I spent a good part of my life in ignorant bliss

After nearly two decades immersed in Christendom I must concede to the idea that this life is simply a series of random events... but mathematically speaking there is sometimes pattern evident in chaos. These patterns can be sometimes interpreted as coincidences and luck. The more romantically natured people will fictionise such clusters of coincidence as divine intervention from a god who is pulling at the strings. Their God is a loathsome creature who 'allows' the most grotesque things to happen to its 'beloved children'. Any purely good god would have intervened and thought up a better way to make a set of toys to play with... without having to try melting them with a magnifying glass.

I spent a good part of my life in ignorant bliss. That's fine... at the time it felt fine. In the light of new information and a new mindset, I can see that it was a waste of time. I'll still live and die and will currently do things that will still seem to have been a waste of time in years to come.

I lost years and de-evolved somewhat, but worse things could have happened. People lose arms, and they lose children. People can be swindled out of their life savings, they can develop painful diseases that cripple and torment. We can find love only to lose it and suffer from the memory of it... people have a 'bunch of stuff happen' happen to them, because (pause) - because it's random and they sometimes don't take personal control and responsibility for their actions.

Earthquake, war, plague - shit truly happens and always, always has. Satan doesn’t exist. It seems he does because those things we consider to be evil - chaos, destruction, bad days - are the restive ways of the Earth. As a species, we have worked miracles to keep the violent world at our gate. Sometimes those miracles are baffled, because the universe is like that. "Against exploding stars, earthquakes and the tempers of men, we can only do so much to defend ourselves" (Jack Marx).

We have evolved to a level of self existence where we're intelligent enough to question own state of being. We got so smart that we began to label the random coincidences as part of a plan by a god that simply doesn't exist, or is doing a good job hiding out behind a Clark Kent type alias.


Anonymous said...

"These patterns can be sometimes interpreted as coincidences and luck. The more romantically natured people will fictionise such clusters of coincidence as divine intervention from a god who is pulling at the strings."

You couldn't be more correct about this human tendency to seek patterns.

While this pattern seeking tendency certainly applies to the religious world, and is very relevant to such things as "answered prayers", it also extends far beyond just religious thinking.

As James Randi is fond of saying on his skeptic site, "We remember the hits and ignore the misses".
This applies to things like astrology, gambling, divining for water, the coincidental phone call; right up to those phony telepath's talking to our dead relatives and getting 'answers' back for the living loved one's (e.g. Sylvia Brown and John Edwards)

It all boils down to one thing really......A desire to BELIEVE.

If you believe in any of these things, then you look for the hits and either ignore, or quickly forget, the many misses. It doesn't take very long to convince oneself that such things are legit, if you desire them to be.

If you're skeptical about any of these topics, then you'll weigh the total of hits and misses and that is when things become clear that mathematical chance is the only thing at work here.

This desire to believe is what accounts for many of these supernatural folks (who aren't the types to go around pulling pranks on other folks) to honestly believe and promote their own falsehoods.
It is why you'll find so many out there, for instance, who claim that divining for water with a forked piece of wood really works and they will insist they can prove it, but fail to every time they are tested. Even when they fail during such testing, they will surely find some grand excuse with the testing criteria, rather than the failure being with themselves.

It is why Christians really believe they can pray to this supernatural god and not only get back answers to their meek questions, but see the evidence that god really made some change in their lives, per their request to him.
They only see the hits from chance alone and quickly attribute it to something supernatural, all while ignoring the majority of times god failed to answer them......which of course, they just write off as "it will happen in the future", or "god has some divine reason for not granting this particular wish".
If praying really worked, then we could test it and show something was going on far above and beyond mere chance alone.

Besides the chance factor of prayer being answered, why doesn't god ever give some true believer a much needed warning about some upcoming great disaster that would make god's chance of being more real to the general population.
Why doesn't god ever give us some unknown piece of information about the universe that is far beyond our scientific knowledge.
He doesn't for the same reason we never get a boost in technology from aliens visiting earth daily in UFO's.......They both don't exist, period.

The majority of humans can be so easy deluded if they lack a basic understanding of how mathematical statistics work and how they would apply to something they might want to believe in.

Good topic Moth. !!!!

Anonymous said...

It is good that you are not bitter at Christianity. You seem to have avoided the very worst experiences that it had to offer. Some here are not so lucky, and the mental scars they have will never go away. In any case, you seem strong minded and ready to face life the way it really is: uncertain.

It is still hard for me when I think about how Christians took advantage of my kindness/trust to the point that I wanted to commit suicide several times in my life. What really bothers me is that as a scientist who read the Bible extensively, I saw all the problems with Christianity. However, I still held on because I lived such a depressing life and needed hope.

One question that I hear a lot is "What makes humans different from animals?". I wonder if perhaps animals have the intelligence to question their existence like humans. If they have this intelligence, it would seem they have figured out the coping strategy for mortality.

Anonymous said...

Dude are you gay or just bi-curious? TruthNomads (note the anagram!)

mothpete said...

Hi "a months turd"... note the anagram!

No, not gay or bi, but thanks for asking... I'm flattered, but am not seeking any extra-marital gay affairs.

snakey said...

Believing in a 'Divine Plan' or the 'big pattern in the sky' - No they do NOT, otherwise why does 'the christian' go on bended knee, pleading with the almighty to change it...just for them?

'finding patterns'
Bible numerics is stupid too.

Chaos Theory - the Butterfly effect...

back to Moths?


mothpete said...

It always goes back to moths some way.. somehow...

Anonymous said...

If all are chance, then Christians must have a really lucky chance of winning spiritual lottery on a daily basis when they seek God. Personally, I was an atheist that had no desire to believe at first, then I was touched by Christian's love and all it took was a single prayer for the God I didn't think exist to open my heard "seek and you shall receive", no matter how many times I tried to deny Him, I kept "winning lottery" and placing them in the "it's just chance box" until I could no longer deny His Grace and existance, God has been blessful for those who are willing to seek Him.

I agree many things Christians say to non-Christians can be very annoying, because I was on the other side, but truth is the truth is the truth and I thank our heavenly father for making Truth so absolute... so those who came to know him will thank Him for giving no ambiguity...

I know I am just anonymous and no power to turn you back toward our Heavenly Father... but I just want you to know... that He's always there and He's always waiting for his child to return home... and He has never ever given up on you... He loves you.


mothpete said...

Try throwing some die over and over again. You'll be absolutely amazed that approximately every sixth time you'll roll a six with it.

try not to pray to it. I can't stop you though.