Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Plan of Salvation

Is there a right way to be? And if there is, what is it?

A lot of religious people say that to follow God is the right way. Different religious doctrines define God differently. One well-known definition is a supreme being with who created everything, knows everything and is always right in everything he does. He loves unconditionally and foregives completely provided one has accepted his guidence and has determined oneself to live accordingly. Those who stray from his path, however, not only stain his creation, but author their own condemnation. Some religions have these errant souls banished to misery in a place called hell, others have them simply erased, unlike their righteous cousins who are elevated to live eternally in the presence of God himself.

Religions that espouse along these lines have numerous guidebooks and doctrines to follow, along with rituals and institutionally-accredited advisors to help people find and stay on the road to salvation. Salvation is a term many religions apply to that state of elevated being that is the result of righteous living in lines with the ways of Heavenly Father, God. Such religions typically go so far as to explain that such righteous souls are carrying out God's work while on Earth and will be rewarded upon their deaths with passage to a higher plane where they will continue such work. Some, such as Mormanism and Judaism - and in some places Buddhism and Hinduism - have deep doctrines that describe how especially righteous souls get to go off to other worlds - planets, perhaps - to becomes the saviors of those worlds.

The above paragraphs leave a lot out concerning the teachings of the world's religions. But let is serve as a basic outline of certain core beliefs to propel discussion.

What would the non-religious scientists among us say to all of this? Could they find areas of agreement?

An agreeable scientist would likely want to regard the term "supreme being" as a process, or complex of processes that describe that aspect of the known universe that represents integration and participation, rather than disintegration, decay and entropy. If all matter and energy possess a tendency toward entropy or disorder, then that force or pattern that countervales entropy and promotes integration and harmonious activity to ever higher levels of sophistication could be the "supreme being" of the scientists lexicon. . . . .to be continued.


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