Why my Father was Agnostic

In a recent non-scientific pole at least half of my Facebook friends who responded said they believe the earth is 4,000 years old, not 4.5 billion years old.

My father could not accept Earth was only 4,000 years old, so he “doubted” God. He described himself as agnostic, which he defined as “someone who wants to believe but can’t.”

My brother, a psychiatrist and Episcopalean minister (and who believes Earth is 4.5 billion years old) lamented my father did not embrace Christ before his death, even though my brother promotes the Elementary Wave Theory of Lewis Little, our cousin.

 

To Be or Not to Be

My wife has gone all religious on me. I’m not used to that. For years she was leaning towards atheism. I was uncomfortable with atheism even though I lean heavily toward physics.

Atheism makes sense. More sense then most evangelicals, ISIS, Catholics, Jews and so on. At least to me. I think all religions could use a dose of atheistic realism.

However, I’m mortal, like you, and I’m sixty-four, like Paul McCartney’s song. Days flow by into months which flow by into years. I’ll die. Now my fascination with science kicks in. Survival of the fittest: evolution. All species seek to live, not die. The fittest survive longer than the weakest. So I seek to live, not die. I really don’t want to die. That’s what all people feel except those who are mentally ill and want to commit suicide.

So we dream of never ending life. Religion is born and we convince ourselves we won’t die forever.

There’s glitches in that theory, I know. Science points us to galaxies, expanding universes, black holes, the possibility of life on Titan, Saturn’s moon. But is that it? Is there no mystery to life itself?

An atheist would say no. In my heart I feel otherwise. For most of my life I’ve been devoutly religious. There’s subjective as well as objective. I really don’t feel the subjective is due to chemical reactions in my brain or the brains of many people both now and the past that have had religious experiences.

And my wife is suddenly, almost inexplicably, drawn toward religion. I mean, like, it’s her only thought all of a sudden. Weirdly, I’m the best one to teach her in the direction she wants to go.

There’s probably more to this thought on this post, but that’s what I’ve got for now.

Is it possible that gravity is created by the rotation of the Earth and is not some universal force?

The rotation of the earth pushes us outward, upward, not downward. We weigh slightly less at the equator because of that and the fact the earth is a little fatter at there due to equatorial bulge, moving us further from the center of the earth.

Is there Eternal Life?

The problem and amazement of Evolution is the conception of “survival of the fittest.”

We all wish to survive, from insect to man.

Try to swat a fly, it flies away. It doesn’t want to die. It’s ingrained in it’s and our DNA. At all costs survive.

So there’s no “life-after.” Might as well be atheists. Physics has figured not everything out. There’s no “God” in some “Heaven.” It’s mythology.

I’m not a Christian. I grew up in the Vedanta religion of India (although I was born in New Jersey and am a Caucasian). They believe in eternity of the soul and reincarnation and stuff. It hooks into our wanting to survive. Survival of the fittest. I won’t die, I’ll reincarnate.

The idea is not supported by scientists and therefore many scientists are atheists.

But what if?

I’m growing inexorably older. Somehow I went from teenager to adult to sexually exploratory adult to 64 years old. I wonder. Will I live on? Have we lived on before? Will unfulfilled desires be fulfilled? Will we reincarnate? Who is in charge?

On Board

Getting on board. I don’t think some people ever get on board the scientific bandwagon.

We have in this world a diverse group of people.

Religions. We have people of all different religions, for example. Many of them accept a non-scientific view of how the Earth was created, or the age of the Earth. I don’t know how they rationalize their viewpoints which contradicts science other than to totally ignore science. Oddly, they all use smartphones connected to the internet and electric light bulbs and flying airplanes and driving cars all created by science.

Flat Earth. There are not many of them but they are a growing number. People who watch YouTube videos and fake science. Many of them are looking for a conspiracy everywhere including World politicians! The ultimate conspiracy theory? They lied to us all along! The Earth is flat. NASA is lying!

Does God want us to become life-long learners?

If we define religion as a sense of wonder of the unknown and unknowable then there is room in religion for more science and room in science for more religion.

We can never know about alternate universes by science. That’s why it’s called theoretical physics. It’s a theory. There is one religion I know, the Vaishnavas of India, that believe the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and there are millions of parallel universes like our own. Some scientists also theorize this to be the case. We have no knowledge what dark matter or dark energy is, why there isn’t more anti-matter, and how life evolved from chemicals. There is room for God in science, and certainly religions would benefit greatly if they were more critical in their thinking.

I really personally have no idea what god wants, but I know that by nature we are life long learners. I’m 64 years old next week and I’m still learning all the time. So if god made us, then he made us like that. Whatever the reason, we seek knowledge and we like to learn. That’s just human.

If we are destined, do we have free will? Even if god gives it, he knows the future, does it automatically mean we won’t ever contradict his future vision?

A man was sitting on the branch of a tree sawing between where he sat and the trunk of the tree.

A man came along and looked up. “Hey,” he said. “If you continue to saw that branch like that it will break and you will fall to the ground!”

The man in the tree said, “Go away, I know what I’m doing!”

The man on the ground walked away and the man on the tree continued to saw. Soon the branch broke and the man fell to the ground. He stood up, looked at the branch, and in total amazement went running down the road looking for the other man. “You must be psychic! You were able to see the future!”

To see the future does not mean you control destiny. We have a choice. God just knows that if you continue on your current path the branch will break and you will fall to the ground. So stop it.

Someone knowing the future does not mean they control destiny.