Oct 212013
 

I have always described myself as an agnostic, but the longer I live, the more I see how religious fanaticism destroys peace, the more I see myself as an atheist. Imagine my surprise as I recently found myself with an intrinsically religious notion! It goes like this:

As far as we currently know, there must be millions or billions or trillions of inhabitable planets in the universe. I don’t know exact numbers and neither do those who know much better than I, but exact numbers are irrelevant here. Let’s say countless.

Some of those planets will not only be inhabitable, they will indeed be inhabited, some by life forms far more primitive than humans, but some by life forms far advanced. Everything we know about life and statistics points in that direction.

Yes, there is the Fermi Paradox (along with some solutions), but regardless of the fact that they seem to be silent, we can be pretty sure that they are out there. Of course we don’t know whether they’d regard us as peers or as food, but it is human nature to be curious.

Although our present understanding of physics does not give us any clear indication that interstellar travel is possible, science fiction has a lot of ideas. But then, what if there’s really no way to get off of our rock? What if we’re confined to our planet and so is everybody else to theirs? What if interstellar travel is really an impossibility?

Just think about it.

Huh?

How does it feel?

Yup! I don’t like it. It makes me feel … cheated. Unfairly treated. And that troubles me.

Why? Because the notion of fairness necessarily requires someone who is or could be fair, and in the context of our question that could only be … God 🙂

Well, you don’t see me converted, but it amuses me how much even I look for the comfort of meaning, so much so, that even though my mind denies the idea of “intelligent design”, my emotions seem to require it. Funny, huh?

The Song of the Day is of course “Imagine“. On Khaled’s album “Kenza” is one of the more unusual versions. Hear it on YouTube.

  5 Responses to “2561 – Above Us Only Sky”

  1. Hmm… I’ve had similar thoughts long ago but rather than come to some religious conclusion, I simply accepted that fairness was nothing more than a mental concept and that life was simply what it was and that when seen from a human perspective, could only be deemed as unfair. Another way of putting it is that physics doesn’t care about our feelings. Which is why, I believe, people turn to religion. Religion is physics with personality. Which makes people feel like life isn’t totally pointless. Of course, odds are that it is in fact, totally pointless. In the great scheme of things at least.

    What’s interesting about this, is that rather than depressing me, these ideas make my life exceptionally easy to bear. Why that is, I cannot say for sure.

    BTW, that is a cool photo Andreas.

    • Religion is physics with personality“, that’s great. So great in fact, that it should always be quoted out of context 😀 😀 😀

  2. We are HADD hyperactive agency detection devices. We detect agency is things that have no agency. Its better to have false positives than false negatives. Religion is based on ascribing agency to the world around us even though no agency exists. People find religion comforting because its comforting to be in groups of like minded herd members, and for the “just so” stories.

    If we can’t get off the planet, we had damn well better take care of it. It’s what makes the specter of global warming so terrifying.

    • Hmm, the way religion is used is mainly to blame a deity for what we know we should do but don’t want to do, or for what we know we shouldn’t do but want to do regardless. Therefore false positives positively hurt 😀

  3. I was commenting on the foundations of belief in agency. Not how religion is practiced in the 21st century. But I agree with your analysis on lack of responsibility or should I say empathy.

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