Using Atheism as An Example to Show Our Ignorance (Richard Dawkins, Hitchens, Neil d Tyson, etc)

December 2, 2012

We all snipe @ others without fully understanding their side (Photo source)

(This post is inspired by Neil d Tyson’s twitter rant today against mayan prophecy & astrology believers. More on that later)

As a recovering debataholic, let me be humble first and say that whatever I’m about to say (criticize) below, just know that I’ve done it worse that the people I’m calling out.

I’m not this saint standing on top of mount clarity preaching to the masses. I’ve made this mistake many times and will probably make it many more times.

That’s just life.

The difference now is that I’m just more aware of my ignorance, achieved thru a lot of introspection, psychedelics & inner work.

Here ye Here Ye, Gather Around My Fire, Ye Debataholics:

This topic is aimed at atheists, religious conservatives, scientists, liberals, right wingers, law of attraction practitioners, psychics, astrologers, tarot card readers, palm readers…. (you get the idea).

I’ve fallen into most of the categories above at some point in my life (except right wing/religious conservative).

When you are following your own hero’s journey of life, you will intuitively join a side.

I’m not sure how that happens, maybe because our parents believed something, so we believe it.

Then our friends in school believe something else, and we try it out.

Then we may find something on tv that changes our mind.

The thing is that no matter what we choose to believe, there will be smart people in that camp who say how real this specific reality is.

Let me use atheism as an example since it’s on my mind lately.

Atheism: Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Penn Gilette, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Fry, Neil deGrasse Tyson (though he calls himself an agnostic).

And I was pushed over the edge to write this post (lovingly, no anger here) because I noticed Neil deGrasse Tyson going on twitter rants today about how dumb the december 21st end of the world people & astrology/etc are.

Yes, the world won’t end on Dec 21st. We (at least the smart ones) all know that.

But Neil is using a technique that all of us use when we want to debate an opposing point of view.

We pick what the dumbest of the group are saying and demolish them with logic and reasoning.

For example, yes there are dumb people who misread the mayan prophecy and really think the world will end Dec 21st. So we pick on these most vocal minority and use them as the standard bearer for spirituality and launch nukes into their camp.

PS: I previously took a friendly shot at our friend Neil for preaching the calories in calories out model as the “physicist’s way to lose weight.” You can read about that here.

I don’t care how friendly or smart Neil deGrasse Tyson is, he’s not a nutrition expert. He is using his area of expertise, physics, to model everything else, including losing weight & spirituality.

This is the famous “man with a hammer” syndrome that Charlie Munger warns us against doing.

For example, to a man with one tool, a hammer, all problems seem like a nail.

That’s why Charlie urges us to read up on ALL FIELDS, not just one. And Charlie is one of the smartest, well read people of all time (definitely the top people alive today).

We have to read up on philosophy, spirituality, physics, math, astrology, astronomy, biology, psychology, etc.

Does this make sense?

I’ve done the same thing when arguing, all the time.

When I want to destroy religion, I talk about how the Catholic church is dumb and how the priests abuse children all the time. How the Pope is a puppet figure and how he condemns using condoms and other dumb things like that.

Never mind that there are studies done that religious people tend to be the happiest in our society. Or that there is some truth to the Christian teachings (and all religion) and that most of the true teachings are misread & misunderstood by the masses.

If I want to make mormonism seem silly, I’ll just talk about “magic underpants.” I don’t even really know what that means, except I’ve heard it on South Park or something. Never mind that there are actually really smart people who are mormons, I just wipe them all out just by using this underpants argument.

If I want to argue against Scientology, well all I have to do is play a few short clips of Tom Cruise taken out of context. Piece of cake.

When I want to demolish astrology, I can point to how the planets aligned this way or that way or how the earth tilts so that the planets are rarely aligned the way they used to be 100 yrs ago or whatever else.

If I want to argue against climate change advocates, I can just quote some scientists who argue that the earth’s climate goes in cycles (yes these scientists do exist).

If I want to argue against atheism, I can talk about paranormal activities that do happen. There are near death experiences, lucid dreaming, out of body experiences and the such.

These paranormal activities cannot be replicated in a lab and the human mind consistently misreads what really happens?

Well, that’s just throwing the baby out with the bathwater, mister.

Have you tried DMT or Ayahuasca or peyote or psychedelic mushrooms?

Many smart people like Tim Ferriss, Dave Asprey, George Carlin, Joe Rogan, Rick Strassman, The Beatles, Everlast, Santana, Terence McKenna, Graham Hancock, Dr Dre, Steve Jobs, Phil Jackson, Bill Gates (and tons more) have had psychedelic experiences and come back changed men.

