I Am a Religious Man Unthreatened By Science, Secularity And Reason

I Am a Religious Man Unthreatened By Science, Secularity And Reason • 2011.06.09 • 400 words

(IN FACT, THE WHOLE “REASON” I “am” “religious” in the first place is only due to a direct perception [some might say delusion] that the Universe is, in some essential and indescribable sense, alive and conscious. I can’t help seeing that, feeling a part of it, and celebrating it.)

(Also, as much as I love science [and I do!], I’m even more fascinated by rituals and customs, folkways, folklore, manners, stories, legends, and myths. I see “religion” as being one form of structured spirituality, and its practice one of many attentive arts of living. And I like the perspective of participating in something bigger, older, and more continuous than myself. I guess that’s one reason why some people play music or build stuff or deeply study anything.)

(But it’s not for everyone, and what a boring world that would otherwise be. It seems to me that the only reason to lead a “religious” life — or any life at all — is because It calls to you in some way; if it doesn’t, move along. There really is plenty more to see, and plenty more ways to see it.)

(I say these things because I have many friends in the worlds of science, secularity, and reason whose daily experience of “religion” is as the misguided blows of an irrational and ideological sledgehammer. [This is quite different from my own experience, or those of most “religious” people I know, whose “reasons” for so being are either similar to mine or only different within a companionable degree.] While I certainly understand and condone their disdain toward joyless Bible-thumping authoritarians who want everyone to conform to their own prejudiced and small idea of existence, I like to think there are far more of “us” than of the noisy haters for whom “God” is no more than a coward’s rationalization. But quiet people don’t dominate public discourse, so it’s hard to tell.)

(Which is a pity.)

(Anyway, I seem to feel as compelled to defend “religion”-as-a-valid-ordering-principle as do some of my friends who invalidate it. I don’t know why — I have no interest in whether other people lead “religious” lives, only happy ones — but I feel uncomfortable seeing something dear to me tarred with a broad brush. After all, I don’t like the Noisy Haters any more than you do. Perhaps less — because they just give us ALL a bad name.)

Do you understand?

4 comments for “I Am a Religious Man Unthreatened By Science, Secularity And Reason

  1. 2011.06.10 at 1114

    oh, yeah. I’m becoming a more passionate agnostic as those I love around me become more atheistic. We just don’t know enough yet, Occam’s razor notwithstanding! Since all humans in all cultures have some sense of the supernatural, can we surmise that humanity evolved its disposition toward religious experience? (One section of the brain, when stimulated, seems to experience spiritual visions or epiphanies) WHY? Really why? Is it just to reinforce social constructs? That doesn’t seem like enough motivation for the brain to bundle itself in such a particularly odd way. In Raiders, the ark of the covenant was referred to as “a radio for talking to God” but I don’t think that radio is a thing. It’s US. Maybe. Or not.

    • 2011.06.10 at 1214

      No, I tend to think the same way. I mean, consciousness is obviously built into the system — it didn’t come from anywhere else! But whether that system was designed or is self-designing I have neither clue nor investment, nor any way of designing an experiment to demonstrate this self-evident truth…

  2. Richard
    2021.05.05 at 1125

    I believe if it feels good , do it. Just don’t do anything illegal or immoral, and don’t force your beliefs on me.

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