Monday, April 21, 2008

What do you believe?

It’s the belief bit that is the problem - I don’t believe anything at all. I was educated as a scientist. If it is provable, then it is a fact…

I don’t know what 6 trillion divided by 7 gazillion is. But I’m not going to just pick a number and believe it. Some people are good at maths. They publish proofs, which are tested by other people. This is scientific method. The body of knowledge is built up gradually. Sometimes…it is wrong…proved wrong. And reasonable people accept the new proof.
That is the difference between accepting the truth (I won’t use the word believing) of something that can be proved, and accepting a religious statement (which can’t be proved).
How can you protect yourself from the cult of the spaghetti monster if you put your reason on ice and believe what you are told without proof?

Having said that, there are lots of things that I would like to think might be true.
I would like to think that the universe is a benevolent place, and that it cares about what happens to me, but it seems unlikely. I would love to know what is going on behind this thin backdrop that we call reality. Is there something wonderful waiting for us should we ever manage to penetrate it? Or would the meeting be more like that between my boot and that ant?
Who/What started it all off?
Is there anyone else like us in this universe?
Are there other universes?
Why does time only seem to run in one direction?
What is chance/luck/probability?
What is now?
Why does no one ask where we were before we were born instead of after we die?
There are so many words that we use and we don’t really know what they mean at all…

I don’t believe anything. I sit here and I think and I marvel at what is and I hope that one day I will know…really know why. I am prepared to wait as long as I need to, and try to avoid that boot if I can!

There is only one rule that I need to live my life, do as you would be done by.

But meanwhile I will have fun just like everyone else because I adore silly time wasting games when I should be writing…

So I tried my luck with the belief o matic that I found at Mrs Chili’s across the pond.

The belief o matic informs me that I am a 100% Unitarian Universalist (but 50% scientologist which is even more worrying on various counts). How many percentages can one girl have?

Still I am that I am…or didn’t someone already say that?

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)

2. Secular Humanism (98%)

3. Liberal Quakers (91%)

4. Neo-Pagan (89%)

5. New Age (80%)

6. Nontheist (67%)

7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (64%)

8. Mahayana Buddhism (56%)

9. Taoism (53%)

10. Theravada Buddhism (53%)

11. Scientology (50%)

12. New Thought (43%)

13. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (41%)

14. Hinduism (41%)

15. Orthodox Quaker (41%)

16. Jainism (38%)

17. Bahá'í Faith (30%)

18. Reform Judaism (30%)

19. Seventh Day Adventist (23%)

20. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (20%)

21. Jehovah's Witness (20%)

22. Sikhism (20%)

23. Eastern Orthodox (16%)

24. Islam (16%)

25. Orthodox Judaism (16%)

26. Roman Catholic (16%)

27. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (14%)

Is it significant that I have jewish antecedents, went to a catholic convent with conservative Christians…and these are the last three on my list?


Dr.John said...

To each is own.

Mrs. Chili said...

As was pointed out repeatedly in the comments to that post, the quiz is highly unscientific. The idea was to match one's ideologies/values with those professed by a particular faith, and I think the reason there are so many percentage overlaps is that, regardless of what THEY may choose to believe, most religions have a lot in common.

Not no one asks where we were before we were born; I ask it all the time. I search myself for clues or indications of what I already know - what I came here with - whenever I'm faced with a 'new' situation.

There's so much to all of this that, really, it's no wonder we've not been able to come to a satisfactory understanding of it. The best we can do, I think, is to be honest with ourselves and to go with what feels right.

Oh, and I'm with you on being alarmed by how high Scientology comes up on our percentage...

Rosie said...

I suppose another part of religion that troubles me is having to choose a package that has everything included in it, like buying a manufactured article of clothing instead of it being made to measure...
dr john I hear you...tolerance is the only defendable position
Mrs C...It was interesting to see how much religions do have in common. I probably spend too much time imagining the answers to these exciting questions...but it keeps me off the streets.

Mike said...

Your number 7 was my number one which is kind of surprising to me. I didn't think that any of my answers indicated that. Weird.

What I really believe is that we are all a part of some kind of collective conscious that we haven't tapped into yet. Whether or not someone or something is behind that, I don't know. Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Rosie, re. no spiritual answers but plenty of secular questions.

From the questionnaire I managed 100% Secular Humanism, with Unitarian Universalism, Liberal Quaker(ism), Theravada Buddhism, Nontheis(m) and Taoism bubbling under. I'm comfortable enough in their company and glad to be way north of the doctrinaire church.

Rosie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosie said...

and put back again with a proper link in (i hope)

mike... i like the jungian idea of a collective unconscious, taken futher to the idea of

Dick..i love the questions cos I dont think anyone has the answers and that leaves me free as a bird to explore.

Omykiss said...

... you seem to be thinking a lot like me .... nothing spectacular but nothing totally stupid either. I tend to go along with the rather eccentric biologist JBS Haldane who said something like .. I'm a materialist because i believe that whe your dead your dead.

Lucy said...

I must look into this quiz.

The worst kind of people are the really certain ones who then try to impose their certainties on the rest of us. Tolerance rules, of course, but how do we tolerate the intolerant?

Don't tell the French state about the scientology bit!

Rosie said...

omykiss...when you're dead you're dead-but what is dead? I feel a parrot sketch coming on with a few "ceased to be"s and "ex"s
Lucy- I cant tolerate intolerance. But I think my "do as you would be done by" rule still holds. I wouldnt want someone to tolerate my intolerance...I think...