I know, I’m late. Been dealing with things and pondering my views on life, the universe and everything.
It’s kind of funny really. I just had a sort of epiphany about one of the major attacks atheists tend to use on believers of all stripes. The “Religion is just a crutch! You’re afraid of reality and knowing so you have this imaginary friend who is responsible for everything and watches out for you.”
Well, yeah, a bit. I mean, it is a bit easier to navigate the vagaries of life when you think someone loves you and looks out for you, and if you aren’t getting that in your personal life, or you think that maybe your issues or the things you’re scared of are bigger than something those people can handle, yeah, it is a bit comforting to think there’s someone or thing out there looking after you.
But I just realized that you can turn it around on them. They need to believe we can use science to get all the answers RIGHT NOW! The idea of “unknowable” things scares the pants off of them.
Really. Now, the way I feel about is that I’m not exactly married to the idea of GOD. But, I do think there are a lot of things out there that science currently does not explain, and I think eventually it will explain a lot of those things. It just doesn’t right now. So, instead of just saying, “These things that science can’t explain (ghosts, esp, precognition, and a host of other things) just don’t exist, full stop.” What I’m saying is, “You know, I’ve had experience with some of these things, and what you’re telling me to do, deny my lived experience because the science as it exists now doesn’t have an explanation for them (or it does and it’s not one that makes sense for most of the experiences I’ve had), at least not a satisfactory explanation, that sounds awful religious-y to me.” That whole because I (science) said so! argument quit working on me when I was 7.
And if you ask them, “So, science doesn’t have an (satisfactory) answer for this yet, what’s the harm in just believing it anyway?” You’ll get a lot of harrumphing about immaturity and it’s just dumb, and some other folderol. But no real good reason not to. “But it’s not REAL!”
Science isn’t foolproof. I respect the hell out of science. And the scientists I respect the most are the ones who are honest about how much we don’t know. I fully expect science to explain a lot more stuff as it progresses. A lot of it stuff that the current skeptic/atheist community has already made up their mind is bullshit. Much like we’ve come to learn that the earth-centered universe is bullshit. As we develop better and better tools, we’ll uncover more and more awesome stuff. And yes, I think it’s a good idea to be skeptical when someone says they have scientifically uncovered the truth about ghosts or auras, just as it’s a good idea to be skeptical when someone says they’ve discovered a cure for all cancer, or AIDS.
For me being skeptical means exploring and researching things. Not taking anyone at face value, particularly if what they’ve said sounds too facile or too good to be true. Skepticism is not diametrically opposed to having a spiritual belief. I kind of think it IS diametrically opposed to allowing someone else to dictate spirituality TO you.
So, someone will invariably bring up the “Where’s the proof of ESP? Russia and the US did all these studies on psychic warfare during the cold war, what about that?”
I don’t know. Since it’s been my experience that most people with talents in that direction prefer to lie low, you know since we freak people out and are not all that removed from burning, stoning or hanging witches (and in some parts of the globe not removed from it at all). I find it difficult to believe that anyone who did have those talents would willingly out themselves to the government of either nation. I mean, really, there’s a reason “I’m with the government, I’m here to help,” is considered an oxymoron by most of US society. I’m just saying. If someone walked up and said, “I’m with the government, and we’ve heard you do this thing…” I’d tell them they heard wrong, that’s ridiculous, and slam the door in their face. Thanks, I do not fancy being “studied.”