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I've just started a course on Coursera about "big history," the multi-discipline story of, basically, the universe. One of the lessons included an interesting work by one of the instructors, David Christian. An excerpt, offering a possible explanation of why religious beliefs can be held by the educated: "I taught in San Diego for many years, and I taught Big History. I had a lot of students who were Creationists. They had the courage to say to me that they struggled with all of this. One of the things I found was that many of them are struggling in a way that is admirable. They're looking for big story. They don't find it in science because we don't teach it that way. Eventually they go to their churches because they do find a big story there. Quite a few, I realized, are a bit uneasy about this, because they realize there's a mismatch between the big story which they get from their churches, and the science that created the iPhone that they carry in their pockets. They're a bit uncomfortable about this. The reason they will go to that story, despite the discomfort, is precisely because science does not present itself as containing an alternative story. That's why I'd like to think that Big History can lead many students to see science as not merely powerful knowledge, but as meaningful knowledge, as knowledge that tells you about who you are and what you are." [[]]

joalanna 5 Sep 4
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Agnosticism means beliefs in answers to the the 'bigger questions' are delusions.
That many people retreat into them is understandable. We'd all like to know the answers, and someday they may become available to us.
For now, we must be content with clues, such as circumstantial 'evidence,' such as reincarnation, which suggests there is far more to life than what we can percieve with our five senses.
Many theists and atheists want to deny that, and that is their right.
However, to me it is the state of 'not knowing' which makes the most rational sense, is the most intellectually satisying, and fills me with the most wonder, awe, and inspiration.
God, if it exists, is for now beyond our comprehension.

Storm1752 Level 7 Sep 4, 2020