We’re just atoms mainly of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. The atoms don’t know they are anything to do with us, they weren’t in the past and in the future they won’t be either. So does that mean our physical self is irrelevant. There is a continual metabolism so many of the atoms we were made of ten years ago and no longer with us any more. Are we therefore still the same person?
The first order is atoms, molecules, physical stuff – stones, stars, a table
The second order is life, any life. This is another dimension to just existing and is very fragile. Crush an ant, crash in a car. One second alive, the next not alive. They call that dead but really a corpse is back in the first order.
The third order is creativity, appreciation, knowledge. Something in the mind. This is in its creation and appreciation even more fragile than life. A flower is beautiful. It is beautiful for a reason, to be attractive to insects. They are also attractive to humans but that is a coincidence. After creation a work of art can survive its creator so we listen to Mozart, enjoy a Henry Moore sculpture.
A CD is in the first order yet contains information from the third order.
Religion is based on superstition and has been responsible for the most atrocious acts of violence over the millennia. A person prays for the recovery of themselves, of someone close to them or even for their side in a battle. Yet so many of us suffer. Do religious people really think prayer works. That there is a powerful being that will favour them just because they humble themselves in front this higher being.
Then there’s the promise of life after death in some nether world, again that is only granted to those who have worshiped this powerful being. Imagine walking down a path across which ants scurry about. Can you imagine if the ants were to pray that they might be spared being trodden on firstly that you could detect it and secondly that you would favour one ant rather than another? The idea is obviously ludicrous but the analogy is accurate. We even used to image a kind of human figure as our Lord and ruler. Real rulers have exploited this and deified themselves. It just shows the poor imagination of the believers, the lack of analytical thought and the inclination of humans to anthromorpholise everything – start with little children with rabbits that have human faces and talk.
Science has been a major contribution to the demise of religious beliefs in communities that take it seriously. Yet far from explaining everything in the end it appears that the position from which any measurement affects the result and thus makes it suspect.