21 November 2016: Book ‘Matter and What Matters’ by Lionel Sharman Chapt 10 – led by Ian

With the backdrop of the Presidential election in the US, we discussed the seemingly dawning of a post-factual, post-truth age; lies are put forward as truth, those that wish to believe do – the rejection by non-believers is not important or relevant.  The lies are ‘revisited/re-interpreted’ later.

As God is not interventionist what are the implications for biblical themes of judgement, prayer and petition?  What is the concept of ‘fairness’ – is there any, how might it be measured or recognised?  Is an earthquake fair?  Is nature fair or simply ‘neutral’?  Does judgement fall on communities eg bush clearance resulting in land slips and local climate changes? Karma – what goes around comes around.  The group thought we all needed to work together, to cooperate to create a ‘fairer’, by which we meant more equitable, society.  There is never a single answer to What is the mind of God?

Humans are social creatures and therefore need to belong, want to feel part of some affiliation – hence clubs, gangs; the Jews of the Old Testament had a tribal identity.  Over time tribes have morphed into principalities, into countries/nations and more recently, as a consequence of globalisation, into global corporates.  Corporates are replacing national governments as the decision makers eg via free trade agreements.  The poem by Epicurus assumes an interventionist god – but what if god is more laize faire? Is there the possibility of a wisdom dimension of the universe that people can tap into through prayer and mediation?

Ian Harris