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Monday, August 09, 2010

Agnosticsm

How can we know if there is something we call 'God'?

The second topic to discuss in my religion class was God's existence. The material to be discussed was from God. As you can see in the website, the discussion on whether God exists or not was viewed from Christianity. One student said that her parents taught her to believe in Jesus. She said that at the beginning, she believed in it only because her parents taught her so. However, recently, she said she believes in it wholeheartedly that only in Christianity she feels saved.

Below is a summary written by one student of mine.

In many cultures and religions, God is mentioned many times. God seems to be the entire reason a religion is made. There also many different representation of gods. He has become quite an important figure in the spiritual world.

In the scientific world, however, God's existence is challenged by the requirement of proof. Not many people can claim God does exist just by saying He should. The scientific way of truth is based on disproving lies and proving true physical claims, but cannot see spirituality.

It should be noted that in this world, much more people will believe something that has been proven physically, someone cannot claim a man with double joints once existed without proof.

That is the weakness of religions:: no proof. Therefore, God's existence cannot be truly proven. That is why I say I am slightly agnostic, I am not sure whether he exists.

Does he exist or not? Why doesn't he show himself literally to the entire world? Why the secret? Is he real? Why are there many of him? Too many questions, aren't there? Those are mine. If they all can be answered, I'll choose to be Christian, or atheist, or whatever comes to my mind, although then again, I am too lazy to do much.
When seeing the background of his spiritual life, although only a little -- his mother never seriously teaches him about religions. He claims he reads scientific books and not religious ones. Perhaps as this academic year goes on, I will be able to dig more about him. :)

I am absolutely on the contrary from him. My childhood was full of religious teachings, reciting Alquran, memorizing hadith, learning fiqh, etc. I must say that the teachings I got were very patriarchal; that is why as a child, in fact I got a bit hurt to learn that women were the weaker sex in the so-called truest religion, the most perfect one. My life experience as one victim in patriarchal society, combined with my spiritual experience, plus the readings I chose to read as an adult made me somewhat agnostic.

PT28 20.10 090810

11 comments:

triesti said...

This class reminds me of my religion study gazillion years ago. We had to compare what religions/cultures take on certain topic. It was fun and I always had v good grades, but when the other teacher did the ritualistic and dogmatic thing, I had v. low grades.

colson said...

Pretty heavy and interesting stuff.

Though I know that to billions of people God is an experience of solace, mercy, forgiveness and comfort, I wonder isn't God after all the wildly speculative human answer to the unacceptable absurdity of life?

A Feminist Blog said...

Triesti,
I think the idea to introduce some kinds of religions to kids is very interesting. In my class, last week, we discussed belief about God in Hindu and Islam. At first, my students complained, "We are Christian, why should we learn other religions?" So I explained that learning other religions, they are expected to respect others. like Indonesian proverb says, "tidak kenal, maka tidak sayang," hehehe ...

A Feminist Blog said...

Colson, thanks for dropping by and leaving comment.
For me myself, I do learn to understand other people's spiritual experiences. Then, when people do not understand my spiritual experience, I talk to myself, "Nana, be patient!" LOL.

triesti said...

Comparative study on religion is more common in Catholic schools. I remember their religion text books always put other religions take on the topic.

I have yet to find one in Islamic/secular school in Ind. Moslem are too afraid that learning about other religions make them convert. So the only thing they will hear is how bad the other religions are, what's wrong with them. I see it as they are not confident enough about their religion.

A Feminist Blog said...

Triesti,
I think not only that. In my opinion, they are so worried that the number of Muslim will be decreasing. Why is that? I am not clear either. :(

johnorford said...

I love this series of posts. Very very interesting.

Also - you're students sound vv smart! You're a lucky teacher!! : )

A Feminist Blog said...

John,
Yup, they are very critical! I love it. :)

dyhkas said...

my friend studied in pondok pesantren and he told me that he often has discussion with friends with other religion. even, my friend read their bible.. so am not really agree with this statement "Moslem are too afraid that learning about other religions make them convert. So the only thing they will hear is how bad the other religions are, what's wrong with them. I see it as they are not confident enough about their religion." me belief that God is only one. it's people who make it look different. it's only the way people call and how they pray that make it different... :)

A Feminist Blog said...

Dyah

thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment in this post of mine.

You can disagree with the statement above, but I believe there is some percentage of Muslim people in general who think that way. Your friend happens not to be one of them. :)

dyhkas said...

yes some are very fanatic,I also found several of them. by the way I love your blog !