This is a subject that I've been thinking about since reading ZAMM. And if you've ever read the book, and you think the two ideas sound similars, you would be completely right, but before you call me an intellectual robber, let me call myself someone that's easily inspired.
Let's start off with an atheist argument. I am not personally an active catholic, but this is not because I don't like God, it's the traditions behind it I don't like. The biggest atheist argument is that we don't have any evidence of God. Nobody has ever seen him, touched him or heard him,therefore why should we believe in it. People don't refuse all the good morals behind religion, what they hate is having to blindfully accept something (God), for the whole ''myth'' to make sense. Some people are even going as far as saying that we don't need God in our lives.
Therefore, if we don't have an evidence that he exists and we don't need him, why was he created?
All the gods in our world were created for the same reason, giving us a blanket to wrap around ourselves to make us feel confortable in an unexplanable world, to naïvely not make us feel so stupid. When they couldn't explain the weather, they founded a god, when they couldn't explain evil, they founded a god, it was their way of making themselves not feel so lost. That's the reason why I think people are rejecting more and more religion, because they feel too naïve. When we ask a lot of questions about religion, we find out that there's a huge void in the begging of it, a lot of unanswerable questions. And in a world where everything needs to be described and exokained, having such an empty postulate to beggin the doctrine is unacceptable, it's just plain naïve. And when; on the other side, we have science where everything is so well described and explained, picking religion over science is just an uneducated decision, right?
Air seal tight explenations over an empty doctrine, right?
Not really. Science; and that's really hard to believe, also has its empty postulates that we blind-fully have to accept for science to make sense. Something like a god that we just have to accept without the proof of experience. And I know you guys are laughing in my face, but that's because scientists with their big glasses and funky hair; talking about the ''truth'' and calling their theories ''laws'' have been able to hide to the eyes of the public those unexplainable postulates.
(The next example has been stolen from the mind of the author of ZAMM, Mr.Pirsig)
Do ghosts exists? Knowing that we don't have any rock solid proofs, should we accept them? No. Clearly no. Accepting ghosts is rejecting the most basic law of physics saying that ''everything is matter or energy''. And ghosts are neither of them, therefore it's unacceptable to say that they exist....But then again... But then again; that basic law of physic is neither matter or energy, therefore it doesn't exist.What? Therefore our whole world is nothing? Well that sucks. That law of physics, that basic law of physics that has never been questioned; in part because it's called a law, is unexplainable by the proof of experience. It is impossible to prove that everything that exists is matter or energy, just like it's impossible to prove that God exists. However, after we blind-fully accept one of them, then our whole world is rationally explainable.
Catch my drift?
Let's talk about another example of an explanation of something that completely made sense, but when somebody changed the postulate that starts every thing, we discover a new truth, and that one is also right. So here we go for the concrete example that you guys are waiting for.
It's the example of the euclidean geometry. That geometry is the one we learn in school since 5th grade, and one of the postulates of euclidean geometry is this... If there's a straight line and a point, which is not on that line, the only line tht will go through that point and never touch the other line is the line prralel to the first one.
Here's a drawing for my visuals.
However, this postulate cannot be proved by mathematics, it proves mathematics. So now let's see what happens when somebody simply changes the postulate to see what will happen.
Some mathematicians decided to say that if the line going through the point is curving inward, there's an infinite amount of line that touches the first line, and if it's curving outward, it will never touch the line.
Well that doesn't make sense, you would say? Well actually, this makes complete sense. How do I know. Well that's the geometry we use now in boats and planes and space ships. It's the geometry of curved enviroment. It's the geometry that tells us that the shortest line between the philipine islands and cuba is no a straight line, the planes are actually going up to Alaska.
Doesn't this reminds you of something? Religion made conplete sense; but then somebody changed the postulate, or the starting point from ''there's a God'' to ''everything is matter or energy'' and they discovered a whole bunch of new truths.
