Friday, January 4, 2008

Atheism and Awe

Awe and atheism are not mutually exclusive.  I think it's a common misconception, actually.  At least I have never met an atheist that wasn't moved by a powerful sunset!  The difference lies in the attribution of such a sight.

In fact, when I came to New Mexico, it was a regular event (at least several times a week) to see something that would almost move me to tears. I could call these "religious moments".  Despite this, I never once thought God had anything to do with it.
Atheists, generally, are similarly "moved" by an elegant equation or bit of code, or a startling conclusion from a test... and I'm sure you would recognize that.  There's little difference, really, when they admire a vast sky or mist in the cherry orchard: they are awed by nature and the confluence of discrete events that synthesized that moment.

Pantheists tend to be a little more explicit about it than atheists, but I suspect they have the same basic responses.

No comments: