Rounding Up?

I enjoy pondering the things I have no grasp of, I feel like I am in good company. I don't know if these thoughts will lead me to a deeper understanding of the world I live in, but I know that if I were to abandon thinking as a useless waste of time then I would become useless myself.

I find myself tired by people trying to restore my faith. Their version of reality is so truncated, so stifled, that it feels like I am debating life with a puppet wielded by a madman's hand. I cannot believe that these are their own words, because if they would allow their minds to wander they should come to the realization that religious faith is mad.

Sometimes I become so awestruck by the universe that I can only sit silently thinking about the nature and implications of infinity. Here's how it goes in my mind.

If there is infinity it creates the probability of any choice happening at some point. How could we ever observe it? I know so little of numbers. I know that if I had endless time I could count, and in counting throughout all of eternity I would never reach the end of number choices. Yet, between nothing and the concept of one there are infinite parts, small fractions of numerals broken down in infinite decimal places, yet at some point there is an end, because there is a point where the numbers are no longer between nothing and one, but one.

It's at this point where I usually call a friend who is much better at math than I am and they suggest that I round up.

Arguments for faith are that same answer. When faced with the grandeur of the universe and the frustration of how little we can explain because of our vantage point in time and space, religion tells us, "round up!"
When we are searching for answers, and concepts like a finite infinity give us headaches, it seems simple enough to round up, it may be close enough to an answer to stop the questions, but we certainly haven't learned anything new. How can so many people applaud such lazy methods?

Their explanations are like trying to understand the plot of a movie by watching a single second near the end of the film. They see a man and a woman with unexplained circumstances,  motivations and development and feel that they can accurately tell you, not only what the movie was about, but what the director intended you to take away from it. Checking earlier frames, reading a synopsis by someone who has observed something different than they have...it is all hubris.

If someone expected us to enjoy movies in such a manner we'd not only tell them how stupid that sounded, but refuse to accept their method. So why does society expect us to do exactly that when it comes to the grandest tale available to us?

We are watching the story of the universe, it unfolds before us and we can choose to pay attention. It is not an easy story to follow, but it give us so much more than the alternative.

Views: 96

Comment by Ed on November 20, 2014 at 8:26am

Theists must avoid cognitive dissonance as much as possible. Explanations of the world around us that are sourced from science will create problems for those who believe a man survived for days unscathed in the belly of a whale. Myth, superstition, and fairy tales are readily accepted, if for anything, because it requires much less thought and understanding.

Comment by Pope Beanie on November 20, 2014 at 1:12pm

[sorry for the re-edit/repost]

I think it's human nature to presume that some form of perfection and/or omnipotence exists, mostly because it motivates them to grow themselves in that direction. Perfection and omnipotence are just ideals, but over time and discourse they became personified; Godified.

But now, finally having discourse about imperfection, mortality, and other realities, we can see more reasonable, progressive, and effective paths to forge. The largest problem to solve now is to overcome tribal gullibilities, and thousands of years of ingrained mythologies.

In addition to Ed saying "it requires much less thought and understanding", I'd say that it once served a greater purpose, which was to organize our traditional discourses to enable group progress (for better and worse, e.g. building civilization versus waging war). Skepticism and reasoned thought requires humans to toss out most of their traditionalized dialogs and ceremonies. It takes a lot of creativity and work to upgrade culture.

I meant to add that I like your round-it-up analogy. That's what we're talking about, is taking concepts like infinity, omnipotence, and perfection, and giving them the benefit of doubt by assuming they're attainable in reality. The hard part for us is in understanding the concept while simultaneously realizing that they're not really attainable after all.

Comment

Join Think Atheist

Forum

The Impact of Secondary Christian Beliefs on Morals

Started by maruli marulaki in Ethics & Morals May 14, 2020.

Flying Spaghetti Monster news

Started by Andrew Guthrie in Religion and the Religious, Atheism and Atheists. Last reply by 34u0tmz9oc778 Apr 16, 2020.

Is it moral for our governments to impose poverty on us?

Started by D L in Small Talk. Last reply by 34u0tmz9oc778 Apr 21, 2020.

on reincarnation

Started by rudrappa agadi in Pseudoscience, The Paranormal, and Conspiracy Theories. Last reply by 34u0tmz9oc778 Apr 9, 2020.

Have the rich and powerful lost their altruistic instincts?

Started by D L in Small Talk. Last reply by D L Aug 8, 2020.

Blog Posts

The Essential Beliefs Of Christianity

Posted by James C Rocks on November 12, 2020 at 10:49am

Yes ATHEIST

Posted by ETRON on September 6, 2019 at 12:44pm