GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast

110. How To Live | Series: Two Philosophers Wrestle With God | Dialogue 12 [Part 1]

January 19, 2023 Jerry L. Martin, Scott Langdon, Richard Oxenberg
GOD: An Autobiography, As Told to a Philosopher - The Podcast
110. How To Live | Series: Two Philosophers Wrestle With God | Dialogue 12 [Part 1]
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Is there a theological answer to controversial questions like abortion, same-sex marriage, and gender identity? 

Explore the implications of God: An Autobiography with two philosophers who discuss love, human partnership and evolution with God, and the shared struggle to come up with the best answers for how to live.

MEET THE GUESTS- Dr. Richard Oxenberg

FIND THE SITES- Theology Without Walls | What is God: An Autobiography?

BUY THE BOOKS- God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher | Theology Without Walls: The Transreligious Imperative | On The Meaning Of Human Being: Heidegger And The Bible In Dialogue

LISTEN TO RELEVANT EPISODES- Two Philosophers Wrestle With God: The Takeaway [Part 1]; [Part 2] | The Essential Project Of The Divine: [Part 1]; [Part 2]

-Share your story or experience with God-

God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher, is written by Dr. Jerry L. Martin, an agnostic philosopher who heard the voice of God and recorded their conversations.

The podcast began with the Dramatic Adaptation of the book and now has several series:

WATCH- Theology Without Walls | Theology Without Walls

READ- I Did Not Feel Ineffable 

#twophilosopherswrestlewithgod #philosophyandreligion

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Scott Langdon [00:00:17] This is God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. A dramatic adaptation and continuing discussion of the book God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin. He was a lifelong agnostic, but one day he had an occasion to pray. To his vast surprise, God answered- in words. Being a philosopher, he had a lot of questions, and God had a lot to tell him. Episode 110. 

Scott Langdon [00:01:09] Hello and welcome to episode 110 of God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. I'm your host, Scott Langdon. We return this week to our series Where Two Philosophers Wrestle With God for part one of the 12th and final dialogue between doctors Jerry L Martin and Richard Oxenberg. In this 12th conversation, Richard and Jerry, look at some of the practical applications that everyone everywhere can take from the message of this modern revelation in our modern time. Remember, you can hear the complete audio adaptation of the book any time by beginning with episode one of our podcast and listening through episode 44. I hope you enjoy the episode. We begin with Jerry speaking first. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:00] Well, hello, Richard Oxenberg. Looking forward to another dialogue, this time on what I sometimes think of as life wisdom or life lessons. What are the takeaways for a daily life in God: An Autobiography?

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:02:14] So what we've been discussing so far is largely the big theological vision. And so, what we're talking about today is how does that theological vision affect the way in which people live their lives? Right. That's what we want to sort of discuss. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin [00:02:32] Yeah. I thought in the last dialogue, Richard, you gave a beautiful, you might say, account. You know, it's kind of synopsis, you know, of the basic vision of God: An Autobiography. Of God coming into the world, you might say, splintering in all different directions, and then working to bring it all together again. And but you articulated it much better than that brief statement.  

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:02:59] Maybe the most distinctive thing about the book is the way in which it would affect, if we were to accept it, the way that religious people think about themselves and their relationship to other religions. You know, I was looking at I think it was the theologian Alan Race. Who first came up with the typology of religions being, seeing themselves as either exclusivist, inclusivist, or pluralist. Where exclusivism is the view that one religion is correct and all the others are not. Inclusivism is the view that they all are kind of saying the same thing and can be rolled up into one universal religion. At least that's the way that I've heard it expressed. And pluralism is the view that each of the religions have some aspect of the truth. They all reflect some dimension of the truth. But it occurred to me as I was actually thinking about talking with you about this today, that there's maybe a fourth way of thinking about things. Which maybe we could call complementalism.

