This is a response to The Cosmic Perspective by Thamara Kandabada. The language switch is experimental, bear with me.
It can be quite misleading, how most illustrations on internet depict our solar system. So first off, let me present you with a tediously accurate depiction of it.
“And in this vastness, the entirety of human existence is utterly insignificant.”
Now you know what Thamara meant in his writing. We are nothing but a speck of dust, overwhelmed in a whole lot of nothingness. At the same time, I would like to add how crucial our existence is, to prevail intelligent(?) life in the above mentioned vastness. In this unfathomable span of universe, it is us who do all the gimmicks and represent the essence of life. (Yes, you are of cosmic importance!) We are too tiny to be considered, yet too important to be ignored. It gets interesting the more you think about it.
In grade 10, I was told that there is a force that pulls all of us towards the ground. I believed it. My belief made me ready for a bigger truth that awaited me.
I now am studying mechanical engineering for my higher studies. On each passing day I come across various kinds of empirical formulae, theories based on loads of assumptions and whatnot. I take a leap of faith and apply those theories in what I do, hoping it is the actual case with nature. As long as they make sense and get things done, I am okay with that. Just like I am okay with Buddhism.
Faith is for kids.
“Ask any religious person and they will tell you that their faith brings them this discipline and ultimately happiness, if it does nothing else.”
I think that is how most structured knowledge-bases work. This is the method I used to learn C++, fluid mechanics and Buddhist meditation. Also, I wonder what are the alternatives. I doubt feeding the raw, objective truth to a child might work.
Most institutionalized religions induce this faith on the followers by forming a sense of awe towards the respective savior. Hence “imaginary friends in the sky” and “superhuman babies who walk on lotuses”. This is mostly literature. You can either stay a kid and adhere to these stories, or can grow up and explore the so-called vision of life your religion provides.
I consider myself a Buddhist and I believe in one grand scheme of things. That is the five cosmic laws defined by Buddha. As the wiki page suggests, “The original purpose of expounding fivefold niyama was, according to Ledi Sayadaw, neither to promote or to demote the law of karma, but to show the scope of natural law as an alternative to the claims of theism,” and probably, of atheism too.
Most atheist friends I have share the views of Six Samaṇa in Pāli Canon, more or less. I think Buddha have addressed those arguments pretty well, considering the mindset of people who lived in his time. (Then again, I am open for discussion.) Most self-proclaimed atheists I met in university are simply Buddhists who choose not to believe the stories in Buddhist literature. It is entirely up to them and at the end of the day, I hardly believe the labels matter.
What I do defines who I am, and the universe around me. The world is a result of actions and consequences (Pratītyasamutpāda). I decide what my actions are and the cosmos reacts accordingly. My actions are random and their consequences are destined.
You reap what you sow. Such is my perspective on universe.