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it is almost time

I am thinking that we are at the start of a pivotal time period in the history of religion.

we have reached a point where science can to some extent defy time. For the past 2000 years or so we have been riding on faith when it comes to the Christian Gospels. However, recently we have been able to date historic manuscripts from certain time periods and to some extent verify their authenticity. What with our mastery of DNA growing every year there will come a point somewhere in the near future (perhaps within the next 100 years or so) when we will be able to trace matter from any previously living person.

regardless of what you believe, it is fact that a man named Jesus walked this earth and as a direct result of this man’s life (regardless of whether or not he was truly the son of God or if in fact God exists) came Christianity. As Jesus came to Earth in human form, as we further our skills in the realm of biology we will be able to use our mastery of science to “go back” to Jesus’ time period and trace his steps and to some extent his actions. It stands to reason that if we can find a killer by unearthing traces of matter that he leaves on the crime scene, in the future when we are SO MUCH more technologically advanced we will be able to track a person through his entire lifetime by finding minute biological traces that that person left every single place he went. If Jesus truly rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, we won’t be able to find him – and if he did not, we’ll find remnants of a corpse (or some sort of evidence that he died).

this of course will either prove Christianity or quash it forever. If it proves Christianity I think that these will be the foretold “end times”. God gave human beings the gift of intelligence to master the “science” that he created. There will come a point when some sort of proof will back up (or destroy) faith. When this happens it will be a monumental event worldwide, and every reasoning human being will have his chance to choose or reject Christ as is foretold in the book of Revelations. If proof comes back that Jesus was simply a man who pulled off a great hoax, died somewhere and is found by our incredible technology, then life moves on, albiet with less meaning than before. But if Jesus was in fact the son of God who at some point in his timeline died, came back to life and then disappeared (rose to Heaven), then we will have our proof.

the hardest part about this whole scenario takes place right now. As science progresses Christianity will become harder and harder to believe until we will reach that point of proof positive or negative. Today, we understand science to such an extent that it is very hard to scientifically believe the miracles that supposedly took place when Jesus lived. It is hard to believe that although human beings are related to all other animals, who (to some extent) think and breathe and display a lot of biological similarities to human beings, that we are somehow so much more than the most evolved of all species on this earth. Of course, we seem to be the only animals who have the concept of “the sin” – and we are the only animals who seem to know what is “right”. And sinners we are – although we all know what is “right” we never, ever live up to that ideal that we set for ourselves. Even non-religious people must admit that. And yet when a dog eats your shoe, he knows he has done something wrong (hiding under the bed when you come home and discover it shredded on the floor) – and yet he did it anyway. Is this not akin to our behavior every day? And yet we are promised a glorious afterlife while our evolutionary ancestors are not. Rationally it doesn’t seem to make sense – or does it?

when I was 10 or 12 I realized that at some point mankind would be wiped out. The reasoning I had was, in an infinite timeline, at some point someone will figure out how to go back in time. Since nobody has ever visited us from the future, that time will never come. But now I think I might have been partially wrong. We can go back in time – not physically, but mentally and scientifically – and by doing so we have come to the conclusion that time had a beginning, and will eventually come back with proof about Christ. But as we do not have a truly infinite timeline, we realize that just as the universe had a beginning, it will similarly come to an end. Is that end time that we will eventually face that which was predicted in the book of Revelations? Will science, the golden child of humankind, soon bring forth proof that will herald the end of the world?

these are the questions I face lately as I research science and religion in search of the truth.

23. Mar, 2003

5 Comments

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  1. esmerel
    23. Mar, 2003 at 9:39 pm #

    You might want to read _Childhood’s End_, by Arthur C. Clarke – it’s a pretty easy read, and part of his plot runs along this theme. I thought it was pretty interesting.

