This actually started as a comment to that other post, but it grew way beyond the few lines I intended so I’m giving it it’s own slot, if Doug doesn’t object.
Back to the original thought
"When circumstances are terrible, certainly you will suspend your atheism."Why? For what purpose? Some put all this stock in Holy Books and people's interpretations of those books along with the images we weave in our minds, created out of the desires in our hearts. But that's your/their god, their security blanket, and we all need our security blankets, I'm not knocking that. It's the arrogance and defensive super-natural Faith folks imbibe it with, (exemplified in that bold boast at the start of this essay), that's over the top. There are some who have gone through personal struggles and rebirths, folks who understand Jesus's Passion for what it is, a guide (support and inspiration) for our own personal spiritual journeys - with it's various personal trials and tribulations, for aid and support in transiting through our own live's, from dependent, self-centered, selfish child, into balanced self sufficient adulthood and eventually beyond to wise person and adept societal matriarch or patriarch - according each circumstance. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Once one's spiritual foundation grows beyond our mental images of God and Holy Stories (the Shadow Plays that help us glimpse a greater awareness) that awe gets transferred to the reality of our Mother Earth, the organism that created this world and each of us - And a totally different, much more solid, dare I say mature, type of spiritual foundation is formed. Rooted in a deep understanding of Evolution, both of the material components that are Creation's building blocks. The evolution of atomic particles and elements, gravity and star formation, ah the stars, creation's factories for elements up to Iron. Then the wonder of exploding giant stars (Super Novas), creating all the heavier elements that made future complex worlds possible. Gravity and solar system formation and the wonder of our planet's development, with the early addition of the moon, by way of furious collision, Then the close-in moon's constant gravitational churning... friction and motion forced onto a cooling planet (think birth of tectonics) Early proto continents being rhythmically hammered by massive tidal waves the likes of which we can't imagine. The slow evolution of early life, as basic biological systems were experimented with, developed, discarded, changed, refined always increasing an internal store of information, and always striving for ever more complexity. But it's not just life's development. If you want to appreciate creation you also have to understand that most of today's minerals evolved out of an intimate duet with life forces. We've also learned that the very face of our planet and it's geologic structures are also creations of life forces during their intimate dance with geologic forces. It's incomprehensibly amazing and I'm an intimate part of (and witness to) that flow of time and ceaseless learning and yearning. I feel like I'm one of Creation's appointed witnesses, striving to record all I can as I traverse my few years on this amazing planet. To spiritually grasp the amazing billions year long drive of life towards ever more awareness and manipulatory abilities. To literally, spiritually, viscerally know that I am a part of it - that beat's hell and heaven out of any manmade book and thoughts anyone can wave at me. My solidity is the ground under my feet and my reassurance is the blood coursing through my body that contains star dust along with the vestiges of live's triumphs reaching back to the beginnings of this pageant call Earth. To even partially appreciate Creation's and life's unquenchable quest to view itself and understand itself, to grasp that humanity is one of it's most extraordinary summit stories and I'm one of them. Possessing the profoundest gift of being aware of my part in this passion play of creation, quite beyond human vanities. The knowledge that I'll be gone pretty soon, is met with the knowledge that I will remain and be absorbed back into the pageant as it moves forward. All I need is knowing I've been blessed with a life well lived as witness to the wonders of Creation and humanity and my own short existence. No scriptural storytelling comes close to offering that sort of comfort and security. Bottomline: No scripture, with it's smoke and mirrors imagery (and human conflict), can come close to offering the solidity of purpose (and peace with the thought of death) that a deep evolutionary awareness provides ! :coolsmile: