Message 1 of 15 (550775)
03-18-2010 5:39 AM
My personal philosophy: A is A. The thing is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. I know some of you reading this may think that statement a bit too obvious for a personal philosophy but itís the foundation of my personal beliefs. It means there is an objective reality that can be perceived by man and man should draw conclusions from its observations. A spade is a spade, a sot is a sot, and a farce is a farce. This by no means makes me an empiricist. I just think man should not ignore what observing the nature world has given humanity. It is the core of scientific testing and it is the reason I can type these rambling thoughts. The proof of the value of observation can be found in pudding. Not only are there 54 amazing flavors to choose from, but it is kept in a magic box that never gets warm.
But A is A does not explain the whole of my philosophy for A is A does not explain how something came from nothing. One could argue that the universe is simply because it is. It exists because it has always existed. And in truth, this is a valid argument. As long as there has been time, and therefore space, the universe has existed. But what is time but an agreed upon measure of observed changes? If there is a timeline of the changes in the universe, then what happens at the beginning of time? I certainly subscribe to the big bang theory of creation. At one point the primordial forces of the universe where unified and proceeded to explode out into expanse that is the universe as we know it. But I posit to you that this almost universal understanding of how the universe was made is not a theory of creation. It is a theory of how creation progressed, not the act of creation itself. A is A, and therefore science, cannot explain the act of creation because it is principle of observation. And the act of observation implies an observer which had yet to be created. In other words, science cannot explain creation because it was created in the act of creation. Something cannot come from nothing (in other words A is not B). Thankfully, nothing has never existed. If it did, then it would be all that exists. And the very absence of nothing, is the observation I use to make a leap of faith.
You see to me, science and faith are one. They are not mutually exclusive. Science should lead to faith, and faith should lead to science. Science cannot explain the important question of life: Why? And faith cannot explain the important question of life: How? One could argue that science explains the question of why with the simple fact that man is a biological organism. We are life and life exists for the same reason all other life exists Ė to create more life. And certainly faith can offer an explanation for the question of how. The world works the way it works because God ordained it. But both of these explanations are hollow.
To say man is nothing more than an animal and biological organism is to deny empirical evidence to the contrary. For evidence, I offer the fact of Man ceasing to evolve. Yes, thatís right, humans are not evolving. While certain traits have become more prevalent species-wide (ie, height), we have effectively stopped evolving. We have stopped evolution in two ways. First, we no longer practice random mating which is a prerequisite for natural selection. And second, we have stopped natural selection completely. The fittest are not the only individuals that survive and produce the most offspring. In our world of plenty, the least fit individuals piggy back on the world created by the strong and reproduce the most. Our lack of evolution is proof of our elevation above animal status.
And faith is just as guilty of shallowness as science. To put your blind faith into a book written thousands of years ago ignores your own reason. If you think the earth is only a few thousand years old I pity you. You are refusing to use your own God given eyes. To doubt that the earth is millions of years old should also lead you to doubt that cell phone in your pocket. The science that allows you to speak to your grandmother in Florida while you are in Maine is the same science that dates the earth as millions of years old. You cannot accept the benefits of science while denying its observations. If you accept the biblical account of creation then you should be living in same society described in the bible. No electricity, no use of fossil fuels, and no life saving antiseptics. Feel free to take your faith to its logical end - perhaps we can restart evolution with your demises.
As explained earlier, the simple observation that something cannot come from nothing should be the logical springboard for a belief in God in any human person. But how should faith lead one to science? I opine that faith is an essential part of science. Perhaps not a faith in God, but faith nonetheless. Isn't the first step of the scientific method creating a thesis? And isn't a thesis defined as an educated guess about the outcome of an experinment? A sceintist obsevers from past experience and says "I think this will occur." The problem with this model of knowledge aquisition is that the past does not guruntee the future for the very simple fact that the future is undefined. Anything can happen. And by anything, I literally mean anything. You could sprout wings. The floor you are standing on could become pourus. That carrot in your fridge could speak to you the next time you open the door. It is possible simply because it has not occured yet. I argue that any guess, even an educated one, is a leap of faith simply because the future is uncertain. Therefore the scientific method itself is based upon some form of faith, even if it is only that things will occur in the future as they did in the past.
I opine that with a combined faith/science model the questions of how and why can be answered. The question of how is the easier of the two. How did the universe come to exists? Via the big bang of course, we know this through science. We know this because of the utility of science. We know this because I can fly on a jumbo jet while surfing the interent at over 500 miles per hous. The benefits of science prove its truth. The question of why, however, is a much harder question. I am content to say that it is a question that must be answered by each indiviual. This is the fortune cookie's answer to life's great mystery. But it is the truth of the matter.
Let's do a little role play. Say you are God. You are all powerful. You are all knowing. And you are all loving. You are the true, the good, and the beautiful. Why would you create the universe? I realize many could be reluctant to put themselves in the shoes of God as some sort of blasphamy, but each of us is said to be made in God's own image - complete with reason. So I ask you to use that reason and consider why you would create something inferior to yourself. Some say it is out of love and others say out of a need to be loved by worhsipers. I say both of these explinations are inadequate. You are the supreme being. The end all, be all. Why would you care about anything else? There is nothing greater than yourself, so how could anything else warrent your atteantion? This is what is called the philosopher's God. It is God, but it is a God that only ponders its own devine essece - as nothing else is worthy of its attention. It is with this idea of God that I offer the Why of human existance: We are God.
We ARE God.
I know, I am crazy. But hear me out. Socrates once said "The unexamined life is not worth living." And he was right. How many people in your daily life do you encounter who seem to have no capacity to think of life on a higher level than a day at a time? No reason to live other than thier own personal comfort? They think nothing is greater than themselves and it shows in thier unhappiness. What I argue is that God created us, created the universe, to better ponder his own existence. To better explain why does something exist rather than nothing. What is better, one head or two? What is better, one God, or countless trillions of beings capable of indepentdent thought to discover thier own reasons for existence? True, God is all powerful and all knowing, but god exists to ponder God's own existence. Is there a better way to ponder a question than a think tank of literally billions of minds concerned with the same problem?
How could he love that which he had yet to create? I know, I know, he is God he can do anything he wants, blah, blah, blah. But love is a reciprocal relationship. If love is unrequited, it isn't love - its an obesstion. It is something twisted and vile, not a thing of beauty. So, logically, wouldn't God have to create us before he loved us for it to be true love? He would have to make something and wait to see the results. He would have to gamble to see if we loved him, which could explain the state of the world. It's an experiment.