November 11, 2004

The Surreality Based Community

There seems to be a serious conservative streak on Daily Kos that discounts anything related to esoteric belief. "Tin foil hat" has been thrown around far too often. The term "reality based community" seems ill-placed in a progressive movement--as if reality is exactly what we see. This may be a scientific age but there is a lot more we don't know than we do know--every new discovery rewrites old discoveries. We quite possibly live in a multi-dimensional universe. I don't want to lecture on string theory and quantum physics, but there's a whole lot more going on to "reality" than the "reality based community" likes to believe.

One thing I have heard mentioned is that the answer to red-state religious hysteria is atheism. Flame away, atheists, but how can you possible have the arrogance to claim the answer to the question if God exists? To me, this is a kind of headstrong fundamentalism equal to far-right Christianity--the idea that you have the final word about God. If you can give me the definitive answer about what happens after we die, I’ll listen to your thoughts about atheism. The fact is no one knows what happens after we die, so the reality-based community is a lot more complicated than any legislation, candidate, or political party can possibly represent.

Another commenter said that if God exists than he would have stopped those planes from hitting the Trade Center. This falls under the supposition that God is all good, the devil is all bad. To my mind this is a kind of juvenile depiction of God. The concept of yin/yang makes a lot more sense to me--i.e. God is both good and evil. Furthermore, the concept of God is a lot more complicated than a man sitting on a throne in Heaven. God is Gaia, God is the collective unconscious, God is mind, source, and so on. I can't claim to know the definitive answer to God, but I do have faith that he/she/it exists and is not fully described by any religion. In fact, God is better described by the new physics--which in fact proves that Eastern religions have been right all along. At some point, science and religion will become one. Right now for the Democrats to claim they’re the party of science and Republicans to claim they’re the party of faith is a dangerous road.

I am more prone to believe the themes of the Da Vinci Code than middle-American Christianity. Actually, present-day Christianity is a distortion of the original word--concepts such as reincarnation being stripped from the religion and the holy trinity being invented around 600 A.D., My aversion is to the current dumbed-down version of Christianity, not to faith itself. So I find people’s cynicism about religion here to be troubling. Yes, this election made me hate religious zealotry--we answered an attack by Islamic fundamentalists by voting for our own brand of Christian fundamentalism. But because this was a faith-based election--and faith won over common-sense--people's reaction is to abandon faith entirely. To my mind not having faith is more conservative than liberal. Believing a book to have every answer is something else, but I don't think science is so much more attuned to our complex reality than fundamentalism. If science had all of the answers, we would live in a paradise.

I understand that the left can’t start screaming about certain issues without looking like paranoid loons. The left can’t talk about fraud, secret societies, and UFOs or else they won’t be taken seriously. Still it seems very strange to me that people here should be so wary of any talk about fraud--it shows a strange amount of trust in the other side. This administration is full of dementedly sinister people, and because there is no "proof" it must not be true. Yes, there needs to be proof to overturn the election, but lack of proof does not necessarily mean it’s false. The fact that there is no proof might just mean that they covered their tracks. The people who deny fraud and the people who deny the room for faith might be two sides of the same coin--they are people who rely too much on the scientific method.

To abandon far-out ideas for "reality" is conservative to the core--remember, they jailed Copernicus, Stravinsky’s "Rite of Spring" was scandalous. The mainstream is always averse to new thought--whether it’s new science or new art or new religious thought. Oddly enough, many people in the left-wing seem more mainstream than liberal.

6 comments:

tequilita said...

i agree about this. but i am religious. i don't find it a contradiction. i believe that once you boil it down and understand the message and nature of Christ, before it got perverted by our clumsiness...east and west, faith and science, are not so disparate.

Billy said...

well said. the paranoia just keeps spreading into abysmal cesspools.

Henry Baum said...

Thanks for the comments. This was actually cross-posted at Kos. I ran into some pretty hardline atheists who are a little too in love with the scientific method.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/11/17652/553

darling maggot said...

i have no problem with religion, but i have big problems with fundamentalist religious belief, which is responsible for an overwhelming proportion of violence and killing in the world today, and has been for centuries.

my own thoughts about religion, having been born and raised roman catholic and then separating from the church, is that it serves an important social purpose, but judea-christian teachings and beliefs can be fairly incongruent within itself.

as for conspiracy theories, well, i don't think it's a trait exclusive to the left. i mean, alien abductions are one thing, but satan working his black magic on this country by letting fags and dykes unite in unholy matrimony sounds like a kind of conspiracy theory from the right side, to me.

Henry Baum said...

I wasn't talking about religion so much as a basic sense of spirituality: there's more to what we see than what we see. At Kos they seem to think that any sense of spirituality is brain-damaged and lacks common sense. As if faith itself is wrong. Certainly, religion has been an enemy throughout history, but that doesn't mean all faith is dangerous. They made me feel like a religious nut for even raising the issue. I'd never felt so much like a red-stater.

xo. war. said...

i accept peopels beliefs. until christians start shoving their beliefs down my throat. & giving me excuses why *i* don't believe. i have many reasons. but i don't need to justify anything.

xo. war.

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