?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Messenger Icon

Zero plus >> zero minus

Hopefully, what I am about to describe will be understood by someone else. Note that my tone is not of one who is lost, but frustrated by exactly where he is.

Here isn't the problem, oft commented on by people in the know: the more you know, the less magic and wonderment exists in the world. As we learn more, we run a greater risk of becoming disillusioned - we live in a terrible world, working with horrors orders of magnitude greater than any other time slice through history. We also understand the basic nature of reality in ever greater detail. This removes a need for outside explanations - the world now houses fewer miracles and more phenomena. God seems to be on the way to irrelevance.

But that is too one sided to be rational. This does not take into account the vast tracts of unexplained knowledge. I do not mean things unexplained - I mean things that do not even fit into our framework. These still exist, and they are a threat to atheism. They are becoming ever smaller, as new modes of thought reform the way we look at the world and rewrite our most basic assumptions.

So here is the problem: will reality demand the need for a God, or will it prove itself to exist because it could and thus was bound to eventually? This is nowhere near as simple as most atheists or theists would have you to believe. While one gets closer to understanding reality fully, God is needed less to explain the unknown; yet the underlying order implies a mind to set it straight. But this may be merely the result of how reality must play out - sheer logic and mathematics. We know that the universe did not need to turn out the way it is, though.

Eventually we can zoom in to a zero mark, where on one side the universe excludes the God factor and on the other necessitates it. Here's the catch (and it turns out to be the thorn in just about anyone's back): an atheist's universe does not demand a lack of God, and a theist's universe does not require a God.

As far as I can tell.

This quandary, simple as it is, drags the focus to the zero point, where both sides try to get an edge on the other. Really, should one side prove assuredly anything, they gain on the other side. The trouble arises when attempting to see if there is a net leaning to the left or the right. As far as I can tell, there is none. Honestly, I can't see it. I fear all debates will come down to a handful of irritatingly unbreakable counterarguments that slams either assault to a halt.

The question, in the end then, is this: Is reality just above, just below, or right on the critical point? Just about every interesting phenomena deals with reconciling a critical point of some sort, especially in complexity and chaos. Perhaps this is the ultimate? If there is even the slightest leaning, then the other loses all for naught.

What I fear and thrill at the thought of is this: perhaps ours is the zero point, and it is simply up to us to decide. I smile at the thought of it, that it should all come down to a personal preference, a whim. If only I were free to be arbitrary.

Comments

I have the feeling that this is the type of question that once you get to the point when asking it would have any real meaning to you it becomes irrelevant.
someone could sit here and tell you everything, and it would make no difference. it would be like when you first start to learn something you have no real basis for understanding, for me it would be like the first time someone told be about magnetic flux, it it there and it makes sense to be there but understanding why and how or even what in any sort of meaningful way is impossible at that stage, you need to build up to that sort of understanding. Now if you were to experiment and observe the world to enough that you could get to where you could ask about if there was anything there or not and know what it was you were really asking you may not really know the answer but you would know what it would 'look' like, if you found something that was the wrong answer you would know it because it would not fit into the world.
I had an experence like that not that long ago. It was sometime in high school around when I realized that I would be able to choose to go to college or do some other thing in my life, and I came to one question that would decide it for me, and the question was 'if you have the ability to help someone do you have the responsibility to do so?'. And then I realized that once I found what the question was and that I should try to answer it, there was only one answer.
knowing that there is only one answer and accepting that answer are two very different things. But I think that from how you are talking about these things you are closer to finding an acceptable answer than you seem to feel.
I am relieved that you got my point, right on even. Strikingly so. You filled in the part I tried to remember to write while I was patrolling the parking lots as night host.

Answers follow naturally from the questions. The trick is figuring out the right question that catalyzes the whole process. I haven't found that one quintessential query yet.

Tangentially, is it odd that HGttG sets up the same problem? Seriously, I don't think Douglas Adams tries to be profound in it, but this sorta stuff comes out of it all the time.