Thursday, May 26, 2005

I had a "Is this all there is? " moment

In reading the Science and Religion book, you know at some point they had to bring up the entire idea of an afterlife as just wishful thinking.

As opposed to religion as I am, and have been, I have been unwilling to let go of the idea of an afterlife and I wondered if I was being true to my own convictions. If there is an afterlife, why can't it be like Christian Heaven? Why can't it be like Islam's Paradise? Does MY particular version of an afterlife make my position any less coherent than another "religion" because, let's face it, my beliefs constitute a religion of one.

So, calling into question any concept of an afterlife, I considered that ....welll..... this is it....when I am done, I'm done. But! I had an "AH HA!" recovery.

You have heard of stories of people doing superhuman things when threatened. Where does that strength come from? No mere scientific analysis will be able to explain it. Is it possible that science can not explain everything? Well, yes, I have (as many others have) already conceded such. Isn't it possible that we are more than the sum of our parts? Is it possible that coherent energy could be intelligent life? We haven't even touched the surface of the universe to know what we don't know yet.

I am not ready to concede that Heaven exists, but I will concede that "versions" of an afterlife are possible BECAUSE I believe that we ARE the more than the sum of our parts and that science when faced with the unexplainable is often as quick to hide it's head in the sand as the religious are to proclaim Divine Intervention.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Why God?

Ok, science does not have all the answers. It is working on it, but it may take another 10 or 100 thousand years - you know we actually have to go out there and look around first.

But does that mean that in areas where science is missing an answer, religion must supply it?

The Earth revolves around the Sun! bzzzzzz

The Earth is 6,000 years old! bzzzzzz

Adam was the first man! bzzzzzz

Everything you ever wanted to know about evil, you can find by eating an apple! bzzzzz

Seizures are the work of evil spirits! bzzzzzz

Every human life is sacred! bzzzzzz

Science explains life, religion explains how to live it! bzzzzz

Here is a phrase scientists should use more, "I don't know".

Monday, May 23, 2005

Why do scientists believe?

I have continued to read the essays in the book Science and Religion and can not help but wonder exactly why scientists have a need to associate their beliefs and their work. A scientist that would never accept a statement "this exists" from a colleague without evidence, quickly states God exists with nothing more than a nod and a wink (minus the wink).

I will accept any evidence - direct - that God exists. For creationists to suggest that the "evidence is all around us" is no more than paganism. It is the equivalent of a bunch of Neanderthals, hooting and shouting at the rising moon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A Series - Comments

My partner has given me a book, Science and Religion: Are They Compatible, edited by Paul Kurtz. We start off with Steven Weinberg in A Designer Universe? Two comments:

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion"

"I am all in favor of a dialogue between science and religion, but not a constructive dialogue. One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment."

Having read other works by Mr. Weinberg, I find his position comfortable. However, not holding a religious view (even among the liberal left) is still considered a little too weird.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Why believe?

Is there any reason to believe anything a religion holds as Truth?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Without fear of retribution

Does the idea that a lack of Divine Retribution makes it harder to have a civil society have merit?

Is it possible that as a lack of "religious faith" grows civil laws lose their ability to enforce behavior?

If you know that the odds of getting caught doing something wrong are pretty slim and if you 'know' there is no Divine accounting, are you more likely to act wrongly?

If you have no fear of God, no fear of the law....what is to stop you from doing whatever you damn well please?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Favorite movie about the afterlife

Do you have a favorite movie of the afterlife? Assuming for a moment that you believe in an afterlife....

Mine is "What Dreams May Come" with Robin Williams. Comes closest to my own conception.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


For years I heard people arguing about the "Truth" of the Bible. It is true, it is partially true, it is a work of the last year I started hearing something new...

"It is unimportant whether the Bible is true or not, I believe in Jesus".

Ok....fine...but if the Bible is NOT true, what exactly are you basing your belief in Jesus on?

In the last couple of months I have heard and read a lot about the historical (instead of the religious) basis for the Christian Church. Can anyone say "Mithran"?