Archive for June, 2010

work, Titan, atheism vs agnosticism

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

A long time between updates… hmmm.

My employment with the corporate overlord of the past 6 years is ending. June 30 is my last day with them. A lot has happened over that period of time… commuted from brisbane to the goldcoast for work, got married, built a house and moved to the gold coast, got a pair of cute cats, employment transferred back to brisbane, now commuting from the GC to bris every day…
Big change is a-comin’!

I spied Saturn’s moon Titan for the very first time a couple of days ago with my 30×125 binoculars. Saturn’s rings are side-on at this time of year/orbit, so i’m not sure whether i saw them or whether it was some sort of optical aberration. Its always satisfying to find something ‘new’ which you haven’t seen before, not to mention the pleasure of scanning the sky for other notable things like the Carina Nebula, etc.
Next on the agenda – see if i can find anything in the vicinity of Cygnus A.

This might come as a surprise to many people,  not the least of which would be my wife (forgive me! 🙁 )… i don’t consider myself to be a christian anymore. The reasons are many and varied, but I just don’t see the evidence. Over the past decade or so i’ve become increasingly scientific in my world view, thinking about my beliefs with what i think is a healthy degree of skepticism.
So at the end of the day i’ve found the need to classify myself as an atheist… i can’t see any evidence of any religion as being actually provable, demonstrable fact. Most scientists are atheists… so then why would I consider agnosticism instead? Well, i’m currently (still?) of the opinion that the average human has the capacity for spirituality. It is this very capacity that makes me ask: is spirituality a concept based on some tangible condition, or is it merely an aspect of typical human thought processes?
I believe the jury is still out on this issue (as Dr Ellen Arroway in Carl Sagan’s book Contact mentioned). Apparently, scientists/medical folks have actually measured that at the precise moment of death the human body weighs very slightly less. What is that? Is it the ‘soul’? I don’t know. We need more proof.

But all I can say is that it would be awful nice if life after death was fact. This is why I’m confused as to whether to call myself an atheist or agnostic; i want to believe… but i have to be skeptical.  But maybe even such a concept of an afterlife is a fallacy. Heck, maybe ‘spirituality’ could actually be a ‘6th sense’ of sorts… maybe it is a capacity of mankind that we collectively need to discover and actually – demonstratively – prove exists. How?
(just don’t ask Why – i’m not a philosopher!)

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