Today’s sign is the best Scientific Method flow chart I have drawn so far. (I pat my own back for not giving up.) Although science is a secular pursuit, and not specifically atheistic, the chart deals with the crux of what it means to be an atheist. I coined the term, Colligion, from the word ‘colligation’, which refers to the act of sorting information into a logical order.
Despite our many differences, if atheists share a common agenda, this is it: We want to understand our existence; we want to get it right, and we know how. Think of Colligion as the polar opposite of religion: faith (religion) is its own evidence, credulity often internalized past the point of ridiculous. Look at the conflicting absence of verisimilitude that begot. As does science, Colligion would build an external framework of evidence using the scientific method, without skipping important steps necessary to maintain accuracy. Science has done the preliminary work for colligious people and demonstrated its multifaceted power and rectitude through its byproduct, technology. Science as an enterprise has become entrapped by the commercial giants and governments who provide funds according to their own interests. The result is artificially aged gadgets, gimmicks and baubles, medical advances and automation, stuff for sale but not for human betterment.
Why should we care about that? That’s another way of asking, “What’s in it for me?” Entrepreneurs take risks, aware that their rewards may be poverty or riches, from either of which they expect to survive to try again. Those atheists inclined to take risks were most likely beheaded centuries ago, so left no heirs to carry on. Nature seeks to maintain balance, however, and is likely to have filled the vacuum that victims of genocide left empty.
A more peaceful human population will only result from unforced agreement about what the basic rules of life must be, and enforced practice of those rules. Conformity agreed upon by an intelligent population educated in the processes of critical thinking and the methods of science would achieve that, after a long span of time. It would be forced to compete with the two major religions with creed-driven aspirations to achieve dominance. Both of those suffer from multiple sectarian fractures, with only the most war faring factions seeming capable of attracting new recruits. Life under whichever of that kind of religion offers no promises of peaceful well-being for those they would deem heretical.
What’s in it for you is the opportunity to prevent that from happening by taking quick action. The world has become dangerous for peace-loving people. The internet offers a handy, effective way to learn and understand the scientific method and critical thinking, and then teach them to others. Science apparently cannot defend itself against enemies swiftly gaining power in nations whose citizens misunderstand it due to propaganda and encultured ignorance. Citizens can enlighten other citizens if the enlighteners themselves first learn to demonstrate how science works, learn to correct the arguments used against it, and how to demonstrate the errors, fallacies and lies inherent to those arguments.
Colligion is not “just another religion.” It is people learning science, learning about science, learning to understand and defend science, and to appreciate the simple beauty and immense power inherent to its process. It is about people acting on their own and where they are to dispel bad science and information and feed facts back into the loop. But, first, we have to assure ourselves we know how to recognize them. Put the flowchart to work on your own behalf. Befriend your local science teachers. Find which field of science most interests you, join your local library, borrow books, and discover then study that. Remember that demonstrable evidence is your friend, words are not evidence but can instruct you where to find evidence, and that engaging in this mission will teach you a lot about yourself.