Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Supernatural vs. Natural

I've seen written several times recently that the true battle being fought shouldn't be put in terms of "atheists vs. believers" or "creationism vs. evolution" but that it's really "supernatural vs. natural." One of the latest such articles is from Richard Dawkins. One cannot believe in both an scientific explanation for everything and things that are unexplainable (miracles, angels, gods) because they are mutually exclusive in their perception of the universe. This is where the line must be drawn.

I'm glad to read that Dawkins has some sense of spirituality; "love, nature, goodness, the universe, the laws of physics, the spirit of humanity, or Planck's constant," and it inspires me to read more of his works. Part of me has been afraid that embracing atheism would mean I'd need to loose my sense of wonder of the world around me, but I think it is acceptable to say the universe is wonderful enough without a god.

I never got how the idea of intelligent design worked either; If it's complicated, someone must have designed it. But doesn't account for where an infinitely complicated designer came from. The idea that the universe is built up from the very small makes so much more sense in my own mind.

I believe several things contradictory to Dawkins thou. Self The first self-replicating molecules (life) may or may have not originated on this planet. And may or may have not happened only once. The abundance of life that has more recently been found deep within the earth & within the ocean, living off of chemical reactions & thermal heat may imply several origins of living organisms. There are new speculations that life exists not only elsewhere in the universe, but elsewhere in our solar system. But I think this is besides the point. Even if the only instances of life in all of the universe existed on this little blue planet, this would not imply that some god made us special.

But I am still afraid of the supernatural, or perhaps I am afraid that what we consider as "supernatural" are really natural phenomenon we just don't have the capacity to explain yet. Ghosts scare me, even thou I don't believe in them. What if they live in another dimension? Or another parallel universe? What if the energy we've been taught to think of as our souls really has some inextinguishable energy in some dimension of our universe? I don't think that the answers to these questions require a belief in a purposeful god orchestrating it all, but I still like to ponder the possibility that there could be natural phenomenon that we just cannot yet explain behind some of life's greatest mysteries. Perhaps I am holding on to a hope beyond reason that there is more to our lives than the short time we know of as life, but it's just a hope, and I wouldn't put any real belief in thoughts like that being true unless I had proof. I'll have to wait to find out, like everyone else.

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