9th March 2012

“Once we reject the supernatural, a world of mystery and beauty opens to us that rivals anything religion can offer.”

Kevin Smith

16 Responses to “9th March 2012”

  1. Xhim Says:

    The world is indeed beautiful. I like to admire the handiwork of the one who made it, but that certainly isn’t necessary to appreciate its beauty.

  2. JOHN Says:

    Anything real will always be more beautiful than anything phony.

  3. Dan Says:

    Well said John.

  4. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    I so relate to today’s quotation. Taking in what is real and natural is so adversely affected by the insertion of supernatural mumbo jumbo, religion warps reality in the most ugly of ways.

    I feel so bad for those who can’t cast off the propaganda, the brainwashing, the programming. It robs them of the natural reality that is so enormously beautiful.

    Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave comes to mind, where the religious are the people watching shadows on the wall of a cave and atheists are those that have venture our of the cave into the light of day.

    I wonder if Xhim will ever realize that maker he speaks of is just some guy behind the wall, in front of the fire, and manipulating images that cast the shadows on the wall? Impressive handiwork indeed, most people are in the cave and easily impressed/distracted.

  5. Jeff Says:

    First off, Happy Birthday to ME! Whoopee, I’m 57. If I’d have known I was gonna live this long… LOL

    Plato’s Cave is a good one, but I’m more in mind of Jayne’s Flashlight. When a conscious entity searches for the psychology of consciousness, it runs into the flashlight problem. If a flashlight is asked to find the part of the world where it’s light falls, it will always say “Everywhere”, because it can only see the area inside its beam, and therefore everywhere it looks it only sees light. So too with the search for the supernatural, and mankind’s limited understanding of nature. When everything around you is beyond your understanding, then even the natural becomes supernatural.

  6. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Great point Jeff!

    The intellectual laziness of the faithful, easily satiated with less than sophisticated explanations, provides a warm fuzzy security in a big scary world.

  7. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Happy Birthday too Jeff! Many more…

  8. Xhim Says:

    May I join in the congrats? …and many more, Jeff!

  9. Xhim Says:

    As long as we’re getting philosophical….
    To the Cave and Flashlight, add the Experience Box. A person looks for God everywhere in his experience. But he is limited by that experience. If God is outside the box, he may well conclude that there is no God, because he hasn’t looked outside his box. In fact he cannot look outside the box of his own senses and environment, and can never find God, even if he is there. He can never honestly say with certainty that there is no reality outside the box. He can believe it, but it becomes a matter of faith with him.
    However, if God chooses to reveal himself by entering the box….

  10. Dan Says:

    Yes, congrats and wishing you many more Jeff!

    For Caves, Flashlights and Experience Boxes, those are of course nice allegories for trying to interpret phenomena from perceptions. As they lead us to wonder whether our perceptions – or indeed anything at all – are actually real, we have to consider Descartes and his famous line Cogito Ergo Sum. It’s a wonderful philosophical puzzle of course.

    But getting away from deep philosophy to practical matters, we have to consider what we see actually working. And in that, I’m afraid, prayer fails, because let’s be honest, it doesn’t work any better than a placebo. Nor do any of the other purported benefits of religion work any better than the non-religious alternatives.

    So if you see a flashlight illuminate what looks like an all-powerful omniscient benevolent god, and the rest of the world you see illuminated contains a lot of unjust suffering, then you have to realize that the god was an illusion.

  11. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Experience Box?

    What about the person who doesn’t look for god anywhere, sure he doesn’t find him. If god is there, and if it is anywhere near as important to the worship groveling tart as mentioned in the bible ad nauseum, then at some point this omnipotent omnipresent super deity will make his presence known: If, for no other reason, than his own childish narcissism and vanity demands it.

    Then for those who have faith, those for whom having an invisible master is so important, those who seek god with a fervency that borders on maniacal, what about them? Are they any closer to a reality that includes a god than those who are simply indifferent? No. No they aren’t.

    They have just wasted time for nothing.

  12. Xhim Says:

    I thought that would get your adrenaline flowing :)!!

  13. reytBob Says:

    Hope you have a great day Jeff.

    Xhim, as we’re talking in crude metaphors, if you believe in a reality outside the box, how do you know the details of this reality? You can’t observe this world and it can’t affect you (otherwise by definition it wouldn’t be outside the box). It’s simpler to assume it doesn’t exist and put your faith in what you can observe and measure.

  14. Xhim Says:

    …unless the reality has by volition entered the box for the purpose of making contact. This is what Jesus did.
    But I find it curious that so many “unknowables” are left open for speculation, but the “Divine Unknowable” is not. Now, if you guys consistently reject the paranormal, or alternate universes, all that stuff, then you are consistent and I happily take if from you. But if you leave the door open for those things, I have to wonder….

  15. reytBob Says:

    I’m pretty certain that most people here go with ‘observable and measurable’ when deciding what to accept and reject.

    As stated on previous days, using Jesus Christ as evidence is pretty weak.

  16. reytBob Says:

    Falsifiable is also a good benchmark for plausibility.