Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Its O.K to admit you don`t know something!

 I was watching some Youtube videos about religion and anti-theism a few days ago and I found it interesting that both Theists and atheists accuse each other of the same thing. This "thing" being  dogmatism. I must say that one trap that many on both sides fall into is that they claim either; that there is no God, or that there is a God. The only truth here is that neither statement can be proven definitively, so anyone who makes such claims is uninformed at best and a liar at worst. Being presumptuous  is one of the great failings of mankind; we all want to "know" something. Have you ever asked someone a question, and when the person clearly did not know what they were talking about, they proceeded to give a answer anyway? People find it very difficult to say; "I don`t know" and move on. As far as a "proof" of God is concerned, Thomas Aquinas perhaps came the closest in his Summa Theologica where he speaks of "five ways" that God must exist. Although quite interesting, he does not prove a God exists. Especially, if we are speaking of a personal God that is concerned with human affairs as we find in many Judeo-Christian beliefs. One problem is with the definition of "God" itself. Are we talking of a Judeo-Christian God, which is involved in human affairs or are we speaking of the "God" of Spinoza, which is impersonal and pantheistic in nature. I deal with this in a previous blog post "What is God?" Now on the other side, when Atheists say "there is no God," what are they talking about exactly? Usually they are referring to the "man in the sky," or the traditional anthropomorphic representations of God. However, this view is inadequate for those who believe God is merely energy or nature. I think presumptuousness emanates from  fear; you see, some have to know what happens when they die or they can`t face life. Therefore if you ask most religious folk, they have everything mapped out. They tell you about Heaven, Valhalla,Paradise, or wherever and Hell,Hades, or Gehenna. To top that off they can even tell you what you will be doing while there, so they have an after death itinerary.Assumptions get us into all kind of troubles, because we back ourselves into a corner with no where to go. When finally proven wrong; we are stuck with two choices, admit we are wrong and eat humble pie, or as many do, modify the original statement. For instance, there was a time when people believed the earth was created in a literal six days, when that didn`t work out, instead of saying the Bible was in error, a new "interpretation" was created. So that "day" was not a literally 24 hour day but "time period." This type of stuff goes on ad nauseum.  These type of situations can be avoided with  three humble words "I don`t know." Instead of acting like you know and getting disgraced later, be humble, research discuss your opinion and be open. I think Socrates would be proud.

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