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Okay. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg The view that, and this seemed to be what was expressed in the book--. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg The view that the religions are distinctive, they're not all the same, they can't simply be folded into one another. But on the other hand, the new approach to religion that is being suggested by the book is not simply that each different religion respect one another, but that they learn from one another. And when you put them together, you get something more complete then you get when each of them are separate. And that's not only it, it seems to me significant from a theological point of view, but also from the point of view of religious practice. The idea that people can begin to benefit from the practices of other religions. And so the quote in the book that struck me as central to this notion is on page 358, "…You stand on the threshold of a new spiritual era, a new axial age, in which, for the first time, spiritually attuned individuals will draw their understanding of spiritual reality, not just from scriptures of their own religious tradition, but from the plenitude of My communications to men and women.”

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:05:35] So if that if that idea were to become current in all the different religions, it would radically change the way in which the religions relate to one another, the way in which religious people think about themselves, and the way in which spirituality is pursued in in the world. So, I thought maybe we'd start by talking about that kind of exchange. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:06:01] Well, that's what I'm told, maybe in that same section, this is a near-quote, that the division of labor can still continue. In other words, each one continues to do its thing because in God: An Autobiography, God turns out to be a very multiplex being with many aspects, many dimensions. And all of that would almost be overwhelming for a single culture to have tried to develop from the get go, you might say. They've been developed now, and so we can take in a lot of the fruits, but we can continue down our paths in our worship, for example, but understanding this is not the whole story. It's not the only path. It's not the only set of truths. There are many truths, and there's no reason for one set of truths to contradict another set of truths, even though they're different, different vocabularies, maybe different aspects of the divine, different aspects of human life. But that's fine. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:07:02] And so what we can imagine I mean, in other words, this has relevance for theologians, and I know that you've started the Theology Without Walls project, which is related to this--. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg But that's at the theological level, and we wanted to talk a little bit more about the practical level. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:07:17] Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:07:18] From a practical point of view, it seemed to me, the average person going to church or going to synagogue with this understanding of religion would now be open to learning, deepening their own spirituality through learning about in connection with, say, Buddhism, or Hinduism, or--Judaism could see the truth in Christianity. Christianity can see the truth in the Talmud and so forth, and each could be enriched by the other. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:07:53]  Yes, exactly. They can do serious study of each other or just casual, you know, bring in a lecturer. And some churches do that already, they bring in lecturers on the different religions, in part to be citizens of the 21st century of the whole world. And one of the things I'm told, you know, I kind of imagine at first, like a big swap meet, we're all going to get together and, oh, I see your truths, you see my truths, we sort of trade. And then it would kind of be over. You know, each one, we all walk away from the swap meet happy and more enlightened, having a bigger of a bag of spiritual insights. But I'm told, no, it's not just that, this will be a dynamic process, because once you understand the truths and other traditions, well, that's going to affect your own thinking. And even if you're in your worship, you know, you're still right down the line, you do what you always done. You're going to be doing it a new way with a new understanding, and at just thinking a level, you're going to be expanding and it will be dynamic because maybe you think, well, I agree with that, but I don't agree with this. And as I filter it through, you think of the Bhagavad Gita action without attachment to results. Well, you can translate that into Christian forms, but maybe the Christian forms would be translated somewhat differently after you take in the Bhagavad Gita, the action without attachment to results. And that fits very nicely in a Christian tradition, and probably in the Jewish tradition, and other traditions as well. That's why it's generally recognized as an important spiritual document. But each one, each person, each religious tradition, and each person on their own, because we're all kind of multiplex these days, is going to then take that insight and apply it and develop it in his or her own way. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:09:56]  Yes. And of course, it reinforces the basic religious teaching, and Christianity, and also in Judaism, of love your neighbor as yourself. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:10:06] Exactly. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:10:07] We're now living in a global world where everybody on Earth is our neighbor. And to sort of have these sort of narrow religious sensibilities where you believe that only your religion is the correct one, then you're suspicious of every other religion, and you live in a kind of, a sense of suspicion and threat. If one were to embrace this idea, then that would drop away. And not only would religion be able to dialogue with one another in order to better understand one another, but they would dialogue with one another in order to better understand themselves. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:10:41] And to get a better understanding of reality. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:10:44] And a better understanding of reality. One of my favorite passages in the book, a little moment in the book in which God is talking about the importance of individual personhood. And how the ultimate goal of spirituality is not to merge into some amorphous, absolute, as it is sometimes suggested in mystical traditions. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:11:07] Right. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:11:08]  And then you say to God. So in other words, mystics get it all wrong. God responds, “Don't get carried away.”

