There is a saying that in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.
Which makes me wonder if Odin had anything to do with that saying.
Now a days though, I am starting to think that in the land of the blind, the one eyed man would be called insane for seeing things no one else does. Why? Because to listen to atheists talk, you’d think that anyone who had a “religious” experience is crazy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I laugh at stuff by George Carlin to, the man is a wit. And frankly I think a lot of his stabbings at Monotheism are dead on, because lets face it, the god of Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammed isn’t exactly sane or stable at times, according to his own books and followers.
But that doesn’t mean that people who see spirits or talk to gods are crazy people talking to imaginary friends, or that the beliefs they have are invalid and make believe.
Most atheists seem to come from two basic categories, at least as far as I can tell. The “scientific” and the “experiential” groups.
The Scientific group, and has people like Dawkins in it. For them anything that cannot be proven by science cannot exist. Ironic, considering that the vast majority of things science now proves were thought impossible by science before it was proven as tech advanced. But none the less, because they cannot scientifically prove the existence of the spiritual they happily crow that anything except for science is ignorance. Of course, a major problem with this is the fact that most of the scientific atheists are merely people who don’t have much of a great understanding of science, but take what science declares as truth, in a way that mirrors religious faith in a lot of ways. And the way the scientific atheists attack “religion” is spookily similar to the way that Monotheism attacks and tries to destroy pagan religions.
The Experiential group works slightly differently. They come from both religious and non-religious backgrounds. The general commonality of this group is that something in this group, generally an event they experienced, caused them to question the existence of the divine and lose their belief. One of the most common is in the field of Monotheism where they wonder how a god who is all powerful could allow something to happen that was so against his laws and nature. And since they are raised to believe that god wouldn’t lie to them, that he is a good and righteous god, that he is all powerful, that if he was really these things, that he wouldn’t, couldn’t let the thing happen. So, they choose the easiest explanation: God doesn’t exist. The alternative is worse: That God lied. So it is better to believe that God doesn’t exist rather than that God lied.
This is especially true in the case of abuse, where the abuse believes strongly in said god and uses it as a justification for the abuse.
Of the two, I find it easier to deal with the latter group. I was a member of it for a while, before Alchemy showed me in its workings that the spiritual could, and did exist, and with it the possibility for the divine. But it took a lot for me to get from being an atheist to a polytheist, and what helped a lot was the nature of polytheism itself. And a willingness to admit that perhaps the god I was taught about was a lie, or had lied about what it was. These people tend to be somewhat more relaxed in certain regards about theism. Or while they react strongly against theisms, they at least have a valid reason for it.
The first group is the one that is most annoying and amusing as the same time. They are the ones that insist that Science is the only reasonable medium to explain the world. As if a path which has existed in its present form a mere two hundred or so years out of thousands, and which still cannot explain so much of this world, is by its nature infinitely more valid than anything else. And they cling to it with a dogmatic adherence that would make even the most hardcore Islamist feel ashamed for a lack of faith. They are not, as a rule, atheists because they studied all the religions of the world and found them wanting. They are not even thus because they studied a few religions like Christianity or Islam. No, they are atheists because like the believers of religious faiths, they believe what the “priests” (i.e. scientists) tell them is true. And just as the Christian uses “miracles” to prove the validity of his faith, or the sorcerer works his magics, so too does the scientist perform his experiments and by slight of hand and chemical reaction wow the audience and say “There is no god but what I make in my test tube!”
Perhaps the most foolish element of the “scientific” atheist is the fact that science still has so many things it cannot explain. So even though science cannot scientifically say one way or another if there are divine and spiritual things, the scientific atheist insists that the absence of evidence is the absence of existence. Which, considering all the things that science has proven exist that formerly science insisted couldn’t exist, seems a rather foolish attitude to this heathen.
See, there was once a mathematician (whose name escapes me, though he is rather famous) who came to the realization that there are things out there that are True and can be proven, and there are things that are equally True, but can never be proven. Meaning that the existence of the Divine and Spiritual, which I believe to be true, could very well be True, even if it can never be “proven.” And the fact that such Unprovable Truths exist, means that no matter how much the “Scientific” Atheist screams that such cannot exist, he or she can never prove they are right.
This is not to say, of course, that atheists are bad people. They are not. They are just like any group of believers, some of them are tolerant, some of them are bigoted, some come by it honestly, and some come by it via indoctrination by their leaders.
It matters little to me if they don’t believe that Thor makes the lightning with his hammer. What they believe doesn’t change what I believe. I know the meteorological reasons for storms according to science. I even know the alchemical reasons for it. But neither of these invalidate the idea that Thor is in the storm fighting Jotuns or what have you. There are layers to the world, to me, each as valid and as true as the next.
Everyone is free to believe what they want. Everyone is free to believe in what they believe to be true. But no one path is better than another, nor is it more provable. Each system is valid by its own standards, and a few of them claim that all others are invalid in the face of their standards. But the fact is that one path cannot truly invalidate another path. Science will prove science to be right. Alchemy will prove alchemy to be right. Faith proves faith right. Reason prove reason right. Each person should be free to come into the path of their choosing.
It’s time more people realized that.