Sunday, October 14, 2007

True To Yourself or True To Your God?

Suppose your favorite deity commanded you to do something that was not true to yourself? Would you be justified in not obeying your god because s/he commanded you to do something that was not true to yourself?

Suppose you believed your favorite deity had created you, and that, consequently, you are being true to your deity by being true to yourself. If you believed that, and your favorite deity commanded you to to do something that was not true to yourself, would you be justified in not obeying your god?


decrepitoldfool said...

This is no idle question given some of the things the Israelites were commanded to do. As Joshua's men slew every living thing in Jericho, did they have any qualms? As they took the sword to children, to young women, to livestock? Yet modern-day Christianists attempt to justify this massacre and even take inspiration from it.

This is no idle question in light of our president's assertion that he "consulted a higher power" on whether to invade Iraq.

I love the bumper sticker, "If God tells you to kill, JUST SAY NO"

Mahendra said...

This is precisely one of the ways in which theism propagates evil. The human beings committing the evil absolve themselves of the morality of their evil act by ascribing it to a fictitious deity.

Mystic Wing said...

Impossible by definition, I think. Isn't God always going to be that part of ourselves that is truly us?

A voice that speaks contrary to our true nature is a different archetype altogether, I believe. The "satanic" voice you spoke of the other day.

(not bad for I-phone blogging, eh?)

Webs said...

There are so many ways in which the religious try to justify this that you could ask the same questions to a single church and likely get ten or twenty different answers.

I myself think you should always be true to yourself. If you think god is steering you down the wrong path, the re-evaluate your relationship, just as you would if your significant other was sending you down the wrong path.

The people that truly care about you that have an emotional care for what happens to you will not try to steer you in the wrong direction.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is a very difficult situation and i was really wondering about it for so long time, because of the things i have faced in my life where i had to choose between my God's way or my own way of doing things.

I don't want for this discussion to focus in killing only, because it's a very old and non-stopping topic, but i wish for this to be more about other choices in our lives, like marriage, behavior in general, morality, etc.

I'm a Muslim, and i'm expected to follow all the things i have been taught about Islam and the Quran, but sometimes, our ego or call it thoughts, drive us step by step to arrogance. I know some people will disagree with me about this, but this is how i see it.

Sometimes, we tend to raise ourselves from a tiny little creature who exit somewhere in this huge universe, into a kind of guinness divine being obssesed with our massive information we received in our lives due the amount of books we read, lectures we attend, etc. This is not enough!

We need something we put our trust on. But before that, we have to admit first that we are not perfect, and i don't think anyone would disagree with me about this, then based on this, you will realize that we can't be always correct. Some people might say, well, does it matter if i'm correct or not as long as i'm cool with it and so happy?

Yes it does, if you really want to follow your faith and what it calls for, otherwise, eventaully, you will leave your faith, the more you ignore the values it teaches, because it will just be a decoration in your life, or something you hold tight just in order to be part of your conservative family, or community.

From my little experience in this life, i was thinking at times that i'll never be wrong if i was thinking in a certain way or certain order, but life showed me that i can err, as i can learn and improve as long as i put my trust on people i can depend on in things concerning this earthly life, and to put my trust on God also, for the things he see best for me, and for my kind.

I think it's fair to say that if we really believe what we worship to be a true God, then we should blindly follow what he says. Regarding God, and what make a god, God, is debatable and might be a good thing to discuss in other new topics in the future "God willing".

Thank you.


ordinarygirl said...

I'm going to take a little bit different point of view on this topic which really has nothing to do with religion.

I've seen people use the phrase "be true to yourself" to act in questionable ways. Like the spouse that has an affair because of a loveless marriage or a person on a quest to find him/herself leaving behind family members, even children for years.

I'm not saying these people don't have valid reasons for their actions. There is no black and white on these matters. But, there are consequences.

You can't sacrifice everything you have for someone else, but at the same time you can't expect to have a relationship with someone if you always put yourself first.

I know that's not where you were going with this post, but one reminded me of the other.

Yes, you should be true to yourself, true to what is right and wrong, rather than following blindly.

Many people think that we are like children before God and shouldn't question, but even children question and eventually reach the maturity to chose. Why should it be any different in a spiritual sense?

amuirin said...

I think it's difficult to discern between God's will and your own. So often you're going on feelings.

If I had an honest from God commandment to kill and slaughter another from the mouth of God himself, I think that'd be the end of hope.

At least while the will of God is somewhat mysterious there's hope that wisdom and compassion are the better part of the divine, and all this bloodshed is man's nature, not God's.

demon bahamat said...

Every being should be free to use their own will over their own actions, meaning no human or god has the automatic authority to command others as far as I'm concerned.

As long as we have the ability to say 'no', we ultimately cannot be forced, even if there are consequences - they'd have to control your body to override your will, at that point your actions aren't your decision

Anonymous said...

My answer is not exactly to the point. I am originally from India and though technically on paper, I say I am a Hindu, I don't really practice the religion though at the same time, it really is not an organized religion and more of a culture thing. Well you can make out that I am totally confused about all this.
If a person was asked by his deity to kill some one or hurt someone for whatever reason, for me, that deity is not God. If you notice, all religions endorse violence of some kind and that is the thing I hate. But it is the nature of man to fight and have wars as history shows. That also points out that it is man and only man who composed all religious texts to suit his needs. Also notice it is the male gender that is given preference in most religions. It there was a God and if it was God who had composed the religious books, according to me, there would have been equality. The same religious books also have an excuse for why God is not visible. They say only the holy can see God. Now how do we have proof that the so called Holy men or women see or experience God? Ordinary men and women like us rely on other people's words about God and the rules of God and then finally it is our judgment of the validity or veracity of these rules or beliefs that will finally form our beliefs. Some people believe in enriching themselves materially by hook or by crook and that is their religion. Others believe in values like doing good to others and also enriching themselves but in an honest way. Many others do not want to enrich themselves and will not let others enrich themselves. So in a world so full of different characters, this question is very hard to answer. I will be true to myself and being true to myself means not hurting others willfully.

zenpen said...

what makes you think that a creator creates only truth.
If i can be un- true to my self,
then so can my creator.
after all he created my ability to lie to my self.
of course my lie might be a truth of god.
this "intellectual" argument goes in circles.

demon bahamat said...

zenpen - Sometimes a lie can be kinder, used with caution, IF they will be more able to cope with truth by the time they discover it, if not it might increase the pain if the person is unable to see the intention behind the lie. Buys time...

If something's never found out perhaps false hope is kinder... but it's painful to be in constant hope, always craving, unable to focus on other things...