Monday, March 16, 2009

"Who are you to say that there is more than the universe or God is beyond space and time?"

Think outside the box? Indeed. But to add balance to that, one should not in the process forget what the inside of the box looks like as well. Those who are best at thinking outside the box do it not to puff themselves up, but to see how small they really are. As a contented fish in its fish tank appears to have a small, boring existence to us, imagine a larger, more perceptive kingdom (even by scientific taxonomy) to whom our contented existences may appear to be small and boring. This is where true creativity and massive perceptive abilities spawn a sense of intellectual humility; the kind which God adores.

For God to prove himself on demand, physically, would be a grave disappointment, and the strongest Christians should be considerably grateful that he chooses not to do so. The skeptic endlessly demands proof, yet God refuses to insult the true intelligence of man, the "6th sense", the chief quality, the acumen which distinguishes man from the rest of creation, faith.

In response to the opening rhetoric, I will raise the alternative, "Who are you to say that there is nothing more than the universe?" Would not a fish be a fool to assume that all existing entities exist within the fish tank merely because that is all that he can perceive? Imagine the reality of a fish, next, imagine the massive world that surrounds the fish tank. Now, recall our own reality and consider the massive universe that surrounds the earth. Fish have a much shorter lifespan than humans but are content having no perception beyond this, and are confined to a much smaller space but are content having no perception beyond this. In other words, we do exist beyond the fish's space and time as perceived by the fish and the fish alone.

The given premise is based on what we do know about the brain capacity of a fish. We know that animals "higher up" have more advanced cerebral cortices, such as humans and chimpanzees as opposed to frogs and fish. The level of brain complexity plays an important role as to what we are content with in our existences.

Again, suppose there is a kingdom (even by scientific taxonomy) far beyond us and our current perception who, on average, lives 10x longer, is 10x larger, has 10x more space on their planet, and is 10x smarter (more complex brains). In our cluelessness of this, we are perfectly content with our "small" existence, whereas from their perspective we are the "fish". This is also a touch on the saying "ignorance is bliss". It basically sums up the statement about the contentment of fish, and can be applied to most of the animal kingdom. Animals in the zoo can be depressed in their confinement and long to play in the open fields, however they are more intellectually complex than fish. Even higher on the intellectual scale, humans are certainly depressed when locked in, and we tend to want even more than open fields but also to travel.

Figuratively, how could one ever prove to a fish human reality, or better yet, how could one prove human reality to bacteria? It is a being far beyond the microscopic, bacterial perception. Other than the fact that it is incomprehensible to bacterial cognition, it would also be extremely difficult if on their own volition, "being" remained limited to their perception of being.
In comparing the universe to a fish tank, God would be much more great in size thus beyond our space and time having created such a massive universe.

Are there any defining factors that prove the human reality is existentially exempt from that of a fish's reality (but simply on a larger scale than fish)? One could respond under the notion that scientific perception defines "being", yet in that case, one is precisely exhibiting the aforementioned fish tank analogy. A fish conjecturing that the contents of its tank are all that exist because the contents of its tank are all that it can verify by means of its own analysis is in denial of acknowledging its limitations. One can believe that the fish is a fool when superior to its tiny existence, likewise, one is also truly analogous to the words of God, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'," (Psalms 14:1). In the same manner, God is superior to the human existence.
I want to note again that the analogy of fish in a fish tank is not meant to be taken literally but rather in a metaphorical sense. Having said that, if fish did have the mental capacity to either believe in a higher power or deny a higher power, and this belief varied among fish, it can figuratively correspond to that of humans on a less intellectual level. We know that fish have limited cognitive reasoning behind the things they physically see. This means that they either could or could not comprehend our existence, even after they see us through the tank, when consuming the food dropped into the tank. However, we have more advanced capabilities, such as the ability to reason, the ability to comprehend the vitality of faith; thus we can subsequently operate with more than physical senses. God tests, but he does not tempt. Indeed all of humanity would believe in God, although not necessarily love God, if he could physically see God waving from the heavens, but it is quite complimentary that God gives more credit to man, his creation, than to thoughtlessly drop food from the skies in order to be comprehended.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Physicalism's Hidden Exigency of Faith

Quite often does the radical physicalist postulate the "human perception = perception of all in existence" methodology, hence I wanted to focus on the phenomenal question, "Is there more than this life?" If one was to make this judgment according to his own dimensions, by the scientific method, he would have to go by what is known about this life in order to conclude another life, or lack thereof. Contrary to popular belief, the amount of strength for other existing realities or dimensions exceeds the amount of strength for this reality existing as the one and only reality.

Indeed it is faithful to merely assume multiple existences of such, however, assuming there is only one when the cause of one's own existence is not proven requires a great deal of faith and to an even higher degree. An orphan unaware of their biological parents would be very faithful to assume that they had no biological siblings when there is absolutely no declaration for the supposition. Conclusively, assuming whether or not this is the only reality is merely half the battle for both arguments, yet, as the orphan argument demonstrates, the opposing argument is the position founded upon ignorance.

Even if one did not believe in a creator, but rather any theoretical origin of the universe from either an accidental cause or absolutely nothing, there is nothing more to declare that the accident cannot happen in other instances into other universes apart from the current universe. The existence of the present reality, from either an accident or nothing, is a piece of evidence for the existence of other realities as there are no defined restrictions that determine such a chance singular. Apart from any chance-based theories, intelligent design is quite self-explanatory in one's considering of the potential existence of other dimensions.