You can talk to aliens, god, plants, animals and your higher self all the same time.

It’s just a delusion? A hallucination, you say?

Well, have you really tried it? Or just using your logical brain? Because there are a lot of smart people, including scientists, who’ve tried it and come back changing their original mind.

But when asked if he would try psychedelics by Graham Hancock, Richard Dawkins just kinda made excuses.

How can you be the crusader against god/spirituality/religion and debate anyone all over the world, yet never try psychedelics? Are you serious man? Even Joe Rogan mentioned this on his podcast, how absurd this is for Dawkins to do.

Richard, have you even fully tried meditation, float tanks, yoga or breathing exercises? Have you ever fallen in love? Have you ever tried being present to notice all the beauty in the universe? Have you ever been truly moved by a beautiful piece of music? Ever try lucid dreaming? Have you ever truly been in the flow, where all the magic of life happens?

C’mon dude, seriously?

I’m not judging. I’m really not. I used to be same way. But you’re already like 71 years old (thanks wikipedia), missing out on some of the real fun of life. What do you have to lose at this point.

Just fucking try some ayahuasca in the jungles. Maybe nothing will happen. Then you lose nothing. But what if something DOES happen? Something that could radically shift your view of reality?

And as someone as smart as you can put it all together and maybe discover something none of us have seen yet. Just imagine your smartness combined with the spiritual powers of psychedelics! Amazing.

I just want you to know there exists a spiritual world that is not all dumb and silly.

And it really doesn’t matter to me if you believe me or not (I’m giving up two way debating = unhappiness & stress for me).

Just want to point out to whoever will listen that the Richard Dawkins/Neil Tyson/Hitchens/etc model of reality is not the full picture.

And yet they continue to think it is and argue & debate all the time, with certainty.

I know all of this sounds kinda silly, especially if you’ve never experienced it. But there are plenty of smart people who have and talk about it all the time.

It’s clear that very smart and well-meaning people like Richard Dawkins & Neil d Tyson are using their logical brains to feel the world. It can’t be done that way.

It has to be felt. From the heart. From the soul. I don’t really know where it exists, but it’s not in the rational mind.

How do I know all of this?

Because I’m the ULTIMATE at being in my head. I’m the biggest perpetrator of this crime of thinking too much and trying to logically dissect reality.

But that’s ok. I really don’t want to debate.

I’m using this as an example of all the mistakes I’ve made most of my life.

I really thought I knew EVERYTHING!

I was so sure of it. I debated anyone who was willing to hear me out.

But after being humbled by the universe many times, I’ve come to realize I really know nothing.

We don’t even know if all of this we call life is even real or just an illusion!

If that’s the main premise, then everything is in play (even the mayan prophecy, psychics and law of attraction).

I read Bruce Lee for the first time today.

(Photo source)

I’ve heard of how wise he was for many years but never thought of buying one of his books. I didn’t even know books about him existed, that’s how little I knew.

Then a month ago, I finally decided to buy one of his quotations books.

Only because I’ve been on an accelerated reading kick for the past few months. I’m buying books like people breathe. Every day, I’m buying a few used books from amazon. Or a kindle ebook. I can’t stop. There is so much I want to learn!

But the book has been sitting on my living room floor for a few weeks now. Resistance?

Finally, I remembered I had that book, pulled it out of the pile of unread books and started reading.

Blown away.

Bruce Lee got it. He knows what he’s talking about.

“Emptiness is the starting point. In order to taste my cup of water, you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all of your preconceived fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is so useful? Because it is empty.”

That’s just the first quote in his book. And there are tons of other equally wise sayings, on all aspects of reality.

And he’s first to admit that he barely knows anything. These are just some of the things he managed to learn in his short yet powerful life.

We are all ignorant. And we’ll always be. There is no reason to be so certain on a point of view, especially if we’ve never walked a mile in the other man’s shoes.

Finally, Richard Dawkins (& Neil Tyson) is a super smart guy.

And he’s changed the world more than I ever will. But let me echo what Joe Rogan said on one of his podcasts re Dawkins.

The whole point of life is to be as happy and friendly and nice as possible. As Bruce Lee says, the point of life is self actualization.

Dawkins always debates, argues and is so cynical/condescending in all the clips I see of him.

Just enjoy your life dude.

Just have fun. Relax. Go sit in the park and appreciate life or something. Or listen to some music and chill out. Life is short. No point in arguing with people, even if they’re dumb.

PS: South Park of course explained everything I’m trying to say here much more efficiently & humorously (watch here).

= )

Unrelated, but I’m falling in love with Christina Aguilera’s personality. She’s a bad ass bitch & I really want someone like her in my life.