Sunday, January 26, 2014

Eventually, there will be just one gap

Some day soon, there really will be nowhere for any god to hide. What do I mean by that? Let's think back to life on Earth during the time of the Ancient Greeks (though gods were invented long before this period).

When they didn't understand affairs of the heart, they invented Aphrodite, the goddess of love. When lightning bolts streaked across the sky, they invented Zeus the god of the sky, lightning and thunder. There are/were gods of war, sun gods, gods of love, gods of the planets, of the underworld, of the oceans, of the moon, etc.

For that which we didn't understand, we invented a god/goddess. The Romans followed in the Greek footsteps, basically just changing the names of the traditional Greek gods: Zeus-Jupiter, Aphrodite-Venus, Ares-Mars, Artemis-Diana, Athena-Minerva, Hades-Pluto, Hermes-Mercury, Kronos-Saturn, Persephone-Proserpina, Poseidon-Neptune.

But as philosophers and scientists began to take hold with their rational thoughts and theories, these mythical gods fell away because things such as weather, emotion and cosmology are undeniable. The unknown, unfortunately, still serves as irrational fodder, and deities fill those holes for the weak. This is known as the god of the gaps argument, meaning any gap in our knowledge is filled by a deity. I've touched on this in previous posts, but in short, if we don't yet know how something happens, believers think their god did it.

The biggest gaps that remain, the final frontiers if you will (sorry Trekkers), are origins (life and universe) and afterlife. Since we will never know if there is an afterlife, I suppose there always will be at least one gap, so (sadly) there may always be religion. But, the origins of life (abiogenesis) and the universe (Big Bang) are close at hand or are already here. And that's why any god, in the end, will have just one place to hide: in the unknown of the afterlife.

There are many predictions that religion will be in the minority soon, perhaps 30-40 years, and it's because these gaps will be all but filled. Really, if all we can't prove is if there's an afterlife, then where does a god really fit? Only in the minds of the superstitious and the delusional.

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