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:11:19] Yeah, I'm either or, you know either, or. No, no, no. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:11:24] Don't get carried away, because the point is that there's something to be learned from the mystical notion of unity. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yeah, right. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg And there's, from that mystical experience of unity, we can then sort of bring that experience back into the world of diversity. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:11:45] Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:11:45] And live in a sort of greater, stronger communion with one another. Having recognized the ultimate unity underneath the diversity. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:11:55] Yes. Yes. And our own unity with the divine, you know, the God in us, and the us in God as well, which applies to our neighbor, including our neighbor halfway around the world, as well. I like when we visited in India, there's this, I guess, what is the word- namaste? Anyway, they kind of bowed towards you with prayerful hands, and the way that was explained to me, you know, the people who work at the hotel do it, that it's the God in me greets the God in you. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:12:27] Right, right. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:12:27] And I thought with your bitterest enemy, you can do that because it's not the God in them that you object to, you know, it's that they aren't quite living up to the God within them, often.

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:12:42] And of course that's implicit in the sort of interesting, paradoxical, but not contradictory, notion that went through the entire book of what we might call the dialectic of self and other. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg Right? On one level, we are different from one another, and on another level, we are in union with one another. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg And both of those things need to be held in our understanding in order to properly live life and relate to one another. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:13:16] Yeah. Yeah, and then our action then would manifest that, hopefully. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:13:21] Yeah. Yeah. And it occurred to me also that if the average religious devotee were to start embracing this notion. It would also lead to a different approach to, well, the way I'm thinking of it is we've moved from a dogmatic approach to religion to what I would think of as a dialectical approach to religion. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:13:39] Yeah, dialectical, it's kind of dialogical, a creative process where the elements that aren't identical, that are differentiated, are in a kind of productive tension or development with each other and lead to something higher than you start out with. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:13:57] Right. So you don't simply insist upon your own point of view as being the one and only truth, but you recognize that even the opposing point of view may allow and enriching of your own point of view. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:14:15] It may open up possibilities that your own point of view didn't even think about, you know, and that it's not alien to your point of view, but it's a whole new dimension. I remember the Harvard scholar Diana Eck writing a book, maybe it's in Darshan, but it's something like my trip from, oh I forgot the city in Montana starts with B, anyway, to Banaras, India. From her childhood as a Methodist in a Methodist town to the holy city in India, and anyway, she notices with surprise the priest come and play with the God, and they bring like toys and stuff. Once you get into the Hindu tradition, this is Krishna, who's the God in question, many of the stories are about Krishna's boyhood. He was a bit of a prankster as a boy. And, well, that's a you know, we have very little about, say, in the Christian tradition. I say we because that's my upbringing, very little about the childhood of Jesus. So there's a little there, anyway we could go into-- He wowed the people in the temple. Yes. And that Jesus would be a child and play, for example, and get into the kind of childish mischief, is completely outside the way Christians think about it and whether it's a good thing to add or not, I mean, that's not for me to say. But each person can take that in and-- 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:15:35] you could see how it could lead to a certain gaiety or joyousness. You know, Jesus, of course, says, and you can find, again, the way that you can find all of the things. Jesus says suffer the little children to come under me. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yes! That's right. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg There is the kingdom of Heaven. You get the kingdom of Heaven unless you're like a little child. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yes. Yes.

