Tuesday, June 28, 2005

It's Called a Brain

My colleague in spiritual exploration Brian Hines has written an excellent essay called "In Defense of Uncertainty". He makes an eloquent point when he writes, "Religious belief is a conversation stopper...People who are absolutely certain that they are right aren’t interested in listening. All they want to do is talk. Preach. Proselytize. Pontificate. Since they can’t offer rational reasons for their political positions—faith isn’t rational—the simple question “Why?” is viewed as an attack."

Continuing on this theme, what has always struck me as odd, concerning fundamentalists of all stripes, is the negation in the utility of one's brain. We're supposedly created in the image of the great whatever and yet using one's brain to think rationally is viewed as a bad thing.

From such a perspective, if someone presents you with a religious precept that doesn't seem to make any sense, the last thing on earth you should ever do is question it. To question means you lack faith and a lack of faith means you've got a problem.

But if the ultimate source of life provided human's with thinking brains, doesn't it follow that this entity would hope that we would use them? We were given sexual organs for pleasure and procreation and we use them for these purposes. We were given the ability to eat, urinate and defecate and we do these three things.

It follows that we should use our brains as well for the functions that each possesses. And one of the main functions is the ability to ask why and why not.

1 comment:

  1. Good points, Trey--I particularly liked it when you said "excellent essay" and "eloquent point." I agree that the mind/brain is meant to be used in spirituality, not shunted aside in favor of blind faith and unthinking obedience.

    In "The Paradox of God" Clifford Pickover writes (p. 127) in a dialogue essay, "You concede rational people could have reasonable doubts. Now, consider that God exists. It's also not too much of a stretch of the imagination to think that God likes it when His creatures use their intellects and perform experiments? He may value rationality in His creatures...

    I think it's even possible that God could be unhappy with those who are not rational, those who believe in all sorts of things without being logical about it...

    I even think that such a God might punish believers for their credulity and reward clear thinkers that don't succumb to peer pressure and so forth...So when we die, God will reward freethinkers. He won't be happy with people who have tossed their reason away in favor of ignorance."

    Makes sense to me.


Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.