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.
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?