***3rd person P.O.V. Inside Erik's office
"Karl, I don't think I need to introduce Jane to you? " Erik asked as they all took sat.
"Definitely not. It would be bad for me if I didn't even recognize one of the leading if not first astrophysicists. Nice to meet you, Miss Foster." Kar-el nodded to jane to which she smiled appropriately.
"It will be a pleasure working with you." Kar-el continued as he raised his hand for a handshake.
Jane returned the gesture but her smile stiffened a bit, " Well... about that. How do I begin? *Hehe*"
Erik sighed before interrupting," Since I invited him, I think it should be my responsibility to explain that to him."
"Karl, Jane here asked me to arrange an assistant for her if could be possible and at first that's the plan. Coincidentally enough, while I was working on that, A colleague of mine showed me your latest paper on stars and their inner workings. It was fascinating, to say the least."
"I obviously know you myself in recent years and shared many possibilities on how things work outside of our own blue planet."
"Jane has been facing problems financially as not many favors her approach on the vast universe and then I remembered that you also seemed very interested in the outer space during our talks."
"You both are finest interrogators on the workings of this world and I had this thought that why not recommend you both to each other."
"Jane could benefit from your outlook on things as well as the stipend you receive monthly from El enterprise while you could work with one of the finest astrophysicists we have currently available." He took a deep breath after that.
"I just learned about this an hour ago," Jane commented while looking at Kar-el.
"I think I get a sense of what is going on?" Karl begin as he leaned forward, " Erik took this decision on his liberty without discussing it with you and you are worried that I would prove to be a liability for your research?"
Jane shook her head," I didn't think about that, it was more like an obstacle than a liability at first but after today I might have a change of heart on that."
"I apologize for judging you without knowing you. But I still have some hesitation with making you a part of my research." Jane said.
"She is worried that you becoming her co-partner would steal more freedom from her over her research." Erik got to the point.
Karl smiled," That's understandable. If I were in her position, I would have similar worries."
"We have to fight to funds from institutions and during that protect as much as working liberty we want to have, after that, we have to fight with failures and the crisis of faith that comes with that failure. That's a lot of tension already and I'm sure no one wants to get more of it."
"I wouldn't ask you to take a leap of faith. That would be an insult to all your hard work. Instead, I promise you on paper if you want that I would not impose my thoughts on you. Your authority will be higher than mine. Sort of like a veto power." Kar-el proposed.
Kar-el didn't have any problem with not having much say in the research because most of his life, he has been working as an assistant or vice-leader during research. First, it was with Jor-el and then with others so he didn't have any problems with that.
"Your funds will become much larger than what it is now if you choose to accept my proposal too." Karl finally rests his case and lets Jane think about the pros and cons involved.
"Well, I think my work is over now so if you guys can excuse me, I need to attend a meeting." Erik got up and patted Karl on his shoulder as he walked out of the office leaving the 2 alone.
"No point in staying here then. Let's go to the cafeteria." Jane spoke as she got up.
Karl nodded and followed her.
"What do you think about religions?" Jane asked as they enjoyed their refreshments.
"What does that got to do with research?" Kar-el asked as he looked around the place.
"Well, I can't get enough funds for my research because the basis of my research is mythological stories and certain phenomena described in old tales." Jane elaborated.
"You mean to imply that there is a certain truth in those old tales and mythological stories? " Karl asked for confirmation.
"At least I hope so otherwise, all these resources invested would be for nothing." Jane shrugged her shoulders casually before continuing," Magic is nothing but unsolved science. People believed that things transpired because there was an unknown force guiding from behind or above in this sense but now we know the reason behind that through rigorous research and experiments."
"I believe that we could find a way to outer space too by looking into the past and unveiling certain aspects of it from the fabricated lies that got added as time passed."
"Okay, In my view religion is an instrument that can do an ungodly amount of good or bad depending on how you interpret it." Kar-el started with a basic reply.
"What about a specific religion?" Jane dwelled deeper on the topic to see if they share the same wavelength of opinions on the topic.
"Which religion are we speaking about then? Abrahamic ones or eastern religion or polycystic ones like Greek or Norse? " Karl questioned.
"You seemed knowledgable about this topic too. Why not say your findings on everyone mentioned above?" Jane seemed to get interested in the chat as they started to converse about work.
"Well, I had certain encounters that made me interested in the subject of religion or faith." Kar-el thought about ×÷+- as he said that.
"On to the subject, let's start with eastern ones as I feel more inclined to join them if I ever felt like joining faith and quit being an atheist." Kar-el joked.
"Why is that? " Jane asked in wonder.
"Let's just say that they are more forgiving than the others. Whether it's Hinduism or Buddhism or Taoism, they all don't give much value to the Scriptures that Abrahamic religions do. They do have holy texts like the Christian faith but it does not carry that much value the Bible does."
