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Kant said that no one could or would ever empirically establish whether or not god exists, so why bother? People scurrying about the “Holy” Land gathering up broken pots in ancient garbage heaps, and digging out the battered remnants of distant lives, will not thereby prove or disprove the presence of any holy spirit at any site at any time. The fact that some bricks are scorched in Jericho and that the prostitute-traitor’s (read the book) house “may be that one” are conclusive of destruction, but mute on the subject of an invisible god’s genuine and verifiable machination causing it.
But people need to believe: in anything, in something, the more hopeful, the better. The less plausible, still acceptable (see: Mormons, Scientologists, the knuckleheads in tenny-runners who went off to see the comet, Jim Jones, et al), provided the final reward remains colossal (so you want to be a millionaire?). Hope, aka faith, springs eternal for all, and, as Martha says, “That’s a good thing.” However, wishing on a star” doesn’t pay the bills, so it helps if the “religion” is also a “cash cow.”
“Faith is belief in things unseen,” said “St. Paul” a.k.a. Saul of Tarsus, inventor of the Paulist Christian doctrine, which was adopted by the Roman Emperor Constantine as a weapon against his political enemies, cobbling together an ad hoc “holy” text to be used as a road map for political activities. It is in fact, anything anyone wants it to be. Believe it, or not. JL/PDX:10/27/06.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and fail to live. It will not do.” – Prof. Dumbledore (Richard Harris), Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Ancient Egyptian proverb:
“A trifle, a little, the likeness of a dream, and death comes as the end…”