Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Leap Of Faith

This article was originally going to have the much more arrogant title of "You're both wrong, so shut up", and a more cranky tone, but then I drank some orange juice and tried to remember I'm past that now. -Z

Someone recently asked me if the Introduction on Rationality series and my departure from CAF were related, and I bluntly replied yes, which was a mistake. That same person, who I've known for a while, now, asked me if I was back to being "just another agnostic atheist", to which I replied with a qualified no. When he asked me what I was, I rather bluntly replied that I don't like labels, and so I moved on, putting that question out of mind.

But of course, one of my favourite ways of producing time is and has been for years listening to people rant away on youtube. Half the time, I'm not even listening, and the other half, I'm not really looking at merits so much as watching the pretty pictures go by. Those of you who may not have known should know that there was recently an event, the poorly-named Reason Rally (those two ideas are anethetical at worst and incompatible at best), which was put on by the atheist community at large and attended, as we might predict, by Christian groups including the WBC (but I prefer not to get on their topic). AronRa, famed youtube personality who did a pretty good series underlining the problems with a Young Earth Creationist model, got entangled with some of the Christian protester-missionaries for about a half an hour of argument, which he is hosting as a triumph on his channel.

I only got a few minutes in before I had to turn it off, and I give full credit to Mr. Ra that it's hard to keep one's cool in a rally. To be fair, his points themselves were reasonably valid (to within degrees) but he delivered them poorly. Showing a hostile tone through inflection and posture is beneath him, and I'm a bit surprised to see it so. The person he was arguing with was arguing from the heart, of course, and while he might have been wrong, the man seemed afraid for his person.

Now, granted, I'm sure AronRa would never actually attack anyone. But it planted the seed of a thought in my head. First of all, Atheism as a movement doesn't have a monopoly on the ideas of reason, which were kept alive since antiquity by various groups, but passed into our time through the Universities, which are (or were, originally) funded in large part by the Church, and while the YEC may be demonstrably wrong, the absence of proof of God acceptable to the Athiests is not proof positive of their ideology or proof negative (if there can be such a thing) of God.

Faith in things beyond our own senses is that... a leap of Faith. I believe because I see the room for it. Sure, that's God of the Gaps again, except my God leaves room for those gaps to be filled with yet more explanations. It's hard to conceive now, having found faith, of finding the fact that would remove it. Now, granted, I'm not a biblical literalist, either.

So, now you ask, "Why Christianity?", and I am forced to reply with the honest reply. It is what has always been waiting for me to find it, I suppose. There is a sanctity around it that I don't feel with the other religions of the world. Is that cultural conditioning? Probably. But who knows?

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