Had a nice trip down to the cape this weekend for memorial day. Did a good deal of time on the bike, went fishing (didn’t catch anything but is that really the point?), and spent some quality time with friends. On the way down I rode with a good friend of mine who is the only person I know (I think) that has gone from being an atheist to being spiritual in any sense. I’m not going to go too far into how that process happened because I don’t really know but what did strike me is the idea that she presented that I wasn’t going to convert her. Well that’s fine…I don’t have any desire to convert anyone (though I admit I might help push people over the atheism cliff if the opportunity presents itself) but I don’t find any great satisfaction in converting those with faith. What strikes me about the whole thing I suppose is the idea that she thought that I wouldn’t be able to “convert” her. Of course I initially took this as a challenge and then realized that I shouldn’t because I would say the same thing. The question was why do we both feel the same way about opposite sides of an argument. Certainly for me, my particular life view is very focused on the idea that we can exist without (thankfully) a creator of any sort. The idea that the universe can be subjectively beautiful for its own sake and not as a gift to us and that we can find objective morality also without a creator. I think that I’ve picked one of two sides to the argument that makes sense and is the more likely scenario to be true. Of course, I would not be doing any justice to the opposite side of things trying to recreate the arguments here but suffice it to say she was just as sure of her side of things. Then it came to how we get to where we are…why are we so sure of these things and so sure that we will not be convinced of our error. She proposed that it must be a personal discovery, that you need to come across it on your own accord and not be led to it by others. This, I’m not so sure of. In my admittedly biased mind, I’m prone to thinking that one could certainly discover atheism and deduce its probability through a priori arguments but that no such thing could exist for the existence of god or anything supernatural for that matter. I don’t understand in the slightest how an individual with no prompting at all could come to believe in the supernatural. Of course, I have evidence to suggest that this probably does happen but I really wish it didn’t. The idea that people make things up to explain things that are unexplainable (to them at least) or to put reason into instances of happenstance is almost understandable. I find it to be of questionable worth but not beyond the realm of my comprehension. That being said, how far can we get when people believe something they may have made up (or at least have no objective evidence for) and then hold onto it for dear life insisting that their minds will not be changed. Why does this happen so often? How can I avoid it? Have I already fallen for it? Is there a way back…perhaps through personal discovery or is the idea of a protecting god and a purpose (however unknowable) so enticing to people that the suspension of reason seems a reasonable trade-off? Patrick OUT!!!
The UFO of Bethlehem, by Frank Zindler -
7 hours ago