I was watching Woody’s 900th video on YouTube. He’s got some good stuff, which he talks about while he plays COD in the background and decimates everyone. I’m going a little off topic here, but that video is important to mention. During the last couple of minutes, he starts talking about being a religious man. This got me thinking.
Him mentioning that, made me instantly think of people arguing about religion. The constant back and forth, from one side to the other and then back, over and over. Each side sees their points as completely valid and absolutely right, and neither side can wrap their head around the “stupidity“ of the other side’s train of thought. That, again, got me thinking about something I read on Maddox’s website years and years ago. I can’t recall the exact article, but the line that stuck in my head was “you might as well have a pointless argument about religion“. Those last four words, that’s what spurred my mind. Then it hit me, both sides (science & religion) are wrong!
Well, they’re wrong like say...throwing criminals in jail is wrong. They’re both trying to solve a problem, but they’ve got the wrong thought process. Instead of just throwing perps in jail and yelling “done“, governments should be tackling the roots of social problems. More to the point, SvR (Science vs Religion) debaters must change their thought process as well.
Most people (on either side of the fence) tend to think like this; “If I tell them the truth, the way I know it to be true, they will understand that they are wrong and start believing the correct version of the story“. They go about their arguing and screaming and jumping and pissing about and all that bullshit. It get’s them nowhere.
Instead, if they stopped to think, they’d see that the reason that SvR debates tend to get everyone no-where is the same reason people get so riled up while they debate. Religion, or lack thereof, is not something up in your brain, like a fact. It sort of its but it’s less of a fact and more like a feeling. An identity. An emotional attachment You can’t change the way someone feels by simply using words. Not in any significant way.
Religion is like your mother. You’re going to love your mother, and no amount of someone else telling you not to is going to change that. No-one can tell you not to love her, people don’t work like that. It takes an experience to change your mind, but it was less the experience than it was the way you perceived it. She may do something so unforgivable that you just say “nope“ and turn your back forever. On the flip side, it may be something relatively small and insignificant, but in your mind, it has the same effect. It cased you to turn your back on your mother. That’s the power of perception. How you perceive the world.
On a side note, even though people say otherwise, there is no such thing as “unconditional love“. Point is, it takes action on her part (an event) to change your mind.
If you were brought up with religion, it was bred into you. It’s a part of your identity. It will take more than words to change your mind on who you are. It takes action. An event. Other people cannot create these events though, we must create them for ourselves in our own minds.
Case in point, a friend of mine changed his mind about the entire existence of a god from a single scene in an episode of Lost. Hurley is driving his mom to the new house he bought her with his (cursed) lottery money when he says “I dunno, mom, I think this money might be cursed“. His mom then slaps him and says “that’s blasphemy! we don’t believe in curses, we’re catholic“.
That one scene may not mean anything to me or you, but it must have meant so much to him to the point where he outright changed his mind on religion. It wasn’t really the scene itself that changed his mind, but the ideas it triggered. An event. That’s what changed him. That’s a great example of the power of perception.
It also works the other way. An event can cause an atheist go find god. This can be anything from a near-death experience to learning about a new government policy. It isn’t the action that triggers the change, but the thought the thought process it creates and way that person perceives it.
It doesn’t only apply to religion. People tie emotions to lots of things in their day-to-day lives. Every day on the Internet, thousands of Xbox and PlayStation fanboys go head to head, trying to convince the other side that their’s is the superior camp. Some of you may think “you’re comparing SvR to Xbox vs PlayStation?“ but look at the two debates and you’ll see that they aren’t very different. In both cases, you’ve got people that are blindly devoted to their cause and will not for one second consider the other side’s point of view.
Anything in life can be like a SvR debate, but most things aren’t really worth it to most - if not all - people. Unless they were raised in an incredibly strict (as in parents-monitor-children’s-methane-output-and-impose-punishment-if-daily-limit-is-exceeded strict) household, more people wouldn’t rage over which brand of instant coffee was superior. They’d try them all and then decide.
Humans are emotional creatures, and emotions sometimes could our judgement. This constant state of “I’m right and you’re wrong because I just know you’re wrong“ is to be expected, but “expected“ is not a synonym for “rewarded“ or “tolerated“. In this enlightened age, we should seek to attain higher knowledge from one another, not revel in our ignorance and stupidity.
Next time you find yourself arguing with your heart instead of your head, weigh up the options using unclouded judgement. If everyone did that, we’d be a lot better for it.