Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oregon agnostic

I believe that the search for Truth (or God, or Whatever-You-Choose-to-Call-It) is similar to a calculus expression.  That is, let Absolute Truth =  ∞; and let X = Human Comprehension.   The search for Truth might be expressed thusly:

lim {X -> ∞} f(x) = X/∞ = 0

Or, to put it another way:  Truth is incomprehensible to the human mind.  It is beyond our capacity to understand.  The best we can do is approach It, just as X approaches ∞. And no matter how close we get, we remain infinitely far away.

Such belief, of course, requires a degree of faith.  More faith, in fact, than is required to derive a literal interpretation of scripture.  By acknowledging that Truth is unknown and ultimately unknowable, one must accept that, at any moment in the journey through life, a sudden epiphany may render ridiculous all of one's previous assumptions and tenets.  Enlightenment is never absolute. 

So, regardless of the method we use to approach the Truth, be it Hindu mysticism, Buddhist tranquility, or strict adherence to the rigid dogma of the Children of Abraham, (any of which is as valid a method as any other) we cannot arrive at the Destination.

This, I suppose, is why I find objectionable so much of what passes for religion in the world.  Bible-thumping hypocrites, jihad warriors waving the Koran, and the brutal descendants of fanatic Simon Zealotes all seem to believe they have arrived at Truth.  They've stopped looking for It.  Instead, they try to compel others to believe as they do.     

Well, as a scion of this little corner of humanity's domain, where religion is largely viewed as a private matter, I reject all that.

I'm an Oregon agnostic, seeking with the full knowledge that I will never arrive.  Forty-eight years into it, and I'm still looking.

How about you, dear reader?  How does it seem to you?  I'm listening.

Note to Anonymous poster: The f(x) of my equation is X/∞ . X does not approach 0, it approaches infinity. And anything divided by infinity = 0, which is the point I was trying to make with this post.


Dan Binmore said...

Complete bullshit. You use methods to derive truth all the time. You have arbitrarily assigned a value to God to make him unknowable, which you would not do for anything else. Use your own formula on justice, and get the same result, that justice is unknowable and just a guess and you'll know that the formula is bullshit.

You have an intellect that one in a thousand might hope to have. It's cowardice not to use it for the most important question.

You know that this is a cop out, I know you well enough to know that you know it.

If you are going to believe in God define God, explain God, justify it. If you don't then you are just saying you want to believe in something but don't want to have to use your brain to explain why.

Dan Binmore said...

Sorry Dade, while I still think what I wrote was correct, there are much better ways of saying it. It just makes me upset when smart people use that intelligence to find ways to not think about things they find uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

Your expression

lim {X -> ∞} = X/∞ = 0

is incomplete. One must address a mathematical limit with regard to a function. Assuming you wish the limit to be 0 the expression would be:

lim (X -> ∞)f(X)= 0

This expression is true for many functions, the simplest of which are functions of the form

f(X) = 1/nX

where n is an integer.