Rational Religion

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Basis of The Rational Religion.


FIRST PREMISE:  The only constant is change.


The trouble is, most human beings don't like change.


They like variety, which is a different thing; small changes, but cyclic and predictable; as grand as the seasons in a temperate climate, or as small as the shifting shadows as the sun crosses the daily sky; Travel...or carefully planned adventure. 


Variety is manageable, and one can return to the original conditions; or a familiar spectrum of experience. 


But change demands that we become something or someone that our life experience -- up to the point of change  -- has not prepared us to be. 


It's scary as hell!


The Rational Religionist takes what the conventional metaphysician most fears and recoils against, and makes it the foundation of belief. 


The only constant is Change, but we cannot know where Change will lead.  We can "predict" and "guess" but experience teaches us how bad we are at that. 


So the Unknown is eternal.  No specific part of it may be unknowable, but there is simply more of it than we will ever get around to.


This concept of the Great Unknown fits the criteria for all First Premises.   It is essentially unprovable, therefore irrefutable.


Where metaphysics goes awry is the point at which the individual's personal readout of the Universe becomes frozen and solidified into a conviction. 


Conviction is the enemy of investigation.  If you are convinced of something, you are going to ignore - or actively resist - any and all evidence to the contrary.


Even if you believe in something with impeccable intellectual credentials; say, Scientific Method; you are liable to fall prey to conviction. 


I suspect that Scientific Method is the most important intellectual tool the species has invented and may be capable of formulating.  The best evidence I have is that it promises to give us the most accurate read on the objectively "real" universe, well into the future.


It would, however, be inaccurate to say that I "believe" in Scientific Method, any more than I "believe" in the tools in my toolbox.   Any one of which I would put aside if a better one for the purpose were invented.


With my contractor's various tools I can build a house; a useful construct, given the worldwide shortage of dry caves.  With Scientific Method, trained practitioners can build testable theories and concepts, leading to all sorts of useful constructs, from consumer goods to military hardware.


No one would try to use either set of tools to write a poem; or a play; or compose a symphony.


(Some people might take a shot at painting or drawing with them.  For a few years, a couple or three decades ago, the art world became briefly infatuated with what was called "Op Art"   - which was largely the visual investigation of elementary physical and mathematical principles.  The movement pretty much died out and remains only as a curiosity in the history of Western art.   [Or was it replaced by Mandelbrot on an oscilloscope screen?] I suspect it was simply too mechanistic to qualify as aesthetic.  It was intriguing, occasionally surprising, but not moving.   And for a short while the aesthetic reaction against it even tarred the brilliant Maurits Escher's art with the label of "trickery" or "geometric exercise."  But Escher's work has philosophical depth, even if its most pervasive element is paradox.  Paradox has a profound emotional impact.)


Meanwhile, the only thing we can be sure of is that the Universe is changing, around us and within us.


Most conventional religions assist us only to ignore the changes.  They immerse us in elaborate fictions which deny the physical realities; or interpret them in terms less disturbing to our peace of mind.


The Rational Religion trades in the comforting fairy tales for a chance at understanding what is going on.   It's not a good trade for everybody. .