Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Age of Aquarius

Just to show how difficult this is for me: I couldn't finish the last post before I was interrupted and I had to quickly click 'publish post.' I had more to say but now I can't remember what I was composing next. (I'm almost 40. When the train of thought is rudely and suddenly derailed, it never gets back on track. :)

So to continue with my former credophilia and why I want to be as friendly as possible to believers. I used to be a believer myself, so I always try to point this out when a believer says to me, "You're just one of those people who think I'm stupid because I have a religion."

No, I don't think he's stupid. He might be ignorant, which is not a synonym for stupidity. He (or she) might be lacking in self-criticism, which is hardly rare. But to call him stupid would be to call my former self stupid. I wasn't stupid; I was just misinformed and unskilled in thought.

For example, I firmly believed in astrology back in the 1970s. My older sister was devoted to it--still is, in fact, to both Occidental and Chinese astrology, despite the fact that they are mutually incompatible. The 70s was a time of great resurgence for astrology; in particular I was taken in by the big-selling Linda Goodman, author of Sun Signs. It was a normal topic at parties, one of those safe subjects one could yap to girls about. I don't know how popular it is now. From the age of about eleven up to about 19 or 20 I continued to believe it, but with each passing year with less and less seriousness, until I dropped it altogether. I didn't have some moment of sudden realization. Just the fact that I knew so much more about science and my troubling but undeniable real-world experiences showed that astrology just didn't work, just didn't do what it purported to do, were enough to erode to nothing my little hill of faith.

So that's how the Age of Aquarius came to an end. This didn't stop me from believing all kinds of other things, which lacked any good evidence, but that's for next time. Suffice to say I don't lack sympathy with credophiles, as do many other skeptics. I used to be one, as I'm reminded by every starry sky.

1 comment:

Joe Powel said...
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