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God only knows


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This is my re-write of the last verse of Paul Simon's "Slip Sliding Away".

It speaks to my greatest objection to all forms of organized religion : humans who claim to know the will of God and to speak for Her to control the beliefs and behaviors of others. To thus usurp the authority of God. And too often to tyranize those whose beliefs are different from those of the self-appointed spokesperson.

And it's just as offensive and blasphemous when the self-appointed spokesperson bases his declarations on some ancient text which he claims is written by God Herself. All such texts, whoever the original author, were hand-copied over and over, with inevitable errors and possibly also deliberate alterations. Almost all such texts have also been translated from the original language, sometimes then translated from that second language to a third or more. Even if offered in the original language, well languages change and so do meanings in context of cultural change.

This is not to say that a rabbi or minister or priest or mullah or other such person cannot give wise and compassionate advice. Sometimes they do. But always remember that this is a human speaking his or her own opinion. It does not carry the authority of any deity, even assuming that deities may exist.

Some religious teachings make good sense in terms of being good for the individual and for society. The idea that it's usually best to avoid killing other people, at least others in your own society, is generally a pretty good idea. But you really shouldn't need a deity or a religious leader to tell you that. Likewise for stealing and malevolent lying. You will be happier if you don't covet or envy others or their accomplishments, though using them as inspiration can be beneficial or not..

For me, I find adequate guidance in the Hindu precept of "ahimsa" , "non-harming", avoiding as much as possible doing any harm to other sentient beings (including yourself), and the Buddist precept of "compassion", beyond mere non-harming, to try to relieve the suffering of other sentient beings when you are able to do so. (Notice also that the Buddists do not require any deity whatsoever.)

: <a href="slipslidinaway-emphbeat.mid">[Play Sound]</a>

God only knows

by Pam Green , © 2017

to the tune of "Slip Sliding Away" by Paul Simon

God only knows, She makes Her plan :
Her power of attorney isn't given to any mortal man.
And all who claim to speak for Her
Commit the ultimate in blasphemy
And damn themselves forever more.

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away.
We're on the Road of Good Intentions
But perhaps we're just slip sliding away.

<a href="SlipSlidgAway-soft.mid">[Play Sound]</a>



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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 7/18/2018 revised 7/26/2018/td>
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