Saturday, April 8, 2017

Christians Play Checkers While Atheists Play Chess

Perhaps the easiest way to think of the difference between Christians and theism in general, and atheism, is that the former thinks of the world like checkers while the latter thinks of it more like chess; one likes a simple foundation, and then complicates it as infinitely as it can with its theology, while the other skips the simple reduction of everything down to the starting point of a "God," and moves directly to the infinite complexities of reality itself.

It has actually been shown, for example, that people who tend to believe in God tend to rely and prefer certain structured kinds of thinking, while those who tend to be atheists tend to prefer the freedom to make up the rules of a particular game as they go. One wants the rules laid out for them while the other thinks the rules are for us to make as we wish. One prefers the rules of math and thinks with the digital precision of a computer, while the other thinks like an artist and prefers to think in analogue.  Or to use physics, one prefers to think of the world according to Newtonian laws, while the other sees the world in terms of quantum mechanics, where there are no rules and nothing seems to make much sense at all.

This does not mean that atheists are necessarily smarter than theists, although a higher education often corresponds with more atheistic views and vice versa. It simply means that atheists approach a hyper complex world by accepting that complexity up front, instead of first reducing it to an infinite God. One thinks we should focus on what we can examine, to see what it has to say for itself, while the other thinks we should focus mostly on the mythical "Being"  who has long been suspected of placing it all here in the first place. Indeed, one delights in sifting through the evidence while the other prefers to speculate endlessly about culprit responsible. 

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