Sunday, October 21, 2012

Side Order of Reason

I accidentally ran into Voltaire this week. 

He said (among thousands of other things):  "Love is a canvas supplied by Nature and embroidered by imagination."

Pretty damned smart for someone born just at the dawn of the Age of Reason. 

Anyone ever disillusioned by love certainly cannot deny the wisdom of this, as well as a few other thoughty contributions he made to our compendium of understanding the nature of mankind.

Further, this clear-eyed cynicism can be applied to all kinds of human emotions and endeavors.

Take "faith," for instance - and I surely wish someone would.  

Faith requires that you suspend everything that life - unbound and unfettered - can teach us of our world. Why?  Because every instinct at our disposal - supposedly provided by an all-seeing god - would instruct us to believe that that which we cannot see, feel, smell, taste, hear or instinctively or intellectually comprehend, simply does not exist.

So, if it requires "faith" for you to believe that someone "up there" is managing your affairs, and the individual affairs of 7 billion people - including zygotes in training - and has mapped out a course for your life where everything happens for god's purpose and unreasoning reason, you might be deluded.

And if your "faith" requires you to love your fellow man, and you find yourself denigrating, fearing, generally loathing some varieties of your fellow man and wishing him dead and gone - you might need a frequent refill of god's love.

Take a tip from Voltaire and try a side order of reason. You might find it more durable.


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