Now, I Ask You

Spending a lot of time with God, the temptation is to ask a lot of questions. Especially questions that don’t lend themselves to easy answers. Of course, we’ve all been told how God feels about people that give in to temptation.

It is somewhat interesting though, to think about the different classes of questions and who we go to get the answers.

There are hard questions, but questions that we’re pretty sure have answers. For those we turn to scientists. God tells me that the Scientific Method is the best thing going when it comes to answering questions. He also told me that setting up a double-blind experiment to find out what’s for dinner is going more than a little overboard.

Then there’s the questions that probably don’t have definitive answers, but where working on the question nonetheless has value. This includes questions like “is murder always wrong” and “does my dog really think I’m never coming back every time I leave the house,” but not “does my chewing gum lose it’s flavor on the bedpost overnight.” These are the questions that we give over to philosophers. Philosophers seem pretty keen on questions with slippery answers, but you probably don’t want to ask them if slippery answers provide for all their lubrication needs.

Then there’s the final class of questions: Questions that can’t be answered at all, at least not if we’re honest about it. Those are the questions we give over to religion. Why are we here? Or it’s alternate phrasing, “does man have a purpose?” Is there life after death? The big thing about religions is they don’t mind taking a stand. You give them a big question and they have no problem with coming up with an answer. Lack of evidence doesn’t deter them. Lack of insight doesn’t deter them. The only thing that does seem to deter them is lack of funds, but that hasn’t proven to be much of a problem.

I asked God about that final class of questions. What I wanted to know, was, is it a good idea to be asking them at all? Do we need to ask them to be able to find out which ones are really type two and not type three? Do we have to ask them just to satisfy some weird little itch in our brains? God gave me a long look. I was starting to get the feeling that I had just asked one of those type three questions and he wasn’t going to give me an answer. Then he got a mischievous grin on his face and told me that it was good to ask any questions we felt like asking, as long as we didn’t make pests of ourselves to anyone we asked.

Then he told me that of course we also shouldn’t believe any answers we get. Especially ones we get from someone else.

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