The life and times of a female researcher in nuclear physics
Monday, March 29, 2010
Religion as art
Consider this: God as painter. God creates many "paintings" - Christianity being but one of these, along with Buddhism, Hinduism, Voudou, Islam, nature-worship. Each piece of artwork is unique and has its own artistic reasons for existing as it does; a good painting includes dissonance, for all of the pieces taken as a whole (even those which are, individually, seemingly 'bad') add up to an aesthetic completeness. Now, a given individual may have a favorite painting. Indeed, even God may have a favorite. But this does not in the slightest imply correctness or truth. Merely because you like one painting more than another does not imbue the first with more truth or right than the latter. It may be that you are more drawn to one and, in being more "in tune" with it (the way one can be with a particular symphony or poem), are able to extract more "truth" from it - you are more moved by one piece of artwork than another. This is good inasmuch as it allows you to perceive the divine, but should not prevent you from understanding that another person gets the same "truth" from a different symphony, or painting, or sculpture.
Perhaps it's not a new idea - religious pluralism certainly isn't. But I think it helps us, as a template, to better understand the nature of the divine.
I'm a research scientist in low energy nuclear astrophysics, currently doing research in collaboration with groups across the northern hemisphere. I have a PhD in Applied Physics and a BS in Engineering Physics from well-renowned college in Colorado, have performed with several semi-professional orchestras, once was a park ranger, and read voraciously.
Oderint dum metuant (did I mention I also studied Latin?).