Toronto perspective: God of the Atheist

 


Is there a God? Can we prove or disprove its existence? Nobody did either.


Allow me to ask you a question. Is your religious faith a complement, increasing the reach of your mind, and augmenting the love of your heart? Or, are you using your faith as a supplement, force-feeding your mind with ossified dogmas, suppressing your mind’s right to critical thinking?


I grew up in a small village in Hungary, raised by a mother who took her Catholic faith seriously indeed. However, I found many teachings of my faith increasingly untenable as I was growing up. It was discomfort first, a sense of incompatibility next, and then the final realization that I cannot make it work. I note though there are teachings in the Bible I adapted.


I settled on a simple world view. The energy in our Universe either existed for ever, or if not, it must have originated from other forms of energy that was ‘always’ around. We cannot go on ad infinitum searching for the cause of existence of all things, Reality at large. Let us assume for a moment that a Big Bang explosion started it all – our Universe, me and the songbirds in my backyard. You and I are here in flesh discussing these mighty matters because something blew up in the Big Bang big time. Aren’t you curious about what was Big Bang doing just before it blew up? I am. Was it sleeping? What forces were guiding it to blow up as it did? Are there other big bangs still sleeping or blowing up, creating other Universes? Could we measure or sense this energy – assuming it is physical energy? Can we even form an opinion about the nature of the energy and forces that brought the Big Bang about? Are these sensible questions? If my mind can draw them up then the questions are legitimate for me.


Science – being what it is, do not waste time or effort finding out the origins of the Big Bang energy. It cannot measure or sense that which is not physical energy – if that what it is. Would it be scientific to infer that energy which vibrates at frequencies our instruments cannot measure, does not exist? It would be transparent to our science, would it be not? Science answers the many ‘how’ questions but not the ‘why’ questions of the Big Bang, and all that followed. Let us postulate an absolute energy essence that has it all. It is either the Big Bang, or if not, it has the Might to blow up as many big bangs as pleases its fancy. It also spawns self-centered awareness – consciousness of many stripes. We know this because we are one of those conscious beings – and exist. It is besides the point what label we stick onto this energy essence, or whether we think about it as a Being. It has its ‘hands’ in everything we experience, including our reasoning mind, our emotions and ideals. By the way, this is a philosophical statement, and not a scientific one.


How does this energy essence look like? We can safely say that it can’t be a bearded biped, preoccupied with ruling and judging mortals from planet Earth. Describing God as a Supreme Human – worse yet as a Supreme Man as most religions have it, is an insult to our logically reasoning mind. When will the teachers of religions figure out their glorified male god is not appealing to the educated masses any more. Fanning the feelings of guilt and inferiority, organized religions mass-produce non-adaptive, ill-functioning individuals and societies. I know this because I was one such an individual for many years.


Our scientists hope to capture signals of intelligent life, originated from one of the planetary systems near-by. It is perhaps a matter of time when we find thousand if not millions of such systems that can support life. What if alien communication has been all around us for millions of years? Conceivably, we just do not have the right receivers for the job.


Against this background, let us consider a few stories from Christian teachings. Did the gentlemen in Paradise ate the forbidden apple on behalf of those beings on alien planets as well? Do they have the same god as we here on Earth do? Will we find a Jewish god or a Muslim god out there? Christians know for sure that their god is the real one. Which one will it be? Did Jesus Christ die for those alien sinners too? Alternatively, did father god sent his son there to die as well – billion times over and again? Was it perhaps Earth’s representative the only one who failed the test? (Keep in mind, the Bible takes on explaining the Universe).


Would it not be far more useful if religions found a way to grow and evolve with humankind? Imagine religions working hand-by-hand with science. Complementing it with sound philosophy, and not stuffing cheep-quality substitutes into our mind, and littering our heart with feelings of inferiority?


Having rejected the notion of a ‘god’ religions promote, how should I continue? Frail Absolute, the book I authored, has its roots in this struggle. My explorations run at the levels of philosophy and metaphysics, avoiding any reference to religious ideas, prophets or gods. I set out to find my nonreligious ‘god’, Absolute. So I found it. It is the black hole in the center of galaxies, hurling stars around. It flexes the wings of butterflies, and answering my heart’s yearnings while burning inside stars. Absolute, my God, being its absolute self, it is also the physical reality around me, animating it, living in it. And ... wait .. what was that flashing sparkling light from the smiling eyes of a passer-by panhandler on Yonge Street, greeting me? Was it God of the Atheist? I wonder…


Send me your thoughts, comments: sdeak@rogers.com. You may also explore other stories at my website at http://istvandeak.com.

 
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"Would it not be far more useful if religions found a way to grow and evolve with humankind?"

Religions do change over time although some of their adherents deny it. The trouble is that religion becomes mired in historical dogma and scripture and lags behind the evolution of society. They become followers rather than leaders. Some of their conservative adherents actually think that trying to stand still in a dynamically changing world is a good thing.

It sounds to me that your ideas about an atheist god are a form of natural panntheism which you can read about on wiki and which is indeed compatible with atheism.
I am struggling to find anything you have written here that is even close to scientific truth. You really do need to read up on the things you write about, it is clear to me that at least in this instance you have not. The Big Bang was not an explosion. Not even a bit like it. It was an expansion. At the point of the BB not only time was created, space was too. And that space continues to grow to this day. There was no before as time began at that point. To ask what happened 'Before the BB' is nonsensical like asking how many is green or how grandiose is your carrot. To understand a little about how a universe can come from nothing, try this video: http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/origins-symposium/lawrence-krauss-1 And for reading, perhaps How the Universe got its Spots by Janna Levin and A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Until you understand a little of your subject matter you really shouldn't make it up as you go along.
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