Last login: Friday, March 29, 2013
On a more concrete note, I believe it is disingenuous and rude of Theists to attempt to impose their particular brand of Theism on the rest of us. I think it is ignorant and equally rude of Athiests to ridicule Theism.
There is no denying that humans have especially complex brains. Often it is easier explained in the dichotomy of lower vs higher awareness, or consciousness. I personally prefer the lizard brain vs the human brain. The point? We take in too much sensory information to possibly process it all without descending into madness. Without coping mechanisms, we would all regress into gibbering idiots almost immediately, which would interfere with basic necessities like procreation and basic processes like energy conversion. Though in modern times some of us have eschewed religion in favor of contemporary or alternative mechanisms to cope with sensory overload, it is insensitive to ridicule those who have not done so. Religion is one of the first and most fundamental, if not the first and most fundamental coping mechanisms that we ever devised to explain the sensory input. Simply, if we can't explain the sensory input, then there is a supernatural explanation for said input. We must appease the supernatural mechanism. It is natural that we would frame this in forms and terms we could understand, such as human-like or animal-like gods. This simplicity is a large part of why it endures. To take away the religion of most people is to take away sanity itself, as the religion IS the sanity. It exists at the very boundary of the lizard and human brains. To many (most?) of the religious, religion does not define the moral compass or explain the world around them. Rather, religion IS the moral compass and explanation for the world. It is the sane keystone preventing utter mental (and on a larger scale societal) collapse. What value is in ridiculing the religious, or attempting to steal their one coping mechanism, especially when we can't even articulate a decent replacement?
March 29, 2013 at 2:05 p.m.
( permalink | suggest removal )
I found this discussion too fascinating to resist. I love brainstorming.
I observe that nobody has postulated a fatalistic view of life, so I would like to present it for further discussion. I can't do it in condescending dichotomies, but I'll try to be brief.
First, assumptions. If any of these are objectively wrong, inform me so that I can learn more current theories. Otherwise, I believe they're all scientifically sound (i.e. both disprovable and not provable, which are the two fundamental properties of scientific thought.)
1) ~14 billion years ago the universe existed in a nearly infinitely small volume.2) Then, it began expanding. There was so much mass in so little volume that the expansion, at least initially, involved physics that we cannot currently explain.3) The universe a) is cyclical and b) tends toward entropy. B can never be fully achieved due to A.4) ~3.5 bya life first appeared on this planet, and has since evolved into this surprisingly civil discussion
Assumption 3b, being a tendency, does not imply a linear progression. Thus, temporary states of decreased entropy do not violate 3b, provided they support the overarching tendency toward increased entropy. Thus, for discussion, I posit that life, and furthermore complex life is not only natural, but desirable, and quite possibly inevitable in a universe such as ours. Consider your 50+kg of mass, the constant reactions going on, the consumption of resources, etc spread out over your lifetime. You will convert exponentially more energy into increasingly degraded states that could possibly be achieved without you. I submit that there is little that is known to be a more efficient agent of the tendency toward entropy than life. The philosophical purpose of the human condition is always open for debate. However, the one thing we cannot possibly escape is that we create maximum entropy in our current form, regardless of "why we're here" or "what we do."
I believe that life is completely natural, doesn't require any higher being, and has no inherent philosophical purpose. Each of us is free to choose our own destiny because no matter what destiny we choose we degrade exponentially more energy than we would if we didn't exist. Thus, uniting diverse areas of the so-called hard sciences, our true purpose is to act as agents of entropy.
Brevity fail. Mea culpa.
March 29, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.
( permalink | suggest removal )
© 2016 KPBS Public Broadcasting