As an extension to my previous post, Unbelief Is Not Rebellion, I want to get into a few things that tend to widen this chasm between belief and unbelief. You see, smack dab in the middle of this debate is this idea of delusion. Are the believers in God deluded, or are those who claim utter disbelief deluded?
There appear to be factors from both sides of this equation that propel us toward our particular biases. I’m fine with admitting that I’m biased, my contention of course is that my bias tends to side more with the actual human scenario.
I desire to start from the ground up. This search for what is true necessarily is grounded from a human vantage point. We don’t begin this search by descending with awareness and knowledge from the heavens, I’ll call it, “the God memo.” No, for that religion attempts to add an extra step of a said God’s top-down authority over our lives.
We are admonished to just trust that this is so. We just need to believe that this inspired set of texts matches some kind of internal wiring that we have to recognize the heavenly voice. Well, if we want evidence for how unreliable that scenario is we need to look no further than the mass variety and contradiction that exists among competing religious claims.
This is good reason from a human vantage point to question the authority of religion. Yes, any and every religion. It is fueled not by conscious rebellion but by a sincere drive to narrow down upon the things that are true. We skeptics don’t always mind wearing the badge of rebellion because we know who we are actually rebelling against. We are rebelling against other humans that know just as much or as little as we do about whether a God exists. We have drawn the card that says, “cut the bullshit man, neither of us has a corner on the truth here. I’m just admitting that faith is far more comfortable with authority than it is with hard evidence.”
There is good reason to raise a red flag up to poorly supported authority. It’s because we want to be brutally honest about what can be known by anyone with regard to these matters. Divine claims, by nature, give a handful of people throughout history a privileged vantage point. Well, my contention is that if a God or gods truly desires my vote, then every human ought to be given an equal vantage point to discern whether such things hold true in the world. If not, we are simply left in the dark by default.
Enough of this talk about the handiwork of God being displayed by the things that are made. We haven’t discovered a moon yet with a line of craters that spells out, made by Yahweh, in hebrew. We haven’t discovered a principle yet that guarantees that universes must spawn from an intelligent source. The source of a universe could just as well be nothing. You know, the same source that is cited for a far more complex entity, that entity being an eternal mind that somehow possesses all power and knowledge that could ever be attained. At least big bang cosmology leads back to a singularity.
God, we just expect is beyond time and space. As if anyone even knows what that means? What if this universe is instead a neutral seeding ground that leads to the advancement of civilizations that become basically indistinguishable from how God is defined? Once science takes off there’s no telling how far it can go. Could it be that men become like God?
It is this kind of statement that tends to reinforce prejudice because, well, I guess the more pious position is to worship what we do not know.