Sunday, June 26, 2005
Is there or isn't there?
Evening sky art.
Is there such a thing as God? This was the subject of a PBS show I saw the other night. The guy from skeptic magazine was very compelling in his arguments. While the golden rule was discussed at length, there was some dispute as to whether it was inspired from the spiritual realm or by the necessity of building a functioning society. I wanted to join the discussion, but was trapped in my living room.
It got me to thinking and talking about the nitty gritty of it all. How, and if pertinent, why we are here.
Monotheistic believers will tell a tale of creation with a purpose in mind for us all. Non believers of a spiritual realm are hard pressed to find an answer as to how we got here. When I posed the question to Serge he said, "Well, that's what happens when rock and minerals and heat and light are mixed together." Poof like magic. Add a few billion years of evolutionary baking and that single cell bacteria has become us, rulers of the planet. But now how did that bacteria appear again? That my friends is an equal stretch of the imagination to there being some kind of creator, and hopefully in consequence, a purpose.
The bottom line is that we don't know, probably can't know, just search inside us for what feels right or believe the words of others who claim to know the truth. (The other day in the metro, I passed by some people filming a man who was talking to the camera. As I passed the little filming entourage, I caught a bit of what the man was saying to the camera, " It is a well established fact that Jesus ascended into heaven....." I summed up all my forces not to say, "Can you define "fact" for me?")
I've been thinking about another show I saw where doctors were using lasers to stimulate a portion of the brain that induces a "spiritual" experience. The subjects really enjoyed the experiments and felt connected to God, in their words.
My question is, why is that hard wired into us? In what way does that serve the evolutionary drive for survival? And to vary from the topic a bit, how does it sometimes lead to fanaticism?
If you think about it for a moment, those that are often considered marginal in society (natives, hippies, scientologists) have equally fantastic tales of the beginning. Like believing aliens started the human race. (why not?)
I also find it odd that skeptics debunk both God and aliens. So what you're saying is this little accident only happened here, and other beings of our complexity and intelligence don't exist anywhere else in the observable Universe. (A space so vast, that billions of galaxies (like the Milky Way) are contained in it.) It seems that that might make a case for God, in a strange way.
I often think of the life force, and how long after we humans are gone, life will continue in some form or another until the sun sets for the last time. (Another billion years or so.) This makes me feel joyous, that no matter how bad we tinker ( or rather, fuck) with things, life will adapt in some places and survive. Maybe there'll even be dinosaurs, act II.