Down the left-hand side of this blog, there's a section entitled "I Never Miss." And there listed is a blog by a Seattle physician named Sid Schwab, whom I discovered some months ago and whom I have read faithfully ever since. Our views resonate on almost all subjects. We're on different sides of the God-divide, though. He's "nope." I'm "yep." Just recently, Sid finished a three-part discussion he entitled "Religion" (1), (2), and (3). I felt compelled to write a response to the series, partially because what he wrote was very interesting and elicited a response from me, and partially because I believe in encouraging my fellow bloggers. I love getting comments myself, and I assume everybody else does, too. I want to share my response, not because it's brilliant--certainly not!--but because at the least, it's legitimate.
OK, now I've finished the 3rd installment. Thanks, Sid, for this arresting discussion of your deeply held convictions. I'm a theist who finds himself in hearty agreement of much of what you write.
But I also happen to believe there's just as much faith (blind or otherwise) involved in denying God's existence as in affirming it. There's no proof either way. There's just argument, the appeal to human logic. Are we really willing, on either side of this divide, to put our faith in that weak reed? Human beings have been carrying on this debate about god-no god since they discovered the other guy disagreed with them. I really see little difference between the my-god-is-better-than-your-god tussle and the my-nonexistant-god-is-better-than-your-existing-god tussle. Death will provide the definitive answer, of course. Unfortunately, although there have been many unsubstantiated reports, no emissary from over there has brought back the conclusive documentation.
Fact is, nobody--N-O-B-O-D-Y--knows what happens to you when you leave this realm of existence. And of course death, the great curtain, is what it's all about--nobody knows, but there's a multitude who will argue that what they believe happens on the other side of that curtain is what actually happens.
If my 65 years of life have taught me anything, it's that beyond a few special motor skills and some basic cognitive processes, human beings are pretty limited creatures. And nowhere are they more limited than in their ability to deal with the "other" anything--the other race, other religion, other country, other viewpoint, the other explanation. Those things provide human beings with more than enough reason to slaughter each other. And have for millennia. I'm supposed to put my faith in the logical processes of this creature? Sorry.
I'll settle for less killing, more kindness. If religion or no-religion inches humankind towards improvement in this area, I say, "Praise the Great Spirit, whoever or whatever, it is."
In the meantime, I'm still trying to figure out how human consciousness got here from those bits of cosmic dust that were always there.