  2. givemethewhip
    24. Mar, 2003 at 6:52 am #

    Don’t you think it’s possible that as science evolves, so will our understanding of the more “spiritual” nature of the Universe? Only if we cling to the personification of god and to the literal meanings of very figurative literature do we have a problem combining science and religion. Just as many people have come to reconcile the Old Testament Genesis story with science by realizing that ‘a day’ doesn’t have to mean 24 hours when it’s a representation of a truth told in parable form, people with faith in the -meaning- of God won’t have a hard time coming to grips with material evidence pro or con about any one piece of the mythology of their particular religion. If they focus on the form of god rather than the nature of god, then they might have a problem, sure. And we’ll continue to have people fighting over forms.

    But if at the heart of their belief is the knowledge that ‘god’ is merely another term for absolute truth and goodness, and that the various religions represent ways of understanding that truth and goodness, then it’s less of a problem.

    I should point out (as if it’s not obvious) that I’m a devoutly Aristotelian-Aquinian-Catholic, and far more cerebral about all of this than emotional. More into the whole ‘unmoved mover’ or ‘uncaused cause’ thing than any of the more fundamental interpretations of the Bible, or the physical trappings of the Church. I don’t feel the need to go to Mass or to pray in the more traditional sense. I understand that sort of thing is important to some people who have a different understanding of what life is all about. But I have a feeling that as science moves us farther and farther away from the “magic” parts of religion, people will move back to the philosophy. And I personally think that– rather than holding on to outdated stories and fables used to explain higher truths to the masses– moving back to philosophy is not a bad thing.

    Anyway, there’re my two cents.

    • wazsgirl
      24. Mar, 2003 at 7:08 am #

      That is actually the line of reasoning I take with my born-again relatives and, when we are calmly and rationally discussing things, tends to be something that we can agree upon. The progression of creation in genesis basically matches the scientific order of evolution.

      I wish I could get more intellectual about these things. I have for years purposely avoided thinking about it and now I realize that may be to my detriment. And spirituality does not mean that you can’t have scientific thoughts or beliefs. The more I learn about science and about the human form, the more spiritual I become. Now I just need to back up my thoughts with philosophy.

      Thank you for the interesting thoughts, Sionelle.

    • admin
      24. Mar, 2003 at 7:42 am #

      those are excellent points. And very true for most religions – at the core of many religions, God is truth and goodness. And I do remember the monkey trials where they came to the understanding that “a day” in the book of Genesis might have signified a different time period than the 24 hour day that we think of today, and I buy into that – I really do think that a lot of religious teachings have moved from the literal toward the figurative, or from the specific to the broad, and I think this is a good thing. But I think that what you have said, though it does apply to many religions, does not in fact apply toward Christianity. Christianity has something different from the other religions – in Christianity, God came to Earth in human form. Jesus Christ was God in human form; thus, a man. It is true that Buddha and Mohammad were also men, but Jesus is different as in Christianity he is heralded as the son of God.

      now, whereas most religions lie solely in the realm of faith and cannot be proven by science, the fact that Christianity revolves around the notion that Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven is a notion that, eventually, science will be able to prove or disprove. If Jesus was God, then Christianity is true. If Jesus was a man, then Christianity is false. The death and rebirth of Jesus is not an outdated story or a fable to explain higher truths to the masses, it is in fact the core of the Christian religion – without it, Christianity is nothing but advice on how you might live your life before the great blackness comes.

      I’m not trying to prove Christianity or to preach or to say whether I believe or don’t believe in Christianity – religion is very personal and I’m not trying to push people one way or the other. But I do think that as we further master technology, we will start really being able to figuratively “go back in time” by using incredibly sophisticated machinery and figure out what really happened. When we do, whatever the outcome, it will change the Western world.

  3. da_zhuang
    24. Mar, 2003 at 8:03 am #

    Interesting reading…

    … on the nature of the Human Soul, if you’re interested:

    Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul. Brought up some interesting concepts that I’ve seen fragments of in several of the eastern religions I’ve been reading up on, as well as Christianity.

    Technically it’s a new age book, not really fact or fiction. If it really is fiction, it’s one of the most well crafted fictional pieces I’ve ever read.

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