Even though I speak English, and the readers of my blog speak English (even if it isn't a first language), there are some difficulties with communicating thoroughly. Some people might think I am crazy about semantics, or maybe I just like to nit-pick. But that is not the case. Let's take a seemingly simple question like: "Do you believe in God?", and I'll imagine it is posed to me.
As I sit here, an answer does not come. The only thing in my mind is, I don't really understand the question. What is meant by believe and God? I am not saying I do not know the literal meanings of the words; I can look them up in a dictionary, after all. But it doesn't really help me.
First of all, if I say yes or no, what is it that is telling me the answer is yes or no? Is it through an idea that I read about, or and idea that was handed down through generations? Do I say yes because that is what is expected of me? Do I say yes because everyone else says it? Do I say no because I want to rebel? Do I say no because I have an idea that tells me the answer is no?
Questions like this (Do you believe in God?) create conflict. If a religious person asks me this question and I say yes, what happens in the mind of the person that asks? If I say no, what happens? If I say yes, I am a brother. If I say no, I am an athiest. But why should I be anything to them, other than what I am? If someone thinks I am an athiest, isn't it true that the idea of what an athiest is infects all of their interactions with me? Is there a tendency to hold me at arms length, or perhaps an urge to help me see what is "true"?
If I say I believe the same faith as the questioner, then what happens? If I disagree, what happens? Think it over and go into it. You are devoutly religious (in this example) and you ask me if I believe in god. I say no, I vehemently deny it saying it is false. How does it affect you? Or you ask, and I say I do completely believe, and in fact, I am the exact same faith as you. Now what happens?
Do you see any inherent danger in the question? I am not saying it is true/false/right/wrong, or whatever. But what is it that is there? Is answering yes or no really a difference? If I say yes, it is my belief. If I say no, it is also my belief. So what is the difference?
When one questions oneself, there can be no conclusions. It sounds difficult to grasp. But isn't it true that if you question yourself with a conclusion in mind, you are just looking for answers to justify your conclusions? And if that is the case, aren't the questions coming from the answers you already have?
If someone asks me, "Does God Exist?", do they really want to know, or are they looking for me to justify the answers they already have? Also, if someone really wanted to know the answer to that question, would they ask someone else to give them the answer? If I want someone else to give it to me, am I really serious about it? Or maybe I am just playing around with it?
These are just questions I had in mind this morning.
I am a bit behind on some other work, so I will post the conclusion to the Question and Question Part Three tomorrow.