Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rorschach - Take 3

Version 2 of the Rorschach after considered feedback from many commenters over at Facebook.

The feedback came from a wide variety of people, both religious and non. I quite like the idea of this metaphor, and if it isn't yet, I'm sure it will become something useful. One day.

Rorschach Version 2

Imagine the Rorschach Test represents the collective sum of human knowledge. In this ink blot is everything we know about the universe we live in. It is up to the individual who looks into it to find patterns and meaning.

A Christian looks into and sees god, and his son, and a holy spirit.

A Muslim sees Allah, which is the same thing as god.

Pantheists and Environmentalists see Everything That Is, and Gaia, and undeniable order.

Scientologists see the disembodied spirit of L. Ron Hubbard, and the everlasting galactic signature of Evil Lord Xenu.

On it goes - any given religion will find a different pattern, a different meaning, a different something from the blot.

It seems to be left to the skeptics - the atheists, the anti-theists, the non-believers - to recognise this pattern seeking behaviour, to call a Rorschach a Rorschach, and to wonder whether finding patterns in the ink blot is worthwhile. Objectively, the blot is indifferent to the patterns we find and it is important to us that we understand this. Not so that we may stare hopelessly into it and despair at the meaninglessness, but so that we might stop staring altogether, stop trying to find more and more reasons to justify the patterns we have already created, and ask ourselves why we are even looking at the Rorschach in the first place.

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