The Mantis Shrimp and God

The mantis shrimp can punch as fast as a .22 caliber bullet, and the hit can generate temperatures of over 8000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to The Washington Post. Amazing as that is, today, I’ll be focusing on their eyes, and how they helped me understand faith in religion.

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Mantis Shrimp punch, via Smarter Every Day

These dangerous crustaceans, contrary to what was believed in the past, don’t have stellar color-reading eyesight. However, it has been confirmed that mantis shrimp can see UV light.

Anyone who took eighth grade science knows that we (humans) cannot see these dangerous UV lights. In fact, it is absolutely impossible to begin to imagine what this must be like for the mantis shrimp. We simply cannot fathom it.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

I’ve rejected the church since I started going to confirmation class in middle school and my parents told me if I didn’t choose to continue with Christianity, I wouldn’t have to go to church anymore. So, yes, that definitely played a part in my decision to dismember myself. However, that isn’t to say I wasn’t taking the situation seriously.

While I myself am not very religious, I think about religion a lot. I won’t go into the details of my questioning and my road to where I am now, because it is basically the same as most other non-religious people, and not very interesting.

However, a few years ago, I found out about the mantis shrimp, and came to a realization that I’d been incredibly ignorant. I cannot see UV rays, however they are a real thing. Same goes with anything molecular, anything in space, anything outside my direct line of sight; you get the picture.

On the philosophical side of the coin, why believe that you aren’t, say, living in a simulation? How do you know that once you hang up a phone call with your mom, she doesn’t cease to exist until you come home that night?

You don’t really know. You can’t. Most people, however, have faith.

That’s how I came to understand how someone could believe in a god, or other religious being that don’t make sense to me. As I’ve learned in pretty much every class I’ve taken in high school, just because I don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Maybe I just don’t have the capacity to “see” a god. Maybe there are ogres and giant mosquitoes on Mars, and we just don’t have the proper eyes to see them. The point is, no one knows anything on the grand scheme of things, and we are all mountains of ignorance.

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