So now the question is, what kind of geometry is the right one? Euclidean or non-euclidean? The answer is, it's a stupid question to ask. We cannot find wich one is right which one is wrong because even though they judge the same reality (geometry) they cannot be compared. Truth is, we use both geometry in their own ways. Using non-euclidean geometry on a flat surface and using euclidean on a curved one is a recipe for disaster.
Now I want you to think about everything I just said about geometry, but this time, about Religion and Science. Which one is right, which one is wrong? Neither of them. Once again, even though they judge the same reality, they are not based on the same postulate, therefore they are not inter-changeable. And once again, we should use both doctrines in there own rights, and not try to find which one is ''the good one''.
Let's talk about that now. Why do you think we've never been able to prove one right? Well there is two things lacking before finding an ultimate truth. First, proving by experience either of the postulates. Either proving that God exists or every postulates in every kind of science. The other thing we would need to do after is proving one doctrine right by the use of the other one. Prove with science that God exists or find God and ask him his opinion on science.
I don't personally think that this is ever going to happen, but for every good argument, you need an equally good counter argument.
Now I hear everyone asking a question with a timid voice of a kid asking and being scared that the teacher rejects it, saying it's a stupid question. The question you're all asking yourself is, ''why does my world makes complete sense explained by science, if it's based on empty starting points?''.
Well, let's put it like this, the earth was flat until we asked ourselves more questions. The theory that the earth was flat was invented by people that never even thought they would have to answer questions like gravity and explaining the stars in the sky. A theory only makes sense for the things that could have been imagined by the people that created it, and once we'll discover stuff that we never even imagined possible, we'll have to invent new ''laws'' that are unprovable. And the kids that will be born in a generation where that new science is ''the truth'', they'll talk about us like naive idiots that never looked further then the end of their noses. Just like what we're saying right now about religion.
And once again, you guys are asking for concrete examples. An example of ''the next truth''. Here we go.
String theory: There's one big problem right now in physics. The problem of the uniting of the forces. Even though it sounds like a star wars movie title, it's a very serious problem. Uniting gravity with electro-magnetism and strong/weak nuclear force. You don't need to understand the whole science behind it to understand the point, so forget the details and listen to what I'm saying. Uniting those forces is impossible using the ''laws'' of physics, we've been working on it for a long time, and scientists are starting to believe less andless that the solution is at the ''branches'' and more and more that it's at the ''roots'', we need a fundamental change. So what is that fundamental change? It's saying that the world is made out of little vibrating strings.
What? What the fuck? That doesn't make any sense.
Ironic no? That's what religion said about science, but look what's getting taught in schools now.
But there's a problem with that. The postulate. Even if our world make complete sense with the string theory, so said we accepted that the world is made out of little invisible vibrating strings?
Well... Why not? We can't prove it wrong.
Yeah....But we can't prove it right either
What happen is the ''laws'' of physics were not created knowing that they would have to unite all the forces in one big force. Newton never talked to Bohr, neither to Ohm, and Einstein wasn't even born when all those theories were accepted as the truth. They never imagined that anyone would be curious enouh to ask those questions. Once again, does it ring a bell?
Having a complete truth but then somebody arrives with a different idea tht is impossible to prove right or wring, however that idea can explain more of our world then the old one, so we slowly accept it until it's unquestionable that this idea is the truth and we start making more and more fun of the millions and millions of people that based their life for millions of years on that theory. All of that just because people with great power, I would call them ''dictators of the miind'', blindfully accepted that truth and put it in our schools, in our books and in our heads.
We have to understand that we're not in the ''siecle des lumieres'' anymore and the hope we have about science is not so strong anymore, just like what happened with religion a few hundred years ago. I feel like we've been through this moment of uncertainness once already, and we'll go through it as long as there's curious people asking questions and discovering stuff that has never been imagined by the people that invented those theories. It's time to understand that even though we don't like it, everything we have around us is explanations we gave to our world, a blanket to cover our eyes from the scary reality surrounding us.