal relationship, not a relationship with God, but a personal relationship with real people like you and me. But rhetoric does little to sway opinion, while personal experience is given the greatest weight.

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