Martin Heidegger's phenomenological assertion about death, or mortality, implies that "death does not come as an end"; however, if conclusively one is once nonexistent to this reality, yet he forms a state of being to this reality, how is it that he will someday become nonexistent to this reality as interpreted by biological science? Some might argue that imaginary pink unicorns are nonexistent to this reality, but provided is no evidence that they are existent in another. However, pink unicorns were not born into a conscious being of this known reality as humans were, hence those of being mysteriously cross this reality as unicorns do not. A tangibly existing thing, such as a conscious human, becomes a part of this reality, and passing through (from birth to death) is support for other realities. This is so because one does not have an immortal existence as defined by the properties of this life, yet one is indeed a being in itself that, apparently, moves into and from this life. Further provided is evidence that this universal reality is limited to and from specific properties that other local realities, such as humans, are capable of losing and/or gaining.

The only premise one has for the conclusion that the current reality is the one and only reality is based on the fact that one cannot consciously comprehend or perceive any other realities. For those who limit existence to perception, this is a contradiction because one cannot comprehend not existing in a reality of some sort. In other words, the human comprehension, in its incomprehension of not existing, inherently directs the mind to a future reality. Often used is the common notion, "Perceiving things is how we know they exist." In that case, and on the contrary, it is more so humanly logical to conclude that there are other realities by one's incomprehension of not being. Putting this idea to the test, one should try imagining not existing at all. It is impossible because there is a disposition thus imagining blindness, muteness, numbness, and deafness, which under such circumstances, would still be some form of existence no matter the combination. Human senses do not define existence; they merely detect certain properties of this universe. Because one cannot comprehend not existing beyond the current reality but will indeed move beyond it someday, by the common physicalist notion that human perception defines existence, one "perceives" that one can only move somewhere else rather than into nothingness.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Why won't God just show himself!?"

Both theists and atheists must face that scientifically the existence of God cannot be "proven" from one person to another (yes spiritually, but not scientifically). I often say that I am a scientific agnostic and a spiritual theist. That is so because anything that hypothetically exists beyond the universe cannot be proven using the properties of the universe. It is what we are bound by as well as what we are scientifically limited to when acquiring facts; however, there can be evidence. Having created the universe, the creator must exist outside the universe without being bound by its properties, otherwise he (illogically) created himself in the process of creating the universe. Figuratively, I often describe the universe as a massive sphere which includes all of its properties: natural laws, materials, organisms, atmosphere, and its sequence of events (i.e. time), yet God exists beyond its boundaries. Consequently, by existing outside of time where the laws of cause and effect do not apply, God does not need a cause, nor is he made up of such properties we use to detect "being".

Not only is it more probable (though probability is, on the contrary, not always the dominant factor for an absolute justification), but the physical undetectability of God is necessary.
If he indeed showed himself in a more definitive manner, or according to our visual awareness (e.g. waving from the clouds on a golden sleigh, giant hands lifting mountains, etc.), a power so far beyond the universe suddenly interjecting the universe would demolish all in the vicinity [Richard Deem; God and Science]. This is justified by the very words of God, in Exodus 33:20, saying, "You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live."

Simple examples tend to put seemingly great complexities into perspective. Imagine the power of a star resting billions of miles away. The light shines so brightly, it can still be seen regardless of its distance, but it is days old by the time it reaches our eyes. We know that human vision is harmed when staring into the closest star of all, the sun. The creator of substances as powerful as these must have a natural light far beyond any of the creation, including the power of the stars, therefore it is for our own good that we cannot see God in full form.
While physical intensity is an important factor, if made dominant a physical presence of God over spiritual presence, would not all reasoning behind human creation be rather futile? John 4:24 says, "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." Because the utmost authority is a spiritual being, our limited, physical perception is a symbol of our existential deficiency without that authority. This is so because, ultimately, we are formed for the glorification of God rather than merely forcing him to task in order to satisfy the human nature of self-delusion; God extends beyond secular conventionalism.

But why call it "the human nature of self-delusion"? Our senses rely on our own cognition, which is not always a detector of absolute truth. Rhetorically speaking, of what purpose is glorification through creation if it has all been given with no realization of his spiritual superiority? Because God is holy, he does not sin nor does he drive us to sin, therefore, he cannot fuel such a disorderly universe. In order to gain an understanding of God, a man should first humble himself before God (Daniel 10:12), which is entirely different than living with a derisive expectation for signs or evidence. A common mistake we make is that we look for God in places where we ourselves wish to find him, yet even in the physical reality this is a complete failure. For example, if you lost your car keys, you would not search where you want to search, you would search where you must in order to find them.

There are some arguments, influenced by Greek philosopher Epicurus, that suggest God's "insensibility" to our physical perception is evidence for either an apathetic God or a malevolent God. The following is a quotation by Epicurus that is quite popular among many skeptics,
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" On the contrary, it more so signifies a God wanting closer, individual contact with the creation. According to the common analogy "man was created in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27), the validity of it is evident, in some cases, when one applies how a human would feel in a relationship as to how God would feel. We have better relationships with those who truly seek us rather than those sitting on the couch watching us move mountains trying to prove ourselves. It is fairly evident, however, by the biased human perspective, such as "make this cup of water float, then I will believe" or "give me a stack of money, then I will believe", we are often diverted from the supernatural perspective God has given us in order to comprehend his existence. This is why our very own common sense can be our worst of enemies, or as stated by Albert Einstein, "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."