My past two posts have been sort of “off the wall,” and not seeming to have any real grounding in my normal and usual topics. But how many times can one write about the travesties of religion, the wonders of science and nature, the amazing power of humans and our scientific endeavours and our amazing frontiers? Well actually I could write an enormous amount, but that’s not the point. Why have I been writing these whimsical stories of my life? well for a very important reason. Ideological people assuming I have no ‘faith’ or love for humans, and that I don’t appreciate the world. Clearly these people have never read my posts, and have never actually looked at what an atheist, scientist, humanist and realist actually sees.
I have been thinking for a while about writing this post, but have had obstacles in the way of writing. These obstacles aren’t to do with this, it was obstacles like holidays, work, and the other things we have to do in our lives. I have decided to write this as a prequel to my philosophical paper. I have mentioned before about this paper, but to restate, it is an explanation to what is life. But in it I have to tackle God and or gods. You can’t answer life without tackling this most audacious of hurdles. I have outlined the idea of gods and religion before in previous posts, and why I think they are unnecessary. I have questioned religious authority outside this blog, and am frequently thinking on new ways of getting people to look at the facts.
I am a humanitarian and an atheist. The two sit nicely in each others hands. You can’t really have one without the other, and I hope many fellow humanitarians and atheists feel the same, which they most surely do.
And combined with my love of humans, I love being alive, and being able to enjoy this universe to the best of my human brains capacity. I love knowing the symphony that plays in orbits, and stellar nurseries and the gentle movement of waves caused by the shifting moon. And what pleases me the most, is knowing that I can experience it to the full, with no strings or ties holding me back. Of course, this is not to say that I don’t sit within the moral guidelines of humanity and civilisation. But I am free to think, feel and know to the full potential all that there is. And yet, I am also saddened by this planet, and our race in particular. Actually, solely our race. I am at a juxtaposition, I am torn by my love of humanity and all that it can achieve, and ripped by the anger, hatred and ruthless naïvety of our species.
The title of this post is obviously an interesting choice of words. However, those words were not mine, but that of V.S. Ramachandran in his book, The Tell-Tale Brain. He uses those words to describe why the brain does certain things, even though it is irrational.
In Ramas book, he uses it to show that the brain chooses absurdities to negate discrepancies of any kind. In that section of his book, he explains capgras syndrome, where a relative or loved one is classed to be an impostor. Rama explains that the patients brain chooses the impostor route, as the brain doesn’t feel the emotion due to a break that links certain parts in the brain. It is absurd for it to be an impostor, and the brain knows that facially and vocally that it is their mother, but since the emotional centre has lost connection, he doesn’t feel the same way towards them. As a result, the brain chooses the disposition, that they are a fraud.
To me, an atheist or antitheist, religion is a blanket. This blanket isn’t just a comforter for those who are scared of the world, but as a blanket to hide real evidence, facts and to bury logic, reasoning and advancement. This is in contrast to science.
Science is, as that great man Carl Sagan said, ‘more than a body of knowledge, it’s a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe… If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs.’ Sadly Carl is no longer with us, but his message that we must be skeptical lives on. Without a skeptical mind skeptically assessing things, we will never advance. And this is what religion does, it is the locked door on skepticism.
Many times in my life, as i hope you have too, I have woken up and have been grateful that so many years ago, my mother gave birth to me. The reason for this is that it allows me to enjoy the beauty, wonder and majesty of plants, animals, our town, our country, our world, and our universe. (I use our quite wrongly, we do not and hopefully shall not, claim possession to the cosmos.)
Being alive means we can appreciate tastes, smells, sights, sounds and touches of the environment around us.(Albeit a flawed guess of our environment. See Brain interpretation.) But not only do we appreciate these senses, at least i hope you appreciate them, but we can also appreciate the entire cosmos around us. We have the science, maths and intelligence to decipher the language of space-time, the genome and DNA and also the wonderful but changeable and violent home we call Earth.