A satire of dysfunctional government and economic disparity.
Chapter IV: Day/Page 34 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . “But that’s not exactly what I mean. I’m talking about when someone believes completely, with their entire being, that something exists, even though there is no evidence that it does. Back to your example, there is no evidence that a god exists, yet many species believe that it does. To them it is real, whether it is or it is not.”
“Some maintain,” Swift says, “that there are aspects of reality which we are incapable of perceiving, even with tools, and that god is one of them. They argue that god is real, but that perceiving god, or interacting with it, is beyond our inherent capacity, which is why we cannot prove it exists. God is beyond our comprehension. Maybe they’re right. I certainly don’t know. Nobody does. But for me personally, arguing that we are incapable of perceiving something which they claim exists is a weak, tautological argument, since it is impossible to disprove a negative. In other words, since one cannot prove that god does not exist, some people argue that means that it does. Each side of the argument is completely irrefutable and completely indefensible.
“I, for one, certainly won’t build the foundation of my reality on the tautological fact that it must be true, simply because it cannot be proved false. If one chooses to construct their view on such tenuous ground, that’s their choice, but they do not have the right to impose such a flimsy edifice on others. Believing in something does not make it real—it’s merely called ‘faith.’ And there’s nothing wrong with faith, as long as it is not held to be objectively true. In fact, faith is good. Faith is what drives scientists to pursue evidence for something which they believe exists, but for which there is as yet no proof, like the discovery of atoms and wormholes were for scientists in the past. Faith is obviously also what drives philosophers and theologians to avouch their belief in god, and to ponder its existence. Both of these pursuits are noble worthy goals.”
“So you acknowledge that through one’s belief system people can construct a reality that is true to them, without any proof that it is real?”
“Sure, it’s real to them. But again, I don’t adhere to such a solipsistic view of reality which maintains that only the perception of the self in our minds is real. I believe in an external objective reality, a capital-T Truth, which we perceive slices of. And one must be careful—both scientists and theologians—to not allow one’s faith to cause them to actively disavow reality which can be proved to be true, simply because it conflicts with what they believe to be true. Having faith in something for which there is no evidence, is fine; disavowing something for which there is evidence, is not. There’s a big difference between the two.
“Even worse is when, in their zealous defense of what they believe to be true, these people refuse to allow others to acknowledge what is objectively true. These fanatics—scientific, religious, or other—essentially demand that others also deny the reality which they themselves abjure. Such people are not pursuers of fundamental truths; they are purveyors of collective delusion, and exceedingly dangerous. Their aim is to foster a distorted view of truth by shutting their minds to dissonant facts which are incongruous to their myopic point of view, and enjoining, or worse, impelling others to do the same and shut their minds as well.
“Those people are like the deer that abjure . . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
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