Power Words for July 29th: A Useful, Almost Certainly False Belief

Whether it’s evolution, archaeology, the Holocaust, or the continued success of reality TV, we can all look around ourselves and see countless reasons why, nearly definitely, there is no God.

  As an experiment, we can go through our day with this beginning to a question in mind, “Why would God make a world where…” and see just how many different endings we can put on it. It shouldn’t take long before we’ve lost count, and become sad.

  But so what? Don’t we believe in a lot of things that are probably fake? We tell ourselves things that are probably false all the time, for a million reasons. When our favorite politician gives us hope by promising change, we suspend certainty that he or she is a self-interested jerk who will betray any promises made to win our vote. If we want to sleep with somebody purely out of lust, we might tell ourselves that person is kind, that we really connect with them on a personal level, or that they are not a lunatic, all so that we can justify this choice to ourselves. What has reality got to do with it? Didn’t a magic feather make an elephant fly?

  Why should God be any different? If we are helped to be better, more ethical people, with positive outlooks and values, simply because we believe in an all powerful, magical, bearded lord, a fat and bald wise man, a strange animal creature, a loving hippie, or a vague spirit-of-the-universe that we dreamed up in college because we wanted to reject our parents’ religion while maintaining its values without feeling like hypocrites… why should every observable truth get in the way?

Power Words:

Today, I will be a person of faith, and show love to the world accordingly, but without being annoying and preachy or doing any genocides, at least not ones with religious motives.

Power Words for July 25: What’s Up in the Stars?

As a boy, living in a small town without much going on, I had only my imagination to keep me warm. At night, I would gaze into the clear sky at distant space, and imagine all the wonders that might exist beyond this planet. What marvels lay on other planets, stars, and galaxies? Was there a space-boy somewhere, staring right back?

  As I grew, and came into receivership of my adult brain, I learned all about science. Centuries of astronomy, cosmology, and physics; all the work of the learned scholars, awaited me. I couldn’t wait to jump into the deep end of this pool.

  Sadly, these fields held more disappointment than anything else. Those wise scholars spoke of how the heavenly bodies I had once yearned to reach were nothing more than wastelands of icy rocks, clouds of dust and gas, and sometimes mere tricks of light entirely. These, like so many other revelations of adolescence, killed parts of my innocence that would never live again.

  It could’ve been avoided though. Or, if we fail to avoid these things, the damage can be healed. What if I had never learned of the facts being taught in our universities? Would I be any the worse off for it? Once I had begun my path to enlightenment, and looked at the world with new eyes, I learned that perfectly happy people were wandering around all day, choosing to be ignorant of certain facts. A person can choose not to believe their spending is forsaking the whole of their nation’s future for their children. A person can choose to believe that their favorite celebrity is not a murderer, a pedophile, of a sexual orientation they fear, or a Republican. A person can say, with confidence, “Evolution, Schmevolution!”

  Thus, I chose something new to believe. I now gaze into the night sky, and choose to know in my heart that just beyond the clouds is an entire Cloud Kingdom. In this fantastical place, where clouds meet space, Cloud Kings race and battle on chariots of ice, armed with tridents that fire ultraviolet lasers. That’s why we, down on earth, sometimes incur sunburns. Some Cloud Kings are good, and others evil. So I live my life by day, and stare into the sky at night, wondering when I’ll be summoned up to the Cloud Wars, so that I can fight for the side of good.

Power Words:

Today, I won’t let anyone’s sheets of data rain on my parade, and I will await my ascension into the Cloud Zone with dignity and patience.