Wednesday, November 20, 2013
There was a time when we thought that cells were the smallest particles possible—a level at which matter could not be divided any further. Then atoms were discovered and thusly named the building blocks of everything material. Then even smaller particles that were the building blocks of atoms were discovered. Then it was discovered that these particles were made up of even smaller particles called quarks and leptons, undoubtedly the smallest particles; anything otherwise would be nigh impossible to see, much less define. It was then hypothesized with the expansion of quantum mechanics and the introduction of string theory that the smallest unit of measurement possible was the “Planck” unit (1.62 × 10^ −35 m), a unit much smaller than an electron neutrino (a low-mass, neutrally charged lepton, the cross-section of which is roughly 1 yoctometre or 2 x 10^ -23 m). It was theorized that anything smaller than 1 Planck made no physical sense, but then evidence was found that quantum foam is made up of high-energy virtual particles that are smaller than 1 Planck—a level once defined as physically impossible to exist beyond.
Science is like a bucket. Scientists stand on the shore, bucket in hand, scooping up as much as they can from a vast ocean of answers. Then they quickly run back to the masses and say, "Look how many answers I found!" then dump those answers into a silo, and immediately return to retrieve more answers. Religious fanatics preach on the creation and meaning of the ocean and they bathe in the waters and have faith that this will make them whole and righteous.
Personally, I consider myself a Christian as my faith defines it. Now, I don't consider my faith unwavering or perfect by any means. I'm not a poster child for how to live a spiritual life, but I still have my beliefs, and even then, those beliefs are shaken to their core every day. My beliefs are a mix of tradition and logic. I have entertained thoughts that don't particularly agree with the Word and had even spent a lot of my childhood hashing out contradictions in the Bible. I remember arguing with Sunday school teachers about the importance of the whys rather than the whos and how the whens and wheres don't jive with the whys of the whats and hows, but then I learned that, honestly, the Christian faith comes down to a choice: there is the way of the world, and then there is the way of the Word.
I think that the Bible was simply written in such a way as to highlight what truly mattered in life—to establish healthy principles and thus lay a foundation to encourage revelation and the redemption of self so that those who read it may find happiness, if not just in this life, but also what might persist in the after. To me, it's perfectly clear that the Bible accents faith in the Word over knowledge of the world.
In the end, it’s not about what we ask about the Word of God; it’s about what we ask of it. That being said, I feel that people take the Bible entirely too literally and that the majority of critical effort in proving the Bible right or wrong or contradictory is pointless. If anything, the Bible was written to shift focus from the incessant cloud of crap that surrounds us that is of little to no consequence. Maybe there's an abundance of extraterrestrial life and God simply chose not to tell us for whatever reason (the Bible never mentioned other life in addition to angels and demons, but it never mentioned otherwise, either). Maybe Heaven, as opposed to a spiritual realm, is a physical place in space and time that shimmers in the night sky and we just aren’t capable of seeing it for what it really is. Maybe the Earth was created more than 6,000 years ago and we assume days and years as limited to our understanding of those measurements. Maybe each day of the Seven Days of Creation was actually thousands of years of terraforming, decay and evolution that was simulated over the course of one solar day. I'm not one to say it did or didn't happen or whether or not the God of the Bible was capable, but it sure would help explain both the 6,000-year phenomenon and scientific observation. In short, why seek a definitive answer among infinite possibility? It's a fool's errand.
My point here is that most people (and even some of the most devout Christians) are guilty of questioning the Bible because it either does or does not speak to something in particular which may or may not agree with mainstream or personal beliefs and/or doubts that provoke a subjective urgency; but, seriously, faith doesn't work at all if all anyone does is question.
We can ask questions until we're blue in the face, but even when we think we have an answer, do we really? Who can ultimately affirm anything? There's so much faith in science, yet scientific theories and laws are being proven otherwise on a daily basis because of new discoveries. Science is duly effective in its collective endeavor, yet there is no ultimate goal or focus. There is only faith in what is observed, not in what is felt. That which is observed is fickle and ever-changing, yet that which is felt is absolute.
