Tag Archives: science

Where I Need God and Where I Don’t

I have some thoughts that have been rolling around my head; just haven’t been in the right mindset to put them to words on this blog (writing fiction so much lately is eating up my time and energy, so that’s part of it).

Until I can, I just wanted to share a quick thought with those who criticize the practice of religion or the pursuit of things spiritual:

Don’t mistake me for someone who needs God to make sense of the world or to explain how things are. This isn’t a case of needing the existence of a higher power for lighting and rainbows to be explained or to make sense of where the universe came from. Science has proven more than up to the task of breaking down the physical world and explaining a lot of those things. I look to God for making sense of the things that science doesn’t touch and probably never can: The things of the spirit. That is the place where I need God, both as a guide and as an endpoint to seek.

And argue all you want that there is no spirit. No soul. No existence beyond the current prison of our flesh. I don’t need you or science to prove that such things exist. I have seen them and I feel them and they are real. If you chose not to recognize them and are satisfied with that, more power to you. But telling me that the spiritual isn’t real doesn’t make it so, and where science cannot tread, there I will seek a higher power.

Balanced, Not Superstitous

I’m sure this post will earn some guffaws and maybe some blow-back from my loyal readers who happen to be atheists or semi-militant agnostics, but here goes…

My belief in God, and Jesus for that matter, is not a sign of any of the following:

  • Fear of death
  • Insecurity
  • Superstition
  • Desire to belong to a group
  • An aching emptiness inside that I wanted to fill
  • Delusion
  • Idiocy
  • Lack of scientific awareness
  • Immaturity

In fact, I see a lot of maturity and balance in my worldview. And that is because I deny neither the scientific nor the spiritual. I’m not saying I have all the answers in life, but what I do have is a lot of internal security and well-being.

I don’t understand when entirely secular folks insist that to be fully mature, I must deny my belief in, and search for, spiritual meaning. Just as I don’t understand religious people who insist on ignoring science and reason.

Humans have sought spiritual discernment for a long time, and for quite a number of centuries (in fact, a couple millennia at least), it hasn’t been about explaining why it rains or how the sun moves across the sky or anything like that. It’s been about a deeper kind of meaning. People who dismiss religion as an artifact of ignorant ancient goat herders is doing a disservice to goat herders (many of whom, I am sure, had deeper thoughts than screwing their herd-stock and picking at their asses) and a disservice to spiritual seekers.

Yes, there was a time when religion was all about explaining worldly things. But as people have advanced, so has the depth and maturity of spiritual seeking. Sure, there are plenty of idiots in the world who follow religion and religious leaders blindly and skim only the surface of religious precepts, but most people seem to prefer following someone than thinking for themselves.

Funny thing is, spiritual seeking, while it cannot follow the scientific method, does still follow the same general progression as science. That is, as humans have advanced, so has the study. Science was once a pretty pathetically ignorant, simplistic and sketchy affair, just like religion.

The problem is that the more we figure out about the world, the more full of ourselves and our intelligence we become, and the more we think we don’t need God. We are not slowly disproving God, but simply pushing him aside unnecessarily.

If more believers would be mature about their spiritual seeking, and more non-believers would stop ridiculing those who are trying to find spiritual meaning, maybe religion wouldn’t be the mess it has become these days. Now, both sides, secular and religious, essentially call the other side a bunch of heretics, which solves nothing.

I can already see one retort coming.

But science is rational. Science doesn’t lead to oppression or wars!


Maybe it doesn’t have the same track record right now, but religion had a hell of a head start. People can blindly follow a scientific theory or finding as much as a biblical principle. Science and research can be twisted, skewed and misrepresented.

Hmmmm. Just like religion.

The Nazis based their genocidal campaign in World War II based on “science” that showed Aryans were superior. Noted intellects justified slavery by “proving” that Blacks weren’t as evolved or even as human as Whites. Medical science can downplay the horrors of abortion, even as it can also be used to overplay them. Research shows us that it isn’t cost-effective or “useful” to pay for certain types of medical screening or healthcare, and so insurance companies and hospital executives can oppress us to sickness or even death. Religious groups can call homosexuals deviant because they can point to a  lack of scientific proof that same-sex desires are inherited rather than learned or chosen. Need I go on?

Science is on pace to do everything that religion did and more. It can bring us together in understanding and truth and good guidance. And it can tear us apart.

Science is not the be-all and end-all of human experience, and it never will be. Nor shall religion or any kind of spiritual pursuit. I maintain that both are entirely necessary to being mature humans.

Blinded me with science

da-vinci_man2.jpgBeen a bit busier this week than normal with the kind of work that pays me cash as opposed to spiritual dividends, so I’m a bit more spotty than usual with my posts. Might go for two today to make up for lost time, but we’ll see.

