Thursday, January 16, 2014

For the love of a God you don't believe in!

The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living - Damien Hirst (source)

Above and foremost let me very clear - I have nothing against atheism, theism, alternative beliefs, and all variants thereof - as long as no one is trying to shove them down my throat. Every now and then, inevitably, the conversation turns into such matters with people I know (either locally or internationally). Throughout the ages I have argued different stances:
First the "turtles are atheists" theory. That was in reply to a friend who said that we, as humans, need a higher power because we have developed in a womb and therefore need a higher protection when we emerged. I countered with the idea that, since turtles are places as eggs on the beach and are left to hatch alone they must be atheists then.
The "Inchallah with our own hard work" theory which I copied from a Danish manager in Saudi Arabia. When his subordinates would leave everything to "inchallah" he would emphasize "with our own hard work" to counter-balance the fatality of the first part of the sentence.
The "there will always be a son of Man" which I thought of a long long time ago (in a galaxy far far way - but that would be Star Wars) and the gist of it is this - when Jesus was on the cross and he asked his father to spare him the death, God replied affirmatively leaving Jesus to walk free. So in his parallel life as a son of a carpenter, Jesus was asked by Roman soldiers to build a cross for someone who was to be crucified... And that person was none other than the (other) son of man. The difference between them is that the new guy died with a smile on his face instead of some horrible smirk which is supposed to induce guilt in us.
When I was working in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi German Hospital in Jeddah (which now is hospitals and is all over the place) had a wonderful slogan "na7nou bi 3aoun Allah ra3akom" which means "we, with the help of God, care for you" - which strikes the exact middle balance between superstition, science, belief, medical expertise, socially-compatible approach while remaining true to the mission statement.
Not sure why I am writing this today. Maybe because, between an average of six power cuts a day and four other internet cuts (not related to power cuts), tossed with a water shortage which has lasted more than a week along with explosions here and there, I am no longer sure if we have the luxury of debating faiths. I feel this is what people do when they have nothing better than trying to get water pumps to work, and insuring they schedule Skype meetings in the least likely power shortage interval, and borrowing buckets of water from (or to) neighbors and trying to figure the best way to avoid being blasted. Yes, it's that kind of a discussion for me at this stage.
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