Monday, November 10, 2008

Things I don't have time for: Golf, Religion ... coda.

Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete.

In addition to being vexed by that proposition, a couple of other things started to move me off of the strict rationalist viewpoint. The more reading I did about this neo-rationalist movement, the New Atheists to some, the more uncomfortable I became with their rhetoric. The science they put forth is great. But it seems that this group is no longer content to let people "have their delusions". For Dawkins, Hitchens, et al, religion is dangerous. To be fair, this sentiment really solidified after 9/11 for that group. I don't want to rehash all of that. I understand the point they are making, but the more aggressive their speech gets about the dissolution of religion the more they sound like the lesser essays in TPA. When it's about the science it's fascinating. When it's about listing all the ills of religion, it's tedious. Bill Maher is the prototypical manifestation of this.

Additionally, as I mentioned last post, the rationalist re-education was still not complete. Maybe could never be complete. I couldn't shake this ... yearning for something. No matter how much sense the science made. Still though, the results of my Catholic experiment were never going to change. This is when, unexpectedly, Zen, of all things, started making sense to me. I think mainly because it's mum on the whole Godel imcompleteness thing (Zen would say that any sort of system is a figment of our imagination and so who cares about complete or consistent). Plus Zen doesn't have the "baggage of events". That is, things that are expected to *happen* and therefore are *verifiable*. I was thinking about Christianity today along those lines. How it waits for the end of the world. It's been 2000+ years and it hasn't happened. How long will the world go before people don't care/aren't fearful anymore? What if 2000 years is less than a nano-second in GodTime? What if the six billion years of the earth is a nano-second? And in another nano-second (i.e. another six billion years)
God destroys his creation? The entire history of the universe might be the blink of his metaphorical eye. Yet people right now are waiting for it. That whole "like a thief in the night" seems kinda ridiculous at times. That's the probelm with Christianity: specificity. And maybe that's why Zen makes sense to me at the moement: Lack of ... well anything. :)

So here I am ... a Zenful quasi-rationalist agnostic, unsatisfied as always. I wonder if it's part of the human condition to look to/for something outside the physical world or if it really is the God Delusion.