So, where will it end? Well, it won’t. Like religion, science is persistent in it's own right. Science thrives on proof and process, which (seemingly counterproductively) leaves more room for doubt than anything else. Religion simply removes that doubt and replaces it with a structure of beliefs.
Why must everything have meaning? Maybe the universe was meant to stay mysterious. Honestly, look how many religious wars and conquests have cursed us through the ages and how many individuals were martyred in their varying defense. Science is responsible for many advancements in technology and medicine, but also the many weapons of war, the harnessing and misuse of nuclear energy, pollution of the environment, and the progressive annihilation of the Earth and its inhabitants.
So, instead of draining an entire ocean of its answers, why not just sit back and relax? Enjoy the view; feel the rush of the cosmos between your toes. Let the unexplained recede, unimpeded, where it may, and allow the sounding ebb and flow to establish a lasting tranquility and reassurance in all things. Stop trying to explain, explain, explain and just accept that we were made to behold the spectacle that is "creation," regardless of whether or not the individual believes it was actually created. And for the sake of humanity, stop the wars! Feed the hungry churrins! Don't worry! Be happy! Etc, etc.
In the end, the smarter we think we are in either study only ends in proving how much we don't know about the universe and its fickle nature. We either emotionally destroy each other over our beliefs or we physically destroy the Earth through discovery. In the end, human comprehension is a mere drop in this sea of endless knowledge. When it comes to science and religion, we will always play second fiddle to human ignorance, bar none. The only difference is that religion accepts this ignorance as destiny, whereas science attempts to explain it away.
So, are science and religion apples and oranges? Yes, but they're still fruits, nonetheless. I believe it's high time that the fanatical proponents of science and religion stopped bickering over who is right and started eating their damn vegetables. Suum cuique pulchrum est.
. . . and yes, that goes for you, too, fanatical evangelists that want me to pay real money for hypothetical novelty.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Pain follows love, but we must not shun love for the hurt that succeeds it. This conditions our minds to avoid the only goodness in life for avoiding disappointment when the latter is innevitable. Disappointment is to life as weeds are to loosely tended crop. In some cases, denying love leads one to acquire a love for pain, which is an unfortunate state of affairs.
We will surely be a shell of ourselves if we exile our love, for misery is the exhausting muck that recedes into the void divulged from the absence of precious, siphoned love, and in the wise words of the First American, "the discontented man finds no easy chair."
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
"I know you’re only a three-year-old and you can’t put all of my words together yet, but I have to tell you something important about life.
"Life is like a big hill. Every bad thing you do is like planting a tiny sh*t-seed on the very top of that hill. These seeds quickly yield saplings, and if you’re not careful, you may cultivate an entire sh*t-forest for everyone to see.
"Face it, you're innocent now, but one day you’re going to make a mistake. It's inevitable. Hell, you might even make a few of them and you might also hurt a few people in the process. Maybe you didn’t mean anything by it or maybe you just had a bad example or two somewhere down the road. Maybe there weren’t any 'good examples' around to take notice and correct the negative behavior that was hashed upon your fragile, developing mind, but you'll soon learn that this is the nature of life. We weren't meant to control everything.
"Regardless of the mistakes you make, if you are worth a mere grain of your own salt, then you will eventually make a change in yourself for the better. Just keep in mind that no matter how hard you try, and no matter what you do to correct those mistakes, there will always be some heartless douchebag that will constantly remind you of what you were and what you have tried so hard to change about yourself. Never let that bother you and you will have proven your worth; you will change the world for a change in yourself!
"You see, you can ultimately take the easy way out and build a house in the hazy stench of a sh*t-forest or you can chop it all down and build a house on fertile land. Razing a forest of sh*t-trees makes the ground more fertile by nature (that is what sh*t tends to do, after all), but in doing so, you still have to clean up after yourself. In the end, you’ve made a world of difference cutting out all the sh*t, but now you’ve got a ton of sh*t-logs to roll downhill."
"You want some Goldfish, Buddy?"