Thinking With Somebody Else's Head podcast

Special Podcast Series: The Modern Relevance of God - Ep. 16: Humanity's Deep Need for God

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We've been attempting in this series to make the scientific case for the relevance of a more theological consciousness in our everyday lives. Along the way, I've been impressed with what Dr. Joseph Ghougassian elaborated in the preface he wrote to Keppe's book, Glorification that if we have religions in the world, this must be because of a metaphysical dimension in us. "Worshiping is natural to the soul," he wrote, "And not something imposed by institutions." Otherwise it wouldn't have been so practiced through the millennia, long before we built churches to formalize the ceremonies. This goes deep to the nature of faith, then, and the acknowledgement that anyone acting morally or ethically is doing it out of a belief that it's important, regardless of whether the moral practitioner is a member of any congregation or not.

And what is faith anyway? Fidelity to the truth, goodness, love, beauty for one thing, although our relativism muddies the waters with questions about who defines the truth and who has the final say on beauty? Keppe describes faith as the direct knowledge of the essence. And you have to have a metaphysical view of a correct and initial beautiful reality to grasp that abstraction, not an emergence from the primal mud and alterations over mutations in time. That latter won't arrive at any satisfactory conclusions for understanding the big religious questions that percolate in all of us, irrespective of dogma or belief. Faith, then, provides the answers that reason cannot achieve by itself.

Tennyson wondered about that:

Strong Son of God, immortal Love,

Whom we, that have not seen thy face,

By faith, and faith alone, embrace,

Believing where we cannot prove;

Now, I recognize that the "show me the money" practicalists listening might bristle at that, but I take heart that anyway, you're still listening. And that indicates another level of acceptance at work than just the grey matter between the ears. I've been there and put together this episode to try to address those tendencies of painting spirituality and religion with the same brush. Let's distinguish them in this episode, again with Claudia Bernhardt Pacheco.

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