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Squatters  @psychohistorian.org

Squatters

posted: 2873 days ago, on Wednesday, 2010 Apr 14 at 10:37
tags: atheism, supernatural.

Life goes on in slow plodding steps, whether you're a subsistence farmer in Namibia or an air-traffic controller at Heathrow who Twitters, blogs and Facebooks in his spare time.

From minute to minute, life may be hectic, but the undercurrent of existence ebbs and flows with a comfortable, predictable regularity. Heads of state fall in and out of favour, birthdays and New Year's parties come and go, monthly bills and the Full Moon make their regular appearance, fashion trends blossom and breakfast is served.

One of the governors of the pace of life is religion, the idea that powerful supernatural beings exist and that we must do something about it. At its core, religion is just that: an idea. And like any idea, if it hopes to flourish in the human mind, it needs certain attributes that will ensure its host remains accommodating, willing to provide board and lodging.

All ideas aren't equal, and (although we're all human) not all minds are alike. Some minds are attracted to the idea of supernatural beings, while other minds turn them away while they're still knocking on the front door. Sometimes, they enter through a side door and its takes a while before they are put on notice and then evicted.

Religion, like all other ideas, is a construct of the human mind. One day, no doubt, we will have digital deities (as our computers become more sophisticated) and extraterrestrial evangelicals (when we make first contact with other intelligent life forms), but for the moment, the human species is the unique host of the gods-idea.

Religion, like many other ideas, spawns novel ideas and interacts with existing ones. It resonates better with some ideas than with others until it is part of the background music and we find ourselves tapping our feet to its beat.

But unlike art, science, literature, music, ethics, economics, aesthetics and card tricks (to list just those I've engaged with this morning), religion is predicated on the idea of the supernatural. Omit that assumption and religion is meaningless.

All of human endeavour, from art to card tricks, flourishes without recourse to (and sometimes in spite of) the supernatural.

It's long overdue that we take stock of the squatter in our midsts and serve that eviction notice. Life goes on!

nothing more to see. please move along.


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