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Wed, Feb

An Agnostic’s Dream

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VIEW ON RELIGION - When it comes to religion, I think the agnostics have a more rational and realistic belief than the various denominations of religious believers or non-believers. This idea came to me in a dream, where the apparently unrelated math concepts of a line and a line segment were explained to me in high school. The math teacher said that there couldn't be an infinitely long straight line because over distances, even if the line deviated to the left or right slightly, it would ultimately create the circumference of an enormous circle measured in almost infinite light years . A more easy understanding of this idea can be witnessed on earth today, where it appears that we are walking on a flat surface, but since Magellan circumscribed the earth, we know it is a globe. The same is true in the universe. If you head out in any direction and travel light years in that direction, you ultimately, by the huge magnitude of light years traveled, come back to where you started, because the straight line you thought you were traveling on actually was part of a circle, beyond our ability to comprehend, because of its magnitude.

The creator of the universe, which we refer to as G-d, existed before there was such a thing as the passage of time or a here or there in what we now call the universe. Maybe this G-d made earth not too close to the sun like Venus or not too far from the sun like Mars, so that after many eons, it could support human life. And rotating 23 degrees on its axis, allowed earth to have four seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres.

An agnostic is a person who believes that in this life, nothing can be known of the existence or nature of G-d. But it occurs to me that whether or not one believes in G-d they must walk softly on the earth, because, if we do, we will create heaven on this unique earth. And if we don't, we will create hell, which has all the characteristics we are now only starting to experience with global warming attributable to over population and the over use of carbon fuels. Now more than ever, earth could be heaven, if we more equitably distributed wealth and controlled population growth, instead of allowing some people to starve, while billionaires amass fortunes that they couldn't consume in a hundred lifetimes. This is not a new phenomenon in human history, since pharaohs buit pyramids to store their wealth for the next life and we all know that none of the super rich have ever succeeded in tai8ng their wealth with them in an effort to avoid the logical consequences of death.

While there might be other inhabited planets similar to earth in the universe, recent deep space exploration by rockets sent from earth tell us we couldn't reach them within many human lifetimes, if we were able to nourish the crew for many generations necessary to reach the nearest of these solar systems. As an alternative means of communicating with these civilizations, one might try prayer.

(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second-generation teacher at LAUSD.)