Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Microstory 398: Transcendence

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Transhumanism II

I’m not against religious people. What I am against are religions. I’m unable to provide you, with certainty, the proper attribution to what may be my favorite quote of all time. There was once a science fiction television program called Alcatraz. It was, not surprisingly, about a fictional set of inmates at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. One of these prisoners says “spirituality is for those seeking understanding. Religion is for those seeking reward.” That line really resonates with me, and I wish I could find out who actually first wrote it. I think that religions hold us back, not because they deny science—many of them actually do no such thing—but because they advocate for a level of acceptance that I cannot... well, accept. They claim to have all, or sufficiently enough, answers for life’s greatest mysteries. Any question they’re not capable of answering is dismissed with a convenient contingency claim that we lowly humans are simply unworthy, or not yet ready, to understand. I cannot abide by anyone who presumes to know the answer to something without rigorous exploration. It’s the complacency with religious institutions, and people’s trust in their truth despite evidence, that really gets me. I believe in God, and I always will, and I do so through faith. What you have is not faith. What you have is a blind acceptance of a fundamentally flawed set of proofs. You telling me that the bible, or the Qur’an, proves that something is true is meaningless to me, because you have failed to prove the validity of the book itself. I don’t believe in my God because someone told me to. I just do. I have neither reason nor explanation, nor do I feel the need to provide such things. That, kids, is true faith. Transcendence, for the purposes of this text, is an alternative to transhumanism. Many religions and spiritual paths purport to know, or seek to know, the nature of some kind of afterlife. I’m scared to death that they’re wrong, and that it does not exist, because my faith in a God entity does not preclude that possibility. For me, I would rather live forever than worry about whether it exists, or what it looks like. If, however, you choose to trust in death, and what comes next, I hope it works out for you, I really do. Whatever your path, take it in peace.

World Peace

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