A logic God and the dogmas

god-explainingWe all know one of the most important characteristics of our being Unitarian Universalists is the refusal of every dogma. Have you ever asked to yourself the reason for this position?

I suppose the first question we have to ask to ourselves is “what is a dogma?” In definitional terms a dogma is “a truth which can’t be explained with the reasoning but which must be believed only by faith”.

What’s wrong with this? Actually many things.

The first and most important thing which is clearly unacceptable derives from the definition itself. If something can’t be explained by reasoning, it consequently falls into the category of the unreasonable things. So, the question immediately coming to my mind is: given that the capability to reason is one of the most important and distinguishing gifts we received from God, does it make sense that this same God giving us the “Logos” could show Himself to the human beings in a way so openly denying His gift?

Moreover, if these dogmas have no explication and don’t fall into the kingdom of logic, who can decide about the acceptability of their assumptions? Even more radically, who can enunciate them in the moment they refuse any self-evidence?

The common answer to this question is, generally speaking, that they come from an “inspiration” by God, which immediately turns the question into another: “what is an inspiration by God?” Once again starting from definitions, an inspiration can be considered (or, better, it is considered) a sudden revelation about a truth given by God to a single person or to a group of people.

Now, if we try to analyze this last definition, it is impossible not to see that it ends up clashing with some basic common beliefs of the Christian faith. Aren’t we all made after the “image of the Father”? Aren’t we all His sons in the same way? Why, therefore, should the Father choose only some few “elected” people to reveal His will and to disclose His mysteries? And, if God wants the salvation of His sons, the salvation of all of His beloved creatures indistinctively, why should He choose such an indirect way to reveal His ways? Why should He privilege some of His sons in respect to all the others? Ok, I know the immediate answer to this last objection: this is also the way He used to let us know His will through Jesus. Even forgetting about the fact that the strongest supporters of the dogmas are the ones also claiming about an ontological superiority of Jesus (or, more exactly even his divine being), a superiority with no comparisons with any other human being before and after him (a thing, this last, by itself denying the possibility of an equal role of “bridge between God and men” for anyone else), two more things must be said.

1)      All along his preaching Jesus never affirmed anything going against the logic and the rationality: his preaching, in its continuous underlining of the need for a pre-eminence of love, was, in many occasions, opposed to the morality of his times but never irrational (meaning with this something going against what we would now define “Aristotelian logic”). The same, for sure, can’t be said about many of the dogmas and of the rules which were later stated by his followers: let’s think, just to give a couple of examples, to the Trinitarian affirmation that “1=3”, clearly against the principle of identity , or, to come to more recent statements, that, as mentioned, all men are equally beloved sons of the Father but one of them is “infallible” speaking as a leader for all, which clearly goes against the principle of non-contradiction.

2)      Having a look to Church history, what clearly emerges is that in the definition of dogmas there was nothing divine and, on the contrary, they were just human products aimed to impose some hierarchic figure as “heavenly messenger” just to strengthen his power, in a political picture which, once again, is by far removed from the message of universal brotherhood of Jesus. This point is really central: in any occasion dogmas have always been tools of power in the hands of someone using them to subjugate the others. All councils have, historically, been examples of the attempt to impose an idea as “sacred” denying the validity of another idea and to destroy the claim of an equal “sacralized power” by someone else.

In this context, what is the most incredible thing to me is that these dogmas, as well as many “moral prescriptions”, though being, as any other human product, localized in time and space, have become, in the moment of their rise to a special role”, crystsllized, a-temporal and eternal, forming the basis on which to build new theories and to give new prescriptions endorsed by the previous statements. This system of self referentiality is just another example of a totally a-logic way to proceed: I state a datum basing its validity on another non-verified datum, in a process aimed only to form a corpus of suppositions given as absolute consequential truths.

The result is just to transform a message rooted on a bond of love linking God and human beings reciprocally and human beings to human beings in a cage of rules, prohibitions and ancient fantasies, ending up with a distortion of the original core of the teaching.

This doesn’t mean that humans can understand everything of God: the unbalance in the relation between Infinite divine Being and finite capability of vision of the human genre surely doesn’t allow it. This simply means all the black holes we will necessarily always have in our understanding of God can’t be filled with absurdities, fictionally derived rules and human created assumptions. Mainly, this means that we must never abdicate to the use of reason and we must never absolutise a human attempt to make us believe there are dark shadows in the divine logic governing this world.

Wherever we turn our sight on nature we can see there is a perfect consequentiality, a sharp mechanism governing the creation: everything makes sense, everything has a sense and a consequentiality, everything tells us about a logic God. Surely you can say God is not subjected to His own laws (it is what many people claimed for centuries) but the question stands: why should a God who created a world according to a perfect shape based on some laws deny the same laws only in the moment in which He refers to Himself, in the moment in which He reveals His will to the highest peak of His creation?

In our experience God is logic, human beings not always are: where could illogic statements come from? It’s up to us to decide.

The manger

kid-hospital-doctor-300x300 (2)So it happened again: nationality, the “right of the blood” (or perhaps just a demagogic manipulation of the economic crisis) prevailed on humanity!
The government of Lombardy, the Italian region in which I live, rejected a motion of some members of the regional council to abolish the veto on pediatric cures for the sons of illigal immigrants, leaving only the possibility of cures for urgent first aid treatments.
There would be so many things to say about this… We could discuss about the meaning of borders, the exasperation of the concept of nation, the incredible (in my vision) preponderance of the selfish power of a passport on the most basic feelings of common human bounds, the abuse of the spreading of fears related to the crisis, the disgusting classification of human beings into A series and B series people. And all this elements would apply to the whole problem of visa recognition.
But here we are in front of something even deeper, even more radical: we are speaking about babies and children! How can you apply your stupid political laws to babies and children? Even if you think the unthinkable, if you blame people escaping from wars, poverty, insecurity and unable to fulfill the tough and very complex requests to get a visa for coming here looking for a better life, even if you insanely want to consider them criminals, what are their babies and children guilty for?
It’s astonishing how perhaps the same people moved by some internet photos of dogs taking care of puppy cats or similar stuff could agree with a law going against the most basic feelings and instincts of any mammal (not to speak about the most basic roots of humanity) or, at least, could consider it reasonable and necessary! This happens when accidental items become more important than the substancial ones!
Is the power of fear so strong? Do they think to grant pediatric assistance to “illegal” babies and children would definitly destroy our economy and take them to starvation? Sadly yes, it is exactly what these people, continously complaining about the fact the illegal immigrants are “milking the Italian cow” (are they? Why? On which bases are you saying this?), think. And surprisingly we are talking about the same people thinking that if an artist, a sport champion, a politician or a tycoon evades taxes, well, he is just cunning or he is “defending himself from the rapacity of the state”: not being so digusting it could even seem a joke!
There is, anyway, besides all the horror I feel for the incredible abyss of selfishness some people can reach, a question which goes on turning in my mind, a question about the medical doctors.
As far as I know, at the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession, all of them sign a oath:
I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.”
What will a pediatrician do in front of the son of an illegal immigrant suffering for any desease (or simply needing a check) but not having the need for an immediate first aid treatment? Will he answer to the parents: “Well, I’m sorry, but you must go back to your homeland to have your son cured!?
Being a Christian (but as far as I know similar elements are present also in other traditions), I can’t help thinking about a passage of the Gospel: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn“…