Monday, January 07, 2008


In the end it all boils down to faith. I have faith in reason, and as such my existence is simple, elegant and internally consistent. If I do not know something I do not know it.
Others have faith in god, or country or both. One can hold that certain things are unquestionable, but who benifits? and who wins? ultimately my series of God questions are full of holes, but for me they do the job.
Take antidifferentiatoin, if you need to find the area under a graph, there are some good ways to do it, some slow ways to do it, and some ways to get there through observing some general principles.
If you have a big old curve on a cartesian plane, you can draw in rectangular blocks and take points and work out areas and then how much the area changes and so fourth until you start to notice as you decrease the interval and increase the sample the answers start conforming towards one hypothesis over another.
Or you can use antidifferentiation. Where you have a curve that is 3x^2+2x+1 and you apply the rules of antidifferentiation to find that the area is x^3+x^2+x+c there are ways to know c or 'the constant value' but at any rate, someone doing the painstaking meticulous work of answering the question will probably find in the end I am right.
The answer though is no where near as important as the question. I think this is what strikes me about Huck Finn, and particularly Mark Twain. There is the debate about weather or not god exists, but I believe a sub debate is just as important, that is 'should we worship god presuming he does exist' pascal says yes, but for me I think the default is no.
My faith in reason tells me that morality and God in general do not go hand in hand, that there are some principles worth dieing for and they are all founded in morality. As such it is a simple matter to escalate that not only are there some principles worth dieing for, but there are some principles worth suffering every damnation a god can throw at you for.
My questions of god, I simply raise not to disprove God, but to highlight that for me, an omnipotent entity is not an easy explanation but an incredibly demanding explanation, requiring the active suppression of reason and pouring time and effort into 'faith'. By contrast I reason that based on the evidence around me, the simplest explanation is infact that god does not exist, if he does exist, my questions highlight that god can only exist with two caveats:
1. God is inscrutible, god's methods and motivations cannot be known, his purpose is unknowable, his payoff is unknowable, his decision and thought processes are unknowable.
2. God is decietful, in order to promote faith as a virtue, god makes the environment of his worshippers require faith. Thus god lies by ommission of evidence for his own existence. Whilst God may exist in many irrefutable holy texts, the failure of nature to reflect their content is the failure of nature and not the texts or by extension god. The existence of texts containing fallacies as shown by nature implies that god is a deciever in either his texts or in the creation of nature.

And that's why it boils down to faith. I remember being in grade two and asked 'what makes a bird a bird?' and we sitting at the foot of the teachers chair all called out answers that came to our head, 'they can fly' but so too can insects and bats, 'they have beaks' but so too do fish. 'they have clawed feet' again so do bats and platypi. It wasn't a trick question though, its feathers, feathers make something a bird, nothing else does.
I'm not even sure if that's true but I'll take it on faith. I hear velociraptors actually had feathers and feathers are evolved scales, and so I will either call the velociraptor a bird, or say that lizards too can have feathers, not just birds, but they are of the same family.

What makes religion? faith. Religion is the only thing where reason cannot be applied to determine truth. Furthermore, reason must be applied to prove that something doesn't exist based on no evidence. I believe in belief, and I believe belief to be to our detriment. I can think of nothing else that can overcome morality than a chemical imbalance in the brain, or devout faith in an omnipotent being.
When all else is a hypothesis or theory until confirmed, religion is something where it is a fact until disconfirmed and sometimes can remain so until quite a time after it.

God is useless in my conclusion. If god is inscrutible how can we act? if our eyes tell us reading one thing that the world is 6000 years old and our eyes reading another thing tells us the world is a million times a billion times 6000 years old and both presumably made by god, what use is god, to send two messages. Let alone the thousands possibly millions of messages that contradict eachother.
If one version of God's story is that he sent his son to die for my sins, thousands of years before my birth, and another that he sent an angel to dictate to a prophate in a cave, and yet another that he lives on top of a greek mountain and throws lightning from the sky, and yet another that he sat on a battlefield and revealed himself to a prince as he explained the Baghvad Ghita? and I am left with nothing my reason to grasp, and god will not provide anything tangible at all I can confirm with then god is more inscrutable to me than the weather.
God is a force of nature, like the weather, but weaker in influence from my frame of reference.
I wear t-shirt and shorts just about every day, no matter what the weather is doing, and I intend to do the same with God.
I don't wish to pour over each belief system, ask questions all day and scrutinise my faith. I've never done that to determine the area under a curve but I put my faith in antidifferentiation to pass my exams. Likewise, they all seem to indicate that despite the easy but less examined conclusion that god is useless, the trick of reason seems to be that God never existed in the first place. Nature tends to be quite efficient at eliminating anything so unnecessary as god.

1 comment:

Anna said...

A bird would still be a bird without it's feathers... just s sickly looking one. I stopped reading when i read the whole birds have feathers conclusion so you may have said that yourself... what a stupid teacher.