Last week we published the first of six poems that will be presented over the next few weeks at Magic City Morning Star. The poetry has been 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 (which is not contained in their book) 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.
Longing for Care and Kindness
We all are exposed to the elements and nature's cataclysms.
Storms, floods, quakes, and volcanic eruptions decimate humanity.
Pandemic diseases add much suffering and increase the carnage.
And deadly violence in our own ranks continues to run its course.
Human ingenuity offers some degree of protection.
But on the whole has failed us in securing our safety and welfare.
We remain vulnerable and have reason to fear an uncertain future.
Since the dawn of civilization, fright has instigated rescue pleading.
Beings with supernatural powers were envisioned and implored for help.
Such gods were presumed kind and willing to assist humans in need.
People sacrificed and bargained to prevent calamities and ensure safety.
Turning to kind gods for good health and great fortunes thrives ever since.
But are there gods eager to safeguard humans and spare them adversity?
And why would kind gods venture to put hardship and peril in our way?
Why did such gods condone debilitating maladies and inevitable demise?
Why does a kind creator god sanction predation upon helpless innocents?
Why are mass extinctions a part of the grand design of creatures on earth?
Might we be in error about our creator's kindness?
God may be indifferent to humankind and other living beings.
Perhaps god is neither listening to our pleas nor inclined to respond.
Have we deceived ourselves in believing that we can chat with god?
If so, our pleas have gone unheard and we simply talked to ourselves.
Might steadfast believing that help is forthcoming matter?
Like that friends would come to our rescue when they do not?
This should matter indeed, as the belief may inspire confidence,
Which may encourage efforts needed to reach desired ends.
If this scenario has merit, mere pleading would prove productive.
But alternatively, pleading is expected to invite complacency.
Unwarranted hope, then, amounts to a counterproductive illusion.
"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
ISBN: 978-1-48081-124- 9