Tonight, while watching a video of ISIS destroying 3000 year old artifacts in Mosul, Iraq, I found myself feeling sickened, wondering in what world could these actions possibly be justified? And the only thing I can conclude is that rationally, they cannot. I think the most common anti-science argument that I encounter is that it can be tailored for an agenda, or that the same evidence can look different in different context or from different views. Honestly, at this point I hardly have enough composure to put together a rational post, so please forgive me. I’m tired of war. I’m tired of senseless violence and people dying over cosmic entities and nationalism. There is no way the actions of ISIS can be justified without the use of a cosmic excuse. And yet, all the good in the world can be easily justified by science, by altruism and reciprocation without implementing arguments from faith. We cannot simultaneously excuse our own irrational beliefs and condemn those of another group. We need evidence for our actions. There’s no way around it.
I once believed that religion and violence could be separated. I once believed that people simply used religion to justify their craving for violence. They used it to justify it to themselves and to everyone else, to rouse a riot or to begin a war. I thought religion preached non violence and it was counter intuitive to follow a path of destruction.
I am struggling to see that peaceful coexistence anymore. The reason is not because religion is inherently violent which most often it obviously is apparently not. Instead, I believe it to be a result of the fundamental basis of believing in something that is unprovable, immeasurable, and unseen. Alongside that illogical thinking comes a senselessness that violence fuels off to become justified.
No one has ever been able to tell me what god is. No one ever can put it into words so that I can understand. Everyone just tells me it something you know, something personal that you may feel. Continue reading Senseless violence
Today I passed through a cute town, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.
An older man walked up to me, exchanging my maps for new ones at the post office. He said to me “I envy you. I respect what you are doing. And I wish I could be out there too.” He has passed the point in his life where he is free to safely roam and explore. Its a strange thought imagining that at some point in my life, I will find that some things that seemed normal will no longer be possible. I can’t imagine; I’m still on the uphill.
My two friends Cheesemeyer and Twisted Hair left the trail for Thanksgiving and my plan of double ramen noodles seems to be a respectable meal for tomorrow night.
I met a lady named Mossy who finished her thru-hike on October 15, this year. She has only been home for little over a month so it was great to talk to someone who has experienced everything I have been through. She lives just outside of Boiling Springs. We knew many of the same people, some of which I had to break the news to her had gone home.
When we were heading our separate ways, she turned around and said “Oh yeah and Happy Thanksgiving.”
I am in the shelter with a man far from as sweet as Mossy. He is also a thru hiker finishing his trip two days from now. A veteran just released, he served a few years in Iraq.
“Were you in the action?”
“Yeah, it was awesome,” he responded confidently.
That is enough to make any stranger wonder.