Yesterday’s post received a thoughtful comment from
R. Lee Darby, who wrote:
“When discussing metaphysical articles of faith there are no valid answers – only questions. Whether we are souls who inhabit a physical body or nothing more than random atoms is a good philosophical question but there can be no answers or proofs. The metaphysical, by definition, lies beyond knowledge and understanding where there are no proofs nor any scientific answers. Applying scientific reasoning to metaphysical questions is futile because proofs can only be based on what we know or can know within physical domains. One should never debate an article of faith which is based in the metaphysical realm. By definition, articles of faith transcend knowledge. One either believes it or not. It is pointless to debate metaphysical questions for there will never be any proof.
“One can only ask metaphysical questions without any expectation of answers. Does god exist? Does the soul exist? Are there unknowable truths? Are there unknowable truths that lie beyond reason and science? Who is wise enough to say? One may find answers to questions about physical reality using science but it is folly to expect to find answers in an infinite metaphysical domain that exists only within the human mind and perhaps the human soul.
“How could one ever hope to scientifically prove the metaphysical property of love? Or should we rather accept that love, like the human soul, requires an article of faith that requires no proof? One either believes that they are loved or not. Debating, and reasoning for proof to metaphysical questions, indicates both a lack of understanding and wisdom.”
To which I replied :
The goal of that post was to state my feelings, largely untestable beliefs, that I am comfortable with all that is in the Universe. After consideration of that idea many years ago, I decided that even poison oak and mosquitoes were welcome in my world, even though they have caused me considerable personal discomfort. My problem with unconstrained faith is that many people I encounter give themselves free rein to postulate the most absurd ideas and then guide their real-world behavior on self-destructive ideas.
It appears that many people in our Brave New World of truthiness are utterly beyond Animal Farm‘s trust in authority figures gone bad and well off into the world of 1984‘s where people truly believe that if you can conjure up any idea it becomes part of external reality.
It appears imperative that I reconsider my world view that “anything natural reality creates is okay with me.” I dislike poison oak because its efforts to defend itself have resulted in many days of severe itching for me, but I’ve decided that it has a right to live and it is my responsibility to treat it with respect and never touch it, even by accident. Most of my encounters with reality, such as gravity taking things I value and pulling them to the floor, where they sometimes break, I have learned to cope with.
My problem is with those human beings who, with their considerable native intelligence and vast social learning available, choose to think, say, and do incredibly stupid things. Large numbers of humans deserve Darwin Awards, and I would consider supporting the idea that they should advertise their beliefs by displaying their Darwin Award symbol conspicuously as I do.
How should I cope with people who deserve Darwin Awards?