Saturday, December 4, 2010

Outside, or inside the box

I had thought briefly about dissecting the statement in my previous post "Explaining my faith to an atheist, is like trying to describe how I got out of the box, to someone still stuck inside it." Then I thought that I don't REALLY know what the tweeter would say when pressed, so I deferred for a few minutes, because I'd be constructing a straw man argument.

That's what I get by thinking!

Let's just assume that, by "faith", that the tweeter is referring to faith in a deity. This is a common theme, so I think I'm on safe ground there. Now, I'll assert that believing that there is a deity defies all the empirical evidence that is presented to us throughout our lives. The world wasn't created in six days; man wasn't created spontaneously by this deity (who incidently refers to itself in the plural); the sons of that first man didn't wander off and encounter and marry women elsewhere unless they were created by some other unexplained process; the sons of the first man didn't live for seven, eight and even nine hundred years. The list goes on and on.

This deity wasn't concerned only with the well-being of the Israelites. This deity apparently wasn't even concerned mainly with this planet, or the star that it orbits. If this deity truly created the universe, then it apparently had some equal concern for 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 other stars.

A thousand or so years after this deity's chosen people began to worship him, he didn't send a messiah that would die, be resurrected and absolve man of his sins.

How does believing in these things constitute being "outside the box"? Isn't the belief of these preposterous things one of the more limiting things that a person can do? How is confining your world view to that which was constructed by bronze age nomads being "outside the box"? How is abandoning your critical reasoning skills - the thing that differentiates us more from our fellow creatures than anything else - how does abandoning those skills constitute being "outside the box"?

People of average intelligence, possessed of average reasoning skills, and in possession of average, modern information, can see that adhering to a world view that was held at the dawn of history is staying pretty far "inside the box".

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