Questions beyond answers

We are all born with the power to reason: A + B must equal C; I think therefore I am (Descartes); I die therefore I cannot think therefore I am not.

But we are all born also with the power of imagination: if A + B must equal C what happens if somehow it is X? Or what if the power of being or of thought actually transcends death, (the basis of all religion) in which case I think therefore I am not? So 'I' cannot actually die other than in the physical sense?

Such questions can only be answered through the exercise of imagination way beyond any human reason.We ask ourselves and our parents all kinds of such dead end questions when we are very little but generally stop asking them as we grow up. At some point we substitute belief for imagination because imagination has simply become too difficult for most of us. We sense that it can lead us into danger, indeed into a state of madness. Belief on the other hand is safe. Belief, however shallow, is a base for our culture, our religion. Above all, belief is comfortable.

However, belief in the rightness of a culture or a religion is also what allows us to kill without conscience, even when our victims happen to be a cellar full of schoolchildren in East London in 1942 or the occupants of an Austrian concentration camp or a Vietnamese village or a pair of New York towers or, on Saturday, an island in a Norwegian lake.

Whatever happened to that first (Christian) commandment? Thou shalt not kill?

Questions without answers.

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