I spend too much time on MetaFilter, but I find it quite intellectually stimulating when I don’t find it quite silly. Sublime and ridiculous. Anyway, I’m somewhat of a minority there since I’m Catholic and it seems at least the most vocal people are quite secular. This is good for me.
This is good for me because it challenges me to reconcile unreason with reason and belief with fact. I’m not going to mention truth [except for these couple of sentences] because truth and fact are two different things to me. Facts are true, but not all truths are fact. So I should change the instances of fact in this post to truth. Maybe I’ll go into more detail on that sometime. Continuing:
The people that challenge my beliefs most often are empiricists. They take fact, logic and reason as their tools for living life. I am not much of an empiricist. Yes, I have some of that Germanic love of seeing everything set out orderly, well-diagrammed and in its place, but that is useful to me only as a place from which to leap into the unknown. I like calculations but I’m not calculating. I have no real use for the scientific method.
My unreason isn’t the most useful of things, but to me it is a sight more interesting than logic alone. I’ve run across skeptics who believe nothing unless they can see empirical evidence and I’ve met mystics who will believe the craziest tripe despite empirical evidence to the contrary. I try to keep my own path right in the middle. Things that cannot be proven nor disproven empirically [ontological here we go!] are what intrigue me and give me the most exercise.
So when I am challenged in my unreasonableness at believing that a higher power is responsible for this that is, it seems like the people who do this are the ones who are pure skeptics. Hm, I don’t think I’m explaining this too well. It isn’t supposed to sound like a fight.
Starting again but not from the beginning: I am quite open to engaging in ideas and theories that can be neither proven nor disproven, as futile as it might seem. I’m unreasonable in that sense. But I had to figure out what separated me from the mystics who believe in the Hollow Earth or that fluoride in the water is a communist/government plot to killus/dispose of toxic waste. The hardcore empiricists [not the empiricists who just want proof], the ones who get livid at the fact that unreason exists are the folks who have helped me shuffle out and solidify my own curious unreason and mysticism. I’ll give a well-thought-out but unproveable assertion a good listening and if I find it to be valuable will believe in it as far as I find it to be useful. But while I believe that something as seemingly far-out as telepathy has distinct possibilities, I refuse to call it supernatural, something I think is impossible.
Just because something is unproven, doesn’t mean it should be dismissed as idiocy.