About two week ago, on a breezy afternoon, while being meticulous of my speed on Belt Parkway I listened to NPR where an interview of John Oliver was was being aired. It got interesting when the satirist talked about how he mimicked (mocked) Christian televangelist on an episode and had people send him money like they do to televangelists who promised miracles. The fresh air host then asked John about his own relationship with faith and God. It got more interesting.
John said he is an atheist because he fellout with religion when while a child his favorite uncle died. Then some young children at his school also died of sickness. He could not reconcile God with such sadness. A week later on the same show, a professor of religious studies, also claimed to be a Christian Agnostic because while he liked the theology of compassion Christianity preaches, he could not reconcile God with so much suffering going on in the world.
As you can see from both examples, many people leave faifh not because of scientific revelation or experiences or philosophocal arguments, they do so because of a deep dissonance in cognition. The sad thing is that the dissonance could have been avoided in the first place if only we actually allow God to define Himself without our own projections on him.
The notion that God is an extremely emotional being just like us, incapable of causing people to suffer from pains is a false one. Yes, God is Ar Rauf – The Kind, Al Wadood – The Loving, Ar Rahman – The Merciful. But the way He displays this attributes of His is totally dependent on him, not on our own understanding. The earlier we understand this the better for our spiritual development and the well-being of our faith.
God has the ultimate knowledge so He does what He wills. A person who understands that God says in the Qur’an that He is the one that makes people laugh and also make people cry will have little difficulty in reconciling God with the happenings around the world than someone who has been fed false, romantic, human-serving notions of God.
(to be continued, in shaa Allah)