The Awe of an Atheist
Pedro, over at Way of The Mind (an atheist blog) gave a very insightful post about “awe”. His perspective is that religion could have seized upon the advance of science to display an even more immense, complex God than had ever been imagined by ancient and medieval philosophy. Instead, religion rejected the advances of science, leaving atheistic science with a much bigger universe to be in awe of than is recognized by the religious community.
I see this in many cases, and the irony of it is profound. The sense of awe is built on comprehending something large and unfathomable, and this sense is not fed by holding a simplistic view of the cosmos. But for some reason, religion often does hold a simplistic view of the cosmos.
My own sense of awe at God is largely built upon a comprehension of just how large the universe is. When you think about the nature of things on the scale of 20 Billion Light Years, and realize how long a Light-Year really is, you begin to get a concept of God that is much more immense than the traditional “guy in the sky”.
Of course, size is just scratching the surface. But Pedro’s point is well taken. Cultivate an awareness (both scientific and experiential) of how big and complex the universe is, and you might begin to see God in a different light.