We need stuff to do when there’s nothing that can be done.
For some reason, I’m thinking about my favorite rationalist and the candle she lit for me and my mother. The nice thing about atheism is that everything has an explanation. Or at least an empty space where an explanation will fit as soon as the scientists and mathematicians get smarter. The faith that is required is reasonably minimal.
I can’t argue with atheism. Personally, I want a world where magic is possible, but my wanting isn’t a proof that I can write up on a blackboard. I certainly can’t ask someone else to believe that magic is an option just because I’ve seen a glimmer of it here and there.
But we need something to do when there’s nothing that can be done. A gesture to make into empty space and the hope that a candle in London puts off a little heat that can be felt in Washington D.C. Ration is human. So is the inexplicable. If not magic, then our own need for small rituals that can’t be explained.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing in my book. I think there’s a lot of beauty to be found in the cracks between what makes sense and what we’re compelled to do in spite of our logic.