A YT Commenter Shares his stoy

Yes, there’s a certain skill there in cutting through thicket of irrelevancy and arriving at what is meaningful and pragmatic. That’s why I depend on the books and YouTube content of figures like Jordan Peterson and Alan Watts, because they seem to be extraordinarily good at that. Let me tell you a bit about myself. If I studied religion directly without these people, as I indeed did, back a school 7 or 8 or so years ago, I had “religious education classes,” and I just didn’t see what it was about, all I could assemble was that there were these various, erm, “tribes” of people out there that identify with very strange books and ways of dressing and those were the “religions.” And I was educated in Greater London which is an extraordinarily multicultural place, so I was normalized to the apparent variety and colorfulness of the outside world, indeed I was hardly aware at the time that actually most of the world was mono-cultural and mono-racial. Beyond religious education classes though, what did intimidate and disturb me was the vague and passing mentioning of the Christian God and the chapel services (I’ve had a fair amount of exposure to Anglican(Episcopalian) church services, and Catholic when I was younger). Especially as a teenager, I equated atheism with sanity, and found the existence of outwardly Christian people (not very common in London Suburbia) unsettling to the point of actively avoiding them the best I could, as if they were sex perverts; you know, dangerously irrational: not joking around here. Also my closest friend was Muslim which was a point of uneasy humor, but with Muslim’s there just their belief in an iconoclastic “One God, Allah” and the rest is a load of rule following, like not drinking or eating pork, so that wasn’t as disturbing as full blown Christians. But yes, my God, I was so much an atheist in my teenage years that actual atheism as an outward “evangelizing movement” actually made me very nervous. Because here were these people or authors like Dawkins actually confronting these dangerously emotionally irrational creatures called Christians about their “beliefs,” and that just scared the shit out of me, because I anticipated some kind of absurdly dramatic psychotic breakdown rage from the latter: seriously, I’m not joking about this, this was me at 16. If it wasn’t obvious to you that there was no all-powerful invisible bearded man silently watching you in the sky, listening to your thoughts, and quietly judging your actions for sentence after your death, I assumed you were well past the point of rational inquiry, and so far gone in brainwashing indoctrination that it would be best if you were left alone among your own kind and contained. Religion was indeed a subject that got me very nervous and I avoided the subject the best I could, especially among the “indoctrinated.” In hindsight this is actually not an uncommon attitude in secular England, I was just a slightly more extreme case of how a lot of private atheists in England think. But then what happened as time went on was a series of coincidences after getting enthused about theoretical physics and metaphysics, then Spinozian-Einsteinium philosophical pantheism, then Buddhist meditation, then some Derren Brown inspired psychology, which ironically (he’s a die hard atheist) lead to a brush with Junging thought à la Peterson, that I later returned to with him, and then finally the sophisticated comparative religions of Watts and Merton and other writers, along with some evolutionary psychology and history for background. You can imagine it’s been one hell of a journey to go from such-an-atheist-I’m-not-going-to-defend-my-atheism-because-you’re-dangerously-mentally-deranged to one-of-the-few-in-the-world-that-actually-believes-in-some-sense-the-god-of-St-Aquinas-on-a-rational-basis. Very very strange journey. Not sure what to do with all my perspectives. I thought about going into writing, because there’s a gap in the market for a balanced broad-perspective case for whether or not to be religious: the market is dominated by people fervently arguing one way or the other. Nevertheless I feel I still have so much to learn before I’m qualified to do that. Maybe when I reach my 30s. I don’t know. Anyhow in conclusion: hooray for all of the authors that filter out the noise and madness to deliver the signal and utility, or I’d probably be exactly as I was now a decade ago. Which would be depressing. Anyhow, am I right in assuming that your world view is materialistic? Because I must warn you that material is a dead duck in contemporary physics today, it’s practically been debunked by omission. Instead what’s fundamental is energy-entropy which is tied up with information believe it or not, because the very structure of information as you think of existing in your mind can have direct consequences on the entropy of the supposedly material, physical systems, that is the distribution of energy. This is why a lot theoretical physicists are taking the line of thought that the universe is analogous to a computer, and that what’s fundamental is information (structuralism: but nothing structured, related to panpsychism). https://plus.maths.org/content/it-bit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter In The Beginning was the Bit, and the Bit was with God, and the Bit was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All ITs were made by the Bit, and without the Bit was not any IT made that was made. Here’s a nice slow paced BBC documentary about it if you have so much enthusiasm and too much free time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=833l2EaNGUs I’ll be better versed in the subject once I’ve finished reading Paul Davies & co. “Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics To Metaphysics.” That’s where I am at now.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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