Facts Should Dictate Beliefs

The irony, of course, is that if you explore any scientific fact through to its ultimate knowability, you’ll find yourself regarding an aspect of a grand cosmic design. All science leads to God…if you pull back from the Christian-idiot definition of the term. Needless to add I feel great rapport with this trailer, three months old and copied from Sasha Stone’s Awards Daily. Does the doc discuss the “God particle”? If so, The Unbelievers isn’t quite right as a title. Because all scientific thinkers are mystics at heart.

On 7.24.12 I wrote the following:

“The discovery of the Higgs boson or ‘God particle‘ — a subatomic element that informs the size and shape and contour of all physical matter, ‘the missing cornerstone of particle physics” — was announced yesterday. Don’t look now, but this is almost (I say ‘almost’) like the discovery of the black monolith on the moon in 2001: A Space Odyssey. And yet it’s been there all along. The supreme scientific equation…proven.

“The ‘intelligent design’ crowd is celebrating this all across America, you bet. I despise what Christianity has become in this country, but I happen to believe in intelligent design also, in a sense. There is obviously a unified flow and an absolute cosmic commonality in all living things and all aspects of the architecture. The difference is that I don’t attach a Bible-belt morality to this overwhelming fact. To me God is impartial, celestial, biological, mathematical, amoral, unemotional, miraculous and breathtaking.

“However you define the altogether, He/She/It has absolutely zero ‘interest’ in whether you or your great-uncle or next door neighbor are adhering to the Ten Commandments or having an abortion or helping a homeless person or what-have-you. The molecular perfection and mind-blowingly infinite implications of God are way, way beyond ground-level morality.

“People whose lives are, in their minds, basically about finding spiritual fulfillment and deliverance after they’re dead are ridiculous figures. They’re certainly appalling. The only reason religions are good for society is that they keep the nutters (i.e. those who would otherwise be seeking solace in alcohol or drugs or in the ravings of some antisocial cult leader) in line, and they instill a sense of moral order and temperance among people who lack the intelligence or drive or hunger to seek spiritual satori on their own.”

  • pjm

    Which is more annoying – self righteous religious zealots, or self-righteous atheist zealots? Both spend their time trying to convince you that you’re not wise enough to decide things for yourself. What was the line in the trailer? “They give you permission to question things…” or something just as condescending. Thanks you, oh wise learned scholars, for your permission to think.

  • Raising_Kaned

    “The irony, of course, is that if you explore any scientific fact through
    to its ultimate knowability, you’ll find yourself regarding an aspect
    of a grand cosmic design. All science leads to God.”

    Uh, no (but thanks for playing!). For many (like myself), science is just a logical — albeit very interesting — end unto itself. Science doesn’t lead anywhere to me but to more science. And I’m okay with that.

    • pjm

      There are those who would argue that the very fact that the world obeys the laws of logic – that it can reliably be described in the language of mathematics, is itself pretty awe-inspiring. Why should it be that the force of gravity obeys the exact same law here and in the Andromeda Galaxy? The universality of physical law could itself be an argument for (or even an example of) God…

      • Raising_Kaned

        I see what you’re saying, but I feel like there’s almost as much as pure randomness involved in the universe — much of which people tend to attribute (falsely or not, I suppose) to this “grand design” dictum.

        I don’t think the specific way the universe exists either argues for or against a God or gods, particularly. It just is.

        Just my take as a (devout) agnostic, though…

  • David Slovakia

    All this time and energy wasted by both sides trying to convince people of this and that.

    Why can’t we all just sit down and get a blowjob and live happily ever after?

    • Raising_Kaned

      Now this is the kind of preaching I can really get behind (or is that “inside?”)! 😉

    • pjm

      Because half of “us” are female?

  • Correcting Jeff

    Bonus points if Jeff switches to using “Muslim-idiot definition” in the future.

    I’ll wait.

  • The problem is that science and the “scientific worldview” are two very different things. Science is a very neutral methodology for learning things about how the physical world works – it doesn’t presuppose or necessitate any philosophical assumptions about the essential nature of the world which it cannot directly observe or empirically prove. The “scientific worldview”, on the other hand, is compounded of philosophical and metaphysical assumptions about the nature of the world are not scientifically proven, and may not even be testable or falsifiable. Dawkins and Krauss are not unbelievers – but believers in the idea that the existence of the universe, its specific nature, and the emergence of life and self-consciousness within it, are explicable by virtue of blind physical determinism alone. At present, this is no more testable or subject to scientific proof than Yahweh. Dawkins was a great scientific popularizer, but he has made no significant original contribution to science of biology, and is absolutely abysmal as a philosopher. When he says in the trailer that science is beautiful and wonderful, and religion is not, those are plainly subjective opinions. What the fuck has that got to do with science?

  • Mechanical Shark

    I tend to support the idea of rationality trumping religion and blind faith, but Dawkins is a smug dick and a misogynist. This documentary looks like preaching to the choir. I wish instead it were based off Sam Harris’s book The Moral Landscape, an exploration of how a just, rational morality can be arrived at through the scientific method. Because it is clear that if we cede any moral authority to religion, it will be used to justify horrible things like jihad, torture camps for “curing” gay people, the Israeli apartheid situation, the Sri Lankan civil war, just to mention one sin from each major religion. Holding on to old ideas of mysticism and trembling in fear of an invisible spirit in the sky stymies our development as a species, and potentially endangers our survival as a race. So long as we place ideas such as “God” and “money” over our own actual well-being, we are FUCKING SCREWED AS A SPECIES.