Wednesday, September 28, 2005

silly similie

This is how I feel when approaching religious issues scientifically...

Let's pretend that I'm living on a huge pile of uranium (or something else horribly radioactive) in the year 1000 BCE.

Because it’s 1000 BCE, I don’t understand Uranium. In all probability, I incorrectly understand the elements to be earth, wind, and fire. However, because the best minds available to the wondrous modern age in which I live (1000 BCE) have come together and agreed on the answer to the question of elements, I am altogether confident that we have the whole element question sufficiently worked out and put to bed. Earth. Wind. Fire.

But I digress…

I don’t understand or acknowledge the existence of uranium, which won’t be discovered for another 2,790 years. If I had a proper understanding of elements, I might work out the existence of atoms, and then sub-atomic particles, and finally radioactive decay of elements. (All vastly oversimplified herein…)

Furthermore, there exists no equipment to allow me to measure or quantify my exposure to the radioactive decay which, again, I cannot fathom because it’s 1000 BCE.

I am capable of observing the loss of my hair and teeth, that I cough up blood, and that I am continually sick to my stomach.

The tribal Shaman will no doubt have me smoke something wonderful, and then do a ritual to drive away evil spirits.* The most competent and concerned medical professionals I have at my disposal will, in all likelihood, do equally bizarre things like bleeding me or covering me in leaches. My end will be as inevitable as the setting sun.

My neighbors, noting my demise, will draw upon the vast quantities of knowledge that they have carefully catalogued since their species began and, after much deliberation, they will attribute my death to Tomatoes.

We all know that tomatoes are deadly because they are red in color and we have observed deaths when they're consumed after having sat in bowls made with our leading edge lead-refining techniques.

Pseudo-Science people: How can we so completely ignore history as to come to believe that we know the whole of everything that is to be known? (uranium point beaten dead above) I say Pseudo-science because true scientists understand that Science has little if anything to say about faith because of precisely the point illustrated above: we've no way to measure the things in question.

Religion People: How can we be so SURE that your particular holy book is INSPIRED, anyway? And if it’s not, what credibility does it have beyond the fallible wisdom of well-intentioned men codifying oral tradition? And…

Concerning Genesis: why would an omnipotent God DO such a silly thing? I mean really: Humans + potential for sin + infinite time + agent of evil capable of tempting = ????? Am I missing something?

Just because something can be explained away, doesn’t mean it should be. Miracles DO happen. Prayers DO get answered, etc.
Something really is going on here (spiritually). But I often feel it's just so many levels beyond my grasp.
I can neither talk about spiritual things scientifically, nor can I discount them because of my lack of understanding.
Science is finite, and can play only a meager role in explaining the infinite.

*I feel fairly comfortable saying that we’re not yet Christian in Europe in 1000 BCE because "BCE" means "Before the Common Era". In a time with a weaker spirit of Anti-Christ, it was called "BC", or "Before Christ".
Presumably Europe was Druidic? Did they smoke anything good?
I think it's funny that 2000 years later, a guy who was born in a barn has everyone's panty's in a bunch. :)

1 comment:

JoeBoy said...

Just re-read this. Water. It should be earth, wind, fire, and water. Sheesh, Joe.

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