Wednesday, August 26, 2009

“Reason” Without Adequate Information = Arrogant Ignorance

I’ve written some about atheists in the past. To summarize, I believe there are two versions of these thinkers. One is the individual who considers all his available information and rationalizes they he presently sees no proof of a God/Supreme Being/Creator (GSBC). Fair enough. I call these folks, Doubters.

The other kind (what I call the Fundamentalist) not only does not believe in the existence of a GSBC but unequivocally and categorically denies any possible existence of such a being. [Please note: this discussion is not examining the accuracy, validity or content of any religious dogma that claims specific knowledge of a GSBC.]

Though professional logicians will claim that you CAN prove a negative (though never 100% conclusively), the Fundy’s claim of absolute infallibility in this particular case (involving the existence of an entity somewhere in the universe) would require an individual have all the knowledge of the universe. The only reasonable claim they can make is that made by the doubters- who see no evidence of a GSBC within the parameters of their existing knowledge, perception and reason.

Why bring this up? Recently I viewed this video offered by The League of Reason:
I find it ironic that the fascinating facts about the universe presented in this video originate from an atheist organization. Why? Because at least a couple of these facts should give atheists (particularly, Fundys) reason (no pun intended) to pause and reflect.

Less than 5% of all material and energy is directly detectable.

Yikes! As I understand it, all material within the universe is either matter OR energy. In other words, if this fact is true, we cannot presently detect (let alone see, measure or quantify) 95% of the universe! Mankind is completely clueless about 95% of the universe, yet boldly makes absolute claims about what and what does not exist? How is that rational?

Less than one octillionth of the electromagnetic spectrum is visible to our eyes.

Yikes, again! The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation- radio waves, microwaves, terahertz radiation, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays. According to Wikipedia, “EM radiation carries energy and momentum that may be imparted to matter with which it interacts.”

Obviously, EM provides a lot of information regarding the design and physical characteristics of the universe. Since virtually all of it is not visible to the eye, it appears there’s a lot of measuring and data interpretation yet to do before man can even begin to understand the nature, complexity and relevance of this phenomenon.

Cosmogony challenges the limits of human understanding.

I’ll say. So wouldn’t it be prudent to maintain an atmosphere of humbleness and modesty when making such universal, all-encompassing claims? Do Fundys really want to risk being cast as flat earth/earth-centric pre-Copernican misfits after any future, mind blowing discoveries? Shouldn’t Fundys at least pen a small asterisk after their incredible assertions when their admitted knowledge of the universe is the equivalent of a fart in a hurricane? Shouldn't Fundys base their unbelief, in part, on faith- as any honest believer in a GSBC does?

Even more mind blowing is this fascinating video:

Not only does man know virtually nothing about a universe he can’t even come close to adequately examining and measuring- but it turns out that there may be multiple universes (multiverses), including parallel universes just out of reach of our senses and perception. If these theories prove to be true, what fascinating discoveries await? What new knowledge will be gained to revolutionize our understanding of matter and energy? What new possibilities will arise? What theories, hunches, and past “superstitions” may be proven correct? What previously held dogmas (secular and religious) will be proven false? How will the very reality of our existence be changed?

My advice- by all means, continue reaching for the stars. Continually question and seek and formulate your personal truths. Just don’t allow your assertions or convictions to become unalterable dogma. Keep an open mind, feed your head, and prepare yourself for possible revelations of facts that may surpass your imagination.


Joseph said...

I read your blog all the time, and I think that post was one of your best. Thanks.

Enlightened Rogue said...

Thanks, Joseph. The universe can be an inspiring place- at least this one. :-)

Minnesota Chris said...

I'll concur with Joseph, that was a nice post! Seeking the truth in the spirit of humility requires an open mind.