Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I am by Temperament Such a Rationalist...

...that I get annoyed when (as happened today) I hear someone invoke "Murphy's Law" or "Sod's Law".

There is no such law. Your phone battery is no more likely to run out the moment you expect an important call than it is any other time. You are no more likely to run into traffic the day you are going to a job interview than any other day. (I do understand that people who invoke "Murphy's Law" actually know this. But that doesn't make their remarks any less irritating to me.)

There is no "law of averages", either.

Asking, "Does this seem like a really long week to you?" is a stupid and pointless and dull question.

Computers don't hate you and you don't put a hex on them. You're just awful with them.

Saying "I wish it was Friday already" is a completely futile and uninteresting comment.

I am waayyy more tolerant of UFO's and moon landing conspiracy theories and crop circles than I am of this kind of vacuous conversation.

I think one of the reasons I am a supernaturalist is because I am such a rationalist. Anyone who really thinks about the universe for any amount of time must see that, unless we posit an intelligent force behind reality, there is hardly anything left to say about anything.

"It's a beautiful day" doesn't mean anything. It simply means, "The day pleases me".

"That's amazing" doesn't mean anything. The improbable, when viewed dispassionatey, is no less probable (on the whole) than the utterly routine. Some events happen a lot, some not so much, some very rarely. All of them will happen eventually.

"Life is wonderful" doesn't mean anything. Life simply is. Some people enjoy it, some are driven to despair and suicide. Who's to say who's right?

"The world is crazy" doesn't mean anything. What world are you comparing it to?

"People are basically good" doesn't mean anything. What norm are you judging them against?

However, the more you view the world with coldly rationalistic eyes-- the more, in a sense, you simply step outside existence and look at the whole thing from the outside, including the patterns of nature, and the nature of the human mind, and time and space, and all those basic ingredients of being-- the less you will accept any of it as simply given, and the more you will think that it is the creation of a transcendent Will. At least, that has been my experience.

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