Monday, June 21, 2010
Self-Centered Way of Life
The genesis of this self-centered philosophy of life may be found in the Hebrew understanding of the world around them. The stars and planets that compose the universe were thought to revolve around the earth and the earth itself was the center of the universe. According to the O.T., the earth did not revolve around the sun either. As a Christian, I often wondered why people could have the audacity to pray for their seemingly trivial sufferings in comparison to some of our neighbors that share the planet earth with us. For instance, god supposedly cares about all of our problems, including the really little ones, but doesn’t seem to care about the starving, disease ridden children in Africa. In Matthew 6, we are told not to worry about what to eat or drink because the Lord already knows what we need, and will surely give us all of these things when we seek him first. Apparently, there are exceptions to this rule if you are a child born into harsh circumstances. From India to Africa, children are dying by the millions because they lack the very things that Christians are supposedly never to worry about if they follow god’s mandates. I see no reason why children can’t be afforded this same luxury. It shouldn’t matter if they weren’t born into the right religions. This is obviously no fault of the child.
I couldn’t understand why god would treat his innocent creatures like this. Furthermore, I didn’t feel like praying for a sore toe was a very heroic or pious act in light of the inhospitable circumstances some of our neighbors find themselves in. Subsequently, my prayer life was pretty difficult because it goes without saying that we Americans have it very good compared to many third world countries. We don’t have to worry about finding food, shelter or clothing. We have such necessities in an overwhelming abundance. We are also a very wasteful country that could easily feed many of these countries with what we don’t end up consuming.
Nevertheless, many Christians have their own geocentric philosophy of life going on that seems to ignore the very obvious contradictions around them. This bothered me even before I was confronted with the larger holes of Christianity including its contradictions to science and precarious system of morality. Quite simply, I didn’t see the point in praying for my petty problems when there were people all over the place facing much harsher conditions. I find it rather small-minded that Christians can pray over the food that they are about to eat, as if the prayer will help eliminate any potentially harmful outcomes from eating the food, when there are children starving to death at that very moment.
I’ve always been a worrier and the idea of having a god take care of all my concerns was very appealing. But, I started to lack confidence in this notion once I looked at the world without my rose colored glasses on. Nature is indifferent to our species, just like any other species which exists or has existed in the past. Instead of praying about circumstances turning out right, it would be more beneficial to do what is necessary so that our circumstances turn out to our benefit. Common sense tells us that if god doesn’t give one iota about the starving children of Africa, he most definitely has no concern for your desire to land that lucrative job you just interviewed for. In my humble opinion, looking at it any other way reeks of a self-centered philosophy which originates from the Israelite’s and their believing that they served the one true god, and god chose them “just because” so they have special privileges.