I tend to be drawn more to the wisdom of those who question everything than to “accepted” wisdom, since no one knows everything — no one I know and trust, that is. But what of God, who (I was taught) does know everything. As an American, how could I not trust God? The proclamation IN GOD WE TRUST is all-inclusively bannered on our country’s legal tender –which, if you stop to think, seems an odd bearer for it, given the admonishment that money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
Be that as it may, the thing about God is like the thing about truth — exactly whose God, whose truth are we talking about? To paraphrase the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, you’re entitled to your own God, your own truth — but not your own facts. If you take the discrepant God of divergent religions for a fact, how can a fact divided against itself stand? Aren’t we left with the logic that no deity conceived by humans has a basis in fact? But you knew that …. right?
I don’t believe in any religion’s God (which isn’t the same as not believing in a Creator), but if I did, why would I want to take the life of, or coerce, a man of a different faith — both of our faiths are, after all, only fallible beliefs. Better to take the measure of human folly, as observed and recorded by those who have questioned everything:
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunk man is happier than a sober one. –George Bernard Shaw
If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God? –George Deacon
I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God. –Orson Welles
When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. —Emo Phillips
Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. –Ambrose Bierce (THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY)
Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so. It is not so. It is so. It is not so. –Ben Franklin
Well, you could become a Southern Baptist. I mean, instead of having to obey the Pope, you could just obey your husband. –Arianna Huffington
The only thing that stops God from sending a second flood is that the first one was useless. –Nicolas Chamfort
When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, “Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?” –Quentin Crisp
I too much respect the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world. –Georges Duhamel