Friday, December 10, 2010

Tony Blair's Religion Debate and My Response

A couple of weeks ago in the news I saw an article about a public religious debate between former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair and the atheist and columnist Christopher Hitchens. It peaked my curiosity, so I read it and was not that impressed with the quoted arguments used in that debate on both sides. Although, interesting points were made. I also don't know if Mr. Blair or Mr. Hitchens are the two I would put into such a debate.

Most of you probably know that I am one who believes that a religion created by God for his purposes is the greatest organization for which you can be a part. And some of you, who have had discussions about religion with others may have heard, or made, the argument that religion has been the cause of so many needless deaths in the history of our world.

This isn't really what I would call a "debate response," it is simply the response ignited in me when I read the article.

Religion is not evil. The misuse of power is what is evil. Is government evil? Not inherently. Only when the power given to government is misused is it evil, or when government is given power it should not have. Is charity evil? Only when it’s true designs and actions are evil. Can different religions perform evil acts? Absolutely. But God does not perform evil acts, and he condemns anyone who misuses his name to perform those acts.

This life on earth, which was created by God, puts us is in a situation where we are created free and commanded to use that freedom correctly. In order to become something greater. In order to become like our God.

That freedom can be abused, and has been abused to do EACH and EVERY evil act committed on this planet. But that freedom has also been the foundation for EACH and EVERY good act performed on this planet. That freedom comes from God and so all good that comes from our freedom is of God, whether you choose to recognize Him as the source or not.

There is a God, God is truth. All that is good is of God and all that is evil is not. Man does not declare what is of God and what is not, God makes that declaration. Within each of us is the Spirit of Truth that can help us to identify what is and what isn't true.

However, if we limit the Spirit of Truth within each of us with our pride, selfishness, doubt, fear, laziness, unwillingness, or other limiting traits we are unable to hear the confirmation of truth that that spirit brings, and we are then left to our own reasoning. When that is the case, each person comes up with his or her own “truth” through his or her own reasoning and chaos can ensue.

One being knows all, and that is the being who created our souls. He IS the source of all truth. God has only created one religion. Man with the help of the Devil has created many, and done much that is evil.


merrilykaroly said...

"That freedom comes from God and so all good that comes from our freedom is of God, whether you choose to recognize Him as the source or not."

I never thought about it that way-- we can give credit to God for good things that happened because He is the one who provided the opportunity for good (by giving us agency). And he expects us to take that opportunity.

"God has only created one religion. Man with the help of the Devil has created many, and done much that is evil."

I also liked this part. I think in the world, that is a concept that is misunderstood. Many people believe that all organized religions are bad. Many other people believe that it doesn't matter which religion you affiliate with because they are all true and all lead you back to God. Definitely the work of the adversary to confuse people and keep them from recognizing that God only has one church-- one that He established Himself and will never let go astray!

NoSurfGirl said...

I love the discussion.

I've been writing a story lately based around some LDS historical events that have made me think hard about the seperation between God and his Direct actions, and the actions of those who assume God's name.

Some people do good in God's name. Some do things that they think are good, but end up not being god. Some do things that they justify in their mind as good, and God is a part of that jusitification.

Really, we are taking the Lord's name in Vain every time we act in His name, without His permission.

People who use evil as an excuse to kill god really have something going on inside of them, preventing them from having the full discussion of good vs evil, I think. And often it's a feeling that they CAN'T be good, or perfect, and therefore they shouldn't have to try to be like God, or have to look up to Him.

Josh said...

NoSurf, those are some great thoughts. I really like your point about using the Lord's name in vain when we perform acts in His name that He has not or does not approve of. That seems to me to support the idea of the need to have a living prophet who can represent God, as God would choose to be represented. AND the importance of finding out what the Holy Sprit is and how He operates to know who the living prophets are.

Your point about those who use evil in an attempt to kill God is also really intriguing. They attempt to redefine who God is and what His acts are to then take a stab at Him. And your reasoning for why they make that logic is also interesting. I wonder what the basis is. Are they holding onto that evil principle that they or anyone else cannot be good? Or do they feel they are just as great if not greater than any god that mankind supposedly creates?

As always, I love hearing your thoughts. (You too merrilykaroly!)

NoSurfGirl said...

that's a good question.

I admit that when it comes to people, I can be an idealist. I assume that people who mentally kill god do it because they feel that they can't live up to Him and His Standard... but you're right, that it's likely there are many who feel that they are good the way they are, and it is God who is evil for trying to "change" them and "infringe on {their} happiness."

Humanists even go so far as to believe that to be humanist, is a form of "higher law," because you do things simply out of your own humanity, your own inherent goodness, and not because there is a higher power out there rewarding or punishing us. And in a way, they have a point.

Or they would, if it weren't the divine in each of us that makes us good at all. Where does compassion, empathy, charity, selflessness come from? It certainly isn't adaptive in many situations. It comes from somewhere.