Turning inner space into outer space

May 12, 2011

Humans — who can figure 'em?

I’m hesitant to wade into the debate that’s been raging in The Daily News comments ever since ads for atheism first showed up on Kamloops buses. But I do find it bizarre when people call atheism a belief system. The whole point of atheism is that they do not believe — not in God, not in anything. They want verifiable evidence, and even then they’re open to the idea that someone might come along with other evidence that negates it.

What it comes down to is whether this is a good way to live your life. There are many things in the human experience that can’t be quantified. Many, if not most, of us are bundles of conflicting emotions, making important decisions based on little more than hunches or gut feelings. Things like love and heroism, hatred and depravity are all part of what makes us tick. Few of us are able to step outside of our everyday lives long enough to ponder how the firing of particular brain synapses caused us to act in a certain way — not unless we’re absolutely forced to.

It may be rational thought that creates, for example, breakthroughs in medicine that benefit society, but what is it that inspires us to share with those can’t afford them? We humans may never be able to come up with a satisfactory explanation of ourselves.