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Father Len responds to Howard’s conflicted thoughts and feelings about faith and religion and his strong desire to figure out what he believes about the existence of God.
Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom
- “Howard Stern Comes Again” by Howard Stern
- Exploring the mysteries of life puts us on the road to wisdom.
- Curiosity is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Humanity tends to pervert most things like politics, nature, marriage, and religion.
- Religion is mandated to try to clean up the corrupting impulses of human beings.
- Spirituality is not an alternative to hypocrisy in religion. Spiritual integrity is dependent on what each individual declares it to be. Spirituality is accountable only to the individual. Religion is accountable to God. Spirituality is not a meaningful alternative to religion.
- Our brains are hardwired to seek meaning and connection with God.
- “Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science And the Biology of Belief” by Andrew Newberg, Eugene D’Aquili, Vince Rause
- The fact that there are sociopaths in religion and business and schools doesn’t invalidate religion any more than it does business and education.
- You don’t enter religion because you’re perfect. You enter religion as a way to become a better person.
- Howard wonders if all the hours he spent studying Scripture as a kid were a waste of time and why his parents, who weren’t living a spiritual life, would make him do that.
- Parents who preach religion to their kids, but don’t practice it, introduce their children to a life of hypocrisy.
- Howard struggles to understand the meaning of the Bible story of Abraham, Sarah and their “miracle” son Isaac.
- Mothers tend to be the teachers of faith to their children, but if they see their fathers not practicing religion, they probably won’t either.
- Wrestling with difficult to understand passages in the Bible helps develop the skill of looking at things differently and discovering their true meaning.
- Real faith and religion are often best demonstrated by the elderly.
- Howard wonders if logic will help him decide whether to believe in God.
- Human beings seldom make decisions based on logic.
- The Dunning-Kruger Effect states that “dumb” people think they are smarter than they are and truly smart people are awed by how much they need to learn.
- “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” – Confucius
- “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” – Charles Darwin
- “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare
- The greatest scientists in history used logic and faith to come to their belief in God.
- The greatest mystery of all is God. Even the Angels in the Bible, when seeing God, kept repeating, you are different, you are different, you are different. There is no way to adequately define God.
- Heaven is this community of unconditional love that narcissists are unlikely to understand because in their world everything is about them.