I just wanted to say I appreciate the dialogue you have created here. If I was to deem something as “holy” or better yet, holy-like, I think dialogue would be at the top of the list. It is the basis of understanding, whether it be internal or external. I cannot say that I have proof of a higher existence or lack thereof, but I do feel that there is a moving force in the universe, something that I feel connects me to every other living and non living thing in the universe. I cannot say whether that force is biological or spiritual or both, but I know that when I feel this, it drives me to understand the world around me and the people and things in it. By creating a fluxus of information, dialogue, we are essentially trying to understand the connection and how it pertains to us as individuals, as a human race, etc. Some people turn to religion to satisfy their need to feel a part of something bigger, some people turn to their own logic of deduction, experience, some people turn to science, but we all essentially embark on the same search with the same purpose. I feel that in order to give ourselves a true chance at reaching any sense of personal belonging or understanding, we cannot discard any options, whether they be atheism or theism. By maintaining yourself in a state of constant query and not feeling like conclusions have to be made and lived by, we are allowing ourselves the chance to be open and ready for other truly important questions. Its ok, and sometimes better, for a question to be met with another question, and not necessarily an answer written in stone. To be open is my goal. Not to reach a conclusion and shut out other possibilities. If living this way creates better relationships with myself and everything in the world around me than there was before, then I will know I am on a right path. I cannot expect everyone else to come to this by treading on the same ground. I can share my experience with people and hope that in some way, what I tell them or my example plants a seed of question that may in time evolve into their own personal dialogue with the world. To encourage others to seek answers by being involved in the search instead of by being disconnected and accepting requires a deep respect and compassion. Respect for what point that person is at in their path, whether it be stagnant or fluctuating, and compassion even when you personally disagree with where its going. Not to say that there’s a big finish line with a banner that says “you did it!” at the end, but hopefully that along the line you did the best you could, with the least damage afflicted. So in conclusion, forge on!
Thank you very much for the note — I am in agreement with much of what you say.
My only significant bit of disagreement involves your statement that “we cannot discard any options.” I would clarify this by noting that when a concept is no longer a viable option, it’s okay to discard it. Also, even when we hold on to options, we can assign them priority or possibility. For example, I think that it is possible that God exists, but I feel that the odds are very, very small.
Where we get into difficulty is when we pretend that all options are equal. This is what often happens during the discussion of creation and evolution. Creationists act as if creationism or intelligent design is just another option and should therefore be given equal standing with evolution. But the fact is that intelligent design and the theory of evolution are not equal, and therefore should not be treated as such.
Still, I certainly agree with your larger point, that only honest, unbiased inquiry can lead to true understanding.