Sunday, November 27, 2005
Unmittigated Zealotry for Sale!
I am not a religious person. There, I said it. It's very strange what the world has done to atheism. It's a little less offensive to some people to claim to be an agnostic, but I'm not an agnostic. I am an atheist. It's not that I believe that God does not exist. I am convinced of it. There is a subtle but important distinction there.
You see, the essence of science is not to prove things. And I tend to take a scientific view of most things. A scientific theory can be defined as, 'the best explanation that fits the data we have.' So when we talk about the 'theory' of evolution, this is what we mean. It is not 'just a theory' it is the explanation for the origin of species that science has.
So I have this theory, that God does not exist. This explanation seems to fit the evidence most closely. Since there is no evidence that God exists, and in the case of supernatural beings, I think the burden of proof would have to rest on the theist end, it is simple induction that God does not exist. As for souls, spirits, and other metaphysical constructs, we get a little grayer. God does not have to exist for people to have souls. I'm not saying I believe people have souls; far from it, however, I think it's harder to be definite on the issue.
Religion, as far as I'm concerned, has lost the most important thing that it ever possessed: aesthetic appeal. The most aesthetically appealing religions hail from the East. They have the most developed metaphysics, resting on a certain brand of logic. No western religion is based on logic, they are based on accepting texts as the word of God...this is silly. Eastern religions are (with few exceptions) based on the problem of human suffering, it's causes, and methods of eliminating it. This is neat. So most Eastern religions are humanistic. Whereas Western religions are theocentric, and oftentimes pretty much require an increase in human suffering.
Someday, I would like to start a religion, where men are capable of becoming gods (like Buddha, not like Mormons). The term 'god' would be much more loosely defined. Sex would be okay in my religion. Morality would be a lot more subjective. I think morality and religion are probably going to continue to be tightly intertwined, so it would probably be a good idea to make the rules very loose in my religion, so people could use logic to figure out the best path, rather than memorization of rules (how many Christians, or even Jews for that matter, actually follow all the rules laid down in Exodus and Leviticus). There would be no holy texts in my religion, because those things really muddle up the works, and people start worshipping the text, rather than doing what they're supposed to be doing: worshipping me.