Dr. Richard Oxenberg So, there's a holy dimension to the sort of joyous innocence that we see in little children. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg And, maybe that's part of what being expressed in that playing with Krishna. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:16:02] So, it just opens one up to focus on something. I suppose all well read in the well-versed Christians would know those passages, and yet they may never have focused on.

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:16:49] So, what we might actually say, and I think it probably would prove to be true, is that many of the religions have everything within them, but with different emphasis. And when you see the emphasis in another religion, that could actually allow you to recognize the meaning of a passage in your own religion that tends to get under emphasized. You know, as with playing with the child Krishna. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:17:15] Yes, that's a lot of what comparative theology, the field of comparative theology does, is exactly that. You read sort of, I'm thinking of the work of Francis Clooney, of course, where he reads about a Hindu goddess in parallel with some of the major texts of the tradition venerating Mary, mother of God. And Mary is not a goddess, that's one of the differences. But she has a sort of halo, nevertheless, and so, he explores what does one learn? Most religions do have a feminine, divine. Christianity gets that in through the mother of God. And, you know, it's a whole thing then to explore and think about what's the implication of Jesus having this devoted mother? You know? 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:18:05] Yes, I think in Judaism we have the Shekhinah, which is also a feminine. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:18:08] Yes, the Shekhinah, yes. Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:18:10] And, so it also occurred to me that if, so, if we continue with this task, we would replace the doctrine of infallibilism, the notion that revelation is infallible, with the notion of a kind of creative, fallibilism.  I'm thinking of, because of course, the book is interesting, not only I mean, I've always found this to be one of the more interesting dimensions of it, that it's not only interesting in terms of what God had to say to you--But also in terms of an examination of the way revelation itself works. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:18:45] Yes. Yes, that's right. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:18:48] You know, and at one point, God says that you are a fallible receptor. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:18:53] Yes. Yes. There's nothing infallible here. And I'm not given any authority, or like founder of a religion, or some say, this is the one true word. No, I'm asked what is my role is, I'm told, is to report seriously what you're told when you pray, period. No claim to infallibility, no claim to found a religion. But it's, human beings are fallible instruments in every revelation to a human being. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:19:26] And so we can extend that to all of the revelations, whether we're talking about the Old Testament, or the New Testament, or the Koran, or the Hindu Vedas, or whatever is regarded as revelatory, should be also recognized as fallible. And it occurred to me, as I was reading through some of the passages for today, that the fallibility exists on two dimensions. Well, this is–

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:20:13] I don't focus on that, but it's an evolving God, not a-- 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:20:17] Evolving God. God says in a number of places in the book, well, I was young then. I didn't fully understand things then, I've learned something since then. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:20:29] Yes, yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:20:30] And that, you know, I keep saying, I mean, so different from the way we tend to think about God. But it's really ha, it seemed to me, once again, practical implications--  The way that we address some of the basic questions of the moral questions. There is, along with what we might call the fallibility of God or the fallibilism of God, there is the notion that human beings and God are working together.

