I've been thinking alot lately about science and religion, about faith and what it takes to believe that an idea represents fact. It seems that at least 6 times a year either Time or Newsweek features a story about the undulating boundary between the spiritual and the factual. So I must not be the only one mulling these issues.
As an atheist, I'm biased. But you might be surprised to hear me say that while religion may be backed into a corner, it's not down for the count. And I'm not even sure I'd want a planet full of atheistic pragmatists. I mean, it is humankind's insatiable appetite for appealing fiction that makes it endearing. You know what I mean: love at first sight, peace in our time, astrology, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We love bullshit. We bullshit ourselves each and every day. And if we didn't, half of us would probably throw ourselves into a threshing machine. Call it faith, hope, or bull, it keeps us moving forward. And left to the cold realities of science, I'm not sure we could handle life.
Let's face it: Science, no matter how accurate, is about as comforting as spending your birthday with the IRS agent who's auditing you. Or, to put it another way...if science could prove that heaven not only exists, but is run by a giant teddy bear who spends eternity handing out ice cream sandwiches, I'd become a fucking priest.
So, as long as you're not hurting anyone, it really doesn't matter if you believe in the great cosmic gas ball or the teddy bear. Whatever rubs your Buddha.