As most of you know, I was in the Hospital last August, with a severe attack of COPD. The reasons I have it are immaterial, because I do have it. It began to develop about 15 years ago, then started to became less manageable after 2 years...and slowly went out of control. I have been in the hospital (Not just ER), now, 2 times in less than 6 months, and a third time they wanted me to stay overnight. I declined.
But this last time there was a CT. They found "Suspicious spots" on my lungs. They want to do a biopsy. I have 3 options, 2 of which actually yield the same result. 1) I can have the biopsy. 2) I can decline it, or 3) I can delay it. The last one is the same result as number 2. It's not standing still. It is impossible to stand still.
I've read about the biopsy procedure. I know what it does. I know what the results can be. And the results are the same for all paths. Ultimately, the path will end in a hole down the road. The paths circle back. And the result is the same.
I have sought advice from family, friends, physicians. Ultimately, I make the final decision. And yet the result is out of my hands. I think of the words I have often read, "Which one of you by worrying can add a single cubit to his height?" (Luke 12:25)
Yet, each option gives two choices:
Having it will say if it is malignant or not. Then the choice is treatment or non-treatment. And the yes or no decision leads to a result that is out of my hands: It works or not. And sometime in the future after my decision is made, my body is dust anyway. The other two routes just branch out into "yes or no" and finally the same result -- dust. ALL choices ultimately lead to physical death.
At this moment, anyway, my choice has been made. Future options, or changes in the path all in involve risk and the YES or NO options. And the result is still the same.
Yet, I am comfortable with my choice. It is because I feel that God will guide me into the best choice. And if that choice is a faster physical death, so be it. I've had 52 years, there is still some more time ahead. But I don't know how much. In fact, NOBODY knows how much. No mortal can!
Now, how do Atheists fit in here? Well, I've met another (It's not hard to find someone on Twitter who doesn't believe.). His questions are genuine, I can see that. And I can see (Despite what he says) that he is actually struggling with his choice. I do understand. He wants to be convinced that he has made the right choice. The questions he asks are not those of a closed mind. He wants to understand. I truly sympathize. It is a matter of FAITH. He asks "Will God burn those who do not find Him?" I point out "Seek, and you shall find. Ask, and it shall be given to you...." So he says the Bible is wrong -- I say no, because it is not those who do not FIND, but those who reject.
It is a principle of law: Ignorance is no excuse. It is also a principle of the Bible. But in FAIRNESS, God doesn't punish those who break the law knowingly with the same severity. Those who know the law but do not keep shall receive a severe beating. Those who do not know the law will receive a light beating.
I don't claim to understand God's ways. Nor do I claim perfection in Biblical interpretation. We need to temper what we have read with our knowledge of what is. For instance, The Bible says 6 days for the Universe...Or "heavens and Earth" if you prefer. It also says that "A thousand years is but a day in thy sight when it is passed, or a watch in the night." But consider: Did anyone really know what a BILLION was at that time? Perhaps the term THOUSAND meant BILLION. When you do the math, it calculates to almost the figures that science has given.
People often misquote the Bible. It's easy to do.
To the guy with whom I am speaking on Twitter: Science and faith and spirituality are not mutually exclusive. They are complimentary. It is sometimes difficult to see the connection. We both want to be convince that we are right. We seek out opinions, dwell on the past, try to perceive the future.
Thing is, I know where my physical future leads when my decisions are made. While my spiritual existence is in doubt to many, it is not to me. But really -- if there is no beyond, what is the point in our existence? I don't think that you can answer that. But consider this -- As far back as recorded history goes, there have been people who have worshiped gods, goddesses, nature, and the like. Can the billions of people who ever lived on this earth ALL be wrong?
My decision, my choice, my responsibility. Your decision, your choice, your responsibility. And we will all share the same PHYSICAL fate. You, and no one else, can deny this. We can tell each other we're wrong. And in all fairness, what mortal is qualified to tell another that his/her belief is wrong? We can share our beliefs. But we must also accept each other's belief that we're right. Until such time that your indisputable evidence arises for you, my evidence (which is indisputable for me) is going to be no more than hearsay for you. I guess it's part and parcel of being human....AS I SEE IT.