"Let's take Hinduism for example, It could be interpreted as monopolistic or polytheistic or both or none. Complicated as it might have sound, that is how I have come to understand it. They have more than 300 million gods and goddesses and yet they believe that there is only one God."
"God, as they have believed does not have a form that it could be defined into unlike the western religions like Judaism or Christian faith or Islam. If we were to define it, it would be the first thought in null rather than some figure."
"This thought is rather prevalent in eastern religions as in Taoism the God is defined as the heavenly principle that governs the whole universe, as well as the whole universe in itself, is the heavenly principle too. Buddhism has something similar too."
"How do you think these 300 million gods cane to be if Hinduism was monopolistic in the beginning?" Jane asked.
"A very good question and that's where we have to look at the religion objectively from outside. Faith is something that grows and changes with time whether it's believers believe it or not as we have observed here on home with Christianity."
"If you go to any church right now, the priest would say that bible is the only true text of god but historically speaking, that's not true. Even Jesus Christ himself could be debated."
"It is most likely a title than a name. While it's true that the person himself existed in history, the accounts of his divinity vary from gospel to gospel."
"At that time, Jews were living in Israel, the kingdom of God on earth according to their testament which now is more known as an old testament for Christian. Jesus Christ was likely a jew as well and the name likely meant king of Israel rather than the son of god because according to Judaism, a human can't be god Almighty which we now believed Jesus Christ was."
"The first known gospel of Christianity was likely written around 60 to 70 AD which means 30 years later the death of Jesus Christ. In it, he was not directly related to god, with no mention of the virgin birth or his childhood miracles. It was the third gospel in which he was directly associated with the god almighty himself."
"It was mostly believed to be written 30 to 40 years later to the first gospel. I believe something similar took place with Hinduism, as it is the oldest major religion, it is hard to find the founder of this particular religion but as with other religions, this too likely developed as time passed."
"At that time, memories of people were much better than what it is today because there was no distraction like mobile devices or the internet. Most things spread through word of mouth and it was much later that these teaching were recorded in books."
"I hypothesize that, at the start, it was a monopolistic religion in the purest form with no image of god itself defined in it but as time passed, people started having questions and doubts about what the god looked like. They needed an image to devote themselves to, to have faith which led to the creation of gods and goddesses."
"That's an interesting theory but why 300 million if they just needed something to have faith in? Why not just 1 or 10 or any other number?" Jane asked while ordering another coffee.
" Well, one of the differences between eastern religions and western religions is that western religions have a certain image of their god from the beginning whether it's Judaism, Islam, or Christianity."
"They are so sure about their god that they not only know how he looks like, they even know what he prefers or not. That's how the rules of what to do and what not came to be."
"Let's take Islam for example, the first rule of Islam is and I quote," I am the only true god and Muhammad is my prophet". Eastern religions have a completely different take on god than western."
"For them, everything and I mean everything is a part of god and more. The fundamental difference between western religions and Eastern religions is that Eastern religion sees their god as a question whose answer they must reach by following the teachings of their religion while western religions already have the answer, they follow the answer presented to them in their holy Scriptures to reach the god."
"This fundamental difference likely is the reason why different people in same religion(Hinduism) developed different gods to pray to. It is like how a mathematical question can be solved by using different approaches. " Karl took a deep breath as he finished.
"It's almost like pseudoscience if you look at it the way you described," Jane commented.
"I know right? That's another reason why I find the eastern approach so interesting." Karl smiled.
"Well, my opinion is a little different than yours. I believe that yes these epics and myths sure carry a lot of falsehood but to survive for so many centuries without diminishing a bit justifies that there is some truth inside them." Jane put her cup as she explained her opinion on things.
"It will be not wrong to say that all religions started as cults if you look at their roots. Why are these survived the test of time while others didn't? It could be that many of the angelic beings or deities, goddesses are just man-made imagination to have faith in but some phenomenon in them must likely be true to some extent to survive to this day." Jane sighed.
"Are you implying that ancient aliens cosplay as gods to middle age?" Kar-el laughed, " History tv 18 would be so happy to hear that the leading scientist in astrophysics watches their show ancient aliens. "
Faith can be a very personal affair for many people and I believe everyone has the right to choose what they want to believe in.
Believe it or not but I watched 7 lectures of an hour to write this chapter because I didn't want to just make stuff with something as personal as religion.
If you want to talk about this particular chapter or any other with me then just join my discord server and ping me, I will be happy to chat and debate with you.
As you guys guessed, I can't put the whole ideas and historical explanation on major religions in just one chapter I didn't even touch the surface. If you want to further learn about the outside approach to religion then search L.D. Russell videos on YouTube about religions. He tried to explain all the major above-mentioned religions in 7 1-hour videos.