Friday, January 21, 2011

I, the Unblessed Grocery Guy

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is on a collision course with a neighboring galaxy called Andromeda. Andromeda is closing in on us at about 140 kilometers per second. Of course, Andromeda is also 2.5 million light years away, so the collision will not happen until approximately 4.5 billion years from now. I like the thought of such an event, because it serves as a reminder of how small and insignificant we are in relationship to the universe (of course, it helps that I'll be long gone and long forgotten when it happens). We're not special. In the 90's, Voyager I took a picture of the Earth from over 6 billion kilometers away. We were no more than a pale, fuzzy blue dot (Carl Sagan wrote a book about it). A lot of really smart people are studying and have been studying the universe and its origins for a long time. They have theories (a lot of which are really cool...check out the theory of Fecund Universes) but they don't know. And that's okay. The fact that so many of our questions have answers outside of our reach just helps us to remember that we should be humble. I work in a grocery store for goodness sakes! What do I know! I call myself an atheist and I'm not even sure what that really means. Sam Harris (neuroscientist and atheist) once said, "In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist". We don't have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs." This is the basis for my atheism. I don't know, and neither do you. I just choose not to put any weight in the holy books that were written thousands of years ago by men. In the bible (John, chapter 20, verse 29) it says, "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." I have absolutely NO interest in being blessed (but don't judge people for wanting to be). But I'm perfectly fine with being judged by my beliefs (or lack of beliefs), I'm actually very proud of it.

1 comment:

  1. Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" bit (the one we all think of when we refer to "Pale Blue Dot") is, to me, possibly one of the most beautiful things ever written by anyone. It pretty much moves me to tears every time I hear it - I recently rewatched the whole of "Cosmos" and found myself missing Sagan hugely ... I've never known anyone that poetic and passionate about the universe - always inspires me