Ever imagine that you can fly, like Superman?
I think most of us have, those of us intrigued
by the Superman stories.
Yet, few of us actually believe we can fly, not
like Superman, anyway.
So, what's the difference, between imagining
something, and actually believing in something?
- - -
Certainly, we all live within a realm of physical
realities. Not to say they're all good, it's simply
a matter of the physical nature of our existence.
I know, for example, that if I fail to give my insulin
shot this evening, having had a very lazy day, little
exercise, my blood sugar level will drift upwards.
I know, tomorrow morning, if I fail to give my insulin
shot, and having no plans to exercise then, my blood
sugar level will continue upwards.
By then, I may get a little sick, and not be into eating.
I know, as the day continues, and I go to work, if I
don't give my insulin shot, I will continue having a
high blood sugar, and, to make a long story short,
at some point, if I continue not giving my insulin shot,
I'll get sick. Might slip into a coma. Might die.
- - -
Perhaps, and life is quite complex, so I don't mean
to over-simplify it in this post, but perhaps, the nature
of physical reality is so strong in my case, and all of
the religious promises are so apart from my own life
experience, that's why I'm so able to state my case
for a natural world, for living within the constraints of
physical reality, in a manner so far removed from the
'breaking the laws of physics' that religion promises.
I must admit, in all honesty, that living forever in a
pleasant way, with friends and loving relatives and
total bliss, is an *extremely* seductive fantasy.
Really, it is, as demonstrated by the repetition of
that fantasy in practically every religion ever believed
- - -
What does naturalism offer as a counter to that?
Just the reality of a physically constrained existence
in a world in which one's fate is simply a consequence
of natural law.
No seduction there, no promises, no pleasant immor-
talities, no meeting up with deceased friends and rela-
tives, no meeting up with the supposed creator(s) of
all that is, just a mysterious journey through a physical
reality, a journey likely to encompass many hardships,
along with some pleasantness, but relative to all that
is, scarcely a blip, from non-existence, to non-exist-
ence, a blink of an eye in which all that can be done,
must be done, for the likelihood of a pleasant contin-
uance, or any continuance, is so remote as to be for
all practical purposes, all-but-zero.
- - -
Could one paint a bleaker picture of all that is?
Well, religions have tried to do so, with their many
threats of immortal punishments for failure to jump
throught the right hoops, but nevertheless, a natural
world, that is the reality that, perhaps, up to 90% of
Americans try to avoid with their beliefs in various
- - -
I've yet to find a viable counter to that ultimate seduc-
tion, that promise of a pleasant immortality.
Certainly, doing all we can to make this one *certain*
existence last as long and pleasantly as possible, for
as many as possible, that has some appeal. After all,
it transpires in a realm that we know exists.
Certainly, not allowing a seduction for which no evi-
dence of reality exists, not allowing that to become
a central reason for being, -and- holding truth above
faith, holding truth above seduction, holding truth
above belief, that's got to be compelling for many,
at least for 10% or so of Americans, if not more,
- - -
Why only 99.9% natural? Well, I left .1% for human
imagination, not that human imagination is unnatural,
it's just that in human imagination, violating the laws
of physics, the laws of space, the laws of time, are
I suspect that it's in that .1% that all of religion was
derived, only it's just that it's not called imagination
when it comes to religion. Instead, it's called Truth,
reality, faith, immortality, God, Allah, Shiva, Jesus,
Mohammad, and much much more.
Nevertheless, if I'm right, and religion is all imagina-
tion, one must face the reality of whether it's better
to imagine all that religion offers is real, or instead,
whether it's better to face reality straight up, and to
endeavor to do whatever we can to make this one
and only *certain* chance at it the best it can be with
respect for the natural law that constrains everything
we can really do.
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