8.29.2004

Theoretically speaking…

Does god exist ? (I don’t know why, (as an atheist I really shouldn’t care) but the question of why people believe in the existence of God is a mystery to me. From my perspective its so obviously false. All religions are bogus affairs. Yet my opinion is the minority view. Most people believe, or at least claim to believe in a higher power. Why?

It’s comforting to think that there is some higher power watching over us. Conversely this means that he is at least partially responsible for our failings. This way when things go badly we can blame god or fate instead of taking responsibility for our own problems.

I don’t mean to imply that when something bad happens to them that it must ipso facto be their fault. In the world shitty things just happen sometimes. People get sick and die, not because they’ve offended god, not because they haven’t lived a moral life, but simply because we are cells and organs and we break. And when we die we do no go to some other worldly place, we just cease to be. Religious people will tell you that this seems sad and depressing, well I guess you can look at it that way, but I think that is just being narrow minded. The religious person seems to be locked into a rigid world view. A view that can't be reconciled with the fact that Shit Happens.

Although I think that many idol worshippers would be loathe to hear this, that sort of "my life only has meaning if god says it does in the afterlife" outlook is almost as pessimistic as nihilism. Nihilism is the view that the world, and life are without meaning and unknowable. This is at least slightly more intellectually honest than religion. Religion posits the same thing and then adds the clause that god knows the truth and will explain it to us in the afterlife. What a crock!!!

Sorry but I wont be buying that particular bridge to intellectual oblivion. Nihilism isn’t my cup of tea either. The world and an individual life can be knowable and it can have some meaning without resorting to an appeal to the tooth fairy or Father Christmas or Jesus Christ. But if we don't get meaning from a god then where do we derive meaning and order from?

Taoism is one possibility. Taoist philosophy teaches us that ‘gods’ are merely manifestations of the Tao, ways in which different cultures have anthropomorphized the unknowable Tao. I think that this may be the case. I have always believed that there is no such thing as god but I can accept that there is an order to the universe. I think that Chaos Theory clearly indicates that there can be order out of randomness.

Deities violate thermodynamics after all, order does not.

Ciao…