Life Lessons

Life’s Lessons

Life’s Lessons

apologia as their religion, and the original mis-takes are now compounded. No one is alive any more who remembers the arguments that led to the apologia, what the apologia attempted to defend, nor by what authority did it come about. Most of today’s religions are derived from apologia designed not for correction, but to maintain or increase the center of power. Truth, meanwhile, moved farther away.

Truth seems hard to grab a hold onto. Being objective gives no guarantee because too much depends on the parameters you’d choose. We only get to choose between two sets of parameters. The most common choice is to do it in your head. As an object of thought, all reality is controlled in the thinker’s imagination. It is unscientific because it cannot be externally controlled, observed by others, nor subjected to experiments in the real world.

A better choice is an actual object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience, independent of individual thought, and perceptible by all observers, thus having reality independent of the mind, which is the scientific application of objectivity. Only in this second mode can hypotheses be stated, predictions be made, and experimentation produce observable results that can be shared and duplicated around the world. The limit of science is that it cannot test what doesn’t exist. Some people worry about that. Why?

That religions enter our lives with grandfathered-in gods long before we are able to process their messages sets us up with a sense of a god’s preexistence to our lives. From the very beginning of understanding language, we have listened to our trusted forebears discussing matters they deemed important, and most of us heard the name of a god mentioned several times as it threaded through all those conversations. It gained reality on its own through such reinforcement during our formative years. Its preexistence firmed in that manner, it became accepted as real as any distant relative about whom people talked. The stories about the god became accepted as real, as did the stories about them. You were told that someday you would go along to meet them and, surely enough, you met them after several boring hours spent riding in a car. Yes, they are real. “God lives even farther away. We aren’t ready to go there, yet.”

Mistakes are more often denied than corrected. The religious person demands proof of the god’s nonexistence. The atheist holds up an empty hand. The religious person looks there for evidence. The atheist looks at the absence. Where is the mistake in that scenario? Absence cannot be measured in percentages. Gone is gone, not present, imaginary, the best kind of red herring.

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