I don't believe in any divine controlling forces, but i believe there are probably other intelligent forms of life across the cosmos.
What i get all the time is a curiosity as to why I believe in some unproven things, and not others. Basically - it can be summed up in a simple concept: i prefer boundless thought to limited thought.
If there is a divine creator, than that means there is a nice neat little bow around existence which can be used to sum it all up. I find this the particularly irritating aspect of the big monotheistic faiths, but it falls also to the philosophical faiths, as well as the strongly spiritual ones. Aliens and ghosts are conceptual sketches at best - the existence or nonexistence of them doesn't really change reality a whit - at least in my way of looking at things.
I believe the drive for faith in the part of humans is an outcropping of our genetic hubris. Because we are on the top of the food chain, we assume we are here for a reason, or because of a plan.
Matthew Woodring Stover outlines the concept of "the Blind God" in his book "The Blade of Tyshalle" - in it, he suggests that the motivations of our species which bring us in direct conflict with both our environment as well as each other are the allegorical machinations of this divine entity:
"Clearly, the "Blind God" is a conscious, deliberately, anthropomorphic metaphor for the most threatening facets of human nature: our self destroying lust to use, to conquer, to enslave every tiniest but of existence and turn it in to our own profit, amplified and synergized by our herd-animal instinct - our perverse greed for tribal homogeneity
It provides a potent symbolic context for the industrial wasteland of modern Europe, for the foul air and toxic deserts that are North America: they are table scraps left behind after the Blind God has fed.
Structured by the organizing meta principle of the "Blind God", the Manifest Destiny madness of humanity makes a kind of sense - it has a certain inevitability, instead of being the pointless, inexplicable waste it has always appeared.
The "Blind God" is not a personal god, not a god like Yahewh or Zeus, stomping out the grapes of wrath, hurling thunderbolts at the infidel. The Blind God is a force: like hunger, like ambition.
It is a mindless groping towards the slightest increase in comfort. It is the greatest good for the greatest number, when the only number that counts is the number of human beings living right now. I think of the Blind God as a trophism, an autonomic response that turns humanity towards the destructive expansion the way a plant's leaves turn towards the sun.
It is the shared will of the human race.
You see it everywhere. On the one hand, it creates empires, dams, rivers, builds cities - on the other, it clear cuts forests, sets fires, poisons wetlands. It gives us vandalism; the quintasentially human joy of breaking things.
Some will say this is only human nature.
To which I respond: Yes, it is. But we must wonder why it is.
Consider: From where does this behavior arise? What is the evolutionary advantage conferred by this instinct? What is it instinctive for human beings to treat the world like an object?
We treat our planet as an enemy, to be crushed, slaughtered, and plundered. Raped. Everything is opposition - survival of the fittest on the Darwinian battlefield. Whatever isn't our slave is our potential destroyer. We kill and kill and kill and tell ourselves that it is self-defense, or even less: that we need the money, we need the jobs that ruthless destruction temporarily provides.
We even treat each other that way.
The tragedy of humanity is that we are as much a part of our living planet as any primal mage is of his. We just don't know it. We can't feel it...
They call it the Veil of the Blind God, and they pity us."
If there truly is a divine entity out there, the Blind God is about the only one I can see as a viable possibility, given our species collective history since our breach into agricultural society. That being the case, I disavow any god - I would rather believe in none than support a system which is simply shadowed puppetry of the Blind God.
I'm getting to allegorical.
There is a quote from "Angels in America": "...before life on Earth becomes impossible, surely you will see that it will become completely unbearable."
I don't quite think we are there yet.
However, I do believe that faith, the supposition that some sort of divine entity is looking out, or deserves reverence, or has a set of rules we must live by, is a shove towards that direction.
I believe it with all my heart. I continue to look - to sojourn. I keep my spiritual awareness as cranked up as I can, even if it means gagging at the taste of manure at times. What I find most interesting about my life? Until I was 10, I was planning on being a priest. By the time I was 12, I had already come to understand agnosticism, but was too afraid to divest myself of the faith of my heritage. However, a few conversations with a former nun (who became a religious ed teacher after breaking her vows to marry) and the parish priest of my educational youth quickly helped me make that step.
Since then, I have tried embracing Wicca, in more than one instantiation. I have tried Taoism and Buddhism as both a philosophical and spiritual way of life. I have dabbled in Judaism (as much as one can without being circumcised the right way the first time) as well as Santeria. I have read oodles on old faith systems, emerging faith systems, failed cults, etc. I think that any kind of xian is a cultist, and therefore dangerous. Of course, I believe that of Muslims and Jews (albeit to a lesser extent).
Basically, I think the faith out there that deserves the most respect right now is the The Raelian Revolution, at least they aren't trying to kill people because they don't believe the same, just make new people.
If you embrace life as the short trip it is, and try to make the most of it, instead of looking at it as some sort of afterlife down payment or collateral, then you are living. The only immortality is in genetics - the soup that is you passing on to another - and that only lasts as long as your descendants keep the chain going. Print seems a more likely way to gain immortality at first, but I have a feeling people will forget literacy before fucking as our species sprawl continues.
One more quote from Stover:
"A religion that teaches you God is something outside the world - something separate from everything else you see, smell, taste, touch, and hear - is nothing but a cheap hustle"
Tx to murnkay for triggering this little thought fart, you can weigh in your opinions on the matter here in his journal, if you care to.