pandora_parrot: (me)
It is not inaccurate to describe me as an atheist, a skeptic, and a fan of science. I don't really "identify" with these things in any meaningful sense, since I don't feel these things define my identity so much as they describe my behavior.

I'm a fairly strong atheist, as evidenced by this: http://paradox-puree.livejournal.com/818024.html

But there's an issue with atheism. The body of people that are atheists tends to be white, male, educated, of higher income, etc. And the biases of these groups dominate the gestalt perspective of "atheism" as a group. Many prominent atheists have issues with sexism, racism, classism, etc.

Among many things, there is, amongst these folks, a belief or worship of quantifiable and verifiable truth as the highest possible virtue or value in the world. For some, all other forms of truth are irrelevant or inferior. Subjective, emotional, moral, ethical, perceptual, and mythological truth.

There is this sense that the quantifiable and verifiable aspects of reality are the only ones worth relating to. But our subjective emotional experiences are worth looking into.

When I step out under the night sky and look up at the stars, taking in a breathtaking view, you can quantify my heart rate. You can quantify my reaction. You can quantify the fact that I report certain emotional reactions. But none of that is relevant to the reaction I have, which is of a sense of connection to the vast universe that we are all a part of.

Words like "reality" or "truth" or anything like that are loaded terms. Each exists only within a set context. The objective version of reality and truth is certainly extremely important, and recognizing what happens there is vital to our happiness and success, but it is just one context within which you can evaluate the "truth" of something. Another might be one's emotional truth, or other forms of subjective truth.

Categorical errors occur often, and I think this is where issues arise. Many religious people believe their mythological or emotional truths to be objective truth. Many skeptics may focus only on what is objectively happening in a particular scenario and miss asking the question "What are people experiencing, why, and how?"

Concepts of science, objective truth, etc. are superbly useful, but they are but one tool in a large toolbox.
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Pandora Parrot

May 2017

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