Sunday, 19 May 2013

Let's try to find out

I'm glad people are moving away from 'god did it' and are going with 'let's try to find out'. We no longer need to rely on faith for the answers to anything. We have investigative methods that we can use to show us actual answers. Verifiable answers. Answers that are unambiguous and need no interpretation. 

The problem with 'god did it' is that it's the ultimate non-answer. It's totally intellectually unsatisfying. Once you've assumed god did it where's the desire to pursue knowledge? What fuels the quest to find out more? If one assumes that our universe was created by a god and that all that we see is part of this god's plan then why would we bother to try to find out what's really going on? We would stop looking because we assume we already have the answer - 'God'. 

Alternately the joy of learning is fuelled by the desire to know more. It's curiosity about what we don't know but want to know. We investigate, study and analyse. We show our results to our peers and get them to check that what we've done is valid. We ask them to look into things too and see if their findings are the same as ours. We're not satisfied with knowledge gaps and nor should we be.

We should be comfortable with not knowing everything *yet*. Comfortable that we have a gap in our knowledge, while we actively try to fill that gap. What we shouldn't be comfortable with is trying to fill that gap with the strange superstitions of pre-science shepherds. When we do this 'God' basically becomes a synonym for 'I don't know and I'm either too stupid or too lazy to find out'. How can anyone possibly find that satisfying?

Imagine the possibilities if everyone thought 'hey, let's look into that' instead of praying to deity that's never going to answer them. I wonder how many bright minds have been wasted by the thought 'god did it' rather than 'how do you suggest we find out?'

As a society I think we'll benefit far more if we are driven by the desire for knowledge rather than being held back by the desire to worship. I want our children to reject the idea that we should rest our understanding of the universe on 'well how else did we get here?' Instead of 'Well if god isn't real, where did all this stuff come from?' We need only ask, 'From where did all this stuff come?' 

If we investigate and find that the superstitious writings of pre-science shepherds are actually accurate then, and only after this investigation, should we accept them. And if this happens I'll stand on a busy street corner and shout 'I was wrong!'

But until this happens, let's not settle. Let's not rely on the guesses and assumptions of people that didn't have investigative skills. Let's keep looking. Let's keep investigating and testing and experimenting and checking. 

I much prefer 'this is what we think and this is why we think it' over 'you just need to have faith'. I don't want to accept anything on faith - I want evidence. I don't understand why anyone is happy to have 'faith'. 

1 comment:

  1. For me its the same as saying "Because." and leaving it at that to a child that asks a question, rather than actually answering it. As a parent it is an easy thing to do when you don't know the answer yourself. It is better to say, "I don't know, lets find the answer together."