24 March 2015

Secular Skeptic

I am a secular skeptic for much the same reasons as David Hume gave, writing more than 200 years ago; since his time science -- especially evolutionary biology, physics, and astronomy -- has given anyone inclined to a nominalist, rationalist view of the world all the more reason to reject any kind of supernatural explanations as unjustified by evidence and unnecessary to explain the phenomena we observe as the natural world. 

I do not judge those who have a different view, nor do I discount or deny spirituality, in much the sense that Sam Harris uses the term (though I do not endorse all of his views). There is a wondrous quality to self-awareness, that is impossible, given our state of knowledge, to fully explain. It is a mystery, and a wonder. But that does not impel me in any way to believe or practice hidebound traditions based on ancient speculation about the way things are. Simply put, I do not find compelling in the least the explanation for consciousness and the existence of the universe that (paraphrasing) "the Sky God did it, for reasons he doesn't care to explain to the likes of you."

And I claim; I demand the protection and respect that freedom of and from religion affords in our Constitution. The Founders, many of them, were secularists themselves, and it is clear to me that it was their intent that citizens of this country have the right to be left entirely alone in matters of religion and faith. As a practical matter, that means that faith, prayer, religious practice, worship, etc. have no place in public institutions or public practices. I don't get excited by "In God We Trust" on the currency (although, technically, of course, it does not belong there). But I do get incensed when people spout nonsense such as that America is a "Christian nation," or that non-scientific religious gobbledygook such as "Creation Science" and "Intelligent Design" should be taught in public schools or accredited for teaching in any schools. And I get very angry when (self-proclaimed!) religiously-inspired idiots seek to deny the evidence in front of their eyes on the serious environmental crisis our technological civilization finds itself in, which only makes it far harder to deal intelligently and pragmatically with that crisis. 


  1. Right you are. What about me tho who Can't refrain from comp overeating or obsessing without uploading thought to a higher power than that little troll inside.


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