Science and Mystery, Part 01

Science - mystery

Scientific mysteries are the best kind. They provide two kinds of excitement: the fun of discovering solutions and the promise of new mysteries posed by those same solutions. Religion, on the other hand, offers us self-contradictory nonsense. We’re supposed to respond by saying, “Oh, that’s so deep!” It’s not deep. It’s just self-contradictory nonsense.

When I take religion at face value and say what I think of it, I get accused of “playing at the shallow end of the pool”. Well, what I’m saying is that the pool really is as shallow as I make it out to be and that those who claim it’s so much deeper than that are simply making shit up, though they may be doing so sincerely and earnestly. I think it’s because they’re just not ready to give up the nonsense. I expect that they think I’m being arrogant or closed-minded. I’m not sure how to explain to them that I think that they are the ones whose minds are closed, they who are trapped in that which I think properly belongs to the primitive past of our species. Well, I guess I just explained it, if they’ve read this far.

I’m not saying that they’re stupid. Many of them are very intelligent and some are probably much smarter than I am. Certainly, almost all of them have far more formal education than I do. I suspect that it’s not about brain power or schooling but, rather, about choices – about values.

They value faith, which means accepting something as true even though it is not well-supported by either reason or testable evidence. They value revelation, which is something completely subjective and necessarily untestable.

Most of the ones who engage with me about these matters also value reason and testable evidence. And we’re back to the land of self-contradiction. Some have suggested that quantum weirdness means that we can’t necessarily dismiss that which classical reason tells us is self-contradictory. I suspect that that’s a case of applying quantum physics where it doesn’t properly apply but maybe that’s an area that could do with elucidation by those who’ve already seriously considered such questions.

Does anyone care to recommend a book or two?

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