Superstition is where you find it…

Bold & Rational Men

The search for cause and effect has not always been carried out with a rigorous methodology carefully crafted to return reliable results.

Sometimes, folks make cognitive leaps that are breathtaking in their intuitive scope but are still just plain wack.

Many supposedly scientific westerners have elaborate personal systems of superstition which they keep separate from both their secular science and whatever formal religion they may choose to practice.

The supposedly hard-headed Chinese Communist ruling oligarchy picked the suposedly supremely lucky western calendar date of August 8, 2008 (8-8-8) to kick off the olympics. (8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the it sounds like the word for prosper — not to mention that the characters for a double 8 resemble the popular shuang xi “double joy” design.)

Now, today’s date really had little or nothing to do with my picking this song for today’s post; I’ll admit it. If anything, I was thinking about an ongoing dialog I’ve been tentatively participating in regarding unfair prejudice against the religious.

Sometimes how one comes in on a contentious dialog depends on who has already staked out what position — and in what fashion — even if one’s own beliefs are all but immutable.

Normally I find myself lining up with those who profess to exalt rationalism and a scientific approach.

But all too often in some sectors these days, one finds those who claim adherence to scientific principles making irrational or unsupportable, often absolutist claims, flying far from the surly bonds of logic and fact.

Maybe, like beat dogs, some of us who’ve been subjected to one too many proselytic haranguement simply go nuts at the mention of religion; folks whose abreaction to repeated attempts to convert them to some religion or another have metastasized into a generalized scorn for anyone who dares entertain the idea that there might be something beyond this universe or something which transcends or perhaps informs our physical reality.

Even as science peels back layer after layer of how this universe works — revealing increasingly that the more we know, the more profound and strange the next questions become — some of these individuals cling to the notion that they know with absolute certainty that there is nothing beyond what we now see and think we know.

previous versions
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Friday, August 10, 2007

lyrics
Bold & Rational Men
Bold and Rational Men

Come now y’ bold and rational men
and march y’ straight ahead
y’ fear not the fire of the dragon
nor the carrious teeth of death

And come now, lad
fear not the gods
you’ve often said we’re all alone
d’n’cha see your where your path must lie
straight into the unknowable
good speed now
you’re on your own

But wait now put your hand on the earth
and see where your life flows from
this good dark earth
is the mother of us all
y’know you are her son

and come and gaze into the sky
see how dark and deep
you are the prodigal lost in time
lost in a dream kept sleep

(C)1973, TK Major
(C)2008, TK Major

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