I often get asked:
|"Hey Dave, what do you believe in?"|
Nothing, depending on your definition of 'believe.'
I've had some pretty strong opinions. Still do. I often consider this my biggest weakness.
I used to be a well thought-out Laissez-Faire capitalist. I'm not so much anymore, though you can still see vestiges of it in my economic attitudes.
But sometime around 1991 I had one of those self-relevations that shook up my world. I realized I couldn't prove some of my philosophies so I tore all of them down one-by-one. I moved towards my base philosophy trying to find some set of philosophical 'postulates' that I could prove. As I worked my way down, I realized that I wasn't going to find any, and there weren't going to be any beliefs left. And I still haven't found any, and I'm guessing that it's because there aren't any.
I suppose that classifies me as a relativist or nihilist.
"I can't figure out if Relativism is open-mindedness or just apathy"
- dlm, Relativist
That fits in pretty well with how I started off in life - I've always been a skeptic, so it was only a matter of time before I finally got over the beliefs I had built up and threw them all out.
If you look throughout our history, mankind has held great convictions on a stunning lack of knowledge. And at each point in time, mankind looks back to its collective past with great mirth over the foolishness of previous generations, since they didn't finally understand things like the present.
And each time they've been wrong.
But somehow, this time we've really got it. Those wacky doctors in the past would try witchcraft and leeches and ointments, but now we finally understand how the body works.
And in the past they had this silly notions of gravity and ether and what matter was made of, but now we understand how the universe works.
I just don't buy it anymore. I don't want to be the fool that the future looks back on and pitifully wonders how I could possible believe the earth was flat.
|"..let me state out front that whatever YOU think about the handgun issue, it is my firm belief that - and you may call me a courageous individual if you you wish - you are 100 percent correct." -Dave Barry|
Science and our senses fail us, because:
Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less
obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no
solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid.
There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no
-- R. Buckminster Fuller
Our perceptions will always be lacking, and the consequences are demonstrated by the famous allegory of the Blind Men And The Elephant.
Shaking all my beliefs off has some obvious religious conclusions, but while I wouldn't claim to have any beliefs about religion, I still have light-hearted opinions (surprise, surprise..)
Dear God, |
What does it mean You are a Jealous God? I thought You had everything.
atheist: [a=without, theism=god]. Without god. One who denies the
existence of god.
agnostic: [a=without, gnostic=knowing]. Without knowledge. One who denies knowledge of the existence of god.
Atheism in itself is a belief system - some even call it a religion. Because of my realizations, I've moved from atheism to agnosticism, though I admit to having atheistic tendencies. I've never gone for the god thing - when I first thought about it I was three years old and I declared to my brother that there was no god. When pressed on the issue it occured to me that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny didn't exist either. My poor brother had just received money from the tooth fairy, so he finally asked me about that. I informed him that the tooth fairy was a fraud as well and he started crying.
(Sorry Mike, I couldn't resist)
"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer gods than you do. W
hen you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen F. Roberts
I've never been a fan of religion, particularly organized religion. I feel that religion requires blind faith which interferes with truth. I may regret feeling this way when I die. We'll see.
"D'you remember how Jesus was led into the wilderness and fasted forty
days? Then, when he was a-hungered, the devil came to him and said:
If thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
But Jesus resisted the temptation. Then the devil set him on a
pinnacle of the temple and said to him: If thou be the son of God,
cast thyself down. For angels had charge of him and would bear him
up. But again, Jesus resisted. Then the devil took him into a high
mountain and showed him the kingdoms of the world and said that he
would give them to him if he would fall down and worship him. But
Jesus said: Get thee hence, Satan. |
That's the end of the story according to the good simple Matthew. But it wasn't. The devil was sly and he came to Jesus once more and said: If thouh wilt accept shame and disgrace, scourging, a crown of thorns and death on the cross, thou shalt save the human race, for greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Jesus fell. The devil laughed till his sides ached, for he knew the evil men would commit in the name of their redeemer."
_The Razor's Edge_, W. Somerset Maugham (pg 209)