With religious persecution no longer all the rage, I’ve given consideration lately to the steps by which I freely became an agnostic deist. I’ve always had my doubts in the bible, even when mad deacons put forth the scientific evidence for the ark, or the perfect beauty of a snowflake, much of it is very ridiculous. That is, deserving some ridicule.
Al Pacino (i.e. the devil), had some very interesting things to say regarding the paradoxes present ever since the Garden of Eden, not the least of which being the hypocrisy of God to condemn his only begotten son to a brutal death simply because of a case of entrapment he had set up against two weak-minded humans thousands of years before to commit their fated sin(s). The philosophical inconsistencies alone began to make my head spin.
I dabbled with the sophistry of creationists like Kent Hovind, (having been given his tapes by an uncle) but never having been a Christian zealot, it came from more of a place of intellectual rebellion, trying to find the most obscure and bizarrely interesting ideas in defiance of everything mainstream. I was a teened-ager at this point.
Soon after, my mind began to wander into areas of critical thinking and skeptical exploration, listening to paranormal talk radio and reading books about how we may have been seeded by ancient aliens. Though they would not be kept on my eventual list of beliefs, these ‘third options’ presented made the dogmatic religious origins seriously suspect.
Still, the beauty of nature argument from certain historical philosophers, as a merely personal spiritual concept, was quite compelling.
As I delved into history, I learned about Descartes, and eventually the real beliefs of the founding fathers of America, and was surprised to learn that most of them were agnostics and deists, words I didn’t have much context for. The ideas resonated with me more than mere atheism, though the debate over which is more of a hard-core belief system, and which is the real cop-out persist, with every side having their own biased arguments.
For a while, I simply adhered to Pascal’s wager, to hedge my bets.
Eventually, in college and after, I discovered the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, and the writings and recordings of Carl Sagan, the arguments and evidence from biology, history, physics, quantum mechanics and philosophy oped to me a new realm of cosmological context. The debates found on the Conversations From the Pale Blue Dot podcast situated my belief as a personal choice, despite Richard Dawkins‘ or Stephen Hawking‘s insistence that no God is necessary, nothing falsifiable precludes it.
I can see how the world is beautiful with or without the existence of God, and I certainly don’t buy that our ability to believe at all is proof in a built-in system of God’s. However, with theories such as the holographic universe, the interconnectedness of the (as-yet-undiscovered) Higgs-Boson particle, and every spiritual guru’s insistence, I allow for the possibility of the experimental, psychedelic Creator.
But I cannot accept that God or Jesus or Krshna or Allah tampers with us daily. You spend enough time examining the world, you really begin to see the absence of the Hand of God in everything.
So there’s a bias for you.