Over the next few weeks Magic City Morning Star will be running a series of poems created by a rather unique bunch of people who have written a book entitled: "God, Religion, Science, Nature, Culture, and Morality: A Critical Analysis in Plain Talk" The poetry provided in the coming weeks is called 'Argumentative Poetry.' We thank the authors for their contribution to Magic City.
Prelude to an Indifferent Creator
An Exercise in Argumentative Poetry
In matters of spirituality, the flow of information tends to run from top to bottom. Parties in the know impose their convictions upon the less well informed. But since the dawn of religions, uncertainties were shared in alternative formats that invited reflection and individual deliberation. Hindu scriptures, for instance, are laden with unanswered questions about the specifics of creation. But it was left to ancient philosophers, among them the Greek Epicurus, to device and refine argumentation in a poetic frame that fosters reflection toward the resolution of issues.
A significant aspect of such framing is the compactification of text. Poetic argumentation eliminates squabbling about irrelevant details and focuses on the essentials. It occurred to us that such message conveyance should hold great appeal to the electronically savvy generations who find no time for lengthy elaborations of issues of secondary concern. Hence we turned to a poetic format to relate, in six brief vignettes, the essential features of religiosity.
The Making of You and Me
Some say there is no creator god.
Who then made all the things we see and touch?
Who cast the oceans, the mountains, and the air above?
Who shaped the nearby stars and the distant galaxies?
Who forged the sun that gives us warmth and enables life?
Surely, no human can lay claim to having done all this.
And what about all those creatures that populate the earth?
What about myself with all my sensibilities and aspirations?
No mortal human can boast having assembled me from scratch.
But here I am, fashioned by forces I cannot comprehend.
Who has laid the laws according to which I came into being?
And why has my maker elected to remain veiled and inaccessible?
To whom should I feel indebted, and how could I express my gratitude?
Or if I were displeased with myself, to whom should I file a complaint?
As nothing can grow from nothing, there must have been a first creator.
But I am told that the laws of nature have always been around.
And as we decipher nature's codes, we could create beings on our own.
At least we could impose human values in shaping things in the making.
Yet others insist that an almighty creator will guard the secrets of creation.
This, to prevent gratuitous human intervention in the natural design.
What am I to believe? Whose scenarios have merit? Whose do not?
Can I trust those who allegedly had an audience with the creator god?
Those who claim to have received the marching orders for all of humanity?
Or am I better off trusting my own senses in finding my place in nature?
As I know with certainty that I did not create myself nor the world around me,
I must credit my existence and that of the rest of the world to a creator.
And I must confess that this creator is utterly incomprehensible to me.
I know neither its might nor its plans for humanity and the universe at large.
As the creator god has not issued directions nor indicated expectations,
We are entirely on our own in giving meaning to the lives granted us.
"Yemant and Friends" is a group of retired professors who thought the time had come to examine matters of religiosity more carefully. They opted for anonymity due to the sensitive subject matter discussed in the book.
Most of us have never bothered to find out why we believe what we believe. That's especially true for our thoughts and convictions about religion. Perhaps we were otherwise too engaged. Perhaps we simply adopted what our elders and peers appeared to believe. Whatever the case, isn't it time for us all to examine matters of religiosity more carefully? At least we--a bunch of retired professors, no longer absorbed by professional duties--thought the time had come to ponder why we had taken so much for granted. (Read More at Archway Publishing)
"God, Religion, Science, Nature, Culture, and Morality: A Critical Analysis in Plain Talk"
By Yemant and Friends