The beauty of not knowing (Warning: Controversial opinion inside).
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This is kind of long so I don’t expect many to read it, but I wanted to write it anyway. Also, some will find this controversial – my intention is never to offend, but to spark thought and discussion.
If we are friends on Facebook, many of you have probably seen (and possibly been annoyed with), my posting spree of truths and historical eye-openers which may be a bit “controversial.” Not controversial in their validity, but controversial in the sense that they very likely shake the belief system of many people – possibly to the point of abandoning their beliefs.
For this, I apologize. BUT – nevertheless, we are here. We exist. We are the product of BILLIONS (yes, the earth is BILLIONS of years old, not 10,000 as some think…) of years of evolution. Thousands of years of human evolution to research and discover and learn – and yet we cling to old ideas. Why? Because these old ideas claim to know everything. They claim to be able to explain (in quite unrealistic terms) origins of the earth and the universe, that quite frankly make no sense and provide zero proof.
Texts written by ancient people who at best, thought the world was flat – if they even knew that much. In fact, if you begin to be honest with yourself and think of certain stories we’ve been taught through the lens of a clear, intellectual, realistic mind – you will find most of them quite absurd.
But, it’s comfortable. It’s comfortable to believe stories that if originated today, would be dismissed as simply fairy tales. It’s comfortable to think that so long ago, somebody figured it out, and now we don’t have to. But I have always said: Comfort is the enemy of growth, and this is a prime example. If you think you already know – where is the motivation to learn? To discover, to see more, do more, and become more?
Over the past few weeks I’ve been what some would call “obsessed” with learning about the history of humanity, its religions, its empires, and civilizations. I’ve done my best to absorb as much information as I can. I’ve been dumbfounded with what I’ve learned and truly wish I could pass this new knowledge on to everyone. I’ve learned of how “modern day” religions are simply copies of older ones, and none show any proof or evidence of being true. I’ve learned that some of the most historical figures of our world have no evidence of even existing (King Arthur, Achilles, Moses, Jesus, David & Goliath, etc). But their stories are so noble and inspirational, we want to believe. Sadly, the truth does not care what we want or what makes us comfortable…it just, is.
While some may feel lost learning this information – as I have, I’ve also felt other emotions. It makes me sad. It makes me sad that literally billions of people have been, and continue to be, exterminated because of stories that nobody knows if they’re true or false. Stories copied from each other. Myths being taught as fact, and it is destructive to humanity.
But I also feel excitement. A new zest for learning, an overwhelming urge to process as much information as I can. To dive into evolution, science to read and listen to the thoughts of our generation’s most brilliant minds, such as the late Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris, James Randi, Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, and others.
The other issue I do have, is arrogance. On a small planet in a system of planets in universes and galaxies that expand, as far as anyone knows, infinitely. What an incredibly arrogant view that humanity has to think that all of this was simply created, just for us. That we are the center of it all. That we are the only life form. That we are the only miracle of scientific chance (Or if you’re a believer, creation). What is there more exciting to learn about the possibilities and expansiveness of our very existence? Our world and the worlds around us. To me, to try to pull your knowledge and wisdom from a book thousands of years old which is merely a copy of a book even older, is an incredible injustice to your capacity to learn and discover. It’s an injustice to the human race, and the real life artistry, poetry, and beauty that nature and science provides us. Perhaps even more intoxicating than the stories themselves.
We each come from a long line of ancestry who at one point in life, believed so strongly in gods who are no longer worshiped, that they would sacrifice children and animals. They would wage holy wars. They would self-mutilate. They would perform horrific acts in the name of deities that we look back now on as myths. Even the most advanced civilizations on the planet performed these actions…yet, our generations think they FINALLY got it right…just like everyone else thought.
Basically this rant is to not only urge, but to challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone, and do your small part in understanding the world around us. Question what you are taught. Be truly honest with yourself about your beliefs. Use fact and truth to form your own opinions, not what others tell you or have written with no evidence.
The beauty of not knowing is that there is always something new to learn. Always something different to find and discover, and always a new way to grow and progress. Instead of wasting our time on reality tv, let’s discover something new about the world. Instead of blindly accepting what we are told, let’s learn enough to make our own decisions. And instead of seeing a bleakness in the possibility that there is no divine creator, let us embrace our miraculous existence with a new openness of truly understanding it, and not accepting the extreme improbability that someone just snapped their fingers and we appeared.
Every single one of us has within us the ability to contribute something great to individuals and society. We may not be able to change the entire world, but we can each change the world for one person…and if we all did that, wouldn’t the whole world change?
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Like Richard Feyman’s ‘Joy of Finding Things Out’. There are few things more satisfying than understanding something new for the first time if for no other reason that it fires your imagination and makes you realise that there are now several more things you know you don’t know. ☺
Should be Feynman, obviously
Thanks! Added him and Sagan as well.
Anytime I see or hear someone talk about ‘god’ I substitute ‘thor’ or ‘zeus’. It puts the nonsense in perspective.
Ha! Good stuff. Anytime someone asks if I don’t believe in god, or some version of the question, I always start by asking which one, and then why the one they’re talking about is more credible than the rest.
By the way, thanks for reading.
This is your big bad opinion? There’s nothing controversial here. This is a no-brainer. If all atheists talked like this, most people wouldn’t have a problem with them.
P.S.: I’m not an atheist. But to agree with this article, I don’t have to be. This is scientific fact.