Quote of the Day (Harold S. Kushner)

Quote of the Day (Harold S. Kushner) January 6, 2009
The name “God” stands for all those qualities in the world and in ourselves which our religious tradition labels as divine, that is, as comprising full human spiritual development, fashioning Man into what he is at his best and most fully realized. If Truth, Justice, Mercy, Generosity, Love are among the things we need to be genuine human beings, to be, in the Biblical phrase, men “in God’s image”, then the name “God” stands for the existence of these qualities in the world and the existence of a corresponding impulse toward them in every human soul…Belief in God means believing that the universe has order and direction, that it encourages human goodness and moral growth and that the impulse each of us feels to be a good person is a reflection of the purposefulness existing in the cosmos at large.

— Harold S. Kushner, When Children ask about God (New York: Schocken, 1989) pp.16-17.
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  • Purpose is a human construction, not a ‘divine’ one. Each individual in free societies must decide where they fit within purposes of certain groups and that is a personal decision and choice. It is not about “God”, it is about personal conviction. Characteristics that define “God’s image” can be found within any group that is based on ethical values. So, there is not a “one way” of “god’s will”, but what is it that is most beneficial and prospering in the whole scheme of things for one’s life….

  • I don’t think Kushner would disagree, except in the sense that, just as some things may be inherently nourishing food for human consumption, some things may be inherently spiritually beneficial or detrimental for human beings, irrespective of individual choice.

  • You actually believe another can ascertain what is “spiritually beneficial” for another…and without knowing them or having a relationship with them? And what is spirituality? I don’t think such a thing exists.

  • In light of my last comment, as I have always felt so strongly about others determining another’s “whatever”….In my naive years, I thought that the “new covenant” promised that “god’s law was written on the heart, where no man would have to teach another to “know the Lord” for they would all know me, from the least to the great”…of course it was within my understanding of covenant theology, and relationship with god, etc. etc….how does anyone justify “lording it over another, as the gentiles” (jesus)….