So I’ve been trying to figure out how to say this without actually stirring up a shit storm in the comments but there’s no gentle way to put it – Atheists and Fundamentalists are exactly the same.
That’s just silly. They have totally opposite points of view. How can they be the same?
What you believe is not what I talking about. But how you believe can be exactly the same. If you actually feel pretty confident in your beliefs about how the universe works and you’re unwilling to examine or change them, then you’re totally the same. Go figure.
As I spelled out in a previous post about the observable principles the universe (Oct. 5, 2012), it operates like thus, “Everything is dual; everything has two poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.”
Believing in a creator god or believing that there is no god whatsoever are opposites that eventually meet in extremis. The meeting point is the strongly held belief. So atheists and fundamentalists have something very important in common.
I was struck by this notion while having a conversation with someone who generally appears open-minded until the conversation goes into the spiritual or metaphysical realm. For someone who sees the world only through a scientific/materialistic point of view, there is no room to imagine the possibility of an intelligence or consciousness that might be underlying and connecting it all. Just as for someone who sees the world as having been created and guided by a creator god, the idea that no one is in control or determining anyone’s fate is just as absolutely unimaginable.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
“All truths are but half-truths;” and there is your starting point. I don’t believe in anything and that allows me to be open to everything. I operate more on an “I like/respond to/am attracted to that” and “I don’t like/don’t respond to/am repelled by that” scale. That’s really all you do, but then you label these things as being bad/good, right/wrong, moral/immoral.
I like when people are kind to each other and I’m repelled when they are cruel. So I will make choices that engender what I enjoy. I can label cruelty as bad but I know that is only a half-truth.
The zen philosopher Alan Watts once used our immune system as an example of looking at things from a larger point of view. Within your body, wars rage unseen at all times. A foreign invader is attacked and killed by your white blood cells so that you may remain healthy. He described it thus, “So what is discord at one level of your being is harmony at another level.” What if the conflict and strife on this level of existence was ensuring peace on another? What if we were all part of a much larger existence that we can’t even imagine? What a cool idea!
Once I let that sink in, I have not been able to hold a strong belief about the way things are or the way they should be ever since. I’ve had a lot of interesting ideas though. And when something else comes along that can add to or negate any of my ideas, I can change out of them like an old pair of jeans.
Believe what you like but please try and keep it in perspective.