‘A Betrayal in Winter’ by Daniel Abraham (Book 2 in the ‘Long Price’ series)
As expected, the story picked up at around the half-way mark. It was a good read, with some small similarities in the ideas I have for my story. Proves there’s nothing new in the world.
‘The Immortal Prince’ by Jennifer Fallon (Book 1 in the ‘Tide Lords’ series)
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Is there a God?
The curliest question of all in the world today.
People range from the belief that there is no higher power, to those who believe but do not practice the expected worship patterns, to those who do worship, to those who use their beliefs to be active in the community, to those who meditate on the nature of things, to those who actively enforce the acceptance of one God, and others who believe in a whole collection of deities.
There has always been divine worship, as all the native communities who have been on their lands for many thousands of years have their gods. The idea of worship has evolved over time, from offerings of food and drink, ritual sacrifices of animals and humans, a big singalong in open fields, a big singalong in a hall, and even eating right to treat your body as a temple. And as the recorded efforts at globalisation showed, religions spread and clashed along the Silk Road, and later religion went on the ships to both of the Americas to clash with the established religions of the natives.
The uniform aspect of a method of worship indicates that religion has always been a way for humanity to understand the nature of the world around us. A ritual sacrifice ensured the crops would be bountiful this season, and if they were not the gods were angry with our actions. Everyone praying for a singular purpose would ensure someone was cured of a disease, or a conflict would be resolved. Those in a conflict would pray for deliverance from their oppressors.
When answering the question, I believe the conflict between religion and science for explaining things go hand in hand. Life was created on Earth, and over its billions of years flourished into the massive menagerie of animal life we currently have. The menagerie may have been even larger, factoring in the many meteorites that landed on Earth, destroying dinosaurs and putting water on the surface. Religion used symbolism and stories to help us understand the world, until such a time that we were able to understand a code made of four components was uniform to all life and that the differences of the different people and animals on our world were deliberate choices by our forebears to ensure our survival. To use a religious analogy, it is like the ‘Old Testament’ and ‘New Testament’, and the new divine books revealed over to the prophets over many thousands of years. All parts are chapters of an ongoing story.
The ongoing conflicts between people who champion different books, different branches of those who champion a book, those who will not change their long-held beliefs, or those who believe that long-held beliefs of the past are useless are all futile. The beliefs of all people, whether ancient or newly-found, play a part in the greater story of humanity. Try to understand how these stories and beliefs came to be, appreciate the different points in time that they were created, and continue our pursuit to better understand ourselves and the world around us.
In an extremely large nutshell, religion is used to help humanity survive its environment (Earth- and Universe-wise) up to this point in time through agreement on a way to conduct ourselves. Science wants to discover how we conducted ourselves in the past, and how the environment (Earth- and Universe-wise) has changed in that time. Both are similar pursuits, approached from a different angle. Neither is better than the other.
Is there a God? I don’t know.
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