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:21:01] Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:21:02] Right? In other words, God is getting at the truth through our struggling to get at the truth. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg So it's not that God is up high with all the truth and we're just not receiving it perfectly. It's that there is this ongoing partnership between the human and the divine, trying to see, trying to basically figure out what the best way to go about living is. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:21:30] Yes. Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:21:30] And we're in it together. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:21:32] Yes. I always think of that moment. Is it about Sodom? I get Sodom and Gomorrah mixed up. But where Abraham, the Abraham who when He said, go sacrifice your son, got up the next morning and headed for the mountain, that same Abraham of total obedience says, wait a minute, what if there are righteous means there? Are we going to destroy the whole city for them? And, what if there are 50? Anyways, he argues with God and basically, as I take it, says, you know, live up to your job description, God, you're supposed to be just. And God kind of gives in says, well, if there are ten righteous men, I'll save it. God learned, obviously kind of learned something from that about oh, part of my job is to provide justice and be an exemplar of justice. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:22:27] Yeah. And you know, what we could almost say is that, and it's an interesting, you know, exactly what the metaphysics of it is, I guess gets complicated. In order for God to learn something from Abraham, I mean, there's a sense in which, and we sort of get this in passages in the book that are somewhat enigmatic, but nevertheless, where God says it was, I think it's in the passage on Hinduism, says I learned that I had an Atman through the fact that human beings learned that they have an Atman. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:23:00] Yes, that's right. Right. Right. It's as though, in some sense, He must have kind-of vaguely known it all along, but this is how a lot of learning is, Atman, you know, giving it a word and a concept, said, oh, yeah, that's right, I have one of those, God says, now articulated in this human language. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:23:20] Yeah. And the implication of that is that when we discover something, our discovering of something is God's discovery. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:23:30] Yes, yes, yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:23:32] You know, that God is discovering it through our discovering it, and that's the sort of intimacy of the partnership involved. I'll read a passage from page 167, in which God says, “I am limited and incomplete–  in a sense, not all powerful; in a sense, not all-knowing; in a sense, not all-good. I am searching for My own fullness, and since I am also the World– the totality– I – the world– mankind are all seeking fulfillment (fullness) together in partnership.”

 Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:24:13] It was a very early dialogue with God, and these ideas were just--blew me away. You know, I thought, what? You know, I said to God, I think right after that, you just contradicted the three main attributes of God as traditionally conceived. And well, okay, God isn't disturbed that He doesn't conform to some human idea. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:24:39] So then it occurred to me as I was thinking about this, that this then leads to, I mean, so one of the big questions that one could ask and that I've asked as I've read through the book, is well, what does this tell us about the abortion controversy? 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:24:55] Yeah, these things. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:24:56]  What does this tell us about how to approach the question of homosexual marriage? Or how to approach the question of the transgender people. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:25:07] Right. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:25:07] You know, all these questions that have such-- also polarizing, from a religious point of view, and, you know, there are religious people have very, very firm understandings of these things. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:25:19] They have codes of behavior that are divinely derived. You know, I mean, after all, that they pledged their lives to. Yeah, I was thinking in preparation for this dialogue, Richard, you know, what are the instruments? I was thinking of harmony because that's sort of where we left off in the last, but a lot of what we are talking about here is how do we take all these different disparate parts, and people, and so forth, and religions, and get some kind of harmony out of them, get some kind of integration or something where they work together rather than at odds. And so I was thinking, what are the instruments of harmony or of unity or of bringing things together? And what is also a major theme in the book said over and over to the point I object as often do at some point, I say, you know, it sounds like a Hallmark card. Is it all just love, love, love. Well, God says yeah, that about sums it up. And one of the major instruments of harmony and integration and healing is love. And one of the things we're talking about, love may tell you something about how to treat these questions, but it also tells you something about how to treat the people who disagree with you.  About these questions. And I know, I learned some years ago I had a young woman working for me, a Catholic convert, who was extremely anti-abortion to the extent that on weekends she would go picket at clinics and that kind of thing. And she was a very fine young woman, and we went to sitting around at a table waiting for a dinner speaker together, and the guy at the table, a Notre Dame graduate, was talking in great contempt about the university for not giving an award or something to some politician who was pro-choice. And I thought she would just jump out of her chair and lunge at him, she said nothing. And I asked afterwards, "You didn't say anything to that guy. Why not?" She said, "I couldn't think of anything loving to say," that is good advice. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:27:44]  Ahuh. Although, maybe we could take it one step further... 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:27:49] Okay. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:27:49] And suggest that one can think of something loving to say. In other words-- 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Well, I don't know what she could have said--  

Dr. Richard Oxenberg  What I'm saying is that we can lovingly disagree. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin Yes. Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:28:01]  And the reason that we can lovingly disagree is because, and this is what I get from the book, I don't know if you get the same thing, but this is what I get from it. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:28:11] Yeah. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:28:11] What the matter is actually not settled. It's not as if there is some absolute certain understanding of how to deal with the abortion question written up in the heavens. Yeah, and it's just a matter of our. Acknowledging it or not. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:28:31] Right. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:28:31] It's that the abortion question is a complicated issue-- It involves certain things that, you know, that we may not really fully understand. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:28:41] Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:28:42] It is something that we, together with God, and when I say together with God, I mean in this context, together with our loving impulses--

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:28:54] Yes. Yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:28:55] Must struggle to come up with the best answer that we can come up with for now. 

Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:29:04]  Yes. Realizing, in that context also, our fallibility and what you were calling a moment ago, creative fallibilism, or something like that, as a creator form of fallibility, and it's also called humility. Humility, being open to a different point of view, even when you come to an earnest conclusion that seems to you sound, still, you know that that's not necessarily the final word because you're not infallible, and as you point out, these issues evolve in ways, in part with some of these things we're talking about, medical technology changes the facts on the ground that you're dealing with. So I think that notion of creative fallibilism of approaching these things with humility, with love, with our own earnest commitments, but at the same time respecting the other person has other earnest commitments, and you've got to take them all into account. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:30:05] And I think it's helpful here to sort of recognize, and I guess, again, this is a kind of implication of the book, that our struggling with these questions in an earnest and loving way-- Is, also God struggling with the question.  It's like God is sitting there with the definitive answer. God is, in some sense, trying to figure it out with us, and we are trying to figure it out with God. And we're going to probably make mistakes, but maybe, you know, the very fact that there are such different views and such strong opinions on both sides certainly suggests that there's something valid. There's some valid concern that both sides have, that they need to somehow find a way of being both respectful of the other. 

 Dr. Jerry  L. Martin [00:30:59]  Yeah, that's often the case. That's often the case. And then you might take that other valid points into account and still come to your same earnest conclusion on one side of a question, but just to have taken it into account as being held by in good faith. There's a tendency not only to be dogmatic about the opinions, but to demonize the people who disagree with you. And everybody knows that on all sides, we live in a peculiarly pluralistic time, and a good example in a way, because it's not people start getting steamed up when you talk about things like abortion, gay marriage, and so forth, but oh, vegetarianism. I've often thought that it may well be, I'm not a vegetarian. I don't feel any impulse shown in that direction. Nothing leads me to open that door for serious exploration. On the other hand, I've often thought it's perfectly conceivable, especially as one finds many ways to produce tasty protein, that there will become a time where people look back on our era with shock and horror. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg Oh yeah. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin They knew animals suffered, and yet they ate them-- 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg [00:32:19] It's like we would-- we're somewhat shocked at the idea of animal sacrifice. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin Yes! yes. 

Dr. Richard Oxenberg Right. I mean, if we went into a church and the priest said, okay, now we're going to sacrifice a donkey or whatever and, you know, I think everybody would be a little bit shocked by it. 

Dr. Jerry L. Martin They would all be very disturbed by that, and yet that's one of the most widespread religious rituals in world culture. 

Scott Langdon Thank you for listening. To God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. Subscribe for free today wherever you listen to your podcasts and hear a new episode every week. You can hear the complete dramatic adaptation of God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin, by beginning with episode one of our podcast and listening through its conclusion with Episode 44. You can read the original true story in the book from which this podcast is adapted. God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher, available now at Amazon.com, and always at godanautobiography.com. Pick up your own copy today. If you have any questions about this or any other episode, please email us at questions@godanautobiography.com and experience the world from God's perspective as it was told to a philosopher. This is Scott Langdon. I'll see you next time.

Theological Vision | Religious Typology- Complementalism
A Better Understanding Of Reality
Playing With Gods | Krishna And Jesus
Comparative Theology | Feminine God in Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism
A Partnership With God Beyond Metaphysics | God Learning From Abraham
Controversial Questions | Instruments Of Love, Harmony and Unity
Living Rightly
Outro And Contact Information