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Becoming A Confirmed Agnostic!


Guest Palebluedot
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Guest Palebluedot

Sorry mods, this was meant to be a new topic and appear here - my first version has appeared under Scalett's topic!

 

I have always considered myself a "nominal" Christian, in the sense that I never really experienced faith, although I plodded along to church at Christmas and Easter, took communion etc, just like my wife (we were married in church, as it looked good etc.). Although believing in the sentiments that Christ is said to have espoused (if you "believe it"!), I suppose for most of my life I've felt a bit of a hypocrit really.

 

It thus didn't take much to "free myself" from the little faith I had - one run through of all 13 inspirational and uplifting episodes of NASA/JPL scientist Carl Sagan's Cosmos, and the audio book Pale Blue Dot, were more than enough. It's central revelation of our one-ness with the cosmos, has probably had more profound affect on me than anything I ever read in five years at university (sociology), or listened to in sermons. This is not the place to state another tribute to this guy, he's a kinda soul mate (if you pardon the quasi-religious term) of mine, I've done plenty of that in other places (on his 10 year memorial blog-a-thon etc.) and at:

 

http://carlsagantribute.blogspot.com/

 

It is suffice to say here that when he died in 1996, mankind lost someone who we could most ill-afford to lose.

 

Those of you who have seen Cosmos or read Pale Blue Dot will understand, and those who haven't should view and read them, available from Cosmos Studios at

 

http://carlsagan.com

 

I suppose I am best calling myself an agnostic. I don't believe or disbelieve. We have rigorously tested scientific evidence that the Physical Laws of Nature hold true throughout the cosmos, not just here on earth BUT EVERYWHERE. Thus the earth is not a special frame of reference and is not at the centre of the solar system, Milky Way or the cosmos. The scientists of the renaissance such as Copernicus, Galileo and Keppler were cruelly persecuted as heretics by the Roman Catholic church in their search for "the truth", and for discovering that the same laws apply in the rest of the cosmos.

 

Religion, superstition, bigotry, racism etc., thrive in situations where there is no knowledge. Science, our "candle in the dark" is filling in the holes in our knowledge where we search for the truth, and religions feel under threat (and the vested interests behind them). Like anything under threat, religion is fighting back, with extremism in some cases (9/11) etc.

 

However, in the words of Carl Sagan:

 

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"

 

Of God, we have none. However there is plenty of evidence of the damage religion and unfettered bigotry and racial hatred can do to mankind - the destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Taliban, Iraq, Iran, the Lebanon, the Holocaust... 2000 lost years when mankind turned its back on science with initially, the loss of the Ionian Civilisation. Just think where we would be now if free-thinkers had not been burned at the stake - probably travelling at light speed to the stars.

 

If we are to survive as a species and avoid self-destruction, we must allow our passions to co-exist with our technology. I don't hate religion, I hate what it has become. It and its followers have regressed to wishing us all to re-enter a new Dark Age, with nuclear missiles, and weapons of mass destruction. Our search for "the truth" lies in rigorously verified scientific evidence, not blind faith. Our mission must be to ensure that this "scientific enterprise" remains the prevailing paradigm, for all our futures. For it is only through rational thought and respect for the views of others that we will survive, and avoid a ghastly wrong decision on some lazy summer afternoon when our arrogant beliefs justify wiping out five billion years of evolution at the press of a button.

 

I'll finish with this one quote to sum up, and it couldn't come from anyone more highly respected:

 

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

 

~ Albert Einstein

 

I'm glad I found these forums!

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"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

 

~ Albert Einstein

 

Can we hear an Amen! :thanks: Man, Einstein was so flingin' flangin' awesome! Oh, and I am big Sagan fan too!

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Guest Palebluedot

Thanks for the welcomes... Although I've felt this way for a long time, and I've many times in the past have called myself an agnostic, expressing it for the record, and meaning it, and being proud of it, have rally been something. Nice to be on these forums too, you do feel less isolated on the 'net. There are alot of people out there suffering from mass delusions of grandeur, stemming from a belief in religion (the earth, and they are somehow a special reference frame, relativistically speaking).

 

I suppose watching Cosmos just made me feel as though there were others who thought like me, then I did further reading of Einstein and Quantum Mechanics, and somehow it all just came together in a cookie sort of way.

 

If we are wrong, and the Xian/Jewish/Muslim all forgiving, caring god exists, then we shall all get into "heaven" anyway, so why waste time in believing something of which we have no proof, and nipping down to church every Sunday to listen to some cleric with a vested interest in ignorance? Give me Carl Sagan any day. How terrible he died so young, and what a great guy!

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