The more I research, and I urge others to do so, the more I realise that the Hawkins/Dawkins atheism fashionable nowadays is a limited worldview which industrial society obsessed with ecomonic output and consumption for the sake of it finds convenient to endorse.
Of course within the age of rationality it is important to question whether religion or aspects of religion are merely reflections of meaningless superstition and in fact where religion takes the form of mere sets of rules that the religion imposes and to which it encourages unthinking adherence, the religion does become a superstition. The thought process is that of "I must do this or else calamity will follow" and so the action is carried out merely as a matter of superstition.
But where a faith is consciously understood and such understanding provides the substrate for the layers of decision-making, it provides a conscious and active way of life working to specific purposes in its direction.
The superstitious or the atheist will simply follow a series of instructions as to what to do, just as following the instructions of a SatNav or GPS, without understanding the underlying map that represents a workable abstraction of the worldview of physical reality. Indeed, a map is foreign to people whose understanding is that of only following the instructions of the GPS. The map needs an understanding of a thought-process in its use in being able to assist navigation from A to B - just as understanding of God requires such comprehension of a thought-process.
There are many people who think that they can get along quite fine without God. After all, the State provides rules and laws and the newspapers provide judgment on common morality to guide people through life protected by contracts and the police and criminals locked away from public harm, and money with which to buy food and pensions protected and ensured by rules of the Financial Services Authority and Banks and investment institutions set up to look after our wealth to provide for our old age and, clearly, all these mechanisms can look after a population within a secular society without any reference to God. But just as when the GPS instructs us to take a false path and drive a track into a lake, we realise that the rules, instructions and institutions are not enough - we have to look at the map to find out what the rules are really doing and whether they are valid.
The organ above all is a magic instrument because in playing it, and listening to it, we learn about harmonic constructs. The sound is very special as it depends on the sound of the pipe and its harmonics, their relation to the other pipes, other harmonically related pipes and their harmomics too, as well as the harmonic structure of whatever music is played. These three ingredients are unique to the organ, other instruments providing one or two out of the three but not all three. The organ sound is multidimensional in this context.
In Middle-Earth it was beleived that our lives trace threads in a giant interwoven cloth encountering circumstances at every meeting of the warp and the weft. This is not unlike my comparisons elsewhere to a matrix of interactions between matter and circumstances. . . . The history of our science has ducumented our progressive shedding the layers of egocentricity. Wherever we are in space on the woven cloth, our worldview is naturally from the centre at which our perception is that we are placed, whether it be from our earth around which the whole universe revolves, or our sun around which we and our universe revolves, or our galaxy, or even each one of us ourselves. Einstein's General Relativity tells us that all is relative and that our perceptions are limited by the limits of communication and speed of communication, telling us that we cannot see beyond the limit of things travelling faster than the speed of light, just as we cannot hear in realtime beyond the limit of things travelling beyond the speed of sound. This places an absoluted limit upon what we can perceive, and therefore to the extent that Hawkins and Dawkins can percieve about the universe and what makes it "go". Why does this matter to us? Because the laws of the universe are reflected from the very big to the verry smallest upone which the very biggest depend, with us, somewhere in between.
We govern ourselves within our perceptions of where and when we are, upon space and time which we have enjoy the illusion of being able to measure with rulers and clocks, but we forget the thesis of Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason
in which he commented all those centuries ago that "space and time" are "forms of sense perception but not objective things". In a world dominated by things that we can make, in which the likes of Steve Jobs achieve God status (false God that he be - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/7773011/A-look-inside-the-Foxconn-suicide-factory.html
, 50,000 workers "burning out" per month and their knowledge that "In here, nobody gives a damn about you"), we are transfixed upon the illusions of what we can see, what we can measure.
But faith depends upon knowledge of God in the things that we cannot measure and we cannot see, and the certain knowledge that they are a function within our lives, a tool, a map and a direction, in essence, something of relevance to us and the course of our lives. This is no superstition; it's an understanding of the universe, of the fabric of the interaction of matter and our interactions as part of it. To understand, one has to enter the shoal of fish (about which I have written elsewhere within these threads): one has to see the behaviour of the fish and collective interactions behaving like the spins of electrons, understanding that the spins of electrons and transmission of neutrinos exceed the limitations of light, that there is a fabric of the quantum universe even beyond those 4 dimensions we experience and the further 6 dimensions that we cannot, which in all require not 10 but 20 descriptors to specify in Einsteinian space, and coming to know therefore that there are mechanisms which comply to the definitions
which are there to be understood and for us to access and to help us. Sacred wisdom is there to guide us.