Monday, April 2, 2007

The God Debate

I heard about this while studying for Quantitative Analysis, so maybe it's God's way of saying "take a study break, kid."

I come from a very Christian family. At least, Christian in that they all claim to be Christians.

I, however, took a more circuitous route to religion. I was a philosophy major in university. I remember peppering Marilyn McCord Adams, who was a professor at UCLA at the time, with questions about religion. I didn't believe at the time, but I had and still have immense respect for her as she was one in the first ordained female priests in the Episcopalian Church. I would also engage my mother in lengthy debates about religion and Christianity as she believed too. I think it's why I'm truly confused when people can't debate and be civil no matter what the topic.

Anyway, I stayed away from being an atheist as I reasoned that it was a bullheaded position. I just didn't know. I was fine with admitting that I didn't know.

Here in Korea there are A LOT of Christians. They coexist with Buddhists. Both are about 26% of the population and everyone seems to be fairly happy. There are some stories of conflict, but they're fairly rare. Korean Christians are cut from a very conservative cloth, so it makes the discussion of God and belief something that just doesn't happen much here. I have had the discussion with other foreigners but not with Koreans.

So, maybe this is a good way to get the discussion going. Newsweek has a feature where Sam Harris and Rick Warren discuss: The God Debate. I truly believe that you have to question your belief before you can really claim to believe. Then again, maybe that was just my particular route.

Just so you know, I've stepped back from agnosticism, and I attend church regularly these days.

The debate is about ten pages long and if you've had this debate before on a deep level, it might be a bit dull, but it's interesting.


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