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By Roberta Rampton and Arshad Mohammed HANOVER, Germany/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will announce on Monday he plans to send as many as 250 additional U.S. troops to Syria, a sharp increase in the American presence working with local Syrian forces fighting Islamic State militants, U.S. officials said. The deployment, which will increase U.S. forces in Syria to about 300, aims to accelerate recent gains against Islamic State and appears to reflect growing confidence in the ability of U.S.-backed forces inside Syria and Iraq to claw back territory from the hardline Sunni Islamist group.

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file under: religioncommon sense 11 Nov 2007 1:27 PM
Who is God? Posted by Nissim Dahan

As some of you may already know, I believe that the world is ripe for a new ideological framework; what I call An Ideology of Common Sense. Instead of believing what we want to believe, it may well be time to begin believing in what makes sense.

 

If the world is already coming together technologically and economically, it makes sense to come together ideologically as well, in order to pave the way for the unprecedented level of cooperation that a world economy will require. And so, I would like to devote a few posts to the idea of An Ideology of Common Sense, and with your kind indulgence, I begin with God.

 

It may not be politically correct to talk so openly about God. Who am I, after all, to even begin to explain the mystery that is God? And yet, we may have no choice but to begin talking about such things, because in the absence of common sense talk, people tend to grab hold of notions which make no sense, and which can easily threaten our very existence on this good earth. Some may say, "Let's blow ourselves up in God's name." I say, "Let God speak for Himself, and when He does, I suspect He'll use the language of Common Sense, as has been His custom since the beginning of time."

 

So we begin with first principles. Does God exist? I think He does. How do I know this? Well, scientists theorize that some 13.7 billion years ago there was a great explosion, appropriately named The Big Bang, which brought the universe into existence. Before The Big Bang there was nothing. And after, there was everything.

 

So to my mind; whoever or whatever caused that explosion to happen is certainly "godlike," in every sense of the word, and is therefore God. Call it The Big Bang, or a force of nature, or a random confluence of events...call it what you will, but whoever or whatever caused the universe to come into being is God.

 

This mode of analysis is reminiscent of Thomas Aquinas' five proofs for the existence of God. I thought up of this proof myself, I want you to know, only to find out that Aquinas beat me to the punch some 700 years ago. Must have been quite an ambitious little fellow, God bless his soul.

 

What else do we know about God? Um...pretty much nothing. That's right folks, you heard it here first. We really don't know anything about God other than the fact that He created the universe. Listening to us talk, you'd think that we knew everything there was to know about God. But if we are true to ourselves, we really don't. And in that vacuum of knowledge, since we know nothing about God, we proceed to create Him in our own image.

 

Here's how this craziness works:

  • God created the universe.
  • As part of His creation, God created us in His image.
  • Therefore, we are creators as well.
  • As part of our creation, we choose to create God, in our image.
  • Since we are imperfect, we taint God with our imperfections, and fashion Him to suit our needs.

So what's wrong with this picture? By tainting God with human frailties, we can easily delude and manipulate ourselves into believing that God would have us do all sorts of crazy things, in the same way that we convince ourselves to act loony with respect to one another. And once we come to believe that we are acting in God's name, no less, how difficult it becomes to curb our enthusiasm for the nasty things we choose to do.

 

And so, I got to thinking: What concept of God would make more sense? In answering the question: Who is God; I would say, with all due respect for other opinions and beliefs, that I think of God as the sum total of all the creative energy in the universe.

 

In other words, since all we really know about God is that He created the universe, then it would make sense to associate Him with that creation, and with the various forms of energy that it took to bring that creation about, including: radiation, heat, electricity, kinetic energy, and of course, the energy of intelligence.

 

Does it help us to make sense of things to say that God is the sum total of all the creative energy in the universe? I think it does.

 

For example, if someone asks, "Do you have a personal relationship with God?" you could say, "I certainly do. His creative energy flows through me, and mine flows through Him."

 

If someone asks, "Why is there evil in the world?" You could say, "God is the Creator of all things. If He wanted to create good, He had no choice but to create the possibility of evil, because we could not know what is good without also knowing evil, good defining itself by its juxtaposition to evil."

 

If somebody says, "Let's kill one another in God's name," you could say, "Since God created each and every one of us in His image, when we choose to kill one another, aren't we, in effect, spitting at God's face?"

 

It is time to make sense of things. Don't you think? And the one thing we were given to bring about a semblance of order to this world is the notion and the language of Common Sense. 

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