A Bottom-Up Universe

From Chris Hallquist I find out that Patheos has a challenge for us:

For March/April, participate in the “Why I am a…” Blogger Challenge! We invite all of our contributors to respond to the challenge by contributing with a response on why they are committed to their faith group in 200 words or less.

From Hemant I learn that it’s “A Week” and from Leah I learn that it should go farther.

Why doesn’t someone warn me about these things before I’m in the middle of them?

Anyway, I thought I’d take a stab and combining all this into one answer without duplicating Chris’ answer. Here’s my attempt:

I believe in a bottom-up universe.

I believe in a universe where magnificent stars come from clouds of gas, where planets come from chunks of rock and where living systems come from chemical reactions.

I believe that the most interesting thing about the universe is not where it came from, but by the way that it continues to organize itself.

I believe that a bunch of East African plains apes have climbed their way up to intelligence and what we call “society” emerged as a result. They are now stuck with the question of how to sustain it.

I believe that history arises out of background forces that are generated by the actions and ideas of the millions of people involved.

I believe that our brains have are wired to look for top-down answers, but I am suspicious of those answers.

I believe that we sometimes desire some kind of top-down authority to explain history, or guide society, or give the universe meaning. But the desire for answers does not mean that there are answers.

I believe in a bottom-up universe, and I’m proud of how far we’ve climbed, and frightened of how far we have to go. But it is our climb; looking for answers from above is an abdication of that responsibility.

And that is why I’m an atheist.

200 words was more confining than I’d expected. I’m over by a bit, and I still want to tweak the hell out of it. Anyway, thoughts?