11 August 2010

Religiously Sceptic

Scepticism is incorrectly believed to be a stance of closed mindedness when in fact a sceptic is always open to all information. Not everyone decides to or can afford to become a scientist but that does not exclude people from taking part in a world of logic and rationality. A sceptic is a person that has consciously decided to be a part of that world and is always mindful of accepted facts while remaining open to new information. It is vitally important that as sceptics we place our focus on facts rather than conclusions lest we risk falling into the trap of faith which might cause us to adjust the evidence to fit a desired conclusion rather that adjusting the conclusion to fit the evidence.

There are a number of religions in our world and while things may have been more aggressive in the past the faithful now use passion as their medium to compete with other religions. "My religion is the most real because i have genuinely felt the awesome power of my god". This is the general idea i get from discussions i've had with the faithful from various religions. For me this sufficiently indicates that none of the worlds religions have any more credibility than another. Why then, now that the information era is in full force, is faith still so popular? Is it because the internet perpetuates lies as well as truths as Richard Dawkins suggests? This theory doesn't sit well with me because a sceptic accepts all information and builds an understanding of the truth by relating and cross referencing information and reducing significance on unsubstantiated and unreasonable claims. Are we then just experiencing mass schizophrenia as Bill Maher suggests? I don't like this theory either because i know people personally who are very intelligent and otherwise rational individuals who also happen to subscribe to a faith.

To stay true to what might be considered my religion, i need to remain open to all these claims because acceptance of the fact that we do not have all the answers is what separates sceptics from the faithful. There is significant evidence that bibles, priests and prophets are cultural creations and have nothing to do with the divine but we cannot immediately dispute the existence of a god. But as always, it is the responsibility of the theorist to substantiate their claims and not the responsibility of sceptics to disprove them. We have yet to receive any proof of a god although an exact definition of god doesn't exist either. If you don't know what you are looking for then how will you know when you've found it? Faith i suppose.