Possibilium and the Church of Material Comforts

Followed a link today and ended up writing about the atheism vs religion topic once again. The Possibilium Movement, the line that we don’t know enough to commit to atheism, but we know too much to commit to any religious tradition, comes down hard on the side of science, but does it in a way that promotes scientific inquiry and creativity, as opposed to smugly bashing creationists.

Watching the video of David Eagleman doing a kind of preacher bit, reminded me of my desire to form the Church of Material Comfort, but the preacher routine isn’t funny or interesting, not even for a second. I mean once the bit started it was already stale. I still think we might benefit from a social space, that’s free and community building and helps us develop, but seeing the short bit, it might not be a good idea to keep too much of the church model.

Since reading some liberation theology, I’ve been softened. The materialism of that sect, the worship of the flesh as God, Jesus as the flesh God, and life as flesh, is very much in line with the materialism, the warm materialism I’m working into an ethic. But a line must be drawn between mysticism and materialism. And another line between external authority and collective immanence. With the line drawn, I’ll live on the side of materialism and collective immanence.

One of the problems of Possibilism is that it doesn’t draw the line. Or Eagleman tries to placate and console believers. It might be a good idea. The arrogance and meanness of the new atheists is not the kind of behaviour or attitude that does good. Eagleman seems to be educating for creative science, which is a good idea. Is the idea that once the possibilities are accepted God’s Authority is gone?

The problem is that God’s Authority has a way of sticking around. A few of the comments “if we’re not hurting anyone”?? “honesty and truth”?? Seem to keep god in the picture. Mystics are always looking for a way to squirm through mental worm holes. One commentor said that scientists seem to say “I CRUSH YOU!!” The feeling that you are being pinned down to reality, and the feeling that you are being crushed, might be indistinguishable.

The question is what are we to commit to, if we can’t commit to atheism, or religious traditions? It seems from the comments that the inability to disprove fantasy, seems to validate living in one.

First things first. There are people who don’t have enough to eat. This can be scientifically proven. There are basic nutritional requirements, as well as individually measurable caloric needs.

The secret, or a few fishes and loaves, could possibly feed Canada’s hungry, and believing this might possibly ease our collective conscious. God, or the universe might intervene, but in a materialist world, systemic capitalism is provably intervening. And while we may feel powerless, and crushed by the material view, there are people suffering in the material world, while root causes are overlooked.

The consolation of philosophies and religion maintains very real power imbalances. Social sciences are themselves subject to power skewed visions and conclusions. But science in the tradition of the enlightenment should continue to name power biases, and pin us to the material, and the extremely complex clockwork.

When the choice is between a profit-driven world of objectifying science and an authoritarian world of mystifying religion, finding some other possibilities might be a good idea. I’d prefer something democratic, and warm-blooded. And honest. And this might be something to consider. It might be better to exclude through honest expression that to manipulate inclusive spaces through a false kind of acceptance.

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