The Matter Delusion?

It occurs to me that somebody could write a scathing book titled, The Matter Delusion, mocking the irrationality and faith-based nature of those who believe that matter has just always existed or that matter popped literally out of nothing at the “beginning.”

These two beliefs are as bizarre, when you think about it, as anything that, say, Scientologists or fundamentalist Christians or Muslims believe. And yet millions of people have based their lives on the assumption that one of these two things, however mind-boggling, is probably somehow true.

I’m one of them. But people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. We are, all of us, guilty—atheists as well as theists—of spectacular gestures of cognitive dissonance.

We live in a riddle wrapped in an enigma. And we frequently put it out of mind. Thus perhaps the best that we can do is to tolerate—and even have some empathy for—our competing absurd assumptions about how the world “really” is.

Who, afterall, knows?

A little doubt all around might suit us better.

I like this quote from Robert Anton Wilson:

“Whenever people are certain they understand our peculiar situation here on this planet, it is because they have accepted a religious Faith or a secular Ideology (Ideologies are the modern form of Faiths) and just stopped thinking.”

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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