Some of the blogs I like to frequent, especially ones dealing with politics, arts and social commentary, are authored by folks who either don’t want to deal with church or God, or who flat-out don’t believe in any kind of higher power. (You didn’t think a guy who swears while spreading the word about God would just go to religious sites, did you? The Christian Coalition would have a collective seizure if they saw my Favorites on MSN and YouTube.) And something hit me recently, and maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think anyone in this world lacks a religion, not even atheists. Bear with me a moment on this. Maybe I’m just spouting nonsense, but I think I’m on to something.

A lot of folks seem to think that somehow the world is a game of science vs. religion. I disagree completely. Plenty of great scientists have believed (and continue to believe) in God or some other deity. And science itself has provided support for events and people in the Bible, like the existence of the Hittites, whom a lot of Bible critics claimed were just made up, and the existence and destruction of those rockin’ capitals of sin, Sodom and Gomorrah.

So, we cannot say that science and religion are mutually exclusive. If that’s the case, what separates atheists from theists (Christian or otherwise)?

It’s the god we worship.

Yes, atheists have a god of sorts. And in most cases, their god is science. Science and faith don’t cancel each other out, but when God or any other spirit-based power is taken out of the equation completely, science (or pure reason, or some other similar thing) becomes a god. Atheists look to science to answer all the questions. If something cannot be seen, detected, measured or inferred from existing scientific knowledge, it generally isn’t worth considering its existence. Even love becomes a biochemical reaction, not a spiritual connection. Sure, it’s a damned fine-feeling biochemical reaction, but its just a product of hormones ultimately.

Yeah, that’s right, I believe atheism is a religion. It is a religion that lifts up science and intellect above the unseen world of the spirit. For most religions, their God or gods are essentially spiritual and that doesn’t wash with the atheists. Anything that puts an unseen entity above what atheists see as the pinnacle of evolution (humans) is utter dog crap to them. They see it as some comforting delusion that people would have faith in something unseen and unmeasurable. To them, it is as freakish as people who used to not believe in germs because they couldn’t be seen. Or who thought the world was flat as a damned pancake.

The thing is, I understand where they are coming from. I don’t even knock atheists for feeling this way. Truth be told, I think it takes a lot of faith to be an atheist. I’m serious. And isn’t that what religion is about? Faith. A hardcore atheist would probably whup my ass in a dark alley for saying that, because of course we can see the fruits of science, and they would say they are logical or rational, not faithful.

But what about that part of the human nature that seeks spiritual things? It seems odd that if evolution is such a wonderful process that keeps making creatures better and better and more adapted to their environment that it would give us all this intellect and reasoning and install some freaking flaw that has us looking for the divine. Just as the non-atheists have faith in the existence of spiritual things, so do atheists cling to a faith that such feelings are flawed and that no spiritual aspect exists. No soul. Nothing but a really advanced collection of water and trace minerals in a two-legged sack of skin.

Shit, that’s some serious faith. Because humans long for spiritual connection. I think that’s because the connection was broken by the first two real spiritually developed humans (I touch on this a little in my post Who Really Blew It In Eden?). God had to let us stew in our own juices for a while and work through the world and his “chosen people” the Hebrews to get us Jesus, who would restore that connection. Not everyone accepts that Jesus is that spiritual missing link, but then again, no one agrees that we’ve found an evolutionary missing link yet bewtween apes and primitive humans either. But atheists have to write that spiritual longing off as a flaw, just as I, as a man of spiritual faith, have to deal with the fact that God wants me to approach Him with faith and not show Himself to me in some rational, physical way. We all have our crosses to bear in maintaining our religious faith, whether theist or atheist.

Sure, you have atheists who believe in unseen and unmeasurable stuff, like psychic powers, the idea that extraterrestrials built the pyramids and stuff like that. But I think of that no differently than misguided Christians, for example, who insist the earth is only something like 7,000 years old and that the Virgin Mary actually remained a virgin after Jesus was born. And then, owing to a shared delusion, some people in both camps hold to the concept that Sarah Jessica Parker is actually sexy, but that’s a whole other story.

And I guess this is why I find the most ardent atheists both fascinating and at times frustrating. I and many other Christians I know don’t try to disprove science. So, in an odd way, I feel like Christians, at least those who maintain some critical thinking, are more well balanced overall. We don’t deny either the rational or spiritual aspects of ourselves. Yet atheists often won’t give an inch and will not be convinced at all that spiritual things could be real.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that the most fundementalist religion on the planet is atheism. Ain’t that ironic?