Daily Archives: September 29, 2012

The Leap

This post will either change your life, or leave you cold.

The idea is simple: “worship something”. If you believe in God, worship God. If you are an atheist, worship is still possible.

I want to describe two things that appear to be different, but are in fact very similar. So similar in fact that they may be indistinguishable. As a scientist, when I find two things that are nearly indistinguishable, I tend to think of them as nearly the same.

Thing 1: worship God. If you believe in the divine creator, then to worship Him/Her is not an issue. We all understand that. (The “bone of contention” is whether there actually is a divine creator.)

Thing 2: worship a principle or idea. This may seem odd to you. What does it mean to worship an idea? I will only explain it this way: if you have the right attitude, you can do it.

An atheist will mock you if you worship God. “But there is no God”, they say. “You might as well worship the tooth fairy.”

Then tell the atheist you worship the idea of Love. Tell the atheist you worship the idea of a Humanity that is worth sacrificing for. You worship the idea of Human Dignity.

Even our atheist cannot tell you that these ideas do not exist. This atheist can still mock you for doing something so silly as to engage in worship. But now it is no longer a matter of evidence, or facts. It is a matter of attitude.

I conclude with this thought: although worshiping God and worshiping an idea are certainly different things, are they really that different in practice? If your heart is capable of worshiping noble things, does the exact nature of that noble thing really matter?