Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Holy! Holy! Holy!

Bertrand Russell stated that it is harmful to believe in anything for which there is no evidence. Every day I think to him, to Sam Harris, to Richard Dawkins, and it is an awkward conflict. I appreciate the thoughts of the scientific, of the skeptical, of the religiously logical. I am thinking of how much I have had to work with different models over the years of my life. None of the men mentioned above would ever be shy expressing their feelings as pertains faith, the failings of religion, of believing what -for them - is a system of beliefs which has caused much more damage in time than has ever accomplished for the good.

I am well aware that in order to claim that logic has limitations, I would by default have to abandon logic in my analysis of anything(of course that could be fallacious reasoning, and where would that leave me? LOL). Yet, when the truth is told, I have abandoned logic to achieve things I never would have thought possible within the constraints of the logic framework. No one ever suggested to me that walking away from logic analysis would be hazardous, but after a while it becomes startling to listen to irrational claims people try to justify.

I say, then, that I have become compromised in my belief in God. I am compromised in a belief there is an afterlife. I am compromised, also in that as passionate a man I am, I am most passionate in my own personal agnosticism. It is amazing that reading from the likes of Sam Harris, I am amazed at how the greatest fodder to life-changing philosophies are those people whose lives are falling apart. People lose a wife, almost die from drug addiction, distraught over their own sexual identity, or stand on a precipice, certain that spiritually, physically, economically, or emotionally, they are ruined.

I got to tell you that if I was a hard core proselyter (I think I made up that word) A person like that would be a prize. Just like in sales, that person is ripe for closure. I can become that man's best friend, and in a moment I would work my magic. Within a week, I would have that man in a suit, and he would be on the recruiter line for the cause.... Book in his hand, testimony in his heart, and all the winning sincerity he needs to bring in all the people from his past life, suffering from all the same crises from which he had just been saved.

This is just how to work whether you are recruiting in the military, in multi-level marketing, or the nearby church. I am amazed how even in the world of non-denominational churches there is a lot of back-biting. I listen to one of my friends who hates people from one group, because they scorned family members of his when he was a child. I was thinking how my experiences were not as dramatic, though walking around in my job, I was getting stopped almost daily by people who wanted me to stop working so they could touch my leg and pray for me. (“well er ah, I just happened to notice you have a bit of a limp...).

Even then , the prayer would not be so exhausting if I did not haver to listen to the questions afterwards.... “So... Do you feel any different? Walk around a bit.”

Still, with all that, I stand firm in my belief that there is a Creator. I like going to Church. I know that skeptics would shake their heads in disgust, knowing that at least in the minds of Harris and Dawkins, people like me are the perpetrators of the worst sins. I am passionate in my fence sitting. I am passionate in knowing that I do not know. I am passionate in knowing I do not ignore, or deny the screwed up things people across the world in the name of whatever God was available when they were saved from their own personal crisis.

I just know that when a man is in crisis, whoever gets to him with the most compelling offer first wins. So, am I wrong for my quiet prayers? Am I wrong for my fervent belief that my life extends past the actions of my nervous system? Indeed, therein lies the failure of my logic system.

I have friends who do say that that is just delusion in my life. If I am deluded, then so be it.

I am off to say my prayers before bed. Good night all.

Thank you for reading.

Note: one of my friends has just finished reading Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation and has just finished listening to Richard Dawkins The God Delusion. I am amused that after listening to all that, he decided to classify himself as an atheist. Apparently Bertrand Russell's discussion about a teapot orbiting the sun was just that compelling for him to refute all possibility of a creator.


obscurio said...

Brother Keith,
I am an atheist, yet, have enjoyed being in church on occasion. Unfortunately science falls down when it comes to human experience or at least it doesn't have compelling arguments. Although their are some quite interesting theories on the evolutionary benefits of religious faith. Enjoyed reading this post very much.

Time now for Earl Grey. T's up!

Keith said...

Ohhh, Most Obscure one.... Your visits to my scattered musings are most welcome here. Enjoy your Earl Grey with bergamot....

K said...

Hello Again Keith!

What's it been? 2 or 3 years? I'm back online and thought of you so I looked you up! You're easy to find too. Thanks to Google. Well it's good to read your posts, Keith. I've always gotten quite a bit of enjoyment hearing about your happenings. I'm still collecting food by the way. :)

Kristin (& Derek)
Tacoma, WA

Santa Cruz Nick said...

So who's in the picture, Howie Mandel?

Keith said...

Indeed, Nick, that is Howie Mandel... When did he lose all hius hair?