On this blog I call myself a skeptical believer. That is, I am a believer but I tend to habitually question everything. I don’t go for pat answers or religious cliches. For me this way of thinking is mostly a blessing as it makes me confident that the things I believe in are real, but it doesn’t come without cost. There are many times I’ve wished for a simple uncomplicated faith where I didn’t have to wrestle and debate every single point of every single belief like two countries hammering out a peace negotiation line by line.
“Daddy, do you love me?”
“Of course I do sweetheart. Higher than the moon is high.”
“Why do you love me?”
“Well my little angel…I..I don’t really have a choice.
You see, my biology forces me to. My love is really a trick of evolution to make sure my genes survive.”
I finally wrote up the rough draft of a post on atheism (by which I mean the active belief that there is no Ultimate Creator) that I promised months ago. Hopefully that will be out in a few days. Before I post that one, though, I wanted to lay a little groundwork with an aside on what people believe and how we tend to react to others who believe something different than us.
Here’s my thesis:
No matter what your spiritual or atheistic beliefs are, you believe something ludicrous and crazy.
Part 1 talked about whether you believe in something or nothing. Many people I know believe that there is indeed something out there, but they’re kind of vague and unspecified in just exactly what that something is. Their definition doesn’t go much farther than “a Higher Power”. Many of them believe this power is a sort of innocuous, vaguely beneficent Energy that directs and guides us.
A belief very similar to the following, if you’ll allow me to quote some sage wisdom from a venerable master:
It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.Obi-wan Kenobi
Old Ben’s not entirely wrong.
It was announced today that physicists had found almost certain evidence confirming the discovery of the Higgs boson, aka the “God particle”. It might not seem like that big a deal to us plebeians, but to describe it as a massive, momentous achievement in the realm of quantum physics is a major understatement.
Events of this magnitude present a great opportunity to step back from the day-to-day grind and think big, fundamental thoughts about What It All Means. Let’s think big here. I mean really big. Pull the lens wayyyyy back. Let’s not even think about religion or science. Think past Jesus or Mohamed or Buddha or evolution. Let’s think about the universe itself. The physical universe of stars and galaxies, interstellar gas, quasars, black holes and the like. Let’s just ponder the mere fact that it is. That it exists.
A few months ago USA Today ran an article detailing the growing dilution of spiritual belief in America and general apathy towards anything beyond the material.
It came as no surprise to me. I know a lot of people who are cynical about god, disillusioned, disappointed and angry. Perhaps that is you. Maybe you ended up here by typing “god sucks” into a search engine. If so, please keep reading–it may not be what you expected but I hope you’ll find some thoughts worth pondering.